|August! Holy smokes. |
Quick mention/reminder: we’re on a workation at the moment (a truly terrible idea — do not do this).
Meanwhile, next week, we’re taking an actual vacation, meaning we’re shutting down SVC for five days. We’ll miss you, but it has to happen. We’ll resume our normal publishing schedule on Monday, August 16th.:)
|A whistleblower has revealed Google’s plans for censored search in China.|
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|Felicis Ventures Has a New, $270 Million Fund, and a New Managing Director: Victoria Treyger|
|Felicis Ventures, the early-stage, San Francisco-based venture firmed founded a dozen or so years ago by former Googler Aydin Senkut, has closed its sixth fund with $270 million. |
It’s Felicis’s biggest vehicle to date (the firm closed its last fund with $200 million in 2016). Yet even bigger news for the team may be its new managing director, Victoria Treyger, who spent the last six-plus years as the chief revenue office of the online lending company Kabbage and before that, spent a couple of years as the chief marketing officer of RingCentral, the cloud phone system company.
It’s easy to understand the attraction on both sides. Treyger gives the firm greater strength when it comes to marketing and fintech know-how. According to Senkut, Treyger is also acutely interested in health-related opportunities, which, not coincidentally, is a growing area of interest for the firm.
Indeed, he argues, Treyger was being courted aggressively from operating companies wanting to tap her experience as a C-level executive at two separate but fast-growing companies.
That Treyger decided to pursue venture capital surely speaks to an interest in the industry broadly. But Felicis seems like a particularly good fit for her, too. For one thing, Treyger “basically has an equal spot at the table,” according to Senkut. This isn’t always the case with a new hire into a venture firm, even at the most senior level.
Treyger also joins a now four-person leadership team — including Senkut, Sundeep Peechu, and Wesley Chan — that has, in the parlance of the startup world, been crushing it.
Already in 2018, the firm has seen three major exits, including when Adyen, the Amsterdam-based payments platform, went public in June (it currently boasts a $16.3 billion market cap); when Pluralsight, the corporate learning platform, went public on the Nasdaq in May (it’s currently valued at just north of $3 billion); and when Ring, the video doorbell maker, was acquired in March by Amazon for $1 billion. Felicis can — and does — further brag that has enjoyed a $1 billion(ish) exit in each of the last seven years.
|Apeel Sciences, a six-year-old, Santa Barbara, Ca.-based developer of food-based coatings to extend produce freshness, has raised $70 million in Series C funding led by the hedge fund Viking Global Investors, with participation from earlier backers Andreessen Horowitz, Upfront Ventures and S2G Ventures. Bloomberg has more here. |
Bulletproof 360, a four-year-old, Bellevue, Wa.-based food, beverage and content company, just raised more than $40 million in funding led by CAVU Venture Partners, with participation from Trinity Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank. More here.
Clare, a months-old, New York-based direct-to-consumer paint brand, has raised $2 million in seed funding. Investors include First Round Capital, Imaginary Ventures, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Bullish, Able Partners and the founders of both Casper and Harry’s. Fast Company has more here.
Crowdstreet, a five-year-old, Portland, Ore.-based commercial property investment marketplace, has raised $8 million in Series B funding led by Grotech Ventures, with participation from Rally Ventures, Seven Peaks Ventures andGreen Visor Capital. Calcalist has more here.
Evidation Health, a six-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based developer of digital biomarkers, has raised $30 million in Series C funding. SV Health Investors and earlier investor B Capital Group co-led the round; they were joined by GE Ventures and Sanofi Ventures. More here.
Fetch, a two-year-old, Dallas, Tex.-based startup that provides outsourced package receiving and last-mile logistics for apartment buildings, raised $3 million in seed funding led by Silverton Partners, with participation from Capital Factory, Venn Ventures, and multifamily real estate owners and managers. More here.
FloodFlash, a year-old, London-based startup that sells flood insurance, has raised £1.9 million ($2.5 million) in seed funding, including from LocalGlobe, Pentech Ventures and InsurTech Gateway. More here.
Formlabs, a seven-year-old, Somerville, Ma.-based 3D printing startup, has raised $15 million in fresh funding that puts its total raised to date at $100 million and pushes its post-money valuation past $1 billion, says TechCrunch. New Enterprise Associates led the newest round. More here.
Naked Labs, the three-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based startup that makes body-scanning mirrors that build 3D models of users, then alerts them where progress is (and isn’t) being made, has raised $14 million in Series A funding led by Founders Fund, with participation from NEA, Lumia Capital, Venture 51, and Seabed VC, among others. TechCrunch has more here.
NED Biosystems, a 10-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based clinical-stage biotech company that’s developing an oral cancer combination treatment, has raised more than $2 million in Series B funding, including from former investment banker Benjamin Griswold IV. More here.
Pico Interactive, a three-year-old, Beijing, China-based VR hardware startup at work on a standalone headset, has raised $24.7 million in Series A funding led by GF Qianhe and GF Xinde Investment, with participation from Jufeng S&T Venture Investment and others. TechCrunch has more here.
Radar Relay, a 1.5-year-old, Denver, Co.-based wallet-to-wallet decentralized trading platform, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Blockchain Capital, with participation from Tusk Ventures, Distributed Global, Reciprocal Ventures, and Collaborative Fund, among others. More on what the company is working on here.
ReViral, a U.K-based developer of a treatment for respiratory syncytial virus infections, has raised €47 million ($54.9 million) in Series B funding. New Leaf Venture Partners and Novo Ventures co-led the round, with participation from earlier backers Andera Partners, OrbiMed and Brace Pharma Capital. FierceBiotech has more here.
Verana Health, a 10-year-old, San Francisco-based platform that’s setting out to help the life sciences industry enhance clinical studies with analytics and data, has raised $30 million in a Series C funding. GV led the round, with participation from Biomatics Capital, GE Ventures, Lagunita Biosciences, and Brook Byers. VentureBeat has more here.
Xiangwushuo, a 1.5-year-old, Shanghai, China-based mobile app for swapping used goods, has raised $50 million in new funding led by Sequoia Capital. Other backers include Hillhouse Capital, IDG Capital, GGV Capital, Matrix Partners and ZhenFund. China Money Network has more here.
Yellowbrick Data, a four-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based data warehouse startup, has raised $44 million in Series A funding from DFJ, GV, Menlo Ventures,Samsung Ventures and Third Point Ventures. More here.
|Sponsored By . . .|
|Oracle just launched a Startup Growth Program in the U.S., a dedicated initiative to enable startups to scale with Oracle enterprise customers. If you are interested in the equity-free program, you can attend the final Ask Me Anything Webinar on Friday, August 3rd and apply here by August 7th.|
|Carlyle Group just closed its biggest fund yet, raising $18.5 billion as money pours into the private equity industry. More here. |
Golden Gate Ventures, a seven-year-old, Singapore-based firm founded by three Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, is about to close a new, $100 million fund for Southeast Asia, reports TechCrunch. More here.
|DocuSign, the publicly traded e-signature company, is buying SpringCM, a Chicago-based cloud document generation and contract management company, for $220 million in cash. SpringCM had raised $135 million in funding, including from Crestline Investors, Foundation Capital, North Bridge Venture Partners, Square 1 Bank, Bluestem Capital Company and Panorama Point Partners. GeekWire has more here. |
Rubicon Global, an Atlanta-based waste management startup, has acquired RiverRoad Waste Solutions, a New Jersey-based waste and recycling company, according to Fortune. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed, but Fortune calls the move surprising as Rubicon has long marketed itself as the “Uber for trash,” and being a waste brokerage is a descriptor that the company has reportedly resisted. More here.
According to Axios, publicly traded Splunk, which specializes in machine log analysis, has acquired KryptonCloud, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based operations and maintenance systems platform that had raised $2.7 million in seed funding from Costanoa VC, True Ventures, Fuel Capital and Stanford University Venture Fund. Terms haven’t been disclosed (yet).
Internet communications company Vonage Holdings said earlier today that it has acquired TokBox, an 11-year-old, San Francisco-based provider of programmable video services, for $35 million in cash. TokBox had raised approximately $26 million in venture funding, including from Sequoia Capital, SV Angel, Bain Capital Ventures, and DAG Ventures. ZDNet has more here.
|Intel is actively trying to replace Brian Krzanich, the company’s former CEO who abruptly resigned in late June after it was learned that he’d had a consensual relationship with a subordinate. Two new names the company is reportedly considering: Anand Chandrasekher, a former Intel and Qualcomm executive, and Cristiano Amon, Qualcomm’s current president. The Information has more here. |
Martin Tripp, the former Tesla employee who was fired and then sued by the electric vehicle automaker, has filed a lawsuit, alleging statements made by CEO Elon Musk in recent weeks (many in tweet form) defamed him. TechCrunch hasmore here.
|How America uses its land. |
France just banned smartphones in schools during all hours of the day for students under age 15.
|Silicon Valley‘s online lending startups just received a key go-ahead from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which yesterday invited fintech companies to apply for special national charters. While many will probably prefer to partner with established banks (for now), critics already see the move as certain to fuel more predatory lending. |
Tesla, under fire from investors for burning through cash as it ramps up production, is reportedly looking to China to at least partially fund the cost of building its first factory in the world’s fastest-growing auto market, near Shanghai.
Facebook and Instagram now show how many minutes you use them, ostensibly to encourage you to use them less.
|A real-life speedboat heist to rival any movie. |
Ready, aim, hire a “Fortnite” coach for your kids.
Two sets of 24-year-old identical twins had their first date together, became engaged at the same time, and are now preparing to tie the knot this weekend.
|Flip flops made of “sweetfoam.” You can eat them if you get lost on your walkabout.|