|Hi, happy Monday, all. Hope your week is off to a good start.:)|
|Tech shares are losing momentum right now. The Nasdaq Composite Index sank 1.4 percent today, posting its biggest three-day loss since March. The FANG cohort (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) tumbled almost 3 percent, leaving the group down more than 9 percent since Facebook stunning earnings call last week.|
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|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.|
|Optoro Raises $75 Million More to Help Brands Resell Returned and Excess Inventory|
|As the economy has chugged along, so have retail sales, which last year capped their strongest year since 2014. Online sales has been especially brisk, growing 16 percent between 2016 and 2017 alone, according to the U.S. Commerce Department, which estimates that consumers spent $453.5 billion online last year. |
Of course, with every booming market comes supporting cast members that benefit. Such is the case with eight-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based Optoro, which itself just rang up $75 million in new funding. A logistics company, Optoro’s software helps retailers — both online and off — more easily re-sell inventory that has been returned by customers.
That’s a big number. The overall amount of merchandise returned as a percent of total sales last year was 10 percent in 2017, according to the National Retail Federation. In dollars, that’s $351 billion.
Right now, that includes sales from big box retailers and many other “legacy” companies that allow shoppers to buy items — and return them — in their stores. But as online sales rise, so do online returns.
|AntWorks, a three-year-old, Singapore-based business process outsourcing and technology startup operating in the healthcare and financial services spaces, has raised $15 million in Series A funding led by the Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings. The Economic Times has more here. |
Byju, a 10-year-old, Bangalore, India-based company behind an immensely popular K-12 learning app, is in talks with SoftBank and other investors to raise $200 million to $250 million to fund its global expansion plans, according to the Economic Times. The company has previously raised $244 million, including from the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Tencent, Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sofina, Verlinvest, and Times Internet. More here.
C88, a five-year-old, Jakarta, Indonesia-based company that works with financial institutions to help them reach segments of the population that aren’t addressed today, just raised $28 million in Series C funding led by Experian, with participation from DEG, InterVest, FengHe Fund Management, Pelago Capital, Fuchsia VC and earlier backers Monk’s Hill Ventures, Telstra Ventures, Kickstart Ventures and Kejora Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
Grover, a three-year-old, Berlin, Germany-based startup that offers individual tech products via monthly and yearly subscriptions, has raised €37 million ($43.3 million) in Series A funding led by Circularity Capital, with participation from Coparion, Samsung NEXT, Varengold Bank and Commerzbank’s Main Incubator. TechCrunch has more here.
Igengmei, a five-year-old, Beijing, China-based platform company that provides community, e-commerce and financial services to plastic surgery, dental, ophthalmology, and other consumer medical offices, has raised $50 million in Series D-1 funding from Meitu Dianping and DH Fund. China Money Network has more here.
MobLab, a seven-year-old, Pasadena, Ca.-based startup that develops interactive games and experiments that augment high school and college lectures, has raised roughly $3 million in new funding, shows an SEC filing. More here.
Olive, a six-year-old, Columbus, Oh.-based healthcare-focused robotic process automation and artificial intelligence company that streamlines repetitive tasks, has raised $32.8 million in Series D funding, including from Oak HC/FT and Ascension Ventures. More here.
Omniome, a five-year-old, San Diego-based biotech that’s developing a DNA sequencing platform, has raised $60 million in Series B funding led by Decheng Capital and Hillhouse Capital Group, with participation from Lam Research Capital and Nan Fung Life Sciences and earlier backers ARCH Venture Partners, Domain Associates, Biomatics Capital Partners and Altitude Life Science Ventures. More here.
RaiseMe, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based-based incentive program for students to earn financial aid, has raised $15 million in Series B funding led by Teamworthy Ventures, with participation from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Salesforce Ventures and Strada Education Network. Fast Company has more here.
Serverless, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based company whose framework aims to empower developers to build and operate serverless architectures, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. TechCrunch has more here.
Shuttl, a three-year-old, Gurgaon, India-based company whose app is used to find bus seats in India, has raised $11 million in Series B funding led by Amazon India, Amazon Alexa Fund and Dentsu Ventures, with participation from earlier backers Sequoia Capital, Times Internet and Lightspeed Venture Partners. TechCrunch has more here.
SkinVision, a seven-year-old, Amsterdam-based mobile app that tracks skin spots to aid in the early detection of skin cancer and other conditions, has raised $7.6 million in funding, including from LEO Pharma and PHS Fund. More here.
Swift, the parent company of esports organization Team SoloMid, has raised $37 million in a first round of funding. The backers include round leader Bessemer Venture Partners, as well as NBA star Stephen Curry, AME Cloud Ventures, Telstra, Yifang Ventures, Twitch chief strategy officer Colin Carrier, and Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang. Forbes has more here.
Troops, a three-year-old, New York-based Slackbot for sales teams, is raising $12 million in fresh funding and has at raised at least $7.7 million toward the end, shows a new SEC filing. The company has previously raised $9.6 million from investors, including First Round Capital, Felicis Ventures, Slack, and Susa Ventures. More here.
Waldo, a 1.5-year-old, London-based direct-to-consumer contact lens brand, raised £3.7 million ($5 million) in Series A funding, including from PROfounders Capital,YYX Ventures, Tectonic Capital and Tinder co-founders Sean Rad and Justin Mateen. More here.
|Two former managing directors from Sequoia Capital India – V T Bharadwaj and Gautam Mago have joined forces to create a new venture firm called A91 Partners that’s looking to raise the equivalent of $290 million for its debut fund. The idea is to back emerging companies across sectors such as consumer, healthcare, financial services, and technology. Inc 42 has more here. |
A new Bay Area firm called Counterpart Ventures was quietly cofounded five months ago by Patrick Eggen, the former head of U.S. investments for Qualcomm Ventures, and Joe Saijo, the former president of Recruit Strategic Partners, reports Axios. The duo don’t appear to have a site up and running just let, but according to Eggen’s LinkedIn profile, Counterpart is a “stage-agnostic” firm that will write initial checks of between $2 million and $8 million.”
Reach Capital, a three-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based venture fund that invests in early-stage ed-tech startups, has closed on a new, $82 million fund. Forbes hasmore here.
|The bitcoin mining company Bitmain is reportedly planning an IPO. Fortune hasmore here.|
|ARM Holdings, the U.K.-based computer-chip designer owned by SoftBank Group, is reportedly acquiring the privately held, Mountain View, Ca.-based data analytics firm Treasure Data for some $600 million. Treasure Data has raised roughly $54 million in funding from investors, including Scale Venture Partners, Sierra Ventures, and AME Cloud Ventures. Bloomberg has the skinny here.|
|Elon Musk‘s latest offering: $1500 Tesla surfboards. |
An honest Facebook ad by comic John Oliver. Google just promoted its top lawyer — Kent Walker — to senior vice president of global affairs, where he will oversee its policy, legal, trust and safety, and corporate philanthropy teams.
|During the first six months, Chinese private equity and venture capital funds saw fundraising plummeting significantly. Tight liquidity conditions, mostly due to tightened financial regulations, has led to more concentrated investments as GPs become more cautious in where to put capital, says ChinaVenture. China Money Network has more here.|
|Uber’s self-driving trucks division is dead.|
|Feeling off your game? You could be mildly dehydrated. |
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she has “at least another five years” left in her Supreme Court career.
The man behind the global avocado toast phenomenon.
Italian race car as room divider? Why not.
|When you care enough to get the very best for your AirPods and their charging case.|