Author: Joanna Glasner

Getting personal: Funding rises for software-driven tastemakers

TECHCRUNCH Joanna Glasner Contributor More posts by this contributor Global unicorn exits hit multi-year high in 2018 Boston-area startups are on pace to overtake NYC venture totals It has the feel of a science fiction plot. A young man heads online to look up deals on things he likes. Slowly, the tables turn. Now, it’s the computer that starts telling him what he wants. Buy these pants. Play this song. Eat this pizza. Date this girl. Read news with this political spin… OK, I lied. This isn’t sci-fi at all. It’s the current reality. And it’s the kind of...

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The alumni of these universities raised the most VC in the past year

TECHCRUNCH Joanna Glasner Contributor More posts by this contributor Global unicorn exits hit multi-year high in 2018 Boston-area startups are on pace to overtake NYC venture totals Whatever criteria we look at, whether it’s schools with the highest number of well-capitalized founders, highest funding totals or even where startup investors went to college, the same names top the list. The only surprise factor, it seems, is whether Harvard or Stanford will be in first place. It’s possible we’ll do a data-driven university- and startup-related ranking that doesn’t feature the same two schools in the top two positions. But that’s not...

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Global unicorn exits hit multi-year high in 2018

TECHCRUNCH Joanna Glasner Contributor More posts by this contributor Boston-area startups are on pace to overtake NYC venture totals Home run exits happen stealthily for biotech Unicorn exits are taking flight. With the IPO window wide open, an apparent record number of venture-backed companies privately valued over $1 billion have launched public offerings this year. Crunchbase data shows 23 unicorn IPOs globally so far in 2018, well outpacing full-year totals for 2016 and 2017. Collectively, this year’s newly public unicorns are doing pretty well too. Most priced shares around or above expectations. We’re also seeing a lot of impressive aftermarket gains....

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Boston-area startups are on pace to overtake NYC venture totals

TECHCRUNCH Joanna Glasner Contributor More posts by this contributor Home run exits happen stealthily for biotech While tech waffles on going public, biotech IPOs boom Boston has regained its longstanding place as the second-largest U.S. startup funding hub. After years of trailing New York City in total annual venture investment, Massachusetts is taking the lead in 2018. Venture investment in the Boston metro area hit $5.2 billion so far this year, on track to be the highest annual total in years. The Massachusetts numbers year-to-date are about 15 percent higher than the New York City total. That puts Boston’s...

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Home run exits happen stealthily for biotech

TECHCRUNCH Joanna Glasner Contributor More posts by this contributor While tech waffles on going public, biotech IPOs boom Shoe startups aren’t dragging their feet Startup exit tallies commonly underestimate biotech returns. Unlike most tech deals, the biggest profits in bio often come long after an IPO or acquisition. Take Juno Therapeutics, a publicly traded cancer immunology company that sold to pharma giant Celgene this year for $9 billion. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like a deal that would impact Juno’s early investors. After all, Juno went public back in 2014. Though the Seattle company raised more than $300 million...

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While tech waffles on going public, biotech IPOs boom

TECHCRUNCH For people who make investment decisions based on revenues and projected earnings, biotech IPOs are kind of a non-starter. Not only are new market entrants universally unprofitable, most have zero revenue. Going public is mostly a means to raise money for clinical trials, with red ink expected for years to come. That pattern may be one reason the venture capital press, Crunchbase News included, tends to devote a disproportionately small portion of coverage to biotech IPOs. It’s more exciting to watch a big-name internet company pop in first-day trading or poke fun at an underperforming dud. But with our fixation on all things tech,...

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Shoe startups aren’t dragging their feet

TECHCRUNCH Joanna Glasner Contributor More posts by this contributor Hydrate, intoxicate, caffeinate, repeat: Meet the startups pouring the future VCs serve up a large helping of cash to startups disrupting food Good thing Carrie Bradshaw, the shoe-loving heroine of Sex and the City, wasn’t a footwear venture capitalist. The high-heeled, high-priced and hard-to-walk-in pairs beloved by the TV icon are pretty much the least fundable concept in the shoe startup space lately. Instead, when they do dip their toe in the footwear space, venture investors have been putting a premium on comfort. At least that’s what recent funding records indicate. Over the past year-and-a-half, investors have tied up roughly $170 million in an assortment of shoe-related startups, according to an analysis of Crunchbase data. The vast majority is going to sellers and designers of footwear that people might actually want to walk in. Top funding recipients are a varied bunch, including everything from used sneaker marketplaces to high-end designers to toddler play shoes. Startups are also experimenting with little-used materials, turning used plastic bottles, merino wool and other substances into chic wearables. Below, we look at how startups are leveraging market trends to get a foot in the door. Growth market It should be noted that recent footwear funding activity comes on the heels of some positive developments for the shoe industry. First, this is a huge and growing industry....

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Hydrate, intoxicate, caffeinate, repeat: Meet the startups pouring the future

TECHCRUNCH Joanna Glasner Contributor More posts by this contributor VCs serve up a large helping of cash to startups disrupting food US startups off to a strong M&A run in 2018 These days, it seems like everyone with extra cash has some kind of pricey drinking habit. It might be fine wine, craft beer or cocktails. Or it could come in the form of coconut water, cold-pressed juice or the latest frothy caffeinated concoction. No matter what your preference, startups and their backers likely have you covered. In a follow-up to our story earlier this month about food startups gobbling up venture funding, Crunchbase News is taking a look at beverage companies guzzling capital. We found that while drinkables receive a smaller portion of funding than edibles, it’s still a sector that draws hundreds of millions of dollars in annual investment. Where are investors pouring all that money? Some unlikely places. For instance, it appears the largest funding recipient so far this year is a China-based chain called Hey Tea that’s well known for a specialty called cheese tea. (An unfortunately named, slightly salty iced drink that a Crunchbase News team sampling determined was actually pretty tasty.) Besides cheese tea, we found startups are also raising millions to bottle deep ocean water, customize instant coffee and make your party punch more portable. Bottom line: So long as there are profit margins to squeeze out, the quest continues...

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