A bombshell lawsuit, Apple gets back to the office, and Miami's newest resident remains a mystery (for now!)

June 2, 2021
Top News
 
A woman yesterday filed a lawsuit against Leon Black, the cofounder and former CEO of Apollo Global Management, accusing him of defamation and alleging he raped and harassed her. Black, who stepped down as CEO of the powerhouse PE firm in March following revelations around his ties to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein (Black cited his and his wife's health in transitioning out), denies the claims and says that he and the plaintiff, Guzel Ganieva, were in a consensual relationship. Her complaint is here.
 
The FBI today confirmed reports that the well-known cybercriminal group REvil (also known as Sodinokibi) is behind the ongoing ransomware attack targeting JBS, the world’s largest meatpacking company. The Record has more here.
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Tuesday Capital Casts a Wide Net with a Fourth, $30 Million Fund
 
Tuesday Capital, a 10-year-old seed-stage fund that was founded by longtime VC Patrick Gallagher and TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, has changed considerably over the years. Arrington now leads a crypto hedge fund. Tuesday was formerly known as Crunchfund. Gallagher now runs the outfit with partner Prashant Fonseka, who joined the fund in 2015 as an associate.
 
Tuesday has also formed a tight relationship over the years with the industrial design shop Frog Design, which is a limited partner in the fund and sold a portion of its venture portfolio to Tuesday early last year. (Tuesday obtained stakes in nine startups in the deal.)
 
Perhaps most meaningfully, ten years ago, Tuesday didn't have stakes in so many portfolio companies. Now that it has backed 600 founders, it has exits to point to and networks to leverage, says Gallagher of why the firm, which recently closed its fourth fund with $30 million, is now investing all over the globe and could be in the market later this year.
 
Massive Fundings
 
Celonis, a 10-year-old, Munich, Germany-based pioneer of “process mining,” which analyzes data from a company’s event logs to identify problems with certain processes, has raised $1 billion in Series D funding at a post-money valuation of $11 billion co-led by Durable Capital Partners and T. Rowe Price, with participation from Franklin Templeton, Splunk Ventures and earlier backer Arena Holding , among others. Judging by Crunchbase data, the company has now raised around $1.4 billion altogether. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Climavision, a new, Louisville, Ky.-based weather services and intelligence platform, has raised $100 million from The Rise Fund after spinning out of Enterprise Electronics Corporation, a firm that manufactures weather radar systems used by 95 countries. Axios has more here.

FlixMobility, a 10-year-old, Munich, Germany-based transportation app best known for its FlixBus intercity bus brand (though it also has train services), raised $650 million in Series G equity and debt at a $3 billion valuation. Canyon Partners led the round, joined by earlier investors General Atlantic, Permira, TCV, HV Capital, Blackrock and Baillie Gifford. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Guild Education, a six-year-old, Denver-based startup that pairs employees with employer-sponsored learning opportunities, has raised $150 million in Series E funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, General Catalyst, Salesforce Ventures, and GSV. The round values the company at $3.5 billion. That's triple the valuation last assigned to the company, which has now raised around $375 million altogether, judging by old Crunchbase data. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Illuminarium Experiences, a two-year-old, Atlanta, Ga.-based experiential entertainment company, raised $100 million from Eldridge. More here.
 
Locus, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based supply chain decision-making automation platform, has raised $50 million in Series C funding. GIC led the round, joined by Qualcomm Ventures and earlier investors Tiger Global Management and Falcon Edge. The company has now raised $79 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Outreach, a seven-year-old, Seattle-based company whose software is used to help sales professionals close deals, track leads and boost engagement with customers, has raised $200 million in funding at a $4.4 billion post-money valuation, more than triple its valuation a year ago. The new round was co-led by new investors Premji Invest and Steadfast Capital Ventures. Other backers include Tiger Global Management, Sequoia Capital Global Equities, Vista Public Strategies, and half a dozen other firms. The company has now raised $489 million altogether. GeekWire has more here.
 
Shippo, a nearly nine-year-old, San Francisco-based software company that helps e-commerce businesses, online marketplaces, and platforms integrate shipping with multiple carriers through their API and web application, has raised $50 million in funding led by earlier backer Bessemer Venture Partners at a $1 billion valuation. Just months ago, the company's valuation was half that amount. Bloomberg has more here
 
Spruce, a five-year-old, New York-based title and residential closing tech platform, has raised $60 million in Series C funding led by Zigg Capital, with participation from earlier investors Bessemer Venture Partners and Scale Venture Partners. The company has now raised $110 million altogether. HousingWire has more here.

Thirty Madison, a four-year-old, New York-based maker of products for chronic health conditions like hair loss and acid reflux, has raised $140 million in Series C funding. HealthQuest Capital led the round, joined by Mousse Partners, Bracket Capital and earlier investors Polaris Partners, Johnson & Johnson, Northzone and Greycroft. Bloomberg has more here.
 
Yieldstreet, a six-year-old, New York-based alternative investing platform, has raised $100 million in Series C funding led by Tarsadia Investments. Other participants in the round include Kingfisher Investment, Top Tier Capital Partners, Gaingels and earlier backers Edison Partners, Soros Fund Management, Greenspring Associates, Raine Ventures, Greycroft and Expansion VC. CNBC has more here.
 
Big-But-Not-Crazy-Big Fundings

Comunix, a three-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based social gaming startup whose titles include "Pokerface," has raised $30 million in Series A funding. March Capital led the round, joined by Powerhouse, Woori Capital, Altshuler Shaham, Kaedan Capital, Velo Partners, Moon Active and Baladi Ventures. VentureBeat has more here.
 
Interative, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based open-source startup that is building an enterprise AI platform to help companies operationalize their models, has raised $20 million in Series A funding led by 468 Capital and Mesosphere co-founder Florian Leibert. Previous investors True Ventures and Afore Capital also joined the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $25 million. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Nayya, a two-year-old, New York-based employee benefits navigation platform, has raised $37 million in Series B funding round co-led by SVB Capital and ICONIQ Growth. The company has now raised $50 million altogether. MobiHealth News has more here.
 
Tajir, a three-year-old, Lahore, Pakistan-based B2B e-commerce marketplace, has raised $17 million in Series A funding led by Kleiner Perkins. Other participants in the round include Y Combinator Continuity Fund, AAVCF, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Flexport, Golden Gate Ventures, Liberty City Ventures, VentureSouq, and angel investors, including Flexport CEO Ryan Petersen and Figma CEO Dylan Field. MenaBytes has more here.

Mynd, a five-year-old, Oakland, Ca.-based property management platform for single family rentals, has raised $40 million led by Invesco Real Estate. Bloomberg has more here.
 
Pinwheel, a two-year-old, New York-based payroll API company founded by Curtis Lee (who previously founded the valet parking service Luxe), has raised $20 million in Series A funding. Coatue led the round, joined by Primary Ventures, Semper Virens, First Round Capital and Upfront Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Shef, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based marketplace meant to help these home chefs connect with customers, handle orders and get the food delivered, has raised $20 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Y Combinator, Craft Ventures, M13 and a bevy of celebrities, including Padma Lakshmi. TechCrunch has more here.

Synctera, a year-old, San Francisco-based startup that aims to serve as a matchmaker for community banks and fintechs, has raised $33 million in Series A funding. Fin VC led the round, joined by Mastercard, Gaingels and earlier investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Diagram Ventures, SciFi Ventures and Scribble Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.

System, a 3.5-year-old, New York-based data organization and discovery startup led by Adam Bly, a former VP of data at Spotify,  has raised $12.2 million, per an SEC filing. Backers include Lux Capital and Acrew Capital. More here.
 
Smaller Fundings
 
LoginID, a two-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based maker of authentication software aimed at protecting users' identities, has raised $6 million in seed funding, including from Leonsis Investment and numerous notable individual investors, including serial entrepreneur Fabrice Grinda of FJ Labs. More here.
 
OroraTech, a three-year-old, Munich, Germany-based startup that's building a constellation of small satellites to power a global wildfire warning system, has raised raised €5.8 million ($7 million) in Series A funding co-led by Findus Venture and Ananda Impact Ventures, with participation from APEX Ventures, BayernKapital, Clemens Kaiser, and SpaceTec Capital among others. TechCrunch has more here.
 
Paloma, a four-year-old, New York-based platform bringing commerce functionality to messaging platforms, has raised $4 million in seed funding led by Laconia Capital Group. , with participation from Casper founder Philip Krim, among others. More here.
New Funds
 
Singapore’s IGlobe Partners has closed its latest venture-capital fund, which plans to invest $100 million in startups focusing on synthetic biology, fintech and technologies for smart cities. The vehicle is the firm's fourth fund and it's expected to fund between 15 and 20 startups across the U.S., Europe and Southeast Asia, reports Bloomberg. The 21-year-old outfit began in Silicon Valley but its founder, Koh Soo Boon, moved its headquarters to her native Singapore a decade later. More here.
 
MetaVC Partners, a new, San Francisco- and Seattle-based venture firm,  has launched a fund that it says will focus on early-stage startups employing metamaterials technology. It says both Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold, two of the earliest investors in the emerging metamaterials industry, are limited partners. More here.
 
Unicorn Capital Partners, a six-year-old, Hong Kong-based venture capital fund of funds, says it has raised $450 million in capital commitments for its fourth fund. The capital will be used to back venture funds and in direct opportunities as they relate to the tech and healthcare sectors in China. The outfit closed its last fund less than two years ago with $350 million. DealStreetAsia has more here.
Exits
 
Depop, the 10-year-old, London-based fashion resale marketplace beloved by Generation Z, will be acquired by Etsy for $1.6 billion in cash, the two companies said today, in a deal that underscores the growing influence of clothing resale platforms. According to Crunchbase, Depop had raised roughly $105 million from investors over the years, including Balderton Capital, Octopus Ventures, Creandum, and Klarna founder and CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski. The New York Times has more here.
 
Cybersecurity giant FireEye has agreed to sell its products business to a consortium led by private equity firm Symphony Technology Group for $1.2 billion in cash. The deal splits FireEye, the maker of network and email cybersecurity products, from its digital forensics and incident response arm Mandiant,  to unlock the latter's "high growth" business, says FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia. TechCrunch has more here.
 
The global consumer internet group Prosus announced today it has struck a  $1.8 billion deal to acquire New York-based Stack Overflow, a 13-year-old online community for software developers, in a bet on growing demand for online tech learning.Prosus is acquiring Stack Overflow from the company’s founding venture-capital investors, including Union Square Ventures; Index Ventures; Andreessen Horowitz; Bezos Expeditions, an investment vehicle of Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos ; Spark Capital; Silver Lake and GIC, the Singaporean sovereign-wealth fund. Per Crunchbase data, the company had raised roughly $150 million over the years. The WSJ has more here.
 
Roadster, an eight-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based digital platform that gives dealers tools to sell new and used vehicles online has been acquired for $360 million in cash by the  by retail automotive tech company CDK Global, according to an SEC filing. Per Crunchbase data, Roadster had raised roughly $27 million from its investors. TechCrunch has more here.
People
 
Grace Chou has been promoted from vice president to principal at Felicis Ventures. Before joining the firm in 2018, Chou worked at Walmart, where she led projects in M&A, strategy, business development, and investing. More here.
 
Oops, he did it again. Shares of Samsung Publishing, a major shareholder in the producer of  the viral song and video “Baby Shark,” soared today following a tweet by Elon Musk wherein he observed of its YouTube views:  “Baby Shark crushes all! More views than humans.”
 
A company connected to Iconiq Capital -- the venture firm that manages money on behalf of tech entrepreneurs, including (at least at one point) Mark Zuckerberg --  has acquired a $13 million, 4,229-square-foot luxury condominium in Surfside, Florida, a beachfront haven just north of Miami Beach. As reports the South Florida Business Journal, the move "continues the trend of wealthy West Coast residents buying luxury properties in Miami-Dade County over the past year." It adds that the 12-story building has only 16 units, one of them rented by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. 
Jobs
 
Compound, a New York, NY.-based venture firm that invests in deep tech, is hiring a Principal for its investment team.
Data
 
In April, 25% of all home sales were all-cash deals(!), up from 15% a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors.
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Essential Reads
 
Apple employees are being asked to return to the office three days a week starting in early September. CEO Tim Cook sent out an email today informing staff of the change.
 
While India grapples with a second wave of coronavirus, investors are racing to win early-stage deals in the country.
 
Billionaires are racing to sidestep President Biden’s plan to raise their taxes
Detours
 
The big hair rethink.
 
Making New York laugh again.
 
Five blow-out trips you can take this summer.
Retail Therapy
 
The largest diamond mined in North America is up for grabs next week.
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