Roughly two-thirds of the money would go toward a new growth stage fund; the rest would be invested through a new, early-stage fund.The firm may have a slightly harder go of it than in the past, given that its most prominent partner, John Doerr, announced in March that he s becoming chairman of the firm and won t be a general partner in any new funds.The firm has also experienced widely reported turnover in recent years and endured a drawn-out, high-profile discrimination lawsuit that detracted from its once impeccable cachet.Meanwhile, institutional investors like pension funds and universities are being deluged with capital requests from venture firms that are back in the market sooner than some of these investors expected.A number of name-brand funds, including Accel Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Founders Fund, have raised new, billion-dollar-plus funds this year, just two years after closing their last funds.Indeed, Kleiner itself last raised $1.2 billion across two funds in 2014.
TourRadar, an Austria-based online marketplace that specializes in selling multi-day tours around the world, has raised $6 million in a round led by Cherry Ventures and Hoxton Ventures, with participation from Austrian funds AWS Founders Fund and Speedinvest.Founded in 2010, TourRadar works with third-party travel companies to connect travelers with more than 20,000 tours across 200 countries, covering everything from city breaks to high-end luxury holidays.The company claims that 70 percent of its customers are female, and the most popular destinations are France, Italy, and Spain, with Australians and Americans representing its biggest source markets.Austria doesn t often hit the mainstream startup radar, but last year Adidas acquired Linz-based mobile fitness company Runtastic in a $239 million deal.And earlier in the year, Zynga founder Mark Pincus invested in Austria s slack competitor ChatGrape.While TourRadar s latest cash influx may serve as a minor boon to the broader Austrian startup ecosystem, it also illustrates the growing impact of online marketplaces.We are amazed that from its office in Vienna, the team has been able to cover the world so effectively and become a recognized leader.It will be used to support the company s ongoing expansion, with plans to grow its existing 40-strong headcount to 70 within the next 12 months.
Founded by Australian brothers Travis and Shawn Pittman but relocated to Austria of all places, TourRadar, the travel tour booking site, seems to be on a roll.Austrian VCs, Aws Founders Fund the fund of the Austrian federal development bank and Speedinvest, also participated.Picture yourself wanting to go touring on a wildlife safari in Africa, a 12 day coach tour through Europe or a 5 day trek to Machu Picchu.He also says TourRadar differs from European online travel marketplace Evaneos, which recently snagged $21 million in further funding and also targets travellers seeking tour-type vacations, because the former offers tailor-made or bespoke experiences with a local travel agent, whereas TourRadar is focused on scheduled departures and itineraries with a tour guide run by either local or global tour operators .It currently partners with over 500 tour operators running trips to over 200 countries, and has signed partnerships with Amadeus and Rough Guides.We are amazed that from its office in Vienna, the team has been able to cover the world so effectively and become a recognized leader.
On Tuesday evening, the pair revealed that the powerful Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel has been secretly underwriting Hulk Hogan s litigation against Gawker:According to people familiar with the situation who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, Thiel, a cofounder and partner at Founders Fund, has played a lead role in bankrolling the cases Terry Bollea, a.k.a.Hogan is being represented by Charles Harder, a prominent Los Angeles-based lawyer.He also made a $10,000 donation to fund the efforts of right-wing sting artist James O Keefe III.In just the last month, Gawker Media s tech site Gizmodo published a series of stories on Facebook s use of news curators to manipulate the site s trending module, sparking a congressional investigation into the social network s practices.In a comment on a 2007 post by Valleywag editor Owen Thomas on the open secret of Thiel s sexuality, Denton described being threatened for his prior attempts to report on the billionaire s dating habits: He was so paranoid that, when I was looking into the story, a year ago, I got a series of messages relaying the destruction that would rain down on me, and various innocent civilians caught in the crossfire, if a story ever ran.Thiel later described Valleywag as the Silicon Valley equivalent of Al Qaeda.
Its new investors are FF Angel, the seed-stage fund run by Founders Fund, and Sequoia Capital.Its founder and CEO, Archit Gupta, tells TechCrunch its newest round counts as ClearTax s seed funding.While ClearTax s angel round was oversubscribed, the company continued talking to venture capital firms and was eager to add Founders Fund and Sequoia to its list of backers, says Gupta.The company wants seven million Indian taxpayers on its tax return platform by the end of 2017, up from the three million it expects to have at the end of this year.It also wants to get over a million users on a new tax-savings platform that will launch in July and is designed to help people figure out what deductions they are eligible for and how they can use the money instead in tax-exempt investment vehicles instead.The platform is targeted at younger taxpayers, since ClearTax s aggregate user data shows that millennials do much worse at tax savings than older users because of lack of clarity about what to do, says Gupta.
It ll be listed on the New York Stock Exchange NYSE under the ticker symbol TWLO.The company s move toward the public market makes its one of the first few tech IPOs of 2016, following Dell s spin-off SecureWorks in April, network hardware firm Acacia Communications this month, and health care firm NantHealth earlier this weekIt had been reported in December that the company had confidentially filed paperwork in December and was working with Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co to handle the process.The company confirmed this in its S-1, saying that it has hired Goldman Sachs, Allen & Company, J.P. Morgan, Pacific Crest Securities, and Canaccord Genuity as underwriters.Twilio revealed that it has 28,000 active customer accounts as of March 31, 2016, defined as an individual account that has spent $5 in the last month of the period.Interestingly, in the last three months ending March 31, 2016, 15 percent of the company s revenue came from customer accounts located outside of the U.S.Twilio states that WhatsApp accounted for 15 percent of its revenue in the first three months of 2016; the fact that a long-term contract doesn t exist could cause some issues.Founded in 2008, Twilio describes itself as a cloud communications company that appeals to developers interested in building applications around phone and messaging services they can t get from traditional carriers.Over time, it has added new services intended to show investors its appeal to more audiences such as the enterprise, including session initiation protocol SIP support enabling companies to better utilize voice over IP, or VoIP; forming partnerships with carriers like Japan-based KDDI Web Communications to improve overall latency; and even including MMS messaging features into its platform.At last month s Facebook developer conference, Twilio announced that it has added Facebook Messenger to its API offering, giving developers more communication options to include in their apps.Lawson is the largest individual shareholder with 11.9 percent.It has raised more than $233 million in venture funding, with investments coming from 500 Startups, Altimeter Capital, Amazon, Bessemer Venture Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Fidelity Investments, Founders Fund, K9 Ventures, Union Square Ventures, T. Rowe Price, SV Angel, Salesforce Ventures, Redpoint, and numerous angel investors.The company was founded by Lawson, Evan Cooke, and John Wolthuis.
Max Levchin, your fellow founder at Paypal, told me back in 2007 you were concerned about the reaction, not in Silicon Valley, but among investors in your hedge fund from less tolerant places such as Saudi Arabia.Let us run through a few examples so that people can actually read the articles you find so illegitimate, and make their own judgment about their newsworthiness.Parker was stung more recently by criticism from his neighbors of the disruption to 10th St. in Manhattan when the street was dug up to get a Fios line to Bacchus House, the famous party venue where Parker had been planning to live.Valleywag covered that story, as well as his lavish and controversial wedding in the redwoods near Big Sur.Among the million posts published by Gawker and other properties since the company was founded, there have undoubtedly been occasions we overstepped the line.You said you wanted to even the legal playing field for people without your resources.
GUS RUELAS / ReutersPeter Thiel, partner of Founders Fund, takes part in a panel discussion titled When Past Performance Is a Guide: Using History to Make Sense of the Post-Crisis World at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California May 1, 2013.But his secret funding of the privacy lawsuit of Hulk Hogan, the former pro wrestler, against Gawker may help accelerate it.John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, plutocrats of the Gilded Age, used their money against their enemies, to be sure, enemies that included newspapers and magazines that disagreed with them for all sorts of reasons.In this way, Thiel epitomizes why polls show people losing trust in Silicon Valley.Let s not pretend that the website did it as part of a great journalistic mission.Gawker did it to lure eyes to its website while smugly saying the First Amendment sheltered it.
Photo: Flickr/Christina Tu, Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research CenterUntil now, the second-largest acquisition in the history of venture capital was largely based on clinical-trial data that hadn't been released.In data released Sunday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference, Stemcentrx showed that its drug could extend the lives of certain patients with small-cell lung cancer.The Phase 1 study released Sunday, which had the goal of showing that Rova-T is effective and safe to use, looked at 74 people with small-cell lung cancer whose disease had gotten worse even with at least one other treatment option.Although these results are preliminary, rovalpituzumab tesirine seems to be the first targeted therapy to show efficacy in small cell lung cancer, and we may have identified DLL3 as the first predictive biomarker in this disease, Dr. Charles Rudin, an oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering who led the study, said in a release.What's nextSan Francisco-based Stemcentrx, which has been working on its drugs since 2008 but only launched publicly in September 2015.Since the acquisition by AbbVie, according to CEO Brian Slingerland, not much has changed in the day-to-day operations.
Steve Jobs went ballistic when public shipping manifests leaked the existence of the iPhone 3G.The circulatory system of the global economy is a trillion-dollar industry, yet no one really talks about it, or builds tech for it.Yellow ocean containers, Red air freight few because they arrive so fast , and white truck.That is, until Flexport indexed all the available carriers into a searchable database in its free software for organizing and tracking shipments.Over time, Flexport s routing decisions are becoming more and more automated.Its investors include First Round, Founders Fund, Felicis, GV Google Ventures , Box Group, Bloomberg Beta, and Ashton Kutcher.
The deal is a bit of a coup, coming as it does from Andreessen Horowitz s months-old, $200 million Bio Fund.Freenome cofounder and CEO Gabe OtteBut explains in this way in a post about Freenome s technology:Freenome is the dynamic collection of genetic material floating in our blood cell-free derived from the trillions of cells in our bodies.By understanding one s freenome, we have been able to develop early detection tests for cancer.So most of the time, people focus on reducing the biology down to simplified, easily digestible models.So we built a learning engine that is able to look at our genetic health in the most non-reductive way possible.Rather than creating a cancer test by fixating on a few mutations that have previously been associated with the disease, we allowed our technology to aid us in detecting every possible signature of cancer — and the correct combination of them that allowed us to develop an accurate test.
Zenefits on Tuesday said it is laying off another 9% of its staff, the latest restructuring by the once highflying health-benefits broker that is reeling from regulatory issues and missed sales targets.That figure includes 61 people in the company s Arizona sales office, which is being shut down, and 45 others, mostly from the company s operations team.In February, shortly after Mr. Sacks replaced founder Parker Conrad as CEO, Zenefits dismissed about 250 employees, or 17% of its workforce.After the newest layoffs, it will have less than 1,100.In total it has raised about $600 million of capital from Fidelity Investments, Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund and others.The company has blamed some of its problems on mismanagement by Mr. Conrad, pointing for instance to a software program that Zenefits says he created that helped some employees complete licensing requirements more quickly than legally allowed.
ClearTax, which helps Indians file their tax returns online with minimum stress, is on a roll this year.ClearTax CEO and founder Archit Gupta told TechCrunch that three announcements over such a short period wasn t the company s plan but that is how the funding materialized.Gupta said that was down to the chemistry he found in SAIF s Ravi Adusumalli.The money is likely to last some time and it will be used to help grow the ClearTax userbase and expand its reach into new financial products.First is a tax return service for businesses, which is focused around the Indian government move to evolve the country s outdated and inconsistent VAT regulations to a more standardized GST system.Half of the new staff will be product engineers, Gupta explain, and the company is looking both inside India and to the U.S. — particularly Indian expats in Silicon Valley — to fill its vacancies.
The timing fits the narrative of many Silicon Valley venture firms, many of which have been returning to their LPs in two years time, rather than a more traditional three or four years.Indeed, the firm raised its last growth fund, a $470 million pool, in May of 2014.VCs say they re raising money right now because it s a good time to invest, as well as because the fundraising pace was accelerated in recent years as startups raised rounds in faster succession than they have historically.However, there are skeptics, including Benchmark s Bill Gurley, who has suggested VCs are raising faster than ever because the industry has record internal rates of return on paper and record low liquidity — meaning investors markups have not been turned into cash-on- cash returns just yet, and they don t want to wait for those markups to fall before reaching out to their investors.We talked with cofounder Randy Glein in December about what the firm looks for, which he said are companies that are generating low tens of millions of dollars in annual bookings, growing more than 100 percent a year, and playing in a market that s big enough to support a large company.Glenn said then that DFJ Growth sometimes invests in the same companies backed previously by DFJ but that there s been less overlap over the years.
Lyft could be looking to be acquired as reports have surfaced suggesting that the on-demand car service has enlisted the help of Qatalyst Partners, a firm known for facilitating mergers and acquisitions.The company declined to comment on the report.Sources told The Wall Street Journal that Frank Quattrone, Qatalyst s founder and executive chairman, has been in contact with various companies including large auto makers about taking a stake in Lyft.The company has raised more than $2 billion in funding and has been on a seemingly furious pace to take on Uber, which has a massive war chest at its disposal.That company s CEO Sunil Paul once wrote that Uber s win at any cost model basically put Sidecar out of business and it s possible that this could result in the same thing for Lyft.In an effort to counter the growing influence of Uber, Lyft has formed an ridesharing alliance with other companies — kind of like a the enemy of my enemy situation.Last September, the company struck an accord with China s Didi which has recently received backing from Apple, and also with GrabTaxi and Ola.Some of the Lyft s investors include a bevy of who s who in the investment world, including Icahn Enterprises, Rakuten, Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund, Mayfield Fund, K9 Ventures, fbFund, and even General Motors which put in $500 million of a $1 billion round into the company.What may be appealing to large auto makers is technology around self-driving cars that Lyft and may of these ridesharing services are working on.This is why General Motors made its investment according to its president Dan Ammann: With GM and Lyft working together, we believe we can successfully implement this vision of creating an integrated network of on-demand autonomous vehicles more rapidly.
A startup called Boon Gable aims to solve both those problems with a service that offers a personal stylist who comes to your home with a curated selection of clothes for you to try, then buy on the spot if you like them.The company has just raised $2.5 million in seed funding, and is now announcing its initial retail partners, including Bloomingdale s and J.Crew.The seed funding was led by CrossCut Ventures, with participation from Crosslink Capital, Female Founders Fund, Maveron, Fresco Capital, Structure Capital and 500 Startups.Loviglio says that she realized she was in a style rut, and looked for help to no avail.The service now has thousands of customers, 60 percent of whom return to the service every 8 to 10 weeks.Customers use Boon Gable by downloading the app, then filling out a style profile where they enter in their size information and the price points they re comfortable with.
At TechCrunch Shanghai 2016, Flexport CEO Ryan Peterson, who has received significant funding from Thiel, candidly spoke about his discomfort around Thiel s backing of Trump.Flexport, a freight forwarding service and software company that offers an operating system for global trade, raised a $20 million Series A round led by Thiel of Founders Fund last year.On top of that, Flexport offers physical freight shipping services for its business customers.Peterson pointed to Trump s desire to slap huge tariffs on goods coming out of China.Other than Thiel, Flexport has raised money from investors like First Round Capital, Felicis Ventures, Y Combinator, Google Ventures and other venture capital firms.To date, Flexport has raised $26.6 million.
My family has entered the maximum number of times for the last decade and has nothing to show for it.At some point every millennial has to take responsibility for the fact that their bedroom looks like a government records building.Homee is jumping on to the conversational commerce trend to keep the design process fun for the Pinterest obsessed and remove the pain for the rest of us.The company is announcing a $5 million Series A today funded by Peter Thiel s Founders Fund and a personal investment from Sean Rad, CEO of Tinder and other angels to bring total fundraising to $7.2 million.Designers hand curate a selection of furniture and can match any design preference, even if you don t know your own preferences.A human then picks up the conversation and fills in gaps from the survey.
The American decor starting lineup Homee raises SEK 43 million. Tech Profiles Tinder-founder Sean Rad and Peter Thiel's Founders Fund is having on the round. Dating Sean King Line makes its second angel investment ever, reports the American TechCrunch. Interior Home Upen Homee who want to help people design their homes with an app and freelance designers, taking in a capital round of $ 5 million, equivalent to 43 million. Tinder-founder has previously made a seed investment in the company. Now he follows then up the first investment by a new round.
Firms are closing new funds almost exactly 24 months to the date from their last fund closing.Bain Capital Ventures BCV , which this morning announced a new, $600 million fund.Other venture firms to close fast follow-on funds this year include Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Battery Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and General Catalyst Partners.BCV is the venture arm of the private equity behemoth Bain Capital, which was founded in 1984.The 15-year-old unit opened its first Bay Area office five years ago, planting a flag in Palo Alto; soon, it s moving into an even bigger office in San Francisco.It has eight managing directors — including Ajay Agarwal, who leads its West Coast team — and one partner.