DigitalOcean today announced that it has secured $10 million in equipment financing from CapX Partners. CapX previously invested in DigitalOcean’s $3.2 million seed round in 2013. The announcement comes on the heels of its huge $37.2 million funding round earlier this year led by Andreessen Horowitz to fuel its fast growth.
We don’t usually hear all that much about equipment financing rounds these days, but that’s probably because most startups these days don’t have all that much equipment that needs financing.
For DigitalOcean, however, getting discounts and lines of credit with Dell and other vendors was very important during its early days because it does actually have to incur quite a bit of cost to keep its co-located data centers running and scale them up as demand grows.
Early on, DigitalOcean often had a hard time coping with the ever-increasing demand and had to limit access to new cloud computing instances on a number of occasions.
“CapX was impressed with the company’s product offering, customer growth, and the trend for small business to move IT needs to the cloud,” said Peter W. Washington, Vice President of CapX Partners, in a statement today. “DigitalOcean’s impressive management team and support from its lead investor, Andreessen Horowitz, convinced CapX to step up its financial commitment to the business. We look forward to growing our relationship with both DigitalOcean and Andreessen Horowitz.”
DigitalOcean COO Karl Alomar said today that, “CapX is providing a meaningful contribution towards our overall syndicated leasing structure and remains one of our key partners in this regard.”
CapX says that in the process of working with the company, it has helped Digital Ocean to “draw down incremental tranches of capital to better match the company’s scaled financing needs.” This “Lease Line of Credit” structure is meant to help the company “manage its capital efficiently during the new shareholder’s investment period,” CapX noted in today’s announcement.
Follow this link: DigitalOcean Closes $10M Equipment Lease From CapX Partners
Marc Andreessen just announced Andreessen Horowitz’s latest investment on Twitter. The firm is investing $90 million in Tanium, an enterprise security and system management startup which lets IT control an entire network using natural language in a search engine-like interface.
Here’s how Andreessen Horowitz board partner Steven Sinofsky describes the software in a blog post on the venture capital firm’s blog:
Orion popped open his laptop and navigated to Tanium’s web-based “console”. At the top of the screen, we saw a single edit control like you’d see for a search engine. He started typing in natural language questions such as “show computers where CPU > 75%” and “show computers with a process named WINWORD.EXE”. Within seconds — just like using search — a list of computers scrolled by as though it were an existing spreadsheet or report.
Sinofsky goes on to explain what that enables you to do:
You can literally ask almost anything of an endpoint — such as configuration, patch status, software inventory compliance, performance, reliability measures, telemetry, network activity, files, and more (basically anything you can ask of a running system) — and get answers back in seconds. Not only can you ask questions, but you can take actions as well: distribute and install updates, shut down processes or executables, remove or quarantine files, and so on. All of this happens in seconds, across your entire network of endpoints, across LAN segments and the WAN, from branch offices to headquarters to the data center.
You can watch Tanium CTO Orion Hindi give a demo of Tanium’s software in the video below:
In the tweet announcing the investment, Andreessen noted that it was the first venture capital investment in Tanium since the company was founded in 2007.
Sinofsky’s blog post notes that the startup was already profitable (explaining how the company managed to not raise any venture capital for seven years) and operating at full scale, with “dozens of customers in massive, mission-critical, and global deployments.”
An Andreessen Horowitz spokesperson sent TechCrunch the following statement:
Tanium wanted to make sure that the product was rock solid before announcing it publicly. They operated without a sales or marketing staff for five years, and instead focused their time, energy and resources on building an incredible tool for enterprise systems management. That said, Tanium has hundreds of customers right now, all of which you can find on the Forbes 1000 or the Global 2000. The company works with large, established enterprises across a range of verticals, including banking and finance, telecommunications and retail.
IMAGE BY Tanium
Read the rest here: A16z Invests $90 Million In Tanium, An Enterprise Systems Management Startup
Tweetstorms. Everyone hates ‘em… and yet, they don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Ever since entrepreneur-turned venture capitalist Marc Andreessen joined Twitter and began sharing his thoughts in long, multi-Tweet segments, we’ve seen a proliferation of these so-called “tweetstorms” cropping up every few days.
A small but influential group of Twitterers that have followed Andreessen’s example — including a few members of his firm, Andreessen Horowitz — and forsaken the usual blog post for the more immediate gratification of sharing their thoughts by grouping together a big collection of stream-of-consciousness Tweets.
But if you’ve ever tried to put together a tweetstorm yourself, you’d find the process can actually be a lot of work. That’s especially true if you thread those tweets together by replying to one after the other and (presumably) deleting the @mention of your own Twitter screen name.
Anyway, if you’re going to participate in the horrible activity that is tweetstorming, there’s now a better way.
Long-time Internet resident and developer Dave Winer has created a new tool he calls “Little Pork Chop” that allows users to compose an entire tweetstorm which will be automatically sent out to all their followers.
Once you’ve given it access to your Twitter account, Little Pork Chop enables you to draft out your thoughts and automatically separates them into new tweets based on the character count. Or, you can separate them yourself with a carriage return.
It numbers and threads tweets together, and in its latest release even supports the ability to publish in reverse order so that a anyone who goes to your Twitter page will be able to understand them without reading chronologically backwards.
So yeah… use it wisely.
Read this article: Now Anyone Can Tweet Up A Storm With Dave Winer’s ‘Little Pork Chop’
Google’s Self-Driving Car Project could destroy taxis, Uber and Lyft because it knows everything about you
Samsung introduces Simband modular health band powered by open source SAMI platform
Bitcoin wallet service Coinbase released a new Payment Page feature today that reserves a custom URL for users to receive Bitcoin payments and donations.
If you have a Coinbase account already, you can head to the settings section of the site to reserve your username. Your payment page will then show up at coinbase.com/yourname.
To mark the launch of the new pages, Coinbase is partnering with Nas, Marc Andreessen and Code.org to match donations (up to $50,000) for their payment pages. Nas is raising money for Watsi.org, while Andreessen is directing donations to social innovation venture fund SV2.
Image Credit: George Frey/Getty Images
See the rest here: Coinbase introduces personalized payment pages for receiving Bitcoins
Omada Health, a San Francisco startup that makes digital health therapy programs for people with type 2 diabetes and other serious but potentially treatable issues, has raised $23 million in new funding.
The new investment, which is Omada’s Series B, was led by Andreessen Horowitz, with Andreessen Horowitz partner Balaji Srinivasan joining the startup’s board of directors. Also participating in the round were Kaiser Permanente Ventures and previous investors U.S. Venture Partners and The Vertical Group. This brings the total investment in Omada to $28.5 million.
In an interview this week, Omada co-founder and CEO Sean Duffy told me that his company aims to bridge the gap between proven traditional offline support groups and therapies, and modern digital technology. He said:
“The behavioral science world has figured out how to help people with issues like diabetes, smoking cessation, insomnia, and the like. But it’s mostly been in face-to-face treatments, with group meetings at places like community centers and YMCAs.
We’ve looked at the elements and turned these things into digital programs, and made programmatic experiences that we validate clinically with reproducible results.”
Clinical results mean that Omada’s programs are things that insurance providers are actually willing to pay for. Omada’s flagship treatment, called Prevent, is a 16-week web-based program aimed at addressing prediabetes in adults. Because Omada has been able to provide clinical proof that its programs work just as effectively as traditional in-person therapies, they are covered by healthcare providers including Blue Shield Louisiana, Kaiser Permanente, and Stanford Hospital.
The financial reimbursement is what truly sets Omada apart from other consumer-oriented players in the health space. “In the world of digital health 1.0, people have made great products that people want to use and share with friends, but they haven’t fit with enterprise level health programs,” Duffy says. “Omada has developed consumer grade digital health products, and we also know how to get health systems to pay for them.”
In a separate interview, Andreessen Horowitz partner Balaji Srinivasan told me that it’s that mix of consumer approachability with clinical results that compelled his firm to invest in the company. “Omada is first thing I’ve seen which is a clinically proven way to make a medical intervention over an Internet connection. They’ve developed clinically valid, reproducible, scalable treatments that are delivered in whole or in part over the Internet,” he said. “It’s this very clever combination of things.”
As far as the competitive landscape goes, Duffy says that Omada has raised this money now to take advantage of its position at the nexus between consumer-first apps and enterprise health products. “We’ve seen companies like Fitbit and Weight Watchers increasingly eyeing the enterprise healthcare space. And big health plans like United Healthcare are creating potential competitors too,” he said. “We bridge between these two worlds, and we want to continue to grow in a way that others can’t yet.”
Omada currently has 30 full time staff, and expects to double its headcount by the end of the year.
Facebook’s deal to buy Oculus VR for $2 billion happened relatively quickly and the negotiations were hammered out over the last five days, according to sources familiar with the deal.
Mark Zuckerberg had been by Oculus’ offices just once before to hang out earlier this year. He played with the company’s DK2, or second development kit.
Both Spark Capital, which led the company’s $16 million Series A round, and Andreessen Horowitz, which led the company’s $75 million Series B round, have an equal stake in the company, according to the source. Matrix was also in the Series A as well. Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, who sits on Facebook’s board of directors, recused himself from the negotiations.
“For whatever reason, he got the religion,” a source involved in the deal said. Oculus’s headset has already seen 75,000 orders for development kits, Zuckerberg said on an investor call.
Zuckerberg explained that he felt that Oculus represented an entirely new post-PC and post-mobile platform.
Indeed, after not moving quickly on other earlier deals, perhaps Zuckerberg felt that he needed to be more pre-emptive.
Because Facebook doesn’t own its own mobile operating system, it has had to pursue a more horizontal strategy by building several standalone mobile apps and creating a social layer across third-party apps. But because mobile phones can also be connected by the address book, other competing mobile social networks like Snapchat have been able to rise up quickly and accumulate hundreds of millions of users.
According to other sources familiar with the $19 billion WhatsApp deal, the company’s leadership on the messaging product had been urging Zuckerberg to buy WhatsApp for at least two years. But because both companies didn’t get serious until this year, WhatsApp had already accumulated nearly half a billion users and came with a significantly higher price tag.
“I don’t think you should expect us to do multiple multi-billion dollar acquisitions at this rate,” Zuckerberg said on the call. “We think that WhatsApp is one of the rare companies that will reach 1 billion people and those companies are really valuable. Also, there are not that many things that are candidates to be the next major computing platform. This company Oculus has a clear lead to do this.”
Originally posted here: Facebook’s $2B Oculus Deal Happened Over The Last Five Days
Lyft is raising yet another big round of funding, according to sources. The company, which is seeking to make ride-sharing mainstream in cities across the U.S. and around the world, is expected to use the new cash to fund expansion into new cities and territories.
We’ve heard Lyft has pitched a number of venture firms and late-stage institutional investors, but hedge fund Coatue Management seems to be in the lead for the deal. Coatue has recently invested in hot companies like Box, Snapchat, and HotelTonight, and is part of a growing trend of hedge funds making bets on later-stage startups with traction.
Andreessen Horowitz, which led Lyft’s $60 million Series C round, is also expected to contribute a large chunk of cash. Other investors in Lyft include Founders Fund, Floodgate, Mayfield Fund, K9 Ventures, Ooga Labs, fbFund, and Keith Rabois.
The company was founded as Zimride back in 2007, but it wasn’t until 2012 — when it shifted from long-range to on-demand ride-sharing — that things began to really take off.
With the launch of the Lyft mobile application, it broke new ground in enabling passengers to get rides from other people with a car and spare time on their hands. Due to the success of the on-demand platform, the company rebranded as Lyft and sold its legacy Zimride assets to Enterprise Holdings last summer.
After its initial stint in San Francisco, Lyft began expanding to other cities early last year and now is offering service in 20 markets throughout the U.S. But like Uber, which also offers on-demand rides via mobile app, Lyft has plans to aggressively increase the number of international cities that it operates in beginning this year.
The additional funding will be vital to getting it on the right track toward that goal, as it bulks up operations both in its San Francisco headquarters and in remote offices around the world.
In the meantime, Lyft is trying to get more regulators and local officials comfortable with the idea of letting unlicensed drivers give rides to passengers around town. To that end, it recently hired Google X legal director David Estrada as its VP of government relations.
The company also announced the creation of a peer-to-peer rideshare insurance coalition that includes other transportation companies, as well as regulators and insurance providers, to figure out the tricky issue of insurance for its drivers.
Lyft, Coatue, and Andreessen Horowitz all declined to comment.
Read the original: On-Demand Ride-Sharing Startup Lyft Is Raising Another Big Round Of Funding