The Daily Startup: Mark Zuckerberg Joins $15 Million Round for Newsela

dailystartup_D_20090806101628.jpgArt by Mike Lucas

Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have put their Startup: Education fund to work, joining lead investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in a $15 million round of funding for Newsela, Lora Kolodny reports for Dow Jones VentureWire. The news education startup adapts news articles for students and delivers them online, along with quizzes that aim to tell teachers and parents what students are still grappling with or learning well.

ALSO IN TODAY’S VENTUREWIRE (subscription required):

Sportsrocket Inc., a startup from veteran sports media entrepreneur Brian Bedol that aims to launch niche streaming channels for sports, has raised $10 million in venture capital in a round that includes New Enterprise Associates.

Fidelity Management has united Fidelity Biosciences with another Fidelity venture capital arm to form F-Prime Capital Partners, a firm that will invest in health care and technology.

, which aims to make graphic design easier for anyone, has raised $15 million in a round that was led by investor Felicis Ventures.Other investors include actors Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson, Blackbird Ventures, Matrix Partners and Vayner Capital.

Code 42 Software Inc., which provides a data backup and management platform, raised $85 million in a Series B round that was led by JMI Equity and New Enterprise Associates and included current investors Accel Partners and Split Rock Partners. LLC has raised $15 million at a valuation of $115 million for software that tracks employees’ time, both inside and outside the office. The Series A round comes from Summit Partners.

(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.”)


General Catalyst Managing Director Neil Sequeira Launching New Firm. Neil Sequeira, a managing director at venture firm General Catalyst Partners, was an early investor in Jessica Alba‘s Honest Co. Now he is launching his own venture firm to focus on early-stage startups, The Wall Street Journal’s Lizette Chapman reports. Mr. Sequeira said he plans to begin raising a $100 million fund in early 2016.

Scandal Erupts Around DraftKings, Fan Duel. Two venture-backed companies in the fantasy-sports sector have landed at the center of a scandal after a report in the New York Times about what some are comparing to insider trading. Employees for DraftKings and Fan Duel previously were banned for playing fantasy sports on their own platform–but not that of rivals. One employee at DraftKings admitted to inadvertently releasing data before the start of the third week of N.F.L. games, according to the Times. That same employee then won $350,000 at FanDuel the same week. The two companies have temporarily barred their employees from playing tournaments at other sites.

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