Thursday, May 4, 2017

Bay Area Tech Wire - May 4

BAY AREA TECH WIRE -- May 4, 2017
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San Jose-Based Signifyd Lands $56 Million in Third Round of Funding  
San Mateo-Based Nav Adds $13 Million to Second Round of Funding
o Hackers Target Google Docs Users in Large Phishing Attack
Mountain View-Based GV Leads $50 Million Round for Soylent
o Briefly Noted:
Instart Logic, Oracle - AT&T, Digital Shadows

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--Baird Global Technology Investment Banking
--8 Habits of Effective Critical Thinkers

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o San Jose-Based Signifyd Lands $56 Million in Third Round of Funding

San Jose, Calif. -- Signifyd, the San Jose-based developer of a fraud protection platform for e-commerce businesses, said on Thursday it has raised $56 million in its third round of funding, led by Bain Capital Ventures. Menlo Ventures, American Express Ventures and other previous backers also participated in the round, which follows rounds in of $20 million and $19 million in February and September of last year, respectively. The company said it will use the latest proceeds to expand its teams of engineers and fraud experts, as well as scale its platform across the U.S., Europe and Asia. Signifyd's Guaranteed Fraud Protection offering -- a combination of machine learning technology and human expertise -- provides a 100% financial guarantee against fraud and chargebacks on every approved order. "E-commerce is fiercely competitive and we see a whole new wave of competition arriving in the form of brick-and-mortar retailers shifting their focus online," said co-founder and CEO, Rajesh Ramanand. "In this environment, merchants are seeking a fully predictable cost for fraud that can eliminate liability and free up internal resources to focus on growth, customer service along with product and service innovation."

o San Mateo-Based Nav Adds $13 Million to Second Round of Funding

San Mateo, Calif. -- Nav, the San Mateo-based developer of a platform designed to help small business owners better manage their finances and gain access to credit, said on Thursday it has landed $13 million in new funding, completing its second round at $38 million. Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments group led the latest tranche, which also included participation from CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund, Point72 Ventures and Clocktower Technology Ventures. Nav's platform provides both business and personal credit score data tied to personalized tips and advice, The company also recently launched its free Business Loan Reality Check mobile app, which evaluates a business owner's cash flow to give additional insights into their borrowing power. "We're using data to help business owners understand their financial health and dramatically simplify the process of borrowing money and getting credit," said co-founder and CEO Levi King. Experian led Nav's previously announced $25 million second round, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers led its $6.5 million first round. 

Hackers Target Google Docs Users in Large Phishing Attack

Mountain View, Calif. -- A large phishing attack launched on Wednesday is targeting users of Google's cloud-based document software, Google Docs, tricking thousands of users into giving hackers access to their Google email messages and contact lists. The emails, often sent from a known source, ask users to click on an embedded link to join a shared Google document. Once granted access to the information, hackers then have sent more malicious messages to email addresses found on those lists. "We have taken action to protect users against an email impersonating Google Docs, and have disabled offending accounts," Google said in a statement. "We've removed the fake pages, pushed updates through Safe Browsing, and our abuse team is working to prevent this kind of spoofing from happening again." The company later said it was able to stop the attack within an hour of its discovery.!topic/gmail/gbJu3vzqPg4 


o Mountain View-Based GV Leads $50 Million Round for Soylent

Mountain View, Calif. -- GV, the Mountain View-based venture capital firm formerly known as Google Ventures, said on Thursday it has led a new $50 million round of funding for Los Angeles-based Soylent, a developer of engineered nutrition drinks and powders. Tao Capital Partners and previous backers Lerer Hippeau Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz also took part in the company's third round, which increased its total funding to $74.5 million. Andy Wheeler, a general partner at GV, has joined the company's board of directors. "This funding will enable us to expand our current product offerings, support our expansion efforts into traditional retail and international territories, and further our goal of bringing Soylent products to people around the world," said founder and CEO Rob Rhinehart, in a statement.  

o Briefly Noted:

(Palo Alto, Calif.) Palo Alto-based Instart Logic, developer of a cloud application performance and security platform, on Thursday named Daniel Druker as its vice president of global marketing. Druker previously served as the chief marketing officer (CMO) of Ayasdi, Zscaler, MyBuys, Intacct and Postini. 

(Redwood Shores, Calif.) Redwood Shores-based database technology giant Oracle that AT&T has signed a deal with the company to move thousands of its large scale internal databases to Oracle's cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). Under the agreement, AT&T will migrate thousands of existing Oracle databases containing petabytes of data, plus their associated applications workloads, to Oracle Cloud. 

(San Francisco) Digital Shadows, developer of a digital risk management service with dual headquarters in San Francisco and London, has named Dan Lowden as its chief marketing officer (CMO). Lowden most recently served as the CMO of Invincea, which was recently acquired by Sophos. The company also has named Schwark Satyavolu, a general partner at Trinity Ventures, to its board of directors and former KPMG executive Paul Kenealy as its director of intelligence. 

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> Baird Commentary: How the IoT Revolution Is Driving Consolidation

In a recent commentary on the ever-evolving Internet of Things (IoT) revolution, Baird's senior technology bankers discuss how the proliferation of IoT-enabled software and services and ongoing industry consolidation. Today's sophisticated IoT software and systems not only connect disparate devices, they collect, verify and cleanse data -- diminishing the long-time challenge of cutting through "noise" inherent to data aggregation and facilitating in-depth analysis and application of the collected information into actionable intelligence. This IoT revolution is quickly catching up to its hype by transforming businesses across many sectors. The value of IoT technology has become imperative, and growing demand is fueling tremendous acquisition interest from a diverse range of buyers, pushing competition higher and accelerating consolidation in the space. Read Baird's insights into this rapidly evolving space and the related M&A activity: 


> 8 Habits of Effective Critical Thinkers

Critical thinking - the ability to make decisions, solve problems, and take appropriate action - has been identified as a key skill by educators, business leaders and governments. Here are eight ways to become a better critical thinker at work and in life.


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