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Posts Tagged ‘Silicon Valley Business Journal’

The Funded: 16 VC-backed businesses raise nearly $650M in Bay Area deals

By  – TechFlash Editor, Silicon Valley Business Journal

Nearly $650 million in funding was disclosed by 16 Bay Area startups at midweek, along with a pair of M&A deals and new venture funds.

Here are the details:

Funding

• Coinbase Inc., San Francisco, $300 million: This digital currency wallet and platform is now Y Combinator’s fifth most valuable alumni after getting an $8 billion post-money valuation in this round led by Tiger Global Management. It was joined by Y Combinator’s Continuity fund, Wellington Management, Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital. Read more here.

• Deliv Inc., Menlo Park, $40 million: Investors in the Series C round of this crowdsourced same-day delivery service include Google, Clayton Venture Partners, UPS, General Catalyst Partners, The Macerich Company, PivotNorth Capital, RPM Ventures and Upfront Ventures.

• Handshake, San Francisco, $40 million: EQT Ventures led the Series C funding of this career network for U.S. college students. It was joined by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Omidyar Network and Reach Capital.

• The Athletic Media Co., San Francisco, $40 million: Founders Fund and Bedrock Capital co-led the Series C funding of this digital sports media startup. They were joined by Comcast Ventures, Evolution Media Capital, Courtside Ventures, The Chernin Group, YC, Advancit, Luminari, Amasia and BDMI.

• Quid Inc., San Francisco, $37.5 million: REV Ventures led round for this provider of a platform for analyzing large volumes of text. It was joined by Julian Robertson, Henry Kravis, Lixil Group, Artis Ventures, Salesforce Ventures and Founders Fund.

• AppZen Inc., San Jose, $35 million: Lightspeed Venture Partners led the Series B funding of this AI-powered expense report auditing automation startup that was featured in The Pitch four years ago. It was joined by return backers Redpoint Ventures and Resolute Ventures. (Read more here.)

• Ethos Technologies Inc., San Francisco, $35 million:  Accel Partners led the Series B funding of this life insurance company. It was joined by investors including GV (formerly Google Ventures), Sequoia Capital and Arrive.

• Concord Worldwide Inc., San Francisco, $25 million: Tenaya Capital led the Series B round of this contract management platform provider. It was joined by Alven and CRV.

• Clear Labs Inc., Menlo Park, $21 million: Menlo Ventures led the Series B2 round of this food safety testing platform provider. It was joined by Wing VC, Dentsu Ventures, Felicis Ventures and Khosla Ventures.

• HeadSpin Inc., Mountain View, $20 million: Investors in the Series B round of this mobile app performance software startup include Iconiq Capital, Battery Ventures and EQT Ventures. The round was reportedly done at a valuation of $500 million.

• Sentieo Inc., San Francisco, $19 million: Centana Growth Partners led the Series A round of this financial research platform.

• Waterline Data Inc., Mountain View, $14.5 million: Menlo Ventures led the Series C round of this provider of data cataloging solutions and applications. It was joined by investors including Jackson Square Ventures, Partech Ventures and Infosys.

• Intabio Inc., Newark, $9.5 million: Northpond Ventures led the Series A round of this analytical platform provider for the development of biotherapeutic drugs. It was joined by investors including Genoa Ventures and Vertical Venture Partners.

• ZypMedia, San Francisco, $5.6 million: Archer Venture Capital led the Series C round of this creator of a programmatic advertising platform built specifically for media companies. It was joined by investors including U.S. Venture Partners and Sinclair Broadcast Group.

• Visla Labs, San Francisco, $3 million: Lux Capital led the seed round for this radiology diagnostics platform provider.

• Aura Health Inc., San Francisco, $2.7 million: Cowboy Ventures and Reach Capital co-led the seed round of this emotional well-being app provider. 

M&A

• San Francisco-based Atlassian Corp. plc (NASDAQ:TEAM) agreed to sell Jitsi, an open-source chat and videoconferencing tool it bought in 2015, to San Jose-based 8×8 Inc. (NYSE: EGHT).

Carbon Health, a San Francisco-based platform for ongoing care management and virtual appointments, has merged with Direct Urgent Care, a network of Northern California urgent care centers. Carbon Health raised $6.5 million from investors who include Builders VC. (Read more here.)

Funders in the news

• Palo Alto-based True Ventures raised $350 million for its sixth early stage fund and $285 million for its Select Fund.

• Larry Cook joined Omidyar Network as head of fund operations. He previously was Intel Capital’s finance director.

•  Lynne Chou-O’Keefe, who has invested in healthcare for five years at Kleiner Perkins, has raised $50 million for a new firm she is forming called Define Ventures.

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The Funded: 5 Bay Area startups raise over $100M, Google buys one from Santa Clara

By  – TechFlash Editor, Silicon Valley Business Journal

Five Bay Area startups disclosed more than $100 million in funding at week’s end and Google bought another one.

Here are the details.

Parsable Inc., San Francisco, $40 million: Future Fund led the Series C round for this provider of a digital workflow platform for deskless industrial workers. It was joined by B37 and return backers Lightspeed Venture Partners, Airbus Ventures and Aramco Ventures.

DigiLens Inc., Sunnyvale, $25 million: Continental AG invested in the Series C round of this augmented reality display maker for autos, planes and other devices. Read more here.

Mynd Property Management, Oakland, $20 million: Lightspeed Venture Partners led the Series B round for this property management tech startup. It was joined by return backers Canaan Partners and Jackson Square Ventures.

Arevo, Santa Clara, $12.5 million: Asahi Glass led the Series B round for this creator of a 3D printed carbon bike. It was joined by Sumitomo, Leslie Ventures and Khosla Ventures.

BlueCart Inc., Mountain View, $5 million: Greycroft led the Series B1 investment in this hospitality industry marketplace and sales enablement platform provider.

M&A

Cask Data Inc., Palo Alto, undisclosed amount: Google acquired this Big Data analytics startup that had raised around $40 million from firms that included Insight Venture Partners, Ericsson Ventures, Battery Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures and Ignition Partners.

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Here are the most popular Bay Area unicorns to work for, ranked by job searches

The Bay Area is still a prime destination for top tech talent — but one of its biggest draws remains the region’s marquee-name “unicorn” companies, new jobs data suggests.

Data on job searches from employment search site Indeed.com show that Bay Area tech unicorns are a huge draw for workers looking to make a move up the ladder locally. Crunching searches in the U.S. from 2014 through October 2016, Indeed calculated each U.S. tech unicorn’s share of total job searches in the country on a monthly basis.

The fact that some of these companies (known as unicorns because they are still privately held despite having a valuation of at least $1 billion) wasn’t surprising to the author of the report.

“The tech unicorns have captured the popular imagination as being superstar companies and they are sort of the poster children of the tech industry,” Indeed Economist Daniel Culbertson told the Business Times.

The Indeed data also showed that job searches corresponded closely with how well a company appears to be doing. Thus, searches for companies that appear to be less popular or faltering saw less interest, while “hot” companies saw an uptick.

“Pinterest and Vice Media have not had as a high profile recently and job seeker activity is often closely connected to how well-known a company is at a given time and how much hype they are generating,” Culbertson said. That type of buzz has made sought-after companies like Uber and Airbnb perennial favorites with local job seekers, and has even sparked interest in unicorns in Southern California.

“Uber is far and above more popular with job seekers than the other companies because the company employs so many as drivers. Job seekers searching for Uber are looking for both corporate and driving jobs,” Culbertson said. “Then between Elon Musk’s public profile and the idea of commercial space travel, SpaceX has built a lot of notoriety. And if we look at how much Snapchat has grown over the past year, we know that it has been in the news much more.”

Check out our graphic above for info on just how popular each local unicorn is with job seekers.

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On Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, words of wisdom from 10 female founders

Melissa Wylie, Bizwomen reporter

Kate McAleer

Kate McAleer, founder of organic candy bar company Bixby & Co., won a $100,000 investment from the Tory Burch Foundation.

Today marks the annual Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, the day when the world takes a moment to recognize the big dreams and hard-earned rewards of female founders everywhere.

The Women’s Entrepreneurship Day initiative was founded in 2014 to celebrate female entrepreneurs and shed light on their challenges.

Here’s a compilation of professional and personal lessons from 10 entrepreneurs who tackled the startup grind and emerged successful.See Also 8 female founders on going from corporate climber to entrepreneur


Kate McAleer, Bixby & Co.

McAleer beat out nine other female entrepreneurs for a $100,000 donation from the Tory Burch Foundation for her organic candy bar company. She did it by nailing down a pitch that resonated with investors.

“When people are looking to invest money, if you think about their mindset, they’re looking for a return on their investment,” McAleer said. “You have to show that influx of capital is going to have immediate effect.”


Kelly Peeler, NextGenVest

Peeler created a solution to the student loan debt crisis plaguing many young people, but she’s not giving it away for free. Even though her business is cause-driven, Peeler never shied away from wanting to turn a profit.

“I decided to do this as a business because I really believe in the philosophy of a for-profit, for-purpose company, one that does well by doing well and uses technology to scale impact,” Peeler said.


Sarah Michelle Gellar, Foodstirs

After starring in the TV series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Gellar turned to entrepreneurship and launched a subscription baking kit. However, the food box delivery space is crowded, and being a celebrity doesn’t exempt Gellar from having to differentiate her business.

“We are taking advantage of all social platforms to involve our customers in the experience. The Foodstirs experience does not end with purchase. We offer alternative recipes, substitutions, how-to videos, as well as original content. I believe the modern consumer not only wants transparency in their food products, but they want their voices to be heard.”


Stephanie Lampkin, Blendoor

Lampkin had a firsthand experience with perceived unconscious bias in the tech world, and decided to do something about it with her blind hiring app. Confident in her mission to diversify the hiring process, Lampkin was never afraid to set a new precedent along the way.

“I’m very proud of the fact that this is not only something that is helping facilitate diversity in the workplace, but I’m also passionate about being a black woman engineer starting and running a company,” Lampkin said. “In the process of creating this company, I’m also catalyzing change in women that are willing to take the plunge to create businesses that have social impact.”


Kathryn Minshew, The Muse

Minshew wasn’t looking to raise capital for her job search platform, but investors approached her anyway. Instead of turning them away, she took them up on their offers and closed a $16 million Series B round giving the company a nice financial cushion.

“The best time to raise capital is when you don’t need it,” Minshew said.


Jessica Mah, InDinero

Mah’s accounting services and software business took off fast, growing exponentially in a handful of years. But as investments, employees and offices increased, workplace culture began falling apart. Mah learned to look out for those internal growing pains that can sink a company.

“More money, more employees, more problems,” Mah said.


Ruth Gresser, Pizza Paradiso

Throughout more than 20 years owning her own restaurant, Gresser made pizza the way she wanted to – without pepperoni. But eventually she had to meet growing customer demands, or risk losing them altogether. The pivot to pepperoni was a difficult but smart strategic decision for Gresser.

“We have this philosophy that we say ‘Yes,’” Gresser said. “One thing I tell the staff is to act as if we’re having a dinner party. This is the hospitality business.”


Karida Collins, Neighborhood Fiber Co.

When it comes to knitting, city-dweller Collins knows she doesn’t match the “quaint and cottagey” stereotype. Instead of trying to fit expectations, Collins decided to be herself, which in turn helped her create her brand of one-of-a-kind, vibrant, hand-dyed yarns.

“When I started this business I just jumped in without any real expectations. The more I became exposed to the larger knitting and yarn community, the more I realized that I was not the norm and the more I went out of my way to be publicly me. Not in your face. But more: ‘It can be like this, too.’ In terms of actual people who knit, there is a much larger variety than you might think.”


Joanna Griffiths, Knix Wear

Griffiths created a revolutionary bra to fit all facets of life, from the workplace to workouts, and unknowingly designed a product that met the needs of women diagnosed with breast cancer. Griffiths embraced the surprise demographic and gained a new pool of customers.

“This bra we made was a great option for women who had gone through surgery – no wire, no shape. If you have a prosthesis, it holds,” Griffiths said. “It wasn’t designed for this intentionally, but it was a really great happenstance.”


Jessica Herrin, Stella & Dot

Herrin had a tough time in high school, and most of her teachers didn’t think she could make anything of herself. She set out to prove them wrong, and eventually built her own direct-sales empire.

“You have got to believe in yourself. Not a little — a lot,” she said. “You have got to believe in yourself beyond reason.”

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Apple will debut three iPhones in 2017, according to a top Wall Street analyst.

The new devices will have upgraded camera and display technology, per MacRumor s, citing a new note out from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The Cupertino-based company will release two different sized devices with LCD screens — 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays. The third model will have an OLED screen. Both the 5.5-inch LCD model and the OLED model will have dual cameras.

“Based on this prediction, our forecast of dual camera adoption rate in new 2017F iPhone models is revised up from 30-40 percent to 65-75 percent,” Kuo wrote in the note. “It also bodes well for Apple’s dual camera software ecosystem.”

OLED screens provide a superior contrast ratio and have already launched on competing smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Google Pixel. Apple is currently using OLED technology on the Apple Watch and on the Touch Bar of the new MacBook Pro.

Japanese website Nikkei reported earlier this year that these latest iPhones will also be glass-backed. The report stated the OLED model is expected to have a curved edge-to-edge display.

It remains to be seen if better cameras, flashier screens and glass backing will excite Apple fans. As iPhone prices have shot up, sales have slowed down. The iPhone 7’s suggested retail price starts at $649, which is expensive in the U.S. and nearly unaffordable in emerging markets. Apple sold 45.51 million iPhones in its recent fourth quarter, down 5 percent from the same time period last year. The company said in July that iPhone unit sales were down 8 percent during the third quarter compared with the same period last year.

Still, the company is expecting robust holiday sales. The company delivered a bullish holiday forecast, saying it expected to pull in $76 billion to $79 billion in sales, slightly higher than analyst expectations. The surge will be due, in part, to the failed launch of Samsung’s Note 7, which were recalled due to exploding devices.

Apple recently reported fourth-quarter revenue of $46.9 billion, in line with analyst expectations. The company earned $9 billion in profits, or roughly $1.67 per share — about 2 cents better than expectations. That was down from the same time period last year, when Apple reported revenue of $51.5 billion and $11.1 billion in profits.

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Long-awaited MacBook Pro could include keyboard touch screen for function keys

Sep 29, 2016, 7:20am PDT Updated Sep 29, 2016, 8:16am PDT

Apple is reportedly working on an updated version of the MacBook Pro that could launch as soon as next month.

The new version will have a second, touch-sensitive screen situated above the keyboard, according to MacRumors. The Cupertino-based company plans to have the laptop ready to ship “in the second half of October.”

The touch screen will replace the function keys on current MacBooks. Instead of keys marked F1-F12, there will be a screen that employs Organic Light-Emitting Diodes that will offer functions that apply directly to the user’s task or application. For example, the display would show media controls while iTunes is in use or editing commands while iMovie is open. Apple could add new buttons through software updates.

The upgraded laptop will feature a USB-C port for charging, rather than the MagSafe connection on current MacBooks, per the report. The trackpad will be slightly wider and Apple will also bring the Touch ID fingerprint technology from the iPhone to the Pro line. TouchID will allow users to unlock the device with their fingerprint and easily use Apple Pay for online purchases. The laptops will encrypt fingerprint data so it can’t be hacked.

The company is in development on macOS 10.12.1, which will support the hardware’s new features. Apple will release the updated MacBook in two sizes, a 13-inch and a pricier 15-inch model. Both are expected to be thinner than current-generation MacBook Pros.

The MacBook Pro upgrade comes as the Cupertino-based company is seeing a sharp decline in iPad sales. Apple’s tablet sales were down in the second quarter, shipping 10 million units this quarter compared to 11 million units at the same time last year. However, sales of Macs, including the Pro line, were up 6 percent to $25.5 billion in the last fiscal year.

During the last quarter, Apple said net income was $7.8 billion in the quarter that ended June 25, down from $10.68 billion one year ago. Revenue also declined 14 percent to $42.36 billion compared with $49.6 billion last year.

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Startup funding slowdown hits harder in Silicon Valley than S.F

The chill that descended on fourth quarter startup funding affected Silicon Valley more than San Francisco, according to research done for TechFlash Silicon Valley by PitchBook Data.

The overall number of deals and total of dollars that poured into Bay Area venture-backed businesses reflected the dropoff from the feverish activity of recent years that PitchBook and others reported earlier this month.

But it played out unevenly in the region.

There were 176 funding deals done in Silicon Valley in the last three months of 2015, down 35 percent compared to last year’s fourth quarter.


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San Francisco had 185 deals in the fourth quarter, down by about 30 percent from last year.

Helped by a huge Q4 $1.6 billion in funding raised by Airbnb, the amount raised by San Francisco-based VC-backed companies jumped by about 29 percent year-to-year to $5.2 billion.

The dollars raised in Silicon Valley in the period dropped by about 13 percent to around $3 billion.

 

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