We’re about to race over to TechCrunch HQ for its podcast “Equity.” On today’s show: Villi Iltchev of August Capital, who we’re looking forward to meeting for the first time.
Also, tomorrow, StrictlyVC could be either short or late or possibly both, as we’re heading to UC Berkeley to help out with TechCrunch’s annual robotics event. (Believe you can still buy tickets for this, by the way.) More soon.
|Democrats from the House Intelligence Committee have released thousands of ads that were run on Facebook by the Russia-based Internet Research Agency. More here. |
Dropbox‘s investors will dissect its latest efforts to convert free users into paying subscribers today, when the file-sharing service reports quarterly results today for the first time as a public company.
Google has fixed its burger emoji. (Important.)
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|Tiger Global is Killing It Right Now|
|It took some time, but Tiger Global Management is starting to wring some serious paydays out of its tech investments. |
In one of its biggest wins to date, the secretive, 16-year-old, New York-based hedge fund is reportedly set to make roughly $3 billion off Flipkart, the India-based e-commerce juggernaut that’s selling a majority stake in its business to Walmart for a whopping $16 billion. Part of that stake includes three-quarters of the roughly 20 percent of Flipkart that Tiger had come to own since writing its first ($9 million) check to the company back in 2009.
In a lesser but apparent win, Tiger should also see a return on its investment in Glassdoor, the jobs and salary website that announced Monday that it’s being acquired by the Japanese human resources company Recruit Holdings for $1.2 billion in cash.
Tiger had led the company’s $50 million Series E back in late 2013 when Glassdoor was still very much expected to go public. Earlier venture backers like Sutter Hill Ventures and Benchmark will see bigger returns, as they bought in at the A round when Glassdoor’s valuation was just beginning to ramp up. Still, it’s probably safe to assume that Tiger made a little something, too. One clue is that in 2016, during its Series H round, Glassdoor was assigned a post-money valuation of $1 billion, presumably more than the company was worth when Tiger bought in more than two years earlier.
It’s a lot of good news, and that’s saying nothing of Spotify’s direct listing on the stock market last month, another deal that involves Tiger Global. In fact, Tiger had become one of the streaming company’s biggest shareholders in recent years, and like Flipkart and Glassdoor, that position is also poised to pay off. Consider that Tiger owned 7.2 percent of Spotify as of its first day of trading in April, and the value of that stake was $1.9 billion. It may still be. Spotify’s shares are trading roughly where they started, and if Tiger has sold any of its stake, it hasn’t revealed as much. (Some of Spotify’s major record label shareholders have sold theirs and reported as much on their earnings calls.)
Either way, you can bet these wins will go a long way with investors, who are probably in the process of committing to Tiger Global’s newest mega fund as we type.
|ClickFox, an 18-year-old, Denver-based data analytics company focused around customer interactions, has raised more than $38 million in growth equity funding led by Arrowroot Capital. More here. |
Escient, new, San Diego, Ca.-based company that hopes to develop a pipeline of drugs around a novel family of G-protein coupled receptors, has raised $40 million Series A Series A funding from The Column Group, 5AM Ventures, and Osage University Partners. Endpoints News has more here.
LyGenesis, a year-old, Pittsburgh Pa.-based biotech company focused around organ regeneration, has raised $3 million in Series A funding from Juvenescence. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette has more here.
The Mom Project, a three-year-old, Chicago-based careers marketplace for professional women seeking part time roles, has raised $2.6 million in seed funding led by Atlanta Seed Company, with participation from OCA Ventures, BBG Ventures, IrishAngels, Wintrust Ventures and Engage VC. More here.
NomNomNow, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based maker of fresh meals for dogs, has raised $13 million in funding with participation from Bullish, CircleUp, e.ventures, Tandem Capital and Greycroft among others. The funding includes a $10 million Series A round, and a previously unannounced $3 million seed round. More here.
OpenSea, a year-old, San Francisco-based marketplace for crypto assets, has raised $2 million in seed funding. Blockchain Capital and 1confirmation co-led, and were joined by Founders Fund, Foundation Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Chernin Group, Stable Fund and Blockstack. More here.
Perch, a nine-month-old, New York-based online marketplace for buying and selling homes, has raised $30 million in Series A funding led by FirstMark Capital, with participation from Juxtapose and Accomplice. More here.
Robinhood, the five-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based no-fee investment app, has raised $363 million in Series D funding at a $5.6 billion post-money valuation. DST Group led the round, and was joined by Sequoia Capital, Kleiner Perkins, CapitalG and earlier investors, including New Enterprise Associates and Thrive Capital. TechCrunch has more here.
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|Entrée Capital, a nine-year-old venture outfit, has closed its second early stage fund with $80 million in capital commitments. The idea is to support Israeli founders no matter where they’re located. Among its LPS is the fund of funds Cendana Capital. The company was founded by Aviad Eyal and Martin Moshal. Globes has more here. |
Fifth Wall Ventures, a real estate-focused venture capital firm, is raising a new, $200 million fund, shows an SEC filing. We’d written about the firm’s debut fund last May. This new vehicle looks like it has a special purpose, if it’s not basically a giant SPV; it’s called the Fifth Wall Ventures Retail Fund. More here.
|The Palo Alto, Ca.-based online survey company SurveyMonkey has hired investment bank JPMorgan Chase to help lead preparations for an IPO that could come later this year, according to Reuters. More here.|
|Klout, the company everyone loved to hate, is officially kaput.|
|Founder-investor Naval Ravikant says a single test — one that enabled him to attend Stuyvesant High School in New York — forever changed the trajectory of his life. The New York Post has more here.|
|Apple and Goldman Sachs are preparing to launch a new joint credit card, a move that would deepen the technology giant’s push into its customers’ wallets and mark the Wall Street firm’s first foray into plastic. Its record in consumer finance is scarcely two years old, notes the WSJ. |
Carnegie Mellon just launched an undergraduate degree in artificial intelligence.
|A day in the life of British model David Gandy. |
Big wave surfing for crazy people.
Okay, fine! We read this entire story about the Katy Perry/Taylor Swift saga and how it has come to an end for now. In our defense, we did not click on any of the videos.
|Rolls-Royce today unveiled Cullinan, its first “high bodied” vehicle— known better to the hoi polloi as an SUV.|