Venture capitalists swore in the new year the only way they know how… by submitting SEC paperwork for new funds! insert party hat/confetti emoji here.
As many of us brainstormed our New Year’s resolutions and let our hangovers wear off, several firms began this week what for some is a long and arduous process of raising a VC fund and for others is as simple as a few phone calls to LPs. What else happened this week? Pokémon GO creator Niantic secured $190 million, Mary Meeker announced the name of her fund and a whole bunch of people played with Popsugar’s somewhat sketchy twinning app.
Mary Meeker will raise up to $1.5 billion for Bond, her new VC fund. Union Square Ventures raised $429 million across two new funds. Lightspeed Venture partners announced a $560 million China fund. And biotech firm Atlas Venture brought in $250 million.
TechCrunch’s Lucas Matney takes a look at struggling augmented reality startups and questions some of the larger players, from Magic Leap to Snap and Niantic. And speaking of Niantic, the Pokémon GO developer closed a $190 million funding round this week at a $3.9 billion valuation.
Startups based in India raised more than $10 billion in 2018, per Venture Beat, a record amount of capital for the country. Already this year one company has closed a round larger than $100 million. CarDekho, an online marketplace for car sales in India, has pulled in a new $110 million Series C funding round this week to push deeper into financial services and insurance.
Boom Supersonic, which is building and designing what it calls the “world’s first economically viable supersonic airliner,” announced a $100 million Series B funding round led by Emerson Capital. Other investors include Y Combinator’s Continuity Fund, Caffeinated Capital, SV Angel, Sam Altman, Paul Graham, Ron Conway, Michael Marks and Greg McAdoo.
FloWater has raised $15 million for its reusable water bottle refilling stations to produce purified water. Bluewater, a Swedish company that sells water purifiers, among other things, led the round.
Vengo makes wall-mounted mini-vending machines the size of large picture frames that it then sells to vending machine distributors, asking for a small fee per month in exchange for access to its software. Now it has $7 million to build out its business.
After SpaceX filed more SEC paperwork as part of its $500 million upcoming fundraise, TechCrunch’s Connie Loizos noticed a familiar name on the document: Steve Jurvetson. Jurvetson is a longtime board member of both Tesla and SpaceX, but after he left DFJ, the venture capital firm he co-founded, in 2017 amid questions about his personal conduct, there was uncertainty around whether he would keep those director positions. Well, it looks like Elon Musk is standing by Jurvetson.