StrictlyVC: March 30, 2018

Friday! We’re hopping in a car for the next few hours so have to keep this short.Hope you’re in for a wonderful weekend. Happy Easter. More Monday.:)


Top News


The FCC has approved SpaceX‘s proposed plan to build a constellation of Internet-beaming satellites to provide global broadband service.


Tesla has issued a voluntary recall for 123,000 of its Model S car – or every one made prior to April 2016. It’s found some evidence that bolts in the steering array were showing “excessive corrosion.”


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New Fundings, a five-month-old, San Francisco-based 3D computer vision startup for spatial computing that sounds hugely ambitious, has raised “a mid seven figure” investment led by General Catalyst. A whole lot of other people also joined the round. Forbes tries to explain the company’s vision here.


Nift, a nearly three-year-old, Boston-based startup that produces special gift cards for business clients to pass on to their own best customers, has raised a pretty big Series A — $16.5 million — from Spark CapitalFoundry Group and Accomplice. TechCrunch has more here.


Tech Valley, an Xiamen, China-based ‘big data’ technology and application service company, has raised $3.2 million in Series A funding co-led by CRRC-Times Fundand Green Pine Colorful DreamMore here.


Wondery, a two-year-old, Los Angeles-based podcasting network, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Greycroft PartnersLerer Hippeau Venturesand Advancit Capital. Other backers include BAM VenturesWater Tower Ventures, Fox Networks Group and BDMI. TechCrunch has more here.


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New Funds


Lead Edge Capital, a nine-year-old, New York-based growth equity firm, is raising its fourth fund, shows an SEC filing. More here.




The New York Stock Exchange is in talks to buy the tiny Chicago Stock Exchange after the recent collapse of a two-year acquisition effort by a Chinese-led investor group, says the WSJ. More here.


Walmart is reportedly in early-stage acquisition talks with insurer Humana, a deal that would be the retail giant’s largest by far. Humana currently has a market value of $37 billion. The WSJ has more here.




Volkswagen could take public its trucks and buses division as soon as May 2, says Reuters. Notes the outlet: “Creating a new corporate structure for the division would be a sign the German automaker is making progress on its pledge to become a more focused and nimble company in the wake of its 2015 diesel emissions crisis, after a failed attempt to sell motorcycle brand Ducati last year.”




Farooq Abbasi has joined Costanoa Ventures as a principal. He was previously an associate with Mosiac Ventures.


According to a 2016 staff email authored by longtime Facebook VP Andrew Bosworth and obtained last night by Buzzfeed, neither deaths nor terrorist attacks coordinated on Facebook should get in the way of the company’s mission to connect people.


Dara Khosrowshahi is charged with turning scandal-plagued Uber into a traditional company—without sacrificing what made it successful. In a profile of Khosrowshahi, the New Yorker ballparks his odds of success.


Here’s why Donald Trump went postal on Amazon this week.


Essential Reads


You might assume that Uber had to pay out a fortune to the family of 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, who was fatally hit by one of its self-driving cars last week, but that may not be the case. Herzberg was homeless, an underreported fact. More, the Arizona lawyer hired by her husband and daughter, who quickly agreed to the settlement, specializes in bankruptcy and debt negotiations. (This is a story of haves and have-nots if ever there was one.) More here.

The Chinese government had talks about possibly financing SoftBank‘s $100 billion Vision Fund, says Recode. According to its report, it isn’t clear if a deal could still materialize, but the Vision Fund was serious enough about China that it had been scouting last year for a new local partner to lead its investing in Chinese companies. More here.


Microsoft just unveiled its biggest reorganization in years. More here.




TV revivals for the #MeToo era.

The last conversation you’ll ever need to have about eating right.

Nineteen years ago today, male supermodel Fabio killed a goose with his face. Esquire remembers the moment.


Retail Therapy


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