Happy Wednesday, everyone! We’re soooo excited to see some of you one week from tomorrow in Palo Alto for our next INSIDER event, featuring the one-and-only Marc Andreessen, SurveyMonkey CEO Zander Lurie, “Radical Candor” author and founder Kim Malone Scott and Homebrew’s Hunter Walk. Giant thanks again to our partners at Mattermark, Ballou PR, and Bolt for their generous help in putting the night together.
The event is sold out as space is very limited (and we’re told SurveyMonkey takes security seriously), so please don’t show up without a seat. For those of you we can’t accommodate this time around, we’re hoping to organize one more of these evenings before year end up in San Francisco, so stay tuned!
Top News in the A.M.
Here’s the Department of Transportation‘s newly issued policy on self-driving cars. (It basically tells automakers to figure it out themselves.)
Apple is reportedly talking with the car manufacturer McLaren about a possible acquisition or strategic investment, according to the Financial Times. (What the, who the . . .) More here.
Allset, a 17-month-old, San Francisco-based startup whose app speeds the dining process by enabling users to book a restaurant reservation, place their order before arriving, and even pay from the app, has raised $2.35 million in seed funding led by Metamorphic Ventures. Other participants in the round include Andreessen Horowitz, FJ Labs and SMRK VC Fund. The company has now raised $3.35 million to date. VentureBeat has more here.
Catalyze, a three-year-old. Madison, Wi.-based startup centered around HIPAA compliant cloud computing for healthcare, has raised $6.5 million in Series B funding led by Lewis & Clark Ventures, with participation from earlier investors Arthur Ventures, Baird Venture Partners and Chicago Ventures. More here.
d.light, a nine-year-old, Bay Area-based company that’s developing solar light and energy solutions for off-grid communities in remote emerging markets, has raised $22.5 million in new funding, including $15 million in equity from KawiSafi Ventures Fund, Energy Access Ventures, Omidyar Network and NewQuest Capital Partners, and $5 million in grants from the Shell Foundation, USAID and its Development Innovation Ventures, and the United Nations Capital Development Fund. Fortune has more here.
FinanceFox, a two-year-old, Berlin-based insurance technology startup, has raised $28 million in Series A funding co-led by Horizons Ventures and Target Global, with participation from earlier investors AngelList, Idinvest, Salesforce Ventures, Speedinvest, Seedcamp and Victory Park Capital. TechCrunch has more here.
Gametime, a 3.5-year-old, San Francisco-based event ticketing app catering to people needing last-minute tickets, has raised $20 million in Series B funding from GV, Evolution Media Partners and the Stanford StartX Fund, as well as earlier investors Accel Partners, Casey Wasserman, and Jeff Mallett. TechCrunch has more here.
InfluxData, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based time series, events, and metrics database, has raised $16 million in Series B funding led by Battery Ventures, with participation from Mayfield, Trinity Ventures and Bloomberg Beta. TechCrunch explains the tech (which we’re still trying to understand) here.
Metromile, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based pay-per-mile insurance startup, is disclosing that it has raised $191.5 million in equity and debt funding across three previously undisclosed rounds. Its backers include Intact Financial, China Pacific Insurance, New Enterprise Associates, Index Ventures, First Round Capital, SV Angel and Mitsui & Co. Part of the proceeds will be used to acquire insurance carrier Mosaic Insurance (to handle the underwriting of its policies). TechCrunch has more here.
Mobilize, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based unified messaging platform, has raised $6.5 million in new funding from Trinity Ventures, Array Ventures, Floodgate, Hillsven Capital and Upwest Labs. TechCrunch has more here.
Nucleus, a two-year-old, Philadelphia, Pa.-based company that makes a wireless home intercom system that can be activated with voice and began shipping last month, has raised $5.6 million in Series A funding led by Amazon’s Alexa Fund, with participation from BoxGroup, Greylock Partners, Founders Fund, Foxconn, Liquid 2 Ventures and SV Angel. TechCrunch has more here.
OurCrowd, the three-year-old, Jerusalem-based equity crowdfunding platform, has raise $72 million in Series C funding from unnamed financial institutions, family offices, and private investors. More here.
Pepperfry, a five-year-old, Mumbai, India-based startup that helps homeowners and renters outfit their living space with furniture, has raised $31 million led by earlier backers Goldman Sachs, Bertelsmann India Investments, Norwest Venture Partners and Zodius Technology Fund. The company has now raised nearly $160 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.
Troops, a 17-month-old, New York-based company whose bot allows users to configures Salesforce reports through Slack, has raised $7 million in funding from Aspect Ventures, Slack Fund, Susa Ventures and Flight.VC, along with earlier investors First Round Capital, Nextview Ventures, Chicago Ventures, Great Oaks Capital, Founder Collective and Vast Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
Elephant Partners, a year-old, Boston-based venture growth firm co-founded last year by Highland Capital veterans Andy Hunt and Jeremiah Daly, has closed its debut fund with $156 million in capital commitments, says Fortune’s Dan Primack. Elephant focuses on consumer internet, mobile, and software startups. One of its newest bets is on Scopely, a Culver City, Ca.-based mobile entertainment network that has raised around $100 million from investors to date. Hunt also cofounded the eyeglass retailer Warby Parker.
A handful of European tech firms are testing the appetite for initial public offerings, taking their lead from a modest rebound in listings in the United States following a two-year slump. Reuters has more here.
Navid Hadzaad, cofounder and CEO of 1.5-year-old, New York-based Angel.ai, has joined Amazon as its “head of new bot products,” reports TechCrunch, which says various employees of the company are joining or also have offers from Amazon in what appears to be an acqui-hire situation. Angel.ai, formerly known as GoButler, automates conversational commerce using natural language processing. According to CrunchBase, it had raised at least $8 million in funding from investors, including General Catalyst Partners, Lakestar, Rocket Internet’s Global Founders Capital, Slow Ventures, BoxGroup, Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary’s Sound Ventures, and Cherry Ventures. More here.
Akarna Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Ma.-based biopharmaceutical company whose lead product is a potential treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and other liver diseases, has been acquired by drug giant Allergan for an upfront cash payment of $50 million, plus success-based development, regulatory and sales milestones. According to CrunchBase, Akarna most recently raised $15 million in Series B funding in February; its backers include Forbion Capital Partners, New Science Ventures, and Third Point Ventures. More here.
Structural Capital, a low-flying, three-year-old venture firm, is looking to hire an investment associate. The job is in Menlo Park, Ca.
Google just rejoined the messaging wars with its artificially intelligent app, Allo.
Making six figures but have almost nothing in the bank? You have plenty of company.
From: Wells Fargo, Re: Closing the accounts we secretly opened for you.
Things that New Yorkers fear more than ISIS.
Peter Thiel’s massive two-in-one San Francisco property just saw a major price reduction, to $8 million down from $9.25 million in May. (Buy it now!?)