Sketch, maker of popular design tools, just landed $20 million in Series A funding from Benchmark in its first outside round

You’ve probably noticed: Design has become central for many businesses that might have once considered it an afterthought. Indeed, with sales and marketing so thoroughly optimized at this point — and companies wondering how else to trounce the competition — there’s now a race afoot for numerous startups looking to become the Salesforce of design. […]

Backed by Benchmark, Blue Hexagon just raised $31 million for its deep learning cybersecurity software

Nayeem Islam spent nearly 11 years with chipmaker Qualcomm, where he founded its Silicon Valley-based R&D facility, recruited its entire team and oversaw research on all aspects of security, including applying machine learning on mobile devices and in the network to detect threats early. Islam was nothing if not prolific, developing a system for on-device machine […]

Contentful raises $33.5M for its headless CMS platform

Contentful, a Berlin- and San Francisco-based startup that provides content management infrastructure for companies like Spotify, Nike, Lyft and others, today announced that it has raised a $33.5 million Series D funding round led by Sapphire Ventures, with participation from OMERS Ventures and Salesforce Ventures, as well as existing investors General Catalyst, Benchmark, Balderton Capital and Hercules. In […]

Upwork pops more than 50 percent in Nasdaq debut

Upwork, the rebranded merger of oDesk and Elance, debuted on Nasdaq this morning, after dropping its S-1 about four weeks ago. Shares opened at $23.00, which represents a 53% jump — shares were priced at $15 before the opening bell by investors, a significant uptick from the company’s revised projection of $12 to $14, which […]

Benchmark is staying focused, targeting $425M for ninth fund

VC powerhouse Benchmark has filed to raise $425 million for its ninth flagship fund. While other firms close billion-dollar venture funds despite a history of smaller fundraises, Benchmark is sticking to its guns. The firm, known for its early bets on Twitter, Uber, Snap and WeWork, hasn’t fallen victim to the SoftBank effect. Longtime Benchmark general […]

Benchmark and Tiger double down on going public

In an ecosystem enthralled with private capital and delayed public debuts, Bill Gurley has been something of a maverick. The former dot-com equity analyst and long-time partner at Benchmark has pushed hard for companies to go public and “grow up,” including at his portfolio company Uber, where he was formerly a board member. Earlier this […]

Ex-Zynga execs raise $15 million for their new gaming studio, Manticore Games

 In the eight years since Frederic Descamps and Jordan Maynard launched their last gaming startup, the industry they helped shape now brings in more than $100 billion in revenues globally. There’s been a resurgence in gaming on PCs. User-generated content has produced a string of wildly popular hits. Those trends are exactly what the two […]