NBA Top Shot maker Dapper Labs is now worth $2.6 billion thanks to half of Hollywood, the NBA, and Michael Jordan

From the early success of Crypto Kitties to the explosive growth of NBA Top Shot, Dapper Labs has been at the forefront of the cryptocurrency collectible craze known as NFTs.

Now the company is reaping the benefits of its trailblazing status with a new $305 million financing led by some of the biggest names in Hollywood, sports, and investing.

The new round values the company at a whopping $2.6 billion, according to multiple media reports, and comes at a time when NFTs have captured the popular imagination.

Leading the company’s financing was Coatue, the financial services firm that’s behind many of the biggest later stage tech deals. But heavy hitters from the entertainment world also took their cut — these are folks like NBA legend Michael Jordan as well as current players and funds including Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Kyle Lowry, Spencer Dinwiddie, Andre Drummond, Alex Caruso, Michael Carter-Williams, Josh Hart, Udonis Haslem, JaVale McGee, Khris Middleton, Domantas Sabonis, Klay Thompson, Nikola Vucevic, Thad Young, and Richard Seymour’s 93 Ventures.

Entertainment and music heavyweights including Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary’s Sound Ventures, Will Smith and Keisuke Honda’s Dreamers VC, Shawn Mendes and Andrew Gertler’s AG Ventures, Shay Mitchell, and 2 Chainz also bought in on the action.

And from the venture world comes other strategic investors like Andreessen Horowitz, The Chernin Group, USV, Version One, and Venrock.

The company said it would use the funds to continue building out NBA Top Shot and expanding the updated digital trading card platform to other sports and a broader creator community.

Top Shot has already notched over $500 million in sales for its animated trading cards featuring things like LeBron James dunking and the sky (at least for now) is seemingly the limit for the collectible applications of blockchain.

It’s like the one thing that cryptocurrency can do really well and it’s been embraced far beyond the world of sports collectibles. The recent $69 million sale of a digital piece of art at Christies also marks a watershed moment for art world.

“NBA Top Shot is successful because it taps into basketball fandom – it’s a new and more exciting way for people to connect with their favorite teams and players,” said Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs. “We want to bring the same magic to other sports leagues as well as help other entertainment studios and independent creators find their own approaches in exploring open platforms. NFTs unlock a new model for monetization that benefits the fans much more than advertising or sponsorships.”

Powering the Top Shot system and Dapper Labs’ other offerings is a new blockchain protocol called Flow, which purports to handle mainstream consumer applications at scale, and can support mass adoption.

Flow also allows for transactions using fiat currency and credit cards in addition to provide a much needed ease of cryptocurrency, and can keep customers safe from the fraud or theft common in cryptocurrency systems, according to a statement from Dapper Labs.

Flow enables NFT marketplaces and other decentralized applications that need to scale to handle mainstream demand without extremely high transaction costs (“gas fees”) or environmental concerns, the company said.

“NBA Top Shot is one of the best demonstrations we’ve seen of how quickly new technology can change the landscape for media and sports fans,” said Kevin Durant, Co-Founder of Thirty Five Ventures. “We’re excited to follow the progress with everything happening on Flow blockchain and use our platform with the Boardroom to connect with fans in a new way.”

Already companies like Warner Music Group, Ubisoft, Warner Media, and the UFC, as well as thousands of third party developers, artists, and other creators are using the Flow mainnet to sell collectible cards, and develop custodial wallets.

Additional investors in the round include: MLB players like Tim Beckham and Nolan Arenado; NFL players: Ken Crawley, Thomas Davis, Stefon Diggs, Dee Ford, Malcom Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Jordan Matthew, Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty, DK Metcalf, Tyrod Taylor, and Trent Williams; team ownership including Vivek Ranadive (Kings), and notable sports investors Bolt Ventures.

#andre-iguodala, #andreessen-horowitz, #articles, #ashton-kutcher, #blockchain, #ceo, #co-founder, #coatue, #cryptocurrencies, #dapper, #dapper-labs, #decentralization, #finance, #kevin-durant, #lebron-james, #michael-jordan, #mlb, #national-basketball-association, #national-football-league, #nba, #nfl, #tc, #technology, #the-chernin-group, #thirty-five-ventures, #ubisoft, #venrock, #version-one, #vivek-ranadive, #warner-media, #warner-music-group, #will-smith

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#DealMonitor – GoStudent sammelt 70 Millionen ein – Kolibri-Gründer investieren in heat it – Lizza-Gründer investiert in Zaunkoenig


Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 30. März werfen wir wieder einen Blick auf die wichtigsten, spannendsten und interessantesten Investments und Exits des Tages in der DACH-Region. Alle Deals der Vortage gibt es im großen und übersichtlichen #DealMonitor-Archiv.

INVESTMENTS

GoStudent
+++ Coatue investiert gemeinsam mit den Altinvestoren Left Lane Capital und DN Capital 70 Millionen Euro in GoStudent. Das Wiener Startup, das sich als E-Learning-Dienst positioniert, wurde 2017 von Gregor Müller, Felix Ohswald und seinem Bruder Moritz Ohswald gegründet. Left Lane Capital und DN Capital investierten zuletzt in zwei Investmentrunden rund 13 Millionen in GoStudent, das auf kostenpflichtige Einzelkurse setzt. Das frische Kapital soll vor allem “genutzt werden, um die Internationalisierung von GoStudent weiter voranzutreiben, und die bestehende Präsenz in bedeutenden Nachhilfemärkten wie Frankreich, Spanien, Italien, Großbritannien und Irland weiter auszubauen”. Über 300 Mitarbeiter:innen wirken bereits für das junge Unternehmen.

Anzeige
+++ In unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar berichten wir einmal in der Woche über neue Startups. Alle Startups stellen wir in unserem kostenpflichtigen Newsletter kurz und knapp vor und bringen sie so auf den Radar der Startup-Szene. Jetzt unseren Newsletter Startup-Radar abonnieren und 30 Tage kostenlos testen!

heat it
+++ Daniel Stammler, Janosch Sadowski und Oliver Löffler, die Gründer von Kolibri Games, Friedrich Georg Hoepfner und weitere “erfahrene Persönlichkeiten aus den Bereichen Handel und Medizin” investieren in heat it. Das Startup aus Karlsruhe, das 2018 von Lukas Liedtke, Armin Meyer, Christof Reuter und Stefan Hotz gegründet wurde, kämpft mittels Wärme gegen Mücken- und Wespenstiche. Der heat it ist ein nur Würfelzucker-großes Gerät. Er wird einfach in den Ladeanschluss gesteckt und mittels App gesteuert. Die Pre-Money-Bewertung lag nach Firmenangaben bei 5 Millionen Euro. Die heat it-Gründer waren in dieser Woche auch in der Vox-Gründershow “Die Höhle der Löwen”, konnten dort aber kein Investment ergattern.

krankenhaus.de
+++ Der E-Health-Lösungsanbieter samedi, IBB Ventures und capacura investieren 2 Millionen Euro in krankenhaus.de. Das E-Health-Startup, das 2018 von Nikolai von Schroeders, Balthasar von Hohenthal und Lukas Weiß gegründet wurde, positioniert sich als Buchungsdienst für Krankenhäuser.  IBB Ventures und capacura investieren bereits 2019 einen ungenannten Betrag in den Berliner Patientendienst.

German Autolabs
+++ Das Family Office des Schwarzwälder Boten sowie die Altinvestoren Target Partners, nbr Tech Ventures und Coparion investieren “mehrere Millionen Euro” in German Autolabs. Das 2016 von Serienunternehmer Holger G. Weiss gegründete Berliner Startup entwickelte zunächst einen nachrüstbaren smarten Sprachassistenten fürs Auto. Inzwischen setzt die Jungfirma auf “Sprachassistenzlösungen für Berufskraftfahrer, Kuriere und Zusteller”.

Packwise
+++ Der Technologiegründerfonds Sachsen (TGFS), Hüttenes hoch drei (H3) und die Golzern Holding investieren eine siebenstellige Summe in Packwise aus Dresden. Das Unternehmen ermöglicht Unternehmen der Chemie- und Lebensmittelindustrie “eine schnelle und einfache Digitalisierung ihrer Supply Chain sowie die Reduktion ihres CO2-Fußabdruckes”. Packwise wurde 2017 von Gesche Weger, Felix Weger und René Bernhardt gegründet.

Angle Audio
+++ Der Berliner Geldgeber Atlantic Labs und weitere Investoren investierten bereits im Dezember in Angle Audio. Das Startup, das 2020 von Matthias D. Strodtkoetter, Valerius Huonder und Matthias Karg gegründet wurde, positioniert sich als Clubhouse-Alternative und setzt auf “audiobasierte Gruppenkonversationen”. Die Jungfirma aus Zürich bietet zudem aber auch Funktionen wie eine Bildschirmfreigabe und eine Text-Chat Funktion an, um sich auch schriftlich austauschen zu können.

Careloop
+++ Der Swiss Founders Fund (SFF), die Mediengruppe Klambt, WestTech Ventures, HNC Capital und mehrere Angel-Investoren investieren eine “hohe sechsstellige Summe” in Careloop. Das Berliner Startup bringt sich als Personalvermittlung für ausländische Kranken- und Altenpflegekräfte in Stellung. Die Gründer Alexander Lundberg und Matti Fischer wollen dabei selbstredend “den traditionellen Bewerbungsprozess auf den Kopf stellen”.

EXITS

Icony
+++ Russmedia Equity Partners übernimmt die Mehrheit am White-Label-Dating-Anbieter Icony. Das Unternehmen bietet seinen Kunden die Möglichkeit unter einer eigener Marke eine Partnersuche bzw. Singlebörse anzubieten. “Bereits über 200 Medienhäuser und Domains nutzen dieses Netzwerk und generieren so, ohne eigene Ressourcen, relevante Umsätze mit diesem Angebot”, teilt das Unternehmen mit.

VENTURE CAPITAL

Venpace
+++ Die Kölner Firmenschmiede crossbuilders startet gemeinsam mit Ingo Küpper, Walter Botermann und Torsten Oletzky sowie den vier Versicherern Deal Versicherungsgruppe, PrismaLife, Provinzial Rheinland und Vienna Insurance Group den InsurTech-Investor Venpace. “Gemeinsam werden im InsurTech-nahen Umfeld eigene digitale Geschäftsmodelle aufgebaut und Pre-Seed- und Seed-Investments bis 500.000 Euro getätigt”, teilt der neue Geldgeber mit.

DIE HÖHLE DER LÖWEN

Back’o’Funny
+++ In der zweiten Folge der neunten Staffel investierte Regal-Löwe Ralf Dümmel 33.000 Euro in Back’o’Funny und sicherte sich 33 % am Unternehmen. Die Freundinnen Gisela Hüsges-Schnabel und Sabine Kämper haben Back’o’Funnyentwickelt, um Backen so einfach und lecker wie möglich zu machen.

Co’Ps
+++ In der zweiten Folge der neunten Staffel investierte Pharma-Löwe Nils Glagau 100.000 Euro in Co’Ps und sicherte sich dabei 20 % am Unternehmen. Finn Geldermann und Jan Weigelt, die sich seit ihrer Jugend kennen, bieten mit Co’Ps einen Schnaps aus Kaffeebohnen und Kolanuss an.

Zaunkoenig
+++ In der zweiten Folge der neunten Staffel investierten Sales-Löwe Carsten Maschmeyer und Regal-Löwe Ralf Dümmel 100.000 Euro in Zaunkoenig und sicherten sich dabei 25 % am Unternehmen, das von Patrick Schmalzried und seinem Bruder Dominik Schmalzried gegründet wurde. Hinter Zaunkoenig verbirgt sich die “leichteste Computer-Maus der Welt”. Nach der Show platzte der Deal leider. “Für viele Gamer ist das Scrollrad essentiell – ein Tool, das die Entwicklung von Patrick und Dominik nicht hatte. Dies war ein Grund, warum die Beteiligung nicht zustande kam. Sie haben sich unsere Kritik aber zu Herzen genommen und haben das Scrollrad mittlerweile eingebaut. Da war es für uns aber schon zu spät. Wir wünschen den Gründern noch viel Erfolg mit Zaunkoenig”, sagt Löwe Maschmeyer. Stattdessen investierte aber Lizza-Gründer Matthias Kramer, 2016 selbst in der Vox-Show zu Gast war, in das Unternehmen und vor allem die Gründer, die er als “langjährige Freunde” bezeichnet.

PODCAST

Insider #98
+++ Schon die neue Insider-Ausgabe mit Sven Schmidt gehört? In der aktuellen Folge geht es um: Amazd, Pitch, Planet A Ventures, Dance, Blok, likeminded, GraphCMS, Klaus Hommels, Fit Analytics, Patient 21, Enpal, Babbel, Volocopter, Lampenwelt, About You und Mister Spex.

Abonnieren: Die Podcasts von deutsche-startups.de könnt ihr bei Amazon Music – Apple Podcasts – Castbox – Deezer – Google Podcasts – iHeartRadio – Overcast – PlayerFM – Podimo – Spotify – SoundCloud oder per RSS-Feed abonnieren.

Achtung! Wir freuen uns über Tipps, Infos und Hinweise, was wir in unserem #DealMonitor alles so aufgreifen sollten. Schreibt uns eure Vorschläge entweder ganz klassisch per E-Mail oder nutzt unsere “Stille Post“, unseren Briefkasten für Insider-Infos.

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): azrael74

#aktuell, #angle-audio, #audio, #backofunny, #capacura, #careloop, #cops, #coatue, #coparion, #dating, #dn-capital, #e-health, #german-autolabs, #gostudent, #heat-it, #hnc-capital, #hr, #ibb-ventures, #icony, #insurtech, #karlsruhe, #koln, #krankenhaus-de, #left-lane-capital, #nbr-tech-ventures, #russmedia-equity-partners, #samedi, #swiss-founders-fund, #target-partners, #venpace, #venture-capital, #westtech-ventures, #zaunkonig, #zurich

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M1 Finance raises another rapid-fire round after scaling its AUM to more than $3.5B

Months after raising a Series C worth $45 million, Chicago-based M1 Finance announced a new round of capital today. A Series D, the new $75 million investment was led by Coatue, with two prior investors — Left Lane Capital and Clocktower Technology Ventures — also taking part.

The new financing comes after M1 raised twice in 2020, including the previously mentioned Series C and a smaller $33 million Series B.

While rapid-fire fundraising has become increasingly common in recent years, M1 Finance’s recent capital accretion remains notable for its pace and scale. And as the company has been comparatively free with both growth metrics and notes about its long-term business model, TechCrunch has been able to keep tabs on its expansion over the past few quarters.

M1 Finance’s growth

In February of 2020, M1 announced it had reached the $1 billion assets-under-management (AUM) mark after starting the year at $800 million. At the time, the company’s CEO Brian Barnes told TechCrunch that his company was targeting to generate revenues of around 1% of consumer AUM. That provided a good toe-hold into tracking how quickly the startup was scaling its revenues as it grew its asset base.

In June of 2020, the company announced its Series B and a new AUM milestone: $1.45 billion. That was something akin to 50% growth in les than half a year. Not bad.

When M1 Finance raised its Series C later that year, it had scaled to $2 billion in AUM. That was double its earlier-year tally, and was big enough to secure more of our attention. Then in January of 2021 the company announced $3 billion in AUM.

As you can quickly math out, 1% of $3 billion is $30 million in yearly income, provided that M1 is hitting its revenue goals. Today as part of its Series D, the company announced that it has reached $3.5 billion in AUM.

How did it manage such quick growth, adding $500 million in AUM in just a few months? According to Barnes, partially due to an expanding product mix. The startup added a cash-management product in early 2019. That service has reached hundreds of millions of dollars in assets, the CEO said. The company’s borrowing product has also seen rapid growth, quadrupling as a percentage of assets in the last year, he added.

AUM expansion has also been driven in part by the company’s user base. Barnes told TechCrunch that his company has around 500,00 funded accounts, a growing tally that has helped with word-of-mouth marketing in recent quarters. And, finally, AUM growth has come from existing user cohorts adding more capital to their M1 accounts over time, the CEO said.

Of course the company is not the only service in the savings, investing and spending spaces that has seen growth in the last year. Robinhood and Public have done well on the investing side of things, and Chime has scaled quickly in the spending and saving markets.

What’s ahead

M1 has more money than ever after this round, with its CEO telling TechCrunch that he had had no intention of raising new capital, and that his company had only barely touched its Series B while its entire Series C is untapped. But now with a fresh forklift of funds, perhaps M1 can boost its advertising spend to help keep its user growth strong; and the extra capital won’t hurt when it comes to competing with even better-funded rivals that also want to build consumer fintech super apps.

We’ll check back with M1 Finance when it reaches $10 billion AUM. Its CEO thinks that the company could reach double-digit billions of AUM by the end of the year, or early 2022. Let’s see how fast it reaches that next milestone.

#coatue, #fundings-exits, #m1-finance, #public, #recent-funding, #robinhood, #startups, #tc

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Deliverr scores $170M to bring fast delivery to every e-commerce vendor

At a time when e-commerce is exploding due in large part to the pandemic, a business that helps any online merchant ship goods to a consumer in one or two days is going to be in demand. Deliverr is a startup that fits that bill, and today the company announced a $170 million financing round.

The round breaks down to $135 million Series D financing led by Coatue. The remaining $35 million comes in the form of a convertible note led by Brookfield Technology Partners. Existing investors Activant Capital, 8VC and GLP participated in both parts of the investment. In less than four years, the company has raced from from rounds A to D, raising $240 million along the way.

Deliverr co-founder and CEO Michael Krakaris says it has been a rapid rise, but that his business requires a lot of capital. “It has been this really kind of crazy journey, and we’ve been growing very fast, but also this space is very capital intensive, and it’s a winner-take-all market where you gain efficiency at scale. You know scale is what makes your model highly defensible in this space,” Krakaris told me.

The way Deliverr works is it uses software to determine how to get goods to warehouses in parts of the country where they are needed. It then uses these warehouses’ fulfillment departments to help pick and pack the order. The software then finds the fastest and cheapest delivery method and it gets shipped to customers with a two-day delivery guarantee. They are also ramping a next-day delivery product to expand the business.

Deliverr doesn’t actually own any warehouses. It rents out space, and part of the challenge of building this business is establishing relationships with those warehouses and working out a business arrangement, one that is still evolving as the company grows. “A year ago, I would have said we typically wanted to be 5-10% of a warehouse’s business. There are cases now where we are 100% of these warehouses’ businesses. We’ve grown to that level,” he explained.

Krakaris says that the pandemic raised major challenges for the company. Just setting up a relationship with new warehouses could require driving long distances because getting on a plane would mean quarantining when they landed. In some instances there were shortages of items. In others, COVID would shut down all of the warehouses in a given region, forcing the executive team to make a set of business adjustments on the fly, but this constant crisis mentality also helped them learn how to shift resources quickly, a lesson that is highly useful in this business.

The company started 2020 with 50 people and have added 100 employees since. They plan to double that this year, although that is variable depending on how the year goes. He say that another challenge is that he has done this hiring during COVID, and has never met a majority of his workers.

“You know, I’ve never met more than half the company in person, but I’m try to be as open as I can and learn about everyone, and we hold events to try and get to know everybody, but obviously it’s not like being together in person,” he said.

#coatue, #deliverr, #ecommerce, #funding, #recent-funding, #shipping-and-logistics, #startups, #tc, #warehouses

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Want a job in tech? Flockjay pitches its sales training service as an on-ramp to tech careers

“Most people don’t even know that a job in tech sales is even a possibility,” says Shaan Hathiramani, the founder and chief executive of Flockjay, a company offering a tech sales training curriculum to the masses.

Hathiramani sees his startup as an onramp to the tech industry for legions of workers who have the skillsets to work in tech, but lack the network to see themselves in the business. Just like coding bootcamps have enabled thousands to get jobs as programmers in the tech business, Flockjay can get talented people who had never considered a job in tech into the industry.

The company, which had previously raised $3 million from investors including Serena Williams and Will Smith, along with tech industry luminaries like Microsoft chairman John Thompson; Airtable head of sales Liat Bycel; Gmail inventor Paul Buchheit; and former Netflix CPO Tom Willerer, has just raised new capital to expand its business in a time when accelerated onramps to new jobs have never been more important.

The healthcare response to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, which has closed businesses and torn through the American economy. The unemployment rate in the country sits at 6.4% and the nation lost 140,000 jobs again in December — with all of those job losses coming from women.

A former financier with the multi-billion dollar investment firm, Citadel, Hathiramani sees Flockjay, and the business of tech sales as a way for a number of people to transform their lives.

“We provide a premier sales academy,” Hathiramani said. “It costs zero dollars if you take the course and don’t get a job and costs 10% of your income for the first year if you do get a job. That nets out to 6 or 7K.”

A few hundred students have gone through the program so far, Hathiramani said, and the goal is to train 1,000 people over the course of 2021. The average income of a student before they go through Flockjay’s training program is $30,000 to $35,000 typically, Hathiramani said.

Upon graduation, those students can expect to make between $75,000 and $85,000, he said.

Increasing access among those students who have not necessarily been exposed to the tech world is critical for what Hathiramani wants to do with his sales bootcamp.

Flockjay founder Shaan Hathiramani. Image Credit: Flockjay

The entrepreneur said roughly 40% of students don’t have a four-year college degree; half of the students identify as female or non-binary, and half of the company’s students identify as Black or hispanic. About 80% of the company’s students find a job within the first six months of graduation.

These are students like Elise Cox, a former Bojangles’ manager and Flockjay graduate, who moved from Georgia to Denver to be a sales tech representative for Gusto. Tripling her salary from $13 an hour in the food service industry to a salaried position with wages and benefits.

“I enjoy being able to generate revenue for the company,” Cox, a 41-year-old grandmother, whose five-year plans include a sales leadership role, told Fast Company two years ago. “The revenue is the lifeblood of the company and being part of the team gives me sense of fulfillment.”

Partnerships with Opportunity@Work, Hidden Genius Project, Peninsula Bridge, and TechHire Oakland, help to ensure a diverse pool of applicants and a more diverse workforce for the tech industry — where diversity is still a huge problem.

As Hathiramani looks to take his company from training a couple of hundred students to over a thousand, the founder has raised new cash from previous investors including Lightspeed, Coatue, and Y Combinator, and new investors like eVentures, Salesforce Ventures, along with the Impact America Fund, Cleo Capital and Gabrielle Union.

For the New Jersey-born entrepreneur, Flockjay was a way to give back to a community that he knew intimately. After his family settled in New Jersey after immigrating to the United States, Hathiramani went first to Horace Mann on a scholarship and then attended Harvard before getting his job at Citadel.

Even while he was working at the pinnacle of the financial services world he started non-profits like the Big Shoulders Fund and taught financial literacy.

After a while, he moved to the Bay Area to begin plotting a way to merge his twin interests in education and financial inclusion.

“That led to me spending a year helping startups for free and trying to understand their problems with hiring and training” said Hathiramani. “It helped me surface this economic waste in plain sight. There were all these people talking to customers and they were spending three months on the job learning the job and they didn’t want to do the job or they weren’t very good at it.”

Tech salesforces were a point of entry in the system that almost anyone could access, if they could get in through the door, Hathiramani said. Flockjay wants to be the key to opening the door.

So, the company now has $11 million in new funding to bring its sales training bootcamp to a larger audience. Hathiramani also wants to make the bootcamp model more of a community with continuous development after a student completes the program. “I view education as a membership and not a transaction,” he said. “We focus on continuous learning and continuous up-skilling.”

Part of that is the flywheel of building up networks in a manner similar to YCombinator, the accelerator program from which Flockjay graduated in 2019.

“We went through YC to learn… how they manufacture the privilege in the world that they have afforded,” said Hathiramani. “How do you take some of that and provide it to someone who is starting their careers in tech. You get better at your job the more connections you have. As we accelerate the alumni piece… they can draw on other alums that they’re selling into.”

 

#chairman, #cleo-capital, #coatue, #computing, #entrepreneur, #flockjay, #harvard, #impact-america-fund, #microsoft, #netflix, #new-jersey, #paul-buchheit, #salesforce, #salesforce-ventures, #tc, #tom-willerer, #united-states, #will-smith, #y-combinator

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Supabase raises $6M for its open-source Firebase alternative

Supabase, a YC-incubated startup that offers developers an open-source alternative to Google’s Firebase and similar platforms, today announced that it has raised a $6 million funding round led by Coatue, with participation from YC, Mozilla and a group of about 20 angel investors.

Currently, Supabase includes support for PostgreSQL databases and authentication tools, with a storage and serverless solution coming soon. It currently provides all the usual tools for working with databases — and listening to database changes — as well as a web-based UI for managing them. The team is quick to note that while the comparison with Google’s Firebase is inevitable, it is not meant to be a 1-to-1 replacement for it. And unlike Firebase, which uses a NoSQL database, Supabase is using PostgreSQL.

Indeed, the team relies heavily on existing open-source projects and contributes to them where it can. One of Supabase’s full-time employees maintains the PostgREST tool for building APIs on top of the database, for example.

“We’re not trying to build another system,” Supabase co-founder and CEO Paul Copplestone told me. “We just believe that already there are well-trusted, scalable enterprise open-source products out there and they just don’t have this usability component. So actually right now, Supabase is an amalgamation of six tools, soon to be seven. Some of them we built ourselves. If we go to market and can’t find anything that we think is going to be scalable — or really solve the problems — then we’ll build it and we’ll open-source it. But otherwise, we’ll use existing tools.”

Image Credits: Supabase

The traditional route to market for open-source tools is to create a tool and then launch a hosted version — maybe with some additional features — to monetize the work. Supabase took a slightly different route and launched a hosted version right away.

If somebody would want to host the service themselves, the code is available, but running your own PaaS is obviously a major challenge, but that’s also why the team went with this approach. What you get with Firebase, he noted, is that it’s a few clicks to set everything up. Supabase wanted to be able to offer the same kind of experience. “That’s one thing that self-hosting just cannot offer,” he said. “You can’t really get the same wow factor that you can if we offered a hosted platform where you literally [have] one click and then a couple of minutes later, you’ve got everything set up.”

In addition, he also noted that he wanted to make sure the company could support the growing stable of tools it was building and commercializing its tools based on its database services was the easiest way to do so.

Like other Y Combinator startups, Supabase closed its funding round after the accelerator’s demo day in August. The team had considered doing a SAFE round, but it found the right group of institutional investors that offered founder-friendly terms to go ahead with this institutional round instead.

“It’s going to cost us a lot to compete with the generous free tier that Firebase offers,” Copplestone said. “And it’s databases, right? So it’s not like you can just keep them stateless and shut them down if you’re not really using them. [This funding round] gives us a long, generous runway and more importantly, for the developers who come in and build on top of us, [they can] take as long as they want and then start monetizing later on themselves.

The company plans to use the new funding to continue to invest in its various tools and hire to support its growth.

Supabase’s value proposition of building in a weekend and scaling so quickly hit home immediately,” said Caryn Marooney, general partner at Coatue and Facebook’s former VP of Global Communications. “We are proud to work with this team, and we are excited by their laser focus on developers and their commitment to speed and reliability.”

#caryn-marooney, #cloud-computing, #coatue, #computing, #database, #developer, #firebase, #google-cloud, #nosql, #platform-as-a-service, #postgresql, #recent-funding, #serverless-computing, #startups, #supabase, #tc

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Abacus.AI raises another $22M and launches new AI modules

AI startup RealityEngines.AI changed its name to Abacus.AI in July. At the same time, it announced a $13 million Series A round. Today, only a few months later, it is not changing its name again, but it is announcing a $22 million Series B round, led by Coatue, with Decibel Ventures and Index Partners participating as well. With this, the company, which was co-founded by former AWS and Google exec Bindu Reddy, has now raised a total of $40.3 million.

Abacus co-founder Bindu Reddy, Arvind Sundararajan and Siddartha Naidu. Image Credits: Abacus.AI

In addition to the new funding, Abacus.AI is also launching a new product today, which it calls Abacus.AI Deconstructed. Originally, the idea behind RealityEngines/Abacus.AI was to provide its users with a platform that would simplify building AI models by using AI to automatically train and optimize them. That hasn’t changed, but as it turns out, a lot of (potential) customers had already invested into their own workflows for building and training deep learning models but were looking for help in putting them into production and managing them throughout their lifecycle.

“One of the big pain points [businesses] had was, ‘look, I have data scientists and I have my models that I’ve built in-house. My data scientists have built them on laptops, but I don’t know how to push them to production. I don’t know how to maintain and keep models in production.’ I think pretty much every startup now is thinking of that problem,” Reddy said.

Image Credits: Abacus.AI

Since Abacus.AI had already built those tools anyway, the company decided to now also break its service down into three parts that users can adapt without relying on the full platform. That means you can now bring your model to the service and have the company host and monitor the model for you, for example. The service will manage the model in production and, for example, monitor for model drift.

Another area Abacus.AI has long focused on is model explainability and de-biasing, so it’s making that available as a module as well, as well as its real-time machine learning feature store that helps organizations create, store and share their machine learning features and deploy them into production.

As for the funding, Reddy tells me the company didn’t really have to raise a new round at this point. After the company announced its first round earlier this year, there was quite a lot of interest from others to also invest. “So we decided that we may as well raise the next round because we were seeing adoption, we felt we were ready product-wise. But we didn’t have a large enough sales team. And raising a little early made sense to build up the sales team,” she said.

Reddy also stressed that unlike some of the company’s competitors, Abacus.AI is trying to build a full-stack self-service solution that can essentially compete with the offerings of the big cloud vendors. That — and the engineering talent to build it — doesn’t come cheap.

Image Credits: Abacus.AI

It’s no surprise then that Abacus.AI plans to use the new funding to increase its R&D team, but it will also increase its go-to-market team from two to ten in the coming months. While the company is betting on a self-service model — and is seeing good traction with small- and medium-sized companies — you still need a sales team to work with large enterprises.

Come January, the company also plans to launch support for more languages and more machine vision use cases.

“We are proud to be leading the Series B investment in Abacus.AI, because we think that Abacus.AI’s unique cloud service now makes state-of-the-art AI easily accessible for organizations of all sizes, including start-ups. Abacus.AI’s end-to-end autonomous AI service powered by their Neural Architecture Search invention helps organizations with no ML expertise easily deploy deep learning systems in production.”

 

#artificial-general-intelligence, #artificial-intelligence, #bindu-reddy, #cloud, #cloud-computing, #co-founder, #coatue, #enterprise, #entrepreneurship, #funding, #fundings-exits, #learning, #machine-learning, #ml, #recent-funding, #science-and-technology, #start-ups, #startups

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#DealMonitor – #EXKLUSIV Coatue investiert 40 Millionen in Gorillas – Accel investiert in Taxdoo – Cherry investiert in Saleor


Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 16. November werfen wir wieder einen Blick auf die wichtigsten, spannendsten und interessantesten Investments und Exits des Tages. Alle Deals der Vortage gibt es im großen und übersichtlichen #DealMonitor-Archiv.

INVESTMENTS

Gorillas
+++ Der New Yorker Hedgefonds Coatue, der zuletzt in Choco investierte, investiert 40 Millionen US-Dollar in Gorillas. Das junge Berliner Hype-Startup, das man als rollenden Supermarkt beschreiben kann, verspricht teilweise eine Lebensmittel-Lieferungen innerhalb von 10 Minuten. Und das alles angeblich zu “Supermarktpreisen”. Damit setzt das Startup auf das Konzept von goPuff, das in den USA schon länger unterwegs ist. Zuletzt interessierten sich auch  Insight Partners, Accel und Index für Gorillas. Die Bewertung der aktuellen Investmentrunde liegt bei 160 Millionen (Pre-Money). Der Berliner Leckerschmecker-Geldgeber Atlantic Food Labs investierte bereits in Gorillas. Das Startup wurde von Kagan Sümer und Jörg Kattner gegründet. Alle weiteren Details gibt es nur im aktuellen Insider-Podcast. #EXKLUSIV

Taxdoo
+++ Der amerikanische Geldgeber Accel Partners investiert eine unbekannte Millionensumme in Taxdoo. Das Hamburger Startup wurde 2016 von Matthias Allmendinger, Roger Gothmann und Christian Königsheim gegründet. Das junge Unternehmen ermöglicht Onlinehändlern es, ihre internationalen Umsatzsteuer-Verpflichtungen zu automatisieren. Der High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) investierte bereits in das Steuer-Startup. Alle weiteren Details gibt es nur im aktuellen Insider-Podcast. #EXKLUSIV

Loopline Systems
+++ Business Angel Andreas Burike (unter anderem Job Ad Partner), Fawkes Ventures, STS Ventures, also OnVista-Gründer Stephan Schubert, und weitere Business Angels retten das insolvente Berliner Startup Loopline Systems. Seit 2014 unterstützen Nora Heer und Christian Kaller mit Loopline Systems Unternehmen dabei ihre Führungsprozesse zu verschlanken und zu digitalisieren. STS Ventures und Fawkes Ventures, ein Zusammenschluss aus Unternehmern und Kunden von Loopline Systems, investierten noch 2018 eine siebenstellige Summe in das Startup, das einst von Project A angeschoben wurde. Mitgründer Kaller ist weiter bei Loopline an – er hält bei der Neugründung 15 % am Unternehmen. Auf den Business Angel Burike entfallen knapp 60 %. Alle weiteren Details gibt es nur im aktuellen Insider-Podcast. #EXKLUSIV – entdeckt über Startupdetector

Saleor
+++ Der Berliner Kapitalgeber Cherry Ventures, der gerade mit Flaschenpost einen gigantischen Exit hinlegen konnt, investiert in das polnische Startup Saleor. Das junge Unternehmen aus Warschau positioniert sich als “The next-generation, open-source, headless e-commerce platform”. Alle weiteren Details gibt es nur im aktuellen Insider-Podcast. #EXKLUSIV

Zeotap
+++ Der amerikanische Geldgeber SignalFire investiert rund 16 Millionen Euro in zeotap. Das Berliner Unternehmen, das 2014 von Daniel Heer und Co. gegründet wurde, betreibt eine sogenannte Customer Intelligence Platform (CIP). Damit ist es möglich Vorhersagen im Hinblick auf das Verhalten von Kunden zu treffen. Neue Capital, coparion, MathCapital und TTCER Partners investierten zuletzt gemeinsam mit den Altinvestoren 37 Millionen Euro in das Berliner Big Data Startup.

KoRo
+++ Das Berliner Unternehmen Social Chain erhöht ihre Beteiligung am Berliner Startup KoRo von 52 auf 57 %. “Die Aufstockung erfolgt im Rahmen einer Kapitalerhöhung mit zusätzlichen Finanzierungszusagen durch die der KoRo Handels GmbH insgesamt 6 Millionen Euro für die weitere Expansion zufließen werden”, teilt der Investor, hinter dem TV-Löwe Georg Kofler steckt, mit. Koro, früher als Koro Drogerie bekannt, wandelte sich in den vergangenen Jahren vom Direktvertrieb für klassische Drogerieartikel zum Online-Shop für naturbelassene Lebensmittel wie Trockenfrüchte, die das Startup als Eigenmarken vertreibt. In Sachen Marketing setzt das Startup, das von Constantinos Calios und Robert Schyska gegründet wurde, auf Influencer. Seit Dezember 2016 ist die Social Chain Group an Koro beteiligt.

EXITS

Coyo
Der amerikanische Investor Marlin Equity Partners meldete beim Bundeskartellamt den “mit­tel­ba­ren An­teils- und Kon­trol­l­er­werb” beim Hamburger Unternehmen Coyo an. Bei Gründerszene taxiert den Exit auf einen hohen Millionenbetrag. “Das Geld für den Coyo-Deal soll nach Gründerszene-Informationen aus dem Europa-Fonds des Investors fließen, der ein Volumen von rund 600 Millionen Euro hat”, heißt es über den Exit. Coyo wurde 2010 von Jan Marius Marquardt gegründet – zunächst als IT-Beratungsagentur (Mindmash). Seit 2012 bietet Coyo eine Social-Intranet-Software an. Zuletzt war zu hören, dass Coyo eine Investmentrunde plant.

Achtung! Wir freuen uns über Tipps, Infos und Hinweise, was wir in unserem #DealMonitor alles so aufgreifen sollten. Schreibt uns eure Vorschläge entweder ganz klassisch per E-Mail oder nutzt unsere “Stille Post“, unseren Briefkasten für Insider-Infos.

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): Shutterstock

#accel-partners, #aktuell, #berlin, #cherry-ventures, #coatue, #coyo, #gorillas, #hamburg, #koro, #saleor, #signalfire, #social-chain-group, #taxdoo, #venture-capital, #zeotap

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#Podcast – Insider #90 – Gorillas – Saleor – Taxdoo – AnyDesk – Komoot – Loopline Systems – Simplesurance – Urban Sports Club – Orange Brands – KW Commerce


Im ds-Insider-Podcast liefern OMR-Podcast-Legende Sven Schmidt und ds-Chefredakteur Alexander Hüsing regelmäßig spannende Insider-Infos aus der deutschen Startup-Szene. In jeder Ausgabe gibt es exklusive Neuigkeiten, die bisher zuvor nirgendwo zu lesen oder hören waren. Zu guter Letzt kommentiert das dynamische Duo der deutschen Startup-Szene in jeder Ausgabe offen, schonungslos und ungefiltert die wichtigsten Startup- und Digital-News aus Deutschland.

Insider #90 – Unsere Themen

+++ Choco-Investor Coatue investiert 40 Millionen in Gorillas #EXKLUSIV
+++ Cherry Ventures investiert in Saleor aus Polen #EXKLUSIV
+++ Accel investiert in Taxdoo #EXKLUSIV
+++ Insight nutzt Vorkaufsrechte bei AnyDesk #EXKLUSIV
+++ June nutzt Vorkaufsrechte bei Komoot #EXKLUSIV
+++ Neustart für Loopline Systems #EXKLUSIV
+++ Altinvestoren investierten erneut in Simplesurance #EXKLUSIV
+++ Altinvestoren investierten erneut in Urban Sports Club #EXKLUSIV
+++ Glossybox-Gründer Charles von Abercron startet Thrasio-Klon Orange Brands #EXKLUSIV
+++ JKC Holding hält knapp 25 % an KW Commerce #EXKLUSIV

Insider #90 – Unser Sponsor

Die heutige Ausgabe wird gesponsert von start2grow. Habt ihr eine technologische oder digitale Geschäftsidee? Braucht ihr noch Unterstützung bei der Umsetzung? Fehlt eurem Businessplan noch der letzte Schliff? In jedem Fall seid ihr bei start2grow richtig! start2grow begleitet euren Weg zum erfolgreichen Unternehmen – und bietet optimales Coaching, interessante Events, beste Kontakte zu Wirtschaft, Wissenschaft und Kapital sowie die Chance auf hohe Geldpreise. Also einen optimalen Start in die Selbstständigkeit. Der nächste Gründungswettbewerb startet am 22. Januar 2021. Meldet euch direkt an unter www.start2grow.de. Die Teilnahme ist kostenfrei!

Insider #90 – Unser Podcast

Abonnieren: Die Podcasts von deutsche-startups.de könnt ihr bei Amazon Music – Apple Podcasts – Castbox – Deezer – Google Podcasts – iHeartRadio – Overcast – PlayerFM – Podimo – Spotify – SoundCloud oder per RSS-Feed abonnieren.

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): ds

#aktuell, #anydesk, #cherry-ventures, #coatue, #dspodcast, #gorillas, #komoot, #kw-commerce, #loopline-systems, #orange-brands, #podcast, #saleor, #simplesurance, #taxdoo, #urban-sports-club

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Should your SaaS startup embrace a bottom-up GTM strategy?

Many of today’s most successful software companies, from Atlassian and Datadog to Zoom, subscribe to the bottom-up SaaS go-to-market model. In this model, the user purchases software directly from a website, without ever speaking to a sales person. The product essentially sells itself.

The bottom-up model has a few key benefits: Companies spend dramatically less on sales than their peers, allowing them to invest more in product; they can sustain hypergrowth for longer because they are not as reliant on raw sales headcount to win business; and they tend to be more profitable in the long run, leading to premium valuations.

For all these reasons, more and more SaaS startups are choosing to adopt the bottom-up go-to-market model. But for every Atlassian or Zoom, there are many more companies that fail — often because they don’t understand the hidden challenges and costs that come with the bottom-up model.

Before proceeding further, it’s important to note that bottom-up is not the right starting strategy for every company. A few quick ways to see if bottom-up is the right place to start for you:

  1. Product: People can easily try your product.
  2. Decision-maker: Your decision-maker is a line-level employee (not C-Suite).
  3. Users: Teams and individuals can get value from your product (doesn’t have to be full enterprise roll-out).
  4. Data: The data involved isn’t something that compliance would need to review.

For companies that meet these criteria, there are three important questions that you must be able to answer:

  1. Who needs to work together to make a bottom-up SaaS model work?
  2. What is the value you deliver to your customer and how do you determine pricing that matches that value?
  3. When do you hire a sales team? (Spoiler alert — it’s sooner than you think!)

In this piece, we will tackle each of those questions in turn and share some of the best answers we’ve seen from companies that are making it work.

Who needs to work together to make a bottom-up SaaS model work?

Unlike most traditional companies who rely on a head of sales to keep tabs on customers and how much each one is paying, most successful bottom-up companies rely on a combination of product, sales, customer support, marketing and community teams to manage revenue.

#coatue, #column, #customer-relationship-management, #customer-success, #entrepreneurship, #growth-marketing, #marketing, #saas, #sales, #startups, #tc

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Brazil’s banks try to outflank challengers by investing in a $15 million round for Quanto

Trying to outflank competition from neo banks and other potential challengers, two of Brazil’s largest financial services institutions, Bradesco and Itaú Unibanco, have invested in Quanto, a company developing technology to let retailers and other businesses access financial information and services.

Joining Brazil’s two largest banks are Kaszek Ventures, one of Latin America’s largest venture capital firms, and Coatue, the multi-billion dollar hedge fund. 

Bradesco joined the round through its InovaBra Ventures investment fund while Itaú invested directly and had its participation approved by Brazil’s Central Bank, according to a statement.

“Open banking changes the way we understand and consume financial services, but it’s quite exciting to see the Brazilian market embracing this new moment in such a positive way,” said Richard Taveira, Quanto’s chief executive, in a statement. “Brazil has the potential to lead the use of open banking worldwide, and this round is a testament to that.”

Brazil’s Central Bank is deeply invested in the prospect of opening up banking regulation to allow information and data sharing between payment processors and technology providers, retailers, and other service providers in the financial services value chain.

Quanto, which provides standardized bank data application programming interfaces that allow institutions to slash the time it takes to ccess bank account data.

“Open banking is an important evolution in the financial services market and we believe that Quanto can contribute in an impactful way in creating a more competitive market, focused on the customer experience,” said Rafael Padilha, Director at Bradesco Private Equity and Inovabra Ventures, in a statement.

The Quanto technology could enable financial product distribution through the same API platform as business to business services, the company said. Quanto claims that its services will make it easier for customers to access low-interest credit lines with a single sign-on model and to receive competitive interest rates by sharing banking data with multiple lenders in a single flow.

“Quanto provides the rail for banks and fintechs to compete, and consumers are the ones who win”, said Taveira.

#api, #bank, #banking, #brazil, #coatue, #companies, #director, #financial-services, #itau, #kaszek-ventures, #latin-america, #open-banking, #tc, #venture-capital-firms

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Gong raises another $200M on $2.2B valuation

For the third time since last February, Gong has raised a significant sum. In February, the company scored $40 million. In December, it grabbed another $65 million, and today it was $200 million on a $2.2 billion valuation. That’s a total of $305 million in less than 18 months.

Coatue led today’s cash infusion with help from new investors Index Ventures, Salesforce Ventures and Thrive Capital, and existing investors Battery Ventures, NextWorld Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital and Wing Venture Capital. It has now raised a total of $334 million, according to the company.

What is attracting this kind of investor attention? When we spoke to Gong about its Series B round, it had 300 customers. Today it has around 1300, representing substantial growth in that time period. The company reports revenue has grown 2.5x this year alone.

Gong CEO Amit Bendov says his company is trying to create a category they have dubbed “revenue intelligence.” As he explains it, today sales data is stored in a CRM database consisting of descriptions of customer interactions as described by the salesperson or CSR. Gong is trying to transform that process by capturing both sides of the interaction, then using artificial intelligence, it transcribes and analyzes those interactions.

Bendov says that the pandemic and economic malaise has created a situation where there is a lot of liquidity in the market and investors have been looking for companies like his to invest some of it.

“There’s a lot of liquidity in the market. There are very few investment opportunities. I think the Investment community was waiting a little bit to see how the market shakes out […] and they are betting on companies that could benefit long term from the new normal, and I think we’re one of them,” Bendov told TechCrunch.

He says that he wasn’t looking for money, and in fact still is operating off the Series B investment, but when firms come knocking with checkbooks open and favorable terms, he wasn’t about to turn them down. “There are CEOs schools [of thought that] tell you to raise money when you can, not when you need to. It’s not very diluted at this kind of valuation and it was a very easy process. […] The whole deal closed in 14 days from term sheet to money in the bank,” he said.

Bendov said that taking the money was “pretty much a no-brainer.” In fact, he says that the money gives them the freedom to operate and further legitimacy in the marketplace. “It gives us the ability to buy companies, make strategic investment, accelerate plans, and it also, especially since we cater to large enterprise customers, it gives them confidence that this company is here to stay…,” he said.

With around 350 employees today, it hopes to add 100 people by the end of the year. Bendov says diversity and inclusion is a “massive priority” for the company. Among the steps they’ve taken recently is opening a recruiting hub in Atlanta to bring more diverse candidates into the company, working with a company called FlockJay to train and hire underrepresented groups in customer success roles, and in Israel where the company’s R&D center is located, helping members of the Arab community with computer science backgrounds to learn interview skills. Some of those folks will end up working for Gong, and some at other places.

While the company has grown remarkably quickly and has shown great promise, Bendov is not thinking ahead to an IPO just yet. He says he wants to grow the company to at least a couple of hundred million dollars in sales and that’s two-three years away at this point. He certainly has plenty of cash to operate until then.

#artificial-intelligence, #cloud, #coatue, #customer-relationship-management, #enterprise, #funding, #gong, #recent-funding, #revenue-intelligence, #startups, #tc

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Karat launches a credit card for online creators

Karat is a new startup promising to build better banking products for the creators who make a living on YouTube, Instagram, Twitch and other online platforms. Today it’s unveiling its first product — the Karat Black Card.

The startup, which was part of accelerator Y Combinator’s Winter 2020 batch, is also announcing that it has raised $4.6 million in seed funding from Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, SignalFire, YC, CRV and Coatue.

Co-founder and co-CEO Eric Wei knows the creator world well, thanks to his time as product manager for Instagram Live. (His co-founder Will Kim was previously an investor with seed fund Lucky Capital.) Wei told me that although many creators have significant incomes, banks rarely understand their business or offer them good terms when they need capital.

“Traditional banks care a lot about FICO [credit scores],” he said. “A lot of YouTubers, when they’re blowing up, they don’t have time to think: Let me make sure my FICO is awesome as well.”

At the same time, he argued that creators have become suspicious of potentially scammy financial offers, to the point that if you were to attend a pre-COVID VidCon and tried to give out $3,000, “The good creators will not take it, even if you tell them there are no strings behind it.”

Karat team

Karat co-founders Will Kim and Eric Wei

With the Karat Black Card, the startup is giving creators a credit card that they can use for their business-related expenses. When creators are approved, they receive a $250 bonus that can be applied to any future purchases of electronics or equipment. The card also comes with custom designs, 2% to 5% cash back on purchases and it even offers advances on sponsorship payments.

Underlying it, Wei said Karat has developed an underwriting model that works for creators. Instead of looking at credit scores, Karat focuses on the size of a creator’s following, their current revenue and whether or not they’re “business savvy.”

“It’s not just the number of followers you have, but what platforms,” Wei added. “I would rather have 100,000 subscribers on YouTube than 1 million on TikTok, because on TikTok, it’s all algorithmically driven.”

Karat has already provided the card to an initial group of creators, including TheRussianBadger, TierZoo and Nas Daily. Wei said the model is working so far, with no defaults.

For now, the card is aimed at professional, full-time creators who have at least 100,000 followers. Wei estimated that that’s a potential customer base of 1 million creators. Eventually, he wants to provide those creators with more than a black card.

“We’re building a vertical financial and biz ops experience,” he said. “People in earlier stages, we do want to get to them eventually, but only after we feel like we’ve developed enough of an underwriting model.”

#coatue, #crv, #funding, #fundings-exits, #karat, #kevin-lin, #media, #recent-funding, #signalfire, #startups, #y-combinator

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#DealMonitor – Trade Republic bekommt 62 Millionen – 27,6 Millionen für Choco


Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 17. April werfen wir wieder einen Blick auf die wichtigsten, spannendsten und interessantesten Investments und Exits des Tages. Alle Deals der Vortage gibt es im großen und übersichtlichen #DealMonitor-Archiv.

INVESTMENTS

Trade Republic
+++ Accel und Founders Fund, also Peter Thiel, investieren 62 Millionen Euro in Trade Republic. Das Berliner FinTech, das 2015 von Christian Hecker, Thomas Pischke und Marco Cancellieri gegründet wurde, erhielt zuletzt von Creandum, Project A 10 Millionen. Hinter Trade Republic verbirgt sich ein mobiler und provisionsfreier Broker mit dem Kunden mobil und provisionsfrei mit Aktien, ETFs und Derivate handeln können. “Seit der Freischaltung der Warteliste im Mai 2019 hat das Unternehmen über 150.000 Kunden gewonnen und ist damit Europas führender Neo Broker”, teilt das Startup mit. Im Zuge der Investmentrunde stieg wallstreet:online bei Trade Republic aus. “Die Anteile in Höhe von 3,30 % waren im Jahr 2018 erworben worden. Mit dem Verkauf erzielt die wallstreet:online AG nun einen außerordentlichen Gewinn von circa 2,7 Millionen Euro”, berichtet das Unternehmen. Auch der Broker-Dienst Sino stieg nun bei Trade Republic aus.

Choco
+++ Jetzt offiziell: Der New Yorker Hedgefonds Coatue investiert – wie berichtet – 27,6 Millionen Euro in Choco. Zu den Alt-Investoren des Unternehmens, die sich auch an der neuen Investmentrunde beteiligten, gehören Bessemer Venture Partners, Atlantic Labs, Target Global und Contemporary Food Labs. Das Berliner Startup, das 2018 von Julian Hammer und Rogério da Silva Yokomizo und Daniel Khachab gegründet wurde, bietet Gastronomen eine App an, mit der diese Waren bei Großhändlern bestellen können. Die Bewertung soll bei 230 Millionen liegen (Post-Money).

Achtung! Wir freuen uns über Tipps, Infos und Hinweise, was wir in unserem #DealMonitor alles so aufgreifen sollten. Schreibt uns eure Vorschläge entweder ganz klassisch per E-Mail oder nutzt unsere “Stille Post“, unseren Briefkasten für Insider-Infos.

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): Shutterstock

#accel, #aktuell, #berlin, #choco, #coatue, #fintech, #founders-fund, #trade-republic, #venture-capital

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Attentive raises another $40M for mobile messaging, will invest in helping customers respond to COVID-19

Mobile messaging startup Attentive continues to bring in new funding.

The startup raised a $40 million Series B last summer, followed by a $70 million Series C at the beginning of this year. Today it’s announcing that it’s extended the Series C by another $40 million, bringing the total round size to $110 million.

CEO Brian Long (who previously founded TapCommerce with his Attentive co-founder Andrew Jones and sold the company to Twitter) told me that the new funding closed just a week ago. He said the money comes from institutional investors who had wanted to participate in the Series C, but “for whatever reason, the timing didn’t work out.”

Then, as the startup wanted to invest in new areas — particularly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic — Long reached out again. Once they saw Attentive’s numbers for the first quarter of 2020, the firms were willing to invest.

Apparently, the number of new customer sign-ups is only increasing, with Attentive now working with more than 1,000 businesses. Companies like Coach, Urban Outfitters, CB2, PacSun, Lulus and Jack in the Box use the platform to manage their mobile messaging, with tools around adding text message subscribers, creating engaging messages and tracking the results of those campaigns.

And while we’re at the beginning of what’s likely to be a dramatic slowdown in advertising and marketing, Long suggested that even if businesses pull back on acquiring new customers, they’ll still need to maintain a relationship with existing ones.

“CRM is such a critical channel for companies … email and text are the last thing you would shut down,” he said.

Sequoia Capital Global Equities and Coatue are the new investors in the Series C. Sequoia’s venture fund already led (or co-led) the Series C and the Series B, but Long said he was interested in working with the firm’s crossover fund — and with Coatue — partly because they invest in public companies as well.

Not that he has immediate plans for Attentive to go public, but he said, “It just creates optionality,” so that there are fewer financial pressures regardless of the route the company takes.

Other investors in the Series C include IVP, Bain Capital Ventures, NextView Ventures, Eniac Ventures and High Alpha.

“Attentive’s rapid growth is an indicator of how consumers are eager to find a more direct, personalized and efficient channel to interact with businesses,” said Jeff Wang, managing partner at Sequoia Capital Global Equities, in a statement. “We’ve been impressed by how quickly Attentive’s business has scaled, its strong customer momentum, and the expertise of the team. We are thrilled to increase Sequoia’s partnership with Attentive through our Global Equities fund.”

As for how Attentive is responding to COVID-19, the startup plans to create funds to help customers navigate the economic fallout. There will be more details released in the coming weeks, but Long said the idea is to launch funds focused on the e-commerce/retail, food/beverage and educational sectors, providing free access to Attentive tools and services “to help those companies get recharged.”

Long added that he hopes to grow Attentive’s headcount from 260 employees to more than 400 by the end of this year.

#advertising-tech, #attentive, #coatue, #funding, #fundings-exits, #mobile, #sequoia-capital, #startups

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