Brex valued at $2.6B with new cash from Kleiner Perkins


This post is by Kate Clark from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


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Reports published late last month indicated Brex, the fast-growing fintech startup, was raising yet another round. Today, the San Francisco-based company is confirming it’s closed on $100 million in Series C-2 funding at a valuation of $2.6 billion.

Kleiner Perkins has lead the round via former general partner Mood Rowghani, who left the fund last year to form Bond alongside Mary Meeker and Noah Knauf. Existing investors DST Global, IVP, Y Combinator and Greenoaks Capital have also participated in the round. 

The Y Combinator graduate, which provides corporate cards tailored for startups, is also announcing the launch of its third product: a card made specifically for life sciences companies. With a focus on pharmaceutical, biotech and cosmetic businesses, Brex has customized its underwriting model for the life sciences sector and crafted targeted rewards, including cash back on lab supplies and conference fees.

Brex’s funding history

March 2017: Continue reading “Brex valued at $2.6B with new cash from Kleiner Perkins”

What happens if there’s no Vision Fund II?


This post is by Alex Wilhelm from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


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While I’d like to recommend panicking as a general response to the world, a smaller or fully neutered Vision Fund II won’t crash everything in the sphere of giant private companies.

Recent headlines describe a world that might never see a Vision Fund II. The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend, for example, that “SoftBank Faces Challenges Raising Latest $100 Billion Fund.” The Washington Post this morning noted that SoftBank’sMasa Finds Not Everyone Shares His Vision.” And so on.

What matters for tech shops, startups and unicorns alike is that instead of their being an eventual Brady Bunch of Vision Funds, vision-ing around the world like buzzy, cash-laden drones, the franchise might halt after its first installment.

The $100 billion-ish vehicle has caused disturbances of all sorts in the fabric of the private capital markets, deploying cash with hurricane speed. Checks into companies of Continue reading “What happens if there’s no Vision Fund II?”

Everyone loves pizza, including VCs


This post is by Joanna Glasner from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


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Sometimes a person (I’m not naming names here) tires of staring at startup funding data, and her hungry mind wanders to pizza.

But ordering a pizza in real life isn’t always the best choice for such people/reporters. So instead, we’ll pivot to the next best (not really) thing: Looking at what startup investors are doing vis-à-vis the pizza industry.

Turns out, VCs and growth investors are finding lots of ways to toss money at the space. A query of Crunchbase data rolled out more than 50 companies funded in the past couple of years that mention pizza in their business descriptions. In the chart below, we slice into 10 of the most heavily funded and intriguing pizza-preneurs.

Taken together, what does this assimilation of funding data portend about the future of pizza? We’re not experts in much but consuming the stuff, but nonetheless, a few trends stand out. We outline Continue reading “Everyone loves pizza, including VCs”

What happens to late-stage VC if the Vision Fund goes away?


This post is by Kate Clark from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

Good news! Kate and Alex were both back in the studio this week. And even better news, the new TechCrunch studio is big and soundproof and pretty nice, really.

But enough about all of that, let’s get into the news. First, a rapid-fire look at some recent items:

From there we turned to four material topics. First up, the Peloton IPO news.

Everyone’s favorite fitness tech company is going public. We were expecting this; Continue reading “What happens to late-stage VC if the Vision Fund goes away?”

Thumbtack is raising up to $120M on a flat valuation


This post is by Kate Clark from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


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Thumbtack, one of the first players in what is now known as the gig economy, has hit the fundraising circuit once again.

The online services marketplace that matches customers with nearby professionals is raising up to $120 million in Series H shares, according to a Delaware stock authorization filing uncovered by the Prime Unicorn Index. Thumbtack did not respond to a request for comment.

At more than 10 years old, the business has previously raised nearly $300 million in a combination of debt and equity funding. The upcoming round comes at a flat valuation to its 2015 Series G funding of $125 million, which valued Thumbtack at $1.3 billion. Scottish asset manager Baillie Gifford led that round, which increased its valuation roughly 60% from $804 million, according to PitchBook:

Thumbtack’s funding history

June 2009: $650,000 Series A | $3.3M valuation

Jan. 2012: $4.4M Series C | Continue reading “Thumbtack is raising up to $120M on a flat valuation”

Unraveling the ‘Secrets of Sand Hill Road’ and the VC thought process, with Andreessen Horowitz’s Scott Kupor


This post is by Arman Tabatabai from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


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Extra Crunch offers members the opportunity to tune into conference calls led and moderated by the TechCrunch writers you read every day. This week, TechCrunch’s Connie Loizos sat down with Scott Kupor, managing director at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz to dig into his new book Secrets of Sand Hill Road, discuss his advice for new founders dealing with VCs and to pick his brain on the opportunities that excite him most today.

Scott gained inspiration for Secrets of Sand Hill Road after realizing he was hearing the same questions from different entrepreneurs over his decade in venture. The book acts as an updated guide on what VCs actually do, how they think and how founders should engage with them.

Scott offers Connie his take on why, despite the influx of available information on the venture world, founders still view VC as a black box. Connie and Scott

Continue reading “Unraveling the ‘Secrets of Sand Hill Road’ and the VC thought process, with Andreessen Horowitz’s Scott Kupor”

Which type of funding is actually best for your business?


This post is by Arman Tabatabai from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


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When starting a tech company, there seems to be a playbook that most entrepreneurs follow. While some may start with a bit of bootstrapping, most will dive straight into raising seed money through investors. In many cases, this is a great path. It’s a path I’ve taken twice myself, first with GroupMe, and then again with Fundera.

Ironically, though, my second venture-backed company is a business focused on helping entrepreneurs find debt financing—a process I’ve gone through only once myself. But after five years of building and scaling this business, it’s made me take a step back and consider the question of when and where debt financing might be a better option for a business than equity financing, and vice versa.

I view these financing vehicles differently now than I did half a decade ago, and think it’s time we start to think a bit wider and diversely about

Continue reading “Which type of funding is actually best for your business?”

Fitness startup Mirror nears $300M valuation with fresh funding


This post is by Kate Clark from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


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Today, Peloton is a bonafide success. The company, which sells $2,245 internet-connected exercise bikes, boasts a $4 billion valuation and a cult following.

That hasn’t always been the case. For years, Peloton battled for venture capital investment and struggled to attract buyers. Now that it’s proven the market for tech-enabled home exercise equipment and affiliated subscription products, a whole bunch of startups are chasing down the same customer segment.

Mirror, a New York-based company that sells $1,495 full-length mirrors that double as interactive home gyms, is closing in a round of funding expected to reach $36 million, sources and Delaware stock filings confirm, at a valuation just under $300 million. It’s unclear who has signed on to lead the round; we’ve heard a number of high-profile firms looked at Mirror’s books and passed. The company has previously raised a total of $38 million from Spark Capital, First Round Capital, Lerer

Continue reading “Fitness startup Mirror nears $300M valuation with fresh funding”

Should your company move into a co-working space, sublease space or traditional office?


This post is by Arman Tabatabai from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


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It’s a cautionary tale we hear far too often: Company A, hiring staff and growing rapidly, finalized a 10-year lease for office space. One week after move-in they had filled their space to the brim, with engineers sitting on top of sales staff, interns working in the hallways and the CEO operating out of a small conference room.

Company A had backed themselves into a corner, in desperate need for more room with no easy solution to the problem, and looking to swiftly dispose of their inadequate space.

In the startup environment, everything moves at a breakneck pace. Raising venture capital, hiring staff, assembling a board, etc. – all while working day-in and day-out to refine a product or service meant to disrupt the world. With senior staff pulled in different directions, there is little time for a strategic analysis of office space needs.

My team at Colliers specializes in

We Work Offices In Chicago

Continue reading “Should your company move into a co-working space, sublease space or traditional office?”

Diving deep into Africa’s blossoming tech scene


This post is by Jake Bright from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


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Jumia may be the first startup you’ve heard of from Africa. But the e-commerce venture that recently listed on the NYSE is definitely not the first or last word in African tech.

The continent has an expansive digital innovation scene, the components of which are intersecting rapidly across Africa’s 54 countries and 1.2 billion people.

When measured by monetary values, Africa’s tech ecosystem is tiny by Shenzen or Silicon Valley standards.

But when you look at volumes and year over year expansion in VC, startup formation, and tech hubs, it’s one of the fastest growing tech markets in the world. In 2017, the continent also saw the largest global increase in internet users—20 percent.

If you’re a VC or founder in London, Bangalore, or San Francisco, you’ll likely interact with some part of Africa’s tech landscape for the first time—or more—in the near future.

That’s why TechCrunch put

Continue reading “Diving deep into Africa’s blossoming tech scene”

An insider’s look into venture with Andreessen Horowitz’s Scott Kupor


This post is by Arman Tabatabai from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


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After a decade in the peculiar world of venture capital, Andreessen Horowitz managing director Scott Kupor has seen it all when it comes to the dos and don’ts for dealing with Valley VCs and company building. In his new book Secrets of Sand Hill Road (available on June 3), Scott offers up an updated guide on what VCs actually do, how they think and how founders should engage with them.

TechCrunch’s Silicon Valley editor Connie Loizos will be sitting down with Scott for an exclusive conversation on Tuesday, June 4 at 11:00 am PT. Scott, Connie and Extra Crunch members will be digging into the key takeaways from Scott’s book, his experience in the Valley and the opportunities that excite him most today.

Tune in to join the conversation and for the opportunity to ask Scott and Connie any and all things venture.

To listen to this and all future Continue reading “An insider’s look into venture with Andreessen Horowitz’s Scott Kupor”

Is the tech press too positive in its coverage of startups?


This post is by Kate Clark from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

It’s our first week in the new TechCrunch podcast studio, or it was for Kate Clark and Chris Gates. Alex Wilhelm will be back in SF next week. For now, we fired up the mics and dug into what was a veritable barrage of news.

First, Paul Graham’s contentious comments. The co-founder of Y Combinator tweeted some criticism of the tech press on Thursday; naturally, Kate and Alex had a few thoughts. In summary, Graham doesn’t seem to understand what it is we tech journalists do, and that’s a problem.

Next up Continue reading “Is the tech press too positive in its coverage of startups?”

This longtime cannabis investor has funded Pax and Juul, among others; here’s her approach


This post is by Connie Loizos from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


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If you’re a cannabis investor or a founder working on a cannabis-related startup, you’ve probably heard of Poseidon Asset Management.

The San Francisco-based investment firm is one of very few that is focused narrowly on the industry, which remains fairly insular for now. Poseidon has also been at it longer than most outfits, having begun making bets on cannabis-related companies six years ago. More, Poseidon has managed to stuff checks into some of the fastest-growing companies in the sector, including the cannabis vaporizer company Pax Labs and the e-cigarette company Juul, whose founders created the Pax vaporizer before peeling off to win over smokers. Indeed, because Poseidon has largely invested the money of high-net-worth individuals and family offices, it hasn’t been constrained by the same vice clauses — or restrictions by backers like pension funds and other institutions — that can impact where venture capitalists invest.

Poseidon is notable Continue reading “This longtime cannabis investor has funded Pax and Juul, among others; here’s her approach”

XFactor, the early-stage VC that invests in women-led startups, raises a second fund


This post is by Jordan Crook from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


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XFactor, the pre-seed and seed-stage VC out of Flybridge Capital, has today announced that it has raised a second fund of $8.6 million.

XFactor first came on the scene in 2017 with $3 million. Flybridge Capital partner Chip Hazard started the fund alongside several female founders who were interested in getting into investment.

The idea is not just to fund startups led by at least one female, but also to give female founders a path into investing.

With Fund 2, XFactor is able to not only increase its check size from $100K to $150K, but it also makes room for more partners at the firm. From Fund 1, XFactor has grown from 9 investment partners to 23, operating in cities like LA, Seattle and Denver alongside original markets of Boston, NY and SF. Collectively, this group of women has raised more than $550 million in venture capital for Continue reading “XFactor, the early-stage VC that invests in women-led startups, raises a second fund”

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


This post is by Connie Loizos from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


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 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

VCs have discovered the Midwest


This post is by Danny Crichton from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


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 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


This post is by Megan Rose Dickey from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


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 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


This post is by Joanna Glasner from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


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 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


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


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 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