Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Bay Area Tech Wire -- April 26

BAY AREA TECH WIRE -- April 26, 2016
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Danville-Based Trov Lands $25.5M for On-Demand Insurance Platform
S.F.-Based Zero Zero Robotics Lands $25M for Self-Flying Camera
o Bay Area Parents Flock to Zum Following Demise of Shuddle
o Palo Alto-Based Phantom Lands New Investment from In-Q-Tel
o San Francisco-Based Harmony Partners Invests in Vidsys
o Geoff Ribar to Retire as CFO of Cadence Design Systems in March 2017
o Briefly Noted: Veriflow, ServiceSource, Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs

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o Danville-Based Trov Lands $25.5M for On-Demand Insurance Platform

Danville, Calif. -- Trov, the Danville-based developer of an on-demand insurance platform for single items, said on Tuesday it has raised $25.5 million in its third round of funding, led by Oak HC/FT. Suncorp Group, Guidewire and previous backer Anthemis Group also took part in the round, which increases the company's total funding to $39 million. In addition to the funding, Trov said it plans to launch an on-demand insurance platform that will let users instantly turn insurance on or off for individual items, such as a laptop, camera or bicycle, from their mobile devices. The service will be available first in Australia in May, followed by the U.K. in the second half of 2016 and the U.S. and other territories in 2017. At launch, the company will offer protection for a limited number of items, including consumer electronics, with additional categories of items becoming available over the course of the year.

o S.F.-Based Zero Zero Robotics Lands $25M for Self-Flying Camera

San Francisco -- Zero Zero Robotics, a San Francisco-based developer of consumer-friendly flying smart robotics, said on Tuesday it has landed $23 million in its first round of funding. IDG, GSR Ventures, ZhenFund and ZUIG took part in the round, which follows $2 million in seed funding. The company also has unveiled its first product, Hover Camera. The autonomous flying camera, based on a Qualcomm drone platform, uses embedded artificial intelligence to navigate its environment, allowing users to capture photos and videos both indoors and outdoors. Zero Zero said the device can be used out of the box and requires no learning curve. "We're excited that this round of funding will allow us to introduce the public to Hover Camera, push the boundaries of what's possible and reimagine the future of what truly autonomous flying devices can be," said CEO Meng Qiu Wang.

o Bay Area Parents Flock to Zum Following Demise of Shuddle

San Mateo, Calif. -- Zum, the San Mateo-based developer of a mobile service that lets parents schedule rides for kids and track their rides in process, said it has signed up more than 600 families and 100 drivers since San Francisco-based competitor Shuddle ceased operations two weeks ago. Shuddle, which many loyal users called "Uber for kids," shut down after failing to secure additional funding, despite raising $12.2 million since its inception in 2014 and $9.6 million just last year. Zum said it has begun picking up the slack throughout the Bay Area, creating school carpools as requested by families and offering on-demand or pre-scheduled ride services. "We welcome our new families and look forward to additional families and drivers joining us in coming days and weeks," said co-founder and CEO Ritu Narayan.

o Palo Alto-Based Phantom Lands New Investment from In-Q-Tel

Palo Alto, Calif. -- Phantom, the Palo Alto-based creator of an open community for security automation and orchestration, said on Tuesday it has landed a new investment from In-Q-Tel (IQT), the Virginia-based venture fund backed by the CIA. Financial terms of the deal, part of a larger technology development agreement between the two organizations, were not disclosed. Phantom said the relationship will bolster its mission to provide a layer of "connective tissue" that helps clients integrate their existing, disparate security technologies. "Phantom is pioneering an automation and orchestration platform that will dramatically reduce the response and remediation gap caused by limited resources, an increasing threat surface and incident rate, and the overwhelming complexity of an organization's security enterprise," said Julian Mann, principal of investments at IQT.

o San Francisco-Based Harmony Partners Invests in Vidsys

San Francisco -- Harmony Partners, a boutique venture capital firm with dual headquarters in San Francisco and New York, said on Tuesday it has invested in Virginia-based Vidsys, a developer of physical security information management software used at large events such as marathons and global summits. The investment was part of the company's new $11 million round co-led by previous backers NewSpring Capital, Atlanta Equity, Flybridge Capital Partners and JVax Investment Group. The company said it will use the proceeds to support its growing international business with customer support operations and product development initiatives. It also plans to expand its Internet of Things (IoT) and virtualized services platform apps for smart and future cities, intelligent transportation and advanced business intelligence tools.

o Geoff Ribar to Retire as CFO of Cadence Design Systems in March 2017

San Jose, Calif. -- Cadence Design Systems, the San Jose-based developer of electronic design software, hardware and services, said that Geoff Ribar has announced plans to retire as its senior vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) at the end of March 2017. He has been with the company since 2010. Cadence has launched a search for his replacement. "Geoff has been a tremendous partner to me and the company over the past five and a half years," said Lip-Bu Tan, the company's president and CEO. "During Geoff's tenure, we have consistently met or exceeded our financial objectives, improved both our operating margin and cash flow, strengthened the balance sheet and optimized our return of capital." Ribar said he plans to remains active in the technology and semiconductor industries through board memberships and other professional activities.

Briefly Noted:

(Oakland) Oakland-based Veriflow, a developer of network breach and outage prevention software, has named Scott Shenker to its board of directors and Sajid Awan as its vice president of products. Shenker co-founded and served as the founding CEO and chief scientist of Nicira, and is also a co-founder and board member of Databricks. Awan, meanwhile, was country leader at IBM Global Services, and previously was the CIO of MCB Bank. Veriflow launched out of stealth on earlier this month with $2.9 million in initial funding from New Enterprise Associates (NEA), the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense.

(San Francisco) San Francisco-based ServiceSource, a developer of customer and revenue lifecycle tools, on Tuesday named Chad Lyne as its senior vice president of strategy and corporate development. Lyne most recently served as the global vice president of strategy and corporate development at Sykes Enterprises.

(San Francisco) Nina Kaiser of Mighty Minds SF and Fremont-based Jenny Kassan Consulting have been named two of 30 regional winners in Comcast Business's third annual Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs startup competition. Each of the regional winners, which include 15 startups and 15 entrepreneurs, receives a $10,000 cash award and the chance to compete for the opportunity to consult with more than a dozen business experts. The next round of the competition is the public vote, where six businesses will be selected as grand prize winners and receive an additional $20,000 cash award.
http://cbcommunity.comcast.com/i4e/vote (To submit votes)

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