StrictlyVC: October 14, 2016

Happy Friday, everyone! We’re working on a story that isn’t *quite* ready, so no column today, but we’ll see you back here Monday. Hope you have a fantastic weekend.


Top News in the A.M.

Chicago-based Morningstar is buying the Seattle-based private deal-tracking site PitchBook. Morningstar is paying $180 million, valuing PitchBook at $225 million. The Chicago Tribune has more here.

Verizon is either trying to get out of its deal to buy Yahoo, or it’s still working to knock down the purchase price.


New Fundings

Baroo, a two-year-old, Boston-based startup that partners with apartment buildings to deliver high-quality pet care services straight to residents’ doors, has raised $2.25 million in seed funding, including from the The Graduate Syndicate, a new seed-stage fund that plans to fund the startups of recent Harvard grads. BostInno has more here.

Hyperloop One, the two-year-old, L.A.-based transportation company that aims to shuttle cargo and people in pod-like trains at speeds of up to 700 miles per hour, has raised $50 million in new funding  led by Dubai’s DP World Group, one of the world’s largest port-terminal operators. The company has also brought on as a strategic adviser Brent Callinicos, who spent two years as Uber’s CFO. The WSJ has more here.

InnoGames, a nine-year-old Hamburg, Germany-based developer and publisher of successful browser games such as “Tribal Wars” and “Grepolis,” has sold a 35 stake in its business for an estimated $100 million to MTG (Modern Times Group), a Swedish digital entertainment company. TechCrunch has more here

Iora Health, a five-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based private primary care company, has raised $75 million in Series D funding led by Temasek, with participation from earlier backers .406 Ventures, Flare Capital Partners, F-Prime Capital, GE Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Polaris Partners and Rice Management Company. MobiHealthNews has more here.

mParticle, a 3.5-year-old, New York-based startup whose software helps mobile app owners to manage and control their data, has raised $17.5 million in Series B funding led by Bain Capital Ventures, with participation from earlier backer Social Capital. TechCrunch has more here.

Veeba Food Services, a three-year-old, New Delhi, India-based maker of specialty food ingredients, has raised $6 million in new funding from earlier backer Saama Capital and Verlinvest. Livemint has more here.

Virgil Security, a two-year-old Manassas, Va.-based startup that makes cryptography software for app developers, has raised $4 million in Series A funding led by KEC Ventures, with participation from Bloomberg Beta, Blu Venture Investors, Charge Ventures, NextGen Venture Partners, Sparkland Capital, and Working Lab Capital. eWeek has more here.

Webscale Networks, a three-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based web application delivery platform, has raised $12 million in Series A funding led by Mohr Davidow Ventures, with participation from Benhamou Global Ventures, Grotech, and Silicon Valley Bank. SiliconAngle has more here.


New Funds

Whoa. Saudi Arabia’s top sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund(PIF) and Japan’s SoftBank Group, plan to create a tech investment fund that could grow as large as $100 billion, making it one of the world’s largest private equity investors. PIF may invest up to $45 billion over the next five years, while SoftBank expects to invest at least $25 billion. Reuters has more here.

Founders Factory, a London-based accelerator/incubator, has received a “multimillion pound” investment from CSC Group. The China-based private equity group is the same outfit that’s committed to investing $400 million in deals on the AngelList platform. has more here.



As many as four IPOs could price in the week ahead, notes Renaissance Capital. They are Forterra, CRISPR Therapeutics, iRhythm Technologies, and Full Spectrum.



InfiniLED, a Cork, Ireland-based spin-out from research center Tyndall National Institute, has been acquired by the Facebook-owned Oculus in a “multi-million euro deal” that clears the way for InfiniLED’s low-power display technology to be integrated into Oculus’s VR flagship products, such as the Rift headset. has more here.



HP intends to cut up to 4,000 jobs over the next three years. Reuters has more here.

Spotify cofounder Martin Lorentzon just announced that he’s stepping down as chairman of the company; cofounder and CEO Daniel Ek will take on the role in what looks like a move to consolidate his own power. TechCrunch has more here.

Investor Chamath Palihapitiya tells CNBC his hedge fund is both beating the stock market and outperforming the average hedge fund.



Nine companies became newly minted unicorns in the third quarter. Here’s the list along with some other funding numbers.


Essential Reads

In the midst of a highly charged presidential election, where fact and fiction have frequently become confused, Google News has introduced a new fact check feature in search results for news stories, reports the Guardian.



Wall Street’s top in-house lawyers are apparently part of a secret society.

Really, really short workouts.


Retail Therapy

Golden tree rings.

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