Facebook's Trump ban, another Tiger Global fund, and two YC founders say they were just kicked out

June 4, 2021
Before we go, we hope this newest StrictlyVC Download we rustled up for you, featuring guest Christopher Ahlberg, a serial founder and the CEO Recorded Future, a privately held security intelligence company that tracks threats to the government and corporations. Ahlberg has been very busy of late on the ransomware beat, and he walked us through how many of these individuals really operate, what his thinks the U.S. response to Russia should be, and how companies both big and small can better protect themselves from bad actors looking to disrupt their operations. (He also pushed back on the term "ransomware gangs" for reasons you will hear.)
Giant thanks to TechCrunch for sponsoring this week's episode. Note: its virtual transportation event, TC Sessions: Mobility, is coming up this Wednesday, June 9. Learn about the trends shaping the sector -- and save 10% on your ticket  -- by using the promo code STRICTLYVC at TechCrunch.com/mobility.
Top News
The head of the CDC today urged parents to vaccinate their teenagers against Covid-19, citing a rise in the number of adolescents hospitalized with the disease in March and April.
Sponsored By ...
When it comes time to choose a data room, only Anduin truly bridges the gap between simplicity and security. Anduin’s data rooms are forged from our market-leading fundraising and investor workflows. We’ve packaged all the best-in-class features fund managers expect from a VDR, like document analytics and audit trails — along with industry-grade security — into a modern and intuitive interface that’s reassuring to investors. Make an impression with custom branded landing pages; while benefiting from Anduin’s interoperable suite of products that gather your investor management needs under a single universal login. Arrange a demo today!
On SPACs and Conflicts of Interest, Where's the SEC?
Today, TechCrunch's Kirsten Korosec reported that the autonomous vehicle startup Aurora is close to finalizing a deal to merge with one of three blank-check companies that have been formed to date by renowned entrepreneurs Reid Hoffman and Mark Pincus and a third partner in these deals, Michael Thompson, who long managed special situation funds.
The development is intriguing for a lot of reasons, including because Aurora’s founders are big wheels in their industry (no pun intended), and having already acquired the self-driving unit of Uber in a complicated arrangement, Aurora could, as a publicly traded entity, snap up even more rivals, given it would have a more liquid currency than it does right now.
Possible merits of the deal aside, the deal is also interesting because of Hoffman's involvement. His venture firm, Greylock, is an investor in Aurora and has been since co-leading its Series A round in 2018, at which point Hoffman joined the board as a director. Now Hoffman’s SPAC is looking to take Aurora public at what we can safely assume is a much, much higher valuation than where it was valued back then. In fact, Korosec reports that one of the sticking points in this new deal is how much the company could conceivably be worth, writing that talk involved a $20 billion valuation at one point and is now closer to $12 billion, with the deal expected to be announced as early as next week.
This isn’t the first time a SPAC sponsor has pursued an existing investment as a target. In just one similar case, famed VC Chamath Palihapitiya was an investor in insurance company Clover through his firm Social Capital and as industry watchers will know, one of his blank-check companies merged with Clover last year.
A representative for Palihapitiya declined to disclose to Bloomberg whether or not he sold the stake prior to the SPAC deal, but legally, it doesn’t matter anyway.
Massive Fundings
Alation, a nine-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based collaborative enterprise data platform, raised $110 million in Series D funding at a $1.2 billion valuation. Riverwood Capital led, and was joined by Sanabil Investments, Snowflake Ventures and earlier investors Costanoa Ventures, Dell Technologies Capital, Salesforce Ventures and Sapphire Ventures. The company has raised $217 million to date. Bloomberg has more here.  

Capchase, a year-old, New York-based provider of non-dilutive capital, raised $125 million in Series A equity and debt funding (though it isn't breaking out the mix publicly). QED Investors led the equity piece; additional investors in the round include Bling Capital, SciFi VC, Caffeinated Capital and several angels. Capchase has now raised nearly $190 million in a mix of debt and equity, according to Crunchbase data. Crunchbase News has more here.
Delimobil, a six-year-old, Moscow, Russia-based car-sharing company, has raised $75 million in pre-IPO funding from Russia's second-largest lender, VTB, which said the deal gives it a stake of around 15% in Delimobil, which runs a fleet of cars which can be hired by the minute in Russia's largest cities including Moscow, St Petersburg and Kazan. Reuters has more here.
Flink, a year-old, Berlin, Germany-based on-demand grocery delivery startup, has raised $240 million in Series A funding co-led by Prosus, Bond and Mubadala Capital. TechCrunch has more here.

Getir, a six-year-old, Istanbul-based grocery delivery app originally backed in 2019 by VC Mike Moritz's personal investment vehicle, Crankstart, has raised $550 million at a $7.5 billion valuation from Silver Lake, DisruptAD, Mubadala and earlier backers Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital. CNBC has more here.
Phil, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based software therapy deployment platform built around the specialty pharmaceuticals market, has raised $56 million in growth funding led by Warburg Pincus just months after closing on $23 million in Series C funding led by Crosslink Capital. More here.
Big-But-Not-Crazy-Big Fundings
Bobbie, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based organic infant formula startup, has raised $15 million led by VMG. The company has now raised $22 million altogether, including from Bolt. Crunchbase News has more here.
Jeeves, a year-old, New York-based "cross-country, cross currency" expense management platform for global startups, has raised $31 million in Series A funding and another $100 million in debt funding. Andreessen Horowitz led the equity piece of the fundraise, joined by YC Continuity Fund, Jaguar Ventures, Urban Innovation Fund, Uncorrelated Ventures, Clocktower Ventures, Stanford University, 9 Yards Capital and BlockFi Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
Stellanova Therapeutics, a new, Houston, Tex.-based cancer biotech that's focused, for now, on pancreatic and triple-negative breast cancers, raised $15.5 million in Series A funding led by Sporos Bioventures. FierceBiotech has more here.
Z League, an 11-month-old, fully distributed online gaming tournament platform, has raised $13.5 million in new funding, including from Andreessen Horowitz and Goodwater Capital. More here.
Smaller Fundings
The Beans, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based automated financial wellness startup, has raised $2 million in funding led by Precursor Ventures, with participation from Relay Ventures, One Planet VC, Swing Ventures and Oxford Angel Fund. Crunchbase News has more here.
Faction, a 17-month-old, South San Francisco-based developer of three-wheeled delivery EVs, has raised $4.3 million in seed funding co-led by Trucks VC and Fifty Years. TechCrunch has more here.
Prixa, a two-year-old, Indonesia-based health platform that includes a digital health assistant to answer patients’ questions, telemedicine consultations, pharmacy deliveries and on-demand lab diagnostics, has raised $3 million. MDI Ventures led the round, joined by TPTF and Siloam Hospitals Group. TechCrunch has more here.
Teemyco, a two-year-old, Swedish customizable virtual office platform, raised $3.2 million in seed funding led by 42Cap,  with participation from Antler and Luminar Ventures. Tech.eu has more here.
New Funds
Future Perfect Ventures, a seven-year-old, New York-based early-stage venture firm that's focused on decentralization, is raising $60 million for its third fund, according to an SEC filing. More here.
Foundation Capital, the 26-year-old, Silicon Valley venture firm is back in the market with its tenth fund and aiming to raise $500 million, shows an SEC filing. The outfit had closed its ninth fund with $350 million in September 2019. More here.
Hold onto your hats; another Tiger Global fund is already in the works.
Facebook said today that it's buying a a Roblox-like game creation platform called Crayta that builds on top of the Unreal Engine and gives users a more simple creation interface, teamed with discovery and community features. TechCrunch has more here.
MediaMath, a 14-year-old, New York-based ad tech firm, has hired Luma Partners and Centerview Partners to explore strategic options, including a possible sale, per WSJ. The company has raised more than $400 million over the years from investors, including from Searchlight Capital Partners and Safeguard Scientifics. More here.
Jack Dorsey said at Bitcoin conference in Miami earlier today: “If I were not working at Square or Twitter I'd be working on Bitcoin.” 
Palantir's Alex Karp received special stock awards worth $1.1 billion last year and DoorDash's Tony Xu received $400 million worth, both among the biggest CEO pay packages since 2007, reports the WSJ.
Chamath Palihapitiya is looking to take public some biotech companies now, judging by some filings on Wednesday that we missed. On Wednesday, he registered plans to raise four more blank check companies in partnership with Suvretta Capital Management, an investment firm with an arm that focuses on the health-care industry. Assuming he raises the capital, $800 million altogether across four funds that are respectively targeting different health-care sectors (neurology, oncology, organ and immunology), he'll have raised 10 SPACs altogether. Bloomberg has more here.
Brad Twohig is out as a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, which he joined in mid-2018 after logging more than a dozen years with Insight Partners, says Axios. Ashley Brasier, who joined Lightspeed in late 2018 from Thumbtack, has also left, says the outlet, adding that she is expected to return to an operating role. No word yet on the next moves of Twohig, moved his family from the East Coast to lead LSVP's growth-stage practice. (We talked for a podcast soon after.) Brad, if you're out there . . .📞
Sponsored By ...
As a VC, you probably wish you could get real-time updates on the performance of your portfolio companies; maintain a single source of truth for your investment data, cap tables, and key ratios; and collaborate with your team members, LPs, and portfolio companies. We are here to help! Book a meeting today to discover why General Motors Ventures, Future Shape, and FJ Labs use Kushim to seamlessly manage their deal flow and portfolio performance.
Essential Reads
What Facebook's Trump ban does and doesn't do.
Facebook's Substack clone is coming soon.
Two entrepreneurs claimed today that Y Combinator kicked them out of its program for speaking publicly about, in one case, misogyny and in another, other members' efforts to circumvent COVID-19 eligibility requirements. Business Insider has more here.
Greatest of all time?! Really, NYTimes Magazine?
A field guide for fledgling birders.
Why the pandemic turned Miami into the new Monaco.
Retail Therapy
House candles by Drake.
Sponsored By ...
Shareworks by Morgan Stanley. Looking for effective cap table management? Join us for our Startup Equity 101 event on June, 10 at 1:00 p.m. EST to hear from industry leaders on their experiences with fundraising, managing the cap table and building a culture of ownership in your company . Visit the ‘Events’ page in the ‘Resources’ section of Shareworks by Morgan Stanley website to learn more and register.  
Shareworks by Morgan Stanley services are provided by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, member SIPC, and its affiliates, all wholly owned subsidiaries of Morgan Stanley. CRC 3591771 05/2021


StrictlyVC, LLC, 1 Blackfield Drive, No. 239, Tiburon, CA 94920

Unsubscribe - Unsubscribe Preferences

Older messages

More ransomware attacks, master classes on construction, and Facebook ends its hands-off approach to politicos

Friday, June 4, 2021

The news you need to know June 3, 2021 Top News The Biden administration has replaced and expanded Trump-era restrictions on investing in certain Chinese firms deemed supportive of that country's

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

Thursday, June 3, 2021

The news you need to know 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

Amazon leads in a new category, the Austin migration, and the newest, biggest cyberattack

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

The news you need to know June 1, 2021 Top News Um, this is getting scary: A cyberattack on JBS SA, the largest meat producer globally, forced the shutdown of all its US beef plants over the weekend,

SoFi gets its sign-off, fresh competition for Uber and Lyft, and Twitter Blue could be coming soon

Saturday, May 29, 2021

The news you need to know May 28, 2021 Friday! Hope you have a memorable Memorial Day weekend, everyone. In observance of the holiday, we're not publishing Monday, but before we pull the plug for a

Twitter's standoff in India, Adam Neumann's new deal, and 10,800 reasons for Google to worry

Friday, May 28, 2021

The news you need to know May 27, 2021 Top News Twitter today pushed back against India's increasingly heavy-handed efforts to control online speech, calling on the government to respect freedom of

Credit Suisse breaks with SoftBank, a psychedelics startup soars, and an instant cure for hiccups

Saturday, June 19, 2021

The news you need to know June 18, 2021 Hope you have a great weekend, everyone. Happy Juneteenth! Also wishing many of you a most excellent Father's Day.:) Top News High hopes for Johnson &

10words: Top picks from this week

Friday, June 18, 2021

Do you want to reach 1500+ developers, designers, investors, and entrepreneurs & support 10words? Check out our new sponsorship options. 10words.io Discover new apps and startups in 10 words or

Top pinning tips from the Pinterest team [Join us!] 📌

Friday, June 18, 2021

We're teaming up with Pinterest for a free webinar session to give you every tool, tip, and trick you need to use Pinterest successfully in your social media strategy. Happy Friday! ☕️ We're

Paperless, OpenSales, BeeNvoice, BreakCode, Makerstaff, and more

Friday, June 18, 2021

Connecting makers with companies that are hiring BetaList BetaList Daily Makerstaff Connecting makers with companies that are hiring Prestavi An easier way for people to follow a business process and

Today's Digest: 6 New Android 12 Features Coming to All Smartphones

Friday, June 18, 2021

Your Indie Hackers community digest for June 18th ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

🧠Case Study #94 - how an app got valued at $135M a week after launch

Friday, June 18, 2021

If you are just now finding out about Kickstart Side Hustle, you can subscribe here If you enjoy this newsletter, please forward this email to your friends! 🙏 Hello there! Remember the TBH app? And how

How 4 European Startups Acquired Their First 1000 Users

Friday, June 18, 2021

Monzo, Transferwise, Skype & Spotify ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Bootstrapped Founder #89: Selfish vs. Selfless: Self-Promotion in Communities

Friday, June 18, 2021

​ The Bootstrapped Founder Logo ​ ​ Dear founder, I used to think all self-promotion was wrong — at all times. Being raised in Germany, I developed a severe case of tall poppy syndrome — the phenomenon

When team members quit, with Ed and Steve

Friday, June 18, 2021

This week's episode of the Bootstrapped podcast is ready for you. Hi Bootstrappers, After taking a break for a few weeks, I'm back on the podcast! Recently one of my team members got an awesome

Roots and Branches: Centralization and the Role of Software Startups

Friday, June 18, 2021

Is it not the loftiness of thy vineyard—have not the branches thereof overcome the roots which are good? And because the branches have overcome the roots thereof, behold they grew faster than the