|Thursday! We’re *so* excited about tonight’s NBA playoff game. For what it’s worth, Fortune published an interesting piece about what kind of moolah the Cavs and Warriors stand to make by making it this far.|
|Waymo, the driverless-technology company spun out of Google, just announced it is buying as many as 62,000 minivans from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for use in a ride-hailing service set to begin commercial operations later this year. |
Apple was thrust into the middle of a long-simmering dispute today between the encrypted messaging app Telegram and the Russian government. More here.
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|This Newly Funded Startup Wants Women to Assess Their Reproductive Health at an Early Age|
|It’s often the case that women don’t think much about their reproductive health until they have to. Sometimes it begins with an aside from a well-meaning gynecologist — or one’s impatient parents. Sometimes, it’s because a couple is ready to try conceiving and it’s proving harder than they imagined it would be. |
A San Francisco-based startup called Modern Fertility wants to help educate women about their reproductive health much earlier in their lives, enabling them to become more “proactive” instead of reactive, says co-founder and CEO Afton Vechery, who worked formerly as a product manager at the genetic testing company 23andMe and, before that, at a healthcare-focused private equity firm in Greenwich, Conn.
At both places, she learned a lot about the growing number of companies that are empowering customers with information about their own bodies. She also learned, particularly at 23andMe, about the importance of making that information affordable. Indeed, after shelling out $1,500 for tests run by a reproductive endocrinologist to get a better picture of her own reproductive health, Vechery set out to create similar tests that one needn’t be a Rockefeller to order. Toward that end, an at-home finger-prick hormone test that Modern Fertility began selling today for $199.
The vast difference in price owes to economies of scale, says Vechery. Because there are just 500 infertility clinics in the U.S. and roughly 6,000 endocrinologists — just 2,000 of which are focused on reproductive health — the cost of individual testing has been prohibitively high. Modern Fertility, meanwhile, has “systems and tech and integrations that support a high volume of tests” conducted at the same time, she says, explaining that with volume comes discounted pricing.
Modern Fertility is not analyzing its customers’ hormones.
|Ancora Heart, a 16-year-old, Santa Clara, Ca.-based company that makes a percutaneous ventricular repair system to address heart failure, has raised $17.8 million in funding led by Savitr Capital and other earlier investors. More here. |
CAMP4 Therapeutics, a two-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based platform that aims to amplify the value of cellular and genetic insights, has raised raised $30 million in Series A funding. Andreessen Horowitz led the round, with participation from The Kraft Group and earlier investor Polaris Partners. More here.
Cortexyme, a five-year-old, South San Francisco-based company whose experimental drug (which will enter a mid-stage clinical trial next year) attacks a specific bacteria at the root of Alzheimer’s inflammation and protein tangles in the brain, has raised $76 million in Series B funding. Among the many investors in the round is Sequoia Capital, Vulcan Capital, Verily Life Sciences, EPIQ Capital Group, RSL Investments, Huizenga Capital and earlier backers that include Breakout Ventures and Dolby Family Ventures. San Francisco Business Times has more here (sub required).
Ecobee, an eight-year-old, Toronto-based smart thermostat maker that’s trying to take on Nest, has raised $36 million from Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, AGL Energy and BDC. Business Insider has more here.
FlyHomes, a three-year-old, Seattle-based startup, has raised $17 million in Series A funding to act as an intermediary buyer for homes. How? By prescreening homebuyers, then putting in an all-cash bid to the seller, and finally reselling the home to the original interested buyer after the standard closing period (and collecting 3 percent commission in the process). Andreessen Horowitz led the round, with participation from Shasta Ventures and Zulily and Blue Nile co-founder Mark Vadon, a previous investor. The Seattle Times has more here.
Hello Alfred, a 3.5-year-old, New York-based on-demand home chore startup that’s about to start selling its own line of home goods, has raised $40 million in Series B funding from Divco West, Invesco and earlier investors Spark Capital and New Enterprise Associates. TechCrunch has more here.
ImToken, a two-year-old, Hangzhou, China-based Ethereum wallet, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by IDG Capital. According to Bloomberg, ImToken was among the first cryptocurrency wallet apps to support the Ethereum blockchain and the free software has attracted 4 million users who’ve used it to stash $35 billion of crypto assets over the past year — more than at big-name competitors including Coinbase. More here.
Karnott, a two-year-old, Lille, France-based agriculture technology startup that makes “connected” meters for farm equipment, has raised €2.5 million ($2.9 million) in funding led by Partech and Leap Ventures. Tech.eu has a bit more here.
Klaxoon, a 3.5-year-old, Paris-based maker of meetings-focused work collaboration software, has raised $50 million in Series B funding. Idinvest Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers Bpifrance, Sofiouest, Arkea and White Star Capital. VentureBeat has more here.
Neighborhood Goods, a year-old, Dallas, Tex.-based kind of nex-gen department store that aims to feature pop-up store flavor, has raised $5.75 million in seed funding. Forerunner Ventures led the round, with participation from Maveron, CAA Ventures, Global Founders Capital, and NextGen Venture Partners. TechCrunch has more here.
Ocrulus, a four-year-old, New York-based startup that analyzes uploaded bank and credit card statements from U.S. financial institutions, has raised $4 million in fresh funding led by Bullpen Capital, with participation from QED Investors, Laconia Capital, Riverpark Funds and ValueStream Ventures. The round brings the company’s funding to $7.3 million altogether. AlleyWatch has more here.
Paxos, a five-year-old, New York-based company that’s building a blockchain-powered trust that can settle assets and payments simultaneously, has raised $65 million in Series B funding, including from Liberty City Ventures, RRE Ventures, and longtime private equity exec Jay Jordan. Reuters has more here.
Pixoneye, a four-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based business that relies on users’ personal mobile phone photo galleries to extract marketing insights for its customers, has raised £6 million ($8 million) in Series A funding from Octopus Ventures. (We aren’t judging but this sounds creepy.) The Telegraph has more here.
SenseTime, a nearly-four-year-old, Beijing-based developer of AI technologies like facial recognition, has raised $620 million in new funding — just one month after raising $600 million in an Alibaba-led round. Investors in the latest round include Fidelity International, Hopu Capital, Silver Lake and Tiger Global Management, along with earlier backer Qualcomm. TechCrunch has more here.
Signifyd, a seven-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based e-commerce fraud-prevention company, has raised $100 million in Series D funding led by Premji, the personal investing vehicle of Wipro Chairman Azim Premji. Other investors in the round include Bain Capital Ventures, Menlo Ventures, American Express Ventures, IA Ventures, Allegis Cyber and Resolute Ventures. Bloomberg has more here.
Pine Labs, a 20-year-old, New Delhi, India-based company that offers a point-of-sale device that covers debit and credit cards, as well as increasingly popular digital payment methods that include mobile wallets, has raised $125 million from PayPal and Temasek, the sovereign wealth fund. The company has now raised $208 million altogether, including from seed-stage investor Sequoia Capital, which reportedly remains the company’s single-largest investor. TechCrunch has more here.
Polybit, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based company that years ago introduced what it calls the Standard Library of the Internet, a resource to make back-end coding easy for even beginning developers, has raised $2 million in strategic funding from Stripe. The round brings the company’s total funding to $4 million. More here.
Trilogy Education, a three-year-old, New York-based skills-based training startup that partners with universities, has raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Highland Capital Partners, with participation from Macquarie Group and Exceed Capital. TechCrunch has more here.
Voltaiq, a six-year-old, Berkeley, Ca., and Brooklyn, N.Y.-based maker of data visualization and analytics tools for batteries, has raised $6.6 million in Series A funding led by Anzu Partners, with participation from Bee Partners, SJF Ventures, and UL Ventures. More here.
|Games maker Zynga is buying the Istanbul-based, franchise games publisher Gram Games for $250 million. The company looks to have raised a tiny amount of seeding funding, including from Hummingbird Ventures and founder-investorFabrice Grinda, among others. Reuters has more here.|
|New York VC Steve Schlafman has joined Primary Venture Partners roughly six months after quitting his job at RRE Ventures. We caught up with him to learn more. |
Warren Buffett proposed investing $3 billion in Uber earlier this year, but talks with new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi fell apart following disagreements over the terms and size of the deal, says Bloomberg.
|The three reasons that Spotify did a rare, direct public listing, in the words of its CEO, Daniel Ek. |
Uber wants to “kinda be the Amazon of transportation,” says CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
Roblox, the massively multiplayer online game favored by the under 13 crowd, is following in Minecraft’s footsteps with a move into the education market.
|Why Kevin Durant’s shoes keep falling off. |
“The Americans” series finale recap.
It’s me, Melania! I’m right here!
|DIY stamp set, when you have a very special message to craft.|