Looker catches the fancy of CapitalG, Goldman and Geodesic with $81.5M Series D


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 Business intelligence platform Looker is announcing a wholesome $81.5 million Series D today led by CapitalG, Alphabet’s cleverly named growth investment arm. Goldman Sachs and Geodesic Capital helped fill out the round, joining existing investors, KPCB, Meritech Capital Partners, Redpoint and Sapphire Ventures.
Rather than compete in segmented markets against visualization and data… Read More

Handshake nabs another $20M to make the job hunt more fair


This post is by John Mannes from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


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Handshake Speaking from experience, finding jobs outside of the region you went to college in is incredibly challenging. Sure, large Fortune 100 companies have programs in place to make it easy to recruit for offices in disparate cities, but if you are looking for a job at a company that doesn’t fit that profile, you will spend hours cold-emailing people you dug up online. This creates a… Read More

Venture capital pioneer Tom Perkins dies at 84


This post is by Anthony Ha from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


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tom-perkins Thomas Perkins, who co-founded venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, has died of natural causes. He was 84 years old. Before becoming an investor, Perkins founded a laser company called University Labs, and was the first general manager of Hewlett-Packard’s computer division. He co-founded Kleiner Perkins with Eugene Kleiner in 1972, helping to lay the foundation… Read More

The Daily Startup: PanTheryx Closes $53M Financing to Treat Infectious Diarrhea


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PanTheryx Inc. has closed a $53 million equity financing agreement to support the launch of a nutritional product for infectious diarrhea, a leading cause of death among children under age 5 world-wide. Pegasus Capital Advisors provided the capital. Diarrhea, usually caused by infection, deprives children of nutrients they need to grow. Each year diarrhea kills about 760,000 children under age 5, according to the World Health Organization. Diarrheal disease is also the second-leading cause of death in children under 5 years old, according to WHO.

ALSO IN TODAY’S VENTUREWIRE (subscription required):

Red Swan Ventures, a seed-stage venture firm born out of Bonobos Inc. founder and Chief Executive Andy Dunn’s angel investing interests, has halted making new investments.

Juicero has unveiled its organic home juicing business and revealed that investors Continue reading “The Daily Startup: PanTheryx Closes $53M Financing to Treat Infectious Diarrhea”

Mark Zuckerberg’s Parents, Sister Back Bar-Inventory App Partender


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Karen Kempner and Edward Zuckerberg, the parents of Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, pose with their family. The couple and their daughter Arielle (second from right) invested in Partender Inc.
Edward Zuckerberg/Facebook

From its founders to its investors, Partender Inc. is a family affair.

The parents and sister of Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg have backed the bar-inventory app. Nik and Anjali Kundra, a brother-and-sister team, started the 500 Startups-backed company.

Mr. Kundra said it has raised almost $2 million in seed funding to date.

Partender was the first angel investment for Arielle Zuckerberg, who said she has now made eight. She invested in the company first in 2014, and then again during a seed extension. Her total investment in the startup is $50,000. The amount of her parents’ investment is undisclosed.

Ms. Zuckerberg joined venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 2015. The firm hasn’t invested in Continue reading “Mark Zuckerberg’s Parents, Sister Back Bar-Inventory App Partender”

Connected Doorbell Company Ring Buzzes In $61.2M


This post is by Cat Zakrzewski from Venture Capital Dispatch


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Ring announced the release of the Ring Video Doorbell Pro on Wednesday. The new product came as the company announced funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Bot Home Automation Inc

Bot Home Automation Inc., which does business as Ring, raised $61.2 million in Series C funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

The Santa Monica, Calif., company produces Wi-Fi-connected video doorbells, which allow users to remotely see who is standing at their door from their phones. The product gives users a notification when someone rings the bell or if its motion sensors detect someone in front of the house.

The company declined to disclose its valuation. PitchBook Data Inc. reported the company’s valuation jumped from $63.6 million to $202 million.

Chief Executive Jamie Siminoff said his goal is to use technology to make neighborhoods safer.

Mr. Siminoff said the inspiration for Ring, like many Continue reading “Connected Doorbell Company Ring Buzzes In $61.2M”

Cybersecurity Startup Shape Security Grabs $25 Million for China Expansion


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Zuma Press

Shape Security Inc. closed a $25 million Series D round, which it plans to use to fuel its expansion into China.

Baseline Ventures led the investment in the company that targets attacks led by bots. Beijing-based Northern Light Venture Capital joined existing investors GV (formerly Google Ventures), Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Norwest Venture Partners, Eric Schmidt’s Tomorrow Ventures and others. The company has raised $91 million in funding to date.

Chief Executive Derek Smith said there is an explosion of e-commerce companies in China that could benefit from Shape’s offering.

“We have long looked at the Chinese market and felt that with the rise of e-commerce, along with that comes the rise of automated attacks,” Mr. Smith said. “One of the things that we set out to do with this injection of capital was finding a go-to-market partner that could ease our entry into China.”

Read Continue reading “Cybersecurity Startup Shape Security Grabs $25 Million for China Expansion”

Jawbone Lays Off 15% of Employees Amid Heated Rivalry in Wearables 


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FILE – In this Dec. 15, 2014, file photo, fitness trackers, from left, Basis Peak, Adidas Fit Smart, Fitbit Charge, Sony SmartBand, and Jawbone Move, are posed for a photo next to an iPhone, in New York. Although sales of fitness trackers are strong, many of their owners lose enthusiasm for them once the novelty wears off. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)
Associated Press

Jawbone is shutting its New York office and letting go of 15% of its employees as the consumer electronics maker faces industry consolidation.

San Francisco-based Jawbone has laid off about 60 employees, including reducing operations in Sunnyvale, Calif., and Pittsburgh, Penn., according to the company.

Consumer devices pioneer Jawbone was an early entrant in wireless speakers, headsets and wearable fitness trackers. In recent years, it has seen intense competition from the likes of wearable devices maker Fitbit Inc. and Apple Inc.

Jawbone is letting go Continue reading “Jawbone Lays Off 15% of Employees Amid Heated Rivalry in Wearables “

Kleiner Perkins Makes First Bitcoin-Related Deal With Align Commerce


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Marwan Forzley, founder and CEO of Align Commerce
Align Commerce

Align Commerce Corp.’s use of bitcoin is invisible and almost irrelevant to its business customers. And that’s how the startup wants to keep it.

The San Francisco company, which is announcing today that it has raised a $12.5 million Series A round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is one of an emerging class of bitcoin-based companies that rely on the digital currency behind the scenes. It’s being used as a tool to provide an improved financial service–in Align’s case that’s cross-border payments for small businesses.

That’s different from the earlier crop of startups that attracted venture capital, such as Coinbase Inc., and BitPay Inc., many of which have been trying to enable consumers to buy bitcoin, store it in digital wallets, trade it on currency exchanges, and use it to make payments and Continue reading “Kleiner Perkins Makes First Bitcoin-Related Deal With Align Commerce”

The Daily Startup: Figure 1 Snaps Up $5 Million for Medical Image-Sharing App


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dailystartup_D_20090806101628.jpgArt by Mike Lucas

Figure 1 Inc. has raised $5 million to support the global expansion of its app, which has been called medicine’s answer to Instagram, Lora Kolodny reports for Dow Jones VentureWire. With Figure 1’s HIPAA-compliant app, health-care professionals can share high-quality medical images within their fields of specialty–such as patient photos, brain scans or X-rays–for teaching purposes and to attain feedback from each other about possible diagnoses and treatments. Union Square Ventures, an earlier investor in Figure 1, led the new round, joined by other existing investors including Rho Canada, Version One Ventures and Graph Ventures, as well as Allen & Co. and individual investors.

ALSO IN TODAY’S VENTUREWIRE (subscription required):

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has added another general partner, Eric Feng, to its investing team as part of a push to bring new blood into the 43-year-old venture firm. The Continue reading “The Daily Startup: Figure 1 Snaps Up $5 Million for Medical Image-Sharing App”

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


This post is by Mike Billings from Venture Capital Dispatch


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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 Continue reading “The Daily Startup: Google Ventures Backs Metabiota to Forecast Disease Outbreaks”

Kleiner’s John Doerr Apologizes for Joking About Partners’ Names


This post is by Scott Martin and Deborah Gage from Venture Capital Dispatch


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John Doerr, a senior partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, speaks during the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2015 conference in San Francisco on Tuesday
Bloomberg News

Venture capitalist John Doerr has issued a Twitter apology for an “unfortunate joke” he made about two new partners who recently joined him at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

“@kimmaicutler Friends, my apologies. It was an unfortunate joke that wasn’t funny. I have deep respect for my partners Swati and Muzzammil,” he posted on Twitter.

The remarks by Mr. Doerr came on stage Tuesday at TechCrunch’s Disrupt event in San Francisco, according to a reporter from the tech blog who took it to Twitter.

Kleiner Perkins’s partner was referring to Muzzammil Zaveri and Swati Mylavarapu, who were hired recently to invest out Continue reading “Kleiner’s John Doerr Apologizes for Joking About Partners’ Names”

Quirky Failure Among Largest Recent Startup Flops


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Quirky’s former Chief Executive Ben Kaufman, left, and former President Doreen Lorenzo
KEITH BEDFORD FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Inventions community Quirky has filed for bankruptcy protection, marking one of the brightest flameouts of late for a venture-backed company.

Quirky, an online platform for inventions, had hauled in about $170 million in equity  investments from a who’s who of Silicon Valley venture firms, including Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, according to industry tracker Dow Jones VentureSource.

Since the start of 2013, only two U.S. companies have gone bankrupt or shut down that have raised more capital than Quirky, namely Better Place and Coda Automotive, respectively, both in 2013. Andreessen Horowitz-backed fashion startup Fab Inc. raised more than $300 million and sold part of it for low tens of millions, according to The Wall Street Journal.

While the specific details of Quirky’s unraveling remain unclear, the investment from Andreessen Horowitz Continue reading “Quirky Failure Among Largest Recent Startup Flops”

The Daily Startup: Investors Write Down Jawbone Shares


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dailystartup_D_20090806101628.jpgArt by Mike Lucas

Wearable devices pioneer Jawbone is getting a taste of Apple competition, not to mention from fitness band rival Fitbit. While facing market gains from the Apple Watch and other wearable device contenders, Jawbone has also seen a series of negative signs from investors.

Investor Rizvi Traverses came through with only $25 million of a $175 million commitment. Jawbone, short on capital, turned to BlackRock for  $300 million in debt funding, a move that led  to GSV Capital and Firsthand Technology Value Fund writing down the value of their Jawbone holdings.

“It’s a pioneer that is starting to see competition overtake it,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager for wearables and mobile phones at International Data Corp.

ALSO IN TODAY’S VENTUREWIRE (subscription required):

Balderton Capital, London-based venture firm, has hired technology veteran Lars Fjeldsoe-Nielsen as a general partner. Mr. Fjeldsoe-Nielsen who previously advised WhatsApp and held senior roles Continue reading “The Daily Startup: Investors Write Down Jawbone Shares”

The Daily Startup: Wrap Media Scores $12.7M For Mobile Content Platform


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dailystartup_D_20090806101628.jpgArt by Mike Lucas

Wrap Media LLC, a mobile content authoring platform, has raised $12.7 million from private investors to build up its sales and marketing, Lizette Chapman reports for Dow Jones VentureWire. The startup’s service allows nontechnical people to easily create mobile content, including text, graphics and video, in a series of cards formatted to mobile screens that tell a story. The “wraps” can be embedded in social media, email and other formats. Raine Capital and ProSieben led the Series B round with participation from Christopher Crain of Crain Communications, Dream Incubator, FF Angel LLC, Salesforce Ventures and Transmedia Capital.

ALSO IN TODAY’S VENTUREWIRE (subscription required):

ADC Therapeutics Sarl has fueled up with $80 million to compete with several other companies in the market for cancer therapies that combine an antibody with a tumor-destroying drug. Prior backers Auven Therapeutics and AstraZeneca PLC participated Continue reading “The Daily Startup: Wrap Media Scores $12.7M For Mobile Content Platform”

Ron Johnson’s E-Commerce Company ‘Enjoy’ Registers $50 Million


This post is by Scott Martin from Venture Capital Dispatch


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Enjoy Technology’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.
Enjoy Technology Inc.

Enjoy Technology Inc., founded by former Apple Inc. retail chief Ron Johnson, has picked up $50 million in equity funding.

Menlo Park, Calif.-based Enjoy made a splash last year after Mr. Johnson, who is often credited for much of the success of Apple Stores, re-emerged to found the startup after the board gave him the boot from the helm of J.C. Penney Co. Inc.

The company sells high-end consumer electronics, but it also includes delivery and in-home set-up services to help differentiate itself from other e-commerce sites.

The Series B round of investment in Enjoy was led by Highland Capital Partners and included existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Oak Investment Partners.

The funding round brings Enjoy’s funding total to $80 million.

Practice Fusion’s New Additions Hint at IPO


This post is by Timothy Hay from Venture Capital Dispatch


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Pratcice Fusion CEO Ryan Howard
Practice Fusion

Practice Fusion Inc., an electronic medical records startup heavily backed by venture firms, is grooming itself for a debut on the public markets, adding a board member experienced at taking startups though the IPO process.

The San Francisco-based company said that Alan Black, chief financial officer at help-desk software company Zendesk Inc., which went public last year, has taken the audit chair on Practice Fusion’s board of directors.

“We believe that Practice Fusion is the most viable digital-health company with the potential to go public in the market, and we are preparing accordingly with all of the recent hires we have made, including bringing Alan on the board,” Practice Fusion Chief Executive Ryan Howard said.

The audit chair position is a critical role in the IPO process, he said.

Practice Fusion also announced it has brought aboard Matt Ackley to serve Continue reading “Practice Fusion’s New Additions Hint at IPO”

Music Video App Flipagram Secures $70 Million to Scale Globally and Court Enterprise


This post is by Lizette Chapman from Venture Capital Dispatch


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Flipagram Chief Executive Farhad Mohit
Flipagram

There are plenty of companies that make mobile music video apps, but a troika of vaunted investors believe Flipagram Inc. is a star.

Sequoia Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Index Ventures have plowed $70 million into the startup that makes a free app by the same name and allows people to transform mundane pictures into slick photo and video montages set in less than a minute.

The venture bet–and a major use of the proceeds so far–is that by licensing music rights for millions of songs from Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and others, Flipagram will provide a new revenue stream for license holders and the popularity of said songs will bolster the startup’s monthly active user base from tens of millions to billions.

“It’s an incredibly beguiling proposition to match photos and videos with favorite bits of music,” said Michael Continue reading “Music Video App Flipagram Secures $70 Million to Scale Globally and Court Enterprise”

The Daily Startup: Aledade Raises $30M for Medical-Practice Software


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dailystartup_D_20090806101628.jpgArt by Mike Lucas

With the passage of federal health-care laws, medical practices have started using software to better track the health outcomes of their patients–a metric by which they are reimbursed by insurance companies rather than the volume of patients trearted. The startup Aledade has picked up $30 million in additional funding for software to better track patients’ health, Timothy Hay reports for Dow Jones VentureWire. Other companies, such as Evolent Health, have focused on large medical practices and hospitals. Aledade’s focus is on smaller medical practices. Investors in company’s Series B round are new investor Arch Venture Partners and returning investor Venrock.

ALSO IN TODAY’S VENTUREWIRE (subscription required):

Windham Venture Partners plans to seek $75 million for its second health-care fund, another step in the growth of a firm that originally formed to invest its founders’ own capital. Windham intends to hold a first closing Continue reading “The Daily Startup: Aledade Raises $30M for Medical-Practice Software”

Google Capital Backs Duolingo to Help Language-Learning App Go Global


This post is by Lizette Chapman from Venture Capital Dispatch


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Duolingo co-founder and Chief Executive Luis von Ahn
Duolingo

Duolingo Inc. has enticed more than 100 million language learners to use its free, gamelike mobile app, a threefold increase during the past year. Now, the Pittsburgh-based startup has secured $45 million from Google Capital and others to launch new revenue experiments and extend its free tutoring to the rest of the world.

Built by a handful of artificial intelligence experts from Carnegie Mellon University and Google Inc., Duolingo offers bite-size, personalized lessons which automatically adapt to each student’s progress. The lessons are now available in more than a dozen major languages, with modules for Hebrew, Vietnamese, Hungarian and Klingon still under construction.

Although the lessons are free and will remain so–Duolingo co-founder and Chief Executive Luis von Ahn said making language learning accessible to all is core to the company–investors valued the four-year-old startup at $470 million because they Continue reading “Google Capital Backs Duolingo to Help Language-Learning App Go Global”