|Hello! Happy Thursday.:)|
|Cisco says it’s paying $2.35 billion in cash and equity awards for eight-year-old, Ann Arbor, Mi-based Duo Security, a company that sells cloud-based tools to prevent security breaches on devices. Duo, which employs 700 people, had raised $121 million from investors, including GV, True Ventures, and Redpoint. TechCrunch has more on what happens next here. |
It happened. Apple jus won the race to $1 trillion in market capitalization (though it has since slipped back into hundreds-of-billions-of-dollars territory).
|Sponsored By . . .|
|Fight climate change, and make money at the same time? Introducing Wunder Capital, the award-winning investment platform that allows individuals to invest in solar energy projects across the U.S. With Wunder, you can earn up to 7.5% annually while helping to finance renewable energy projects. Learn more here.|
|HR Startup Namely, Once a High Flier, Gets $60 Million and a New CEO|
|Namely, a 400-person, six-and-a-half-year-old company, has mostly had the kind of trajectory that other startups envy. Mostly. |
The startup’s mobile-first platform — which sells payroll, talent management, and other HR services to mid-size businesses across the U.S. via subscription software — has for years been seen as among New York’s most promising businesses. Investors like True Ventures and Lerer Hippeau (not to mention a very long list of angel investors) poured into the company’s early rounds and sang its praises. Last year, Forbes included the company on its list of 100 top cloud startups.
The abrupt firing of the company’s cofounder and CEO, Matt Straz, back in May, cast a bit of a cloud over the company. Straz, who’d built the company from the ground up, was let go following an investigation into actions “inconsistent with that which is expected of Namely leadership,” the company told employees at the time.
In a series of calls with investors yesterday, none would elaborate on Straz’s alleged behavior, preferring to reiterate the company’s earlier talking points. (We weren’t able yesterday to reach Straz, who has deleted his LinkedIn account and seemingly abandoned Facebook for now.)
Still, credit is due for moving Namely forward more quickly than at other HR startups that — coincidentally and strangely — have also parted ways with their founding CEOs over HR issues. (Think Zenefits and Betterworks.)
|Altru, a year-old, New York-based company that powers shareable web pages for companies that highlight videos of employees answering questions that potential hires might ask, has raised $1.3 million in seed funding. Birchmere Ventures led the round. TechCrunch has more here. |
DreamBox Learning, a 12-year-old, Bellevue, Wa.-based education software company, has raised $130 million in funding from TPG‘s Rise Fund – – more than triple the amount that the company had raised previously. The Seattle Times has more here.
Grab, the six-year-old, Singapore-based ride-hailing service that struck a deal to take Uber out of Southeast Asia, has pulled in $2 billion in new capital, a figure that includes a $1 billion investment from Toyota that was announced in June, as well as includes a host of other investors. Among them: OppenheimerFunds, Ping An Capital, Mirae Asset — Naver Asia Growth Fund, Cinda Sino-Rock Investment Management Company, All-Stars Investment, Vulcan Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Macquarie Capital. TechCrunch has more here.
HYAS, a three-year-old, Victoria, British Columbia-based startup that sells its cybersecurity tools to infosec and cybersecurity professionals to help them detect and defend their data, just raised $6.2 million in Series A funding led by M12, Microsoft’s venture fund. Other participants in the round include Startup Capital Ventures, 205 Capital, the investment firm Wesley Clover and several high-profile cybersecurity professionals. More here.
InVia Robotics, a three-year-old, Westlake Village, Ca.-based startup that provides fulfillment centers with automated robotics tech, has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Point72 Ventures, with participation from Upfront Ventures and Embark Ventures. VentureBeat has more here.
MDLive, a nine-year-old, Sunrise, Fl.-based telemedicine company, has raised $50 million in growth funding from Cigna, Health Care Service Corporation andHealth Velocity Capital. Novo Holdings A/S and Industry Ventures also participated. MedCity News has more here.
Peel Away Labs, a five-year-old, New York-based developer of multi-layered peel away disposable bed sheets (you remove a layer to discover a “fresh soft layer underneath”), has raised $1.3 million in funding from investors that include New York Venture Partners and Alpine Meridian Ventures. More here.
Quantexa, a two-year-old, London-based company whose AI software helps financial services firms spot money laundering, fraud, and terrorist funding, has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Dawn Capital, with participation from HSBC and Albion Capital. The Financial Times has more here.
RideOS, a year-old, San Francisco-based transportation marketplace and mapping tech company, has raised $25 million in Series B funding round led by Next47, the venture arm of Siemens, with participation from Singapore-based ST Ventures and earlier backer Sequoia Capital. The company has now raised $34 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.
Shedul, a three-year-old, London-based online booking platform for salons and spas, has raised $5 million in funding led by Berlin’s Target Global, with participation from FJ Labs and numerous individual investors. TechCrunch has more here.
Test.ai, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based maker of software development “test bots” to speed mobile app testing for developers, has raised $11 million in Series A funding led by Gradient Ventures, Google‘s AI-focused venture fund. Other participants in the round include e.ventures, Uncork Capital and Zetta Venture Partners. More here.
WeeCare, a 1.5-year-old, L.A.-based company that’s selling its curriculum to caregivers looking to manage their own daycare centers, has raised $4.2 million in seed funding led by Social Capital, with participation from Fuel 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. (Psst, that’s coming up fast.)|
|Thrive Capital, the nine-year-old, New York-based venture capital firm co-run byJoshua Kushner, may raise up to $1 billion for an upcoming fund, says the WSJ, which had reported on a similar tip back in April. Thrive closed its fifth flagship vehicle with $700 million in 2016. More here.|
|Siemens, the giant German technology company, has acquired Mendix, the popular low-code application development platform, for roughly $700 million. Mendix, which was founded in the Netherlands but now has its headquarters in Boston, will continue to operate independently, but Siemens will use its technology to accelerate its own cloud, IoT and digital enterprise ambitions. Mendix had raised about $38 million from investors, including Battery Ventures, Prime Venturesand HENQ Invest. TechCrunch has more here.|
|Sonos, the Santa Barbara, Ca.-based maker of smart speaker systems, raised $208 million in its IPO, pricing 13.9 million shares at $15 (below its original range of $17 to $19). The shares are trading at $18.49 as of this writing. Among the company’s biggest shareholders are KKR (which owned 25.7 percent of the company, going into the offering), Index Ventures (which owned 13 percent) and Redpoint Ventures (which owned roughly 5 percent). Accredited investors have been buying and selling the company’s shares on the secondary market for the past several years. EquityZen, one of the platforms they used, has some analysis on the company here.|
|Alex Stamos, Facebook’s chief security officer since 2015, said yesterday that he is leaving the company to take a position at Stanford University. Rumors surfaced back in March that Stamos was likely to leave the company. More here.|
|Bitcoin’s use in commerce keeps falling, even as volatility eases.|
|Warn your pre-teens. Musical.ly, the short video app that’s popular among teens and young people, is going away. Kinda. The app and all user data and accounts is being merged with Tiktok, a sister app that’s owned by ByteDance, the Chinese company that acquired Musical.ly for around $1 billion last year. TechCrunch has more here. |
Growing up Jobs — Lisa Jobs. “I have a secret.” (In Vanity Fair.)
|The history behind eight famous tongue twisters. |
Tony Shalhoub on “Fresh Air.”
|A 350-square-foot apartment priced at $750,000(!).|