Category Archives: Bessemer Venture Partners

Startups Weekly: Flexport, Clutter and SoftBank’s blood money

The Wall Street Journal published a thought-provoking story this week, highlighting limited partners’ concerns with the SoftBank Vision Fund’s investment strategy. The fund’s “decision-making process is chaotic,” it’s over-paying for equity in top tech startups and it’s encouraging inflated valuations, sources told the WSJ. The report emerged during a particularly busy time for the Vision Fund, which this week led two notable VC deals in Clutter and Flexport, as well as participated in DoorDash’s $400 million round; more on all those below. So given all this SoftBank […]

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Pinterest files confidentially to go public

Visual search engine Pinterest has joined a long list of high-flying technology companies planning to go public in 2019. The business has confidentially submitted paperwork to the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering slated for later this year, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. Pinterest declined to comment. Founded in 2008 by Ben Silbermann, earlier reports indicated the company was planning to debut on the stock market in April. In late January, Pinterest took its first official step toward a 2019 IPO, hiring Goldman Sachs […]

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Startups Weekly: Spotify gets acquisitive and Instacart screws up

Did anyone else listen to season one of StartUp, Alex Blumberg’s OG Gimlet podcast? I did, and I felt like a proud mom this week reading stories of the major, first-of-its-kind Spotify acquisition of his podcast production company, Gimlet. Spotify also bought Anchor, a podcast monetization platform, signaling a new era for the podcasting industry. On top of that, Himalaya, a free podcast app I’d never heard of until this week, raised a whopping $100 million in venture capital funding to “establish itself as a new force in […]

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Startups Weekly: Even Gwyneth Paltrow had a hard time raising VC

I spent the week in Malibu attending Upfront Ventures’ annual Upfront Summit, which brings together the likes of Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Washington, DC’s elite for a two-day networking session of sorts. Cameron Diaz was there for some reason, and Natalie Portman made an appearance. Stacey Abrams had a powerful Q&A session with Lisa Borders, the president and CEO of Time’s Up. Of course, Gwyneth Paltrow was there to talk up Goop, her venture-funded commerce and content engine. “I had no idea what I was getting into […]

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Alphabet-backed Medicare Advantage startup Clover Health raises $500M

Despite a number of well-publicized hiccups, venture capitalists are betting another $500 million on health insurance provider Clover Health, TechCrunch has learned. Existing investor Greenoaks Capital led the round, according to the startup, which confirmed it was closing a new round of capital in the coming weeks. Clover Health has raised a total of $925 million to date, garnering a valuation of $1.2 billion with a $130 million Series D funding in 2017. The company, backed by Alphabet’s venture arm GV, Sequoia Capital, Floodgate, Bracket Capital, First Round Capital […]

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Startups Weekly: Is Munchery the Fyre Festival of startups?

It was a tough week. Journalists around the U.S. were hit hard by layoffs, from HuffPost to BuzzFeed News to Verizon Media Group, which owns this very site. The government entered day 35 of the shutdown before President Donald Trump agreed to a short-term deal to reopen it for three weeks. And in the startup world, a once high-flying, venture-subsidized food delivery startup crashed and burned, leaving a cluster of small businesses in its wreckage. Some good things happened too — we’ll get to those. Munchery fails to […]

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Report: Pinterest may go public as soon as April

Pinterest may follow Lyft and Uber to the public markets in the first half of 2019, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The visual search engine and shopping tool is expected to tap underwriters in January and complete an initial public offering as soon as April. The company was valued at just over $12 billion with its last private fundraise, a $150 million round in mid-2017, and is on pace to bring in $700 million in revenue this year. The company, founded in 2008 […]

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Construction management software developer Procore raises $75 million at a $3 billion valuation

Procore Technologies, a provider of software to manage construction projects, is now worth $3 billion thanks to a new $75 million round of funding led by Tiger Global Management. The new funding shows just how completely software has eaten the world. Once considered an industry that was too analog to ever reap the benefits of technology’s management tools, software and services for the construction industry have seen some big exits and big money come in over the past three years. Unicorns abound among the companies that are […]

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Insurance startup Bright Health raises $200M at ~$950M valuation

A flurry of digital-first insurers are betting they can surpass industry incumbents with a little help from technology and a lot of help from venture capitalists. The latest to land a massive check is Bright Health, a Minneapolis-headquartered provider of affordable individual, family and Medicare Advantage healthcare plans in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, New York City, Ohio and Tennessee. The company, founded by the former chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare Bob Sheehy; Kyle Rolfing, the former CEO of UnitedHealth-acquired Definity Health; and Tom Valdivia, another former Definity Health executive, has brought in a $200 million […]

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What every startup founder should know about exits

Benjamin Joffe Contributor Benjamin Joffe is a partner at HAX. More posts by this contributor 70 years of VC innovation 2017 crowdfunding guide The dream of a startup founder can often be summarized by the following well-intentioned, and mostly delusional quote: “We’ll raise a few rounds and in a few years we’ll IPO on Nasdaq.” But a more likely scenario looks something like this.: You invest a few years of hard work to build something of value. One day you receive an acquisition offer out of the blue. […]

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