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Morado Portfolio News


VC-backed Science Exchange appoints Emerich as CFO

Palo Alto, California-based Science Exchange, a secure platform for outsourced research and development, has named Jim Emerich as chief financial officer. Science Exchange’s backers include Norwest Venture Partners, Maverick Capital Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Collaborative Fund, Index Ventures, OATV and the YC Continuity Fund. His track record of successfully navigating businesses through periods of financial growth speaks for itself,” said Elizabeth Iorns, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Science Exchange. Additionally, the Science Exchange enterprise program enables R&D organizations to consolidate research outsourcing spend into a single strategic relationship, driving efficiency and cost savings. PrintEmailShare via email Separate multiple email addresses with commasShare Send me a copy Email preview To:From:Subject: Look at this story on PE HUBLook at this story on PE HUB VC-backed Science Exchange appoints Emerich as CFO Palo Alto, California-based Science Exchange, a secure platform for outsourced research and development, has named Jim Emerich as chief financial officer.


Evernote veterans’ new chatbot aims to make finding files a breeze

A team of Evernote Corp. veterans led by Jack Hirsch, the company’s former engineering head, is tackling the issue. The team’s startup, Butter.ai Inc., exited stealth mode today with a Slack bot aimed at making locating files faster. The virtual assistant can make documents from Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote and other popular cloud services accessible via a conversational interface. When the assistant receives a more general request, it lists all the files that match the user’s description. Butter.ai is also capable of automatically placing access requests in cases when users doesn’t have permission to view the file they’re after.


Rigetti Introduces Developers to Quantum Computing Through a Serverless API

Quantum computing system provider Rigetti Computing — which is working on both quantum hardware circuits as well as the software layers from firmware up to the application layer that will work on them — has released an open source quantum computing environment, Forest 1.0, for developers to start building on, even if they don’t personally have access to quantum computing hardware. The goal, said Madhav Thattai, chief strategy officer at Rigetti, is to “allow customers and the community to learn about quantum computing and develop real applications.” With Forest 1.0, developers amongst Rigetti’s current customers can start creating quantum computing applications while others in the community can use Rigetti’s quantum virtual machine. Quantum computing is a recent concept built on quantum physics, drawing on quantum mechanical phenomena such as to how light can be both a particle and a wave. If these are large linear algebra machines, then quantum computing is a resource to give you access to large linear algebra problems that you could ever have imagined. It lets you understand how algorithms will work in quantum computing.


August Home raises another $25 million as it expands service partnerships for its smart locks

When August Home raised its last big round nearly two and half years ago, the smart lock maker was targeting retail expansion. The service has already made some headway in the rental market, counting Airbnb and vacation rental site HomeAway among its major partners. The smart lock makes a lot of sense for those offerings, giving home owners and landlords the ability to generate temporary access codes remotely, for short stays. Along with familiar investment groups like Bessemer Venture and Liberty Mutual are Comcast Ventures and Australian utility company, AGL. But while it remains top dog in the smart lock space, it’s smart to explore these partnerships early on.


TechCrunch Startup Battlefield is coming to a new continent: Announcing Australia!

We are bringing TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield to Australia this year in partnership with ELEVACAO. TechCrunch Battlefield Australia will bring promising founders from the region’s rapidly accelerating startup ecosystem into the Battlefield portfolio. We will notify the 15 founders selected to compete in Startup Battlefield Australia on September 30th, 2017. To bring Battlefield to Australia, TechCrunch is partnering with the ELEVACAO Foundation, whose mission to empower women tech entrepreneurs globally aligns with TechCrunch’s Include program to encourage more diversity in tech. Editorial note: This post has been updated to better explain the winner’s prize package and qualification requirement for Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF 2018.


Cloud 100 2017


Digital book platform Epic! raises US$8 million

Kids digital media brand Epic! has raised US$8 million to accelerate the growth of its subscription book and video service both in homes and schools. Series C funding for the California-based content and learning platform was led by Reach Capital with participation from TransLink Capital, Rakuten Ventures, Menlo Ventures, WI Harper, Brighteye Ventures and Innovation Endeavors. for Educators to provide elementary school teachers and school librarians with free access to the platform, which is now used in 87% of elementary schools in the US. Since its launch, more than 160 million books have been read through Epic!, with kids perusing 24 million titles in the past month alone, according to the platform.


Google adds more ads to Play Store, and other app ads news from I/O

Google will now show app ads on the Google Play Store home page and app listings pages. More ads in Google Play StoreThe new ad placements are included in an “Ads suggested for you” carousel when users scroll down the page. Smart Bidding in Universal App CampaignsGoogle is expanding its automated Smart Bidding strategies to Universal App Campaigns. Universal App Campaigns allow developers to run a single app install campaign across Google Play, Search, YouTube, Gmail and the Display Network. Smart Bidding will roll out in Universal App Campaigns over the coming months.


The 7 worst automation failures

Opsmatic: recipe for disasterWhen managed under traditional server administration, automation often faces the same set of age old IT problems. Knight Capital: How one tiny mistype cost Knight Capital $1 billionKnight Capital automated not only its administrative IT processes, but also its algorithmic trading. Delta Airlines: automated fleet of flightless birdsLarge logistics operations rely on automated systems to achieve the necessary speed to perform at scale. Just like traditional, manual methods of systems administration, automated systems suffer from misconfigurations. In 2014, a bug in Google’s internal automated configuration system caused Gmail to crash for around half an hour.


The future of healthcare is cognitive

medical images, genetics, and other test results) from many patients around the globe, allowing physicians to use real-life evidence to identify treatments that have worked for similar patients. If we can’t track disease accurately, then patients may continue to receive ineffective treatments for far longer than needed. This is why we need much faster, yet accurate and consistent solutions to quantify medical images and track changes between scans. In the near future, we believe that consistent, automated measurement of disease will enable more precise diagnoses and better treatment decisions. This new technology is being used in clinical settings today to better inform care decisions and improve outcomes, while enabling more efficient workflows across teams of healthcare providers.


The Weather App Only Millennials (or Jaded iPhone Users) Will Love

Late last year, the Sunshine app surpassed a million users, and I've finally figured out what makes it so valuable. For starters, you can interact with the app and select an option about how you are feeling, such as cold, energetic, or distracted. That act of interacting with the app--selecting an option that I'm feeling cold or distracted, clicking an icon for my mood--is also based on science. Interestingly, Stroponiati says 80% of the Sunshine users are 20-years-old or younger, which is astounding to me. I selected the current weather and how I was feeling, and the app seemed to respond with custom messages meant for me.


What's keeping enterprises from using G Suite?

"Look, we never run into Slack, we never run into G Suite," he said. Telus International, a subsidiary of the Canadian telecommunications company that provides phone support, currently has 25,000 of its employees using G Suite. Gartner's Mariano pointed out that some enterprises are actually running in hybrid environments where some people are using G Suite and others are using Office. We see that a lot in higher education, where the administrative side might be using Office 365, and the student body might be using G Suite." Regulations require some Canadian data be stored in-country, and G Suite doesn't yet allow users to store data there.


Citrine Informatics Selected to 2017 AI100

Citrine Informatics Selected to the 2017 AI 100, Highlighting Advancements in Artificial Intelligence for Materials and Chemicals Manufacturing and DevelopmentSanta Barbara, CA, January 11, 2017 — CB Insights today selected Citrine Informatics to the prestigious Artificial Intelligence 100 list (“AI 100”), a select group of emerging private companies working on ground breaking artificial intelligence technology. “The whole Citrine Informatics team is honored and excited to be selected for the prestigious CBInsights AI100. In the case of AI, a lot of the groundbreaking work is being done by the AI 100. There have been 9 mega-rounds (funding rounds of $100M or more) to AI 100 companies since 2014. Five AI 100 companies have reached a valuation of $1B or more (also known as unicorn status).


Taking Corporate VC: When It Makes Sense

In recent years we’ve seen more and more corporations become more active or establish strategic VC arms. These corporate VC activities go hand in hand with other strategies of large companies including internal R&D, IP licensing, M&A, etc. Here are the things a startup should ask when contemplating strategic investment from a corporation:1) Does this corporate VC bring unique strategic benefit to my startup? Probably the most common critique of corporate VC programs is that comparatively few endure across decades. While a solid majority have never received investment from corporate VCs, about 15% have at some point in their lifecycle.


Monday, January 9th, 2017

Top 3 Startup Accelerators Produce Nearly 10% of U.S. Series A DealsWe’ve been exploring to what extent top startup accelerators like Y Combinator, Techstars, and 500 Startups are contributing to the top of the venture capital funnel. According to Mattermark data, the prevalence of graduates from these programs raising Series A rounds was near all-time highs in 2016, with 9.3% of Series A deals. From the InvestorsPrimary Ventures covers all seed activity in the New York City, including investors, funding amounts, sector breakdown and trends that they observed for the quarter in “Q4 2016 NYC Seed Deal Report”Parker Thompson of AngelList responds to Fred Wilson’s post on reserves with an entrepreneur’s perspective in thinking more broadly about the importance of venture funds’ models and fund size as a key driver in “To the Extent You Need Risk Capital…”Tae Hea Nahm of Storm Ventures digs deep into the core go-to-market questions he asks when he’s in a board meeting in “Reviewing Go-To-Market results at Board Meetings.”Hunter Walk of Homebrew believes founders are losing out on an opportunity to get input, guidance and credibility from an addition that goes beyond just bringing someone on as an advisor in “Once You’ve Raised a Series A, Add an Outside Director”Elizabeth Yin of 500 Startups advises founders to come up with a rough outline of their mission statement and company values, before making their first hires in “Why You Shouldn’t (Always) Hire That Stanford Engineer?”From the OperatorsJonathan Abrams of Nuzzel discusses how he moved to Silicon Valley in the late nineties to work for Netscape as an engineer, started his first companies, and more in “Origins Podcast, S2-E3”Andy Cook of Tettra breaks down the pros and cons of building v1 of his product on Slack, for any startup struggling to figure out how they will acquire their first 50 customers in “Building on Slack Saved Our Startup”Nis Frome of Alpha expands on the seven most meaningful and actionable insights they found after running 2,000 experiments for Fortune 500 product teams in “Forward-Thinking Product Teams”Carl Martin of Wurqs outlines what he learned about building habits by tracking his mood, productivity and reflections as he started a company in “The Big Reflection Experiment”Samyukta Sankaran of ServiceRocket details how to transition from software project to product management roles in “Want to Transition From Software Project to Product Management? Here’s My Advice (Including Pitfalls To Avoid)“A Snap Swipe And Ecommerce’s Continued BoomWe have two quick bites for you in this post, one on Snapchat and one Amazon. Give it a read!


Trump says hackers can't be caught after a cyberattack — here's why that's wrong

Even though hackers responsible for the cyberattack on the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton's campaign weren't caught in the act, it doesn't mean they can't be identified as President-elect Donald Trump has asserted. “It’s actually significantly harder to catch somebody in the act than it is to catch somebody after the fact,” Borohovski told Business Insider. Once they hack, if you don't catch them in the act, you're not going to catch them," Trump said. In May, the Democratic National Committee hired security firm CrowdStrike after a cyberattack and were able to monitor hackers after they breached a network, USA Today reported. Despite the findings from intelligence officials, Trump has repeatedly dismissed the possibility of Russia influencing the election.


Wish, the $3B startup challenging Amazon, is offering investors a sweet deal in a new round

According to the Oct. 24 filing for its parent company ContextLogic, the company has authorised new shares to be sold, although the size of the round, investors, and valuation are not disclosed. That means if Wish sells for less than it’s valued in this round, the latest investors will get all of their investment back before any earlier investors see a penny. These types of preferences are not uncommon, but are a concession by the company — Wish wouldn’t offer these terms if it didn’t think it was necessary to raise these funds. The company has reportedly previously raised close to $600 million and been valued at $3 billion or more by investors. NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videosBusiness Insider Emails & Alerts Site highlights each day to your inbox.


Uber has quietly launched its own 'Uber for trucking' marketplace called Uber Freight

The plan builds on Uber’s July acquisition of Otto, a self-driving trucking company that Uber bought for $65 million. The first product from Uber Freight is a marketplace to connect a shipper with a truck, much like the Uber app connects drivers and riders today. To start, the Uber Freight marketplace will eliminate that middle man and offer shippers real-time pricing of what it will cost to move their goods based on supply and demand. Berdinis is betting that Uber’s intellectual property and worldwide operations team will make Uber Freight the winner in the “Uber for trucking” space. The Uber Freight marketplace has soft-launched and is working with a handful of shippers and carriers over the next few months before officially launching early next year.


Betabrand CEO To Speak at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School

Chris Lindland, founder and CEO of Betabrand, an online clothing company, will give a free, public talk at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School as part of the Dean’s Speaker Series on Nov. 7. Lindland, a 1995 graduate of the Undergraduate Business Program at UNC Kenan-Flagler, manages the 80-person startup in San Francisco. Free parking will be available in the parking deck at UNC Kenan-Flagler. About the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business SchoolConsistently ranked one of the world's best business schools, UNC Kenan-Flagler is known for its collaborative culture that stems from its core values: excellence, leadership, integrity, community and teamwork. UNC Kenan-Flagler offers a rich portfolio of programs and extraordinary, real-life learning experiences: Undergraduate Business, full-time MBA, Executive MBA Programs (Evening, Weekend and global OneMBA®), online [email protected], UNC-Tsinghua Dual-Degree EMBA, Master of Accounting, PhD, Executive Development, and UNC Business Essentials programs.


Give your video content more Visionn

And Portland based BeFunky has just released their own take on video filters—with Visionn, an app that allows folks to add filters to their videos in real time. “We didn’t want our users waiting for filters to be applied or guessing how the final results will look. “Artistic effects are the foundation from which BeFunky was built and we’ve spent the last ten years perfecting them. Now that mobile devices are capable of high quality outputs, we’re excited to launch Visionn and bring these effects right to the palm of your hand.”And just to make you feel right at home? For more information or to download the app, visit Visionn.