Thursday! Two more days of spring break with our very energetic kids, which makes us sad-relieved. (We know you feel us.)
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Top News Today
Twitter just gave you more room to tweet.
The food delivery startup Munchery is in trouble. According to Bloomberg, the company, which has raised $120 million over its seven year history, is receiving $5 million from its biggest investors — Menlo Ventures and Sherpa Capital — to stay afloat in a recap that pretty much washes out its founders and departed employees. More here.
Berkeley Research Group, a 17-year-old, Emeryville, Ca.-based strategic advisory and consulting firm, has raised $62.5 million in funding from affiliates of Endeavour Capital. More here.
Cava Grill, a six-year-old, Rockville, Md.-based restaurant chain of fast-casual Mediterranean fare, has raised $30 million in funding from Revolution Growth, SWaN & Legend Venture Partners, and The Invus Group. Washington Business Journal has more here.
Filament, a five-year-old, Reno, Nv.-based company that develops wireless industrial networks, has raised $15 million in funding co-led by Verizon Ventures and Bullpen Capital. Other participants include Intel Capital, JetBlue Technology Ventures, CME Ventures, Lab IX, Backstage Capital, Tappan Hill Ventures and earlier investors Samsung NEXT, Resonant Venture Partners and Digital Currency Group. FinSMEs has more here.
Kuaicang, a three-year-old, Shanghai, China-based robotics company that makes robots and movable shelves for warehouses, has raised $29 million in funding from Softbank and Cainiao Network, an Alibaba-owned parcel tracking platform. AllChinaTech.com has more here.
Icertis, an eight-year-old, Bellevue, Wa.-based company that sells cloud-based contract lifecycle management software, has raised $25 million in Series C funding led by B Capital Group, the venture fund started by Facebook co-founder, Eduardo Saverin. Earlier backers also joined the round, including Ignition Partners, Greycroft Partners, e.ventures and Eight Roads Ventures. The company has now raised $46 million altogether. Times of India has more here.
JoyRun, a 2.5-year-old, Santa Clara, Ca.-based peer-to-peer food and drinks delivery app that enables users to learn who, nearby, is already heading out to a restaurant that they like, then tack on an order of their own, has raised $10 million in Series A and seed funding. Floodgate led the $8.5 million Series A round, and Norwest Venture Partners led the company’s earlier $1.3 million seed round. Other investors joining both rounds include Visionnaire Ventures, Morado Ventures, CrunchFund, Triplepoint Capital, and individual angels. TechCrunch has more here.
Ledger, a two-year-old, Paris, France-based startup behind a secure bitcoin hardware wallet (it makes hardware for users to store and maintain control over their cryptocurrency private key), has raised $7 million inSeries A funding. Investors include XAnge, Wicklow Capital, GDTRE, Libertus Capital, Digital Currency Group, The Whittemore Collection, Kima Ventures, BHB Network and Apple evangelist Nicolas Pinto. TechCrunch has more here.
Looker, a six-year-old, Santa Cruz, Ca.-based business intelligence platform, has raised $81.5 million in Series D funding led by CapitalG, with participation from Goldman Sachs, Geodesic Capital and earlier backers KPCB, Meritech Capital Partners, Redpoint Ventures and Sapphire Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
Oodrive, a 17-year-old, Paris-based SaaS company providing secure data management services, has raised €65 million ($69.7 million) in new funding from Tikehau Capital, MI3, and NextStage. Tech.eu has more here.
Pepper, an 11-month-old, Kansas City Mo.-based IoT platform and service provider, has raised $8.5 million in Series B funding from Leawood Ventures, the KCRise Fund, Royal Street Ventures, OpenAir Equity Partners and Comporium Communications. The Kanas City Star has more here.
Promentis Pharmaceuticals, an 11-year-old, Milwaukee, Wi.-based biopharmaceutical company that’s developing therapies to treat central nervous system disorders, has raised $26 million in Series C funding led by OrbiMed, F-Prime Capital Partners and Aisling Capital, with participation from earlier backers Black Pearl GmbH, the Golden Angel Network and individual investors. More here.
Legend Capital, the Beijing-based private equity and venture capital arm of Legend Holdings, has closed its seventh fund with more than $400 million in capital commitments. Private Equity International has more here (subscription required).
Toyota’s dedicated research organization, Toyota Research Institute, is investing $35 million into collaborative research efforts with a number of university and corporate partners focused on materials science. The idea is to boost its research in three key areas: fuel cell catalysts, batteries, and functional polymers designed for energy storage. TechCrunch has more here.
Blue Apron, the biggest U.S. meal kit company, has hired investment bankers to lead its 2017 initial public offering, according to Reuters. The five-year-old startup has raised roughly $193 million from investors, shows Crunchbase. Its backers include First Round Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Fidelity Investments, and Stripes Group, among others.
Renaissance Capital just released is a first-quarter IPO review. Among its findings: 25 IPOs raised $10 billion in the first quarter and the average IPO gained 10 percent, with positive results across every sector but energy. More here.
Amazon yesterday announced plans to shut down Quidsey, formerly Diapers.com, which it had acquired back in November 2010 for $545 million. It blamed an inability to turn the company profitable, but Recode think it’s was also likely a dig at Diapers.com co-founder Marc Lore, who went on to found (and sell) Jet.com, which competes with Amazon. More here.
Audi plans to acquire Silvercar, a four-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based car sharing startup that addresses the high-end airport rental car market. This one should be easy; Silvercar’s fleet is already made up exclusively of Audi A4 cars. Further, Audi already owned a stake in the company. Terms aren’t being disclosed. According to Crunchbase, Silvercar had raised nearly $60 million from investors, including Austin Ventures, Velos Partners, and Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin. TechCrunch has more here.
Yesterday might have been ruff for DogVacay, which just sold to its pet-sitting rival Rover in an all-stock deal. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed, but DogVacay’s investors, including Benchmark, Andreessen Horowitz, First Round, Sherpa Capital and Foundation Capital, are now Rover shareholders. (They’re messaging that they made out fine in this deal; we just wanted to use a dog pun.)
LeEco’s $2 billion acquisition of U.S.-based TV maker Vizio has reportedly stalled. TechCrunch has more here.
Sound Ventures, the venture firm founded by Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary, has hired a new managing partner and COO: Effie Epstein, who most recently led global strategy at Marsh & McLennan subsidiary Marsh. TechCrunch has more here.
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Facebook is hiring a corporate development manager. The job is in Menlo Park, Ca.
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