Snoop Dogg’s venture firm just closed its debut fund with $45 million

 Snoop Dogg, the rapper, entertainer and businessman, can claim another small victory in a long string of career highlights. The venture firm that he co-founded a couple of years ago, Casa Verde Capital, has closed its debut fund with $45 million. The money was raised in earnest last year, says managing partner Karan Wadhera, an alum of both Goldman Sachs and Nomura Securities who joined… Read More

Where did venture capitalists go to college?

 The educational backgrounds of VC investment professionals are in some ways surprisingly diverse, even if the population of investors generally isn’t. Still, there are some definite trends to suss out at all levels of the educational continuum, and that’s what we’re going to do today. Read More

VCs have discovered the Midwest

 The Midwest is back! At least, that’s the conclusion from a group of venture capitalists who went on a multi-day bus tour through the region recently. As Kevin Roose wrote in the New York Times this week, “The trip, which took place on a luxury bus outfitted with a supply of vegan doughnuts and coal-infused kombucha, was known as the ‘Comeback Cities Tour.’”… Read More

GV partner Lo Toney wants to raise $50 million to fund diverse investors

 GV partner Lo Toney is looking to raise up to $50 million for his new fund, Plexo Capital, Axios first reported. Since 2017, Toney has been incubating Plexo Capital inside GV, formerly known as Google Ventures. The idea with Plexo Capital, which is backed by Alphabet, is to invest as a limited partner in seed funds led by people of color and/or female general partners, Toney said in an… Read More

Corporate bio VCs are backing more rounds and making bigger bets

 Biotech is a lot like venture capital. Vast amounts of research, testing and marketing go into a wide range of therapies. But in the end, it’s just a tiny fraction that deliver most returns. That similarity may be why most of the biggest biotech and pharmaceutical companies have a long history of engaging in the venture business as startup investors, spin-out creators and strategic partners. Read More

Travis Kalanick is launching a venture fund

 Travis Kalanick, the controversial co-founder and one-time chief executive of Uber, is launching a new investment fund called the 10100 Fund. According to an announcement on his Twitter account, the new fund will focus on “large-scale job creation.” Investment areas are to include real estate, e-commerce and emerging innovations in China and India. It’s the systematization… Read More

Paris-based VC firm Ventech is raising a new fund

 Ventech has been around for 20 years, which is the equivalent of 80 years in tech time. And the VC firm is still going strong as it just announced the initial closing of a new fund. The firm has raised $170 million (€140 million) and wants to reach the $250 million hard cap (€200 million) within a few months. And Ventech isn’t going to reinvent the wheel. The firm plans to do more of… Read More

A tale of two startups with ‘superstore’ ambitions: Robinhood and Cadre

 “If you think about Amazon, they took the book model, built brand equity, trust, credibility, and now they are a superstore for any retail product,” Cadre’s cofounder and CEO Ryan Williams told attendees at an industry event in San Francisco last week. “We’re doing the same for the investments world.” Robinhood’s cofounder and CEO, Vlad Tenev, speaking… Read More

2018 VC investment into crypto startups set to surpass 2017 tally

 For months now, much of the media attention on the crypto space has been directed at ebbs and flows in the price of bitcoin on one side, and whiz-bang ICOs on the other. The price of the most valuable cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (specifically the BTC chain), has backpedaled significantly from highs set in December 2017. The chart below shows pricing data from the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index… Read More

Caterina Fake on turning down VC roles a decade ago: ‘I just kind of didn’t fit in’

 Ten years ago, not long after Yahoo had acquired Flickr, its co-founder, Caterina Fake, bounded up and down Sand Hill Road taking meetings with venture firms that were interested in hiring her. She knew most of them. In fact, she already knew a lot of investors at that point. Flickr was created out of a photo-sharing feature for another product that Fake and co-founder Stewart Butterfield had… Read More

DoorDash raises $535M, now valued at $1.4B

 Restaurant delivery service DoorDash is joining the unicorn club with its latest round of funding. The company is announcing that it’s raised $535 million in a Series D round. And while it’s not saying anything about valuation, a source close to DoorDash told us that the new funding values the company at $1.4 billion (post-money). DoorDash had previously raised around $186… Read More

Collective Health nabs $110 million in funding

 Enterprise health management startup Collective Health has added another $110 million to the coffers from existing high-profile investors such as Founders Fund and Alphabet’s investment arm GV, bringing the total now raised to a cool $230 million. Read More

Startup that sells your salary data to VCs gets bought by Solium

 Investors don’t want their portfolio companies to pay you too much, or too little. So they pay Advanced-HR for its compensation data pulled from 2,500 startups. With a generic name, the service has flown somewhat under the radar since launching 20 years ago. As startups grow more professional while staying private longer, they’re getting serious about how they structure equity… Read More

UpWest Labs just raised $18 million to bring Israeli founders to the U.S.

 The micro venture firm UpWest Labs was founded nearly six years ago in Palo Alto with one mission in mind: to bring Israeli founders to the U.S. when their companies are still nascent and provide them with enough financial and other resources to get going. Why do this? UpWest’s founders, Shuly Galili and Gil Ben-Artzy, say it’s because startups can lose their shot at greatness if… Read More

Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky has joined Y Combinator as a partner

 If you follow the startup industry, you likely know the story of smartwatch maker Pebble, including that famous Kickstarter campaign in 2012 that sought $100,000 but wound up raising more than $10 million instead. You might also remember thinking that Pebble’s fate was sealed once Apple launched its own now-ubiquitous smartwatch in 2014. You were right if so. By late 2016, Pebble was… Read More

A peek inside Alphabet’s investing universe

 Chances are you’ve heard of Google. You’re likely a contributor to one of the 3.5 billion search queries the website processes daily. But unless you’re a venture capitalist, an entrepreneur or a slightly obsessive tech journalist, you may not know that Google, or, more properly, Alphabet, is also invests in startups. And, like most of what Google does, Alphabet invests… Read More

betaworks Studios is a membership club for builders

 betaworks, the 10-year-old startup studio out of NYC, is today introducing a brand new business in the form of betaworks Studios. Think of betaworks Studios as a membership club for builders, offering entrepreneurs, artists, enginneers/developers, and creatives the space to work on their projects and get to know one another. Builders is the word that betaworks uses to describe its core… Read More

Very famous VC Bill Gurley says startup boardrooms are now just filled with *clapping hand noise*

 Fresh off a public spat between Uber investor Benchmark Capital and former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, Benchmark general partner Bill Gurley took the stage in front of a large room of bankerfolk at the Goldman Sachs Internet and Technology Conference to talk about how startup boardrooms are now filled with a lot of cheerleaders that aren’t holding founders accountable. Read More