Hi, everyone, hope you had a fun weekend.
Top News in the A.M.
Holy data dump. The hidden wealth of some of the world’s most prominent leaders, politicians and celebrities was revealed yesterday by an unprecedented leak of millions of documents that highlight how some of them exploit secretive offshore tax regimes. The BBC has much more here.
Peter Thiel’s Other Fund, Mithril Capital Management, Raises $600 Million
Peter Thiel is having a good month.
According to a new SEC filing, low-flying Mithril Capital Management, which Thiel co-founded with longtime colleague Ajay Royan in 2012, is out raising its second fund with a $600 million target. Sources say the fund is already oversubscribed, however, and that it may hit $1 billion before it holds a final close.
Emails and a call to the firm were not returned Friday afternoon.
The vehicle marks the second giant fund that involves Thiel in one week’s time. The Friday before last, Founders Fund, the early-stage venture firm he co-founded in 2005, closed its sixth fund with $1.3 billion.
There’s seemingly no end to LPs’ appetite for anything involving Thiel, though it’s also worth noting that aside from his involvement, the firms don’t feature much overlap.
StrictlyVC sat down with Royan in 2014 to discuss Mithril, which is named after a fictional metal from J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy writings. The way he explained its focus then was as a growth-stage fund, one focuses on established companies that are leveraging tech in some way but are not necessarily tech companies. (He compared it, in fact, to a young General Atlantic.)
Though Mithril has backed some tech companies, including the cloud service marketplace AppDirect; Classy, which provides online fund-raising services for nonprofits; and the data analysis giant Palantir (which is one of Founders Funds’ biggest bets to date), it has numerous bets that better underscore its mandate, including to fund companies too mature for many VCs yet that don’t fit the mold of a private equity investment, either.
Comma.ai, a seven-month-old, San Francisco-based autonomous car kit startup, has raised $3.1 million led by Andreessen Horowitz. Recode has more here.
Entasis Therapeutics, a nearly year-old, Waltham, Ma.-based company focused on the discovery and development of anti-infective products, has raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Clarus, with participation from Frazier Healthcare Partners, Novo A/S, Eventide Funds, and founding investor AstraZeneca. (The company has spun out of AstraZeneca last summer.) More here.
Garena Interactive Holding, a seven-year-old, Singapore-based online and mobile entertainment and e-commerce company, has raised $170 million in fresh capital led by Malaysia’s state investment arm, Khazanah Nasional Bhd. The deal values the company at $3.75 billion, according to a WSJ source.
Hungama, a 16-year-old, Mumbai, India-based video and music streaming service, has raised $25 million in new funding led by the Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, with participation from earlier investors Intel Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and billionaire investor and trader Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. TechCrunch has more here.
Influenster, a six-year-old, New York-based product discovery and reviews platform, has raised $8 million in funding from Ebates, an online cashback shopping service that’s owned by Japan’s Rakuten. TechCrunch has more here.
Reserve, a nearly two-year-old, New York-based restaurant reservation booking and payment app, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Diageo Technology Ventures, the venture arm of the consumer goods giant Diageo. More here.
Schoold, a year-old, San Francisco-based college planning startup whose app helps students with the college admissions process, including through side-by-side college comparisons and an admissions predictor, has raised $4.5 million in funding from FastForward; entrepreneur and investor Lorne Abony; and several other unnamed individual investors. More here.
Slack, the three-year-old, San Francisco-based cloud-based workplace collaboration software outfit, has raised $200 million in new funding at a $3.8 billion post-money valuation led by Thrive Capital, with participation from GGV Capital, Comcast Ventures, Sherpa Everest and return backers Accel Partners, Index Ventures, Spark Capital, and Social Capital. Business Insider has more here.
Strainz, a three-year-old, Las Vegas-based cannabis brand management company, has raised $8 million, including $6 million in Series A funding, from undisclosed investors. More here.
Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital (or EVC), a small, Cleveland, Oh.-based investment outfit, is launching an India-focused $50 million early-stage investment fund to fund enterprise software, internet and mobile-focused startups. The firm, led by serial entrepreneur and investor Anjli Jain, will primarily focus on startups operating in the education sector. The Economic Times has more here.
ATS Global Markets, a nearly 11-year-old, Lenexa, Ks.-based securities exchange operator, has set its IPO terms to 11.2 million shares being offered at between $17 and $19 per share. Mid-range, the company would be valued at $1.72 billion. Among its biggest shareholders is TA Associates, which owns a 17.1 percent stake. For what it’s worth, this is the company that IPO experts think could crack open the IPO market — assuming the offering is a success. Dealbook has more here.
SecureWorks, a 17-year-old, Atlanta, Ga.-based company that offers security as a service, could become the first tech IPO of 2016, reports the WSJ.
After raising two funds, the team of medical investor Thomas McNerney & Partners has decided to wind down the firm, reports VentureWire.
Reserve, the nearly two-year-old, New York-based reservation startup, has acquired Dash, a payment technology company that had raised $7 million in funding from investors, including Caerus Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital and New York Angels. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Reserve used some new funds (see above, in New Fundings) to get the deal done. TechCrunch has more here.
Priscilla Chan, pediatrician, educator, philanthropist, CEO, and wife of Facebook cofounder Mark Zuckerberg, talks with the Mercury News about why she and Zuckerberg recently launched the nonprofit institution The Primary School. It’s worth reading.
Sam Kass, President Obama’s former senior advisor for nutrition policy and former executive director of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, has joined the Campbell Soup-backed venture capital fund Acre Venture Partners as a partner. Fortune has the story here.
Wedbush Securities is looking to hire an investment banking associate into its healthcare group. The job is in San Francisco.
DJI and Yuneec, the Apple and Samsung of drone world, are now entangled in a patent lawsuit. More here.
The FBI’s method for breaking into a locked iPhone 5c is unlikely to stay secret for long, say senior Apple engineers, adding that once exposed, Apple should be able to plug the encryption hole.
Tesla has an quality problem: sales of its new Model 3 electric sedan — which will average $42,000, says Tesla CEO Elon Musk — topped 253,000 in the first 36 hours after its unveiling. (Now to keep up with demand for the car, which is slated to enter production in late 2017.)
MW M4 takes its promo spot to extremes.
Study says those who call out grammatical errors are, in fact, scientifically “jerks.”
This just makes us happy.
A champagne gun (dreamed up, we’d guess, by someone who has spent too much time in St. Tropez).