Category Archives: Startups

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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Fortnite goes big on esports for 2019 with $100 million prize pool

Epic Games, maker of the ultra popular Battle Royale game Fortnite, is putting up another $100 million in prize cash for competitive tournaments in 2019. The company made waves in the esports world last year, announcing a $100 million prize pool for the 2018 competitive year, dwarfing every other competitive title in one fell swoop. This year, a significant portion of the $100 million will be awarded to participants of the first-ever Fortnite World Cup. Each of the 200 players who qualify and compete will walk away […]

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Report: Zoom, the video conferencing company, may be a public company as early as April

The video conferencing company Zoom is aiming to file a public S-1 by the end of March, according to a new report in Business Insider that adds the company could go public as soon as April. Business Insider reported last month that Zoom had filed confidentially with the SEC to go public, just months after Reuters reported that the San Jose, Calif.-based company had chosen investment bank Morgan Stanley to lead its eventual IPO. We’ve reached out to the company for comment. Zoom was valued at $1 […]

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Pinstagram? Instagram code reveals Public Collections feature

Instagram is threatening to attack Pinterest just as it files to go public the same way the Facebook-owned app did to Snapchat. Code buried in Instagram for Android shows the company has prototyped an option to create public “Collections” to which multiple users can contribute. Instagram launched private Collections two years ago to let you Save and organize your favorite feed posts. But by allowing users to make Collections public, Instagram would become a direct competitor to Pinterest. Instagram public Collections could spark a new medium of […]

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Showfields raises $9M for a more flexible approach to brick-and-mortar retail

Showfields, which helps online brands move into offline, brick-and-mortar retail, is announcing that it’s raised $9 million in seed funding. “Our thesis was simple: Make the process of becoming physical as easy as becoming digital,” co-founder and CEO Tal Zvi Nathanel told me. I’ve written about other companies, like Bulletin, promising a more flexible approach to real-world retail. But one of the things that’s impressive about Showfields is the sheer size of its flagship space — Nathanel said the company has signed a lease for 14,000 square feet […]

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Circle raises $20m Series B to help even more parents limit screen time

Circle makes a fantastic screen time management tool and today the company announced a round of funding to help fuel its growth. The $20 million series B included participation from Netgear and T-Mobile, along with Third Kind Venture Capital and follow-on investments from Relay Ventures and other Series A participants. With this round of funding, Circle has raised over $30 million to date including a Series A from 2017. According to the company, Circle intends to use the funds to expand its product offering and form new […]

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Podcasting startup WaitWhat raises $4.3M as interest in audio content explodes

WaitWhat, the digital content production engine behind LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman’s Masters of Scale podcast, has secured a $4.3 million Series A investment led by Cue Ball Capital and Burda Principal Investments. Launched in January 2017, WaitWhat will use the cash to create additional media properties across a variety of mediums, including podcasts. Investors are gravitating toward podcast startups as consumer interest in original audio content skyrockets. Podcasting, though an infantile industry that hit just $314 million in revenue in 2017, is maturing, raking in venture capital rounds […]

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DoorDash raises $400M round, now valued at $7.1B

Delivery company DoorDash is announcing that it has raised $400 million in Series F financing. Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported that the company was looking to raise $500 million at a valuation of $6 billion or more. In fact, DoorDash now says the funding came at a $7.1 billion valuation. The round was led by Temasek and Dragoneer Investment Group, with participation from previous investors SoftBank Vision Fund, DST Global, Coatue Management, GIC, Sequoia Capital and Y Combinator. DoorDash has been raising money at […]

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As shared kitchens heat up, a China-based startup, Panda Selected, nabs $50 million led by Tiger Global

A few weeks ago, we told you that former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick looks to be partnering with the former COO of the bike-sharing startup Ofo, Yanqi Zhang, to bring his new L.A.-based company, CloudKitchens, to China. Kalanick didn’t respond to our request for more information, but according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), his plan is to provide local food businesses with real estate, facilities management, technology and marketing services. He might want to move quickly. Kitchens that invite restaurants to share their space to focus on […]

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Sunsama’s $10/month task management calendar cleans up your online productivity

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard friends lament how difficult it is to find a decent calendar app. The stock calendar apps are certainly serviceable, but there’s so much that they can’t handle in terms of managing and prioritizing tasks. Sunsama, launching out of Y Combinator’s latest batch, is taking a crack at solving the calendar conundrum with a $10-per-month professionals-focused productivity planner. Co-founders Ashutosh Priyadarshy and Travis Meyer began with the idea that the relationship between task managers and calendars were a […]

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