|Friday! [Throws chair out window.] Hope you have a terrific weekend, everyone.:) |
Pics from our Wednesday night mixer here. And here’s this week’s “Equity” podcast if you’re looking for something to listen to while tooling around over the next couple of days.
|The United States Supreme court issued a decision this morning that will require police to obtain a warrant from a judge in order to track individuals through cellphone records. The 5-4 ruling is being regarded as a win for privacy advocates in the U.S. TechCrunch has more here.|
|Sponsored By . . .|
|EquityZen. We operate a secondary market for company-approved transactions in pre-IPO stock. Founded in 2013, EquityZen has already closed over 4,400 investments in 100+ companies. For as low as $10K on your first investment, you can gain access to proven private companies like 23andMe, DoorDash, and more! Join for free and begin investing in the private markets: equityzen.com|
|Brian O’Malley Jumps from Accel to Forerunner Ventures|
|Brian O’Malley may be the most-poached venture capitalist in Silicon Valley. While rising through the ranks at the global investment firm Battery Ventures, where O’Malley had led deals in HotelTonight among others, he was plucked out of the firm by Accel Partners in 2013, where both O’Malley and Accel thought he could be even more successful. |
Now, fast forward five years, and O’Malley is announcing today (through Forbes) that he just joined Forerunner Ventures, the top e-commerce investing firm launched in 2010 by founder Kirsten Green.
That O’Malley is willing to make moves is hardly a knock. For someone whose job it is to create and manage promising portfolios, he seems to be managing his career with that same mindset. The move also reflects well on Forerunner, a much younger firm than storied Accel but whose star has been soaring in recent years, thanks to early bets on companies like Bonobos (sold to Walmart), Jet.com (sold to Walmart), Dollar Shave Club (sold to Unilever), and HotelTonight, among other growing brands, including the cosmetics company Glossier, the athleisure-wear company Outdoor Voices, and the home furnishings company Serena & Lily.
Indeed, though Forerunner seems to be doing just fine with its current team, one can imagine that adding O’Malley to its ranks will only make fundraising easier — and our bet is the firm is fundraising right around now, based on the close of its current, third, fund in the summer of 2016.
|Agari, a nine-year-old, Foster City, Ca.-based anti-phishing company, has raised $40 million led by Goldman Sachs Growth Equity. Earlier backers Norwest Venture Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Battery Ventures, Greylock Partners, First Round Capital and Alloy Ventures also joined the round. Fortune has more here. |
Cape Analytics, a four-year-old. Mountain View, Ca.-based startup that meshes computer vision with geospatial imagery to bring property intelligence to U.S. insurance companies, has raised $17 million in funding led by XL Innovate. Other investors in the round include The Hartford, Nephila, CSAA Insurance Group, The Cincinnati Insurance Co., State Auto Labs Fund and return backers Formation 8, Data Collective, Khosla Ventures, Montage Ventures, Lux Capital and Promus Ventures. VentureBeat has more here.
Chasing Innovation, a two-year-old, Shenzhen, China-based developer of underwater drones, has raised $3 million from Shenzhen Capital Group. More here. CloudBolt Software, a six-year-old, Rockville, Md.-based self-service hybrid cloud platform, has raised $23 million in Series A funding led by Insight Venture Partners. More here.
Drip Capital, a three-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based startup that provides working capital finance to small and medium-sized enterprises engaged in cross-border trade, has raised $15 million in Series A funding from Accel India, Sequoia Capital India and Wing VC. Earlier backers also joined the round, including Y Combinator. Additionally, the company raised an undisclosed amount of debt capital from Silicon Valley Bank and others. Fortune has more here.
Roambee, a four-year-old., Santa Clara, Ca.-based physical asset monitoring startup, has raised $2 million from the venture arm of Telkom Indonesia. VentureBeat has more here.
TouchBistro, a seven-year-old, Toronto, Ontario-based restaurant operating system, has raised roughly $54 million in Series D funding co-led by OMERS Ventures and JPMorgan Chase, with participation from Napier Park, Recruit Holdings, BDC and Relay Ventures. BetaKit has more here.
Tray.io, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based process automation startup, has raised $14.3 million in Series A funding led by GGV Capital, with participation from True Ventures, Mosaic Ventures and AngelPad. TechCrunch has more here.
Vium, a five-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based company that has created an informatics platform for preclinical in vivo drug research, has raised $24 million in Series B funding from earlier Lux Capital and Data Collective, with participation from Dolby Family Ventures, Founders Fund, and Tony Fadell’s Future Shape. More here.
Whistle Sports, a nine-year-old, New York-based digital sports media content company focused on millennials, has raised $28 million in Series D funding led by Aser, with participation from Liberty Media, Emil Capital and WndrCo. Variety has more here.
|World Innovation Lab, a five-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based venture capital firm that was founded by Japanese investor Gen Isayama, has raised $521 million for its second fund, according to an SEC filing. More here. |
Fifth Wall Ventures, a two-year-old, L.A.-based real-estate focused venture firm, is raising $400 million for its second fund and it has at least $100 million in capital commitments so far, shows an SEC filing. We’d introduced you to the firm last year when it closed its $212 million debut fund. More here.
|Elastic, the creator of a data search software that companies buy in order to scan massive documents, data sets and visualizations, has confidentially filed to go public in what will be an initial public offering at a multi-billion dollar valuation, according to Recode. More here.|
|Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Longreads, Simplenote and a few other things, is acquiring nine-year-old, Brooklyn, N.Y.-based startup Atavist, which makes a content management system for independent bloggers and writers. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Atavist had raised a little more than $5 million, judging by SEC filings. TechCrunch has more here.|
|Music producer and rapper Jay-Z has partnered with Larry Marcus, managing director of Walden Venture Capital, on a new venture fund called Marcy Venture Partners, according to business filings. As for the name: Jay Z, legally Shawn Carter, grew up in the Marcy Houses, a housing project in Bedford-Stuyvesant in the ’80s and ’90s. Axios has a bit more here. |
Outcome Health’s former leaders Rishi Shah and Shradha Agarwal have resigned from the company’s board. The two stepped down from daily operations of the startup in January as part of a settlement with big-name investors. The company’s legal troubles followed its first outside fundraising round, which achieved a $5.5 billion valuation. The Chicago Tribune has the skinny here.
The Thiel Foundation today welcomed 20 people into its newest class of Thiel Fellows. Here’s the full list.
|Amazon employees have joined civil rights groups and investors in protesting the company’s sale of facial recognition technology to law enforcement agencies. Dealbook has more here. |
Tesla layoffs are clouding its solar business, reports Reuters.
Apple has finally acknowledged ‘sticky’ keyboard issues on MacBooks, and it’s offering free fixes and refunds for past repairs. 9to5Mac has more here.
|Young Trumpies hit D.C. |
The greatest TV writers rooms ever.
Never make a dry pork chop again.
|See inside Seagram’s heir Matthew Bronfman’s New York City penthouse (because it’s for sale).|