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Startups Weekly: Squads screen-shares and Slacks swastika

Were three weeks into January. Weve recovered from our CES hangover and, hopefully, from the CES flu. Weve started writing the correct year, 2019, not 2018.
Venture capitalists have gone full steam ahead with fundraising efforts, several startups have closed multi-hundred million dollar rounds, avirtualinfluencer raised equity funding and yet, all anyone wants to talk about is Slacks new logo As part of its public listing prep, Slack announced some changes to its branding this week, including a vaguely different looking logo. Considering the flack the $7 billion startup received instantaneously and accusations that the negative space in the logo resembled a swastika Slack wouldve been better off leaving its original logo alone; alas
On to more important matters.
Rubrik more than doubled its valuation
The data management startup raised a $261 million Series E funding at a $3.3 billion valuation, an increase from the $1.3 billion valuation it garnered with a previous round. In true unicorn form, Rubriks CEO told TechCrunchs Ingrid Lunden its intentionally unprofitable:Our goal is to build a long-term, iconic company, and so we want to become profitable but not at the cost of growth, he said. We are leading this market transformation while it continues to grow.
Startups Weekly: Squads screen-shares and Slacks swastika

Deal of the week: Knock gets $400M to take on Opendoor
Will 2019 be a banner year for real estate tech investment? As $4.65 billion was funneled into the space in 2018 across more than 350 deals and with high-flying startups attracting investors (Compass, Opendoor, Knock), the excitement is poised to continue. This week, Knock brought in $400 million at an undisclosed valuation to accelerate its national expansion.We are trying to make it as easy to trade in your house as it is to trade in your car, Knock CEO Sean Black told me.
Cybersecurity stays hot
While were on the subject of VCs favorite industries, TechCrunch cybersecurity reporter Zack Whittaker highlights some new data on venture investment in the industry.Strategic Cyber Ventures says more than $5.3 billion was funneled into companies focused on protecting networks, systems and data across the world, despite fewer deals done during the year. We can thank Tanium, CrowdStrike and Anchorfrees massive deals for a good chunk of that activity.

Send me tips, suggestions and more to kate.clark@techcrunch.com or@KateClarkTweets.



Fundraising efforts continue
I would be remiss not to highlight a slew of venture firms that made public their intent to raise new funds this week. Peter Thiels Valar Ventures filed to raise $350 million across two new funds andRedpoint Ventures set a $400 million target for two new China-focused funds. Meanwhile, Resolute Ventures closed on $75 million for its fourth early-stage fund, BlueRun Ventures nabbed $130 million for its sixth effort, Maverick Ventures announced a $382 million evergreen fund, First Round Capital introduced a new pre-seed fund that will target recent graduates, Techstars decided to double down on its corporate connections with the launch of a new venture studio and, last but not least, Lance Armstrong wrote his very first check as a VC out of his new fund, Next Ventures.
Startups Weekly: Squads screen-shares and Slacks swastika

More money goes toward scooters
In case you were concerned there wasnt enough VC investment in electric scooter startups, worry no more! Flash, a Berlin-based micro-mobility company, emerged from stealth this week with a whopping55 million in Series A funding. Flash is already operating in Switzerland and Portugal, with plans to launch into France, Italy and Spain in 2019. Bird and Lime are in the process of raising $700 million between them, too, indicating the scooter funding extravaganza of 2018 will extend into 2019 oh boy!
Startups secure cash



Niantic finally closed its Series C with $245 million in capital commitments and a lofty $4 billion valuation.




Outdoorsy, which connects customers with underused RVs, raised $50 million in Series C funding led by Greenspring Associates, withparticipation from Aviva Ventures, Altos Ventures, AutoTech Ventures and Tandem Capital.




Ciitizen,a developer of tools to help cancer patients organize and share their medical records, has raised $17 million in new funding in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz.




Footwear startup Birdies no, I dont mean AllbirdsorRothys brought in an $8 million Series A led by Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from Slow Ventures and earlier investor Forerunner Ventures.




AndBrud, the company behind the virtual celebrityLil Miquela, is now worth $125 million with new funding.



Feature of the week
TechCrunchs Josh Constine introduced readers to Squad this week, a screensharing app for social phone addicts.
Listen to me talk
If you enjoy this newsletter, be sure to check out TechCrunchs venture-focused podcast, Equity. In this weeks episode, available here, Crunchbase editor-in-chief Alex Wilhelm and I marveled at the dollars going into scooter startups, discussed Slacks upcoming direct listing and debated how the government shutdown might impact the IPO market.

More scooter dollars, Slacks revenue projections and the IPO traffic jam
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