October 27, 2020
 
Tuesday! Congrats to the Dodgers for their first World Series Championship in 32 years. (That sounds like a long time unless you're from Cleveland.)
Top News
 
Visa's $5.3 billion deal to buy Plaid is in jeopardy, according to the WSJ. The Justice Department could decide soon whether it will sue to block Visa’s acquisition of the company, which provides the infrastructure underpinning an array of next-gen financial apps and that agreed to a tie-up with Visa back in January in a major triumph for its investors (they invested $310 million altogether). After spending the better part of the year scrutinizing the deal, the department is reportedly concerned it could limit nascent competition in the payments sector. More here.
 
Tomorrow, lawmakers will confront the CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter to discuss whether Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act enables bad behavior from the companies. Jack Dorsey and Sundar Pichai are expected to defend the law, while Mark Zuckerberg will call for the law to be updated, a move that critics say will only cement Facebook's power and status.
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Fab Founder Jason Goldberg is Back with Moxie, a Live-Streaming Fitness Marketplace

Amid a pandemic that has closed down fitness centers worldwide, a spate of companies has muscled their way into the booming at-home fitness market.
 
In just the last two weeks, three-year-old Future, which promises at-home customers access to elite training, closed on $24 million in Series B funding; and Playbook, a nearly five-year-old fitness platform that helps personal trainers stream and charge for their content, raised $9.3 million in Series A funding.
 
Now, serial entrepreneur Jason Goldberg -- who has founded a number of venture-backed startups -- is taking the wraps off another live-streaming platform and marketplace. Called Moxie, it connects fitness instructors of all stripes with existing and new students, then enables them to stream classes on a subscription basis -- and to keep 85 percent of the revenue for themselves.
 
Well, according to Goldberg, it's all far more sophisticated than that. Indeed, Moxie's 45 employees were working on a very different company until COVID-19 took hold in Europe and the U.S., following its initial outbreak in China. (Moxie is based in Berlin.) After some soul-searching, the team pivoted completely to fitness, and they've been testing and tweaking Moxie ever since.
 
It's a compelling proposition, even while other startup founders are also chasing after it. A year ago, fitness instructors spent 90 percent of their time in studio settings; they now spend 90 percent of their time teaching online.
 
Massive Fundings
 
Caris Life Sciences, a 24-year-old, Irving, Texas-based precision medicine company, raised $235 million in funding co-led by Highland Capital Management and Coatue. Other investors in the round include T. Rowe Price AssociatesOrbiMedMillennium ManagementNeuberger BermanClearBridge Investments, and First Light Asset Management. BioSpace has more here.
 
DriveWealth, an eight-year-old, Chatham, N.J.-based fractional investing platform in U.S. equities, has raised $56.7 million in funding led by Point72 Ventures, with added participation from Raptor GroupSBI HoldingsRoute 66 Ventures, Mouro Capital and Fidelity International Strategic VenturesMore here.
 
Faire, the 3.5-year-old, San Francisco-based online wholesale marketplace connecting more than 100,000 local retailers and 10,000 brands, has officially closed a $170 million Series E round led by Sequoia Capital that pegs Faire’s valuation at $2.5 billion. That's more than double the valuation it was assigned when it raised a Series D round less than one year ago. (Bloomberg reported last week that this deal was in the works.) Forbes has more here.
 
FreshToHome, a 5.5-year-old, Bangalore, India-based e-commerce startup that sells fresh vegetables, fish, chicken and other kinds of meat, has raised $121 million in Series C funding. Backers include the Investment Corporation of Dubai, the principal investment arm of the Government of Dubai, InvestcorpAscent Capital, and the Allana Group. The company has now raised $154 million to date. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Honor, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based in-home care company for the elderly, has raised $140 million in Series D funding co-led by Baillie Gifford and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, with added participation from Rock Springs and earlier investors Prosus Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive Capital, and 8VC. With this latest round of funding, the company has received $255 million in funding altogether. More here.
 
Ordermark, a 3.5-year-old, L.A.-based online ordering management platform for restaurants and virtual kitchens, has raised $120 million in Series C funding led by Softbank Vision Fund 2. TechCrunch has more here.
 
SimilarWeb, a 13-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based company whose AI-based platform that helps sites and apps track and understand traffic on their own sites and also competitors, has raised $120 million in funding co-led by ION Crossover Partners and Viola Growth. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Tokopedia PT, an 11-year-old, Indonesia-based e-commerce platform that allows individuals and small-to-mid-sized business owners to start their online stores, is set to raise $350 million in funding from Google and Temasek Holdings, says Bloomberg. More here.
 
Big-But-Not-Crazy-Big Fundings
 
Apeel Sciences, a nearly nine-year-old, Santa Barbara, Ca.-based developer of food-based coatings to extend produce freshness, has raised an additional $30 million in funding from International Finance Corp, Temasek and Astanor Ventures to finance an international rollout. The company had announced a $250 million Series D round back in May and has now raised more than $360 million altogether, says TechCrunch. More here.
 
Bluefin, a 13-year-old, Atlanta, Ga.-based payment and data security tech company, has raised $25 million in growth funding led by Macquarie Capital Principal Finance, with participation from earlier backers Napier Park and Camden Partners. More here.
 
InVideo, a three-year-old, Mumbai, India-based startup that has built a video creation and editing platform, has raised $15 million in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital India. Tiger Global, Hummingbird, RTP Global, and Base also participated in the round. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Replicated, a six-year-old, L.A.-based startup that enables software vendors to scale the distribution of their Kubernetes apps to complex enterprise environments, has raised $25 million in fundig led by Two Sigma Ventures. Earlier backers Plexo Capital, Amplify, and BoldStart also joined the round. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Rockset, a four-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based cloud-native analytics company, has raised $40 million in Series B funding from earlier backers Sequoia Capital and Greylock. The company has now raised a total of $61.5 million. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Skan, a 2.5-year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based company that aims to give its enterprise customers better insight into its processes, has raised $14 million in Series A funding led by Cathay Innovation, with added participation from Citi Ventures and earlier backers Zetta Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, Plug and Play Ventures, and Firebolt Ventures. More here.
 
Stark, a New York-based startup whose suite of integrated tools aims to help product development teams ship fully accessible and legally compliant cross-platform products, has picked up $1.5 million from numerous individual investors. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Theta Lake, a three-year-old, Bay Area-based maker compliance and security tools for conferencing software like Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and others, has raised $12.7 million in new funding. Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round, joined by Cisco Investments; earlier backers Neotribe Ventures, Firebolt Ventures and WestWave Capital; and numerous individual investors. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Toka, a two-year-old, Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity company, has raised $25 million in Series B funding led by Eclipse Ventures. Other participants in the round include Andreessen Horowitz, Dell Technologies Capital, and Entrée Capital. SecurityWeek has more here.
 
Smaller Fundings
 
Boom, a two-year-old, Milan, Italy-based startup that offers a two-sided tech platform to let companies book and manage commercial photo shoots, has raised $7 million in Series A funding led by Italy’s United Ventures, with participation from Wellness Holding. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Deci, a year-old, Tel Aviv-based deep learning company focused on eliminating production-related bottlenecks, has raised $9.1 million in seed funding. Emerge led the round, joined by Square Peg. VentureBeat has more here.
 
Gauss, a nine-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based computer vision startup focused on health care, has raised $10 million to accelerate development and commercialization of an at-home rapid antigen test for COVID-19. The 4100 Group led the round, joined by earlier investors SoftBank Ventures Asia, Northwell Health, Providence Health and Services, OSF Healthcare, and Polaris Partners. Axios has more here.
 
Leading Edge Equipment, a 2.5-year-old, Wilmington, Ma.-based maker of silicon wafer manufacturing equipment, has raised $7.6 million in funding from Prime Impact Fund, Clean Energy Ventures and DSM Venturing. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Lightyear, a 16-month-old, New York-based startup that wants to make it easier for large companies to procure networking infrastructure like internet and SD-WAN, has raised $3.7 million in seed funding led by Amplo, with participation from Susa Ventures, Ludlow Ventures, Mark Cuban, David Adelman and Operator Partners. TechCrunch has more here.
 
NeoLight, a 6.5-year-old, Scottsdale, Az.-based startup company that’s working to bring hospital-grade neonatal care technologies (and specifically light therapies to treat conditions like jaundice) to the home, has raised $7 million more in financing. The funding comes from Dignity Health and Honor Health Systems, along with earlier backers Ben and Ashley Roethlisberger and other, undisclosed investors. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Panoply, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based platform that makes it easier for businesses to set up a data warehouse and analyze that data with standard SQL queries, has raised $10 million in fresh funding from Ibex Investors and C5 Capital. The company, which also has an office in Tel Aviv, has now raised $24 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Rune Labs, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based maker of software for closed-loop neuromodulation, has raised $5 million in seed funding. DigiTx Partners led the round; other participants include TruVenturo, Moment Ventures, Loup Ventures and Sabbatical Ventures. More here.
 
Sidekick Health, a six-year-old, Nordic digital therapeutics company, has raised $20 million in Series A funding  led by Wellington Partners and Asabys Partners. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Stackhawk, a 20-month-old, Denver-based company whose platform automatically checks developers' code for any errors or potential security vulnerabilities each time they make updates, has raised $10 million in Series A funding. Sapphire Ventures led the round, joined by Foundry Group, Costanoa Ventures, Flybridge Capital, and Matchstick Ventures. Business Insider has more here.
 
Strider Technologies, a year-old, Washington, D.C.-based maker of software for identifying economic risk from nation-states, has raised $10 million in Series A funding. Koch Disruptive Technologies led the round, joined by One9 Ventures and DataTribe. More here.
 
Tül, a months-old, Bogota, Colombia-based startup whose logistics software connects construction manufacturers to the small businesses across Latin America that are responsible for handling half of the inventory for construction jobs in the region, has raised $4 million min seed funding led by Vine Capital Management. TechCrunch has more here.
 
New Funds
 
Camber Creek, a nine-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based venture capital firm focused on startups trying to transform the real estate industry, has closed its third fund with $155 million in capital commitments. The outfit, which also has offices in San Francisco and New York, is now managing $250 million altogether. The Real Deal has more here.
 
Japanese asset management firm Aristagora Advisors announced on Tuesday the launch of a new venture capital fund Aristagora VC dedicated to investment in early-stage Israeli startups. The $60 million fund will focus on deep tech companies and will invest $500,00 to $1.5 million as an initial investment in each startup. Calcalist has more here.
 
The Engine, a venture outfit based out of MIT and Cambridge, has raised $230 million toward the firm’s second fund, three years after closing its first fund with $200 million. In a press statement, the firm said that it has funded 27 portfolio companies out of its first fund. While MIT continues to be the anchor LP, Harvard joined for the new vehicle. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Impact America Fund, a seven-year-old, Oakland, Ca.-based venture outfit that invests in female founders and founders from other underrepresented groups in the world of venture-backed startups, has closed its newest fund with $55 million, capital it plans to invest in up to 25 companies via checks of between $250,000 and $3 million. The fund, led by Kesha Cash, is one of the largest ever raised by a sole Black female general partner. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Intuitive Surgical, a 25-year-old, Sunnyvale, Ca.-based surgical robotics company that was founded by famed medical device developer Frederick Moll and went public in 2000, has launched a venture arm called Intuitive Ventures. According to a press release, it will invest $100 million in digital tools, precision diagnostics, focal therapeutics and platform technologies. Mass Device has more here.
 
Ryder System, an 87-year-old, Miami, Fl.-based publicly traded maker of supply chain, transportation and commercial fleet management software says it has formed a new corporate venture arm that plans to invest up to $50 million over the next five years in technologies and business models that deliver advancements and automation in the logistics and transportation industries. More here.
 
TCV, the Palo Alto, Ca.-based growth-stage and crossover fund, is reportedly targeting $3.25 billion for its eleventh and newest fund and at least one big commitment is coming from the East Coast. According to Pensions & Investments, New York State Teachers' Retirement System in Albany has made a commitment of up to $200 million to the new vehicle. More here.
Exits
 
Advanced Micro Devices plans to buy rival chip maker Xilinx in a $35 billion all-stock deal, adding momentum to the consolidation of the semiconductor industry. The WSJ, which previously reported the two were in talks, has more here.
People
 
Ankhi Das, a top Facebook  executive in India, is leaving the company on Tuesday months after she was alleged to interfere in how the company enforced its hate-speech policy in the country to show favoritism to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Phil Horsley, the former investment analyst who founded Horsley Bridge Partners in 1983, passed away last week at age 82 following complications related to spinal surgery. More here.
Jobs
 
Cottonwood Technology Fund, an early-stage venture fund, is looking to add to its staff, including, potentially, someone at the partner level. The job is in Albuquerque, N.M. More here.
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Essential Reads
 
Microsoft's earnings continue to beat analyst expectations.
 
Detours
 
What the 2020 electorate looks like.
 
An AI bot was fed Banksy's portfolio and this is the result.
 
Ten of the most haunted roads in the U.S.
Retail Therapy
 
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