New venture capitalists find strength in numbers

 Ian Rountree, the twenty something captain at the helm of Cantos Ventures, an SF-based micro-fund, is characteristic of a new breed of venture capitalists in tech — a group of  small funds looking to go toe-to-toe with some of the valley’s most entrenched seed funds like First Round Capital and SV Angel. Rountree is experimenting with a strategy so antithetical to the venture… Read More

Feedzai closes $50M Series C to help banks and merchants identify fraud with AI

 Feedzai is announcing a $50 million Series C this morning led by an unnamed VC with additional capital from Sapphire Ventures. The six year old startup builds machine learning tools to help banks and merchants spot payment fraud. In today’s rapidly maturing world of fintech, Feedzai is trying to thread the needle between turnkey solution and customizable platform. With 60 clients… Read More

ROSS Intelligence lands $8.7M Series A to speed up legal research with AI

 Armed with an understanding of machine learning, ROSS Intelligence is going after LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters for ownership of legal research. The startup is announcing an $8.7 million Series A today led by iNovia Capital with participation from Comcast Ventures Catalyst Fund, Y Combinator Continuity Fund, Real Ventures, Dentons’ NextLaw Labs and angels. Read More

ROSS Intelligence lands $8.7M Series A to speed up legal research with AI

 Armed with an understanding of machine learning, ROSS Intelligence is going after LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters for ownership of legal research. The startup is announcing an $8.7 million Series A today led by iNovia Capital with participation from Comcast Ventures Catalyst Fund, Y Combinator Continuity Fund, Real Ventures, Dentons’ NextLaw Labs and angels. Read More

ROSS Intelligence lands $8.7M Series A to speed up legal research with AI

 Armed with an understanding of machine learning, ROSS Intelligence is going after LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters for ownership of legal research. The startup is announcing an $8.7 million Series A today led by iNovia Capital with participation from Comcast Ventures Catalyst Fund, Y Combinator Continuity Fund, Real Ventures, Dentons’ NextLaw Labs and angels. Read More

Petuum secures $93M Series B to push AI into the mainstream

 With a shortage of machine learning developers bearing down on the industry, startups and big tech companies alike are moving to democratize the tools necessary to commercialize artificial intelligence. The latest startup, Petuum, is announcing a $93 million Series B this morning from Softbank and Advantech Capital. Founded last year by Dr. Eric Xing, a Carnegie Mellon machine learning… Read More

Petuum secures $93M Series B to push AI into the mainstream

 With a shortage of machine learning developers bearing down on the industry, startups and big tech companies alike are moving to democratize the tools necessary to commercialize artificial intelligence. The latest startup, Petuum, is announcing a $93 million Series B this morning from Softbank and Advantech Capital. Founded last year by Dr. Eric Xing, a Carnegie Mellon machine learning… Read More

Petuum secures $93M Series B to push AI into the mainstream

 With a shortage of machine learning developers bearing down on the industry, startups and big tech companies alike are moving to democratize the tools necessary to commercialize artificial intelligence. The latest startup, Petuum, is announcing a $93 million Series B this morning from Softbank and Advantech Capital. Founded last year by Dr. Eric Xing, a Carnegie Mellon machine learning… Read More

Butterfly nabs $2.4M seed round to improve managers with targeted tips

 One of life’s puzzles that eludes me most is how a person could enjoy corporate trainings enough to spend their time designing and running them. Perhaps only with disdain for the status quo can a startup create something that people not only don’t hate, but find helpful. The idea for Butterfly originated from poor experiences the founders had when receiving leadership training. Read More

Butterfly nabs $2.4M seed round to improve managers with targeted tips

 One of life’s puzzles that eludes me most is how a person could enjoy corporate trainings enough to spend their time designing and running them. Perhaps only with disdain for the status quo can a startup create something that people not only don’t hate, but find helpful. The idea for Butterfly originated from poor experiences the founders had when receiving leadership training. Read More

Butterfly nabs $2.4M seed round to improve managers with targeted tips

 One of life’s puzzles that eludes me most is how a person could enjoy corporate trainings enough to spend their time designing and running them. Perhaps only with disdain for the status quo can a startup create something that people not only don’t hate, but find helpful. The idea for Butterfly originated from poor experiences the founders had when receiving leadership training. Read More

Butterfly nabs $2.4M seed round to improve managers with targeted tips

 One of life’s puzzles that eludes me most is how a person could enjoy corporate trainings enough to spend their time designing and running them. Perhaps only with disdain for the status quo can a startup create something that people not only don’t hate, but find helpful. The idea for Butterfly originated from poor experiences the founders had when receiving leadership training. Read More

WanderJaunt wants to make a brand for itself on Airbnb with $2M in seed funding

 I’ll admit, when WanderJaunt co-founder Michael Chen told me he wanted to build a hotel chain, like the Westin, from the ground up on Airbnb, I wasn’t sure what to think. There are already dozens of property management startups for short-term rentals (Vacayo, Guesty etc. And besides, isn’t the commercial dominance and economic power of hotel groups half the reason people… Read More

Our favorite startups from 500 startups’ 21st class

 Another season, another group of startups presenting as part of 500 Startups’ 21st demo day. This time around, 29 companies pitched on stage at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. We noticed strong trends in healthcare focused businesses as well as startups tackling international markets out of the gate. Perhaps the most interesting trait of the startups selected for our top… Read More

A running list of every company backed by the $93B SoftBank Vision Fund

 When SoftBank announced the first close of its $93 billion Vision Fund back in May it was hard to understand how the company would even manage to deploy so much capital in an already saturated ecosystem. Two months have passed and we’re starting to get a taste of the strategy of the fund — bet big and bet often and you just might be able to influence who wins and loses in the… Read More

Vicarious gets another $50 million to expand its research team and build smarter robots

 Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg might not be able to agree about much when it comes to AI these days, but the pair do seem to see the same potential in Vicarious, a startup applying unsupervised learning techniques to robots. Musk and Zuckerberg were two of the early backers of Vicarious. The startup announced that it raised an additional $50 million in financing this morning (via… Read More

Momenta raises $46M Series B for its self-driving car software

 Beijing-based Momenta announced this morning that it raised a $46 million Series B round led by NIO Capital, Sequoia Capital China and Hillhouse Capital. Momenta produces self-driving car software that applies deep learning to mapping, path planning and object recognition problems. Shunwei Capital, Sinovation Ventures, Unity Ventures and Daimler also participated in the round. Quite a few U.S. Read More

AI Grant aims to fund the unfundable to advance AI and solve hard problems

 Artificial intelligence-focused investment funds are a dime a dozen these days. Everyone knows there’s money to be made from AI, but to capture value, good VCs know they need to back products and not technologies. This has left a bit of a void in the space. AI Grant aims to bankroll science projects for the heck of it to give untraditional candidates a shot at solving big problems. Read More