The Daily Startup: Novan Scores $50 Million for Acne Treatment

dailystartup_D_20090806101628.jpgArt by Mike Lucas

Novan Inc. has amassed $50 million for clinical studies of a novel acne treatment, one of several large rounds companies have raised recently to target the most common skin disorder in the U.S., Dow Jones VentureWire’s Brian Gormley reports. Acne affects 40 million to 50 million Americans, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. It occurs because of the overproduction of oil by enlarged oil glands, blockage of hair follicles that release oil, and bacterial growth within hair follicles, according to the academy. Treatments such as benzoyl peroxide are used in mild cases, with antibiotics prescribed for moderate to severe acne. Novan, better known as Novan Therapeutics, is developing a nitric oxide-based treatment. Ireland’s Malin Corp., a new investor, was the cornerstone investor in the mezzanine round, which also included existing individual investors.

ALSO IN TODAY’S VENTUREWIRE (subscription required):

Berlin-based online auction house Auctionata Inc. has raised 42 million euros ($45.4 million) in Series C funding to further expand several categories of goods on offer and add a range of new categories. The round was led by Warsaw-based MCI Management, joined by new investors Hearst Ventures, London-based Kreos Capital and Hong Kong-based Yuan Capital.

Novartis AG has formed a $750 million alliance with Aduro Biotech Inc., amid a surge of deal-making among developers of drugs that incite an immune-system attack on cancer.  New immunotherapies treat diseases such as melanoma and promise to fight many other tumors. Early success in the field is driving corporations to strike early when new technologies emerge.

SolarEdge Technologies Inc., maker of power inverters used in solar installations, closed its first day of trading on Nasdaq above opening price and with a market capitalization of $846.6 million. The company priced its initial public offering of 7 million shares at $18 per share and closed trading on Monday at $22.07, representing an increase of about 23%.

GoFormz Inc. has emerged with $3 million for software that creates digital versions of paper forms for mobile devices, enabling people to collect data on forms. The idea is to use mobile devices as data samplers so that work processes could become more efficient, according to Floodgate Founding Partner Mike Maples Jr.

(VentureWire is a daily newsletter with comprehensive analysis of all the investments, deals and personnel moves involving startups and their venture backers. For a two-week trial, visit http://on.wsj.com/DJPEVCNews, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”)

ELSEWHERE AROUND THE WEB:

Andreessen Horowitz Doubles Down on Tanium. Venture firm Andreessen Horowitz, which invested $90 million in computer-security company Tanium last year, is putting another $52 million into the company, according to a person familiar with the transaction, The Wall Street Journal’s Danny Yadron reports. The deal valued Tanium at $1.75 billion, nearly twice what it was worth when Andreessen Horowitz first invested.

Raptr Snatches Millions for Gaming Technology. Eight-year-old Raptr Inc. has raised $14 million at a valuation of more than $170 million to create an Instagram of sorts for gamers, WSJ’s Lizette Chapman reports.

Venture Capital Pours Into India. Venture capital is flooding into Indian startups as investors search for a successor to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., the Chinese e-commerce company that raised $25 billion in its IPO last year, WSJ’s Shefali Anand and Dhanya Ann Thoppil report. VCs invested $4 billion into some 300 deals in India last year, nearly twice as much money as in 2013.

Silicon Valley Jurors Speak. Jurors in the Ellen Pao-Kleiner Perkins sex-discrimination trial explain their decision to clear the venture capital firm on all counts and discuss the last-minute confusion over the verdict, WSJ’s Jeff Elder reports.

A Tax-Break Game Is Afoot. The British government is hoping to lure digital-game developers with tax breaks, the WSJ’s Lisa Fleisher writes.

Uber Scores a Win in France. A French court declined to ban Uber Technologies’ lowest cost services, kicking the case to a higher court, WSJ’s Sam Schechner reports. The decision gives the ride service a reprieve in one of its largest European markets.

Write to Mike Billings at mike.billings@wsj.com. Follow him on Twitter at @mbillings