Hello! We hope you’re having a leisurely Labor Day weekend here in the U.S. and that, if you’re in California, you survived the heat wave. (We haven’t sweated that much since Trump’s inauguration address.) Short edition today but more tomorrow.:)
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China is banning companies from raising money through ICOs. CNBC has more here.
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At Pear Day, a Who’s Who of VCs, and Some Fresh Ideas
Pear, a popular seed-stage venture firm whose early bets include Guardant Health, Memebox, and Branch, hosted its fourth demo day in Woodside, Ca., last Thursday, and though it was a scorchingly hot afternoon at a largely outdoor venue, a veritable who’s who of VCs showed up: Bryan Schreier of Sequoia Capital was there. So was Brian O’Malley of Accel Partners, another frequent guest. Others of the 120 other VCs in attendance included Shawn Carolan of Menlo Ventures, Shahin Farshchi of Lux Capital, Ann Miura-Ko of Floodgate, Maha Ibrahim of Canaan Partners, Bobby Yazdani of Cota Capital, Semil Shah of Haystack, Hunter Walk of Homebrew, James Currier of NFX Guild, and Josh Elman of Greylock Partners.
What everyone came to see was 15 teams, all of them roughly six months old or younger, and all led by current college students or recent graduates who’d been invited by Pear to build companies over ten weeks in its airy but cramped Palo Alto offices. It’s a nice deal for the founders, who receive an uncapped note of between $25,000 and $40,000, along with advice from people who know how to grow companies. Among those to speak with this summer’s crop: Dropbox cofounder and CEO Drew Houston.
These demo days are also a chance for Pear to showcase its ability to spot talent at the earliest stages. Satellite company Capella Space got its start in Pear’s summer program; it raised a $12 million Series A round in May.
Viz, a startup that helps physicians identify anomalies in brain scans using machine learning and which landed $7.5 million in Series A funding in May, was part of the line-up last year. (Pear asks to invest up to $250,000 when its summer teams raise these first rounds.)
Because we know some of you like learning about these companies as prospective investments, to identify future trends, or simply to better understand the competition, we’re written up some of the nascent startups that presented. Meanwhile, here is the full line-up of companies, and a quick snapshot of what the show was like.
Coya, a 1.5-year-old, Berlin-based insurtech startup, has raised $10 million in seed funding led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures. Other participants in the round include e.ventures and La Famiglia. Business Insider has more here.
GetAccept, a two-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based e-signature service that helps salespeople track their documents and close deals, has raised $1.6 million in seed funding from Amino Capital and Y Combinator, as well as other angel investors. TechCrunch has more here.
Habito, a two-year-old, London startup that is bringing the entire mortgage process online, has raised £18.5 million ($22 million) in Series B funding led by Atomico, with participation from earlier backers Ribbit Capital, Mosaic Ventures, and Revolutionary (Ad)Ventures. The company has now raised roughly £27 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.
Via, a five-year-old, New York-based company that runs a shuttle-based carpooling service that it offers directly to consumers and through partnerships with other transportation companies, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from the German carmaker Daimler. Daimler’s Mercedes Benz division is further investing $50 million into a joint venture with Via. Altogether, says a TechCrunch source, Via just raised $250 million in the deal. More here.
Also Sponsored By . . .
Today’s StrictlyVC is also being brought to you today by the Financial Solutions Lab at CFSI, which would like to remind you of Labor Day’s origins. As we rethink the world we live in, we’d also like to reflect on the glory that pensions once were — and, as it turns out, can be again — through Blueprint Income, the FinLab company of founder Matt Carey. It’s a much happier origin story, and a positive outcome is guaranteed.
Roku has filed for an initial public offering and is looking to raise up to $100 million. The company will be listed on the NASDAQ appropriately under the ticker of ROKU. TechCrunch has more here.
Apple’s Siri efforts are now being led by software SVP Craig Federighi, instead of online services SVP Eddy Cue, who had previously led its development. Business Insider has more here.
The U.S administration is expected to announce plans to end DACA tomorrow. But a six-month delay would give Congress time to protect young undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.
The urban revival is over.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte are going to have a younger sibling.
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