Ex-Qualcomm exec Rob Chandhok joins IoT startup Helium

Qualcomm’s former internet of things big idea guy Rob Chandhok has found a new home at a much smaller company, but he’s doing very similar work. He’s joined a startup called Helium that’s focused on building the wireless links between all of the things in IoT.

Helium announced Chandhok’s appointment as COO, president and board member on Tuesday, the same day it also announced a $16 million Series A round led by Khosla Ventures. FirstMark Capital, Digital Garage, Salesforce’s Marc Benioff, SV Angel and Slow Ventures also participated.

Helium is taking on the difficult task of creating a new wireless networking protocol specifically for the internet of things, an approach already being explored by companies like SigFox and organizations like the Bluetooth and Weightless special interest groups.

With its $5.5 million in funding, Ello looks to the future

Ello has raised $5.5 million in a round led by Colorado’s Foundry Group. The social networking site’s rapid viral growth moved up the timeline on its fundraising efforts, since it needed the cash to keep up with the flood of user requests. Along with the round, the company converted Ello into a public benefit corporation — legal lip service for prioritizing the public good over profits — and had investors sign a no-ad agreement.

FlightCar launches its Seattle base

FlightCar, the company that lets you make money when you leave town by renting your car out to people at the airport, has opened another branch. Seattle marks FlightCar’s fourth U.S. airport, joining San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston. “We’re growing 25 percent month over month in customers and revenue,” FlightCar CEO Rujul Zaparde told me. He says now that the company has mastered its new market playbook and raised its $13.5 million secondary series A, it will be expanding to future cities faster.