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The grisly death of a startup CEO

July 16, 2020, 2:43 PM UTC

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Fahim Saleh, a 33-year-old founder, was found decapitated and dismembered in his luxury New York City apartment Tuesday.

The circumstances of his death—an electric saw was still plugged into an outlet when police arrived—looked to be a “professional job” or a “hit,” The New York Times reported, citing a law enforcement official.

The accounts are thoroughly disturbing. Wearing all black and a mask, the killer followed Saleh from his elevator and into his apartment before likely using a stun gun on the founder, the report states. His body parts were found in plastic bags in his Lower East Side home in what appear to be efforts to clean up the scene.

Saleh, born to Bangladeshi parents in Saudi Arabia, graduated from Bentley University in 2009, according to a Medium post. Driven by a passion for practical jokes, he created a system that allowed users to prank call others dubbed PrankDial.

He later turned his attention to transportation in emerging markets. Most recently, he was CEO and co-founder of Gokada, a motorcycle hailing company in Lagos, Nigeria that raised millions from investors including Rise Capital and CRE Ventures, per Pitchbook data. Saleh was also an investor himself, founding Adventure Capital, a New York-based venture firm focused on emerging markets, in 2018. But his bets did not come without their struggles. In February, Lagos banned motorbikes, which was among the most popular forms of transportation in the city. 

“I know I’ve been a little bit quiet…with the motorcycle transport ban in Lagos,” he had said in a video following the news. “It’s tough for an entrepreneur who is trying to innovate and invest his own money when this is not my own country.”

Police currently have no suspects in custody.

Lucinda Shen
Twitter: @shenlucinda
Email: lucinda.shen@fortune.com

VENTURE DEALS

- Udemy, an online learning platform, is seeking to raise at a $3 billion valuation, according to The Information

- Imvax, a Philadelphia-based clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on neo-antigen immunotherapy, raised $112 million in Series C funding. HP WILD Holding AG led the round and was joined by investors including Ziff Capital Partners, Magnetar Capital, and TLP Investment Partners.

- Bolt, a San Francisco-based checkout platform, raised $50 million in Series C funding. Laurence Tosi at WestCap led the round. 

- Openpath, a Culver City, Calif.-based security solution for workplaces, raised $36 million in Series C funding. Greycroft led the round and was joined by investors including Okta, Lincoln Properties, Allegion, and Sentre.

- Bond, a San Francisco-based fintech infrastructure platform, raised $32 million in Series A funding. Coatue led the round and was joined by investors including Goldman Sachs, Mastercard, B Capital and Canaan. Read more.

- Biose Industrie, a French maker of drugs based on microbiome therapeutics, raised €30 million ($34 million) in funding led by Cathay Capital.

- Voi Technology AB, a Stockholm-based scooter company, will raise up to $30 million. VNV Global Ltd. led the round.

- Drover, a London-based car subscription company, raised £20.5 million ($25.8 million) in funding led by Target Global, RTP Global and Autotech Ventures.

- NowRx, a Mountainview, Calif.-based pharmacy delivery software maker, raised $20 million in Series B funding through crowdfunding via SeedInvest.

- Activ Surgical, a Boston-based digital surgery company, raised $15 million. ARTIS Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including LRVHealth, DNS Capital, GreatPoint Ventures, Tao Capital Partners, and Rising Tide VC.

- Gyant, a San Francisco-based AI-based digital health platform, raised $13.6 million in funding. Wing Venture Capital led the round. 

- Snorkel AI, a Palo Alto-based maker of an ML platform that labels and manages training data, raised $15 million in total funding. Greylock led its $12 million Series A, and Greylock and GV co-led the $3 million seed. Other investors include In-Q-Tel.

- Meditopia, a mental coach in non-English speaking markets, raised $15 million in Series A funding. Creandum and Highland Europe led the round.

- Privacera, a Fremont, Calif.-based cloud data governance and security platform, raised $13.5 million in Series A funding. Investors included Accel and existing investors Cervin Ventures, Point72, and Alchemist Accelerator. 

- Applicaster, a New York-based tv video app company, raised $11 million in funding. Viola Growth led the round and was joined by investors including 83 North, Pitango, Saban Ventures, Planven Investments and La Maison.

- Qualio, a San Francisco-based management system for life sciences companies, raised $11 million in Series A funding. Storm Ventures led the round.

- Privacy.com, a New York-based virtual card platform, raised $10.2 million in Series A funding. Teamworthy Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Tusk Venture Partners, Index Ventures, Quiet Capital, Exor Seeds and Rainfall Ventures.

- Sorare, a Paris, France-based fantasy sports company, raised $4 million in seed funding. e.ventures led the round.

- PocketList, a Los Angeles-based housing platform for renters, raised $2.8 million in seed funding. Craft Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Abstract VC, Wonder Ventures, and Zillow co-founder Spencer Rascoff.

- Hummingbird RegTech, a San Francisco-based provider of anti-money laundering compliance technology, raised $8.2 million in Series A funding. Flourish Ventures led the round with and was joined by investors including Stripe alumni Lachy Groom and Jon Zieger, Hombrew, Designer Fund, and TTV Capital. 

- Uwill, a mental health startup aimed at college students, raised $3.3 million in seed funding. Run-DMC’s Darryl McDaniels led the round.

- Joshin, a Minneapolis-based disability care app, raised $1.6 million in funding. Anthemis led the round and was joined by investors including M25 and Sure Ventures.

- PMI BioPharma Solutions, a provider of drug discovery, development, and manufacturing services, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Oak HC/FT.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Advent International and Forescout Technologies (Nasdaq: FSCT), a cybersecurity company, agreed to lower terms of a transaction. The deal values Forescout at about $1.43 billion, down from $1.9 billion.

- Sumeru Equity Partners led a $100 million investment in SocialChorus, a San Francisco-based workplace communications platform.

- KKR invested in GreenCollar, an Australia-based company developer of environmental markets. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Accel-KKR invested in Forcura, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based healthcare technology company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- DWS invested $23 million in International Environment Group Limited, a waste treatment and waste management company in China. 

- EVERSANA, a portfolio company of Water Street and JLL Partners, acquired HVH Precision Analytics, a Wayne, Penn.-based predictive analytics firm. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Orchard & Vineyard Supply, a portfolio company of Clearview Capital, acquired Cascade Water Systems Corp, a provider of water pumping and irrigation systems serving wineries, vineyards, orchards and other end markets throughout the state of Oregon. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

OTHERS

- TeamViewer agreed to acquire Ubimax, an augmented reality and wearables company, valuing Ubimax at roughly $156 million.

- Dell Technologies (NYSE: DELL) is considering spinning off its 81% stake VMware (NYSE: VMW), a software maker, though such a sale would not happen before Sept. 2021, per Dell. Read more.

- Uber Technologies acquired Routematch, an Atlanta-based tech company for fixed-route operators. 

IPOs

- CommerceHub, an Albany, N.Y.-based e-commerce software company, is preparing for an IPO, per Bloomberg. GTCR and Sycamore Partners back the firm. Read more.

- MP Materials, a Mountain Pass, Calif.-based earth mining and processing site, agreed to merge with SPAC Fortress Value Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: FVAC). MP Materials Corp. will list on the NYSE as "MP". Read more.

PEOPLE

- Mayfield added Arvind Gupta as a partner. Gupta previously founded IndieBio, a biotech accelerator.

- Catalyst Investors promoted Grady Kidder to vice president.