|Hi, happy Wednesday, all.:)|
|The CEO of Nextdoor, the social network for local neighborhoods, plans to step down from his role after almost eight years, reports Recode. Nirav Tolia, one of Nextdoor’s founders, emailed employees today that he is beginning a search for his own replacement and will move into an “active” chairman role on the company’s board once the new hire is made. Tolia, a serial entrepreneur who has had some ups and downs during his now decades-long career, dismisses any notion that the decision is anyone’s but his own.|
|In a Hot Market for Secondary Shares, One Player, Equidate, Raises $50 Million|
|Equidate, a 4.5-year-old, San Francisco-based marketplace that makes privately held shares available to accredited investors wanting to buy them, is announcing a whopper of a round this morning: $50 million in Series B funding from Financial Technology Partners, Panorama Point Partners, and Operative Capital. The company had earlier raised only very small seed and Series A rounds from renowned investors Scott Banister, Tim Draper, and Peter Thiel.|
The round is entirely unsurprising, given the circle of life for many venture-backed startups, which is to raise capital, raise more capital if your company takes off, then . . . raise even more capital — sometimes a staggering amount — while pushing off an IPO or sale for as long as possible. (At this point, you need to ensure that when you do make a move, your company is valuable enough to return all that money and then some.)
The cycle won’t change any time soon, given the amounts of late-stage capital being raised to support it. Sequoia Capital is well on its way to closing an $8 billion fund. Insight Venture Partners last week closed a $6.3 billion fund. Lightspeed Venture Partners announced $1.8 billion across two new funds earlier this month. Index Ventures closed on two funds totaling $1.65 billion earlier this month index. It goes on and on.
While an interesting and complicated and controversial trend for many reasons, including that many more “unicorns” are being minted than will be giant success stories, the shift toward pushing out potential liquidity events has been very propitious development for secondary players — outfits like Industry Ventures andEquityZen and Saints Capital — that help employees and early investors in privately held companies sell their “pre-IPO” holdings to someone else.
It’s been good news, too, for Equidate, whose profile has been rising behind the scenes, including in part to its role in working with the streaming music service Spotify ahead of its direct public listing in April.
|Alector, a five-year-old, South San Francisco, Ca.-based biotech company hoping to fight Alzheimer’s disease with immunotherapy, has raised $133 million in Series E funding from Deerfield Management, AbbVie Ventures, Federated Kaufmann Fund, Section 32, GV and a dozen other investors. Forbes has more here. |
Awfis Space Solutions, a three-year-old, Mumbai, India-based co-working space company, has raised $20 million in Series C funding from its earlier backers, including Sequoia Capital, The Three Sisters: Institutional Office and InnoVen Capital. The Economic Times has more here.
Ciitizen, a nine-month-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based startup that’s focused on helping cancer patients access their data (and was founded by former Apple Health director Anil Sethi), has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz. CNBC has more here.
ClassPass, the six-year-old, New York-based, monthly gym membership company, has raised $85 million in Series D funding led by earlier backer Temasek, which also led the startup’s Series C round. L Catterton, the private equity firm, also joined the round. TechCrunch has more here.
ColdQuanta, an 11-year-old, Boulder, Co.-based company focused on the development, design, and manufacture of instruments and systems destined for quantum technologies, has raised $6.75 million in a round led by Maverick Ventures and including Global Frontier Investments. TechCrunch has more here.
FinAccel, a three-year-old, Singapore-based digital credit card startup, has raised $30 million in Series B funding led by Square Peg Capital, with participation fromMDI Ventures, Atami Capital and earlier backers Jungle Ventures, Openspace Ventures, GMO Venture Partners, Alpha JWC Ventures and 500 Startups. TechCrunch has more here.
GlobalWebIndex, a nine-year-old, London-based market research company focused on consumer insight data, has raised $40 million from New York growth fund Stripes Group in its first outside round of funding. City A.M. has more here.
Guild Education, a three-year-old, Denver, Co.-based education benefits platform, just raised $40 million in Series C funding led by Felicis Ventures. Other participants in the round include Salesforce Ventures, Workday Ventures,Rethink Impact & Education, SVB and earlier backers Bessemer Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Harrison Metal and Cowboy Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
HealthCrowd, a seven-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based healthcare communications platform-as-a-service, has raised $7.2 million in funding led by TVC Capital, with participation from Startup Capital Ventures and Healthy Ventures. MobiHealthNews has more here.
Impraise, a four-year-old, New York-based maker of feedback and performance software, has raised $10.6 million in Series A funding led by Keen Venture Partners, with participation from other investors, including HenQ. More here.
Metromile, a seven-year-old, Tempe, Az.-based car insurance platform that allows drivers to pay based on their actual number of hours on the road, has raised $90 million in Series E funding co-led by insurance giants Tokio Marine Holdings and Intact Financial. Other participants in the round include NEA, Index Ventures, Future Fund, and Section 32. VentureBeat has more here.
Patientco, a 10-year-old, Atlanta, Ga.-based patient billing and payments tech company, just raised $28 million in Series B funding led by Accel-KKR, with participation from earlier backers BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners /Sandbox Advantage Fund. More here.
Prescient, an 11-year-old, Durham, N.C-based design and building platform that uses a patented light-gauge and cold-rolled steel structural system and framing technology, has raised $50 million in Series E funding led by Eldridge Industries. More here.
RFPIO, a three-year-old, Beaverton, Ore.-based startup that develops request-for-proposal response automation software, has raised $25 million from K1 Investment Management. GeekWire has more here. Siemplify, a three-year-old, New York-based maker of security operations and incident response software, has raised $14 million in Series B funding led by Jump Capital, with participation from G20 Ventures and 83North. Reuters has more here.
Tally, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based automated debt-managing app, has raised $25 million in Series B funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Earlier investors Shasta Ventures, Cowboy Ventures, and Sway Ventures, also participated. More here.
TradeGecko, a six-year-old, Singapore-based SaaS inventory and order management platform for small- and mid-size businesses, has raised $10 million in Series B funding led by Aura Group, with participation from Perle Ventures and 33 Capital. More here.
VSiN, a year-old, Las Vegas, Nv.-based provider of sports betting information content that was founded by CBS sportscaster Brent Musburger, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from SeventySix Capital. Technical.ly Philly has more here.
Zorroa, a four-year-old, Berkeley, Ca.-based visual search and analysis platform, has raised $7 million led by Gradient Ventures. More here.
|SaaS Capital, an 11-year-old, Cincinnati, Oh.-based firm that offers debt-based growth financing as alternative for SaaS companies (instead of venture debt, venture capital, or term loans), is looking to raise $75 million for its third fund, shows a new SEC filing. The outfit had closed its second fund with $58 million in capital commitments in 2015. More here.|
|China Tower, the world’s largest telecoms tower operator, held a news conference yesterday about its Hong Kong IPO of up to $8.7 billion. The offering could eventually be the world’s biggest listing in four years. Reuters has more here.|
|The publicly traded food ordering company Grubhub says it’s acquiring seven-year-old, Boston-based LevelUp, a company whose tech platform manages digital ordering, payments, and loyalty programs on behalf of customers like KFC and Taco Bell. LevelUp had raised $108 million from investors, including Highland Capital Partners, GV, and Balderton Capital, according to Crunchbase. Grubhub is paying $390 million in cash. TechCrunch has more here.|
|Lyft has hired Karim Bousta, Tesla’s now-former VP of worldwide service and customer experience, to serve as its VP of driver experience operations. TechCrunch has more here. |
Pinterest’s head of engineering, Li Fan, is leaving the company to become head of engineering of scooter company Lime, reports CNBC. Fan was previously the head of Google Image search.
Eric Holder, the attorney general under President Obama who last year led a sexual harassment investigation at Uber, is considering running for U.S. president, he confirmed yesterday.
Sergio Marchionne, the executive who pulled two ailing carmakers from the brink of collapse and led the improbable transformation of Fiat Chrysler into an automotive giant, died earlier today at age 66. More here.
Facebook’s chief legal officer Colin Stretch has announced he’ll be out by the end of the year. On Facebook, he said that he and his wife made a decision to move back to Washington from California “a few years ago . . . we knew it would be difficult for me to remain in this role indefinitely.”
|Millennials think cash is the best long-term investment. Unsurprisingly, they’re not seeing good returns, reports Bloomberg. According to a survey conducted for Bankrate.com that culled data from 1,000 Americans age 18 to 37, almost one in three said cash instruments like savings accounts are the best place to invest money they won’t need for the next 10 years. More here.|
|Venmo is really lousy at keeping secrets. |
Dropbox just made it easier to find your files in Gmail.
|The mistakes you make in a meeting’s first milliseconds. |
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The best beer cocktails for your summer drinking needs.
|Forget those other guys. Buy and rent your own damn dockless e-scooters. (Note, you may need to convince a city to give you a permit first.)|