#5/2019

Deals

Deep Tech Investor DCVC Nets $725M For Oversubscribed Fund V (crunchbase.com)
  • Fund V is also significantly oversubscribed—to the tune of 25 percent—from its initial target
  • The firm’s biggest exits to date include Square (IPO), Elastic (IPO), Zoom (IPO), and Nervana (acquired by Intel)

Stripe’s Valuation Stretches To $35B With New $250M Investment (crunchbase.com)
  • Investment for 0.7% of the company by Sequoia Capital, General Catalyst, and Andreessen Horowitz

GitHub acquires code analysis tool Semmle (techcrunch.com)
  • Code analysis tool that helps developers and security researchers discover potential vulnerabilities in their code. Offers a query language that allows researchers to test their code, using the service’s analysis engine
  • Launched last year, with a $21 million Series B round led by Accel. In total, the company raised $31 million before this acquisition.

Lookiero closes $19M led by MMC Ventures to be the Stitch Fix for Europe (techcrunch.com)
  • Applies algorithms to a database of personal stylists and customer profiles to thus provide a personalized online shopping experience to its customers. It then delivers a selection of five pieces of clothing or accessories curated by a personal shopper to fit the customer’s individual size, style and preferences
  • Range of more than 150 European brands from a warehousing system that will ship more than 3 million items of clothing this year to seven European countries
  • The company will use the backing to expand in its main markets of Spain, France and the U.K
  • Possible Genster competition if they expand to eastern Europe

News

China is about to launch its own digital currency. Here’s what we know so far (technologyreview.com)
  • Similar to Libra that might reinforce the US dollar’s outsize influence over the global financial system. At least part of the motivation is to protect (China’s) monetary sovereignty
  • Currency would “strike a balance between anonymous payments and preventing money laundering.” 
  • The new digital tokens could be used even without an internet connection (not promised by Libra)

Facebook working on smart glasses with Ray-Ban, code-named 'Orion' (cnbc.com)
  • AR glasses will take years to develop: Facebook is hoping to get to consumers between 2023 and 2025
  • But it's an ambitious project as Facebook is looking to the glasses as a smartphone replacement. The challenge for now, CNBC says, is reducing the size of the device into an appealing form factor

Readings

A Rare Tech Company Where Women Dominate (fortune.com) + ThirdLove says it’s by women, for women. But women who’ve worked there disagree (vox.com)
  • Uses AI, data, and algorithms to help shoppers determine the best fit for a bra. Received 68M USD in funding. Nearly 85% of ThirdLove’s 355 employees are female, and women make up nine out of 10 members on its data science team. The startup’s head of data and its co-CEO are also female
  • Co-CEO, David Spector is highly involved in their day-to-day work, with a management style described as “condescending” and “bullying.” This was compounded by company norms — don’t negotiate your salary, don’t leave before 6 pm, don’t work from home, don’t skip a happy hour
  • Five sources say they received offers far below what they felt they were worth but they accepted because they believed in the company mission

Insights On VC Pricing: Lessons From Uber, WeWork And Peloton by Aswath Damodaran (blogspot.com)
  • Almost every company that went public this year framed its total market as implausibly big, emphasized how quickly it has scaled itself up, glossed over the flaws and weaknesses in its business model and had shares with different voting rights suggests that this is behavior that was learned, because venture capitalists encouraged and rewarded it
  • It is natural that companies, especially early in their lives, puff up their business descriptions and inflate their potential markets, but the companies that have gone public this year seem to have taken it to an art form
  • Peloton calls itself a technology, media, software, product, experience, fitness, design, retail, apparel and logistics company. Uber personal mobility company and Wework as community company
  • The company's current owners (founder and VCs) view the public equity market as a place to raise capital, but not one to defend or debate how their companies should be run

Andreessen Horowitz Returns Slip, According to Internal Data (theinformation.com) - paywall
  • 16% and 12% IRR for funds raised in 2010 and 2014 are much lower than 44% IRR for earlier funds
  • 3rd quartile of funds in Silicon Valley (even outside of top 100 funds in Silicon Valley, basically tier-3 with marketing)


In case you are interested in helping us with evaluating some companies and industries or you just want to discuss any of these articles, feel free to reach out to Roman from Presto Ventures at roman@prestoventures.com or Linkedin.

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