Golden raises $14.5M to build a wiki-style database of tech knowledge


This post is by Anthony Ha from Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

Golden is announcing that it has raised $14.5 million in Series A funding. The round was led by previous investor Andreessen Horowitz, with the firm’s co-founder Marc Andreessen joining the startup’s board of directors.

When Golden launched last year, founder and CEO Jude Gomila told me that his goal was to create a knowledge base focused on areas where Wikipedia’s coverage is often spotty, particularly emerging technology and startups.

Gomila told me this week that “companies, technologies and the people involved in them” remain Golden’s strength. In that sense, you could see it as a competitor to Crunchbase, but with a much bigger emphasis on explaining and “clustering” information on big topics like quantum computing and COVID-19, rather than just aggregating key data about companies and people. (By the way, both TechCrunch and the author of this post have their own profile pages, though the latter is woefully empty.)

In contrast to Wikipedia, which relies on community editors, Gomila said most of the data in Golden is gathered using artificial intelligence and natural language processing: “We’re using AI to extract information from the news from websites, from public databases.

This is supplemented by Golden staff (former TechCrunch copy editor Holden Page leads the startup’s research team), while the larger community also pitch in by flagging things that are incorrect or need to be updated. (As one example of this “human in the loop” editing process, Gomila showed me a tool where someone could paste in an article link and Golden would automatically summarize it.)

“The ultimate aim is to try and automate as much of this as possible,” Gomila said. “[For now,] this hybrid is the most effective method.”

Golden has also started working with paying customers including private equity firms, hedge funds, VCs, biotechnology companies, corporate innovation offices and government agencies — in fact, it says it signed a $1 million contract with the U.S. Air Force this year. These customers are paying for access to Golden’s research engine, which includes the company’s Query Tool and the ability to request that the startup prepare research on a particular topic.

Golden has now raised a total of $19.5 million. Other investors in the new funding include DCVC, Harpoon Ventures and Gigafund.

“Golden’s knowledge base and research engine aggregates information about emerging technologies and the companies, investors, and the builders behind them,” Andreessen said in a statement. “Human and machine intelligence, working together on Golden’s platform, results in knowledge which gives people the edge in making decisions and navigating uncertainty.”

Morgan Beller, co-creator of the Libra digital currency, just joined the venture firm NFX


This post is by Connie Loizos from Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

Morgan Beller, who is a co-creator of the proposed Libra digital currency, along with Facebook vice presidents David Marcus and Kevin Weil, has left the company to become a general partner with the venture firm NFX .

In a call yesterday, she said she first became acquainted with the San Francisco-based outfit five years ago when on a “tech trek” to Israel, she met its local partner, Gigi Levy-Weiss, and formed a friendship with him.

At the time, she was a young partner at Andreessen Horowitz, working on its deal team after graduating from Cornell as a statistics major.

A role working on corporate development and strategy at Medium would follow, then it was on to Facebook in 2017, where Beller began in corporate development and — intrigued by cryptocurrency tech — where she quickly began evangelizing to her bosses the importance of better understanding it.

As she half-jokingly explains it, “Crypto is a mental virus for which there is no cure. I was at a16z when they got infected with the crypto virus.” She eventually caught it herself, and by the time she joined Facebook, she says she “realized no one was thinking about that space full time, so I took it upon myself to [help the company] figure out its point of view.”

Indeed, a CNBC story about Beller last year reports that at one point, she was the sole person on a Facebook blockchain initiative —  meeting with those in the know, attending relevant events, and otherwise researching the technology. Bill Barhydt, the CEO of the digital wallet startup Abra, told the outlet of Beller:  “I give her a lot of credit for taking what seems like a very methodical, long-term approach to figuring this out.”

All that said, Beller notes that as a full-time investor with NFX, she will not be focused exclusively or even mainly on crypto. Her focus instead will be finding and helping to cultivate seed-stage startups that aim to grow so-called network effects businesses.

It’s the broad theme of NFX, a now 25-person outfit cofounded five years ago by serial entrepreneurs who have all seen their companies acquired, including Levy-Weiss (who cofounded the online travel site Lastminute.com, and the social casino game publisher Playtika); Pete Flint (cofounder of the home buyers’ site Trulia); and James Currier (of the social network Tickle).

Certainly, she will keep busy at the firm, she suggests. As part of getting to know the partners and their thinking better, she introduced them to one company that they have since funded.

The pace has generally picked up, Flint tells us, saying that during the second quarter of this year and the third, NFX has twice broken its own investing records both because of “incredible founders who are reacting to this opportunity” and growing awareness about NFX, which last year closed its second fund with $275 million.

Last month, for example, NFX led a seed round for Warmly, a nine-month-old, San Francisco-based startup whose product tracks individuals in a customer’s CRM system, then sends out a notification when one of his or her contacts changes jobs. It also led a round recently for Jupiter, a year-old, San Francisco-based grocery delivery startup.

Naturally, Beller’s new partners are full of praise for her. Flint says the firm began looking for a fourth partner two years ago and that it has “spoken with dozens of exceptional people” since then, but it “always came back to Morgan.”

As for why the 27-year-old is ready to leap back into VC, Beller says that her work across Facebook and Medium and a16z “made me realize my favorite parts of projects is that zero-to-one phase and that with investing, it’s zero-to-one all day” with a team she wanted to be part of.

Further, she adds, while at Facebook, she was helping scout out deals for the venture firm Spark Capital, so she’s already well-acquainted with the types of founders to which she gravitates. “They’re are all weird in the right ways, and they’re all maniacally obsessed with winning.”

As for how she launches her career as a general partner in a pandemic, she notes that she loves walking and that she’ll happy cover 20 miles a day if given the opportunity.

“If anyone wants to safely walk with me,” she suggests that she’d love it.  Says Beller, “I’m not worried about San Francisco longer term. I don’t think there’s a replacement for in-person meetings.”

Mux raises $37M Series C as its API-based video streaming service scales


This post is by Alex Wilhelm from Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

This morning, Mux, a startup that provides API-based video streaming tooling and analytics, announced that it has closed a $37 million Series C round of capital.

Andreessen Horowitz led the round, which included participation from Accel and Cobalt. Prior to this funding round, Mux most recently raised a roughly $20 million round in mid-2019. In total, the company had raised a hair under $32 million before its Series C, according to PitchBook data.

The Mux round lands amidst a number of trends that we’re tracking here at TechCrunch, namely API-based startups, which are hot as a group at the moment, and startups that are serving an accelerating digital transformation.

Let’s explore a bit of Mux’s history, and then dig into how the startup’s current pace of revenue growth explains its fresh infusion of capital.

From exits to analytics to APIs

TechCrunch spoke with Mux’s founder Jon Dahl about the round, curious about how the company came to be. Dahl was a co-founder of Zencoder back in the early 2010s, which sold to Brightcove. When Zencoder launched, TechCrunch said that it wanted “to be the Amazon Web Services of video encoding.” It wound up selling for $30 million, a figure that stood a bit taller in 2012, when the transaction was announced.

Dahl stuck around Brightcove for a few years while angel investing. Then in late 2015 he founded Mux. The new startup first built an analytics tool called Mux Data. Dahl said the analytics product was needed because more conventional tooling like Google Analytics don’t work well with online video.

Mux Data is a SaaS product. But what made Mux even more interesting is its on-demand infra play, namely Mux Video.

Mux Video is delivered via an API, supporting both live and on-demand video for other companies. The startup likes to argue that it’s doing for video what Stripe has done for payments, namely take a bundle of complexity and headache, wrestle it into shape, then offer it via a developer-friendly hook.

Delivering video, we’ve seen via the bootstrapped growth of Cloudinary and recent Daily.co round, is growing work in 2020.

That fact shows up in Mux’s numbers, which are somewhat bonkers. The company’s aggregate revenue numbers are growing at a pace that Dahl described as 4x, while Mux Video’s revenues are growing at a pace of 8x, he said. Dahl shared a few other metrics — startups: if you want folks to care about your funding round, follow this example — including that Mux Video’s LTV/CAC ratio is somewhere around 5x-6x, and that its net retention is around 160%.

The collected performance data that Mux shared explain why a16z wanted to put its capital into the company.

But to better understand that all the same, I caught up with Kristina Shen, a general partner at the venture firm. Shen stressed that Mux was heading in the right direction before the pandemic, but that COVID has accelerated the importance of video in how humans interact with one another — an accelerating secular shift for Mux to surf, in other words.

COVID has bolstered Mux, with a release regarding its new investment, noting that its “social media customers [have seen] an increase of 118% in video streaming since mid-February while fitness and health streaming surged by 162%, e-learning grew by 230% and religious streams jumped nearly 3 orders of magnitude.”

Shen said during our call that Mux is one of the fastest-growing enterprise SaaS companies that her firm has seen.

Finally, when asked about Mux’s gross margins, Shen said the company would eventually look similarly to other companies in the infra space, like Twilio and Stripe. This matches what Dahl told this publication, though the founder included a fun wrinkle. Remember Mux Data, the analytics product? Its margins more closely resembles SaaS economics, while Mux Video is more similar to other API, infra plays. So Mux has a bit of SaaS and a bit of infra in it, which should give it a super interesting blended gross margin profile.

Fun. The next time we talk to the firm we’ll be curious to see how far into the double-digit millions it can stretch its run rate.

Mux raises $37M Series C as its API-based video streaming service scales


This post is by Alex Wilhelm from Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

This morning, Mux, a startup that provides API-based video streaming tooling and analytics, announced that it has closed a $37 million Series C round of capital.

Andreessen Horowitz led the round, which included participation from Accel and Cobalt. Prior to this funding round, Mux most recently raised a roughly $20 million round in mid-2019. In total, the company had raised a hair under $32 million before its Series C, according to PitchBook data.

The Mux round lands amidst a number of trends that we’re tracking here at TechCrunch, namely API-based startups, which are hot as a group at the moment, and startups that are serving an accelerating digital transformation.

Let’s explore a bit of Mux’s history, and then dig into how the startup’s current pace of revenue growth explains its fresh infusion of capital.

From exits to analytics to APIs

TechCrunch spoke with Mux’s founder Jon Dahl about the round, curious about how the company came to be. Dahl was a co-founder of Zencoder back in the early 2010s, which sold to Brightcove. When Zencoder launched, TechCrunch said that it wanted “to be the Amazon Web Services of video encoding.” It wound up selling for $30 million, a figure that stood a bit taller in 2012, when the transaction was announced.

Dahl stuck around Brightcove for a few years while angel investing. Then in late 2015 he founded Mux. The new startup first built an analytics tool called Mux Data. Dahl said the analytics product was needed because more conventional tooling like Google Analytics don’t work well with online video.

Mux Data is a SaaS product. But what made Mux even more interesting is its on-demand infra play, namely Mux Video.

Mux Video is delivered via an API, supporting both live and on-demand video for other companies. The startup likes to argue that it’s doing for video what Stripe has done for payments, namely take a bundle of complexity and headache, wrestle it into shape, then offer it via a developer-friendly hook.

Delivering video, we’ve seen via the bootstrapped growth of Cloudinary and recent Daily.co round, is growing work in 2020.

That fact shows up in Mux’s numbers, which are somewhat bonkers. The company’s aggregate revenue numbers are growing at a pace that Dahl described as 4x, while Mux Video’s revenues are growing at a pace of 8x, he said. Dahl shared a few other metrics — startups: if you want folks to care about your funding round, follow this example — including that Mux Video’s LTV/CAC ratio is somewhere around 5x-6x, and that its net retention is around 160%.

The collected performance data that Mux shared explain why a16z wanted to put its capital into the company.

But to better understand that all the same, I caught up with Kristina Shen, a general partner at the venture firm. Shen stressed that Mux was heading in the right direction before the pandemic, but that COVID has accelerated the importance of video in how humans interact with one another — an accelerating secular shift for Mux to surf, in other words.

COVID has bolstered Mux, with a release regarding its new investment, noting that its “social media customers [have seen] an increase of 118% in video streaming since mid-February while fitness and health streaming surged by 162%, e-learning grew by 230% and religious streams jumped nearly 3 orders of magnitude.”

Shen said during our call that Mux is one of the fastest-growing enterprise SaaS companies that her firm has seen.

Finally, when asked about Mux’s gross margins, Shen said the company would eventually look similarly to other companies in the infra space, like Twilio and Stripe. This matches what Dahl told this publication, though the founder included a fun wrinkle. Remember Mux Data, the analytics product? Its margins more closely resembles SaaS economics, while Mux Video is more similar to other API, infra plays. So Mux has a bit of SaaS and a bit of infra in it, which should give it a super interesting blended gross margin profile.

Fun. The next time we talk to the firm we’ll be curious to see how far into the double-digit millions it can stretch its run rate.

Are you ready for the coming wave of VC down rounds?


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Walter Thompson. The original is [linked here]

Nathan Beckord
Contributor
Nathan Beckord is CEO of Foundersuite.com, a software platform for raising capital and managing investors that has helped entrepreneurs raise over $2 billion since 2016. He is also the host of Foundersuite’s How I Raised It podcast.

As North America slowly begins to reopen after nearly two months of sheltering in place and business lockdowns, startups that paused fundraising are starting to get back into the game. But these are shaky economic times, and most founders will be coming back to a different world altogether.

George Arison, founder and co-CEO of Shift, has a few ideas on how entrepreneurs should approach fundraising in “the new normal,” whatever that means.

A tech platform that buys used cars off of individuals and sells them to new buyers, Shift has raised over $225 million over five rounds. But Arison has experience fundraising under difficult circumstances: In 2017, the company’s $38 million Series C was a down round, where Shift had to raise money at a lower valuation than it did for its Series B.

In a fundraising world where many companies have been “massively” overvalued, Arison expects these conditions to shape the new normal.

“I think flat is going to be the new up round, to be honest,” he says. “Some companies will do up rounds — like Stripe. But most companies are going to have a much harder time with capital.” On an episode of How I Raised It, Arison shared his top fundraising tips for when times get tough — from how to pick VC partners strategically to successfully navigating a down round.

Lean in to “no” and go for investors who will reject you

When Arison was trying to raise Shift’s Series A, he cast a wide net in terms of the venture capitalists he spoke to and purposefully connected with VCs who might not invest in the company.

“I’m a big believer in talking to a broader range of people than founders normally would,” Arison says. “There are many benefits to getting to know really great investors, even if they don’t invest in you, because you’ll learn a lot from them. They’ll tell you things you otherwise might not pay attention to — and that information, over time, becomes really critical.”

Andreessen Horowitz Report: Crypto Not as Chaotic as It Appears


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Cointelegraph By Turner Wright. The original is [linked here]

Top venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz looked at four key metrics for three cycles of cryptocurrency showing consistent growth.

IPOs, crypto funds and other things I missed this week


This post is by Alex Wilhelm from Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.

What a week it’s been. I’m exhausted. Not only are we another cycle deeper into the COVID-19 quarantine, but there seems to be more news than ever to sift through. I’ve fallen behind. So, today, this little column is taking look back at things that it missed but wanted to cover. (There may come a day when we run out of stuff to talk about, but it’s not coming any time soon.)

So let’s talk about a16z’s new crypto fund, recent economic data, the Ebang F-1, Lime’s layoffs, Procore’s IPO delay and fresh valuation, stocks, Luckin, and, if we have time, Twitter’s changing jobs data. Let’s get this all out of our heads and into the world.

Odds, ends

To annoy my editors, we’re using bullet points this morning. Bullet points are great way to convey a bloc of information in a neat format. Let the haters hate, we have a lot of ground to cover:

Fishtown Analytics raises $12.9M Series A for its open-source analytics engineering tool


This post is by Frederic Lardinois from Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

Philadelphia-based Fishtown Analytics, the company behind the popular open-source data engineering tool dbt, today announced that it has raised a $12.9 million Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz, with the firm’s general partner Martin Casada joining the company’s board.

“I wrote this blog post in early 2016, essentially saying that analysts needed to work in a fundamentally different way,” Fishtown founder and CEO Tristan Handy told me, when I asked him about how the product came to be. “They needed to work in a way that much more closely mirrored the way the software engineers work and software engineers have been figuring this shit out for years and data analysts are still like sending each other Microsoft Excel docs over email.”

The dbt open-source project forms the basis of this. It allows anyone who can write SQL queries to transform data and then load it into their preferred analytics tools. As such, it sits in-between data warehouses and the tools that load data into them on one end, and specialized analytics tools on the other.

As Casada noted when I talked to him about the investment, data warehouses have now made it affordable for businesses to store all of their data before it is transformed. So what was traditionally “extract, transform, load” (ETL) has now become “extract, load, transform” (ELT). Andreessen Horowitz is already invested in Fivetran, which helps businesses move their data into their warehouses, so it makes sense for the firm to also tackle the other side of this business.

“Dbt is, as far as we can tell, the leading community for transformation and it’s a company we’ve been tracking for at least a year,” Casada said. He also argued that data analysts — unlike data scientists — are not really catered to as a group.

Before this round, Fishtown hadn’t raised a lot of money, even though it has been around for a few years now, except for a small SAFE round from Amplify.

But Handy argued that the company needed this time to prove that it was on to something and build a community. That community now consists of more than 1,700 companies that use the dbt project in some form and over 5,000 people in the dbt Slack community. Fishtown also now has over 250 dbt Cloud customers and the company signed up a number of big enterprise clients earlier this year. With that, the company needed to raise money to expand and also better service its current list of customers.

“We live in Philadelpha. The cost of living is low here and none of us really care to make a quadro-billion dollars, but we do want to answer the question of how do we best serve the community,” Handy said. “And for the first time, in the early part of the year, we were like, holy shit, we can’t keep up with all of the stuff that people need from us.”

The company plans to expand the team from 25 to 50 employees in 2020 and with those, the team plans to improve and expand the product, especially its IDE for data analysts, which Handy admitted could use a bit more polish.

Andreessen Horowitz is reportedly raising as much as $450M for new crypto fund


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Michael McSweeney. The original is [linked here]

The Financial Times reported Tuesday that Silicon Valley investment powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is seeking to raise $450 million for a second crypto-focused fund.

Citing "two people briefed on the matter," the FT said that the a16z "could finalise the new fund in about a week but has not yet placed a hard cap on its size, one of the people said."

A16z declined comment to the FT, and a representative for the firm did not immediately respond to The Block’s request for comment.

The investment firm’s first crypto-dedicated fund attracted $350 million in capital commitments in mid-2018, as previously reported. A16z also operates a crypto school for would-be sector entrepreneurs.

A16z is one of the industry’s biggest investment backers, investing in major firms like Coinbase, Libra and Polychain, among others. It has also invested in significant projects that form the Open Finance (DeFi) ecosystem such as Maker, Compound and dYdX. 

The company is one of a number of investment firms said to be in the process of closing or raising funds, as The Block’s Frank Chaparro noted in a column last month.

Where top VCs are investing in remote events


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Arman Tabatabai. The original is [linked here]

The novel coronavirus pandemic has rapidly moved companies into a remote-first world.

Nearly all of the world’s largest events have been canceled, put on pause or pivoted to online-only. In the tech world, event cancellations thus far have included SXSW, GDC, Mobile World Congress, Google I/O, Facebook F8, E3 and others.

As more and more hosts consider staging fully remote events as possible alternatives, we decided to take a deeper look into the venture-backed startups focused on supporting large-scale virtual gatherings, like Hopin and Run The World. To further understand the impact of COVID-19, we asked five leading VCs who have invested in or have knowledge of startups focused on remote events to update us on the state of the market and to share where they see opportunity in the sector:

Sarah Cannon, Index Ventures

Which trends in remote events/conferencing excite you the most from an investing perspective?

Where top VCs are investing in remote events


This post is by Arman Tabatabai from Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

The novel coronavirus pandemic has rapidly moved companies into a remote-first world.

Nearly all of the world’s largest events have been canceled, put on pause or pivoted to online-only. In the tech world, event cancellations thus far have included SXSW, GDC, Mobile World Congress, Google I/O, Facebook F8, E3 and others.

As more and more hosts consider staging fully remote events as possible alternatives, we decided to take a deeper look into the venture-backed startups focused on supporting large-scale virtual gatherings, like Hopin and Run The World. To further understand the impact of COVID-19, we asked five leading VCs who have invested in or have knowledge of startups focused on remote events to update us on the state of the market and to share where they see opportunity in the sector:

Sarah Cannon, Index Ventures

Which trends in remote events/conferencing excite you the most from an investing perspective?

Arweave’s permaweb stops coronavirus censorship, raises $8M


This post is by Josh Constine from Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

The Chinese government has been removing criticism of its coronavirus response from apps like Weibo, the local equivalent of Twitter. But before it can, that content is being saved, decentralized and highlighted thanks to Arweave’s permaweb. Today it’s announcing another $8.3 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures and Coinbase Ventures.

Arweave has developed a new type of blockchain based on Moore’s Law of the declining cost of data storage. Users pay upfront for a hundred years of storage at less than a cent per megabyte, and the interest that accrues will cover the dwindling storage cost forever. More than one million pieces of data are now stored on the permaweb, and nearly 200 apps have been developed.

That includes perma-apps like WeiBlocked, which crawls Weibo for content likely to be censored. It indexes these posts and decentralizes them in the storage of hundreds of Arweave nodes operated around the world. WeiBlocked later checks back to see if the content has been censored, and then highlights them on its permaweb site you can access from a standard web browser. “By censoring it, it puts it out of the control of the censor,” says Arweave founder Sam Williams. 

It’s like the Streisand Effect in product form. The act of censorship actually causes the sensitive content to become increasingly visible. The more the Chinese government tries to hide information about Dr. Li Wenliang, an early coronavirus whistleblower who was pressured into silence by Chinese police and later Continue reading “Arweave’s permaweb stops coronavirus censorship, raises $8M”

Investors Serve Up $53M In Series C Funding To Web Dev Platform Netlify


This post is by Jason D. Rowley from Crunchbase News

Developer platform Netlify announced it has raised $53 million in a Series C funding led by EQT Ventures. Prior investors Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins, and Preston-Werner Ventures1 participated in the deal, which brings the San Francisco-based company’s total funding to $93 million.

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Valuations and other key financial metrics were not publicly disclosed by the company. However, in its announcement, Netlify did say that it’s tripled its customer base (to 800,000 users) and revenue year over year. The company says that 8 percent of internet users visit a Netlify-powered site each month.

In a public statement, Netlify’s co-founder and CEO Mathias Biilmann said “We started Netlify with the mission to empower developers and change the way the web is built. The growing number of developers signing onto Netlify daily and the latest investment in our business has validated that vision. With this funding we’re full-speed ahead delivering new features, investing in our enterprise-grade infrastructure and growing our team, to help more developers and businesses take advantage of the JAMstack.”

What is the JAMstack? It’s a web development architecture co-developed by Biilmann. The acronym stands for JavaScript, APIs and prebuilt Markup. Dynamic functionality is handled by client-side JavaScript; server-side operations get abstracted into composable APIs which can be called over HTTPS via JavaScript; and sites are served as static HTML which can either be written natively or be generated from source files written in Markdown format using a static site generator.2

The Continue reading “Investors Serve Up $53M In Series C Funding To Web Dev Platform Netlify”

$75M legal startup Atrium shuts down, lays off 100


This post is by Josh Constine from Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

Justin Kan’s hybrid legal software and law firm startup Atrium is shutting down today after failing to figure out how to deliver better efficiency than a traditional law firm, the CEO tells TechCrunch exclusively. The startup has now laid off all its employees, which totaled just over 100. It will return some of its $75.5 million in funding to investors, including Series B lead Andreessen Horowitz. The separate Atrium law firm will continue to operate.

“I’m really grateful to the customers and the team members who came along with me and our investors. It’s unfortunate that this wasn’t the outcome that we wanted but we’re thankful to everyone that came with us on the journey” said Kan. He’d previously founded Justin.tv which pivoted to become Twitch and later sold to Amazon for $970 million. “We decided to call it and wind down the startup operations. There will be some capital returned to investors post wind-down” Kan told me.

Atrium had attempted a pivot back in January, laying off its in-house lawyers to become a more pure software startup with better margins. Some of its lawyers formed a separate standalone legal firm and took on former Atrium clients. But Kan tells me that it was tough to regain momentum coming out of that change, which some Atrium customers tell me felt chaotic and left them unsure of their legal representation.

More layoffs quietly ensued as divisions connected to those lawyers were eliminated. But trying to build software for third-party Continue reading “$75M legal startup Atrium shuts down, lays off 100”

Accolade Is Latest To Join Health Service IPO Bandwagon


This post is by Joanna Glasner from Crunchbase News

To launch a successful IPO in the current market environment, it seems to help to be a fast-growing health care services provider.

Shares of One Medical, a provider of primary care clinics and telemedicine, closed up nearly 60 percent in first-day trading a month ago. Since then, it’s largely held on to those gains.

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Progyny, a benefits management focusing on fertility, meanwhile, has seen its shares roughly double from its initial offer price back in October. While the broader markets have swooned, Progyny has held strong.

Now, another well-funded health service company is betting investor enthusiasm for the space will trump market skittishness. Accolade, a service provider that serves as a kind of go-between for consumers, employers and health insurance companies, is seeking to raise up to $100 million in an IPO, according to a prospectus filed late Friday.

The ups and downs of IPOs

Like most venture-backed companies on the IPO path, Accolade is posting both strong growth and persistent losses. Its most recent financials are for the ninth-month period ending Nov. 30, for which it reported revenue of $88 million, and a net loss of $49 million. For the corresponding period a year earlier, revenue was $60 million, with the same net loss of $49 million. (Accolade operates on a fiscal year ending in February, so results for its last full fiscal year are not yet available.)

The company’s pitch to investors is that its platform will see continued Continue reading “Accolade Is Latest To Join Health Service IPO Bandwagon”

Quantum Shop Rigetti Computing Has Raised Over $71M In New Funding, Per SEC Filing


This post is by Jason D. Rowley from Crunchbase News

Full-stack quantum computing company Rigetti Computing is on the fundraising trail, according to an SEC filing submitted by the company on Friday.

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According to the filing, the company has raised a little over $71 million of a round aiming to raise up to $83.85 million in fresh capital for the company. Rigetti Computing disclosed in its filing that the total amount raised and the total offering amount includes approximately $23.85 million1 from the conversion of convertible securities into equity in the company.

The filing states that, so far, 65 investors contributed capital to the round, and that the company received its first capital commitment for the round on Feb. 18, 2020.

Tomer Diari, an investor with Bessemer Venture Partners, is a new addition to the company’s board. It’s typical for lead investors to take a board seat following a deal, so it’s likely that Bessemer is the lead investor in Rigetti’s latest round.

According to Crunchbase data, the company has raised nearly $120 million in prior funding. Rigetti’s last round was a $50 million Series B deal closed in November 2017.

Depending on whether the convertible securities mentioned in today’s filing were previously reported, the company has now raised between $166.7 million and $190.5 million, and it is authorized to raise $12.8 million more in this offering.

The company’s valuation and information about which investors participated in the deal have not been disclosed at this time. Previously Continue reading “Quantum Shop Rigetti Computing Has Raised Over $71M In New Funding, Per SEC Filing”

Roblox Building A Busier Platform With $150M Series G Andreessen Horowitz-Led Round


This post is by Sophia Kunthara from Crunchbase News

Gaming platform Roblox raised $150 million in a Series G round led by Andreessen Horowitz’s (a16z) Late-Stage Venture Fund.

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The new round, which included participation from new investors Temasek and Tencent Holdings, brings Roblox’s total funding to more than $335 million, according to CrunchBase data.

Roblox recently reached 115 million monthly active users and more than 1.5 billion hours of monthly engagement.

“If early-stage venture is about asking ‘What if it works?’, later-stage venture is about asking and assessing, ‘Is it working?’,” a16z general partners David George and Marc Andreessen wrote in a blog post on the firm’s website. “With largely organic user sign-ups, highly recurring purchase behavior, a high margin structure for the platform, and a super strong value proposition for users (who derive hours of entertainment at a lower cost than they can find elsewhere), Roblox is cash flow positive. Roblox is working.”

Along with the new funding, Roblox has a secondary offering of up to $350 million to provide liquidity for early employees and stakeholders, according to a statement from the company. The company is now valued at $4 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Roblox last raised money in July 2018, when it pulled $150 million for its Series F, according to Crunchbase. Its other investors include Index Ventures, Greylock Partners and Tiger Global Management.

 

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.

The post Roblox Building A Busier Platform With $150M Series G Andreessen Horowitz-Led Round appeared first on Crunchbase News.

NY-Based K Health Raises $48M Series C For AI-Powered Primary Care Application


This post is by Mary Ann Azevedo from Crunchbase News

K Health, a primary care consultant powered by artificial intelligence, announced this morning it has raised a $48 million Series C round.

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14W and Mangrove Capital Partners led the round. Lerer Hippeau, Anthem, Primary Ventures and others also participated in the financing, bringing the company’s total funding to $97 million since its November 2016 inception.

New York-based K Health has developed an app that uses AI and anonymized health records to augment the diagnoses of health problems. It claims to be the first startup to use true AI in consumer health at the primary care level, as our Holden Page wrote at the time of the startup’s $12.5 million Series A.  The company launched its consumer product in mid-2018.

How it works

K Health works by leveraging AI-driven health data that was accumulated over two decades by tracking billions of anonymized health events. (That data was collected by Maccabi, the second\-largest HMO in Israel.) K Health has taken that data to create a predictive model aimed at enabling people to learn more about their health by comparing themselves to other people with similar characteristics such as gender, age, symptoms and medical history.

Users can chat with a licensed doctor for a diagnosis and prescription for $14 for a consultation, or $39 for an annual subscription, according to co-founder and CEO Allon Bloch.

“K uses technology to reduce barriers to quality primary care,” he said. “Our users are able to Continue reading “NY-Based K Health Raises $48M Series C For AI-Powered Primary Care Application”

Andreessen Horowitz Raises $750M For Its Third Bio Fund


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Jason D. Rowley. The original is [linked here]

On Tuesday, Andreessen Horowitz (often abbreviated as “a16z”) announced it raised $750 million for it’s third fund, earmarked for biotechnology and health care investing.

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Fund III is the largest in this series of funds. Andreessen Horowitz’s previous biotech and health care funds came in at $450 million for Bio Fund II (announced in December 2017) and $200 million for Bio Fund I (announced in November 2015).

According to Crunchbase data and announcements on Andreessen Horowitz’s blog, the firm has made investments in dozens of companies in the health care, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors.

In its announcement for Fund III, the firm’s managing directors said “[t]ech, biotech, and our healthcare system are merging—into what we call simply ‘bio.’ And whether for pharma, hospitals, or investors, bio is now officially the hot new thing.”

The firm’s portfolio companies are operating on several sides of this emerging sector.

Take Devoted Health as an example. It’s a broker of Medicare Advantage plans. Andreessen Horowitz led the company’s $300 million Series B round in October 2018.

More recent additions to the portfolio include cancer drug company Erasca and The One Health Company, which develops cancer treatment protocols for dogs, and medical data management upstart Ciitizen.

“We are now approaching a new ability to rethink bio’s biggest problems, from intractable diseases and massive inefficiencies or disparities in an overburdened health care system, to what we eat, what we wear, what we build, even how we heal our Continue reading “Andreessen Horowitz Raises $750M For Its Third Bio Fund”

Controlling AI

AI can do a lot of specific tasks as well as, or even better than, humans can — for example, it can more accurately classify images, more efficiently process mail, and more logically manipulate a Go board. While we have …

The post Controlling AI appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.