Happy Tuesday, everyone!
We’re getting so excited to see a bunch of you September 29th at our next INSIDER event in Palo Alto. There are many more readers on the waitlist than we can accommodate *but* we may be able to host one more evening before year end, on Thursday, December 1 in San Francisco. (We’ll keep you posted.) In the meantime, thanks again to our fab sponsors Ballou PR, Mattermark, and Bolt for their generous help in making the night possible.
Also, next week is Disrupt SF, part of TechCrunch’s signature conference series. We’re going to be on hand to interview David Sacks of Zenefits and Shervin Pishevar of Hyperloop One. A lot of other big wheels and interesting startups will also be joining TC on stage, so stay tuned (or, better yet, come). On a related note: as longtime readers already know, these events are a blast but also very time consuming, so don’t be surprised if StrictlyVC is a shorter read than usual next week.:)
Top News in the A.M.
Apple Apple Apple Apple. Track what’s happening at its big event in San Francisco today right here starting at 10 a.m. PST.
Online lender Social Finance (SoFi) is trying to raise $500 million from investors as it looks to buck a recent slump in the industry. The WSJ has the story here.
Callstats.io, a two-year-old, Helsinki-based startup that specializes in video call performance analytics, has raised $3 million in Series A funding led by True Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
Cheddar, a months-old, New York-based live news and entertainment startup founded by former BuzzFeed executive Jon Steinberg, has raised $10 million in funding led by earlier investor Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from new backers Comcast Ventures and Ribbit Capital. More here.
DailyPay, a 10-month-old, New York-based fintech startup that provides next day payments for employees and contractors, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by RPM Ventures, with participation from Draper Frontier and Inspiration Ventures.
DriveTribe, a nine-month-old, London-based online community for automotive fans that’s being launched by former “Top Gear” presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, has raised $6.5 million from 21st Century Fox. The move comes less than three weeks after the company announced it had raised $5.5 million Series A funding led by Breyer Capital and Atomico. TechCrunch has more here.
GoSpotCheck, a five-year-old, Denver, Co.-based web and mobile app platform that help employees gather real-time retail intelligence from the field, has raised $16.5 million in Series B funding led by Insight Venture Partners. The Denver Post has more here.
Intensity Analytics, a six-year-old, Warrenton, Va.-based data security startup, has raised $5 million in funding from undisclosed investors. More here.
kWh Analytics, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based risk management platform for the solar industry, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Anthemis Group, with participation from Engie New Ventures. GreenTechMedia has more here.
MP Objects, a 16-year-old, Rotterdam-based company whose software is used by brands and logistics service providers to create and manage their dynamic supply chain configurations, has raised $10 million in growth equity funding from Updata Partners. More here.
PillPack, a 3.5-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based online pharmacy, is raising up to $40 million in new funding at a pre-money valuation of $330 million, says Fortune. More here.
Postmates, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based company operating a on-demand delivery fleet in dozens of cities across the U.S., is reportedly raising at least $100 million in a new found being led by Founders Fund. TechCrunch has more here.
A stealthy startup from Politico co-founder Jim VandeHei has raised around $10 million in funding from Lerer Hippeau Ventures and NBC Universal, with participation from earlier backer Point Nine Capital. The WSJ has more here.
The San Francisco Chronicle takes a look at the widening tech IPO window that’s expected, and what it takes to make it out right now.
Oracle is acquiring LogFire, a nine-year-old Atlanta, Ga.-based company that provides cloud-based warehouse management applications to boost supply chain efficiency. Terms aren’t being disclosed. CrunchBase data shows just $10 million, roughly, in funding for the company, including from Edison Partners and Fulcrum Equity Partners. ZDNet has more here.
The European on-demand delivery fall out continues. This time it’s France’s Tok Tok Tok, a Postmates-style same-hour delivery company, which just alerted users that it is shutting down. According to TechCrunch, part of its tech platform is being acquired by the online takeout giant Just Eat. More here.
Pinterest said it has hired Li Fan, the former head of image search at Google, as the company’s new head of engineering. Much of Pinterest’s most promising technology involves searching for objects within photos and then using that technology to rank and display the most relevant content to users. TechCrunch has more here.
How Arianna Huffington lost her newsroom, in Vanity Fair.
Microsoft is working on its own Slack competitor.
The ultimate guide to Facebook‘s News Feed.
The SEC says its five-year-old, whistle-blowing program has been a “game changer.”
When will New York sink?
How much more can we learn about the universe?
Ka-Bar Tactical Spork. Bear Grylls uses his bare hands out there, but let’s face it; you could use a little help.