Covering the week’s venturing news including funding, investments, exits and people moves.
Walgreens sues portfolio company Theranos for $140m
Alphabet rebrands Google Capital as CapitalG
Ten oil their way to $1bn fund
Imax screens partners for $50m VR fund
Ramot harnesses corporates for $20m investment initiative
Huawei visits Singapore for IoT incubator
Planetary Resources mines Luxembourg for new funding
ZMP drives forward to IPO
Intel votes for Voke acquisition
SoftBank writes down $555m of Indian unicorn investments
Bytedance looks to take $1bn step forward
Suning gets fresh with Yiguo in $200m round
Bonobos talks to investors for $100m round
Warmsun heats up Royole with $74m
GV accelerates Acalvio funding to $22m
Gfresh catches $20m from Alibaba and Legend Holdings
Owlet looks after $15m
Lak Ananth has left US-based technology company Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE) to join Germany-based conglomerate Siemens as managing partner of its €1bn ($1.1bn) Next47 corporate venturing unit.
Markus Solibieda has left private equity firm Mandarin Capital Partners to become managing director.
SoftBank to make space in its Vision for Mubadala
Alibaba to cultivate $1.5bn fund
Kuang-Chi adds $250m to CVC investment capacity
Portag3 secures trio of limited partners
Canada-based venture capital firm Relay Ventures closed its third fund with a total of C$200m ($150m) in commitments from limited partners including mobile network operator US Cellular.
Hain Celestial to cultivate startups
Keen raises peachy $100m for first fund
Annexus seeks exits from corporate venturing vehicle
Armenia to gain $55m fund
Intel Capital president to shrink portfolio 25%
Ola aims for $600m in new funding
Wish sets its heart on $500m
Searchable GIF database Giphy raised its first capital, a $2.4m CAA-backed round, in early 2014 but less than three years later the company has taken its total funding to more than $150m in a $72m series D round that reportedly values it at $600m.
Artificial intelligence technology startup Graphcore has scored $30m in a series A round led by Robert Bosch Venture Capital.
UBiome builds $22m series B habitat
Chinese personal finance management platform U51 raised $310m in its series C round less than a month ago but has already added $84m from retail group InTime Commercial and asset manager Harvest Global Investments.
NBCUniversal invested $200m in Buzzfeed last year in a deal that valued it at $1.5bn post money, and it’s returned to add another $200m at a flat valuation.
Meanwhile, Unity Biotechnology, which is working on therapeutics for diseases relating to aging, such as osteoarthritis, glaucoma and kidney disease, has closed a $116m series B round.
And at the Intel Capital Global Summit, the CVC unit announced $38m of investment in 12 startups across the US, Canada, China and France.
One of those 12 deals was a $33.5m series D round closed by self-service business information platform developer Paxata, which Intel Capital led, taking the company’s total funding to $62m.
Rokid, the developer of an AI-equipped smart home device that can be operated by a user’s voice or physical gestures, has raised $65m in a series B round co-led by IDG Capital Partners, which was also among the investors in a $20m round last year.
Genomics Medicine Ireland, which is developing a genomics research platform based on work by Amgen subsidiary Decode Genetics, has raised $40m in a GV-backed series A round.
Emulate, a Harvard spinout developing organs-on-chips technology, has added $17m to a series B round now totalling $45m.
Precision Biopsy, a biotechnology spinout of Colorado University, yesterday expanded its series A round to $38.6m following a $5m extension supplied by investment firm Woodford Investment Management.
Deep learning technology startup Clarifai, a spinout of New York University, has received $30m in a series B round co-led by Qualcomm Ventures.
US-headquartered property consulting firm Jones Lang LaSalle has established a corporate venturing vehicle in India that will invest in real estate technology startups.
Russia-based textbook publisher Prosveshcheniye has agreed to launch an education technology accelerator with the Russian government’s Internet Initiatives Development Fund (FRII).
Nova Scotia has recapitalised the Nova Scotia First Fund with a total of $40m, with $29m being fresh funding and $11m coming from a cleantech fund that expired earlier this year.
L. Rafael Reif, president of MIT, announced the creation of the Engine, a new incubator that will provide funding initially through a vehicle with a target size of $150m.
Less than five months after it was spun out of Roivant Sciences, women’s health specialist Myovant Sciences has achieved the year’s biggest biotech IPO so far, raising $218m.
Ra Pharmaceuticals, developer of a blood disorder treatment, has raised almost $92m in a Nasdaq IPO that saw it float in the middle of its range.
Internet group Tencent and healthcare system Intermountain Healthcare have exited US-based genomics software developer Tute Genomics in an acquisition by genomic analysis company PierianDx, which paid an undisclosed amount.
Cybersecrity company Proofpoint has agreed to acquire US-based cloud security platform FireLayers for $55m, offering an exit to content delivery network operator Akamai Technologies.
Eyefluence, a US-based eye-movement tracking technology developer backed by corporates including chipmaker Intel, was acquired by internet technology provider Google yesterday.
Stanford University spinout iRhythm Technologies, a developer of arrhythmia diagnostics technology, went public on Nasdaq on Thursday in an initial public offering that valued the company at $107m.
Scott Coleman, formerly general manager of technology company Microsoft’s accelerator network Startup Growth Partners, has joined venture capital firm Ignition Partners.
Baochi Nguyen has joined IDG Ventures, the corporate venturing arm of US-headquartered IT media firm International Data Group, as vice-president of marketing.
Cancer drug developer ADC Therapeutics has taken its total financing to $225m with a $105m private placement that included existing investor AstraZeneca.
Mobike has closed more than $100m in funding from investors including Tencent.
Mitsui has led a $100m round for MatahariMall.com, an e-commerce platform launched by real estate conglomerate Lippo Group with $500m last year.
Online wholesale alcohol retailer Yijiupi has also raised $100m, in a series C round backed by local reviews and group buying platform Meituan-Dianping which will fuel an expansion drive the company hopes will more than double the 72 Chinese cities in which it operates by the end of 2017.
GE Ventures, Envision Energy and Inven Capital have contributed to a round for energy storage and management technology provider Sonnen that has closed at $85m.
Oblong Industries, a gesture-based user interface spinout of MIT Media Lab, secured $65m in funding on Wednesday from investors including Utimco, the investment arm of University of Texas System.
Temasek, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore, today invested $250m in US-based healthcare conglomerate Columbia Pacific Management’s Chinese subsidiary Columbia China.
Online media brands Thrillist, NowThis, The Dodo and Seeker joined forces last week to form a new holding company called Group Nine Media, fueled by a $100m investment by Discovery Communications.
French venture firm Daphni has launched a $165m fund with backing from LPs including corporates Nokia, MAIF and Fnac-Darty.
The government of Saudi Arabia joined forces with Japan-based conglomerate SoftBank on Friday to launch a $100bn vehicle dubbed SoftBank Vision Fund.
Quantenna, which has raised more than $200m in debt and equity since 2005 from investors including NTT, Vivint, Swisscom and Telefónica, has set the range for an offering that could raise up to $107m.
Gene editing company Crispr Therapeutics went public in a $56m IPO that was priced below its range, but which was executed concurrently to a $35m investment by existing backer Bayer Global Investments.
There’s a big new player in the Asian travel services industry, after MakeMyTrip acquired Ibibo Group in an all-share deal that reportedly valued Ibibo at $720m.
Salesforce has scored a decent-sized exit after cloud services provider Appirio agreed to a $500m acquisition by IT services firm Wipro.
Investment manager and research provider Morningstar has agreed to acquire financial data platform Pitchbook in a $180m deal that will see it buy the 80% of the company it does not already own.
Curtin University spinout ePat Technologies, which is developing facial recognition technology, floated on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) on Thursday.
General trading firm Mitsubishi Corporation purchased a 60% stake on Friday in ElectroRoute, an Ireland-based energy trading and services firm backed by government-owned export development agency Enterprise Ireland.
Dinesh Moorjani has become Comcast Ventures’ ninth managing director, joining the unit from Warburg Pincus.
Bruce Zimmerman, chief executive of Utimco, last week announced that he is stepping down from the position after a decade of leading the investment company of University of Texas System and Texas A&M System. Zimmerman was appointed as chief executive and chief investment manager in 2007.
Edinburgh Research and Innovation (ERI), the commercialisation arm of Edinburgh University, has appointed George Baxter as its new chief executive effective October 24.
No podcast this week but we’ll be back next week with all the biggest corporate, government and university venturing news.
GV’s new leader’s steady hand
Microsoft continues rapid hiring and investment pace
Leeney leaves Telefonica
Spanish VC firm Kibo Ventures has raised $79m for the first close of its second fund, which it aims to expand to roughly $110m for its final close.
Ideo designs investment firm
KU Leuven researches $67.5m fund
Europe sets up venture markets
Time Warner Investments had made a decent-sized exit from marketing data management software company Krux, which has been acquired for about $700m by Salesforce.
Continental picks up Daimler-backed Zonar
Snap, which rebranded from Snapchat a few weeks ago, is said to be preparing for an IPO that could take place as soon as March 2017, and which could value it at $25bn, a steep jump from the $18bn post-money valuation at which it last raised funding, in May.
Obalon Therapeutics, developer of a gastric balloon to aid weight loss, has meanwhile raised $75m in an IPO that could potentially rise to more than $86m.
Payoneer to break new ground in $180m round
Sumitomo Mitsui Card Company adds investment to Stripe
Connected device network developer Sigfox is also looking to boost its coffers and is looking to raise $100m to $200m in a round that will feature an as yet unnamed Chinese strategic backer, and which will value it at $600m, a 50% jump from its last round in early 2015.
NTT drives Druva’s $51m series E
Rover, the dogsitting marketplace backed by Petco, was rumoured last month to be raising $40m in series E capital from Foundry Group, Menlo Ventures and Madrona Venture Group. Today, the company confirmed the deal, though it didn’t say whether the estimated valuation of $300m was also correct.
Remitly, a mobile remittance services provider that focuses primarily on foreign workers in the US hoping to send money back to family, has added a combined $38m in equity and debt from Silicon Valley Bank and International Finance Corporation to its coffers.
Welltok knocks out $33.7m round
Clearpath reaches corporates for $30m
Online video publishing platform Tout has secured $26m in a series C round backed by sports entertainment provider and partner WWE, after closing a $13.4m round in 2012 that featured a $5m investment from WWE.
Grana targets $10m in Alibaba-backed round
Jack Leeney, US head of investing for Telefonica Ventures, the corporate venturing unit of the eponymous Spain-based phone operator, has left after nearly five years at the firm in order to be a partner at SP Global Capital.
Microsoft Ventures has hired Leo de Luna, previously a principal at venture capital firm Split Rock Partners, as managing director to cover California’s Bay area and New York; Rashmi Gopinath, previously an investment director at Intel Capital, as an investing partner covering enterprise software investments in the Bay area; Lisa Nelson, previously chief of staff to the head of business development and the chief financial officer at Microsoft, as a partner; and Priya Saiprasad, previously part of financial services startup Square’s corporate development team, as a principal.
Mérieux Développement has appointed Jean-François Billet, Daniel Fero and Benoit Pierret as it expands its investment capabilities in Europe and the US.
Canada could start a second funds of venture capital funds (FoF) support programme in its next federal budget allied to support for corporate venturing.
The government-backed European Investment Fund (EIF) has set up a collaboration with national promotional institutions (NPIs) or banks (NPBs) across European Union (EU) member states, with one of its first initiatives expected to be a venture capital coinvestment programme with the Netherlands, according to an attendee.
Baidu, the internet company has added another fund, the $60m Easterly Ventures, to its arsenal. This latest vehicle will focus on Brazil-based technology startups.
Line, the messaging app spun out of Naver, has joined forces with its parent company to put $112m in a fund being raised by Korelya Capital – both companies providing $62m.
ServiceNow has set up an investment division dubbed ServiceNow Ventures and launched a competition to award a total of $500,000 to startups.
Havas, the France-based advertising and PR firm, will provide capital and consulting to Australian startups.
Wayra joins UK government for cybersecurity accelerator
The Telefónica subsidiary will establish the accelerator initiative
Daimler’s Startup Autobahn accelerator reaches Singapore
The scheme, initiated in Stuttgart last year, will be replicated in Singapore in partnership with NUS
Nationwide Children’s Hospital partners Rev1 for $5.5m fund
The healthcare system has joined venture capital firm Rev1 Ventures for a unit that will invest in life sciences
One of the companies that was expected to list back in January after filing for a $200m IPO at the backend of last year was Nutanix, an enterprise cloud company backed by Sapphire Ventures, the VC firm spun out of SAP. Market conditions turned out to be less than favourable then, but the company has now finally moved ahead valuing the company at $4bn.
Nokia exits Gridsum in $87m IPO
Nokia gets out of Intermedia in MDP acquisition
One97 comes to the rescue as EduKart crashes
SoundCloud, a music streaming service popular with independent artists, is reportedly in acquisition talks again. This time it’s not Twitter, which discussed such plans in 2014 but withdrew that same year before injecting $70m in series E capital a few months ago, but Spotify.
Another maybe deal but Wal-Mart enters talks to drive $1bn Flipkart investment
FIH Mobile subsidiary has contributed $125m to Tink’s funding round, a company that partners hotels and puts smartphones in rooms that are free to use for guests.
Didi Chuxing enters Ofo’s funding cycle
Online sales technology developer Apttus, backed by Salesforce Ventures, has welcomed back sovereign wealth fund Kuwait Investment Authority for an $88m series D round that put the company’s total equity at $274m.
Bloomberg helps ship $65m to Flexport
Xiaochuan Chuhai does its series B homework
Merck Ventures takes a ride on iOMX
Line seasons $45m Snow investment
Shape Security fits $40m into series D
Instacart consumes Whole Foods funding
NS1 directs $20m to series B
Eli Lilly breaches Fortis in $18m series A
GE and Allied Minds study collaboration
Druva drives $51m series E
LeEco, has announced a $1.08bn funding round backed by Lenovo and Macrolink, and will use the funding to further develop LeSee, an autonomous electric car it is working on with Aston Martin and Faraday Future among others.
Airbnb has reportedly closed an $850m round.
Grab has picked up $750m in a SoftBank-led series F round.
U51.com, China-based credit card management platform backed by e-commerce company JD.com, has closed a $310m series C round that values it at $1bn.
Pay-per-mile auto insurance provider Metromile has been relatively quiet on the funding front, but all that changed yesterday when it disclosed $191m in equity financing it has received in the past two years.
Solar film producer Heliatek has secured some $89m in financing, including about $47m in series D equity funding that will be used to scale up its manufacturing capacity.
A total of 51 companies and institutional investors have collectively provided R1.5bn ($112m) of funding for a South Africa-based fund that will invest in small and medium-sized (SME) businesses.
Thailand-based financial services firm Kasikorn Bank will establish a strategic investment fund of undisclosed size during the fourth quarter of 2016 to invest in fintech services and products.
South Korean entertainment company Huayi Brothers, a subsidiary of China-based Huayi Brothers Media, is set to launch a $45m CVC arm to invest from as early as the end of the month.
Trumpf, a German industrial product manufacturer, launched a corporate venturing unit called Trumpf Venture which aims to build up a $45m portfolio over the next five years.
Baidu, China’s answer to Google, is reportedly putting together a $150m fund to invest in businesses developing content that could be distributed on its media offerings.
GE Healthcare has put together an accelerator called Five.Eight in order to back startups developing technology that can benefit patients in developing regions.
Australia’s industry minster Greg Hunt has hinted at a $380m fund, which would be the third VC fund launched through the country’s National Innovation and Science Agenda, following the $150m Csiro Innovation Fund and $380m Biomedical Translation Fund.
Finance Wales meanwhile officially launched its Wales Business Fund, a $177m investment vehicle that will provide equity and debt to businesses already located in Wales or willing to move there.
Vietnam also popped up on our radar last week with news that it is set to establish a government venturing fund to co-invest in local startups and help create more of an ecosystem.
International Finance Corporation is looking to invest $25m in Maison Capital’s inaugural US dollar-denominated fund, which is targeting a $200m close.
Corporates Itochu, Yahoo Japan, FISL and Kodansha are set to exit Uzabase, developer of an online business database and curated news app, in a flotation on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers Market next month.
Dermatology product developer Novan has become the latest healthcare company to go public, raising $45m in a Nasdaq IPO.
Hearst Ventures, the corporate venturing unit of the eponymous US-based media group, which has restructured after the departure of its president, putting Kenneth Bronfin and Scott English in charge and building out its international network.
Andreas von Richter has left Ecomobility Ventures, the VC firm set up by Total, Orange, Peugeot and SNCF, to join another firm backed by a range of corporates, Aster Capital.
Jim Lussier, managing director and head of corporate venturing unit Dell Ventures, has left to run his own advisory and venture capital firm ahead of computer maker Dell’s merger with EMC.
Simon Johnson, previously senior investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, has joined Rivers Capital Partners as head of strategic debt funds.
AcuFocus, developer of a medical device that improves near vision, has raised $66m in a KKR-led round.
Microprocessor and system-on-chip technology developer Soft Machines came out of stealth mode in late 2014 with $125m from investors including AMD and Samsung, and has raised almost $175m from backers also including GlobalFoundries.
3D printing technology developer Carbon has added $81m to the $100m in series C capital it raised in August 2015, taking its overall funding to $222m.
Protein motion drug developer Relay Therapeutics has launched with $57m of funding partly supplied by biochemistry researcher DE Shaw.
A nice crossover between corporate, government and university came from France, where Eyevensys achieved a final close of its series A at $10m.
Baidu is looking to launch of a CVC unit called Baidu Venture that will target AI, virtual and augmented reality technology, and Baidu is initially looking to raise $200m to invest.
Sapphire Ventures broke off from its old parent company SAP in 2011 and officially changed its name from SAP Ventures three years later, but that doesn’t mean the two are strangers. SAP has just provided $1bn of capital for Sapphire.
Speaking of big funds, GV co-founder Bill Maris is reportedly in talks with investors for a new venture firm and is said to be targeting between $350m and $500m for its first fund.
Canada’s government has awarded $5m to the Capital expansion région Thetford fund for a venture capital vehicle that will support entrepreneurs in Quebec county Les Appalaches.
Canada-based VC firm Information Venture Partners, which achieved a $96m second close of its latest fund.
Bpifrance backed the first $52m close of incubator iBionext’s $112m growth fund that should help the Parisian startup foundry set up quite a few more businesses.
UC Berkeley meanwhile put some cash into the House Fund, a $6m fund set up by its alumnus Jeremy Fiance, and Warwick University is hoping to open a Centre for Innovation at its upcoming California campus, modelled on its original, England-based tech transfer office Warwick Ventures.
Crispr has filed for an IPO.
LED sensor technology provider Sensity Systems has agreed to an acquisition by Verizon that will give exits to Cisco Investments, Acuity Brands, GE Ventures and Simon Property.
Naspers subsidiary PayU is set to acquire Indian mobile payment services provider Citrus Pay in a $130m all-cash deal that will give exits to eContext and Beenos.
Concur has agreed to buy travel price comparison platform Hipmunk, allowing Nokia Growth Partners, which invested an undisclosed sum in the company two years ago, to exit.
Intel has reportedly agreed to buy semiconductor technology developer Soft Machines in a $250m deal that will provide exits to two Russian state-owned entities.
ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company, an insurance provider backed by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek, is hoping to raise Rs60bn ($900m) in an initial public offering today, that is Monday, September 19.
One sadder exit we have to talk about unfortunately is online lifestyle media company Mode Media. While the unicorn carnage predicted by some at the end of 2015 has yet to manifest, that doesn’t mean there won’t still be casualties. Mode Media, valued at $1bn in a 2013 round when it was still known as Glam, shut down on Thursday after failing to find a buyer or investors willing to provide financing. Its investors included Hubert Burda Media, which invested $30m in 2015, shortly after forming a strategic partnership with Mode.
Imperial Create Lab, the innovation community of Imperial College London and its Imperial Innovations investment arm, revealed a host of changes: Mark Hammond and Dominic Falcão have left to focus on their incubator Deep Science Ventures. Falcão had been manager of Imperial Create Lab from September 2013. Hammond had been director since January 2012.
Also at Create Lab, Jack Owen, ecosystem builder since January 2016, left to become a postgraduate talent associate at incubator Entrepreneur First, which, as you might remember, closed a $53.7m fund backed by Imperial College London two weeks ago. The new Create Lab team will be made up of Liz Choonara, who has also Imperial College’s enterprise development manager since 2014, and Lauren Dennis, communications and activities intern.
Hearst Ventures president George Kliavkoff has departed to take the chief executive position at virtual reality content developer Jaunt.
And Rich Flynn, who stepped down from his position as president of Apollo Education Ventures in April, has joined Tyton Partners as managing director.
Law and policy
After German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble blocked a startup boosting bill several months ago, the government has now agreed to provide tax breaks to VC investors, making it possible for them to reclaim potential losses.