Category Archives: founders fund

The Silicon Valley exodus continues

For a long time, it was the norm for founders to haul their hardware to the 3000 block of Sand Hill Road, where the venture capitalists of “Silicon Valley” would be awaiting their pitches. Today, many of the investors that touted the exclusivity of “The Valley” have moved north to San Francisco, where they have better access to top entrepreneurs. Y Combinator, a Silicon Valley institution and to many the lifeblood of the startups and venture capital ecosystem, is the latest to pack up shop. YC, which […]

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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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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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Postmates lines up another $100M ahead of IPO

Postmates, one of the earlier entrants to the billion-dollar food delivery wars, has raised an additional $100 million in equity funding at a $1.85 billion valuation, as first reported by Recode and confirmed to TechCrunch by Postmates. The round comes four months after the eight-year-old startup drove home a $300 million investment that finally knocked it into “unicorn” territory. New investor BlackRock has joined the funding round alongside Tiger Global, which served as the lead investor of Postmates’ September financing. Led by co-founder and chief executive officer Bastian […]

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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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Zizoo, a booking.com for boats, sails for new markets with $7.4M on board

Berlin-based Zizoo — a startup which self describes as booking.com for boats — has nabbed a €6.5 million (~$7.4M) Series A to help more millennials find holiday yachts to mess about taking selfies in. Zizoo says its Series A — which was led by Revo Capital, with participation from new investors including Coparion, Check24 Ventures and PUSH Ventures — was “significantly oversubscribed”. Existing investors including MairDumont Ventures, aws Founders Fund, Axel Springer Digital Ventures and Russmedia International also participated in the round. We first came across Zizoo some three years […]

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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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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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