Author: Kate Clark

Alumni Ventures Group is the most active venture fund you’ve never heard of

TECHCRUNCH Alumni Ventures Group’s (AVG) limited partners aren’t endowment or pension funds. Its typical LP is a heart surgeon in Des Moines, Iowa. The firm has both an unorthodox model of fundraising and dealmaking. Across 25 micro funds, AVG is raising and investing upwards of $200 million per year for and in tech startups. Tucked away in Boston, far from the limelight of Silicon Valley, few seem to be paying attention to AVG. There are a few reasons why, and those seem to be working to the firm’s advantage. Today, AVG is announcing a close of roughly $30 million for three...

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Jane.VC, a new fund for female entrepreneurs, wants founders to cold email them

TECHCRUNCH Want to pitch a venture capitalist? You’ll need a “warm introduction” first. At least that’s what most in the business will advise. Find a person, typically a man, who made the VC you’re interested in pitching a whole bunch of money at some point and have them introduce you. Why? Because VCs love people who’ve made them money; naturally, they’ll be willing to hear you out if you’ve got at least one money maker on your side. There’s a big problem with that cycle. Not all entrepreneurs are friendly with millionaires and not all entrepreneurs, especially those based...

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Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global is teaming up with Zenefits

TECHCRUNCH Many are familiar with Arianna Huffington’s personal journey from media mogul to outspoken sleep advocate. In April 2007 she collapsed, broke her collarbone and woke up in a pool of blood, a well-publicized accident she attributes to sleep deprivation and exhaustion. In the years that followed, she shifted her focus to wellness, authoring two books on the topic: Thrive and The Sleep Revolution, and later founded a wellness media company called Thrive Global. Thrive, which bills itself as a “behavior change” startup, helps businesses help their employees develop healthy relationships with technology and manage stress and burnout — issues with...

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YC grad Oh My Green gets $20M seed investment

TECHCRUNCH In its first institutional funding round, Oh My Green has raised $20 million from Initialized Capital, Powerplant Ventures, Backed VC, ZhenFund, Talis Capital and the Stanford StartX Fund to bring healthier foods to offices around the U.S. The concierge-style startup, which completed Y Combinator’s startup accelerator in 2016, provides businesses in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Austin, Denver, Boston, New York City and Nashville nutritional snacks and meals. It stocks office snack pantries — a staple at tech startups — caters events, manages cafes and provides wellness programming. Its goal is to be a one-stop shop for...

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Next 10 Ventures is launching an incubator for YouTube personalities

TECHCRUNCH Los Angeles-based Next 10 Ventures, a $50 million fund focused on the creator economy, is launching an incubator program to support YouTubers. The EduCreator Incubator will seed 25 to 40 “emerging video creators” with $25,000 to $75,000 in seed funding, depending on their location, and will enroll them in a 12-month mentorship program. The only requirement is that they focus on educational video content targeting children and young adults. “The amazing thing about being able to provide more educational content to YouTube is that children, who may be first generation from an emerging or developing country, they now have...

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These are the most successful companies to emerge from Y Combinator

TECHCRUNCH Earlier this month, Brex, a credit card provider to startups, announced it had raised $125 million at a $1.1 billion valuation. The round was impressive for a couple of reasons. 1. The founders are a pair of 22-year-olds that had set out to build a virtual reality company before pivoting to payments. And 2. They had only completed Y Combinator, a well-known Silicon Valley startup accelerator, the year prior. Y Combinator is responsible for many successes in the startup world, certainly more than its fellow accelerators, which are all known to provide early-stage companies with a seed investment...

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Blockchain media startup Civil is issuing full refunds to all buyers of its cryptocurrency

TECHCRUNCH Many doubted The Civil Media Company‘s ambitious plan to sell $8 million worth of its cryptocurrency, called CVL.  The skeptics, as it turns out, were right. Civil’s initial coin offering, meant to fund the company’s effort to create a new economy for journalism using the blockchain, failed to attract sufficient interest. The company announced today that it would provide refunds to all CVL token buyers by October 29. Civil’s goal was to sell 34 million CVL tokens for between $8 million and $24 million. The sale began on September 18 and concluded yesterday. Ultimately, 1,012 buyers purchased $1,435,491 worth...

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Keeps parent company Thirty Madison raises $15 million to fight male pattern baldness

TECHCRUNCH Thirty Madison, the healthcare startup behind the hair loss brand Keeps, has brought in a $15.25 million Series A co-led by Maveron and Northzone. The company provides a subscription-based online marketplace for men’s hair loss prevention medications Finasteride and Minoxidil. Keeps sells these drugs direct-to-consumer, working with manufacturers to keep the costs low. On Keeps, a subscription of Minoxidil, an over-the-counter topical treatment often referred to as Rogaine, is $10 monthly. A subscription to Finasteride, a prescription drug taken daily, is $25 per month. “It’s an end-to-end platform that is the single best place for guys who are looking to keep their hair,” Thirty Madison co-founder Steven Gutentag told TechCrunch. Keeps is tapping into a big market. According to the American Hair Loss Association, two-thirds of American men experience some hair loss by the age of 35. You may have heard of Hims, a venture-backed men’s healthcare company that similarly sells subscriptions to hair loss treatments, as well as oral care, skin care and treatments for erectile dysfunction. Keeps is its smaller competitor. For now, the company is focused solely on haircare, though with the new funds, Thirty Madison plans to launch Cove, a sister brand to Keeps that will provide treatments to migraine sufferers. The company was founded last year by Gutentag and Demetri Karagas with a plan to develop several digital healthcare brands under the Thirty Madison umbrella. “Going through this process...

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