Great news, it’s Wednesday already! (We thought it was Tuesday.) Have a happy Wednesday, everyone.:)
Top News in the A.M.
The messaging platform Slack is reportedly back on the fundraising trail. The WSJ reports it’s talking with investors about a new round of more than $150 million in funding. More here.
That Brazil-based Facebook VP who was arrested yesterday on his way to work was just let go. (Phew.) Diego Dzodan was jailed for refusing to hand over WhatsApp messages to the police investigating a drugs case.
NFX Guild Just Graduated 16 Startups: Here They Are
The Bay Area accelerator NFX Guild presented 16 companies to a crowded room of 200 investors down on Sand Hill Road yesterday, and the room was reportedly very energized.
Little wonder. NFX was founded by seasoned entrepreneurs and operators James Currier, Stan Chudnovsky and Gigi Levy Weiss. Its companies are referred to the outfit by a network of 42 scouts — some of them investors, many of them entrepreneurs, and a fair number who work double-time as angel investors. (No company can enter into the program without being routed through them.)
Even more attractive to investors, presumably: These startups are centered around fully formed ideas by the time they hit NFX. Indeed, fully 13 of the 16 companies that presented today had already raised funding, and some were started by pretty big wheels. Wheelwell, for example, a Houzz-like platform automotive parts, accessories and services, was cofounded by the person who established Apple’s Mac Genius service in Apple’s retail stores. Meanwhile, the CEO of Outdoorsy has already led two public companies.
Companies admitted by NFX are given $120,000, along with 30 hours of programming, mentoring, and introductions to investors. NFX in turn gets 7 percent of their company. (If they’ve already raised more than $750,000, NFX asks for 5 percent.)
Today’s batch represents NFX’s second class, and the companies are still meeting with VCs, so it’s probably not too late to kick the tires if you’re an investor — or check out your newest peers if you’re a founder. You can check them out right here.
Augment, a four-year-old, Paris-based augmented reality startup that allows users to visualize 3D models and the real environment at scale, has raised $3 million from Salesforce Ventures in a round that brings its total funding to $4.7 million. TechCrunch has more here.
Blippar, a 4.5-year-old, New York-based image-recognition platform and visual browser for mobile, has raised $54 million in Series D funding led by Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the strategic investment arm of the Government of Malaysia, with particpation from earlier backers. TechCrunch has more here.
Carsome, a year-old, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based platform that connects car dealers with buyers and sellers, has raised $2 million in Series A funding led by IdeaRiverRun, a Malaysian private equity firm, with participation from IMG Investment Partners and 500 Startups. TechCrunch has more here.
Eight Sleep, a 1.5-year-old, New York-based company that makes smart sleep trackers in the form of mattress covers, has raised $6 million in seed funding from Y Combinator, Yunqui Partners, Azure Capital, Cota Capital, Comcast Ventures, Vast Ventures, Stanford University, Galvanize Ventures and individual angel investors. Venture Capital Dispatch has more here.
Jobbatical, a 1.5-year-old, Estonia-based job matching site for tech gigs abroad, has raised $2 million in funding led by Union Square Ventures, with participation from Saul Klein and Robin Klein’s LocalGlobe. Previous investor Smartcap also joined the round. TechCrunch has more here.
Landit, a year-old, New York-based jobs platform designed to help women advance professionally, especially through moments of career transition, has raised $2 million in seed funding from New Enterprise Associates, Cue Ball Capital, XFund and Female Founders Fund. Venture Capital DIspatch has the story here.
Lola, a two-year-old, New York-based subscription service that sells 100 percent cotton tampons, has raised $3 million in seed funding led by Lerer Hippeau Ventures, with participation from Brand Foundry, BBG Ventures, BoxGroup, VaynerRSE, 14W, and Seth Berkowitz among others. More here.
MarianaIQ, a two-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based platform that uses artificial intelligence for business-to-business marketing, has raised $2 million in convertible notes in a round led by Blumberg Capital. More here.
MedyMatch Technology, a two-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based company that applies deep vision and advanced cognitive analytics to medical imaging scans to help physicians recognize abnormalities, has raised $2 million in seed funding from investors, including Genesis Capital Advisors and Exigent Alternative Capital. TechCrunch has more here.
Mercari, a three-year-old, Tokyo-based peer-to-peer marketplace shopping app, has raised 8.4 billion yen (about $75 million) in a Series D round that values the company at more than $1 billion. Investors include Mitsui & Co,Development Bank of Japan, and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank’s Japan Co-Invest, along with earlier backers Globis Capital Partners, World Innovation Lab, and Global Brain. The company has now raised roughly $111 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.
Replay Technologies, a four-year-old, Newark, Ca.-based company that develops video 3D reconstruction technologies, has raised $13.5 million in Series B funding led by Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners. The B round brings the total raised by to date by the company to $27 million. Other investors include Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Samsung Ventures. Jewish Business News has more here.
Unchained Labs, a 1.5-year-old, Pleasanton, Ca.-based life sciences tools company, has raised a new round of $25 million, shows an SEC filing. The company had raised $25 million roughly a year ago led by Novo Ventures, Canaan Partners and TPG Biotech. More here.
Xirrus, a 12-year-old, Thousand Oaks, Ca.-based company that makes wireless networking products and had previously raised roughly $112 million from investors, has garnered another $7.5 million in equity and debt, shows a new SEC filing. More here.
Resolute Ventures, the 4.5-year-old, San Francisco-based early-stage venture firm run by general partners Mike Hirshland and Raanan Bar-Cohen, is looking to raise $50 million for its third fund, shows an SEC filing.
Augmented reality smart helmet company Daqri has acquired 1066 Labs, a nine-year-old, head-mounted display maker focused on serving enterprise client. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. TechCrunch has more here.
Berlin-based Delivery Hero has built up a large network of online food ordering and delivery operations globally that was valued at over $3 billion as of its last fundraise, but it has now decided to call it quits in one of the biggest markets in the world. TechCrunch says it’s getting out of China after facing aggressive competition from local startups, which include the likes of Ele.me and Baidu Waimai. More here.
Father and son VCs Robin and Saul Klein just sat down with TechCrunch to talk about their new LocalGlobe seed fund.
Cisco is hiring a senior corporate development manager. The job is in San Jose, Ca.
Slack will soon begin testing voice and video chat.
‘Passive Wi-Fi’ uses 10,000 times less power than normal to save your phone battery.
The U.S, government just banned electronic cigarettes from airplanes. (You probably imagined they were already banned, but they were not! Apparently.)
People were desperately Googling ‘How can I move to Canada’ last night.
The night light you never knew you needed (buy now kind of have to buy).