Happy Monday, all! With any luck, you’re on a boat or a beach or resting poolside today. Either way, we hope you’re enjoying a very leisurely July 4th break.
We’re racing out the door ourselves; we’ll see you back here Wednesday.:)
Top News in the A.M.
Two days after apologizing for being a “creep” toward women (and, notably, three days after the New York Times reported that he’d been demoted from the firm he cofounded, owing to inappropriate interactions with female founders), Dave McClure has resigned as general partner of the venture firm 500 Startups. Firm co-founder Christine Tsai asked for McClure’s resignation and he accepted, according to a letter sent to limited partners today. More here.
VC Aileen Lee’s Specific Advice to Female Founders Seeking Funding
In May, at TechCrunch’s Disrupt event in New York, researchers from Harvard Business Review were in the audience, and they were taking notes. Using their findings, along with the help of a linguistic software program that scanned video transcriptions of Q&A sessions between onstage venture capitalists and startup founders, they came to an interesting — and disturbing — conclusion.
They discovered the investors (and 40 percent of them were women) tended to ask men questions about the potential for gains at their startups, while they asked women about the potential for losses.
That wasn’t a surprise to longtime venture capitalist Aileen Lee, who spent nearly 13 years with Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers before leaving in 2012 to start her own seed-stage venture firm, Cowboy Ventures. Lee has funded male founders (August, Dollar Shave Club, Philz Coffee), as well as women founders (Textio, Brit & Co., Accompany); she has also sat around many tables with her mostly male VC peers as they’ve discussed where best to steer startups as they’ve sought follow-on funding.
At Y Combinator’s fourth Female Founders Conference in San Francisco last week, Lee talked about that HBR study and the bias she sees every day. She also shared very specific advice to female founders who are looking to raise capital (along with one observation for male-heavy venture firms).
Among her suggestions for women founders:
1) Be a good storyteller, and don’t fret if storytelling doesn’t come naturally to you. “If you are not a great storyteller, you can become one. It’s just a matter of feedback and practice.”
2) Each story has basic but important elements. Make sure you include these, beginning with:
AUrate, a three-year-old, New York-based jewelry startup, has raised $2.6 million in funding, including from Arab Angel and Victress Capital. City Biz List has more here.
Bonfire, a five-year-old, Waterloo, Canada-based company that makes software for procurement teams, raised $11 million in funding led by Battery Ventures, with participation from Crosslink Capital and Spider Capital. BetaKit has more here.
Emocha, a nine-year-old, Baltimore, Md.-based mobile health platform for patient engagement, has raised $1 million in seed funding from Propel Baltimore Fund, Kapor Capital, Sand Hill Angels, Baltimore Angels, and Blue Jay Syndicate. The Baltimore Sun has more here.
Harver, a seven-year-old, Amsterdam-based HR tech company, has raised $8.1 million in Series A funding led by Insight Venture Partners. TechCrunch has more here.
Lynq, a 2.5-year-old, New York-based startup whose peer-to-peer technology allows individuals and groups to locate each other anywhere in the world and works independently of phones, cell networks, Wi-Fi and maps, has raised $1.9 million in seed funding. Plus Eight Equity Partners led the round; other participants include ARC Angel Fund and Angel Investor Forum. More here.
Make.TV, a year-old, Seattle, Wa.-based company that’s trying to reinvent how broadcasters and publishers can discover, acquire, produce and distribute video content from mobile users, has raised $8.5 million round of funding. Voyager Capital led the round, with participation from Microsoft Ventures, Vulcan Capital and Arnold Ventures. More here.
Mendel.ai, a year-old, San Francisco-based AI-powered clinical trial matching platform, has raised $2 million in seed funding from DCM Ventures, Bootstrap Labs and Launch Capital. TechCrunch has more here.
ProSteel Security, a 70-year-old, Provo, Utah-based maker of safety and security products like vaults and gun safes and doors, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from City Capital Ventures and Promus Equity Partners. More here.
Nandan Nilekani, a co-founder and the former CEO of $33 billion IT services giant Infosys, and Sanjeev Aggarwal, an investor with Helion Ventures, have come together to launch the Fundamentum Partnership, a new firm that is looking to raise a $100 million debut fund (and that’s halfway toward that target). TechCrunch has more here.
Growth Street Partners, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm, raised $70 million for its debut fund. More here.
Dropbox, the data-sharing business, is looking to hire underwriters for an IPO that could come later this year; it would be the biggest U.S. technology company to go public since Snap Inc, sources told Reuters on Friday. More here.
Redfin, the popular real estate listings site, has filed for an IPO. TechCrunch has more here.
Apple CEO Tim Cook took home $145 million last year.
Microsoft is poised to layoff thousands of employees worldwide in a move to reorganize its salesforce.
Under new leadership, the SEC expanding a program that will allow all (not just some) private companies to keep some details of their finances and business strategies under wraps early in the process of an initial public offering. Dealbook has the story here.
The WeChat app has almost a billion users, and many of them use it all day. So why isn’t the company everywhere by now?
The first 30 production examples of the Tesla Model 3 will be released to customers on July 28, says CEO Elon Musk. CNet has more here.
You shouldn’t exercise to lose weight.
How a napping commuter knows when it’s his or her subway stop.
Twenty things for your preppy July 4th party. (We know you’re going to host one at some point.)