StrictlyVC: December 11, 2018


Hi, happy Monday, all.:) We’re just off the phone with Raj Shah, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, for a short piece that’s not quite done, but we’ll have it for you over at TechCrunch soon.


Top News


A California-based company called Munchee has refunded tokens sold in a $15 million initial coin offering following an investigation by the SEC, which said Munchee’s token sale was constituted the sale of unregistered securities.


The head of the SEC’s investment management office also said late last week that the agency is weighing questions related to newly registered funds that plan to hold cryptocurrencies.


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New Fundings


Affirm, the five-year-old, San Francisco-based lending company founded by serial entrepreneur Max Levchin, has raised $200 million in a fresh round of funding that puts Affirm’s total fundraising to date at about $450 million and reportedly increases its valuation to $1.75 billion. The Singapore government’s sovereign wealth fund,GIC, led the round, and was joined by earlier investors, including Khosla VenturesLightspeed Venture PartnersFounders Fund and Spark Capital. Reuters has more here.


Billie, a 16-month-old. New York-based razor subscription company for women, raised $1.5 million in seed funding, including from Female Founders Fund,Greycroft Partners, and Lakehouse Ventures. Fortune has more here.


BitGo, a six-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based Bitcoin wallet startup, has raised $42.5 million in Series B funding led by Valor Equity Partners, with participation fromDavid SacksBill Lee, and DRW. Coindesk has more here.


Bliss Mall, a Shenzhen China-based online cake-booking and sales platform, has raised $14.5 million in Series A funding led by Longzhu Capital (formerly known as Meituan-Dianping Industry Fund). In DealStreetAsia.


Creditas Soluções Financeiras, a five-year-old, Brazil-based fintech startup that provides loans using real estate or vehicles as collateral, has raised $50 million in funding from Swedish fund Vostok Emerging FinanceMore here.


Discngine, a 13-year-old, Paris-based software company specializing in applications for life sciences research, has raised $1.3 million in Series A financing from Extens Développement e-SantéMore here.


Dosh, a 1.5-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based app that aims to find cash for consumers and help businesses acquire and retain customers, has raised $4.9 million in funding led by Goodwater Capital, with participation from Extol Capital and Next Coast Ventures. AustinInno has more here.


EcoWorth Tech, a 1.5-year-od, Singapore, China-based clean tech startup focusing on waste-to-worth solutions for industrial water treatment, has raised roughly $740,000 in seed funding from Budding Innovations and FundedHere, a Singapore-based crowdfunding platform. More here.


Fastlane, a 1.5-year-old, Dallas, Tex.-based online car-buying startup, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding led by Eagle Venture Fund, with participation from unnamed angel investors. More here.


Fuzzy Pet Health, a 1.5-year-old, San Francisco-based subscription-based in-home veterinary care company, has raised $4.5 million in seed funding co-led by Eniac Ventures and Crosscut Ventures, with participation from Precursor Ventures,SV Angel, and FJ LabsMore here.


Menlo Security, a four-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based startup that says it isolates and executes all web content in the cloud, enabling users to safely interact with websites, links and documents online without compromising their security, has raised $40 million in Series C funding. American Express VenturesEricsson Ventures and HSBC were joined by Menlo’s earlier investors JPMorgan Chase,General Catalyst PartersSutter Hill VenturesOsage University Partnersand Engineering Capital. The company has now raised over $85 million. TechCrunch has more here.


Nextdoor, the seven-year-old, San Francisco-based social media platform for city neighborhoods, has raised $75 million at a valuation above the $1.1 billion level it reached in its last fundraising round in 2015, says The Information. More here.


NexWafe, a 2.5-year-old, Freiburg, Germany-based company that’s developing technology for the epitaxial fabrication of silicon wafers for photovoltaics (not that we know what this means!), has raised €8 million ($9.4 million) in funding led bySaudi Aramco Energy Ventures, with participation from Green Gateway Fund 2 and early backer Lynwood (Schweiz) AG. More here.


OncoTartis, a six-year-old, Buffalo, N.Y.-based biotechnology company that’s trying to develop a category of anti-cancer drugs, has raised $6 million in funding, including from Norma Investments (representing billionaire Roman Abramovich), and Pharmstandard International S.A. More here.


Ouster, a 1.5-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that’s developing hardware and software for robotics and computer vision, has raised $27 million in Series A funding led by Cox Enterprises, whose Cox Automotive division owns and offers a variety of auto services, including Kelley Blue Book and Other participants in the round include FontinalisAmity VenturesConstellation Technology VenturesTao Capital Partners, and Carthona Capital. TechCrunch has more here.


Senseye, a two-year-old, London-based maker of predictive maintenance software, has raised £3.5 million (around $4.7 million) in Series A funding led by MMC Ventures, with participation from earlier backers Breed ReplyIQ Capital andMomenta PartnersMore here.


Sequentum, a three-year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based web data extraction and web automation software development company, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from WorldQuant Ventures.


Supermonkey, a three-year-old, Shenzhen, China-based operator of self-service gyms, has raised an undisclosed amount of venture funding led  by Jiansheng Sports Fund (co-founded by Sequoia Capital), with participation from earlier investors Ventech ChinaFosun RZ Capital and Areana Capital. China Money Network has more here.


Xiaoe Weidian, a two-year-old, Bejing, China-based snack-bar focused checkout-free convenience store operator,has raised $31 million in Series B funding fromZijue CapitalHaikong Capital, Hainan province government, andZhongguancun Science Park. China Money Network has more here.


XOi Technologies, a four-year-old, Nashville, Tn.-based startup that sells field service communications software to pros in the mechanical, electrical and plumbing industries, has raised $4.5 million in funding led by Vocap Investment Partners, with participation from the Nashville Capital NetworkMore here.


New Funds


BOLD Capital Partners, a Santa Monica, Ca.-based early-stage venture firm that invests in “exponential transformation” and was founded by X Prize Foundation CEOPeter Diamandis, is targeting up to $200 million for its second fund, shows an SEC filingMore here.


Jumpstart Capital, a Nashville, Tn. based outfit that started out as an accelerator but pivoted to become a seed-stage, healthcare-focused firm in 2016, has raised $9.6 million toward a $30 million growth fund, shows an SEC filingMore here.


Navitas Capital, a Beverly Hills, Ca.-based venture capital fund focused on early-stage tech investments for the real estate and construction industries, has raised $60 million in capital commitments for its second fund. Some of the firm’s earlier bets include PlanGrid, a provider of construction management software, andMatterport, an interactive 3D and VR technology for real estate. More here. (We’ll also have a bit more on this for you over at TechCrunch later.)


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ConversionPoint Technologies, a 1.5-year-old, Irvine, Ca.-based marketing software company that looks to increase the reach and revenue of brands, advertisers and agencies that sell online, has acquired Sellpoints, a 17-year-old, Emeryville, Ca.-based marketing company with essentially the same objectives. Sellpoints had raised roughly $22 million over the years, according to Crunchbase, including from Menlo Ventures and Granite Ventures. ConversionPoint has raised just $3.5 million in convertible notes, says Crunchbase. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed.


Iron Mountain, a 70-year-old, Boston-based publicly traded company that’s best known for its shredding and information management services for physical documents, is buying the US data center business of privately held, 10-year-old, IO Data Centers for $1.3 billion. ZDNet has more here.


Lumoid, a venture-backed e-commerce startup that rented out cameras, drones and fitness trackers, and which recently inked a partnership with Best Buy, has shut down, the company’s founder announced in a Facebook post. Recode has more here.




Chad Herrin, a former VP of corporate development with SAP’s SuccessFactors, has joined the early-stage venture firm Aspect Ventures.


Kevin Jacques has become head of Visa Ventures, reports Axios. He previously spent six years in corporate development with Intuit; he was also a partner with Palomar Ventures earlier in his career.


Essential smartphone startup founder Andy Rubin is back to work, after taking a leave of absence last month amid reports about an improper relationship while at his previous employer (Google). More here.


The market capitalization of Bitcoin is approaching $300 billion, but early Bitcoin investor Cameron Winklevoss tells CNBC this is just the beginning.




Airbnb is looking to hire a strategic development manager. The job is in San Francisco.




Per Bloomberg: “The boom in initial coin offerings is showing few signs of abating even with U.S. regulators beginning to crack down on fraudulent digital token fundraising schemes. With three weeks left in the fourth quarter, startups issuing tokens have already garnered $1.38 billion from investors, and are on pace to surpass the $1.74 billion raised in the third quarter, according to industry researcher Token Report.”


Essential Reads


Six years after its launch, Facebook‘s Ticker feed, which showed you everything your friends did on the site in real time, has been quietly removed. (Thank you, Facebook.)


Former Gawker employees are crowdfunding an effort to buy




This six-year-old made $11 million this year by reviewing toys.


Why a short story about a terrible date went viral.


There never was a real “tulip fever.”


Retail Therapy


Alila Yangshuo Hotel.


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