CoInvent Newsletter (05/11/15)

This is a weekly digest about tech/venture news and startup events you should bookmark. Subscribe for free @ Subscribe to any of the following lists for region-specific event alerts: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles. For previous newsletter archive, visit

Some of the Media Summit videos are up on our site now. Not 100% yet. We should have the rest of them up this week. Here they are:

The funding market shows no signs of slowing down. Zenefits, a San Francisco-based cloud software startup, just announced $500 million in a series C round of funding last week. PayPal co-founder Max Levchin’s Affirm is set out with a mission to reinvent the credit. Last week, Affirm announced a series B funding round for $275 million.

Is your startup funding ready? We have our next startup demo events lined up in SF, LA, and NY in the next two months (in that order). Some of these events will have panel judges, some will not. Apply to demo today @


Announcing the next CoInvent NY Startup Demo Night @ Anchin. This is likely to be one of the only demo night events that we will be hosting in NY in 2015. Don’t miss out. Apply to pitch @ Panelists will be announced soon. Get tickets today @

Top Industry News

1. One of the most-heated debates last week had something to do with whether founders should take money off the table when getting funded with too much money for their startups. Bill Maris of Google Ventures compares Secret founders to bank robbers, although he later apologized. It’s well known that the Secret founders will return some money to their backers while shutting down the app. It’s also a known fact that each of the two co-founders took $3 million off the table and a red Ferrari was involved somehow during that process. So should we show more sympathy for the founders or investors in this case?

  • Sunset — link
  • The Lessons Google Ventures Learned From Secret — link
  • Google Ventures partner compares failed startup Secret to ‘a bank heist’ — link
  • Thoughts on the Secret Whatnot — link

2. Uber is out to raise more money again. This time, it’s at a $50 billion valuation. In the meantime, Uber has submitted a bid for Here, Nokia’s digital mapping service, for as much as $3 billion. Other bidders for Here includes German automakers like BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Uber obviously is the underdog here. It’ll be interesting to see how all this pans out.

  • Uber Joins the Bidding for Here, Nokia’s Digital Mapping Service — link
  • Uber Eyes $50 Billion Valuation in New Funding — link
  • Uber Enters Bidding Contest For Nokia’s HERE With Reported $3 Billion Offer — link


Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook are at war over the future of news — and one of them tried to buy a media company — link

Here’s how much New York and San Francisco’s tight housing markets are hurting the economy — link

Cisco names Chuck Robbins as CEO; John Chambers to become executive chairman — link

Joseph Lechleider, a Father of the DSL Internet Technology, Dies at 82 — link

Facebook’s free Internet for the poor leaves out high-bandwidth sites — link

Twilio has joined The Unicorn ranks with stealthy $100 million raise — link

Delivery Hero eats up Turkey’s Yemeksepeti for a record $589M — link

Comcast spent $336 million on failed attempt to buy Time Warner Cable — link

Freshbooks CFO Mark Macleod steps down to launch Surepath Capital Partners — link

Amazon prime video takes to the skies via JetBlue — link

Apple’s Ahrendts emerges as top-paid U.S. woman with $83 million — link

Elance-oDesk rebrands as Upwork, debuts Slack-like chat platform — link

Microsoft is said to evaluate possible bid for Salesforce — link

Zenefits Is tagged with a $4.5 billion valuation after just two years — link

Lending start-up affirm raises $275 Million — link

Court says Skype’s name is too similar to Sky’s — link

SunGard prepares IPO, aims to raise around $750 million — link

Zynga narrows focus, will cut 18 percent of staff — link

Alibaba Names New Chief Executive and Reports Revenue Rise — link

Former Apple retail boss Ron Johnson unwraps new web startup ‘Enjoy’ — link

Yelp seeks buyer amid slow growth, rising costs — link

Fitbit files for $100 million IPO, shows big profits — link

Alibaba in talks to buy $1.2 billion stake in India phone maker Micromax: sources — link

At Zappos, some employees find offer to leave too good to refuse — link

Zoosk Formally Withdraws IPO — link

New California ruling could help Ellen Pao in legal fee fight with Kleiner Perkins — link

GoPro Exec Zander Lurie to temporarily help lead SurveyMonkey after CEO’s death — link

Yahoo sues ex-staffer claiming she gave secrets to writer — link

Spotify revenue rises in 2014 but still in red on heavy investments — link

Just eat moves into Australia with $688 million menulog meal — link

Alibaba takes big stake in Seattle’s zulily e-commerce site — link

The Short Life and Speedy Death of Russia’s Silicon Valley — link

After fresh investment, Chinese drone maker DJI valued at about $8 billion — link

Top Ten Venture Deals (Past 7 Days)

1. Zenefits, a San Francisco-based cloud software startup, has raised $500 million in a series C round. The round was led by Fidelity Management and TPG, and was joined by Andreessen Horowitz, Insight Venture Partners, Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures, Sound Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners, Brendan Wallace, CEO of Identified and the actor Jared Leto.

2. Tuniu, a China-based leading online leisure travel company, has announced $500 million investment. led the investment, becoming the largest shareholder by putting in $350 million and will own 27.5% of the online travel agency., Sequoia Capital, Temasek Holdings, DCM Ventures and Hony Capital also contributed in $500 million injection.

3. Affirm, a San Francisco-based financial technology services company, has raised $275 million in a Series B funding round from Spark Capital Growth, Jefferies, and Andreessen Horowitz, along with existing investors Khosla Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

4. Pinterest, a San Francisco-based social bookmarking site, has raised an additional $186 million in Series G funding round from new investors Goldman Sachs and Wellington, along with existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital, SV Angel, Valiant Capital Management and Fidelity Investments.

5. Aiwujiwu, a Shanghai, China-based rental and home listing portal and transaction platform, has raised $120 million in Series D funding from GGV Capital, Morningside Ventures,Shunwei Capital, and Banyan Capital.

6. AltSchool, a San Francisco-based that provides network of alternative education schools, has raised $100 million in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz and Founders Fund. Marc Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, Emerson Collective, First Round Capital Learn Capital, John Doerr, Harrison Metal, Jonathan Sackler, Omidyar Network and Adrian Aoun also participated in the round.

7. Twilio, a San Francisco-based cloud communication company, has raised $100 million in a Series E round that values the company at over $1 billion, Forbes has reported.

8. Banjo, a Red Wood City-based social discovery app, has raised $100 million in a Series E funding led by the Japanese tech giant SoftBank, with participation from previous investor BlueRun Ventures.

9. Delhivery, an Gurgaon-based e-commerce logistics startup, has raised $85 million in a Series D funding. The round was led by Tiger Global Management, with participation from existing investors Multiples Alternate Asset Management, Nexus Venture Partners and Times Internet Limited.

10. DJI, a Shenzhen-based world’s most popular “drone” manufacturer, has raised $75 million in Series B funding round from Accel Partners that values the company at $10 billion.

New Funds

Myntra’s early backer sets up a new fund — link

Storm Ventures Locks Down $180M For Its New Fund — link

Events Calendar

1. [The Nightly Show, New York] May 12th — The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore

VIP tickets to Comedy Central’s new show — “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.” Get tickets for May 12th @

2. [The Nightly Show, New York] May 13th — The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore

VIP tickets to Comedy Central’s new show — “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.” Get tickets for May 13th @

3. [The Vault, San Francisco, CA] May 28th — CoInvent SF Social Demo Hours (May, 2015)

Co-hosted with The Vault, up to 6 startups will be selected to demo at this event for 5 minutes per startups. The Vault and CoInvent will provide a limited amount of drinks and refreshments. Dress code is business casual. Apply @ Register @

4. [Ignited Spaces, Los Angeles] June 11th — CoInvent LA Social Demo Hours, Co-hosted with Ignited Spaces

Co-hosted with Ignited Spaces, up to 6 startups will be selected to demo at this event for 5 minutes per startups. Drinks and refreshments are provided by Ignited Spaces and CoInvent. Dress code is business casual. Apply @ RSVP @

5. [Anchin, New York] June 25th — CoInvent NY Startup Demo Night, Co-hosted with Anchin

This is CoInvent’s annual demo night event in NY. Apply to pitch your startups @ This is your opportunity to showcase your startups to hundreds of attendees and a group of seasoned investors. Food and drinks are included. More info @

6. [Suite 36, New York] September 3rd — CoInvent NY Startup Happy Hour @ Suite 36

This is a CoInvent private event for founders, entrepreneurs, investors, and startup professionals — part of the startup networking series. Cash bar with happy hour price. Private space. RSVPs required @

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