|Hi, happy Thursday, all.:)|
|Project ‘Fuchsia’: Google is quietly working on a successor to Android.|
|Sponsored By . . .|
|Investors from top VC firms like Union Square Ventures and Bessemer read The Altcoin Transmission to stay on top of the latest trends in cryptocurrency. Click here to subscribe now and have a chance to win three best-selling cryptocurrency books.|
|Worried About a Slowdown? It Already Happened in 2016, Says One New Venture Study|
|In today’s market, it’s hard to make sense of what’s what. Deals have grown incestuous for the first time, with outfits like GV investing alongside Uber last week — just months after its parent company, Alphabet, was at Uber’s throat. A $10 million-plus round of seed funding is no longer a joke. Venture firms continue to raise record-breaking amounts of money, despite what feels like creeping uncertainty about how much longer this go-go market can continue.|
Unsurprisingly, there’s been some talk lately about deal flow and the possibility that some of the most well-regarded early-stage investors in the industry have quietly applied the brakes. Yet new analysis out of Wing, the 7.5-year-old, Silicon Valley venture firm co-founded by veteran VCs Peter Wagner and Gaurav Garg, draws a conclusion that might surprise nervous industry watchers. After tracking the investment activity of what Wing considers to be the 21 leading venture firms, it discovered that a pullback already happened . . . in 2016. In fact, Wagner, who oversaw the analysis, tells us there’s been so sign of a slowdown since then.
We caught up with Wagner last week to learn more about Wing’s findings — and what might be causing some confusion in the industry right now.
First, why do this kind of study right now?
There’s been a lot of analysts and reporters and LPs and VCs asking us about our investment pace lately, and I think it owes to talk of Benchmark and Union Square Ventures slowing down, so we thought we’d look at some parameters and see what’s going on.
Why not just refer to industry-wide statistics? It seems like there are plenty of these.
They’re kind of swamped with the data of less discriminating investors, though. You really want to focus on the signal, which is why we track what the 21 leading venture firms are doing.
|BookMyShow, an 11-year-old, Indian online entertainment ticketing service, raised $100 million in Series D funding led by TPG Growth. TechCrunch has more here. |
Embark, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based self-driving trucking technology company (whose CEO, Alex Rodrigues, dazzled the crowd at one our StrictlyVC events last year), just raised $30 million in Series B funding led by Sequoia Capital. Forbes has more here.
Even.com, a four-year-old, Oakland, Ca.-based financial app that helps users pay their bills, balance their budgets and invest and save, has raised $40 million in Series B funding led by earlier investor Khosla Ventures. The company has now raised $50.5 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.
Fattmerchant, a four-year-old, Orlando, Fla.-based payment tech company for small business owners, has raised $10.5 million in Series C funding led by Fulcrum Equity Partners. Framebridge, a four-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based custom framing startup, has raised $30 million in Series C funding led by T. Rowe Price, with participation from earlier backers NEA, SWaN & Legend Venture Partners and Revolution Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
Giant Oak, a six-year-old, Arlington, Va.-based threat protection platform for government and financial services organizations, has raised $10 million in growth funding led by Edison Partners. More here.
Kenzie Academy, a 1.5-year-old, Indianapolis, Ia.-based user experience design and coding school, has raised $4.2 million in seed funding led by ReThink Education. More here.
Lifebit, a 1.5-year-old, London-based startup that’s promising reproducible genomics analysis in minutes, has raised $3 million in seed funding led by Pentechand Connect Ventures, with participation from Beacon Capital and Tiny VC. TechCrunch has more here.
Orbex, a three-year-old, London-based spaceflight company that’s constructing a lighter orbital launch vehicle to deliver small satellites into Earth’s orbit, has raised £30 million ($39.6 million) in public and private funding. Backers include Sunstone Capital, High-Tech Gründerfonds, Elecnor Deimos Space, the UK Space Agency, the European Space Agency and the European Commission Horizon 2020 program. More here.
Proggio, a two-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based maker of cloud-based project management software, has raised $2 million in funding led by Mangrove Capital Partners. More here.
Quantapore, an eight-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based high-throughput DNA sequencing platform, has raised $15.6 million in new funding led by Northern Light VC, with participation from Tsingyuan Ventures, Sangel Venture Capital, Baidu Ventures and Cloudstone VC. More here.
Reali, a three-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based real estate platform that replaces traditional real estate transaction fees with a flat-fee model, has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Zeev Ventures, with participation from Signia Venture Partners. TechCrunch has more here.
Swivel, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based online service where companies can find and design their own plug-and-play workspace and pay for it on flexible terms, raised $4.75 million in seed funding led by First Round Capital. Other investors in the round include Fuel Capital, Correlation Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Hack VC, Capital Factory, Abstract Ventures, and earlier backers Floodgate and Next Coast Ventures. More here.
The Ken, a two-year-old, Bengaluru, India-based subscription business news site, has raised $1.5 million in Series A funding led by Omidyar Network. VC Circle hasmore here.
|Insight Venture Partners, the 23-year-old, New York-headquartered venture and private equity firm, has raised $6.3 billion for its latest — and largest ever — fund, as technology investors continue to amass increasingly large war chests. TechCrunch has more here. |
Valor Equity Partners, the 23-year-old, Chicago-based, growth-focused private equity firm, has raised $1.05 billion for its fourth fund. Some of the firm’s venture bets include Bird, Harbor, and Chowly (whose newest funding we linked to last Friday). Pensions & Investments has more here.
|China Tower, a four-year-old, Beijing China-based mobile infrastructure firm, plans to raise up to $8.8 billion in an IPO in Hong Kong, says Reuters. More here. |
Canadian medical marijuana company Tilray made its debut on the Nasdaq today — becoming the first pure-play marijuana company to go public on a major U.S. exchange. CNBC has more here.
|Knotel, a 2.5-year-old, New York-based office rental service that has raised $95 million from investors, is reportedly on the cusp of acquiring 42Floors, a seven-year-old, Francisco-based commercial real estate search engine that had raised $17.4 million from investors, including NEA, Bessemer Venture Partners,Initialized Capital and Thrive Capital. TechCrunch has more here.|
|Food delivery startup DoorDash has named Prabir Adarkar as chief financial officer, poaching the most senior leader of Uber’s finance department. Bloomberg has more here. |
L.A.-based angel investor Paige Craig has stepped down from his post at the e-scooter company Bird just four months after joining the company on a full-time basis, he tells Axios. We’d been in touch with Craig about something separately yesterday morning, and he characterized Bird as “just one of my projects. I’m spending my time with a couple of growth-stage companies these days.”
Tom Gruber, Siri’s last remaining cofounder, is out at Apple, reports The Information.
Alex Lim has been promoted to vice president at IVP. Lim joined the firm in 2015 as a principal focused on later-stage deals. He’d previously worked in the tech investment banking group of Credit Suisse.
|E.ventures, the global early-stage venture firm, is looking to hire an analyst. The job is in San Francisco.|
|Fukushima’s nuclear signature was just found in California wine made at the time. Gulp. |
Best Buy should be dead, but it’s thriving in the age of Amazon.
|The messy future of connected bathrooms. |
The untold story of Lung King Heen, the world’s first Michelin three-star Chinese restaurant.
|Here’s the story of the Brady Bunch home in Studio City, Ca., now for sale for$1.9 million.|