clock menu more-arrow no yes

Capital Gains: $72 million for the 'Rolls-Royce' of smartphones, Mitt Romney the VC and more

The ex-governor teamed up with Peter Thiel.

Todd Bernard

The Romney family investing firm teamed up with Peter Thiel on a deal this past week, and an Israeli smartphone maker that wants to make a $10,000-$15,000 “Rolls-Royce”-level smartphone raised a $72 million Series A. Here are the funding headlines you should know about:

  • Mitt Romney’s Solarmere Capital co-led a $100 million funding round with Peter Thiel for the Utah startup Vivint, which helps customers install smart home products like smoke alarms or anti-burglary systems (Vanity Fair).
  • British-Israeli startup Sirin Labs is launching a smartphone this month that will cost between $10,000 and $20,000. It’s not feature-heavy, but it will be made with “almost military-grade security” capabilities. This past week, the company announced that it had raised a $72 million Series A from Israeli investor Singulariteam, Kazakh billionaire Kenges Rakishev and the Chinese social network Renren (Reuters).
  • Trov, a startup that lets customers buy insurance for specific items, raised a $25.5 million Series C round led by Oak HC/FT, with additional cash from Suncorp Group, Guidewire and Anthemis Group (TechCrunch).
  • Flying camera maker Zero Zero Robotics came out of stealth this past week, announcing that the company had secured $25 million in funding over the past two years, with a $23 million Series A. Investors include GSR Ventures, ZhenFund, IDG and Zuig.
  • Helium, a startup that makes sensors for Internet-connected devices, raised $20 million in a round led by GV (formerly Google Ventures) with participation from FirstMark Capital and Khosla Ventures (Forbes).
  • Time Warner led a $10 million funding round for livestreaming service Kamcord, which lets users stream what they see on their phones, setting the startup’s value at more than $100 million. Tencent, TransLink Capital, XG Ventures, Plug & Play Ventures and Wargaming also participated in the investment.
  • Ionic, a startup that makes popular open-source tools for mobile app developers, raised $8.5 million in a funding round led by General Catalyst (VentureBeat).
  • Flower bouquet delivery service UrbanStems raised a $6.8 million Series A funding round led by SWaN and Legend Venture Partners (New York Business Journal).
  • Verizon Ventures and CME Ventures were part of a group of investors that put $6 million of Series B funding into Austin-based SparkCognition, a startup that uses machine learning technology to predict when a company could get hacked (Xconomy).
  • Poncho, a weather information service that’s focused on using artificially intelligent chatbots (like this one on Facebook) raised a $2 million seed round from a group of investors that includes Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Greycroft Partners, Comcast Ventures, Venture51 Capital Partners, RRE Ventures and Betaworks (New York Business Journal).

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Meat/Less

How to eat well and do good, in 5 emails.