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Top News in the A.M.
Fitbit has been cleared by a U.S. International Trade Commission judge of stealing trade secrets from rival Jawbone. Recode has more here.
A look at the 48 startups that launched yesterday, the second day of Y Combinator‘s Demo Day.
CRV Comes Out Against Trump in New Statement
The U.S. presidential elections are fast approaching, and a growing number of VCs who’ve historically shied from making taking sides publicly, are tweeting, talking with reporters, and blogging about who they are backing and why. The early-stage venture firm CRV, formerly known as Charles River Ventures, is taking things a step further, having just published a tranquil little piece called “F*ck Trump” about the firm’s rejection of Republican candidate Donald Trump’s “anti-immigration statements.”
We talked with CRV general partner George Zachary earlier this morning about why it bothered.
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has a strong lead over Trump in the polls. Why publish this statement right now?
It doesn’t make a difference how he’s doing in the polls. We feel strongly about the topic. Several weeks ago, we had an off-site, where we talked about strategy and where we also talked about the election. And each one of us felt offended by what Donald Trump has been saying, including what he has been saying specifically about immigrants. Your grandparents were Greek. My father came from Greece. This country was built by immigrants. It’s time for us to speak up about it.
His statements have varied over time.
And they’ll continue to vary, but we have to be authentic here and speak up on behalf of the people who come to this country and build. Half the teams we’ve backed were founded by immigrants. Our nine partners come from seven countries.
I was in Cleveland not long ago, where I saw much more Trump support than we see in the Bay Area. You run a business. Don’t you risk alienating people?
Autho, a three-year-old, Bellevue, Wa.-based company whose technology enables developers and IT staff to set up social and enterprise identity provider registration and login, username and password, single-sign-on, multifactor authentication and more, has raised $15 million in Series B funding led by Trinity Ventures, with participation from previous investors Bessemer Venture Partners, K9 Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank. The company has now raised $24 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.
DroneDeploy, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based drone data management platform, has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Scale Venture Partners, with participation from HighAlpha and ExactTarget cofounder Scott Dorsey. The company has now raised $31 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.
Even, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based company at work on a personalized listening technology — its two-minute hearing test determines users’ ability to hear certain frequencies at different volumes — has raised $2 million in Series A funding led by Firstime Venture Capital. TechCrunch has more here.
Fooji, a year-old, Lexington, Ky.-based fan engagement platform for brands, has raised $800,000 in seed funding led by Omaha-based Dundee Venture Capital, with participation from KGC Capital. More here.
Fusion Coolant Systems, a three-year-old, Canton, Mi.-based company that makes advanced carbon dioxide cooling and lubrication systems, has raised $1.25 million led by the University of Michigan’s Investment Office, with participation from Amherst Fund. More here.
Sample6, a seven-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based synthetic biology diagnostic company, has raised $12.7 million in Series C funding led by Acre Venture Partners, with participation from Valley Oak Investments and earlier backers Canaan Partners and Cultivian Sandbox Ventures. The company has now raised $32 million altogether. More here.
SelfScore, a four-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based financial services company that advertises itself as the International Student’s MasterCard, has raised $7.1 million in new venture funding Pelion Venture Partners, with participation from Accel Partners and Aspect Ventures. The company has now raised $14.5 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.
SigOpt, a nearly two-year-old, San Francisco-based research optimization and machine learning startup, has raised $6 million in new funding led by return backer Andreessen Horowitz. VentureBeat has more here.
SkyGiraffe, a four-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based company that helps enterprises provide their employees with access to their line-of-business apps and enterprise data from numerous devices, has raised $6 million in funding led by SGVC. Other participants in the round include Trilogy Equity Partners and numerous individuals, including Heroku founder and CEO James Lindenbaum, Lookout founder and CTO Kevin Mahaffey and Parse founder and CEO Ilya Sukhar. More here.
Wooptix, a two-year-old, Madrid, Spain-based company that makes 3D imaging software for smartphones and other devices, has raised $3.3 million in Series A funding co-led by Bullnet Capital and Intel Capital, with participation from Caixa Capital Risc. More here.
3 Ventures, a nine-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based venture firm, has closed on a new, $75 million fund, says the Austin American Statesman. S3 shops primarily in Texas and focuses on enterprise software and med tech companies. More here.
The Westly Group, the nine-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based venture firm best known for funding cleantech, along with e-commerce and analytics companies, is looking to raise up to $150 million for its third fund, shows an SEC filing. The firm said in 2013 that it planned to close on $160 million for its second fund.
The streaming music service Spotify is reportedly in talks with record labels to negotiate new contracts as it gears up for an IPO. The WSJ has more here.
Apple CEO Tim Cook‘s presidential fundraiser for Hillary Clinton is set for tonight. AppleInsider has more here.
Early Facebook engineer and Quora cofounder Charlie Cheever is back with a new startup. Fortune has more here.
Steve Loughlin, the cofounder of RelateIQ, is leaving the company just two years after selling his startup for $390 million to Salesforce, says Business Insider. He’s reportedly off to “pursue other opportunities in venture capital.”
In Backchannel, Apple‘s secretive approach to AI and machine learning is revealed.
The neighborhood social network NextDoor is testing out a pilot project to block racial profiling online. NPR has the story here.
Goldman Sachs, banker to the elite, is now going after the common man; it has to, says Dealbook.
Baltimore has a secret surveillance program. Well, it was secret until now.
How to stay rich in Europe: inherit money for 700 years.
How a “Daily Show” assignment led Stephen Colbert to a chance encounter with a friend of his late dad.