Category Archives: upfront ventures

Sources: Bird is in talks to acquire scooter startup Scoot

If you are among those who thought that the scooter market sounded a little overhyped and overcrowded, we’ve gotten wind of a deal that could point to some impending consolidation. The on-demand scooter business Bird has agreed to acquire Scoot, a smaller two-wheeled mobility startup, sources tell TechCrunch. The stage of the negotiations is not clear although from what our sources tell us, it sounds like the deal is not closed. Contacted for a response, both Scoot and Bird said they declined to comment on speculation. If accurate, […]

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Meet Projector, collaborative design software for the Instagram age

Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures bonded with Trevor O’Brien in prison. The pair, Suster was quick to clarify, were on site at a correctional facility in 2017 to teach inmates about entrepreneurship as part of a workshop hosted by Defy Ventures, a nonprofit organization focused on addressing the issue of mass incarceration. They hit it off, sharing perspectives on life and work, Suster recounted to TechCrunch. So when O’Brien, a former director of product management at Twitter, mentioned he was in the early days of building a […]

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The Wing poaches Snap’s comms director

Women-focused co-working space The Wing has hired Rachel Racusen as vice president of communications. Racusen has been the director of communications at Snap, the developer of Snapchat, since late 2016. Racusen’s exit represents the latest in a series of departures at the “camera company.” Earlier this year, the company’s chief financial officer Tim Stone stepped down. Shortly after, The Wall Street Journal reported that Snap had fired its global security head Francis Racioppi after an investigation uncovered that he had engaged in an inappropriate relationship with an […]

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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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E-scooter startup Bird is raising another $300M

Electric scooter startup Bird is said to be nearing a deal to extend its Series C funding with an additional $300 million led by cross-over investor Fidelity, according to an Axios report. Bird declined to comment. Fidelity has not previously invested in Bird and is reportedly doing so at a flat pre-money valuation of $2 billion, which Bird earned with a $300 million Sequoia-led financing in June. Santa Monica-based Bird has raised more than $400 million in venture capital funding to date from investors, including Accel, CRV, […]

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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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Startup Grind founders raise $6.4M for community event platform Bevy

The founders of entrepreneurial community Startup Grind have a startup of their own — Bevy, which announced today that it has raised $6.4 million in Series A funding. The funding comes from Upfront Ventures, author Steve Blank, Qualtrics founders Ryan Smith and Jared Smith, and Pluralsight CEO Aaron Skonnard. CEO Derek Andersen (who founded and runs both Bevy and Startup Grind with CTO Joel Fernandes) said that the product was created to deal with Startup Grind’s challenges as the team tried to organize events using a mix […]

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