June 2017 Newsletter
Dear Limited Partners and Friends of Okapi,
My partners and I decided that there is so much going on here in the Southern California entrepreneurial ecosystem and with Okapi in particular, that a newsletter would be a great way to augment our regular meetings and updates. So, it is with great pleasure that we are sending you our first formal newsletter.
Our objective is to periodically share news about our portfolio companies, our firm, the general SoCal ecosystem, and other things we find particularly worth sharing. As it is a work in progress, please don’t be shy about sharing your feedback and make sure to look us up if you’re ever in our area.
Okapi Ventures II, LP (“OV2”) has its first “unicorn” portfolio company! While we prefer to focus on realizations and rates-of-return, it is easy to get excited when a company reaches a $1 Billion valuation.
CrowdStrike, a Southern California-based cybersecurity business (Irvine, CA), completed a $100 million Series D financing round, led by existing investor Accel, and including an investment from a large CrowdStrike customer, Telstra. Following the closing of this round, the company’s total funding raised is $256 Million with a valuation of over $1 Billion dollars. This latest funding round is a significant mark up for OV2 and will be reflected in the Q2 quarterly report.
SpecRight has developed a pioneering packaging and product specification Software-as-a-Service platform for companies to help them manage the hundreds or even thousands of specs that a company may have for its products. In late Q1, the SoCal-based SaaS software company, (Irvine, CA), secured a Seed round financing co-led by Okapi (and includes the conversion of Okapi’s pre-seed funding). Marc has joined the SpecRight board and OV2 is the largest shareholder in the company. SpecRight is off to a strong start for 2017, landing several Fortune 500 customers, amongst others, and has a very strong pipeline.
In April, ChromaCode, a molecular diagnostics company based in SoCal (Carlsbad, CA) raised a $12 Million Series B round led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) with participation from existing investors, including OV2. The funding will be used to fuel development and establish the commercial infrastructure for ChromaCode’s High-Definition Polymerase Chain Reaction technology that can help dramatically improve molecular analysis.
ArtLifting has created a marketplace for the sale of high-quality art sourced from artists living with homelessness or disabilities and shares 55% of the revenue generated from the art sale with the artist. ArtLifting has become a leading provider of large format art works to corporations, providing art and allowing the companies to help make a social impact with their purchase.
San Diego-based Obalon Therapuetics (NASDAQ: OBLN), which had its IPO in early Q4 2016, recently announced their Q1 earnings which were ahead of analysts’ expectations. The company’s swallowable, gas-filled, intragastic balloon system for the treatment of obesity is now being sold in the USA and recently received approval to be sold into Middle East markets. Given that Sharon remains on the Obalon board, we can only refer to publicly available information for the company that you can find here on the “Investors” section of their web site.
Have a great Summer,