May 06, 2021
Material Bank Raises $100 Million Series C to Fuel Continued Growth Across its Technology and Logistics Platform
MIAMI, May 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Material Bank, the world’s largest marketplace for searching and sampling architectural, design, and construction materials, today announced it has secured $100 million in Series C funding co-led by General Catalyst and Durable Capital Partners LP, with participation from BOND, Lead Edge Capital and existing investors Bain Capital Ventures and Raine Ventures. This round brings Material Bank's total funding to $157 million. Material Bank will use the capital to fuel continued momentum, scale teams and infrastructure, expand into new verticals, make strategic acquisitions, and seed long-term growth initiatives.
Bob Mylod, who joined this round through Annox Capital and has led the board of directors of defining digital commerce companies such as Booking Holdings, RedFin, and Vroom, will be joining Material Bank’s Board of Directors to help further the company’s accelerated growth.
Material Bank provides scalable digital commerce by seamlessly connecting global material brands with specifiers and buyers. Material Bank members can search across hundreds of brands on a single site, order samples until midnight (ET), and receive everything in one box by 10:30 am the next day, anywhere in the continental US. In addition to improving the speed of searching and sampling materials, Material Bank provides design professionals with a sustainable solution in their specification process. By aggregating samples from multiple brands into a single box, Material Bank creates massive efficiencies, saving members valuable time while having eliminated more than one million packages from being shipped in the last two years. All orders are shipped 100% carbon neutral and unneeded materials can be returned at no cost to be reused.
With 375 brands and over 65,000 members performing almost 700,000 material searches a month, Material Bank has achieved rapid adoption and tripled its revenue in 2020. Today, the design industry’s most comprehensive materials marketplace is powered by a new, 380,000 square foot logistics facility, located just minutes from FedEx’s World Hub in Memphis, TN. This new facility, which is almost 5x the size of the company's original location, uses autonomous robots to service tens of thousands of sample requests every night.
“Material Bank has fundamentally transformed and modernized the way the design industry searches, samples and specifies materials, and has quickly become the standard for the architecture and design community,” said Material Bank Founder, Chairman and CEO Adam I. Sandow. “We were strategic with this raise and are thrilled to announce the support from this dynamic group of investors that have come together in this round. With a core business that turned profitable last year, this new capital added to our company’s strong balance sheet and will allow us to build upon our considerable momentum and accelerate growth opportunities."
About Material Bank®
Material Bank is a marketplace for design professionals and brands in the architecture and design industry, providing the fastest and most powerful way to discover and sample materials. The revolutionary platform powers complex searches across hundreds of brands in seconds. Samples ordered by midnight (ET) are delivered in a single box by 10:30 AM the next day—always free for design professionals. With a rapidly growing community of members, Material Bank is the easiest way for brands to connect with thousands of vetted design professionals in the specification process.
About General Catalyst
General Catalyst is a venture capital firm that invests in powerful, positive change that endures — for our entrepreneurs, our investors, our people, and society. We support founders with a long-term view who challenge the status quo, partnering with them from seed to growth stage and beyond to build companies that withstand the test of time. With offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto, New York City, and Boston, the firm has helped support the growth of businesses such as: Airbnb, Deliveroo, Guild, Gusto, Hubspot, Illumio, Lemonade, Livongo, Oscar, Snap, Stripe, and Warby Parker. For more: www.generalcatalyst.com.
About Durable Capital Partners LP
Durable Capital Partners LP is an investment adviser founded by Henry Ellenbogen. Durable Capital Partners LP's investment philosophy is focused on sourcing small and mid-cap compounders in both the private and public markets. Prior to founding Durable Capital Partners LP, Henry spent 18 years at T. Rowe Price, where he was Portfolio Manager of the Media & Telecom Fund (2005 - 2009) and the New Horizons Fund (2010 - March 2019). Henry was also T. Rowe Price's Chief Investment Officer for U.S. Equity Growth.
Read the full article here: www.globenewswire.com
April 28, 2021
Digital Pharmacy Capsule Tops $1 Billion With New Capital Raise
Online pharmacy Capsule Corp. raised $300 million in a round that Chief Executive Officer Eric Kinariwala said values the six-year-old startup company at more than $1 billion for the first time.
Capsule plans to use the funds to expand to new markets and invest in its technology, Kinariwala said in an interview. The company has expanded beyond prescriptions through an app that connects people with more health offerings, such as telemedicine and mental-health services.
“We’re just incredibly excited about the next 10 years for the business, both continuing to innovate for the consumer and making her life easy and seamless but also to help a partner across the health-care system,” Kinariwala said.
Capsule has grown from its New York City base to more than a dozen markets, including Chicago, Los Angeles and Minneapolis. The company will use some of the proceeds of the fund-raising to expand to new areas. Kinariwala declined to specify future locations, saying the goal is to reach 100 million people by the end of 2021.
Capsule has raised $570 million since it was founded in 2015. The round values the company at more than $1 billion, Kinariwala said, declining to specify the exact amount. Its previous fund raising in 2019 put Capsule at $400 million, according to PitchBook.
The pharmacy industry is increasingly a crowded space. U.S. prescription drug dispensing revenue reached a record $465 billion last year, according to the Drug Channels Institute, attracting attention from startups and larger companies.
Buzzy newcomers like Capsule are targeting younger customers who don’t want to visit a pharmacy in person. Stalwarts like CVS Health Corp. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. are introducing perks, such as free delivery, to keep up with consumers. E-commerce behemoth Amazon Inc. is building an online health-care business expected to disrupt pharmacies like it has so many other areas.
“It’s an enormous industry,” said Jared Weinstein, a partner at Thrive Capital, which has invested in all of Capsule’s rounds. “It’s a really important category to offer a better solution to consumers. We’re confident Capsule is at the leading edge of doing that.”
Kinariwala says Capsule wants to create a single place where consumers can access all of their health-care needs, even if those come from other companies. He compares Capsule’s model to an iPhone that hosts apps that aren’t made by Apple. For example, mental health company Ginger partners with Capsule to fill patients’ prescriptions.
“The long-term ambition of Capsule is that it is the single place where consumers can access all of the needs that they have in their health care in a single, simple, holistic place, and we’re doing that in a way that brings everybody else that’s building different parts of health care together versus trying to own all of those things ourselves,” Kinariwala said.
Read the full article here: www.bloomberg.com
February 8, 2021
Enlightened Hospitality Investments, 32 Equity (NFL's Investment Arm), PFNYC Headline Funding Round, Showcasing Range of Industries Committed to Company's Vision
NEW YORK, Feb. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- CLEAR, the secure identity company, has completed a strategic funding round of $100 million headlined by Danny Meyer's Enlightened Hospitality Investments, 32 Equity (the investment arm of the National Football League (NFL)) and the Partnership Fund for New York City, showcasing the rapid expansion and evolution of CLEAR's partner universe. CLEAR has built a trusted reputation providing over 5 million members frictionless journeys across multiple industries. This investment will continue to accelerate the company's growth as a platform that transforms both physical and digital experiences to make it safer and easier for customers and partners.
CLEAR most recently launched "Health Pass," a mobile application that makes it safer and easier for people to get back to doing what they know and love. Health Pass connects members' identity to COVID-related information, including vaccination results, to reduce public health risk and help re-start the economy. Health Pass is currently being used to help reimagine the future of sports, work, travel and coming together in a post-COVID world. With vaccines being administered across the country, Health Pass securely links and validates individuals' vaccination credentials and will have access to the majority of healthcare facilities, pharmacies, and state-authorized vaccination centers. More than 35 organizations are currently using Health Pass to create safer environments, including the National Hockey League (with whom CLEAR has signed a league-wide partnership), MGM Resorts, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and nine NBA teams.
New investors joining this round showcase CLEAR's reach beyond its core aviation business and include: Enlightened Hospitality Investments, Liberty Media, LionTree Partners, Michael Jordan's family office, The Partnership Fund for New York City (investment arm of the Partnership for New York City), 32 Equity and Jim Murren, Stephen Cloobeck's Safely LV. LionTree Advisors also served as Financial Advisor to CLEAR.
Existing investors in CLEAR participating in this round include: BOND, Durable Capital Partners LP, General Atlantic and Revolution Growth.
"Since 2010, CLEAR's vision has remained constant: to provide our members frictionless journeys that make it easy to experience what they love doing best," said CLEAR CEO and Founder Caryn Seidman-Becker. "With this new investment and our committed partners, we are ready to double down and make this vision possible at a time when it's more important than ever to be able to come together safely."
"I've seen firsthand how powerful CLEAR's technology can be with Health Pass creating safer working environments for our team members at Union Square Hospitality Group," said Danny Meyer, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Enlightened Hospitality Investments. "And for many years I've experienced the exceptional hospitality CLEAR extends at every touch point. We are proud to call CLEAR a partner and thrilled to be a part of their future with our investment."
"The Partnership Fund is proud to invest in CLEAR's Health Pass technology and applauds its commitment to New York's economic recovery," said Maria Gotsch, President and CEO of the Partnership Fund for New York City. "Expanding its use will get New Yorkers moving again confidently and restore its place as the preeminent city in the world."
"To reopen our brick and mortar economy and restore the personal interactions that make New York the most vibrant and connected city in the world, we need the CLEAR Health Pass. That is why we are encouraging businesses to embrace the CLEAR model so they can bring people back to the office and ensure the safety of our shops, restaurants, theaters and entertainment venues much more quickly than would otherwise be possible," said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City.
This funding round is focused on growing CLEAR beyond its core aviation business, with strategic investments in acquisitions and other corporate development opportunities that will position CLEAR as the technology platform to create frictionless journeys. This investment will also focus on new customer adoption, hiring and technology development as CLEAR continues to diversify and expand its footprint.
Health Pass Partners: A Growing Network Expanding Every Day
NHL 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Los Angeles Football Club
New York Mets
Little Caesars Arena
9/11 Memorial & Museum
Chop't / Dos Toros
Union Square Hospitality Group
MGM Resorts International
Shearman & Sterling
CLEAR is a leader in identity and access, with more than 5 million users and 55+ locations across the United States. CLEAR links identity with different information sets, including: credit cards, tickets to the game, reservations, frequent flyer numbers, flight manifests, health care identification, driver's licenses and passports. CLEAR's data security framework meets the highest standards for performance and for protecting sensitive information — FISMA High- and SAFETY Act-certified by the Department of Homeland Security. CLEAR's users are always in control of their data and CLEAR does not sell user information. To learn more, visit www.clearme.com.
Read the full article here: www.prnewswire.com
January 25, 2021
Digital Fingerprinting Provides Digital Twin for Every Manufactured Part
Alitheon’s FeaturePrint ID is a universal identity asset for virtually any product. Through mature machine vision and statistical methods, even the most resistant objects can now be securely identified again and again. Every industry has struggled to identify and trace its goods, a deeply consequential issue in a world of autonomous and connected products. Now with FeaturePrintID every object, whether manufactured of metal, plastic, fibers, or even wood, can simply identify itself?
Alitheon’s FeaturePrint technology transforms how objects, components and finished products are authenticated, tracked and traced across supply chains and distribution systems throughout the world. Once registered by Alitheon’s optical artificial intelligence system, any individual item can be subsequently identified wherever it exists to verify authenticity, determine place and time of origin, detect signs of tampering, measure wear and identify grey market and counterfeit products including unauthorized ‘over runs’ and previously rejected products.
With FeaturePrint ID manufacturers can virtually prove a physical object’s true digital identity. FeaturePrint ID represents product surfaces as math formulas, ready for on-demand verification via industrial cameras or simple handheld apps.
FeaturePrint algorithms encode any item’s unique image traits into a compact dataset typically 10% of the size of the original image. This data transfers easily across site networks and applications. As a pure math model, the FeaturePrint ID contains no product class, image, or user information. This structure ensures every object is both precisely known and automatically protected from tampering. In milliseconds, contactless algorithms discover the unique details of individual objects, distinguishing one item from millions.
Alitheon’s FeaturePrint software works with standard cameras to see and remember products with certainty. FeaturePrint ID’s are digital assets that link a business application to individual products.
Alitheon’s core registration and authentication functions are built to accommodate industrial physical and environmental challenges.
Instant Digital Twin For Every Single Manufactured Part
Key application and research topics include:
– Verifying obscured, worn, or contaminated products
– Maintaining insensitivity to product orientations or rotation
– Processing batches of parts and parts in motion
– Versioning to support item-level audit histories
– Validating multiple components in assembly relationships
In January 2020 Alitheon announced the close of $14.9 million in venture capital financing to expand its FeaturePrint technology across the defense, aerospace, aviation services, automotive, semiconductor, luxury goods, additive manufacturing, pharmaceutical and government sectors. Participants in the round included BMW i Ventures, IPD Capital and Shasta Ventures alongside current and former senior management from Accenture, Boeing and Fidelity.
“Relying on no-touch digital traceability, our software identifies nearly any item with machine vision whereby the true, precise identity of each item is unlocked without any physical contact or alterations,” stated David Mills, Director of Product Management. “We’re really a complementary tech to metrology processes, adding precision item identity and traceability to detailed metrology information already being gathered and used for that same item.”
Alitheon has 41 issued patents with many more pending, and its founders have three decades of experience developing expert and AI systems for identifying product tampering, counterfeiting and security threats. Alitheon’s founders helped create the first machine vision-based explosives detection systems and have also developed fraud detection systems, satellite image analysis software and other mission-critical automated systems for governments, corporations and non-profits worldwide.
“Alitheon’s ability to identify an item using only the object itself, independent of markings, tags or other modifications, is groundbreaking,” said Marcus Behrendt, Partner, BMW i Ventures. “FeaturePrint technology has the potential to bring a new level of trust to supply chains that does not currently exist.”
For more information: www.alitheon.com
October 8, 2020
EY Announces Howard Krass of IPD Analytics, LLC as Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2020 Florida Award Winner
Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced that Howard Krass of IPD Analytics, LLC was named an Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2020 Florida Award winner. The Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards program is one of the preeminent competitive awards for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies. The award recognizes those entrepreneurial leaders who are excelling in overcoming adversity; financial performance; societal impact and commitment to building a values-based company; innovation; and talent management. Howard Krass was selected by an independent judging panel. The award was announced through the program’s first-ever virtual awards gala, hosted by Deborah Norville, anchor of Inside Edition, on October 8, 2020.
Since 1986, EY US has honored entrepreneurs whose ingenuity, spirit of innovation and tenacity have driven their companies’ success, transformed their industries and made a positive impact on their communities. Howard Krass will go on to become a lifetime member of the esteemed multi-industry community of award winners, with exclusive, ongoing access to the experience, insight and wisdom of fellow alumni and other ecosystem members in over 60 countries — all supported by vast EY resources.
As a Florida award winner, Howard Krass is now eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020 National Awards. Award winners, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced Thursday, November 19, during a virtual awards gala. The awards are the culminating event of this year’s virtual Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. The Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner will then move on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award in June 2021.
About Entrepreneur Of The Year®
Entrepreneur Of The Year® is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for unstoppable entrepreneurs. These visionary leaders deliver innovation, growth and prosperity that transform our world. The program engages entrepreneurs with insights and experiences that foster growth. It connects them with their peers to strengthen entrepreneurship around the world. Entrepreneur Of The Year is the first and only truly global awards program of its kind. It celebrates entrepreneurs through regional and national awards programs in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries. Winners go on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ title. ey.com/us/eoy
About EY Private
As Advisors to the ambitious™, EY Private professionals possess the experience and passion to support private businesses and their owners in unlocking the full potential of their ambitions. EY Private teams offer distinct insights born from the long EY history of working with business owners and entrepreneurs. These teams support the full spectrum of private enterprises including private capital managers and investors and the portfolio businesses they fund, business owners, family businesses, family offices and entrepreneurs. Visit ey.com/private
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, strategy, transaction and consulting services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.
EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information about how EY collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights individuals have under data protection legislation are available via ey.com/privacy. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.
Read the full article here: ey.com
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October 8, 2020
EY Announces Winners for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2020
Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) is pleased to announce the winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year® Florida Award. Entrepreneur Of The Year® is one of the preeminent competitive business awards for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies. This group of unstoppable entrepreneurial leaders transforming our world was selected by an independent judging panel made up of previous award winners. Florida award winners were unveiled during the program’s first-ever virtual awards gala, hosted by Deborah Norville, anchor of Inside Edition, on October 8, 2020. To watch the replay, visit the Florida program website.
"We've seen some truly inspiring and innovative entrepreneurs come through our program over the years. There are many successful entrepreneurs in this world, but building something of long-term value takes incredible grit, persistence and ambition," said Mike Pattillo, Entrepreneur Of The Year Florida Program Director. "We are proud to announce the 2020 Florida winners, unstoppable leaders who have thrived in adversity and continue to fuel growth around the globe. They are a wonderful addition to our global alumni community of past winners, and we look forward to supporting them as they continue to make an impact.”
The winners for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020 Florida Award are:
Nancy Smith | Analytic Partners, Miami, FL
Chris Gannon | Bolay Restaurant Partners, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Joey D. Batchelor | Guardian Fueling Technologies, LLC, Jacksonville, FL
Maurice R. Ferré, MD | Insightec, Inc., Miami, FL
Howard B. Krass | IPD Analytics, LLC, Aventura, FL
Dagan T. Kasavana | Phoenix Tower International, Boca Raton, FL
Taylor Hamilton and Jesse Tomalty | reCommerce, Deerfield Beach, FL
Nominees were evaluated based on six criteria, including overcoming adversity; financial performance; societal impact and commitment to building a values-based company; innovation; and talent management.
Read the full article here: www.ey.com
October 8, 2020
The round also includes new investors Franklin Templeton, SteelSky Ventures, and Olive Tree Capital; and existing Lark investors Lightspeed Ventures, Asset Management Ventures, Dr. Jonathan Fielding of UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and Weili Dai, cofounder of Marvell. Lark has raised a total of over $100 million in equity and debt funding to date.
Having managed nearly two million patients on its platform, Lark will use the funds to further expand its relationships with commercial payers and telehealth providers for chronic disease prevention and management.
For example, Lark will expand its relationship with Anthem-affiliated health plans to power digital coaching through the health plans’ mobile app. In addition, Lark is now the Preferred Provider for its Diabetes Prevention Program to these Anthem-affiliated health plans. Lark’s DPP has received the highest level of clinical recognition – Full Recognition – from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Anthem’s affiliated health plans strive to build a digital-first experience that can deliver innovative products and services, focused on improving consumers’ health and wellbeing,” said Rajeev Ronanki, Anthem’s Chief Digital Officer. “Lark’s use of conversational A.I. to scale personalized, evidence-based, and engaging healthcare services can help achieve health outcomes on-par with programs based on in-person interactions.”
Lark’s programs provide members with unlimited 24/7 personal counseling in real-time in an easy-to-use, text message-like modality. Powered by conversational A.I., the platform seamlessly addresses the whole person, with counseling for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, prediabetes, smoking cessation, stress, anxiety, and weight management, and it incorporates smart connected devices, like blood pressure cuffs, scales, and glucose meters, that sync with the program to help remotely monitor conditions.
When an emergent situation or complex question arises such as a needed medication change, Lark brings the member to a live interaction telephonically or provides a recommended next step. – BusinessNewsAsia.com
Read the full article here: businessnewsasia.com
August 1, 2020
Alitheon, a Bellevue, Wash.-based machine vision software company, closed a $14.9m venture capital financing.
Backers included BMW i Ventures, IPD Capital and Shasta Ventures alongside current and former senior management from Accenture, Boeing and Fidelity.
The company intends to use the funds to expand its FeaturePrint™ technology across the defense, aerospace, aviation services, automotive, semiconductor, luxury goods, additive manufacturing, pharmaceutical and government sectors.
Led by Scot E. Land, CEO and Co-Founder, Alitheon is a leader in advanced machine vision and artificial intelligence and creator of FeaturePrint™, a patented system that connects the physical and digital worlds via a secure and immutable link. The technology enables the authentication, the tracking and the tracing of objects, components and finished products across supply chains and distribution systems throughout the world. Once registered by Alitheon’s optical artificial intelligence system, any individual item can be subsequently identified wherever it exists to verify authenticity, determine place and time of origin, detect signs of tampering, measure wear and identify grey market and counterfeit products including unauthorized “over runs” and previously rejected products.
Read the full article here: finsmes.com
June 12, 2019
Sense Photonics, a company building the next generation of LiDAR and 3D sensor solutions for autonomous vehicles, industrial equipment and other applications, announced today that they have closed a $26 million Series A funding round.
The round was co-led by Acadia Woods and Congruent Ventures, with participation from a number of other investors, including Prelude Ventures, Samsung Ventures, Shell Ventures, Hemi Ventures and IPD Capital.
The company's cutting-edge, fully solid-state LiDAR system ushers in a new era of advanced 3D imaging technology designed from the ground up to meet the cost, performance and safety requirements for automotive and industrial applications. Based on a unique 'flash' architecture, Sense Photonics' systems have no moving parts and do not scan at all. This approach enables high resolution across wide horizontal and vertical fields-of-view without compromising frame rate. In addition, the company's camera-inspired design is highly manufacturable and enables small, customizable form factors critical for seamless integration into vehicles.
"We are very appreciative of this strong vote of investor confidence in our team and our technology," said Scott Burroughs, CEO, Sense Photonics. "The demand we've encountered – even while operating in stealth mode – has been extraordinary. We look forward to announcing our first products over the next few months and ramping up volume production."
"Congruent is excited to work with Sense Photonics and its outstanding leadership team to help bring innovation to the autonomous vehicle and robotics space," said Josh Posamentier, managing partner, Congruent Ventures. "The technology that the Sense Photonics team is working on is years ahead of the competition, and we think they are poised to disrupt multiple markets."
Samsung Ventures invested in Sense Photonics based upon its opinion that Sense Photonics' proprietary laser and sensor technologies represent a significant innovation in fundamental LiDAR technology that could have an important impact on automotive and industrial 3D sensing in the future.
Sense Photonics' Series A funding will be used for continued development and commercialization of its sensor technology and the transition to high volume manufacturing. The company is currently in early sales with select early-engagement partners in both the automotive and industrial markets and will announce general availability of its first commercial product later this year.
Read the full article here: prnewswire.com
January 30, 2019
Avinew, a Westlake Village, Calif.-based insurtech company focused on autonomous and semi-autonomous auto insurance, raised $5M in seed funding.
The round was led by Crosscut, with participation from American Family Ventures, Draper Frontier, and RPM Ventures.
Led by Dan Peate, Founder and CEO, Jeremy Snyder, COO, Mike Cassanego, General Counsel and Co-founder, and Randy Adams, CTO, Avinew is developing autonomous-usage-based insurance programs that will use driving data, artificial intelligence, machine learning and telematics to detect and measure when semi-autonomous or autonomous features are responsibly engaged to determine premium discount eligibility.
Currently, select vehicles from Tesla, Mercedes, Ford, GM, Nissan, Audi, Volvo and more will be eligible. The insurance programs are expected to be available later this year in select states. Avinew has completed proof-of-concept pilots with two insurers.
Read the full article here: finsmes.com
October 12, 2018
The quintessential venture capitalist’s uniform consists of a pair of designer jeans, a Patagonia fleece vest and $95 wool sneakers.
The company behind the shoes, Allbirds, entered the unicorn club this morning with the announcement of a $50 million Series C from late-stage players T. Rowe Price, which led the round, Tiger Global and Fidelity Investments. The 3-year-old startup founded by Joey Zwillinger and Tim Brown has raised $75 million to date, including a $17.5 million Series B last year. It’s backed by Leonardo DiCaprio, Scooter Braun, Maveron, Lerer Hippeau and Elephant, the venture capital firm led by Warby Parker founder Andrew Hunt.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting the round values Allbirds at $1.4 billion. The company would not confirm that figure to TechCrunch.
Like Warby Parker, San Francisco-based Allbirds began as a direct-to-consumer online retailer but has since expanded to brick-and-mortar, opening stores in San Francisco and New York. It currently ships to locations across the U.S., New Zealand, Australia and Canada. Next week, the company plans to open its first storefront in the U.K. in London’s Covent Garden neighborhood. It will begin shipping throughout the U.K. In 2019.
Using its latest investment, Allbirds will double down on its brick-and-mortar business. In addition to the U.K., the company says it will open even more locations in the U.S., as well as open doors in Asia in the coming months. Tiger Global, which has backed Allbirds since its Series B, may be of help. The firm has offices in Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as partners across Asia.
Allbirds makes eco-friendly wool shoes for men, women and kids via its kid’s line, aptly named Smallbirds. The shoes are made of sustainable materials, including merino wool, a fabric made from eucalyptus fiber that the company has dubbed “Tree” and “SweetFoam,” a shoe sole made from sugarcane-based, carbon-negative foam rubber.
“Climate change is the problem of our generation and the private sector has a responsibility to combat it,” Zwillinger, Allbirds’ chief executive officer, said in a statement. “This injection of capital will help us bring our sustainable products to more people around the globe, demonstrating that comfort, design and sustainability don’t have to live exclusive of each other.”
It’s been quite the year for venture investment in … shoes. Rothy’s, which makes sustainable ballet flats for women, has raised $7 million and launched a sneaker. Atoms, a maker of minimalist shoes, brought in $560,000 in seed funding from LinkedIn’s ex-head of growth Aatif Awan and Shrug Capital. And GOAT, the operator of an online sneaker marketplace, nabbed a $60 million Series C in February.
Read the full article here: techcrunch.com
June 8, 2018
Seattle startup JetClosing wants to cut out much of that pesky paperwork you have to sign while buying or selling a home, and the company raised $20 million from investors to do it.
JetClosing is a title and escrow company that operates using cloud technology and a mobile app — meaning homebuyers and sellers can sign documents digitally and finish the escrow process in as few as two days, it says.
JetClosing charges buyers and sellers each a $500 flat fee, and charges a fee for the title insurance policy, which is generally around $2,000. The company operates in Seattle, Las Vegas, Denver and Phoenix and plans to use some of its latest investment to expand to new areas around the Northwest and country.
The company spun out of Seattle startup studio Pioneer Square Labs in 2016, the studio’s third spinout. Pioneer Square Labs is led by several prominent Seattle entrepreneurs and investors with the goal of creating, incubating and spinning out companies quickly.
JetClosing worked out of the Pioneer Square office for a while, and has now moved downtown. It has 34 employees, CEO Dan Greenshields said, and plans to grow to 100 by the end of the year.
JetClosing enters the real-estate process as soon as a buyer and seller have agreed on a contract. It then facilitates the title and escrow process so a deal can close. Most of that is done digitally, but some lenders still require paper signatures so the company will also send notaries to people’s homes, Greenshields said.
In Seattle’s hot housing market, lenders sometimes aren’t even part of the process. About 40 percent of the purchases JetClosing processes are all-cash deals, Greenshields said.
The company works with fellow Seattle startup FlyHomes, another real-estate startup that raised funding recently and is trying to speed up the real-estate-buying process.
JetClosing’s latest funding round was led by T. Rowe Price. Pioneer Square Labs’ venture arm also pitched in, as did Imagen Capital Partners and other previous investors.
Read the full article here: seattletimes.com
May 8, 2018
Owlet Baby Care, today announced the closing of a $24 million Series B investment. The round was led by Trilogy Equity Partners, with participation from existing investors, including Eclipse Ventures, Broadway Angels, and Enfield Ventures, and the addition Pelion Venture Partners. The additional funding will enable the company to accelerate its growth through the launch of additional products, continued international expansion, and help make the product accessible to more families. In connection with the financing, Amy McCullough, Managing Director at Trilogy Equity Partners, will join Owlet’s board of directors.
Owlet is a venture-backed startup best known for its flagship product, the Smart Sock baby monitor, which uses pulse oximetry to track a baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels while sleeping. In 2017, Owlet launched the Connected Care platform which provides parents with more comprehensive data analysis and trends based on biometric information about their baby, including heart rate, oxygen levels, sleep trends and red notification history. With two new products slated for release in 2018, the company continues to focus on healthcare technologies that empower parents with the right information at the right time.
“As a company of parents, it is important to us to bring innovative technology into a family’s everyday life. This new round of funding will enable us to expand our product line, looking at ways we can support the health and wellness of families at all stages, from pregnancy on, as well as increase the brand’s availability internationally and improve our accessibility and affordability.” said Kurt Workman, Owlet Co-Founder and CEO. “We are very grateful for the continued support of our investors Trilogy Equity Partners, Eclipse Ventures and Broadway Angels, who help make achieving our big vision and mission possible.”
“As an investor, it is rare to get the chance to invest in a company that has both the potential to be tremendously successful while simultaneously delivering a product that has the ability to make such a substantive and positive impact on people’s lives. Owlet is on a journey to achieve both of these objectives and at Trilogy, we couldn’t be more excited to lead this round and take the next step in Owlet’s journey together. Over the past few years, we’ve had the opportunity to witness the impact that Owlet’s Smart Sock has made in the lives of countless families, as they’ve created a new category in infant home monitoring while placing the power of information into the hands of parents.” said Amy McCullough, Managing Director at Trilogy Equity Partners. “Kurt and his team have already demonstrated a tremendous ability to execute from a vision to products which resonates with parents globally and we look forward to our continued partnership with the entire Owlet team.”
Owlet Baby Care also recently announced the addition of three experts to its board of directors and executive team, to propel the company through its continued growth and expansion. Woody Scal, former Fitbit Chief Business Officer, joined as a board member; Mike Abbott, seasoned CFO and executive from top consumer brands, as Chief Financial Officer; and Milena Adamian, MD, PhD, a cardiologist and clinical research expert, as Vice President of Health Affairs.
Owlet has been recognized by Forbes “Next Billion-Dollar Startup” list, Entrepreneurs “100 Brilliant companies” list and a finalist in Fast Companies “2017 World Changing Ideas Awards.” In the past year alone, The Owlet Smart Sock has been awarded by top parenting media including: BabyCenter Moms' Pick Awards, The Bump Best of Baby Awards, Babylist Best Baby Products, and What to Expect Best Baby Awards. Owlet is currently a finalist in the Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC), the world’s largest startup competition.
About Owlet Baby Care
Owlet Baby Care (http://www.owletcare.com) is a health technology company founded by a team of parents in 2013. The company’s flagship product is the Smart Sock Baby Monitor, which uses pulse oximetry technology to track a baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels during sleep. Owlet’s mission is to empower parents with the right information at the right time.
About Trilogy Equity Partners
Formed in 2006, Trilogy Equity Partners (http://www.trilogyequity.com) is an early stage venture firm based in Bellevue, Washington that is led by former entrepreneurs and operators. The firm’s roots include the formation and leadership of some of the largest mobile operators in the United States as well as other global technology and wireless companies. Trilogy takes a hands-on approach to investing, with a closely held evergreen fund that aligns investments with the objective of building great companies over time.
Read the full article here: prweb.com
October 17, 2017
According to a recent SEC filing, electronics startup Atheer Labs has raised $12.3 million in financing from an undisclosed investor.
Atheer is the pioneer of the AiR™ (Augmented interactive Reality) smart glasses platform, designed to enhance the productivity and safety of deskless professionals at Fortune 1000 companies. AiR Glasses enable users to view critical work information right in their field-of-view and interact with it using familiar gestures, voice commands, and motion tracking. With the AiR Enterprise Suite, users can collaborate and receive guidance from remote experts via video calls through real-time image annotations to increase efficiency – all while keeping focused on the task at hand.
Read the full article here: newscenter.io
April 18, 2017
CLEAR, the biometric security firm popular in U.S. airports and stadiums, has raised $15 million from T. Rowe Price to expand their footprint. The company, led by CEO Caryn Seidman-Becker, is already partially owned by Delta Airlines.
“We are obsessed with our customers, and can’t wait to bring them more ways to use CLEAR. We lead the industry in secure biometric-powered customer experiences and the opportunities to expand into new verticals are endless,” said Seidman-Becker. “CLEAR is just scratching the surface of its growth potential, and we’re proud to have wonderful, long-term partners in T. Rowe Price to help us get there.”
CLEAR’s numbers are rising. There are 1 million members using biometrics at 21 airports, as well as six baseball stadiums and one NBA arena. LAX in Los Angeles will be the next airport to activate the technology and member enrollment is up 150 percent since last year.
The financing will move CLEAR into “new verticals” and add more airports and stadiums to the network. The company hopes to bring its biometric technologies to create seamless transfers and payments.
“We see a frictionless future where people no longer need to carry cash, credit cards or IDs with them,” said Seidman-Becker. “Our simple tap and go experience will fundamentally change the way we live, work and interact with the world.”
Read the full article here: techcrunch.com