03 October 2016 – Funding news from Canada, the EU and the UK, Exits for Nokia and Much More

People

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.

Funds

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

Exits

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.

Investments

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

University Corner

GE and Allied Minds study collaboration

Government Department

Druva drives $51m series E


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

19 September 2016 – Clear Vision Investment, A Fund for Baidu and Russian State Exits plus much more

Deals

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.

Funds

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.

Exits

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.

People

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.


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0