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Aspect Ventures raises $181 million fund

Aspect Ventures raises 1 million fund Aspect Ventures has finalized its second fund. The team led by Jennifer Fonstad and Theresia Gouw has closed $181 million, up from $150 million it raised at its inception three years ago.  An SEC filing last year alerted us that the team was fundraising, but now it’s officially official. Aspect is also adding Melinda Gates and Cisco to its roster of LPs. The team is “looking forward to putting this new money to work,” said Kendra Ragatz, general partner and COO at Aspect. She’s particularly…

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Google CEO: “I don’t regret” firing James Damore

Google CEO: “I don’t regret” firing James Damore Google CEO Sundar Pichai says he still believes that it was appropriate to fire James Damore. “I don’t regret it,” said Pichai, in an interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher and MSNBC’s Ari Melber. “It was the right decision,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, echoed on stage. It’s been almost six months since the company dismissed the engineer, who authored a controversial memo about purported gender differences. In a ten page rant, Damore made a series of claims arguing against Google’s diversity initiatives, some of which he incorrectly…

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Varo Money raises $45 million for mobile banking without fees

Varo Money raises million for mobile banking without fees There are a number of startups looking to disrupt traditional banking. We’ve covered Chime, Zero and Jiko, just to name a few. Another one of those is Varo Money and they’ve raised $45 million led by private equity giant, Warburg Pincus and The Rise Fund, a global impact fund that’s part of another private equity firm, TPG. (That’s the one U2’s Bono is involved with). Investors believe there’s a huge market opportunity to disrupt big banks and build a more cost-effective…

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Apartment List raises $50 million for home rentals

Apartment List raises million for home rentals It’s estimated that over one-third of Americans rent their homes, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council. And half of those people are under 30-years-old. But what’s the best way for this often transient group of people to find a new place to live? Craigslist has been a leader in online rentals, but not everyone is satisfied with the user experience. Apartment List is one of the many sites vying to stand out in the crowded rental marketplace. And it’s raising another $50 million in…

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Boxed in talks to be acquired by Kroger for $500 million

Boxed in talks to be acquired by Kroger for 0 million New York-based Boxed, the startup for buying food and household items in bulk, is in talks to be acquired by Kroger for about $500 million. Other retailers are also expected to be making bids. The news was first reported by Forbes and confirmed to TechCrunch by a source with knowledge of the situation. We’re hearing that the company is aiming to make a decision this weekend. Founded in 2013, Boxed is effectively an online Costco competitor. With just a few taps,…

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Dropbox files confidentially for IPO

Dropbox files confidentially for IPO Dropbox has filed confidentially for IPO, according to Bloomberg. TechCrunch has also been hearing that the cloud company plans to go public in early 2018. The San Francisco-based company has been around since 2007 and there’s been speculation for years that it was getting closer to going public. But its $10 billion valuation raised the stakes, putting pressure on the company to wait until it believes it could achieve or come close to that market cap on the stock market. The company has said that it…

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Alkami raises $70 million for mobile banking software

Alkami raises million for mobile banking software There’s a startup in Texas that’s been quietly building the technology that powers mobile banking apps. Plano-based Alkami has developed a white label service that credit unions and banks use across digital platforms. And Alkami’s 4.5 million users have generated enough revenue for the company to justify a $70 million Series D round, led by General Atlantic. Existing investors S3 Ventures, Argonaut Private Equity and others are joining the round. This is in addition to the over $46 million the company has raised…

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Menlo, Benchmark, First Round sold Uber stakes worth hundreds of millions

Menlo, Benchmark, First Round sold Uber stakes worth hundreds of millions Uber finally got its secondary transaction done with SoftBank buying billions of shares last month. Now we’re learning more about who sold what. It was already known that major shareholder Menlo Ventures was looking to sell shares, but we’re  hearing confirmation that it wagered the majority of its holdings and successfully sold close to half of its stake, which the Information reported was close to 4%. Using this ownership percentage, we calculated that Menlo netted close to $1 billion from…

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Wealthfront raises $75 million to help Millennials invest

Wealthfront raises million to help Millennials invest Millennials take a different approach to investing than previous generations. Only one in three are buying stocks.  And some are turning to software, rather than humans, for advice on financial planning. For the past ten years, Wealthfront has been building out a platform that it hopes will appeal to the next class of wealth creators. Instead of paying advisors, Wealthfront believes that it is taking a more efficient approach by focusing on algorithms and cutting out the middlemen. Its technology can help with financial…

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Spotify files to go public

Spotify files to go public Spotify has filed confidentially to go public, sources told Dan Primack at Axios. He learned that the music streaming company filed with the SEC at the end of December. The timing is consistent with what we are hearing. Sources told us that they’ve been targeting a debut for the first quarter of this year. We’ve gotten hints that it could happen within the next month or so. But there’s also been chatter that it will not technically be an IPO, but rather a “direct listing.” Spotify has…

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