Category Archives: forerunner ventures

Glossier triples valuation, enters unicorn club with $100M round

Glossier, known for its flagship line of barely there beauty products, has landed a $100 million Series D led by Sequoia Capital. The round values Emily Weiss’ business at a whopping $1.2 billion, fully cementing the company as a startup “unicorn” and tripling the valuation it garnered with a $52 million Series C in 2018. News of the round was first reported by The Wall Street Journal and later confirmed by Glossier. “We are building an entirely new kind of beauty company: one that owns the distribution […]

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Digital publisher Serial Box raises $4.5M

Serial Box, a startup bringing back the tradition of serialized fiction, has raised $4.5 million in seed funding. The company actually disclosed the funding last week, when announcing a partnership to produce stories about Marvel characters, but it’s sharing more details about the round — namely, the fact that it was led by Boat Rocker Media, with participation from Forerunner Ventures, 2929 Entertainment co-founder Todd Wagner and Japanese business intelligence and media firm Uzabase. “We carefully chose trusted partners for this round of investment,” said co-founder and […]

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Airbnb agrees to acquire last-minute hotel-booking app HotelTonight

As Airbnb gears up for its big leap into the public markets, it’s expanding its accommodations platform to include more than just treehouses and quirky homes. Today, the company has confirmed its intent to acquire HotelTonight, the developer of a hotel-booking application that lets travelers arrange last-minute accommodations. The deal was previously reported by The Wall Street Journal, which wrote in January that negotiations for the transaction had “gone cold.” Airbnb is expected to complete an initial public offering as soon as this year, though co-founder and […]

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Ritual raises $25M for its subscription-based women’s daily vitamin

In the era of #spirtual and #physical #wellness, everything needs to be Instagrammable, even dietary supplements. Ritual, a subscription-based service that charges customers $30 per month for shipments of its women’s daily or prenatal vitamins, has effectively tapped into that Instagram crowd. The company admits its social media strategy has been key to harnessing a cult following of wellness enthusiasts. Since it was founded in 2015, the business has sold 1 million bottles of vitamins; today, it’s announcing a $25 million Series B funding led by Lisa Wu at […]

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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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Wellness startup Hims enters the unicorn club with $100M investment

Hims, known by many for its phallic New York subway advertisements, has raised an additional $100 million in venture capital funding on a pre-money valuation of $1 billion. The round was first reported by Recode and confirmed to TechCrunch by sources with knowledge of the deal. A growth-stage investor has led the round, which is ongoing, with participation from existing investors. Our source declined to name the lead investor but did say it was a “super big fund” that isn’t SoftBank and that hasn’t previously invested in Hims. […]

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A look at Birdies, the popular slipper shoe startup that just raised $8 million more from investors

Bianca Gates is a first-generation American, her parents having immigrated to the U.S. from Latin America. As such, she says, after graduating from UC Irvine, she was expected to get a safe job with a 401(k) plan and to live with her parents until she was married. Things haven’t gone exactly that way, but one can imagine Gates’s parents feeling pretty satisfied with their daughter’s trajectory nevertheless. The reason: Gates and Marisa Sharkey are the co-founders of Birdies, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based footwear brand that has made it […]

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Distinguished VCs back wholesale marketplace Faire with $100M at a $535M valuation

A slew of venture capitalists known for high-profile exits — Kirsten Green of Forerunner Ventures, Keith Rabois of Khosla Ventures, Alfred Lin of Sequoia Capital and Alex Taussig of Lightspeed Venture Partners — have invested in Faire (formerly known as Indigo Fair), a 2-year-old wholesale marketplace for artisanal products. A quick glance at Faire suggests it’s a combination of Pinterest and Etsy, complete with trendy, pastel stationery, soap, baby products and more, all made by independent artisans and sold to retailers. Faire has today announced a $100 million […]

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Farfetch bets on sneakers with $250M Stadium Goods acquisition

The lines between streetwear and luxury fashion have blurred in recent years, especially as excitement around sneaker brands like Yeezy and Off-White has soared. A marriage between a luxury fashion marketplace and a sneaker and streetwear reseller seems like a natural way to wrap up M&A in 2018. With that said, Farfetch has acquired New York-based Stadium Goods, opting to pay $250 million for the sneaker startup in a combination of cash and Farfetch stock. Headquartered in London, Farfetch went public on the New York Stock Exchange […]

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Men’s wellness startup hims has launched a line of women’s health products called hers

Exactly one year to the day since it launched its line of men’s health products, hims is announcing its foray into women’s wellness. The company is using its mountain of venture capital to support the new brand, called hers. In September, hims raised another $50 million in a round led by IVP.  The financing valued the startup, which has brought in $97 million to date, at $500 million, according to PitchBook. “Our goal is to help women make the most informed choices about their health at every stage […]

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