Thursday! We have another streamlined version for you today as we race around after our out-of-school kids.:) Just a reminder in case you missed it Monday that StrictlyVC will not be publishing next week.
No column today.
Top News in the A.M.
In a new twist, Beijing and Shanghai have announced that China-based ride-sharing services can only hire local residents as drivers. The New York Times explains why the new rules could deal a significant blow to Didi Chuxing.
Meanwhile, California’s DMV yesterday revoked the registrations of Uber‘s 16 autonomous cars following reports of continual traffic violations in San Francisco.
Aihuishou, a five-year-old, Shanghai, China-based smartphone and consumer electronics recycle start-up, has raised $58 million in Series D funding co-led by Cathay Capital and Fortune Venture Capital Co., with participation from Tiantu Capital, JD.com, Morningside Ventures and other earlier investors. China Money Network has more here.
ApoGen Biotechnologies, a new Seattle-based startup launched out of the regional biotech investment firm Accelerator Corp., has raised $7 million in Series A funding. The company will be trying to create new drugs to slow or stop cancer cells’ ability to develop drug resistance. Other investors in the round include Alexandria Venture Investments, Arch Venture Partners, WRF Capital and Watson Fund. The Puget Sound Business Journal has more here.
aXiomatic, a months-old, Washington, D.C.-based e-sports ownership and management group led by professional sports team owners and entrepreneurs Peter Guber and Ted Leonsis, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Puji Capital, a China-based investment firm that funds digital media and entertainment companies. Variety has more here.
Backtrace I/O, a 2.5-year-old, New York-based debugging startup, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Amplify Partners, with participation from Work-Bench and previous investors Rally Ventures and Tribeca Venture Partners. TechCrunch has more here.
Huochebang, a two-year-old, Guiyang, China-based truck logistics startup that helps drivers find commodities to transport and provides other related services to trucking businesses in China, has raised $115 million in fresh funding led by International Finance Corp. and All-Stars Investments, with participation from earlier backers Tencent Holdings, DCM, and Genesis Capital. A similar start-up, Yunmanman, reportedly raised $160 million in new venture funding earlier this month. China Money Network has more here.
Neurable, a year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based developer of brain-computer interface technology that it says can interpret intent based on users’ brain activity (then enable control of software and connected devices using only the power of the brain), has raised $2 million in seed funding. The round was led by Brian Shin of BOSS Syndicate, a Boston-based alliance of angel investors. Other investors include PJC, Loup Ventures and NXT Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
Xplenty, a four-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based data integration platform, has raised $4 million in new funding from Bain Capital Ventures, Rembrandt Venture Partners and True Ventures. The company has now raised just more than $7 million altogether. GeekTime has more here.
Exfinity Venture Partners, a 2.5-year-old, Bangalore, India-based venture capital firm that’s interested in a range of mostly enterprise-y sectors (cloud, analytics, cyber security), has closed its second fund with roughly $48 million, according to India’s Business Standard. More here.
The Chinese internet giant Baidu is planning an IPO of its video-streaming site iQiyi.com that could value the unit at up to $5 billion, according to the WSJ. Its sources say the listing could take place in either Hong Kong or the U.S. next year.
A Google product manager is suing the company over its internal confidentiality policies, saying they breach California labor laws. Among other things, the lawsuit alleges Google runs an internal “spying program” which relies on employees voluntarily reporting other employees who might have leaked information. The Information has the scoop here.
Carl Icahn, the activist investor who has been laying siege to corporate boards for decades — in 2014, he famously tussled with then eBay board Marc Andreessen as Icahn advocated for eBay to spin off PayPal (it later did) — just joined Trump’s circle. His role: special advisor on overhauling regulations. The WSJ has more here.
Allstate Strategic Ventures, the venture arm of the insurance giant of the same name, is looking to hire a venture analyst. The job is in Northbrook, Il.
Waymo, Google’s recently spun-out autonomous vehicle business, may be integrating its technology into Honda cars.
Tesla Motors has increased its borrowing capacity under two credit agreements by about $500 million — two months after CEO Elon Musk tweeted that raising debt wouldn’t “be necessary” before the end of the year.
The world’s largest hedge fund — Bridgewater Associates — is building an algorithmic model from its employees’ brains; here’s how.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative yesterday placed Alibaba back on its Notorious Markets List, which “highlights prominent online and physical marketplaces that reportedly engage in and facilitate substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting.” More here.
We told you about Zappos‘s embrace of holacracy a couple of years ago; the experiment continues not to go very well, says Quartz.
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr draws from the assassination of his father to make sense of a complicated world. (Great piece.)
At home with Neil Patrick Harris.
2016 in pictures.
The bite-size banana slicer, because every second counts.