#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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Celebrity video platform Memmo raises $10M

Memmo.me, a startup allowing users to pay celebrities for personalized video messages, is announcing that it has raised $10 million in Series A funding.

“We’re really excited about our mission to break down these barriers [and help talent] connect one-to-one instead of one-to-thousands,” said co-founder and CEO Gustav Lundberg Toresson.

He added that celebrities are embracing this as a new source of income. It’s particularly appealing during the pandemic, but he predicted that celebrities will still be excited about “making this much money from their living rooms” after the pandemic ends.

The concept probably reminds you of Cameo (indeed, Carole Baskin of “Tiger King” fame has presence on both platforms), but while Cameo is U.S.-based, Memmo was founded in Stockholm, and Lundberg Toresson said its strategy is both global and localized — the company is currently operating localized marketplaces for Sweden, Germany, Finland, Norway, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Canada, as well as a general global market.

“We want to be the place where you can find everyone from world famous talents like a soccer or basketball star, to the local musician down the road,” he said.” It’s all about using localization to help you find who’s most relevant for you, wherever you are.”

The startup says it has been used to send more than 100,000 messages globally, and that sales grew 50% every month between July of last year and January 2021.

The round was led by Left Lane Capital, with the firm’s founder and managing parter Harley Miller joining the Memmo board. Delivery Hero co-founder Lukasz Gadowski , FJ Labs, Depop CEO Maria Raga, Zillow co-founder Spencer Rascoff, former Groupon operations director Inbal Leshem, Voi Technology co-founder Fredrik Hjelm, former Udemy CEO Dennis Yang and Wolt co-founder Elias Aalto also participated.

“We’ve been impressed with the pace at which Memmo has expanded their offering across markets, where localization is critical to unlocking marketplace liquidity,” Miller said in a statement. “The ability to monetize the gap between wealth and fame for talent & celebrities, all the while allowing them to engage deeply with fans, is a trend that was only further underscored by the pandemic.”

Although Left Lane is based in New York, Lundberg Toresson said he was particularly excited about the firm’s marketplace expertise, and that its investment does not signal an imminent U.S. launch.

Memmo has now raised a total of $12 million. The new funding will allow the startup to add new features like live videos and to build out its business offerings, allowing companies to hire celebrities to create promotional videos for external marketing or internal employee motivation.

#apps, #funding, #fundings-exits, #left-lane-capital, #memmo-me, #startups

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Wholesale marketplace Abound raises $22.9M

Abound, an online marketplace that helps independent retailers stock their shelves with new products from up-and-coming brands, is announcing that it has raised $22.9 million in its first institutional round of funding.

CEO Bill Shope founded the company with Niklas de la Motte and Drew Sfugaras. He told me that small retailers are constantly on the hunt for new products, which means attending trade shows several times a year. Abound, on the other hand, allows them to find those products through an online shopping experience, with wholesale prices (a.k.a. discounts of up to 50 percent), free returns and, in some cases, Net 60 sale terms (meaning retailers don’t have to pay until 60 days after the invoice).

The startup actually began as a community connecting manufacturer’s representatives and retailers, but Shope said the team “kept seeing the limits of that model,” while some retailers were asking to buy from the brands directly. So the team decided to support that experience, starting out by recruiting 50 brands with an offer of free consulting — as long as they were willing to be one of the brands on the marketplace when it launched in October 2019.

Of course, the retail environment changed dramatically in the following months, as the pandemic forced stores to close and/or adopt social distancing measures. Shope said the startup saw a dramatic, short-term decline in sales — but things quickly bounced back and kept growing as “all the trade shows got canceled.”

Partly, that’s because Abound also supports e-commerce retailers, but Shope noted that “the brick and mortars that were succeeding had a very powerful hybrid model,” where they continued to operate a physical store while also quickly launching websites and adding features like curbside pickup.

Abound screenshot

Image Credits: Abound

Abound says that since the beginning of 2020, it has added 180,000 new products in categories like baby and kid products, beauty, food and drink, home and living, jewelry and more. And monthly sales volume has increased 20-fold.

“From a retail perspective, I don’t think there’s any going back [to pre-COVID buying models,]” Shope said. After all, even before the pandemic, independent retailers had to compete with giants like Amazon and Walmart. “You’re not going to beat them on convenience products. The store that’s helping consumers discover new brands, or donating 10 percent of profits to charities — those are types of stories and products you need to have to draw consumers into your store.”

The funding was led by Left Lane Capital, with participation from RiverPark Ventures, All Iron Ventures and branding firm Red Antler. This will allow Abound to grow the team, expand internationally and continue developing the product.

In a statement, Left Lane Managing Partner Harley Miller said:

My family has been in independent retail for the last 20 years. Growing up, I attended many industry events, so I have long understood how under-optimized the wholesale buying and selling experience is. With the cancellation of most major trade shows in 2020 and 2021, emerging brands and independent retailers have been seeking new distribution channels to support their business ambitions. Abound offers an exciting and unique alternative to the legacy wholesale model at a time when small businesses need it most.

#ecommerce, #funding, #fundings-exits, #left-lane-capital, #startups, #tc

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UK on-demand supermarket Weezy raises $20M Series A led by NYC’s Left Lane Capital

Weezy — an on-demand supermarket that delivers groceries in fast times such as 15 minutes — has raised $20 million in a Series A funding led by New York-based venture capital fund Left Lane Capital. Also participating were UK-based fund DN Capital, earlier investors Heartcore Capital and angel investors, notably Chris Muhr, the Groupon founder.

Although the company hasn’t made mention of a later US launch, the presence of US investors would tend to suggest that. Weezy is reminiscent of Kozmo, the on-demand groceries business from the dotcom boom of the late ’90s. However, it differs from Postmates in that it doesn’t do pickups.

The cash injection will be used to expand its grocery delivery service across London and the broader UK, and open two fulfillment centers across London. Some 40 more UK sites are planned by the end of 2021 and it plans to add 50 new employees in the next 4 months.

Launched in July 2020, Weezy uses its own delivery people on pedal cycles or electric mopeds to deliver goods in less than 15 minutes on average. As well as working with wholesalers, it also sources groceries from independent bakers, butchers and markets.

It has pushed at an open door during the pandemic. In Q2 2020 half a million new shoppers joined the grocery delivery sector, which is now worth £14.3bn in the UK, according to research.

Kristof Van Beveren, Co-founder and CEO of Weezy, said in a statement: “People are no longer happy to wait around for deliveries, and there is strong demand for a more efficient service.”

Weezy’s co-founders are Kristof Van Beveren and Alec Dent. Van Beveren is formerly from the consumer goods world at Procter & Gamble and McKinsey & Company, while Dent headed up operations at UK startup Drover and business development at BlaBlaCar.

Harley Miller, managing partner, Left Lane Capital, commented: “Weezy’s founding team have the right balance of drive, experience and temperament to lead in e-commerce innovation
and convenience within the UK grocery market and beyond.”

Nenad Marovac, founder and managing partner, DN Capital, said: “Even before the pandemic, interest in online grocery shopping was on the rise. The first time I ordered from Weezy, my delivery arrived in seven minutes and I was hooked.”

#alec-dent, #delivery, #distribution, #dn-capital, #europe, #grocery-store, #groupon, #heartcore-capital, #kristof-van-beveren, #left-lane-capital, #london, #managing-partner, #marketing, #mckinsey-company, #nenad-marovac, #new-york, #procter-gamble, #retailers, #tc, #united-kingdom, #united-states, #weezy

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#DealMonitor – Tourlane bekommt 20 Millionen – Carbon Relay übernimmt StormForger


Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 18. 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

Tourlane
+++ Die Altinvestoren HV Capital, Sequoia Capital, Spark Capital und DN Capital investieren weitere 20 Millionen US-Dollar in Tourlane. “Mit dem frischen Kapital kann sich Tourlane weiter auf seine Vision fokussieren, ein auf Technologie und Reisekompetenz basierendes End-to-End-Erlebnis für die Buchung einzigartiger Individualreisen zu schaffen”, teilt das Startup mit. Das Berliner Travel-Startup, das 2016 von Julian Stiefel und Julian Weselek gegründet wurde, vermittelt “maßgeschneiderte Traumreisen” im höheren Preissegment. Insgesamt flossen nun schon mehr als 100 Millionen US-Dollar in Tourlane. Zuletzt hieß es, dass sich Tourlane Corona-Matching-Gelder gesichert hat.

Coyo
+++ Die amerikanische Investmentfirma Marlin Equity Partners investiert – wie bereits berichtet – eine zweistellige Millionensumme in das Hamburger Unternehmen Coyo. Das Startup wurde 2010 von Jan Marius Marquardt gegründet – zunächst als IT-Beratungsagentur (Mindmash). Seit 2012 bietet Coyo eine Social-Intranet-Software an. Bisher setzte Gründer Marquardt komplett auf Bootstrapping. Marlin Equity Partners meldete beim Bundeskartellamt bereits den “mit­tel­ba­ren An­teils- und Kon­trol­l­er­werb” bei Coyo an.

GoStudent 
+++ Left Lane Capital und DN Capital investieren weitere 5 Millionen in GoStudent. “Die Erhöhung des Investments, abermals inmitten der Corona-Pandemie, ist Ausdruck der Überzeugung in das weitere Wachstum des Startups im aufstrebenden E-Learning-Sektor”, teilt das Startup mit. Left Lane Capital und DN Capital investierten erst im Sommer dieses Jahres 8,3 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. GoStudent bietet kostenpflichtige Einzel- und Gruppenkurse an.

Troy
+++ Der Versicherer HDI, der zum Talanx-Konzern gehört, investiert eine einstellige Millionensumme in das Inkasso-Startup Troy – siehe FinanceFwd. Das junge FinTech will sich als Unternehmen für “kundenfreundliches, digitales Inkasso” etablieren. troy setzt dabei auf “Tools und Methoden aus Marketing und CRM und verbindet sie mit Daten und Machine Learning”. Das Startup wurde 2017 von Philip Rürup und Till Völzke in Lippstadt gegründet. eCAPITAL, BORN2GROW, Avala Capital und Seed X Liechtenstein investierten zuletzt einen mittleren einstelligen Millionenbetrag in troy.

Fulfin
+++ “Führende Investoren aus dem Finanzsektor” investieren eine mittlere siebenstellige Summe in das Münchner FinTech Fulfin, einen Kreditgeber für E-Commerce-Verkäufer. Das Startup, das 2018 von Nathan Evans, Alfred Gruber, Peter Eriksson und Tobias Steinbrecher gegründet wurde, bietet Warenfinanzierungen für junge Online-Händler an. Hevella Capital und Lakeside, die bereits im vergangenen Jahr eine siebenstellige Summe in das FinTech investierten, sind auch bei der aktuellen Investmentrunde wieder an Bord.

garden
+++ Crowberry Capital und byFounders investieren 3,1 Millionen Euro in das Berliner Startup garden. Zuvor investierten bereits Fly Ventures, System.One, Tiny.vc, Renaud Visage, Chad Fowler, Olivier Pomel, David Helgason, Nat Friedman, Hampus Jakobsson und Thomas Köhl in die Jungfirma. In der Selbstbeschreibung des Startups heißt es: “Garden is a development automation platform for Kubernetes and cloud native applications”. garden wurde 2018 von Jón Eðvald Vignisson, Bas Peters und Eythor Magnusson gegründet.

EXITS

StormForger
+++ Das amerikanische Unternehmen Carbon Relay übernimmt die Kölner Firma StormForger, eine Software-as-a-Service-Lösung in Sachen Last- und Performance-Testing. “Mit der Übernahme wird Carbon Relay in StormForge umbenannt und kündigt die erste integrierte Plattform für DevOps und IT-Profis an, die proaktiv und automatisch containerisierte Anwendungen testen, analysieren, konfigurieren, optimieren und freigeben kann, um das Risiko einer negativen Beeinträchtigung der Benutzererfahrung und des Kundenvertrauens zu beseitigen”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. StormForger wurde 2014 von Sebastian Cohnen und Lars Wolff gegründet.

Clasen Bio
+++ Das Berliner Unternehmen Social Chain übernimmt Clasen Bio, eine Marke für Nüsse, Snacks und Trockenfrüchte. “Clasen Bio wird gemeinsam mit den anderen Food-Marken der Social Chain unter das Dach der neuen Food Chain GmbH gestellt, einer hundertprozentigen Tochter der Social Chain AG”, teilt das Unternehmen von TV-Löwe Georg Kofler mit. Weitere Beteiligungen von Food Chain sind KoRo, 3Bears und VYTAL. “Die Umsatzentwicklung der Food Chain ist auf starkes Wachstum ausgerichtet: 2020 liegt der Umsatz bei 70 Millionen Euro (pro-forma-konsolidiert). 2021 wird eine Steigerung auf 100 Millionen Euro erwartet. Im Geschäftsjahr 2022 soll sich der Umsatz auf rund 140 Millionen Euro erhöhen”.

Capjob
+++ Das Wiener Startup myAbility, das von Gregor Demblin und Wolfgang Kowatsch gegründet wurde, übernimmt den deutschen Mitbewerber Capjob – siehe Trending Topics. “Neben der Ablösesumme gibt es eine Vereinbarung mit dem Capjob-Gründer, damit er die nächsten zwei Jahre für das Projekt tätig ist”, heißt es im Artikel. myAbility positioniert sich als “eine innovative, soziale Unternehmensberatung, die Unternehmen dabei hilft, die Potenziale von Menschen mit Behinderung als KundInnen und MitarbeiterInnen zu nutzen”.

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, #berlin, #capjob, #carbon-relay, #clasen-bio, #coyo, #dn-capital, #fintech, #food-chain, #fulfin, #garden, #gostudent, #hamburg, #hv-capital, #karlsruhe, #koln, #left-lane-capital, #lippstadt, #marlin-equity-partners, #munchen, #myability, #sequoia-capital, #social-chain-group, #spark-capital, #stormforge, #stormforger, #tourlane, #travel, #troy, #venture-capital, #wien

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M1 Finance closes $45M Series C mere months after it raised its $33M Series B

Just months after it announced a $33 million Series B, Chicago-based M1 Finance today disclosed a $45 Series C.

The new financing event was led by Left Lane Capital, the same investor that led M1’s Series B. Bear in mind that so-called inside rounds are now a bullish sign in 2020, as opposed to in prior VC eras when they were viewed more cooly. Other M1 investors include Jump Capital, Clocktower Technology Ventures and Chicago Ventures, though only the first two appear to have taken part in this round.

Per M1, the Series C comes just 120 days after it raised a Series B. A good question is why M1 has raised more capital, and why Left Lane Capital wanted to lead two rounds for the consumer-focused fintech provider. Going back to our prior coverage, we can figure it out.

In February, we reported that M1 Finance had reached the $1 billion assets under management mark, or AUM.

The startup combines three different traditional fintech services into one (roboadvising, neobanking and lending), allowing it to price the package aggressively. The model appears to be working. When M1 raised its Series B a few months later in June, it had reached the $1.45 billion AUM, or about 45% growth in just over a quarter. That’s very good.

Today, the company announced that it has surpassed the $2 billion AUM mark, up more than 38% in the last four months.

M1 posted slower AUM growth in percentage terms and greater growth in raw AUM over a similar time frame heading into its Series C. But regardless of that nuance, the company’s AUM grew quickly.

That fact helps explain its new round. If you were Left Lane Capital, had just led a round into the company, and then watched it keep growing rapidly, you’d want to double-down quickly. Not only to buy more of the company, but also to get the round done before another investor could show up and buy its own piece of M1, diluting you and nabbing your ascendant position as the startup’s most recent lead investor.

So Left Lane led the Series C, hoping that M1 keeps growing like the proverbial garden irritant.

Revenue, growth

Something fun about M1 is that it shared a revenue target as a percent of AUM earlier in the year, namely that it aims to generate around 1% of its AUM in revenue each year. The company’s CEO Brian Barnes re-confirmed the number for TechCrunch this week.

So, with more than $2 billion in AUM, we can see that M1’s revenues are probably on a run rate of more than $20 million today, and could crest a $25 million run rate by the end of the year, provided that growth continues as it has for the startup.

How is M1 adding so much capital to its platform? Barnes told TechCrunch that M1 has tripled its userbase since the start of the year, and that its current users are bringing more funds in from other financial platforms. The combination is making M1 larger, and quickly.

To wrap, our notes above about Left Lane probably wanting to lead the Series C to keep some other firm from doing it — pre-emption is a regular thing in today’s hot VC market — weren’t mere idle speculation. Barnes told TechCrunch in response to a question about its Series C that his company was “fortunate to have significant investor demand for our Series C, partly due to hitting milestones as quickly” as it has. That sounds like the possibility of competing lead investors to us, at least from our present remove.

The M1 round continues the savings and investing boom we’ve tracked this year. And the round is a win for the Midwest at the same time. More when M1 reaches $3 billion in AUM. Start your countdown.

#chicago, #finance, #fundings-exits, #left-lane-capital, #m1-finance, #recent-funding, #robinhood, #startups

0

Direct-to-consumer cat food startup Smalls raises $9M

While dog owners have plenty of direct-to-consumer options if they want to order pet food online, we haven’t seen a similar wave of startups for cats. But that may be starting to change.

Earlier this year, I wrote about Cat Person, a startup backed by Harry’s Labs offering a variety of cat care products, including food. And Smalls, a cat food startup that launched in 2018, is announcing today that it has raised $9 million in Series A funding.

Co-founders Matt Michaelson (CEO) and Calvin Bohn (COO) said that it’s not simply a matter of taking the D2C dog food model and applying it to cats.

“The traditional sort of MO for companies in the pet care space is to do everything for dogs first,” and then expand into cat products, Bohn said.

Michaelson argued that this means companies “often overlooked the nutritional needs of cat.” In particular, he said, “We found that we needed a much broader range of products to really succeed. Cats are picky because they’re apex predators.”

So Smalls offers a variety of food options, including what it says is fresh, human-grade chicken and beef; freeze-dried chicken, turkey and duck; plus other treats (and non-food products like litter and toys).

Smalls

Image Credits: Smalls

Michaelson and Bohn started out by cooking the food in the kitchen of their New York City apartments, then moved into what was then known as Brooklyn Foodworks. Smalls now manufactures its cat food in a facility in Chicago.

They acknowledged that the cost can be a bit higher than what cat owners are used to paying — the exact comparison will depend on the brand and quality you currently buy, but after taking a quick quiz on the Smalls website, I was offered subscription plans that cost around $3 or $4 per cat per day. Michaelson noted that “retention is not correlated to income” (so Smalls customers aren’t just wealthy cat owners), and he argued that investing healthy food for your cat could save money down the road

“We don’t have studies to say that yet, but at the same time, you would naturally assume eating better food is going to be a good investment in yourself,” he said.

Bohn added that when cat owners switch to Smalls, they quickly notice the difference: “Within weeks, their cats were sleeping better at night, their coats were more lustrous, their stool smelled better.” (Journalists who tried it out seem to agree.)

The Series A brings Smalls’ total funding to $12 million. It was led by Left Lane Capital (whose partner Jason Fiedler previously invested in The Farmer’s Dog), with participation from Founder Collective and Companion Fund.

“While we’ve seen a proliferation of highly successful healthy dog food brands, the cat food market has remained completely ignored,” Fiedler said in a statement. “Smalls has successfully developed a brand, product mix, supply chain and customer experience that is specifically optimized for cats that no one else has.”

Michaelson said Smalls currently has “several thousand” active subscribers, up 4x year-over-year. And while the pandemic has created some supply chain challenges, it also led to “a huge rise in pet adoption,” as well as convincing some owners that they should look for alternatives to their local pet store.

“Because we’re seeing this big movement towards the direct-to-consumer side of things with COVID, it’s really an opportunity to lean into that and grow faster,” he said.

#ecommerce, #funding, #fundings-exits, #left-lane-capital, #startups

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Investors drop off $33 million for Chowbus, a delivery service for ‘mom and pop’ Asian restaurants

When big platforms have carved out large swaths of the delivery market, the best thing for an upstart company to do is to specialize.

For Chowbus, that meant building a food-delivery business that finds restaurants whose cuisines specialize in regional cuisines from Northern and Southern China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

It’s a strategy that has now netted the company $33 million in financing led by the Silicon Valley-based investment firm Altos Ventures and New York’s Left Lane Capital. Hyde Park Angels, Fika Ventures, FJ Labs and Silicon Valley Bank also participated in the round.

Founded four years ago in Chicago by Suyu Zhang and Linxin Wen, the company said that its goal was to connect people with authentic Asian food that’s not easy to find on delivery apps. Over the past year, the company touted significant growth in its business, a traction that can be reflected in its decision to bring on the former chief operating officer of Jump Bikes, Kenny Tsai, as its chief operating officer, and Jieying Zheng, a former Groupon product leader as its head of product.

“When we say we’re true partners to the restaurants we work with, we mean it. By eliminating hidden fees, helping them showcase their best dishes, and other efforts we make on their behalf, we really go the extra mile to help our restaurant partners succeed,” said Wen, Chowbus’ chief executive, in a statement. “We only succeed if they do.”

And seemingly, Chowbus is succeeding. The company raised $4 million in its first round of institutional funding just last year and its rise has been precipitous since then.

The Chicago-based company said it would use its new funding to expand to more cities across the US and add new products like a “dine-in” feature allowing diners to order and pay for their meals on their phone for a contactless experience at restaurants in cities that have flattened the curve of COVID-19 infections and are now reopening. 

Chowbus pitches its lack of hidden fees and footprint across 20 cities in North America including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Seattle, and many other cities across North America. In Los Angeles, the company offers menus in Mandarin and Cantonese and allows its users to bundle dishes from multiple restaurants in a single delivery.

Other companies are experimenting with specialization as a way to differentiate from the major delivery services that are on the market. Black and Mobile, which launched in Philadelphia but is in the process of expanding across the country, is a delivery service focused on Black-owned restaurants and food stores.

Founded by David Cabello, Black and Mobile was started in 2017 by the 22 year-old college dropout. The company launched its first operations outside of Atlanta earlier this month and is available on iOS.

“The market is experiencing a permanent shift from offline to online ordering, a trend that Chowbus is actively driving,” said Harley Miller, Managing Partner at Left Lane Capital . “Focusing on this large and loyal constituency with a vertical-approach to supporting Asian restaurants and food purveyors has allowed Chowbus to differentiate itself on both sides of the marketplace. The capital efficiency with which they have operated, relative to the scale achieved, is extraordinarily impressive, and not something we often see.”

#altos-ventures, #chicago, #china, #chowbus, #fika-ventures, #fj-labs, #food, #food-delivery, #groupon, #jump-bikes, #left-lane-capital, #los-angeles, #online-food-ordering, #philadelphia, #seattle, #silicon-valley-bank, #taiwan, #tc, #united-states

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#DealMonitor – Andreessen Horowitz investiert 26 Millionen in Rasa


Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 23. Juni 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

Rasa
+++ Jetzt offiziell! Andreessen Horowitz investiert – wie bereits Mitte Juni exklusiv berichtet – 26 Millionen US-Dollar in Rasa. Neben Andreessen Horowitz investieren auch Accel, 468 Capital, Basis Set Ventures und Mango Capital erneut in das Berliner Startup. Insgesamt flossen nun schon 40 Millionen Dollar in Rasa, einen Anbieter für Open-Source-Anwendungen. Das Unternehmen wurde 2016 von Alan Nichol und Alexander Weidauer gegründet.

GoStudent
+++ Left Lane Capital und DN Capital investieren 8,3 Millionen Euro in GoStudent. “Darüber hinaus kommen die Gründer von Swoodoo und HomeToGo mit ihrem Investmentvehikel NFQ als strategische Partner mit an Bord”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. Das Wiener Startup, das sich als E-Learning-Dienst positioniert, wurde 2017 von Gregor Müller, Felix Ohswald und seinem Bruder Moritz Ohswald gegründet. Nachhilfe. GoStudent bietet kostenpflichtige Einzel- und Gruppenkurse an.

smark
+++ Campo und Mutschler Ventures investieren 3,1 Millionen Euro in das Stuttgarter Startup smark. Die Jungfirma, die von Philipp Hoening und Max Ittermann gegründet wurde, bietet vollautomatisierte Einkaufsstationen, sogenannte smarkBoxen, an. Kunden können entweder vorher per App einkaufen oder vor Ort über einen Touchscreen bestellen. “Möglich macht das ein automatisiertes Lager- und Greifsystem, das alle Artikel innerhalb nur einer Minute zur Ausgabe befördert”, teilt das Startup mit.

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

#468-capital, #accel, #aktuell, #andreessen-horowitz, #basis-set-ventures, #campo, #dn-capital, #e-learning, #gostudent, #left-lane-capital, #mango-capital, #mutschler-ventures, #rasa, #smark, #stuttgart, #venture-capital, #wien

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M1 Finance raises $33M Series B as it reaches $1.45B AUM

Today M1 Finance, a Chicago-based fintech startup focused on consumer finance, announced that it has closed a $33 million Series B. Left Lane Capital led the round, with participation from Clocktower Technology Ventures and Jump Capital. The firm has raised around $54.5 million to date.

M1 Finance caught TechCrunch’s attention earlier in the year when it crossed the $1 billion assets-under-management (AUM) mark. When TechCrunch learned of its impending Series B, we wanted to know how fast the company was adding to its AUM total, and how its efficiency was faring in the current savings-and-investing fintech boom. So, we found out.

Growth

According to M1 Finance founder and CEO Brian Barnes, after reaching the $1 billion AUM mark in February, his company has “continued to see record new account signups and net inflows,” helping it grow its total assets managed by “about 50% in the less than four months since.” Asked about its precise AUM today, the company told TechCrunch that as of the time of press, it had reached $1.45 billion in assets under management.

The company’s AUM total is not only a good metric to track regarding how successful the firm is in terms of attracting customers and customer trust (monies deposited are a vote of user confidence), it’s also a fun proxy for M1 Finance’s revenue. The firm previously told TechCrunch before that it targets generating around 1% of AUM in revenue.

So, as M1 stacks AUM, it theoretically grows it revenues. Asked whether M1 was sustaining its revenue goal as its assets managed grew, Barnes told TechCrunch that personal banking tool M1 Spend “is seeing strong demand from our users,” adding that “because it is still very new, we are, as expected, below the 1% target.”

But while M1 is currently tracking under its 1% goal, Barnes added that his company expects “to hit the 1% target over the next year or so as we increase use adoption across our entire product suite.”

Doing the math, 1% of $1.45 billion AUM is a run rate of $14.5 million. M1 is growing assets while boosting its take rate, likely making its short-term financial results attractive to investors.

On that note, the company’s financial performance is improving in other ways. Asked by TechCrunch what has happened to M1’s blended customer acquisition costs (CAC) since it reached the $1 billion AUM mark, Barnes said that the company’s “blended CAC continues to fall every month because our organic and word of mouth traffic continues to grow substantially.”

It’s far easier to pay back customer acquisition costs when they are going down. And, as CAC payback periods (the length of time it takes to repay CAC with gross-margin adjusted revenues) matter to investors, this is a bullish result for M1.

What’s next

M1’s new $33 million round is more money than the aggregate amount of capital that the company had raised before its Series B. Given that the firm has at its disposal more capital than ever, TechCrunch was curious what it intends to do with the capital.

According to Barnes, M1 will double-down on its product focus, “just with more money to do so bigger, better and faster.” The CEO highlighted that the new money would also give M1 “more flexibility to make longer-term investments as people will need finance products for the rest of time.”

Next up we’ll look for news that the company has reached the $2 billion AUM mark, and then we’ll set our stopwatches for $3 billion. How much more quickly the company can add its third billion in AUM compared to its second will provide a good proxy for its future growth prospects.

#finance, #finservices, #fundings-exits, #left-lane-capital, #m1-finance, #recent-funding, #startups, #tc

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