Asia's VC landscape. Smart money VCs in real estate tech. Funding trends in auto tech.
CB Insights celebration
Culture - Peers >  Beers

Hi there,

I will be in London on Nov 18th hosting a briefing on Fin Tech trends. Sign up for an invite here.

Vroom vroom

Auto tech is booming. On pace for record # of investments in 2015. We dig in.

Scratches head

Handy's $50M financing was definitely a surprise. Homejoy has fallen, TaskRabbit appears to be limping along, and a quick scan of the sentiment on Twitter for Handy's service is somewhere between negative to really freakin' negative.

This essay by a former Homejoy employee, Hunter Davis, does a nice job of highlighting some of the inherent business model challenges that Homejoy faced and presumably Handy has to tackle.

Is it different this time?

Jobs report

Some of our friends are hiring.

Thanks Baker & McKenzie

We're hosting a Fin Tech dinner in San Francisco this Tuesday with 23 senior VCs, corporate strategy and M&A folks, and I wanted to say a quick thank you to Baker & McKenzie who stepped up to sponsor it. 

For those unfamiliar, Baker & McKenzie is a leading cross-border Firm in Silicon Valley with nearly 1,300 M&A lawyers in 77 offices globally.

If you've got M&A on the brain, you should check out their Cross-Border M&A Resource Center. Within it, they've summarized acquisition trends in 45 countries and detailed customary issues in negotiating acquisition agreements across the globe.

The land of the mega-round

We dig into Asia's VC landscape, where $100 million rounds have become incredibly common.

Wish CEOs did this more

I know we live in times where co-opetition is a thing and you are supposed to respect your competitors and whatnot, but if we're being honest, that is really boring.

And so it was nice to see this tweet by Aaron Levie, CEO of Box, throwing shade (young folks still say that?) at overvalued Dropbox.

Fo' real (estate)

Where are Sequoia, Andreessen Horowitz, and the smart VCs investing in real estate tech? We follow the money.

#science - This clears it up


Have a fantastic week ahead.

I love you.


P.S. I'd written about my 54 screwups as a startup CEO a while ago and in it, I'd referenced our culture code. There were several requests to see our culture code so although still a work-in-process, here it is.


10 early-stage drone startups to watch

All these companies including DroneDeploy and Flirtey have raised in the last 20 months, and have less than $15M in total funding. Check out the list of drone startups to keep an eye on.
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Asia's venture-backed companies reach all-time funding high

Mega-rounds above $100M in size drive the bulk of activity in Asia. Read about Asia's VC landscape.
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Where are the top smart money VCs investing in real estate tech?

2015 year-to-date has seen more than $160M in real estate tech financings involving the top 20 smart money VCs. See the data.
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Money is piling into auto tech: 2015 is on track for a deal record, with corporates leading

Auto tech investors have their foot on the gas as we move toward a world of connected cars. Read about funding trends in auto tech.
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Notable Deals From This Past Week

We tracked hundreds of financings and exits in the last week. Here are 10 notable deals. To see them all, login to CB Insights or create an account here.

1. raises $500M from Fidelity Investments
Despite abruptly pivoting away from their membership fee-based revenue model, the Amazon challenger raised $500M at a $1.5B valuation.  

2. EQT VII takes majority stake in TOYS”R”US operating company Top-Toy
Top-Toy operates more than 300 retail stores across Germany and the Nordics and sold 75% of its company to the European private equity group, EQT.

3. TSG Entertainment Finance raises $235M
TSG has raised $235M from Bona Film Group as well as a line of credit from East-West Bank. TSG finances live action films. Past films include “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and “X-Men Days of Future Past.”

4. CureVac raises $110M Series F
CurVac is a biopharmaceutical company. Investors include The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as UK-based investment manager Ballie Gifford and Co.

5. Meili Jirong raises $65M Series A
Beijing-based Meili Jirong is a peer-to-peer lending platform focused on middle-income workers. This round of financing comes from Bertelsmann Asia Investments.

6. California-based Atreca raises $56M Series A
Atreca is a biotech company developing novel therapeutics. This is the second company in this week’s top 10 deals list that counts The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as an investor.

7. Zhihu raises $50M Series C
Often compared to Quora, Zhihu is a China-based question-and-answer platform that recently raised $50M from Tencent, among other investors.

8. Handy raises $50M Series C
Despite the shutdown of Homejoy in July 2015, cleaning services company raised $50M in a financing round that included Fidelity Investments, among others.

9. Turo raises $47M from Kleiner Perkins
Formerly known as RelayRides, Turo, is a peer-to-peer car rental marketplace with vehicles in more than 3,000 cities to date. This Series C financing was led by Kleiner, but includes Google Ventures, Shasta Ventures, and August Capital as investors.

10. Solid GT Raises $42.5M Series B
Solid GT is a healthcare company developing therapeutics for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The company has raised financing from various investors, including Perceptive Advisors and Biogen Idec New Ventures.  



The Blurb

A curated mix of articles on tech, media, what's next, and recent news.
Pepsi is launching a mysterious new soda called "1893." The drink is expected to be a bid to attract more millennials to drink Pepsi.

Exxon inquiry could expand to its rivals. An examination of Exxon Mobil's record on climate change could lead to legal actions involving other energy companies. 
The New York Times

This house can be built in a day, at an affordable price. A recipe for very quick, modular construction could help solve housing needs in the developing world.
Fast Company

What technology should be un-invented? 101 technology leaders speak about what innovations they wish could go back in the box.
The Atlantic
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