As Clear Secure Takes Off in $4.5 Billion IPO, CEO Caryn Seidman-Becker Eyes a ‘Frictionless’ Future

June 30, 2021

When Covid lockdowns took hold last March and sent the global travel industry to a sputtering halt, Caryn Seidman-Becker was not entirely surprised. The cofounder and CEO of biometric screening company Clear Secure had been watching the virus unfold around the world and knew she had to prepare for a time in which a fast-pass through the airport security line might not be a traveling priority.

Co-op raises $5.8M to help online merchants land customers for less

June 29, 2021

Ask anyone looking to sell online about their customer acquisition costs compared to a few years ago, and you’ll hear a tale of woe. Channels that were once a cost-effective ground for acquiring customers, like various social networks, have become increasingly pricey real estate. Facebook’s recent broaching of the $1 trillion market cap threshold attests to the fact. But co-op wants to shake up how online sellers find new customers, and it wants to do so with a spirit of collaboration at a discount.

This Company 3D-prints Your Favorite Vitamins Into a Single Gummy

May 11, 2021

Like many wellness-minded people, Melissa Snover used to have a strict vitamin routine. Seven a day, self-curated according to her needs. But keeping track of the combinations was confusing. She’d have to buy separate bottles of different vitamins, usually with varying pill quantities, and often from different stores, making the mixing-and-matching a hassle. She traveled a lot, which added further annoyance. “I used to have to carry a disgusting ziplock bag full of random vitamins,” she says.

Serial Fiction App Radish Acquired by Kakao Entertainment for $440M

May 10, 2021

Serialized fiction app Radish will be acquired by Kakao Entertainment in a transaction valued at $440 million. Kakao Entertainment is owned by Kakao, the South Korean internet giant whose services include its eponymous messaging platform. Radish founder Seungyoon Lee will hold onto his role as its chief executive officer, while also becoming Kakao Entertainment’s global strategy officer to lead its growth in international markets…

How Slice is Empowering Local Pizzerias in the Digital Age

April 15, 2021

Pizza tops peoples’ list of favorite takeout and delivery options in the best of times and its popularity soared further in 2020 as restaurants around the country closed to indoor dining and consumers sought safe, tasty and affordable alternatives to their own home cooking. U.S. pizza restaurants generated about $46.2 billion in sales last year, with independents accounting for about 40% of the total, according to Statista…

Wholesale Marketplace Abound Raises $22.9M

February 18, 2021

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…

The Peloton of Home Cooking? Amid Pandemic Growth, Tech-Enabled Meal Kit Company Tovala Lands $30M Series C

February 4, 2021

“The Peloton of” may just be the new coveted term across industries, given Peloton’s rocketship growth, no doubt fueled by changing pandemic behaviors. The tech-enabled home fitness company tripled its paid subscriber base between 2019 and 2020. In food, there are few companies that parallel Peloton’s offering, combining an all-in-one tech-enabled experience with premium content and aspirational partnerships, all in the comforts of home…

Crisis Management: How a Bad Q1 and a Small Assortment Turned into a Good Year for Mack Weldon

January 5, 2021

Mack Weldon CEO Brian Berger thinks of the pandemic in three stages: triage, the new normal and the steady state. Not every retailer’s path through the pandemic is the same, but just about every business can identify with the first of those stages, when U.S. retailers closed their doors in rapid succession, made tough decisions on employee furloughs and layoffs, and struggled for breathing room on rent and other costs…

Bolt Raises $75 million to Fight E-Commerce Fraud with Machine Learning

December 21, 2020

The checkout platform Bolt — not to be confused with the blockchain startup Bolt Labs, the hardware investor Bolt, or the ride-sharing firm formerly known as Taxify — today announced that it recently closed a $75 million funding round. The infusion comes after a year during which Bolt processed over $1 billion in retail transactions, saw a 10 times uptick in the size of its shopper network, and added more than 250,000 shoppers to its network every month…

International Shipping Startup Raises $12M Series A

December 17, 2020

Passport, a technology startup that helps brands with all aspects of cross-border shipping, announced on Thursday it has raised $12 million in Series A funding. Leading the round was M13, with participation from Resolute Ventures, Precursor, Kleiner Perkins, RiverPark and Republic. In an interview with FreightWaves, CEO Alex Yancher described Passport as a “modern international shipping carrier” built for e-commerce and direct-to-consumer brands…

How to Make Millions From Bezos’ Billions

November 18, 2020

Business was booming for Adam St. George when he decided to shop around his four-year-old brand Angry Orange Odor Eliminator. Sold primarily on Amazon, his citrus-scented pet odor remover was racking up more than $2 million in annual revenue. Within hours of listing the operation on an online brokerage, St. George was inundated with phone calls…

LA-based MarketerHire upgrades its service matching remote marketers with companies

October 28, 2020

MarketerHire, a Los Angeles-based startup backed by a slew of executives from some of the city’s hottest startups, launched its new service matching freelance marketing experts with open jobs listed on its platform. “Today’s startup economy depends on the expertise of industry specialists as much or more than full-time generalists,” said Nick Green, co-founder and CEO of Thrive Market, a MarketerHire customer and investor, in a statement…

Spying a pivot to ghost kitchens, Softbank’s second Vision Fund pours $120 million into Ordermark

October 27, 2020

“We’re building a decentralized ghost kitchen,” is a sentence that could launch a thousand investor calls, and Alex Canter, the chief executive officer behind Ordermark, knows it. The 29-year-old CEO has, indeed, built a decentralized ghost kitchen — and managed to convince SoftBank’s latest Vision Fund to invest in a $120 million round the company announced today…

How Ocrolus CEO Sam Bobley built his document analytics company into a $100 million fintech firm

October 9, 2020

If you’ve ever answered CAPTCHA questions to prove you’re not a robot, you were probably unwittingly helping Google analyze print documents to turn them into digital ones. Ocrolus, one of the leading document analysis companies in financial services, uses similar tech to digitize financial documents…

Valar triples down on Petal, leading $55M Series C round into the credit card disruptor

September 24, 2020

Sometimes raising venture capital can be as simple as talking to your existing investor and having them wire over another check. When we last caught up with Petal in January 2019, the startup was hot off its $30 million Series B round and was accelerating its mission to take on the world of credit cards…

Design-forward furniture rental brand Conjure launches today in New York City, announces $9M raise

September 22, 2020

Today, East Coast furniture rental startup Conjure launches its service to New Yorkers and suburban neighbors in New Jersey and Long Island. The service has been operating in stealth under the name Mobley for over two years, and during that time it has seen revenue grow more than 7.6x…

Softbank, Kakao Give Radish $63M Series A Boost to Build New Story Content

August 4, 2020

Serialized fiction app Radish landed $63.2 million in Series A funding, led by SoftBank Ventures Asia and Kakao Page, to tap into Hollywood’s storytelling community. The new investment brings Radish’s total funding to more than $68 million, co-founder Seung Yoon Lee told Crunchbase News. The company last raised funds in 2017, including a $3 million seed round, according to Crunchbase data…

Armed With $50 Million in Fresh Funding, Bolt Helps Retailers Shift to ECommerce

July 16, 2020

With eCommerce taking off amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Bolt the checkout technology platform company is raising $50 million in a new round of venture funding. The Series C financing was led by Laurence Tosi at WestCap and included participation from existing investors…

Thrasio Gets Its Horn: $260M Series C Round Provides $1B Valuation

July 15, 2020

Thrasio, an acquirer of Amazon third-party private-label businesses, has closed on a $260 million Series C round of funding, giving it a pre-money valuation of $1 billion, Thrasio co-founder and co-CEO Joshua Silberstein told Crunchbase News on Wednesday. He said that Thrasio is the fastest-profitable company in the U.S. to achieve unicorn status, which is “a nice benchmark to hit.”

Tovala Gobbles Up $20M for its Smart Oven + Meal Kit Service

June 2, 2020

Meal kits have had a rush of interest in recent months, with people turning to them to vary the pace of (and in some cases, completely replace) making meals at home, or ordering take out, at a time when many of us are spending a lot of time at home. Now a startup that has combined the concept of meal kits with that of smart ovens to do the cooking is announcing some funding to help expand its business.

Slice Raises Another $43M to Help Local Pizzerias Drive Business Online

May 12, 2020

New York City has had a long and well-documented love affair with pizza. In fact, the first pizzeria in the US is said have been founded in 1905 by Gennaro Lombardi, who sold pizzas from his grocery store on Spring Street. 115 years later and the demand for pizza is stronger than ever, with each person having their own opinion on where to get the best pizza. Slice is the end-to-end ordering and marketing platform that helps local pizzerias enable and build their digital and online presence.

Meet Thrasio, a Profitable Startup That Just Raised $110M at a $780M Valuation

April 9, 2020

Thrasio, an acquirer of Amazon third-party private-label businesses, has closed on a $110 million financing at a post-money valuation of $780 million, the company has exclusively told Crunchbase News.The round included $75 million in equity and $35 million in debt. Insiders led the financing, which included participation from Peak6, RiverPark Ventures, WTI and Upper90…

On-demand Shuttle Startup Via Hits $2.25 Billion Valuation on Latest Funding Round by Exor

March 31, 2020

On-demand shuttle startup Via has hit a $2.25 billion valuation following a Series E funding round led by Exor, the Agnelli family holding company that owns stakes in PartnerRe, Ferrari and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The Series E funding round, which included other investors, totaled $400 million, according to a source familiar with the deal…

Hilary McCain Gives a ‘Sweet Reason’ to Try Her CBD-Infused, All-Natural Sparkling Waters

November 20, 2019

What happens when a background in food and beverage and a passion for cannabis collide? Well, in Hilary McCain’s case, you combine both and launch a company — which she decided to do with her line of CBD-infused, zero-sugar, all-natural sparkling waters called Sweet Reason…

Ohi Raises $2.75M to Power Same-Day Delivery for Brands that Aren’t Amazon

November 18, 2019

The world has gotten so much faster. Amazon has made two-day shipping the standard and same- or next-day shipping commonplace. And that doesn’t even include the collection of on-demand players that can get us everything from groceries to alcohol to services like concierge storage and in-home cleaning with the press of a button…

Credit card start-up Petal raises $300 million debt round from Jefferies

September 18, 2019

Credit card start-up Petal just completed a new financing round. The New York City-based company announced a $300 million debt round from Jefferies on Tuesday, adding to existing venture capital investments from names like Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures…

New York City’s school buses will now be automatically routed and tracked using Via’s algorithm

August 21, 2019

The yellow school bus is an iconic feature of the American streetscape—their rumbling presence through neighborhoods signals the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year for kids. But as nostalgia-inducing as they are, yellow school buses are not exempt from the wave of disruption sweeping transit in the U.S…

Something To Smile About: Candid Raises $63 Million To Be The Warby Parker Of Braces

April 16, 2019

What started as two twentysomethings’ desire to bring straight teeth to everyone is turning into a better way to do braces, especially with a mouthful of new cash. Candid is an orthodontics company that gives customers the power to buy a clear orthodontist-created alignment plan online—at 65% less than traditional braces….

We Tried it: the Cardio Dance Workout 305 Fitness

November 30, 2018

Described as “an addictive cardio party,” 305 Fitness is one of New York City’s most popular workout classes. Celebrities Miley Cyrus and Hailey Baldwin are fans of 305 Fitness, and NBA star Kevin Durant is an investor. The franchise has quickly expanded into Boston and Washington, D.C., and has a Los Angeles pop-up…

The company turning Ubers into product distribution channels raises $22.5M in Series A

September 27, 2018

New York-based sundries-for-sale-in-your-Uber concept Cargo announced today that it completed a Series A round this month. The $22,499,997 Founders Fund-led investment by something of a motley crew ranging from Zynga founder Mark Pincus to Def Jam Recordings CEO Paul Rosenberg to Schwarzenegger children Patrick and Christina…

How Mack Weldon Utilizes Data and Technology to Inform All Key Aspects of Business

August 29, 2018

The sheer pace of change in fashion has compelled brands and designers alike to exhaust traditional product offerings like no other period that we have witnessed in menswear before. As a result, a mans choice of clothing became an ongoing theme each season.Unlike modern menswear lifestyle collections…

Metabolism Hacking Company Lumen Scores Big with Diet Planning Device

July 24, 2018

Lumen, an Israel-based company offering a metabolism tracking and nutrition device, has blown through its crowdfunding target on Indiegogo within four hours of listing last week. By now the company has raised almost $580,000 from 2686 backers, 1159% of its goal, and the campaign still has a month to go…

Can Future Family Fix the Infertility Experience?

April 30, 2018

How much do you know about fertility? Specifically, your own. It’s a question that’s starting to move into the mainstream as more women than ever wait to have a baby; In 2016, the number of women in their 30s having babies officially surpassed the birth rate among women 25 to 29, according to CDC data…

Why Former NBA Player David Robinson Is Investing in a $5 Million Round for SidelineSwap to Battle Against Amazon and eBay

April 24, 2018

An online marketplace called SidelineSwap, where athletes buy and sell sports gear and equipment is announcing a $5 million Series A financing round today that is led by Global Founders Capital with participation from former NBA player David Robinson’s Admiral Capital, Peak6 Sports, RiverPark Ventures, FJ Labs and The Player’s Impact, which is a syndicate of pro athlete and Olympians…

Pizza Unchained: Tech Startup Slice Helps Local Pizzerias Get Online And Fight Back Against Domino’s

April 10, 2018

Ilir Sela likes to call himself “third-generation pizza.” A 38-year-old Albanian immigrant, his extended family has owned so many pizzerias he has trouble counting them all. So when he launched a business, in 2010, to offer independent pizzerias the technology to compete with the likes of Domino’s, Little Caesars, Papa John’s and Pizza Hut, the first thing he did was to sign up his brother-in-law, his cousins and his friends…

Bolt launches an Amazon-like checkout experience for the rest of online retail

January 23, 2018

A startup called Bolt wants to give e-commerce retailers a better shot at competing with Amazon. Operating in stealth for a year, the payments platform has grown to 100 online merchants who are now in various phases of roll out with its end-to-end solution for managing customer checkout, payment processing, and fraud detection…

VIA RAISES $250M LED BY DAIMLER TO BRING ITS CARPOOLING TECHNOLOGY TO EUROPE

September 4, 2017

As outsized ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft continue to build out their taxi-style marketplaces largely based around connecting individual passengers to individual drivers, a startup focused squarely on the carpooling opportunity has raised a large round of funding to expand outside of the U.S. Via — which has developed a shuttle-based carpooling service that it…

RiverPark Ventures Via Product Shot

Ollie, a Purveyor of ‘Human Grade’ Pet Food, Just Landed $12.6 Million in Fresh Funding

August 23, 2017

Ollie, a two-year-old, New York-based subscription service that sells what it calls human-grade pet food, has raised $12.6 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Canaan Partners, with participation from WME Ventures, Rosecliff Ventures, RiverPark Funds, Correlation Ventures and earlier backers Primary Venture Partners and Lerer Hippeau Ventures…

How KeyMe is Taking Over the $7.5B Locksmith Industry

June 20, 2017

When Greg Marsh moved to NYC for business school, he and his wife got locked out of their new home. They had a horrible experience, as an unscrupulous guy showed up in an unmarked van and charged $300 to drill the lock. This experience got Marsh thinking about the locksmith industry and, later, to start KeyMe…

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