Thursday! [Karate kicks. Knife hand.]
Top News in the A.M.
Michael Moritz, the chairman of Sequoia Capital, just slammed Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump in a Financial Times column titled “To the bright and the rich of Silicon Valley, Trump is a loser.” More here.
Despite Troubled Online Lending Market, a Big Round for Payoff
Payoff, a 7.5-year-old Costa Mesa, Ca., startup that makes loans for people looking to pay off credit card debt, has just raised a bunch of money and it’s looking to raise even more. According to a new SEC filing, the company has raised $46.7 million as part of a round expected to close at $67.4 million.
The company had previously raised $38.4 million from investors, including FirstMark Capital, Great Oaks Venture Capital, and Anthemis Group.
Payoff targets millennials seemingly, with 10-minute-long quizzes to help users understand their financial “personality,” understand what their overall financial picture looks like, and assess how much finance-related stress is impacting them.
The company got a lot of mileage particularly out of a recent study it conducted that showed 23 percent of 2,011 survey respondents were experiencing symptoms commonly associated with post-traumatic stress disorder related to their finances. Among millennials, said Payoff, the number is 36 percent.
Beyond its content, Payoff provides loan amounts of between $5,000 and $35,000, between two- and five-year-long terms, and for fixed rates of between 8 percent and 22 percent APR. Borrowers also are charged a one-time 2 percent to 5 percent fee when their loan is issued.
Payoff seems to be steering clear of subprime borrowers, the kind that firms like LendUp loan to at extravagant rates (though those rates fall with every loan that’s paid in full). It instead requires that applicants have a minimum credit score of 720, gross income of at least $25,000, and a minimum credit history of three years. Borrowers are limited to using the loans to pay off credit card debt, too.
Airbnb, the nearly eight-year-old, San Francisco-based online housing marketplace, has secure $1 billion debt facility from some of the largest U.S. banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley. Bloomberg has more here.
Andela, a two-year-old, New York-based startup that’s helping to train more engineers in Africa to get tech jobs, has raised $24 million in Series B funding led by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the social issues-minded fund of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan. Other participants in the round include GV, as well as earlier backers Spark Capital, Omidyar Network, Learn Capital and CRE Ventures. Forbes has more here.
Collokia, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based machine learning-based collaboration platform, has raised $1.3 million in seed funding co-led software company Globant and Fundo Pitanga, a Brazilian venture capital firm. More here.
CureJoy, a 2.5-year-old, San Francisco- and Bangalore-based online community that connects users with alternative medicine experts, has raised $4.4 million in Series A funding led by its earlier backer Accel Partners India, with participation from unnamed angel investors. VCCircle has more here.
Eyeview, an 8.5-year-old, New York-based video marketing technology company, has raised $21.5 million led by Qumra Capital, with participation from earlier backers Marker LLC, Innovation Endeavors, Nauta Capital, Gemini Israel Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners. More here.
Elementum, a four-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based cloud supply chain platform, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Fontinalis Partners. More here.
Mersana Therapeutics, a 1.5-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based biotech that’s developing antibody drug conjugates, has raised $33 million in Series C funding led by Wellington Management, with participation from Cormorant Asset Management, Arrowpoint Partners, Takeda Pharmaceutical and earlier investors New Enterprise Associates and Rock Springs Capital. FierceBiotech has more here.
Overbond, a year-old, Toronto-based fintech platform for digital bond insurance, has raised $7.5 million in seed funding from Morrison Financial Services. More here.
Performance Horizon, a six-year-old, U.K.-basedcompany whose software aims to help advertisers manage their relationships with marketing partners, has raised $15.4 million in Series C funding from Greycroft Partners, Mithril and DN Capital. The company has now raised a total of $35 million. TechCrunch has more here.
Samba Tech, a 12-year-old, Belo Horizonte, Brazil-based distributor of online videos in Latin America, has raised $3 million in new funding from Brazilian billionaire José Augusto Schincariol. ITWorld has more here.
Vow To Be Chic, a three-year-old, Santa Monica, Ca.-based bridesmaid dress rental company, has raised $5 million in Series A funding from Women’s Venture Capital Fund, with participation from Pritzker Group Venture Capital and Wavemaker Partners. FinSMEs has more here.
Microsoft has announced yet another acquisition, this time in the area of natural language and artificial intelligence: the company has purchased Wand Labs, a startup that develops messaging apps.Terms of the deal are not being disclosed. Wand Labs had raised less than $3 million in funding, according to CrunchBase. TechCrunch has more here.
Samsung is acquiring Joyent, a 12-year-old, San Francisco-based cloud infrastructure and big data analytics company that had raised $126 million from investors, according to CrunchBase. Financial terms aren’t being disclosed. The WSJ has more here.
Stephen McIntyre, one of Twitter’s most senior executives outside the U.S., is leaving the company to join Dublin-based venture capital firm Frontline Ventures as a partner. Tech.eu has more here.
Streaming music service Spotify has hired Paul Vogel — a Wall Street veteran who most recently ran the internet and media research group at Barclays — as its first head of investor relations. The move strongly suggests the company is prepping to go public. Recode has the story here.
The Samsung Global Innovation Center is looking to hire a director of investments. The job is in Mountain View, Ca.
Beyond a new campus that Uber is building in San Francisco and a century-old building it recently purchased in Oakland, Ca., the ride-share juggernaut is now reportedly nearing a deal to lease a building in Palo Alto. The idea: to get closer to employees. Via The Information (subscription required).
China Life, Asia’s largest insurance firm, isn’t the only Uber investor to put money into its Chinese rival Didi Chuxing via its blockbuster $7.2 billion round announced this week. New York-based investment firm BlackRock also took part in the financing, a source close to the deal tells TechCrunch. More here.
For decades, the buyers in some of the largest deals had come in three forms: private equity firms, corporations and public market investors. But over the last few years, a new group of buyers has sprung up: sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and even private families have flexed their deal-making muscles. Dealbook takes a look here.
“Starry Night,” in water.
Revisionist History. (More about it here.)
We’re still laughing about this one. (“What did I make there? Oh, we’ve gotta go.”)
Are we the only ones baffled by the direction of the MINI?