|Friday! [Rides bicycle into sunset.] |
Hope you have a terrific weekend, everyone. We’ll see you Monday.:)
If you’re looking for a distraction in the next couple of days, this week’s “Equity” podcast, with our charming co-hosts Alex Wilhelm of Crunchbase News and Matthew Lynley of TechCrunch, along with the very funny Alexis Ohanian of both Reddit and Initialized Capital, is here.
|Twitter shares plunged dramatically today after the company disclosed that it lost one million monthly users between the first and second quarters of this year, and said it expected a continued drop-off as it works to eradicate spam bots, fake accounts, and other garbage on the platform. Bloomberg and TechCrunch have more here and 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.|
|A First of Its Kind, Direct-to-Consumer, Urine-Testing App (with FDA Clearance)|
|Urinary tract infections are highly uncomfortable and distracting, and they are very common for women because of the female anatomy. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, many women experience more than one infection during their lifetimes. |
Many of the afflicted try resolving the infection on their own — using heating pads, drinking more water, taking pain medications. But often, these infections become quickly more advanced, a doctor is called, an in-patient visit is made, and the whole terrible episode is only ended after a trip to the pharmacy for some antibiotics. Until now, at least.
A young San Francisco-based startup called Scanwell Health just this week began selling directly to consumers the first and, for now, the only FDA-cleared urine testing app that allows someone to test their urine at home using a test strip and their camera phone. (It uses sophisticated color metrics to analyze the strip and determine what’s what.)
The kits are just $5. A call to Scanwell to confirm the results — it relies on outside physicians — will cost another $25. But that prescription service will also call in an order for antibiotics immediately if there’s an infection. (Users can also order the antibiotics, but it takes a couple of days for them to arrive.)
The startup — which has so far raised just $120,000 from Y Combinator but will be looking to raise a round soon — was founded by Stephen Chen, a Harvard MBA who has the kind of backstory that makes investors slobber.
|Improbable, the six-year-old, London-based startup that has developed a platform for third parties to build vast virtual and simulated worlds, just doubled its valuation to $2 billion after raising $50 million in strategic funding from the Chinese gaming giant NetEase, which bought both primary and secondary shares. Business Insider has more here. |
RaiseMe, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based college readiness platform, has raised $15 million in funding led by Teamworthy Ventures, with participation from The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Salesforce Ventures, and Strada Education Network. Fast Company has more here.
Survata, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based advertising measurement and market research company, has raised $14 million in Series B funding led by Conductive Ventures, with participation from Industry Ventures, Uncork Capital, PivotNorth, Ridge Ventures, Bloomberg Beta and Initialized Capital. More here.
Sutro Biopharma, a 15-year-old, South San Francisco-based cancer therapeutics company, has raised $85.4 million in Series E funding co-led by Samsara BioCapital and Surveyor Capital, with participation from Merck, Eventide, Nexthera Capital, Vida Ventures, Tekla Capital and return backers Alta Partners, Amgen Ventures, Celgene, Lilly Ventures, Skyline Ventures and SV Health Investors. FierceBiotech has more here.
Tikin Media, a 1.5-year-old, Beijing, China-based in-building advertising company, has raised $18 million in new funding led by Sequoia Capital China, with participation from IDG Capital. China Money Network has more here.
WeWork, the eight-year-old, New York-headquartered global network of shared work and living spaces, has raised $500 million in fresh funding for its Chinese subsidiary from Trustbridge Partners, Temasek, SoftBank, SoftBank Vision Fund and Hony Capital. TechCrunch has more here.
|Investors are still betting on fast growth in China’s more rural cities, if Pinduoduo’s IPO offering yesterday is anything to go by. From Fortune: “Sometimes dubbed the Groupon of China, discount e-commerce company Pinduoduo soared 36 percent on its first day of trading Thursday, after raising $1.63 billion in an offering of American Depository Receipts priced at $19 a share. That gives the three-year-old company a fully diluted valuation of about $32.4 billion.”More here.|
|Slack has agreed to acquire two competing products from Atlassian — Hipchat and Stride — in exchange for shares in the company. The move seems to signal the end of the office messaging wars, with Slack emerging victorious. Techcrunch has more here.|
|People Yesterday, the SEC rejected, again, a proposal for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund from the Winklevoss brothers, but one commissioner dissented, warning that the decision “sends a strong signal that innovation is unwelcome in our markets.” Axios has more here.|
|Publicly traded Twilio is looking to hire a corporate development associate. The job is in San Francisco.|
|Essential Reads The parent company of MoviePass got a hastily arranged short-term loan to resume operating after failing to pay key business partners, and customers werebarred from theaters yesterday and today.|
|Detours Motherhood in the age of fear. |
Everything we know (so far) about season three of “The Crown.”
The plot thickens!
|Forty things on sale today that you could maybe want to buy.|