Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Bay Area Tech Wire -- Dec. 15

BAY AREA TECH WIRE -- Dec. 15, 2015
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o Oakland-Based Sungevity Lands $50 Million in Equity Funding
S.F.-Based Walden Riverwood Leads $22M Round for Vayyar Imaging
o Menlo Park-Based USVP Closes New $300 Million Investment Fund
o Specialty Insurer AGCS Launches Cyber Unit in San Francisco
o San Jose-Based SBA Materials Lands Fourth Round of Funding
Briefly Noted:
Promapp Solutions, Scality, PayPal - Super Bowl

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o Oakland-Based Sungevity Lands $50 Million in Equity Funding

Oakland -- Sungevity, an Oakland-based developer of solar energy technology, said on Tuesday it has raised $50 million in a new round of funding, which included participation from previous backer GE Ventures and new investor Apollo Investment. The company said it will use the proceeds bolster its technology platform and grow into new markets and partnerships. In addition, Sungevity also landed $600 million in new project financing from a consortium led by Apollo Investment to further support the development of solar projects across its growing U.S. footprint. "The funding allows us to extend our technology platform, enabling more partners to bring Sungevity Energy Systems to more customers in more places," said CEO Andrew Birch.

o S.F.-Based Walden Riverwood Leads $22M Round for Vayyar Imaging

San Francisco -- Vayyar Imaging, an Israel-based developer of 3D image sensors, said on Tuesday it has raised $22 million in its second round of funding, led by San Francisco-based Walden Riverwood. Previous backers Battery Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Israel Cleantech Ventures (ICV) and Amiti Ventures also took part in the round, which increased the company's total funding to $34 million since its inception in 2011. The company, which has several investors from the Bay Area, said it will use the latest proceeds to expand its enterprise offering globally. Vayyar's sensors are designed to see through skin and tissue to detect breast or other cancer masses, look through walls to detect structural foundations and track a person's location and vital signs as they move through a smart home. "We look forward to advancing Vayyar Imaging's technologies into a new era where low-cost imaging systems can solve major challenges in a variety of different markets -- including breast cancer screening, monitoring aging populations for their safety, saving water through accurate irrigation and so much more," said Raviv Melamed, the company's co-founder, chairman and CEO.
http://vayyar.com/media/press-release.pdf (PDF)

o Menlo Park-Based USVP Closes New $300 Million Investment Fund

Menlo Park, Calif. -- U.S. Venture Partners (USVP), the Menlo Park-based early-stage venture capital firm, said on Tuesday it has closed a new $300 million fund, to focus on investments in cybersecurity, enterprise software, consumer mobile and e-commerce, and healthcare. The firm said it will use the fund, known as USVP XI, to continue its strategy of leading first rounds for companies in the U.S. and Israel. Six partners will lead the new fund, including Steve Krausz, Rick Lewis, Jonathan Root, Casey Tansey, Dafina Toncheva and Jacques Benkoski. All told, USVP has led early-stage investments in 86 companies that have completed initial public offerings (IPOs).

o Specialty Insurer AGCS Launches Cyber Unit in San Francisco

San Francisco -- Specialist corporate insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) said it has launched a new cyber unit in San Francisco. The unit will develop the company's first U.S. Cyber and Specialty Professional Indemnity policy, designed to help clients protect against business interruption, intellectual property theft and cyber-extortion. AGCS has named Emy Donavan and Jenny Soubra as national practice leaders. Since 2013, AGCS has been offering a dedicated cyber product in Asia and Europe, followed by Canada in 2014. "The recent flurry of publicized attacks is only the tip of the iceberg, and the interruption of critical systems may severely affect a company's business continuity, causing irreparable damage to their overall brand and reputation," said Paul Schiavone, the company's regional head of financial lines in North America.

o San Jose-Based SBA Materials Lands Fourth Round of Funding

San Jose, Calif. -- SBA Materials, a San Jose-based developer of engineered nano-structured dielectrics with applications in markets ranging from high performance logic chips to energy storage, said on Tuesday it has raised an unspecified amount in its fourth round of funding. New investors Air Liquide Venture Capital (ALIAD) and Tokyo Electron Venture Capital joined previous backers Intel Capital, Samsung Venture Investment and Sun Mountain Capital. SBA said it will use a portion of the proceeds to commercialize its Liquid Phase Self Assembly (LPSA)-based ultra low-k dielectric coatings for semiconductor manufacturing. Hash Pakbaz, the company's president and CEO, said the round "will enable SBA to carry out its strategy toward commercializing its disruptive LPSA dielectric at a time where the industry faces great challenges with extending Moore's law, processor power consumption and speed with clear needs for enabling materials."

o Briefly Noted:

(San Francisco) Promapp Solutions, a New Zealand-based developer of cloud-based business process management software with U.S. operations in San Francisco, has named Vivienne Larsen as its global channel manager. Larsen most recently was the New Zealand channel manager at Avaya, and earlier was a channel manager at EMC.

(San Francisco) San Francisco-based Scality, a developer of software-defined storage tools, on Tuesday named Syed Hoda as its chief marketing officer (CMO). Hoda most recently served as the CMO of ParStream, which recently was acquired by Cisco, and previously was a senior executive at Cisco in a variety of management roles.

(San Jose, Calif.) In its first major brand campaign as an independent company, San Jose-based online payments giant PayPal said it will unveil a 45-second television commercial during the first quarter of Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7. The company said the commercial will mark the start of its new campaign to "start a larger conversation about a reimagined financial world that must include everyone."

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