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Burger-flipping robotics company Miso raises $10 mln

Pasadena, California-based Miso Robotics, a developer of robotics and artificial intelligence technology for restaurants and food providers, announced it raised $1o million in Series B funding. Acacia Research Corporation led the funding, which included Levy, the sports and entertainment hospitality company, OpenTable’s Chief Technology Officer Joseph Essas, and founding investor Cali Group, as well as six members of Cali Group’s management team and its subsidiary company, CaliBurger. The company said it will use the funding to develop its burger-flipping robot Flippy. Miso, founded in 2016, says that it will debut Flippy at CaliBurger’s Pasadena location and will roll out the autonomous robotic kitchen assistant to more than 50 CaliBurger restaurants worldwide by the end of 2019.

VC Exits Guest Column
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Five Questions with Jai Das, managing director, Sapphire Ventures

In its own words, Sapphire Ventures says 2017 was a record year for the firm, which invests from a $700 million direct fund and in early-stage fund managers out of a separate evergreen vehicle. The Palo Alto, California-based firm says it made 37 investments in tech companies and venture funds last year. The firm also saw […]

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LimeBike pedals ahead with $70 mln Series B extension led by Fifth Wall

San Mateo, California-based LimeBike, operator of a fleet of lime-green colored bicycles in a connected bikeshare program, announced today that it has raised an additional $70 million as part of a Series B extension. Fifth Wall Ventures led the extension, which included Rainbow Technology Co Ltd. The company previously announced a $50 million Series B round in October led by Coatue Management and including DCM Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, AME Cloud Ventures, Franklin Templeton Investments, GGV Capital, Section 32 and the Stanford-StartX Fund and The Durant Company. With the Series B extension, LimeBike has now raised $132 million in funding to date.

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Wine app Vivino raises $20 mln

Vivino, developer of a mobile wine app and operator of an online wine marketplace, announced it has raised $20 million in Series C funding. SCP Neptune International, the investment arm of Christophe Navarre, led the round. Existing investors Balderton Capital, Creandum, SEED Capital Denmark and Iconical also participated in the round. The company, which was founded in Copenhagen in 2010, but operates its U.S. headquarters in San Francisco, has now raised $57 million in total funding.

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Norwest raises $1.5 bln, promotes Kossow and Wu

Palo Alto, California-based Norwest Venture Partners announced it raised $1.5 billion for Fund XIV, its largest fund to date. In addition, the firm announced that Jon Kossow, who heads up the growth equity team, was promoted to managing partner, and Lisa Wu was promoted to partner on the venture team. Source: Norwest announcement

VC Venture Fund
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Norwest raises $1.5 bln for its largest fund to date

Norwest Venture Partners has closed its largest fund to date, announced a pair of promotions and is boosting its San Francisco presence by opening a larger satellite office in the South Park area. The multistage firm raised $1.5 billion for Fund XIV. That’s 25 percent larger than its previous fund, which it raised two years ago. […]

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Edtech company Varsity Tutors raises $50 mln

St. Louis-based Varsity Tutors, which operates a platform that connects students with experts, announced that it has raised a $50 million Series C round of funding. The round was led by Learn Capital and included The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and existing investor TCV. The company, founded in 2007 at Washington University in St. Louis, has now raised $107 million in total funding.

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Early-stage investor Fryfly raises $19.7 mln

Menlo Park, California-based Fryfly Venture Partners, an early-stage investor in “data and intelligence,” has raise $19.7 million toward a targeted $25 million fund, according to a regulatory filing. The commitments came from 13 investors, the filing reported. Fryfly is led by Co-Founders and General Partners Julie Allegro and Philipp Stauffer.

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True Wealth Ventures in Austin raises $19.1 mln for women-led businesses

Austin, Texas-based True Wealth Ventures announced it has raised $19.1 million for its inaugural fund. The firm makes early-stage investments in women-led, sustainable consumer and consumer health tech companies in Texas and nationwide. In addition to its gender impact investment strategy, the firm said that more than 80 percent of its limited partners are women.

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GV leads funding in UJET

San Francisco-based UJET Inc, provider of a real-time customer communications platform, announced that it has raised a $25 million Series B round of funding. GV led the round, which included new investor Citi Ventures, and existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and DCM Ventures. The company has now raised more than $45 million in funding to date. As part of the Series B round, GV General Partner Karim Faris has joined the board.

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Homebrew raises $90 mln for third early-stage fund

San Francisco-based seed investor Homebrew, a backer in Bond Street, Pillow and Shyp, among others, announced it has raised $90 million for its third early-stage fund. The new vehicle is 80 percent larger than the $50 million the firm raised almost exactly three years ago for its second fund. At that time, Homebrew also raised $35 million for a follow-on fund to do primarily Series B deals.

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TapCommerce co-founders emerge from stealth with Attentive, $13 mln in new funding

New York-based Attentive, provider of a personalized mobile messaging platform for ecommerce and retail businesses, has emerged from stealth and announced it has raised $13 million in Series A funding. Bain Capital Ventures led the round, which included Eniac Ventures and NextView Ventures. The company was co-founded in 2016 by CEO Brian Long and Vice President of Product Andrew Jones, co-founders of TapCommerce, the mobile app retargeting company that Twitter purchased in 2014 for about $100 million.

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Dimension Data leads funding in Highfive

Redwood City, California-based Highfive, provider of a video conferencing system for meeting rooms, announced it has raised $32 million in Series C funding led by Dimension Data. Existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, General Catalyst and Andreessen Horowitz also participated in the round. The company has now raised $77.4 million in total funding since it was founded in 2012.

Human Interest Captain401 VC Deal
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Captain401 rebrands as Human Interest, raises $11 mln

San Francisco-based Human Interest, which provides retirement savings plans for small business employers and employees, announced it has raised an $11 million Series A round of funding led by Wing Venture Capital. Adam Nash, former CEO of Wealthfront, also participated in the round. The company was formerly known as Captain401, but rebranded as it aims to expand its reach nationwide.

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Connected fitness startup Mirror raises $13 mln from Spark, Lerer Hippeau

New York-based Mirror, a stealth company developing a connected fitness platform, announced that it has raised $13 million in early-stage funding. Backers include Spark Capital, which led the $10 million Series A round, and Lerer Hippeau, which led the $3 million seed-stage funding. Other investors include First Round Capital, Primary Venture Partners, BoxGroup and Brainchild Holdings.

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Norwest leads $8 mln investment in AR startup 8th Wall

Palo Alto, California-based 8th Wall, which helps developers build augmented reality applications, announced it has raised an $8 million Series A round of funding. Norwest Venture Partners led the Series A round with participation from the Venture Reality Fund, Shasta Ventures and Sparkland Capital. As a result of the latest funding, Vab Goel, a general partner at Norwest, has joined the board. The company has now raised $10.4 million in total funding.

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Science raises $75 mln for second fund

Santa Monica, California-based incubator and venture firm Science Inc, an early investor in Dollar Shave Club, has wrapped up its second fund with $75 million in commitments, according to a regulatory filing. Twenty LPs committed to the fund, which was previously targeted at $60 million. Science, led by Mike Jones, Peter Pham, Greg Gilman and Tom Dare, has separately launched an incubator for blockchain startups.