Tuesday! [Roundhouse kick.]
Top News in the A.M.
Twitter execs are continuing deal talks with at least one suitor, the online software company Salesforce.com, according to Dealbook. More here.
A Hedge Fund is Now Suing Theranos, Citing “Lies” and “Omissions”
Partner Fund Management (PFM), a San Francisco-based hedge fund that reportedly wrote out a $96 million check to Theranos back in 2014, is now suing the blood-testing startup and its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, saying it was duped into its investment “through a series of lies, material misstatements, and omissions,” and accusing the firm of engaging in “securities fraud and other violations by fraudulently inducing” it to invest and to maintain its investment in the company.
The $198 million Series C-2 round in which Partner appears to have participated drove the firm to a reported valuation of $9 billion. Fortune wrote about the round in June 2014 in a flattering feature story about Holmes, for which it later published a protracted correction.
According to the WSJ, in a letter sent earlier today to its shareholders about the suit, filed in a Delaware court, Partner says Holmes and another former Theranos executive blatantly lied to the hedge fund by claiming it had developed “proprietary technologies that worked” and that it was nearing regulatory approvals.
Theranos is saying the “suit is without merit, and Theranos will fight it vigorously.”
Theranos announced last week that it’s shutting down its laboratory operations and firing 340 people — about 40 percent of its staff — to focus instead on an initiative to create small medical testing machines.
The new miniaturized devices aim to allow lab tests to be “decentralized” and carried out at more locations, but it underwhelmed an audience of scientists, doctors, and lab professionals when unveiled at a medical conference in Philadelphia in August.
Cassia Networks, a two-year-old, New York-based maker of a Bluetooth router, has raised $10.27 million in Series B funding co-led by IDG-Accel and Everest Capital, with participation from China Rock, Social Starts, GCP Venture, Z-park Capital, TEEC Angel, and SumaVision USA. More here.
Cityworks, a 30-year-old, Sandy, Ut.-based company that makes public asset and land management software for local governments, has raised $14.5 million in funding from Polaris Venture Partners, with participation from Blue Cloud Ventures. More here.
CloudCoreo, a two-year-old, Seattle-based company working in stealth mode on a “next-gen” way to manage and secure cloud infrastructure, has raised $2.9 million in seed funding led by Madrona Venture Group, with participation from Divergent Ventures, Aristos Ventures, and Data Collective. More here.
Everwise, a three-year-old, San Francisco and New York-based startup focused on how to make professional development scalable, has raised $16 million in Series B funding led by earlier backer Sequoia Capital, with participation from two other earlier backers, Canvas Ventures and Webb Investment Network. TechCrunch has more here.
Evidation Health, a four-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based company whose software aims to enable companies across healthcare to design and execute clinical studies easily and quickly, has raised $15 million in funding led by B Capital Group (a newish firm cofounded by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin). Earlier backers GE Ventures, AMV, Fresco Capital, and new investor Pappas Ventures also joined the round. More here.
Kindly Care, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based online marketplace that pairs caregivers with older clients who might not be interested in or can’t afford an assisted living situation, has raised $3.1 million in funding led by MHS Capital, with participation from Floodgate and Jackson Square Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
HomeMe, a 1.5-year-old, Culver City, Ca.-based startup whose rental application process pre-approves and screens potential renters for apartments and landlords, has raised $3.2 million in its first round of funding led by Menlo Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
Infutor Data Solutions, a 13-year-old, Plainfield, Il.-based maker of data compilation and data management software, has received an undisclosed amount of funding led by the growth equity team at Norwest Venture Partners. More here.
The Iran Internet Group, a two-year-old, Iran-based startup behind a ride-sharing application called Snapp, has raised €20 million ($22.1 million) in Series A funding from the South African mobile phone company MTN. TechCrunch has more on the funding here.
Navya, a two-year-old, Paris-based startup that makes driverless shuttles, has raised $34 million in funding co-led by two strategic backers: the public transportation provider Keolis and the automotive parts group Valeo. TechCrunch has more here.
Payfit, a seven-month-old, Paris-based startup whose software aims to help small and mid-size companies easily and quickly pay their employees, has raised $5.6 million from Otium Venture and Xavier Niel. TechCrunch has more here.
Remote Year, a 1.5-year-old, Chicago, Il.-based company that brings together people from across the globe to spend a year, working, travelling, and exploring 12 cities internationally, has raised $12 million in Series A funding led by Highland Capital Partners, with participation from WeWork Labs co-founder Jesse Middleton and Airbnb co-founder Nate Blecharczyk. TechCrunch has much more about the company here.
VenueNext, a three-year-old, Santa Clara, Ca.-based connected venue technology platform company, has raised $15 million in Series B funding led by Causeway Media Partners. TechCrunch has more here.
YuppTV, an eight-year-old, Alpharetta, Ga., and Mumbai, India-based video streaming service that serves Indian video content to viewers all over the world, has sold a minority stake in its business to Emerald Media, a Pan-Asian platform established by the private equity firm KKR. The price: $50 million. More here.
Zymergen, a three-year-old, Emeryville, Ca.-based biological materials engineering company that leverages both robotics and big data, has raised $130 million in Series B funding led by SoftBank Group. Other participants in the round include Iconiq Capital, Prelude Ventures, and Tao Capital Partners, as well as earlier investors Data Collective, True Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, DFJ, Innovation Endeavors, Obvious Ventures and Two Sigma Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
Amino Capital, a four-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based early-stage venture firm that focused largely on artificial intelligence and data-driven startups, has closed its second fund with $50 million. The outfit was formerly called zPark Venture. More here.
Greylock Partners, the decades-old early-stage venture firm, has closed its 15th fund with $1 billion. TechCrunch has more here.
Private equity executive Sam Valenti is joining forces with his entrepreneur son, also named Sam, in a new Bloomfield, Mi.-based venture capital firm called V5 Partners that has secured $200 million to invest in auto tech. Crain’s Detroit Business has much more here.
Investors gearing up for the IPO of Ant Financial, the $60 billion online finance arm spun off by e-commerce giant Alibaba, will have to wait until at least late 2017, reports Reuters. More here.
It’s been a terrible few weeks for Yahoo. The Washington Post looks at whether it’s Marissa Mayer‘s fault.
Dan Primack, a well-known columnist who writes about venture capital and private equity (and is an adored former colleague of ours), is leaving Fortune to join a new content startup from the co-founders of Politico. Recode has more here.
Samsung just killed the Galaxy Note 7 for good, owing to safety fears over defective batteries.
Amazon is considering building its own convenience stores to sell perishable items such as produce, milk and meat.
The Honest Company, which reportedly spent part of this fall in talks with CPG companies about an acquisition, is now looking to expand internationally.
Inside the spectacular collapse of Fab.com, or, how not to strangle your unicorn.
The fight to save Johnny Manziel from all-out self-destruction.
Your kitchen counter is far dirtier than your floor and other takeaways from this piece on bacteria.
Oktober Fuel. We’ll take two gallons, please.