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Capital Gains: Airbnb's Billion Dollar Round, Hair Tech and More Funding News

The funding news from Silicon Valley this week.

Todd Bernard

Robots replacing lab workers to synthesize microbes, “inventory as a service” for beauticians and a bunch of other businesses all got some spending money this week. Here’s the funding news from Silicon Valley:

  • Airbnb is reportedly in talks to raise $1 billion in funding at a $24 billion valuation by the end of this month. Why? The company thinks it’ll pull in over $900 million in revenue by 2016, almost quadruple what it made just two years ago (Wall Street Journal).
  • Because more and more institutional investors like BlackRock and Fidelity are making late-stage investments in tech startups, VC firms want to move down the ladder and make their bets earlier. For example, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is launching a new fund to exclusively make seed-stage investments, to be called KPCB Edge.
  • Cloud-based HR software maker Namely raised $45 million in a Series C round led by Sequoia Capital, who was joined by returning investors Matrix Partners, True Ventures, Lerer Hippeau Ventures and Greenspring Global Partners. Namely has raised $78 million in total.
  • Using advanced robotics and machine learning technology, Zymergen looks to make lots of money by cheaply synthesizing microbes used by other businesses to create products. Zymergen exited stealth with $44 million in Series A funding this week, a round led by Data Collective with investment from Obvious Ventures, True Ventures, Max Levchin, Innovation Endeavors and others.
  • LiveIntent, which makes technology for in-email display advertising, raised $32.5 million in a funding round led by FTV Capital, featuring participation from Battery Ventures, First Round Capital and Shasta Ventures (TechCrunch).
  • The freemium mobile carrier FreedomPop declined to sell itself and instead raised $30 million to expand into Europe in a round led by the European venture capital firm Partech Ventures.
  • The enterprise financial planning software maker Tidemark raised $25 million in a round that featured a substantial strategic investment from the management software vendor Workday. Prior investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners and others also joined the round.
  • Andreessen Horowitz lead a $10 million Series A investment in Mayvenn, an Oakland-based company that provides hair extension “inventory as a service” for beauticians that primarily serve the African-American community. Andreessen Horowitz was joined by Core Innovation Capital, Trinity Ventures, Jimmy Iovine, Serena Williams and others (Wall Street Journal).
  • The Israeli cyber security startup enSilo landed a $10 million investment led by Lightspeed Ventures, who was joined by Carmel Ventures. EnSilo focuses less on preventing hacks, but more on helping businesses deal with the aftermath of serious breaches (Dark Reading).
  • Vox Mobile, which helps businesses adapt their products to mobile platforms, raised $6.7 million in a round led by TELUS Ventures, Mutual Capital Partners Funds, Edison Partners and Permal Capital (Forbes).
  • Reveal, a Snapchat-like social network powered by a shareable cryptocurrency, raised $1.5 million in seed funding from a group of investors including Stanford’s StartX Fund, Boost VC, Digital Currency Group and Resolute Ventures’ Mike Hirshland (CoinDesk).

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