StrictlyVC: February 16, 2018



Monday is President’s Day here in the U.S., but we’ll be publishing because we can’t quit you. (Also, sponsors.) Hope you have a stellar weekend, everyone.:)


Top News


Swiss pharma giant Roche is spending $1.9 billion to acquire Flatiron Health, a start-up that gathers and analyzes data on cancer treatments and sells software based on those insights. Flatiron was founded by ex-Google employees Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg and had raised more than $300 million from investors, including Roche and Alphabet’s venture arm, GV. TechCrunch has more here.


Uber is preparing to sell its Southeast Asia business to Singapore’s Grab in exchange for a sizable stake in the company, according to CNBC sources. (Things are heating up fast there. You might recall that Google announced an investment in Grab and Uber rival Go-Jek a couple of weeks ago as part of a bigger, $1.2 billion round.)


Sponsored By …


StrictlyVC is sponsored this week by Meld Valuation, a premiere independent valuation firm. We care about understanding the unique risk profile of your situation and most importantly making the quantitative reflect the qualitative story. Contact us today to learn about our services and how we can help you everything from cap table management to complex valuation engagements.


Founders Co-Op Goes for Fund Four 


Founders Co-op, a Seattle-based seed-stage venture firm, is looking to close its fourth and newest fund with $25 million, according to an SEC filing that shows the outfit has raised at least $10.7 million toward that end.


The firm — now a fixture on Seattle’s venture scene — was created 10 years ago and closed its last fund in 2015 with $20 million.


More here.


New Fundings


Adaptive Studios, a five-year-old, Culver City, Ca.-based upstart studio that’s focused on short-form content for digital platforms, has raised $16.5 million in Series B funding, including from AMC Networks and Atwater Capital. The company has now raised $24.9 million altogether. Variety has more here.


Algorand, a new, Boston-based blockchain-based payments platform cofounded by Silvio Micali, an MIT computer engineering professor and cryptographer who has won the prestigious A.M. Turing Award, just raised $4 million in seed funding. Investors include Pillar and Union Square Ventures. Xconomy has more here.


BlockFi, a year-old, New York-based non-banker lender to crypto-asset owners using their bitcoin and ether holdings as collateral, has raised $1.55 million in funding, including from ConsenSys VenturesSoFi and Kenetic Capital. CoinDesk has more here.


Celularity, a nearly two-year-old, Warren, N.J.-based company spun out of biotech giant Celgene with the aim of developing cells from placentas to attack tumors and to treat Crohn’s disease, has raised $250 million led by Celgene. TechCrunch hasmore here.


CentralReach, a five-year-old, Pompano Beach, Fla.-based developer of electronic health record and practice management software for clinics, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Insight Venture Partners​. More here.


Harry’s, the five-year-old, New York-based razor subscription service, has raised $112 million in Series D funding co-led by Alliance Consumer Growth andTemasek, with participation from Tao Capital Partners and insiders. Dealbook hasmore here.


onXmaps, a nine-year-old, Missoula, Mt.-based mobile mapping startup for outdoor adventurers, has raised $20.3 million in funding led by Summit Partners, with participation from Bessemer Venture PartnersMillennium Technology Value PartnersNext Frontier Capital and NBCUniversal CEO Steve BurkeMore here.


Reflektive, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based employee engagement and performance platform, has raised $60 million in Series C funding led by TPG Growth, with participation from earlier backers Andreessen Horowitz andLightspeed Venture Partners. Forbes has more here.


Roostify, a 3.5-year-old, San Francisco-based web and mobile service that aims to simplify and accelerate the home-buying experience, just raised $25 million in Series B funding from Cota CapitalPoint72 VenturesSantander Innoventures and earlier backers JPMorgan ChaseColchis Capital, and a subsidiary of USAAMore here.


TactoTek, a seven-year-old, Oulu, Finland-based company that produces 3D structural electronics by integrating printed circuitry and discrete electronic components into injection-molded plastics, has raised $23 million in funding. Investors include Ascend Capital PartnersNanogatePlastic OmniumConor Venture Partners and Faurecia VenturesMore here.


Zoomcar, a 5.5-year-old, Bangalore, India-based on-demand car rental service, has raised $40 million in Series C funding led by car manufacturing corporationMahindra & Mahindra. TechCrunch has more here.


Sponsored By . . .


Are you an entrepreneur, startup founder or CEO? Norwest Venture Partners wants to hear about your company-building journey and invites you to participate in a brief opinion survey. Your response will remain anonymous. The survey is being conducted by Wakefield Research, an independent research firm.


New Funds


In a first of its kind, half a dozen ICO companies have come together to collaborate on a new fund that promises to pay out more than $100 million to promising projects in the Ethereum crypto space. It’s called the Ethereum Community Fund. TechCrunch has more here.




Bynder, a five-year-old, digital asset management company, is acquiring another digital asset management service called Webdam that publicly tradedShutterstock had acquired in 2013 for undisclosed terms. Bynder, based in Amsterdam, says it’s paying Shutterstock $49.1 million for the business. TechCrunch has more here.


Favor, a 3.5-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based on-demand delivery service, is being acquired by H-E-B, a privately held supermarket chain that’s based in San Antonio and operates hundreds of stores in Texas and northeast Mexico. Favor had raised roughly $38 million from investors,  according to Crunchbase. Terms of the deal aren’t being made public. TechCrunch has more here.


Google says it’s acquiring the Xively IoT platform of LogMeIn, a publicly traded maker of remote access software, for $50 million. The deal aims to complement the company’s Google Cloud efforts. LogMeIn had acquired Xively in 2014 for $12 million. ZDNet has more here.


OpenText, an acquisitive Canadian content management company, has gobbled up Hightail, a 14-year-old, Campbell, Ca.-based cloud service for file sharing that was once known as YouSendIt. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Hightail had raised more than $90 million in venture funding from investors, including Adams Street PartnersEmergence CapitalSigma Partners and Western Digital Capital. TechCrunch has more here.


Walmart is in talks to buy more than 40 percent of the Indian e-commerce juggernaut Flipkart, says Reuters. It would be a direct challenge to Amazon in Asia’s third largest economy. More here.




Adam Brotman, a Starbucks executive who helped mold the Seattle coffee giant into one of the most technologically advanced retailers, is leaving after nine years for J.Crew, where he’s becoming president and chief experience officer.


In case you were curious: JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon was the best-paid Wall Street CEO for the second straight year in a row.


Snap cofounder and CEO Evan Spiegel yesterday reportedly told those gathered at Goldman Sachs’s annual internet and technology conference that he likes to have an executive team that operates “just below the boil. . . Like when you heat water, and it’s really f_cking hot, but it’s just below the boil.” Spiegel also doubled-down on Snapchat’s unpopular new redesign, saying user complaints only “validate” the changes it has made.


Hours after being pink-slipped from Amazon’s “Transparent,” actor Jeffrey Tambor yesterday took aim at the streaming service for its handling of an investigation of sexual harassment claims against him last year.




Malicious cyber activity cost the U.S. economy between $57 billion and $109 billion in 2016, the White House Council of Economic Advisers estimated in a report published this morning.




Frontline Ventures, is looking to add an analyst to its investment team. The job is in Dublin, Ireland.


Essential Reads


While the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has had its fair share of technical issues the last few months, it seems the latest one may not be its fault.


Google has removed the “view image” button from its search results to make pics harder to steal.


Virtual currencies are now becoming an issue in divorce cases, too.


The tyranny of convenience.




Ronan Farrow’s latest blockbuster piece in the New Yorker.


How to be better at being wrong.


There was some barfing. People fell down. It was a very dramatic night at the Olympics.


Retail Therapy


Daniel Craig’s 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish. Bids start at $400,000.

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