Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is a venture capital firm located on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park in Silicon Valley. The Wall Street Journal and other media have called it one of the "largest and most established" venture capital firms and by Dealbook as "one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital providers Wikipedia.
Monath T.P.,Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | Year: 2010
Two cases of yellow fever vaccine-associated viscerotropic adverse events (YEL-AVD) were identified by review of correspondence received at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; Ft. Collins, CO). The cases occurred in Indiana and Maryland in 1973 and 1978, respectively. One patient, a 75-year-old man with multi-organ failure died, and the other, a 31-year-old woman, was hospitalized for 14 days. Onset was 3-6 days after vaccination. The illness was characterized by fever, headache, myalgia, gastrointestinal symptoms, hepatic and renal dysfunction, and (in the fatal case), shock and coagulopathy, compatible with YEL-AVD. Liver pathology showed diffuse, spotty necrosis, acidophilic degeneration, Kupffer cell hyperplasia, and microvesicular fat. No virological confirmation was obtained, so that both cases remain classified as "suspect." The 1973 case is the earliest record of YEL-AVD; until now, the earliest known case of YEL-AVD had been in 1975 in Brazil, and most subsequent cases have been reported after 1995. Copyright © 2010 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Monath T.P.,Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Expert Review of Vaccines | Year: 2012
The live, attenuated yellow fever (YF) 17D vaccine provides highly effective and durable immunity and is widely used for travelers to and residents of endemic areas of South America and Africa. Neurotropic and viscerotropic serious adverse events associated with these vaccines occur rarely, but YF 17D vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease (YEL-AVD) is notable for its lethality. There appear to be two distinct patterns of risk for YEL-AVD: the first in younger persons, particularly women, with defects in innate immunity, in whom the case-fatality rate is higher; and the second in elderly persons, particularly men with age-related immune senescence and a lower case-fatality rate. From 1990 to the present, the number of cases (n = 31) and deaths (n = 12) from YEL-AVD in travelers has exceeded the reports of YF (n = 6) acquired by natural infection, raising the question whether the risk of vaccination exceeds the benefit in travelers. To provide some guidance on this point, the rate of vaccine-related injury is compared with the rate of naturally acquired disease in a new analysis that estimates the immunologically susceptible denominator population in YF endemic and epidemic areas. For many years, the risk of vaccine-related illness and death was similar to the risk of illness and death from natural infection with YF in South America. Africa posed a substantially higher estimated risk of wild-type YF than vaccine-related injury. Multiple factors should be considered in making decisions about YF vaccination, including specific destination, season of the year, local evidence for YF transmission, likelihood of exposure to vector mosquitoes and individual risk factors for YEL-AVD, with the goal of increasing vaccine coverage for travel to high-risk areas and reducing unnecessary vaccination. Prospects for future, safer vaccines are also described. © 2012 Expert Reviews Ltd.
Airware used to sell drone operating systems. Now it’s swiveling to sell the whole flying kit and caboodle: drone hardware, the software to control them, and the cloud where their data goes. It discovered that big enterprise companies didn’t know how to piece together drone systems themselves, so they were slow to adapting to the tech that could save them money and keep employees out of harm’s way. But to sell complete drone solutions to the Fortune 500, Airware needed sales firepower. So it’s fueling this new business with $30 million in Series C funding and the addition of 20-year Cisco CEO John Chambers to its board. The round was led by Next World Capital, which specializes in helping startups expand to Europe, which is Airware’s next destination. “Packing up a drone and kicking it over the fence isn’t enough for these large enterprises”, Airware CEO Jonathan Downey tells me. They didn’t know exactly what to use them for, what software or hardware customizations they needed, and where to get all these pieces of the puzzle. “We’ve heard enterprises asking for a complete solution from a single provider, and we’re able to offer that solution.” The first of Airware’s new enterprise customers is insurance giant State Farm. It’ll be using Airware’s full-stack drones to help roof insurance claim adjusters — a tough and dangerous job that often requires employees to climb ladders or use ropes and harnesses to assess damage to houses. Now, Airware’s drones will be able to do a quick fly-by while running customized software for roof analysis. The drones can collect much more accurate data and footage than precariously perched humans with binoculars, handheld cameras, and pads of paper ever could. State Farm can use the data now to adjust particular claims and discover trends to make its business more efficient later. It’s also planning to employe drones for residential insurance and catastrophe response. Previously, Airware often had to wait until a client bought drones that it could then augment with its operating system. Now it can sell the whole package to them directly by buying the right drones straight from the manufacturers and then smartening them up with its software. Downey likens the approach to Microsoft’s, telling me “You can think of it as [selling] Office on top of Windows.” Airware isn’t making the hardware itself, but like Microsoft’s OS and apps made IBMs useful, Airware will enhance other drones. “We’re willing to do whatever it takes — finding a drone from off the shelf or buying one and modifying it to add a new camera or sensor, and integrating it with our software.” The $30 million C adds to over $40 million in existing funds to make Airware one of the most well capitalized drone companies behind Chinese manufacturer DJI with its $105 million. Joining in the round are previous investors Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, plus Chambers. The retired Cisco CEO agreed to mentor Downey, teaching him the tricks to making huge companies sign pricey contracts. Downey says getting him on the board was an “audacious ask”. But Chambers was enticed since he’s been beating his chest talking about “how do companies digitize a lot of the things they’ve been doing that were previously analog?”, Downey explains. Other insurance companies, as well as utilities, oil & gas, and telecom giants are top targets for the duo. These enterprises typically employ expensive full-size planes and helicopters, or satellites to get the aerial footage they need, but it’s often less precise and recent than what drones can pull in. Other times, they inefficiently pay humans to drive trucks along endless oil pipelines or climb huge towers to survey infrastructure. It’s slow and risky compared to using unmanned aerial vehicles. That’s why Downey says Airware’s real competitor isn’t another drone company, it’s “the status quo — the manual, often dangerous way they’re doing it today.” While there are plenty of drone startups out there, most only deliver a part of the hardware, software, or service necessary. The extra cash will also help Airware move fast when more regulatory barriers are broken down later this summer. It’s already allowed to run drones for these kinds of insurance inspections, and it helps clients comply with no-fly zones and other policies. But the government is expected to begin allowing unlicensed pilots to operate small aerial vehicles for work, which might let even more companies get off the ground. Airware could end up making a fortune replacing jobs with its flying robots. But honestly, these jobs were never fit for humans. We don’t come equipped with wings for a reason: we shouldn’t be dangling in the air. Leave it to the drones.
Silicon Ranch Corporation, an independent power producer that develops, owns, and operates solar power plants in Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas and Mississippi, closed on a $100 million equity investment from the $50 billion Partners Group. Silicon Ranch recently completed its first projects in Colorado. Earlier this month Silicon Ranch "entered into a framework agreement for 231.6 megawatts" of First Solar's PV modules for use in Silicon Ranch projects to be constructed in 2017 and early 2018. The company is based in Nashville, Tennessee. Mosaic, a provider of residential solar loans and financing, just closed a $200 million warehouse facility with DZ BANK (the fourth-largest bank in Germany) acting as "administrative agent and lead lender." NY Green Bank is participating in the syndicate "to further expand residential solar opportunities within New York state." Billy Parish, CEO at Mosaic, said in a release, “With 40 percent consecutive monthly growth for over a year, we needed partners who could take us to the next level," adding, "The partnership with DZ BANK and NY Green Bank moves us toward our goal of having the ability to originate $1 billion in residential solar loans by the end of year to meet growing consumer demand for a simple, affordable solar finance solution.” If Mosaic "aims to originate $1 billion in home solar loans in the next year," that's (very roughly) more than 200 megawatts' worth of solar loans. Peter Thiel (co-founded PayPal, first outside investor in Facebook, one of the largest shareholders of Airbnb) and Solamere Capital (founded by Tagg Romney) just invested $100 million in Vivint Smart Home, a provider of integrated smart home devices, including door locks, thermostats, cameras and sensors. Vivint has more than 1 million customers and revenue of more than $650 million. As Stephen Lacey just reported, Aquion Energy pulled in another $33 million to support its saltwater batteries for long-duration storage, according to a filing with the SEC. Aquion hopes to raise $60 million in total. The latest round brings the company's venture funding -- which includes equity investments and venture loans -- to $190 million. Aquion CEO Scott Pearson would not comment on the investors who participated in the round, but he did say that it includes "existing and new investors." Aquion's long list of past investors is impressive. It includes Bill Gates, Gentry Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Foundation Capital, Bright Capital, Advanced Technology Ventures, Trinity Capital Investment and CapX Partners, Yung’s Enterprise, and Nick and Joby Pritzker. Aquion's sodium-ion battery is designed for multi-hour applications. According to the company, its batteries can deliver a round-trip efficiency of 85 percent and perform 5,000 cycles. The company's cost target is $250 per kilowatt-hour, with the goal of getting to $160 per kilowatt-hour when its manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania is at scale. While short-duration lithium-ion batteries are dominating the market, investors are increasingly interested in batteries that can discharge over long periods of time. Investments are flowing in the flow battery business, with ViZn Energy Systems the latest to raise funds to scale up its zinc-based chemistry. The startup has raised another $10 million of an ongoing round of investment, according to a regulatory filing, as just reported by GTM's Jeff St. John. The newly disclosed investment adds to $1.4 million in April 2015 and $5.3 million added in October, and brings ViZn’s total funding in this round to $16.8 million of a target of $22.9 million. Back in June 2015, CEO Ron Van Dell told us the company was seeking about that amount to scale up from its then-pilot scale level of deployments. Since then, ViZn has landed a 2-megawatt order with Hecate Energy for a storage project in the territory of Canadian grid operator Ontario IESO, as well as establishing a contract manufacturing relationship with Jabil. The company had raised $20 million previously from “high-net-worth individuals,” Van Dell said. ViZn’s key differentiator is its use of zinc -- a cheap and plentiful metal, but a tricky one to use in flow batteries. Specifically, it tends to gum up the electrode materials in the cells used to generate electricity in flow batteries. ViZn’s solutions, built around technology developed by Lockheed Martin, takes into account “how to do the zinc morphology, how to manage the fluid mechanics of your design, how to deal with shunt current,” the CEO said. Other zinc-based flow battery makers include Australia’s RedFlow Energy Storage Solutions, which is bringing a residential-sized battery to market, and U.S.-based Primus Power, which raised $25 million in September. While not a flow battery, Eos Energy Storage’s zinc-aqueous batteries have landed multi-megawatt contracts with California utilities. Tado, a Munich-based maker of smart thermostat and AC control products, raised $23 million in VC funding from Inven Capital, a VC arm of energy company Cez Group, along with Siemens AG, Statkraft Venture Capital, Target Partners, Shortcut Ventures and BayBG, according to TechCrunch, which reports, "The company’s two current products are a smart thermostat -- resulting in Tado sometimes being called the Nest of Europe -- and a smart AC controller. Both enable a home’s heating/cooling to be controlled via the Tado smartphone app, with a flagship geolocation feature that means Tado is able to know when you have left home or are returning and adjusts your heating or air conditioning accordingly." The startup has raised $57 million since its founding in 2011. Tado operates in more than 10 European countries. Startup RayVio just announced $26 million in funding from IPV Capital and Tsing Capital to market its UV LED disinfection technology globally. The company said in a release that its UV LED technology enables point-of-use water disinfection. Existing investors including DCM Ventures, Capricorn Investment Group, Applied Ventures, Augment Ventures, Tolero Ventures and New Ground Ventures. VC-funded Crystal IS developed UV LEDs on aluminum-nitride substrates for germicidal water applications and was acquired by the Asahi Kasei Group, a manufacturer of compound semiconductor devices in 2012. While visible LED-based solid-state lighting has supplanted the incandescent, the ultraviolet spectrum is a more difficult set of wavelengths for semiconductors. Short-wavelength UV light below 280 nanometers (C-band) interferes with DNA repair in bacteria and renders water free of live bacteria. However, the output from solid-state UV-C light sources remains modest compared to the traditional sources, such as high-intensity discharge lamps. So at the moment, UV-LEDs are limited to light pens and appliances for consumer water sterilization and fall short of the wattage outputs needed for industrial and municipal water treatment applications.
News Article | March 17, 2016
The smart doorbell startup Ring has not one but two big pieces of news to share, introducing a new and improved product called the Video Doorbell Pro and announcing a raised value of $61.2 million in Series C funding. To start things off, the Video Doorbell Pro is more or less the same as the original Video Doorbell in the sense that it connects to the owner's Wi-Fi and provides the choice to answer the door via video call on their smartphone in a two-way audio, one-way video setup. Other similarities they share include the night vision mode and the cloud storage option for $3 per month or $30 per year. What makes it distinct from the first model is that it sports a 1080p camera instead of a 720p. On top of that, it supports a 5 Ghz Wi-Fi channel plus a 2.4 GHz, swappable faceplates and customizable motion zones to let the device know which areas it should focus more on, but the most noticeable change is the smaller form factor. Everything looks great on all fronts, except that it now relies on circuits for power rather than batteries like the original. Of course, the price didn't remain the same. While the first Video Doorbell costs $199, the Video Doorbell Pro will hold back customers by $249. For those who are interested in keeping their homes safe with a smart doorbell, it's already up for preorder with an expected shipping date sometime in April. One of the hugest advantages of having this product is that users won't have to get off the couch to answer the door – that's clearly a personal opinion – but on a serious note, it offers great security. For instance, owners who are on a vacation far away from their homes can answer the doorbell virtually anywhere with a stable connection. That means they can potentially stave off any suspicious-looking person who might break into their houses by acting like their right at home. Meanwhile, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) led the $61.2 million Series C round along with Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson, an existing investor. This development is hot on the heels of the $28 million round for Ring led by Branson approximately six months ago. "At Ring, it's our mission to reduce crime by creating a 'ring' of security around our customers' front doors, homes and neighborhoods. I am pleased KPCB has joined Ring's group of leading investors alongside Sir Richard Branson as we continue to make neighborhoods around the world safer. With these new funds, we will expand that 'ring' of security by adding to our high-quality, diverse line of smart security products," Jamie Siminoff, CEO and chief inventor at Ring, says. It's also worth mentioning that the company didn't start out as Ring, as the startup initially bore the moniker Doorbot back in 2013. To boil things down, Ring is considered as one of the companies that has great potential in the Internet of Things game. With the $61.2 million raised Series C funding and the new Video Doorbell Pro at hand, the startup's future is looking brighter even more so.