Apple upsets, Amazon backs off, and a look at the sizzling hot real estate market in Palm Beach

August 5, 2021
Top News
Apple plans to scan photos stored on iPhones and iCloud for child abuse imagery, according to the Financial Times. The new system could help law enforcement in criminal investigations but may open the door to increased legal and government demands for user data. The Verge has more here.
Amazon told employees today that it will delay its timeline for returning to regular work in the office until early next year. Originally, it had asked employees to return on September 3. GeekWire has more here.
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Massive Fundings
BharatPe, a three-year-old, New Delhi, India-based startup that sells point-of-sale machines and payment solutions to small shopkeepers, has raised $370 million in Series E funding led by Tiger Global, at a valuation of a $2.85 billion. As Business Insider notes, that's nearly a three-fold increase from the $900 million valuation the company was given in its $108 million Series D round in February of this year. More here.
Crehana, a six-year-old, Mexico City-based re-skilling and up-skilling tech maker, raised $70 million in Series B funding led by General Atlantic. The round brings Crehana's total capital raised to $95 million. Other investors include Mountain Nazca, Salesforce Ventures, Rethink Education, ALIVE Ventures, IFC, and Dila Capital, among others. More here.
Dataiku, an eight-year-old, New York-based centralized data platfom, just raised $400 million in Series E funding led by Tiger Global, with participation from ICONIQ Growth, CapitalG, FirstMark Capital, Battery Ventures, Snowflake Ventures, and Dawn Capital. The company is now valued at $4.6 billion, it says. TechCrunch has more here.
GoGuardian, a seven-year-old, L.A.-based company that sell software to K-12 schools, has raised $200 million in funding from Tiger Global in a bet that the boom in classroom tech outlives the pandemic. The company's earlier backers include Sumeru Equity Partners. Bloomberg has more here.
Hopin, a two-year-old, London-based events platform, has raised $450 million in Series D funding led by Arena Holdings and Altimeter Capital, with added participation from Adams Street Partners, Untitled Investments, and XN, along with earlier investors Andreessen Horowitz, DFJ Growth, General Catalyst, GIC, IVP, Northzone, Salesforce Ventures, Slack Fund, Temasek, and Tiger Global. The company has now raised more than $1 billion in its short life; has more here.
Knowde, a four-year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based marketplace for ingredients, polymers, and chemistry, has raised $72 million in Series B funding. Coatue led the round, joined by Mantis, Sound Ventures, and earlier backer Sequoia Capital, among others. Forbes has more here.
Mindtickle, a 10-year-old, Pune, India-based software company that sells sales readiness and enablement tools for businesses, has raised $100 million in Series E funding led by SoftBank, with participation from Norwest Venture Partners, Canaan, NewView Capital, and Qualcomm Ventures. The funds bring the company’s total funding to $281 million and its valuation to $1.2 billion. VentureBeat has more here.

Octane Lending, a seven-year-old, New York-based startup that offers financing for ATVs and motorcycles and other recreational vehicles, has raised $52 million in Series D funding. Progressive Investment Company led the round, joined by Valar Ventures, Upper90, Contour Venture Partners, Citi Ventures, Third Prime, and Parkwood. The round values the company at more than $900 million, says TechCrunch. More here.
PepGen, a three-year-old, Boston-based maker of therapies for neurologic diseases, has raised $112.5 million. Investors included RA Capital Management, Oxford Sciences Innovation, CureDuchenne Ventures, Viking Global Investors, Deerfield Management Company, Adage Capital Management, Samsara Biocapital, and Laurion Capital Management. FierceBiotech has more here.
Refurbed, a four-year-old, Germany-based online marketplace for refurbished electronics, has raised $54 million in Series B funding led by Evli Growth Partners and Almaz Capital. Other participants in the round include earlier backers Speedinvest, Bonsai Partners and All Iron Ventures, among many others. TechCrunch has more here.
ReversingLabs, an 11-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based cybersecurity company developing threat detection and analysis tools, has raised $56 million in Series B funding led by Crosspoint Capital Partners, with participation from ForgePoint Capital and Prelude. The company has now raised $81 million altogether. VentureBeat has more here.

SentiLink, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based startup developing a platform to detect and block identity fraud, has raised $70 million in Series B funding. Craft Ventures led the round, joined by Felicis Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and NYCA. VentureBeat has more here.

Tabby, a nearly two-year-old, Dubai-based buy-now-pay-later startup, just raised $50 million in Series B funding valuing it at $300 million. Global Founders Capital and STV led the round, joined by Delivery HeroCCVA, and a long list of earlier backers, including Arbor Ventures, Mubadala Investment Capital, and Raed Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
Big-But-Not-Crazy-Big Fundings

DayTwo, a six-year-old, Walnut Creek, Ca.-based maker of diet advice app based on gut bacteria, has raised $37 million in funding co-led by Cathay Innovation and aMoon. The company also appointed David Henderson, a former founding executive member of Oscar Health, as CEO. Times of Israel has more here.
Elroy Air, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based air cargo drone company, has raised $40 million in Series A funding from Marlinspike Capital, Prosperity7, Catapult Ventures, DiamondStream Partners, Side X Side Management, Shield Capital Partners, Precursor Ventures, and Lockheed Martin's venture arm. TechCrunch has more here.

Lucid Lane, a four-year-old, Los Altos, Ca.-based tele-health platform for pain, mental health, and substance use, has raised $16 million in Series A funding. Accel led the round, joined by Battery Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, and Morado Ventures. More here.
Ultrahuman, a year-old, Bangalore, India-based online health and fitness platform, has raised $18 million in funding. Falcon Edge’s AWI, Steadview Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, and Blume Ventures invested. MobiHealth News has more here.

Villa, a 1.5-year-old, Santa Rosa, Ca.-based startup that's using prefab construction to build accessory dwelling units (ADUs) for homeowners' backyards, has raised $15 million in seed funding led by Atomic, a startup studio and fund whose founder, Jack Abraham, is a Villa co-founder. More here.
Smaller Fundings
Correlated, a year-old, New York-based platform that pulls in product usage data from tools and data warehouses and connects it to a management platform like Salesforce or HubSpot to show how customers are using a product, has raised $8.3 million in seed funding. NextView Ventures and Harrison Metal led the round. TechCrunch has more here.
Encellin, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that has developed a thin-film cell encapsulation device for cell-based therapeutics, has raised $5.9 million in seed funding. Khosla Ventures and SV Latam Capital co-led the round, joined by Sandhill Angels and Y Combinator. San Francisco Business Times has more here.
FlowAccount, a six-year-old, Thailand-based online invoicing firm that offers bilingual tools to help small business owners manage their accounting, payroll and expenses, has raised $4 million in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital India, with participation from Money Forward and SBI Investment. Tech in Asia has more here.

HeyRenee, a months-old, L.A.-based digital health assistant startup designed for older and underserved Americans to coordinate all aspects of their healthcare, has raised $3.8 million in seed funding. Quiet Capital led the round, joined by Mucker Capital, Fika Ventures, Tau Ventures, Global Founders Capital, and SaaS Venture Capital. More here.
Humanity, a 2.5-year-old, London-based maker of an app focused on reversing aging, has raised $2.5 million in funding. Investors include One Way Ventures, 7Percent, Seedcamp, and Calm cofounders Alex Tew and Michael Acton-Smith, and Wise cofounder Taavet Hinrikus, among others. TechCrunch has more here.
Kensho Health, a three-year-old, Venice, Ca.-based online directory of holistic healthcare providers, raised $3.5 million in seed funding led by KB Partners, with participation from Company Ventures and Gaingels. Business Insider has more here.
Offlimits, a year-old, New York-based plant-based cereal brand, has raised $2.3 million in funding from Science, Crosslink and Canaan, along with a numerous other backers. TechCrunch has more here.
VersusGame, a five-year-old, San Francisco, Ca.-based prediction-based app and money marketplace, raised $3 million in seed funding, including from Mark Pincus, Kevin Hart,, and Jeffrey Katzenberg. More here.
Not-Saying-How-Much Fundings
Tab32, a nine-year-old, Sacramento, Ca.-based, cloud-based maker of dental electronic health record software and a dental practice management system, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series B funding led by Spark Growth Ventures, a San Diego-based venture firm. More here.
New Funds
Former SoftBank Vision Fund managing director Jeff Housenbold (who also led Shutterfly as CEO for 11 years) has raised nearly $100 million in capital commitments from SoftBank for a venture fund aimed at consumer tech startups. Called Honor Ventures, the outfit is aiming to raise between $500 million to $600 million in total. The Financial Times has the story here.
John Deere, the agricultural tech giant, announced today that it’s set to acquire Bear Flag Robotics for $250 million. The four-year-old, Bay Area-based firm, which specializes in autonomous farming heavy machinery, had raised just $8 million from investors, according to Crunchbase data. TechCrunch has more here.
Lerer Hippeau has brought aboard Jonathan Jameson as head of investor relations; he was previously a managing director at GCA Advisors. The firm has also brought on two new associates: Mendy Yang and Robert Li. More here.
Walter Isaacson, the biographer who chronicled the lives of Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin and Leonardo da Vinci, is writing about the life and career of Elon Musk, says Musk.
A son of the late Joseph Safra, one of the world’s richest bankers who died in December at age 82, said he intends to challenge his disinheritance from his father’s will. Bloomberg has more here.
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SaaStr, the world's largest non-vendor B2B software community, is back - in person! Don't miss this year's Annual on Sept 27-29 at the San Mateo County Event Center. The three-day conference will bring together more than 10,000 global SaaS founders, executives, and venture capitalists for a series of high-quality content sessions and networking opportunities. Across five stages more than 300 SaaS leaders will share their hard-earned learnings and actionable insights to help you scale up and grow your company faster. Readers can grab 20% off tickets with code StrictlyVC
Palm Beach real estate is so hot that at least 22 homes have sold for $40 million-plus since March of last year, including one (for a whopping $122.7 million) to Tiger Global's Scott Shleifer.
Essential Reads
In addition to its new photo-scanning initiative, Apple later this year will roll out new tools that will warn children and parents if the child sends or receives sexually explicit photos through the Messages app. TechCrunch has more here.
Robinhood’s rescuers are sitting on $5.4 billion of gains this year after the online trading platform turned to investors -- including Ribbit Capital, Iconiq Capital, NEA and Index Ventures -- for a $3.55 billion rescue in the form of convertible debt that would convert to Robinhood shares at 70% of the company’s offering price when it went public. Now, some of those investors have the option to cash out, per new regulatory filings that sent the company's shares tumbling
Investors, analysts and company executives believe the Chinese government is just getting started in its push to realign the relationship between private business and the state, with a goal of ensuring companies do more to serve the Communist Party’s economic, social and national-security concerns. More in the WSJ.
Cyprus’s haunting new underwater sculpture park.
Seth Rogen refutes the viral TikTok videos claiming he has been kidnapped.
Mattel has turned numerous women of science, including a prominent COVID vaccine developer, into Barbie dolls. One tells The Guardian she found the tribute "very strange" but hopes it inspires other young women around the world to work in STEM careers.
Retail Therapy
An electric speedboat after Elon Musk's own heart.
You go first.
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