Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bay Area Tech Wire -- Nov. 17

BAY AREA TECH WIRE -- Nov. 17, 2015
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o San Francisco-Based Align Commerce Raises $12.5 Million in First Round
S.F.-Based Brave Software Raises $2.5 Million in Seed Funding
o S.F.-Based Alpine Investors Invests in Optima Healthcare Solutions
San Mateo-Based QualPay Names Jim Jones as Executive Chairman
o Redwood City-Based Gynesonics Lands Additional $2.9 Million
San Francisco-Based ClearCare Lands Investment from McKesson Ventures
o Proteus Names Chairman and Chief Commercial Officer
Briefly Noted:
Tintri, Vigilant Solutions, Darby Smart, Chegg

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o San Francisco-Based Align Commerce Raises $12.5 Million in First Round

San Francisco -- Align Commerce, a San Francisco-based developer of cross-border payments technology that allows businesses to pay and get paid in their local currency, said on Tuesday it has raised $12.5 million in its first round of funding, led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). SVB Ventures, Recruit Venture Partners and previous backers Pantera Capital, Digital Currency Group and FS Venture Capital also participated in the round. Randy Komisar, a general partner at KPCB, will join the company's board of directors. Align's payments platform combines traditional bank wire and treasury management processes with blockchain, an encrypted technology designed to simplify the process of sending and receiving money across borders, without the need for intermediary banks. Align CEO Marwan Forzley said the round "allows us to expand our solution into more markets, and bigger geographical coverage."

o S.F.-Based Brave Software Raises $2.5 Million in Seed Funding

San Francisco -- Brave Software, a stealthy San Francisco-based startup focused on "building a safer and faster Internet," said on Tuesday it has raised $2.5 million in seed funding from private investors. The company was founded by its president and CEO, Brendan Eich, who previously served as the CTO, then CEO of Mozilla. Eich, inventor of the JavaScript programming language, also co-founded the Mozilla project and foundation. In addition, Brave has named Yan Zhu and Marshall Rose as senior members of its technical staff. Zhu most recently worked on the Yahoo security team and is a technology fellow at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Rose is a prominent author and contributor to open standards at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and also co-founded the first Internet commercial payments system. "They will play an instrumental role in delivering our upcoming standards-based solution to radically improve the web experience," said Eich.

o S.F.-Based Alpine Investors Invests in Optima Healthcare Solutions

San Francisco -- Alpine Investors, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, said on Tuesday it has made an unspecified investment in Florida-based Optima Healthcare Solutions, a developer of therapy management software to post-acute care providers. The firm also has named CEO-in-residence Josh Pickus as the company's new CEO. Optima's founding team will maintain minority ownership and remain active in the management of the company. Optima's signature offering is RehabOptima, web-based software used by more than 8,000 nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and contract therapy companies.

o San Mateo-Based QualPay Names Jim Jones as Executive Chairman

San Mateo, Calif. -- Qualpay, the San Mateo-based developer of a cloud-based payments platform designed to let businesses accept payments across all their sales channels, on Tuesday named Jim Jones as its executive chairman. Jones most recently served as the chairman and CEO of AccountNow, and previously was the vice chairman and president of Providian Financial. The news comes less than two months after the company closed its first round of funding, increasing its total capital commitment to $8 million. Qualpay's platform lets merchants accept customer payments in-person, online, through mobile devices, over the phone or through the mail.

o Redwood City-Based Gynesonics Lands Additional $2.9 Million

Redwood City, Calif. -- Gynesonics, a Redwood City-based developer of technology that uses radiofrequency energy to treat uterine fibroids in women, said on Tuesday it has landed $2.9 million in additional funding, completing its current round at $46 million. Novit Ventures, the investment arm of USP Group, was the primary investor in the tranche. The company in July announced the initial $43 million tranche, co-led by Endeavour Vision and Abingworth. Gynesonics' Sonata system is a minimally invasive, incision-free device that integrates radiofrequency energy to ablate fibroids under intrauterine sonography guidance, while preserving the uterus.

o San Francisco-Based ClearCare Lands Investment from McKesson Ventures

San Francisco -- ClearCare, a San Francisco-based developer of software for private duty home care agencies, said on Tuesday it has landed a new investment from McKesson Ventures, the venture arm of San Francisco-based healthcare services and IT giant McKesson. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. ClearCare said it will use the investment to accelerate new integrations into its platform, including telemedicine services, remote monitoring and diagnostics, and the ability to provide medical supplies and medications to all U.S. partners. The company also plans to bolster its cloud-based web and mobile software technology. "With the rapidly aging baby boomer generation entering retirement years, improving the quality of home care is more important than ever," said CEO Geoffrey Nudd. "We're excited to be the bridge connecting home care to the larger healthcare system." The company also raised $11 million in a round that closed in 2014, led by Bessemer Venture Partners.

o Proteus Names Chairman and Chief Commercial Officer

Redwood City, Calif. -- Proteus Digital Health, a Redwood City-based developer of digital medicine technology, on Tuesday named Molly O'Neill as its chief commercial officer and Jonathan Symonds as its chairman. O'Neill, who will lead partnerships with major health systems, payers and key provider customers, most recently served as the senior vice president of business development at Tenet Health. Symonds also serves as the chairman of HSBC Bank, chairman of the supervisory board of Innocoll AG and non-executive director of Genomics England. He earlier was the CFO of Novartis. The company also has named Shumeet Banerji to its board of directors. "The commercial and financial expertise that these individuals bring to the company will enable Proteus to commercialize Digital Medicines at scale," said CEO Andrew Thompson. The company's technology includes drugs that communicate when they've been taken, wearable sensors that capture physiologic response, applications that support patient self-care and physician decision making, and data analytics to serve the needs of doctors and health systems.

o Briefly Noted:

(Mountain View, Calif.) Mountain View-based Tintri, a developer of application-aware storage technology for virtualization and cloud environments, has named Tony Chang as its executive vice president of engineering. Chang joins previously spent nearly eight years in engineering leadership roles at NetApp, most recently leading the company's ONTAP group. Earlier, he served as the vice president of engineering at LogLogic.

(Livermore, Calif.) Livermore-based Vigilant Solutions, a developer of law enforcement technology such as automated license plate and facial recognition tools, on Tuesday named Dick Boyce to its board of directors. Boyce recently retired from TPG Capital, where he founded and led the investment firm's operating group. Earlier, he was the CEO of J.Crew Group, as well as the chairman of Burger King and Del Monte Foods.

(San Francisco) San Francisco-based Darby Smart, developer of a platform to find, share and shop creative ideas, on Tuesday named Kiran Akkineni as its chief analytics officer. Akkineni most recently served as the vice president of analytics at Porch, and earlier was one of the first 50 employees at
Darby Smart.

(Santa Clara, Calif.) Santa Clara-based Chegg, the provider of online study tools and textbooks, on Tuesday named Renee Budig to its board of directors. She succeeds Barry McCarthy as chair of the board's audit committee. Budig is the executive vice president and CFO of CBS Interactive, and previously served as the CFO of Hightail (formerly YouSendIt), as well as in executive-level role at Netflix.

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