|Wow! Thanks so much to the many of you who offered to volunteer for our June 20th event, which we’re hosting courtesy of Lightspeed Venture Partners. We have far more interest than we can accommodate but we’re happy to find ways to involve you in SVC events, so stay tuned. |
We’re so crazed today it’s almost(?) funny. Our point: we don’t have time to include many new fundings, but we’ll have more tomorrow. Happy Thursday.:)
|Hundreds of technology firms raising money in the fevered market for cryptocurrencies are using deceptive or even fraudulent tactics to lure investors. In a newly posted review of documents produced for 1,450 digital coin offerings, The Wall Street Journal has found 271 with red flags that include plagiarized investor documents, promises of guaranteed returns and missing or fake executive teams. No wonder the SEC is just outright trolling ICO scammers now.|
|Spend Time this Spring with These VCs, and It Will All Go to Charity|
|Five years ago, TechCrunch wrote about a venture capital auction wherein dozens of VCs donated their time toward a greater good — helping fund research at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, one of the world’s largest voluntary health organizations dedicated to funding research and access to treatments for blood cancer patients. |
The auction was centered around then five-year-old Rhett Krawitt, a pink-cheeked, bright-spirited boy who’d been diagnosed with leukemia in 2010 and “fought a really hard battle,” recalls his father, Carl Krawitt, who works in the Bay Area for Tata, the enterprise information management consultancy.
“For three-and-a-half years, he was undergoing chemotherapy, and his doctors would say, ‘Here are the 20 complications you can have, though most kids have three or four.’ But Rhett had all 20 of them. He was between a rock and a hard place. I had to tell my daughter that her little brother was probably going to die.”
Rhett was still actively battling his blood disease back in 2013, when longtime VC David Lee — who himself fought Stage IV lymphoma when he was just 24 years old — helped organize what was then the annual “Venture Capital Master’s Lunch Series,” an auction program that benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Keith Rabois, Megan Quinn and Tim Draper were among many who donated their time, helping raise more than $200,000 for LLS in the process.
Today, Rhett is nearing his fifth year of remission, thanks largely to treatments funded in part by LLS, says his father. To show thanks for all of the organization’s support, and to help it continue on its mission, Rhett and Lee banded together again this year with founder Pete Quinzio of the drug testing service Notable Labs to sign up a host of new VCs who are donating their time.
|Arevo, a five-year-old, Santa Clara, Ca.-based maker of software-controlled additive manufacturing technology, has raised $12.5 million in Series B funding led by Asahi Glass, and was joined by Sumitomo, Leslie Ventures and Khosla Ventures. More here. |
Skip, a six-month-old, Bay Area-based electric scooter rental startup (another!), just raised $6 million in seed funding led by Initialized Capital and A Capital, with participation from SV Angel. The company’s founders previously founded the electric skateboard company Boosted Boards. TechCrunch has more here.
Tracking First, a six-year-old, Sandy, Utah-based enterprise data governance platform, has raised $4 million in new funding led by Silverton Partners, with participation from Kickstart Seed Fund. More here.
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|Underscore VC, a three-year-old, Boston-based early-stage firm, is today taking the wraps off a second fund that it just closed with $115 million in capital commitments. Among its investors: Boston Children’s Hospital, the fund of funds Greenspring Associates and family offices, including that of Henry McCance, chairman emeritus of Greylock Partners. Underscore’s cofounders include Michael Skok, who spent the previous 12 years with Boston-based firm North Bridge Venture Partners, and, John Pearce, a former CEO of Demandware. We’ve written up much more here.|
|PayPal is taking its biggest bet yet on point-of-sale transactions, small businesses, and markets outside of the US, as it looks to raise its game against Square, Stripe and others in the world of payments: the company has confirmed that it is buying iZettle — the Stockholm-based payments provider commonly referred to as the “Square of Europe” — for $2.2 billion in an all-cash deal. TechCrunch has more here. |
Maybe people like their stupid suitcases after all. Two weeks after Bluesmart called it quits, another smart luggage maker is pulling the plug.
New York-based travel startup Raden just posted a note on its site announcing that the company is “no longer in operation.” More here.
|The founders of Centra Tech, a company that raised a $32 million ICO, have been indicted for wire fraud and securities fraud, charges that could lead to a minimum of five years in jail. This one is notable because Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled posted support for Centra Tech on Instagram during the run-up to the token sale. More here.|
|It looks like Apple could build its new campus not in Washington, D.C. but in Blue Devils’ territory. More here. |
You can now re-share someone’s Instagram post with your friends.
|A card game based on a CIA training game. |
Anthony Scaramucci is selling his house in the Hamptons.
The french swimwear brand you need to know (if you are a dude).