The Strand 🌴 - April 14, 2019

GoDaddy has acquired Pasadena-based Sellbrite, Fifth Wall Ventures is raising a new $500M fund, Disney unveils new streaming service, and Uber makes its IPO filing public.

Welcome to the thirtieth edition of The Strand, a weekly-ish newsletter covering venture capital, private equity, and general business news from around the Los Angeles area. My name is Brendan Boken, a native of Southern California. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, send deals/news to

Venture Capital Funding

Fleetsmith, a 3.5-year-old, San Francisco, California-based company that automates device setup for small and medium-size businesses, handling intelligence, patching, and security for their Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs, has just raised $30 million in Series B funding. Menlo Ventures led the round with participation from Tiger Global Management, Santa Monica-based Upfront Ventures, and Harrison Metal. TechCrunch

Jebbit, an eight-year-old, Boston, Massachusetts-based startup that helps brands provide insight into what consumers are looking for in a product or service, has raised $12 million in Series B funding. Los Angeles-based K1 Investment Management led the round, with participation from Manifest and Yard Ventures. GlobeNewswire

SHO Products, a nearly four-year-old, Los Angeles, California-based maker of solvent-less agricultural equipment, tools, and accessories, has raised $3.6 million in Series A funding led by Ann Tenenbaum. Finesmes

Private Equity Funding

No Los Angeles-based companies or investors were involved in private equity funding transactions this past week.

Liquidity / Exits / M&A

GoDaddy, the publicly traded e-mail service provider, has acquired Sellbrite, a nearly six-year-old, Pasadena, California-based multi-channel retail SaaS startup. TechCrunch

New Funds

Fifth Wall Ventures, a nearly three-year-old, Los Angeles, California-based real estate focused venture firm, is raising a $500 million fund. SEC Filing


No Los Angeles-based companies filed for public offerings this past week.

On The Move

No Los Angeles-based companies or firms gained notable new employees this past week.

Featured Jobs

Clutter, an on-demand technology company, is hiring a Junior Software Engineer in the company’s greater LA office.

Snap, a social camera company, is hiring a Business Affairs Manager in the company’s greater LA office.

Within, the premier destination for innovative, entertaining, and informative story-based virtual and augmented reality, is hiring a Senior Product Designer in the company’s greater LA office.

News, Resources, & Required Reading

Disney’s new streaming service is coming for Netflix and Amazon. Built in LA

Humble beginnings make heavy hitters: The founding stories behind 5 LA tech companies. Built in LA

Santa Monica-based DroneBase will use drones to stop power outages before they happen, utilizing thermal imaging technology that can analyze heat patterns in power grids, buildings, and solar panels. Built in LA

Softbank Group Corporation has tapped industry veterans from Dan Loeb’s Third Point and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to help oversee a $5 billion technology fund focused on Latin America. Bloomberg

SpaceX successfully landed all three Falcon Heavy rocket boosters for the first time ever. The company managed to stick all three landings, and it may have helped that all three boosters used for this flight were upgraded versions of SpaceX’s rockets, knows as Block 5. This version is made to optimize reusability, making it easier for SpaceX to land the vehicles and then turn them around quickly for future flights. The Verge

Uber made its IPO filing public this past week, giving potential investors a detailed look into the company’s financials. The company is looking to go public at a valuation between $90 and $100 billion. Some additional facts on Uber from this past Friday’s Term Sheet: Uber - S-1

  • $20 billion: The total amount of funding (a combination of debt and equity) that Uber has raised to date.

  •  $11.3 billion: Uber's revenue for 2018, which is up from $7.9 billion in 2017 (Lyft's revenue for 2018 was $2.16 billion.)

  • $14.3 billion: Costs and expenses, which are up from $12 billion in 2017 (Lyft's total costs and expenses were $3.1 billion in 2018.)

  • $1.8 billion: Uber's losses in 2018, which is the first full year under new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. This figure represents an improvement from one year ago when it reported $2.2 billion in losses. (Lyft reported losses of $911 million last year.)

  • 91 million: Monthly active riders as of Dec. 2018, which is up from 68 million in 2017 (Compare that to Lyft's 18.6 million monthly actives.)

  • 222 million: The number of of Uber shares that Softbank owns, which comes out to 16.3%. Benchmark Capital comes in second with 150 million shares, or 11%, and Travis Kalanick third with 150 million shares, or 8.6%.

  •  100,000+: Hundreds of thousands of consumers who stopped using the Uber app within days of the #DeleteUber campaign.

  • 20: The number of times Uber mentions Alphabet's self-driving unit Waymo in its prospectus. For context, it only mentions Lyft a total of six times.

  •  1: Unlike many of its peers, Uber is going public with a single class voting structure. That means one vote equals one share.

Take a Break

Los Angeles renames Crenshaw/Slauson intersection for Nipsey Hussle.

The first-ever black hole image.

Tiger Woods has won the 2019 Masters Tournament, earning him his 15th major championship and 5th green jacket.

What I’m Listening To

@OverheardLA Posts of the Week

Unsplash Photos of the Week