|Happy Monday! (It’s been insanely busy for us.) |
Quick thanks to our newest partner in our upcoming StrictlyVC event on Tuesday night, September 25th: MobSquad, which helps startups address talent gaps by equipping them with remote technical talent who are full-time employees.
Thanks also to Norwest Venture Partners for generously hosting us at its beautiful South Park space, and to our very first partner in the evening, KCPR, a boutique public relations and strategy firm specializing in venture capital and startup clients founded by Silicon Valley publicist Kelsey Cullen.
Working on a number of stories already this week that we’ll bring your way shortly. So much for it being one of those sleepy summer weeks.:)
|Oh, good. Another rose ceremony. |
Chetan Puttagunta just joined Benchmark Capital as its newest general partner. Bill Gurley, one of the firm’s earliest investors (and its most renowned), has more on the hiring here. Puttagunta spent the last seven years focused on enterprise software at NEA.
Uber just named Scott Schools, a former top attorney at the U.S. Justice Department, as its chief compliance officer. Uber is hoping that Schools, a top advisor to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein before stepping down last week, can keep the company out of hot soup. More here.
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|There’s a New, $100 Million Fund Expressly for Women Founders of Color|
|When Richelieu Dennis came to the U.S. from his home in Liberia to attend Babson College, he wasn’t expecting to stay. But unable to return home owing to the first Liberian civil war, stay he did, building the personal care products company SheaMoisture with his college roommate Nyema Tubman in Harlem and later establishing a larger holding company, Sundial Brands, that would oversee a suite of product lines focused on women of color. Among them, SheaMoisture, Nyakio, Nubian Heritage, and Madame C.J. Walker, named after a philanthropist and social activist and one of the earliest female founders of color. (Walker, the daughter of slaves, died a wealthy woman at the age of 51 in 1919, after herself developing a line of beauty and hair products for black women.) |
All that hard work was seemingly rewarded when last year, consumer goods giant Unilever acquired Sundial for undisclosed terms. In a unique twist, the deal should fuel the companies of future founders of color, too.
|Anchanto, a six-year-old, Singapore-based global e-commerce selling and logistics platform, has raised $4 million in Series C funding led by Telkom Indonesia’s corporate venture capital arm, MDI Ventures. Inc 42 has more here. |
Cell-Ed, a four-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based mobile learning software for low-skilled workers, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding led by Lumina Impact Ventures with participation from Strada Education Innovation Fund, Partners Group Impact and Twilio.org Impact Fund. More here.
DeepMap, a two-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based company that makes down-to-the-inch maps tailor-made for autonomous vehicles, is reportedly in talks to raise up to $60 million in fresh cash from Alibaba, Didi Chuxing and automaker BAIC Group, in a deal that would value the company as high as $430 million. The Information has the story here.
Kyligence, a two-year-old, Shanghai, China-based data analysis company, has raised $15 million in third round funding led by Eight Roads, with participation from Redpoint, Cisco, China Broadband Capital and Shunwei Capital. More here.
Lime, the 15-month-old, San Francisco-based e-bike and e-scooter company, has raised $335 million in fresh funding at a post-money valuation of $1.1 billion. GV, which had also led Uber’s Series C round back in 2013 (and whose parent company, Alphabet, was more recently embroiled in a since-resolved legal battle with Uber), is co-investing in the company alongside . . . Uber. Very notably, Uber also says it will feature Lime on its mobile app and put its branding on Lime scooters. Bloomberg has more here.
Moneybox, a three-year-old, London-based mobile savings and investment app, has raised £14 million ($18.7 million) in Series B funding led by Eight Roads, with participation from Oxford Capital Partners and Samos Investments. UKTN has more here.
Oasis Labs, a year-old, Berkeley, Ca.-based provider of cloud computing platform for the blockchain, raised $45 million in funding, including from a16zcrypto, Accel,Binance, Polychain Capital, Metastable, and Bitmain. TechCrunch has more here on why so many crypto investors are excited about this deal.
Secoo Holding Limited, a 10-year-old, Shanghai, China-based, publicly traded (on Nasdaq) online luxury fashion retailer, has received $175 million in funding from L Catterton Asia, the Asian unit of global consumer-focused private equity firm, and JD.com. The deal ostensibly offers Secoo a chance to collaborate with other L Catterton porfolio companies and boost its recognition internationally. WWD has more here, though you’ll need a subscription.
Sportradar, an 18-year-old, Saint Gallen, Switzerland-based company that analyzes and leverages the power of sports data, has two new minority owners: Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the growth equity firm TCV. The two outfits are buying their new stake from the private equity firm EQT and certain minority shareholders in a deal that values Sportradar at $2.4 billion. Legal Sports Report has more here.
Topbox, a three-year-old, Potomac, Md.-based company that helps businesses understand how their customers experience their products and where they run into issues by analyzing voice and text chats, has raised $5 million in funding.Telescope Partners led the round, with participation from Cascade Angels,Flyover Capital and the Maryland Venture Fund. TechCrunch has more here.
|Abingworth, the 45-year-old, London-based private equity and venture capital firm, raised $315 million for its latest fund, Abingworth Bioventures VII. The firm intends to use the capital to fund life sciences companies in both the U.S. and Europe. More here. |
Aligned Partners, a seven-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based early-stage venture firm, is looking to raise up to $50 million for its third fund, shows a new SEC filing. You can get a better understanding of the firm’s thinking through this sit-down with cofounder Jodi Sherman Jahic that we’d written some time ago. More here.
Index Ventures, the 22-year-old, international venture firm with offices in San Francisco, London and Geneva, has raised $1.65 billion across two new funds, including a $1 billion vehicle for later-stage, growth rounds, and $650 million that it plans to put into earlier rounds for smaller startups. The venture fund is Index’s ninth; the growth round is its fourth since it was founded in 1996. TechCrunch has more here.
Tribe Capital is the name of a new Bay Area fund being assembled by three former Social Capital investors, says Business Insider. Its founders include Arjun Sethi, a former Social Capital investment partner; Jonathan Hsu, Social Capital’s former head of data science; and Ted Maidenberg, a founding partner of Social Capital who left the firm amid a wave of departures and changes in strategy. More here.
|Autodesk has has acquired Assemble Systems, a startup that has built a platform to help plan and run building projects — and more generally building information management (BIM) — across the network of people and jobs involved. Terms of the deal are not being disclosed as Autodesk says the value is not material to its previous guidance. Autodesk had led Assemble’s Series A last year, so it was already a strategic investor in the startup. TechCrunch has more here.|
|Jefferies’ former top banker in Asia is joining Block.one, the firm behind a recent $4 billion cryptocurrency offering. Michael Alexander, who until recently was Asia CEO at Jefferies, will head Block.one’s venture capital arm. Bloomberg has more here. |
Google co-founder Sergey Brin says he’s been mining ethereum with his son.
Recode founder Kara Swisher will begin writing for the New York Times as a contributor later this summer.
|About 56 percent of crypto startups that raise money through token sales die within four months(!) of their initial coin offerings, according to a new Boston College study. More here. |
In related news, more than a year after Bancor raised $153 million in an initial coin offering (ICO), representing the largest token sale of its kind at the time, it’s saying today that $13.5 million was stolen from its platform following a “security breach” that took place earlier today.
Samsung has opened the world’s largest mobile phone factory in India, in a win for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship program to lure investors to manufacture in the South Asian nation. Bloomberg has more here.
|Spiders can fly hundreds of miles using electricity. |
Sacha Baron Cohen gets Dick Cheney to sign his “waterboard kit.”
Guy Trolls His Neighborhood With Fake Posters, and People Aren’t Sure If He’s For Real.
|If a Segway and an electric scooter had a baby.|