Category Archives: founders fund

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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The tactics behind The Athletic’s breakout success in sports subscriptions

Local newspapers may be shuttering and people may be consuming most news on social media, but don’t tell Alex Mather that a subscription news publication can’t grow like a unicorn startup. His 2-year-old sports publisher The Athletic has gained over 100,000 paid subscribers (60 percent under age 34) and has a 90 percent retention rate. Having already raised $30 million in its short life, the company announced a new $40 million Series C yesterday, led by Founders Fund and Bedrock Capital. It reportedly values The Athletic around $200 […]

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Summersalt raises $6M for its direct-to-consumer line of eco-friendly swimsuits

Founders Fund has led the $6 million Series A for Summersalt, an early-stage e-commerce startup embracing the next-gen consumer’s penchant for inclusivity and affordability. Headquartered in St. Louis, the 1-year old company sells swimsuits designed in-house with eco-friendly fabrics directly to consumers. Like other D2C brands, Summersalt cuts out the middlemen to give its customers access to its swimsuits for $95 or less. What sets it apart is its data-focused fit system. With a patent on recommending garments based on body type and consumer preference, it uses more […]

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China is funding the future of American biotech

Silicon Valley is in the midst of a health craze, and it is being driven by “Eastern” medicine. It’s been a record year for US medical investing, but investors in Beijing and Shanghai are now increasingly leading the largest deals for US life science and biotech companies. In fact, Chinese venture firms have invested more this year into life science and biotech in the US than they have back home, providing financing for over 300 US-based companies, per Pitchbook. That’s the story at Viela Bio, a Maryland-based company exploring treatments […]

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Safety and inspection bot startup Gecko Robotics adds $7 million to the coffers

Gecko Robotics aims to save human lives at our nation’s power plants with its wall-climbing robots. To continue doing so, the startup tells TechCrunch it has just secured $7 million from a cadre of high-profile sources, including Founders Fund, Mark Cuban, The Westly Group, Justin Kan and Y Combinator. We first reported on the Pittsburgh-based company when co-founder Jake Loosararian came to the TechCrunch TV studios to show off his device for the camera. Back then, Gecko was in the YC Spring 2016 cohort, working with several U.S. power plants […]

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While tech waffles on going public, biotech IPOs boom

For people who make investment decisions based on revenues and projected earnings, biotech IPOs are kind of a non-starter. Not only are new market entrants universally unprofitable, most have zero revenue. Going public is mostly a means to raise money for clinical trials, with red ink expected for years to come. That pattern may be one reason the venture capital press, Crunchbase News included, tends to devote a disproportionately small portion of coverage to biotech IPOs. It’s more exciting to watch a big-name internet company pop in first-day trading or poke fun at […]

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Cyan Banister to tell her story at Disrupt SF

When we look around at some of the Silicon Valley superstars, it’s easy to wonder how they got here. Was it luck? Brute force? Wits? Charm? At Disrupt SF, Founders Fund partner Cyan Banister is going to tell her story, and it might not be the narrative you’d expect. Not everyone in Silicon Valley goes to Stanford or Harvard, but sometimes it’s that alternative perspective that gives someone a leg up. Banister’s history isn’t what you’d expect, and at Disrupt SF she’ll explain where she came from […]

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