|Hi, happy Monday, all!
A quick update about our first INSIDER event of 2018, coming up next month: founder, angel investor and now VC Caterina Fake has now joined the line-up, which also includes Brandless CEO Tina Sharkey, Cadre CEO Ryan Williams and HackerOne CEO Marten Mickos. We’re just so excited about how the night is shaping up.:)
More to come. In the meantime, no column today. We’re still recovering from the last couple of days. (We spent *a lot* of time at the Apple Genius Bar.)
Dell could emerge as a public company through a reverse-merger with VMware, the $60 billion cloud computing company it already controls, according to CNBC. The reverse merger, whereby VMware would buy Dell, would allow Dell to be traded publicly without going through a formal listing. More here.
The Trump administration insisted this morning that it currently has no plans to build its own ultra-fast 5G wireless network, despite publication of a memo in Axios yesterday that suggested the idea was under consideration.
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BehavioSec, a 10-year-old, Luleå, Sweden-based company focused on continuous authentication through behavioral biometrics, has raise $17.5 million in Series B funding led by Trident Capital Cybersecurity, with participation from Cisco Investments, ABN AMRO, and earlier backers Octopus Ventures and Conor Venture Partners. More here.
BigID, a two-year-old, Israel-based private customer data identification startup, has raised $14 million in Series A funding from Comcast Ventures, SAP, ClearSky Security Fund and BoldStart Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
Bodle Technologies, two-year-old, Oxford, England-based startup that’s developing a reflective smartphone display technology that promises to use less power, has raised £6 million ($8.4 million) in Series A funding led by Parkwalk Advisors. Other participants include Woodford Patient Capital Trust, and returning backers Oxford Sciences Innovation and the Oxford Technology and Innovations Fund. TechCrunch has more here.
ContentSquare, a five-year-old, Paris, France-based insights platform that aims to help businesses understand how and why users are interacting with their app, mobile and websites, has raised $42 million in Series B funding. Canaan Partnersled the round. Earlier investors Highland Europe, Eurazeo and H14 also joined the financing. More here.
Cuberg, a 2.5-year-old, Berkeley, Ca.-based battery tech startup whose founding team includes Stanford University researchers, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from HorizonX, Boeing’s investment vehicle. TechCrunch has more here.
Dominode, a year-old, Boca Raton, Fla.-based startup making verified identity software for regulated industries, has raised $1.3 million in funding from Blockchange Ventures. More here.
Duco, an eight-year-old, London-based startup that sells self-service data engineering software to the financial services sector, has raised $28 million in new funding from Insight Venture Partners, NEX Opportunities, Eight Roads Ventures and Cristóbal Conde. The Times has more here.
Goxip, a three-year-old, Hong Kong-based social shopping service, raised $5 million in funding led by Meitu, with participation from Nan Fung Group. TechCrunch has more here.
Hover, a seven-year-old, San Francisco-based platform that says it generates accurate, interactive 3D models of any property, has raised $25 million in Series B funding led by GV, with participation from The Home Depot and Standard Industries, the large roofing and waterproofing manufacturer. More here.
Logikcull, a 14-year-old, San Francisco-based discovery platform for legal teams, has raised $25 million in new funding led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation from earlier investors OpenView Venture Partners and Storm Ventures. More here.
Pay By Group, a 6.5-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based maker of group payments software, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding, including from Czar Ventures. More here.
Protenus, a three-year-old, Baltimore, Md.-based healthcare startup that aims to protect patient privacy in electronic medical records by detecting privacy breaches in real-time, has raised $11 million in Series B funding. Kaiser Permanente Ventures and F-Prime Capital Partners co-led the round, with participation from earlier backers Arthur Ventures, Lionbird Venture Capital and Cognosante Ventures. More here.
Ripple Foods, a three-year-old, Emeryville, Ca.-based maker of a milk-like drink from peas, has raised $65 million in new funding led by Euclidean Capital. Other participants in the round include Goldman Sachs, Khosla Ventures, Fall Line Capital and S2G Ventures. More here.
Xiaopeng Motors, a nearly four-year-old, China-based electric vehicle company that’s sometimes described as a Tesla clone, has raised $348 million in Series B funding co-led by Alibaba, IDG Capital and Foxconn. Other investors in the round include Yunfeng Capital, Apoletto Asia, CICC and earlier backers GGV Capital,Matrix Partners China and Morningside Venture Capital. Electrek has more here.
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Thirty tech startups from over 14 countries that are part of 500 Startups’ summer 2017 program in San Francisco have announced a ICO called the 22X Fund, a token offering that they say will enable investors to invest in and own up to 10 percent equity in the group of startups. Entrepreneur has more here.
Bonfire Ventures, a new venture firm created by longtime operators and investors, including former Rincon Venture Partners Jim Andelman, has raised $60 million for its debut fund. The capital will flow primarily to startups in Southern California. According to TechCrunch, the team has already backed nine startups. More here.
Another day, another near-billion-dollar deal in Canada’s marijuana industry, reports Bloomberg, which says that publicly traded cannabis producer Aphria has agreed to buy Nuuvera, another cannabis company, for roughly $670 million in cash and stock. Marijuana sales are expected to become legal in the country at some point this year, which explains some of these big deals.
SoFi, the online lending company that last week appointed Anthony Noto as its new CEO, has acquired the engineering and product teams of mortgage startup Clara Lending, says Bloomberg. More here.
The publicly traded unified communications company Avaya has agreed to acquireSpoken Communications, a 12-year-old, Seattle-based contact-center as-a-service company that had raised roughly $58 million in funding, including fromIgnition Partners and Riverwood Capital. GeekWire has more here.
The RELX Group (formerly known as Reed Elsevier) say it is acquiring the digital identity platform ThreatMetrix for £580 million (about $817 million) in cash. This is a big exit for 13-year-old ThreatMetrix, which was last valued at around $237 million in its last funding round in 2014, according to PitchBook analysis. TechCrunch has more here.
China’s Tencent is leading the acquisition of 14 percent of billionaire Wang Jianlin’sWanda Commercial Properties Co. for 34 billion yuan ($5.4 billion). It’s just Tencent’s latest foray into old-school retail. Bloomberg has more here.
Cardlytics, a 10-year-old, Atlanta-based marketing analytics company, has set its IPO terms, revealing plans to sell 5.4 million shares at between $13 and $15 apiece, giving it a market cap of roughly $285 at the midpoint of that pricing. The company has raised more than $180 from investors, including Canaan Partners, Polaris Partners, and Discovery Capital. Nasdaq has more here.
Huami, a four-year-old, China-based maker of wearable devices, has revealed plans to offer 10 million shares at between $10 and $12 in an upcoming IPO, a range that would give it a market cap of $662 in the middle of that range. Nikkei Asian Review has more here.
Several mega-funded Chinese tech unicorns, including smart phone and electronics maker Xiaomi, are angling to go public later this year with huge, multibillion-dollar offerings, and behind the scenes, New York and Hong Kong are competing for these listings. At stake could be deals worth well more than a quarter-trillion dollars, notes CNBC. More here.
Famed former NFL quarterback Brett Favre is being sued for allegedly helping to conspire with other business partners to fraudulently induce an investor to put $16 million into a sports social media network that never took off.
One of the great entrepreneurs of the 20th century, Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA, passed away yesterday at age 91.
Thanks to Elon Musk‘s promotions on Twitter and Instagram, Boring Co. has taken orders for thousands of its $500 flamethrower. The total right now exceeds 10,000 units, worth $5 million, a spokesman tells Bloomberg, and Boring Co. plans to sell double that amount altogether. (This is going to look pretty bone-headed if someone is badly injured, though Musk insists he’d be “way more scared of a steak knife.”)
“Social media has peaked as an influential player” in politics, says NBC Political News Director Chuck Todd, the moderator of “Meet the Press.”
Over the weekend, Saudi officials released Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the world’s richest men (before he was detained, anyway) and a favorite in tech circles. More here.
Sapphire Ventures is looking to hire two people into its fund investments team, a group that makes primary investments in venture capital funds. Both of the roles — a vice president and an associate — are based in Palo Alto, Ca. More here.
Facebook will start prioritizing local news in users’ feeds.
SpaceX’s new beast of a rocket is a go for launch after more than five years of delays.
How Apple built a chip powerhouse to threaten Qualcomm and Intel.
The best-dressed stars at last night’s Grammy awards.
Intimate glimpses of everyday life in Iran.
NASA will stream Wednesday’s rare lunar eclipse. (Yay.)
The Ritz Carlton, Langkawi, now on our to-do list. (Hey, we can dream.)