The Daily Startup: Google Ventures Backs Metabiota to Forecast Disease Outbreaks

dailystartup_D_20090806101628.jpgArt by Mike Lucas

Google Ventures has invested $1 million in Metabiota Inc., a company that uses epidemiologists and big-data analytics to forecast and track disease outbreaks. Timothy Hay reports for Dow Jones VentureWire. Google Ventures, the venture arm of Internet giant Google Inc., also will partner with Metabiota, offering its big-data expertise to help the company serve its customers–insurers, government agencies and other organizations–by offering them forecasting and risk-management tools, Metabiota founder Nathan Wolfe said. The investment in an add-on to a $30 million round the company raised in March that included investors Data Collective, Capricorn Health & Special Opportunities, Industry Ventures, RSTP and WP Global Partners.

ALSO IN TODAY’S VENTUREWIRE (subscription required):

Premise Data Corp., a startup whose mobile crowdsourced information gathering platform is used by The United Nations and Standard Chartered Bank, has raised $50 million in new funding. Valor Equity Partners the deal, with existing investor Social+Capital Partnership joining.

StreamSets Inc. has emerged with $12.5 million in funding and software that tackles corporate data glut from a different perspective, potentially saving money and data scientists’ time. Investors in the company include Accel Partners, Battery Ventures, Data Collective, Ignition Partners and New Enterprise Associates.

CliniCloud Inc., which makes connected medical devices for the home, has raised $5 million in seed funding ahead of its planned commercial rollout with Best Buy Co. Investors include Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Ping An Ventures.

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has hired Arielle Zuckerberg, one of Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s younger sisters.

(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, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”)


DraftKings Has Its Next Fantasy-Sports Contest: Videogames. Fantasy-sports startup DraftKings Inc. has launched its service that allows customers to assemble teams of competitive videogame players in the way they would for football or other sports, The Wall Street Journal’s Sarah E. Needleman reports. DraftKings was valued at $1.2 billion in its recent funding round.

Trial Underway in Oracle Case Against Rimini Street. A trial between Oracle Corp. and rival Rimini Street Inc. is underway in a federal courtroom in Las Vegas, the WSJ’s Rachel King reports. Oracle last year won rulings  from Judge Larry R. Hicks of the U.S. District Court in Nevada, which said that venture-backed Rimini had violated Oracle copyrights for two products. Now a jury trial will determine if Rimini violated copyrights for two other products. It also will settle the extent of the damages, if any, for all copyright infringements. Rimini has cast the dispute as a disagreement over licensing rules.

Ron Johnson’s Enjoy Will Deliver the New IPhones. Former Apple Inc. employee Ron Johnson, who is widely credited for the success of Apple Stores, will now be helping people avoid those same stores when buying the new Apple iPhone, Ellen Huet reports for Forbes. Mr. Johnson, who spoke at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, said his new startup, Enjoy, will be delivering the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. The startup has raised $80 million in funding for its service that sells high-end consumer electronics and also includes delivery and in-home set-up services.

Harvard’s Endowment Chief Sees Market Froth. Harvard University’s new endowment chief, Stephen Blyth, warned in the endowment’s annual report about “potentially frothy markets,” the WSJ’s Timothy W. Martin reports. One point that he singled out in the report was the proliferation of pre-IPO firms backed by venture capital that carry valuations above $1 billion.“The debate about highly-valued assets continues to get louder,” Mr. Blyth said, pointing to the ascendant valuations of private-equity and venture capital investments. “This environment is likely to result in lower future returns than in the recent past.”

Write to Mike Billings at Follow him on Twitter at @mbillings