Woot! It’s Friday and it’s April Fool’s Day. We are in luck, friends. Well, we’re in luck except for those of you who inadvertently used Google’s Mic drop button to send off important correspondence and have since been fired.
No column today. (No joke.)
Top News in the A.M.
1776, a three-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based accelerator program, has raised $7.2 million in fresh funding led by the financial services company Pepper Group. Other participants in the round include Revolution founder Steve Case, the private equity firm Kiddar Capital, and the angel network K Street Capital. More here.
Abl Schools, an eight-month-old, San Francisco-based startup that’s developing cloud-based scheduling and resource allocation software for schools, has raised $4.5 million in funding led by the education-focused fund Owl Ventures, with participation from First Round Capital and another education-focused investment firm, Reach Capital. Yammer cofounder and former CTO Adam Pisoni is the company’s founder. TechCrunch has more here.
Blispay, a two-year-old, Baltimore, Md.-based startup that’s giving small and mid-size merchants a way to offer their customers financing plans, has raised $12.75 million in seed funding led by FirstMark Capital, with participation from Accomplice, New Enterprise Associates, and TriplePoint Capital. TechCrunch has more here.
BlueBee, a four-year-old, Delft, Holland-based DNA analytics startup, has raised €10 million ($11.4 million) in Series A funding from Capricorn ICT Arkiv, Korys, and Biover II. Prior backer Buysse & Partners also joined the round. Tech.eu has more here.
Kiweno, a two-year-old, Austria-based startup that specializes in self-tests for food intolerances — users can apparently test themselves at home — has raised €7 million ($8 million) from 7NXT and SevenVentures Austria. More here.
Swanest, a 1.5-year-old, London-based onlinep platform that’s helping self-directed investors to invest in the stock market online, has raised $10 million in seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz. TechCrunch has more here.
Tok.tv, a three-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based sports-focused social network, has raised $5 million in Series A funding from investors, including Angel Lab,Techstars, Social Starts, XG Ventures, U-Start Club (Opea and Anya Capital), IAG, JetVentures, TEEC Angel Fund and Heyi Capital. More here.
TransitScreen, a three-year-old, Washington, D.C-based information company that offers its customers a real-time display of the transportation options at their particular location, has raised $800,000 in seed funding from Middle Bridge Partners, 1776 Ventures, Alex Bresler, Mark Decker Jr., and other, unnamed angels. More here.
TransLoc, a two-year-old, Durham, N.C.-based transportation app developer whose products include a live regional transit map and a bus tracking mobile app, has raised $8 million in funding co-led by SJF Ventures and Fontinalis Partners. Other participants in the round include Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff’s Efficient Capacity fund; Patient Capital Collaborative (PCC), an impact fund; and Thomas McMurray (a general partner at Sequoia Capital in the ’90s). FinSMEs has more here.
500 Startups is looking to raise yet another new geo-focused micro fund. This time, the target is $30 million and the country is Canada. More here.
Whistle, a three-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based “Fitbit for dogs,” has been acquired by Mars Petcare, the pet division of the Mars (famed maker of Snickers and M&Ms.) Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed. Whistle had raised $21 million from investors, including Melo7 Technologies, Nokia Growth Partners, Queensbridge Venture Partners, Slow Ventures, DCM Ventures, and Qualcomm, among others. CEO Ben Jacobs co-founded Whistle when he was an EIR at DCM in 2012. TechCrunch has the story here.
Venture capitalist John Doerr announced yesterday that he’s stepping away from his management duties at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to become the firm’s first-ever chair. Doerr wrote in a blog post that he’s looking to Kleiner’s tenured partners—Ted Schlein, Beth Seidenberg, and Mary Meeker—to lead the firm with newer managing members, including Mike Abbott, Eric Feng, Wen Hsieh, and Mood Rowghani. Doerr joined Kleiner in 1980.
Jahan Khanna, who co-founded Sidecar in 2011, has left GM after to join Uber, one month after GM acquired Sidecar’s assets and talent to develop its own car service. According to Fortune, his departure comes after growing disagreements between him and GM.
A bias suit against Twitter is set to expand across its engineer ranks.
So much for Kanye West’s plans to make his new album, “The Life of Pablo,” a Tidal exclusive. The artist has now put the album out on Tidal’s competitors, including Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music.
Mark Zuckerberg for H&M. (One of the better pranks we’ve seen this a.m.)
More bad news for fantasy sports startups: DraftKings and FanDuel simultaneously announced yesterday that they reached a deal with the NCAA to temporarily suspend college sports on both platforms after this weekend’s March Madness tournament ends. More here.
Theranos may be officially cooked. The WSJ reported yesterday that according to a 121-page government report, Therano’s blood-testing devices failed to meet the company’s own accuracy standards for an array of tests.
We do not buy this argument. (Readers, what do you think?)
April Fool’s Day has been banned in China (for reals).
Seven of Zaha Hadid’s most striking designs. The famed architect passed away yesterday at 65.