|Wednesday! Hope yours is going well.:) We’ve been keeping very busy with Brodie, who is himself hard at work over here (destroying our office).|
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|Sophia Amoruso Just Raised Venture Funding for Her Newest Company
Sophia Amoruso famously founded the retailer Nasty Gal, growing it from an Ebay store that sold vintage items to a darling of the fashion world that was seeing more than $300 million in sales at one point.
Somewhere along the way, however, Nasty Gal lost its way. After raising $65 million over its ten years of operation — including from Index Ventures and renowned retail executive Ron Johnson — the company last November filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, in part to address “immediate liquidity issues.”
The company was ultimately acquired for $20 million in February. In the meantime, Amoruso, who’d stepped away as CEO of Nasty Gal in January of 2016 but remained on as executive chairman, is on to a new business, and now it’s venture-backed. Indeed, the media company that she began building on the side three years ago —Girlboss — is today announcing $3.1 million in seed funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, whose partner, Nicole Quinn, led the deal and joins the startup’s board.
The round also includes unnamed tech and digital media investors, according to a release.
Lightspeed’s interest in Girlboss isn’t surprising, given the many e-commerce brands it has supported previously, including early bets on The Honest Company, Stitch Fix, and Snap.
Amoruso’s built-in following is substantial, too
|(More) New Fundings
Aeronyde, a 1.5-year-old, Melbourne, Fla.-based aerial systems company that’s trying to build an end-to-end infrastructure for self-flying vehicles, has raised $4.7 million in seed funding led by Korean electronics manufacturing giant JASTech. More here.
Bizzabo, a six-year-old, New York-based events management platform, has raised $15 million in fresh funding led by Pilot Growth Equity, with participation fromMaor Investments and returning investors. The new round brings Bizzabo’s total funding to $30 million. TechCrunch has more here.
Cog, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based company that makes a secure smartphone, has raised $3.5 million in Series A funding from Grok Ventures and the Australian tech venture fund rampersand. More here.
The Dots, a 3.5-year-old, London-based online marketplace for creative talent, has raised £4 million (roughly $5.4 million) in funding led by the growth equity firmHambro Perks, with participation from The Garage Soho, Angel Academe, and others. TechCrunch has more here.
Fanchest, a two-year-old, Brooklyn, N.Y.-based startup that curates and sends team-themed gift boxes as gift, has raised $4 million in seed funding from NFL quarterback Drew Brees, Drone Racing League founder Nick Horbaczeswki, and more traditional venture funds that include GoAhead Ventures and Connected VC. The company has now raised $5.4 million altogether. TechCrunch has more here.
FollowAnalytics, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based mobile marketing startup, has raised $11 million in funding led by the French telecommunications group Orange, through its Orange Digital Ventures unit. Other investors in the round include Aspect Ventures, Zetta Venture Partners, Sapphire Ventures, Cathay Innovation, La Maison and Salesforce Ventures. More here.
FreightHub, a 1.5-year-old, Berlin- and Hamburg, Germany-based freight forwarding startup, has raised $20 million in Series A funding led by Northzone, with participation earlier backers, including Global Founders Capital, Cherry Ventures, Cavalry Ventures, and La Famiglia. TechCrunch has more here.
iZettle, a seven-year-old, Stockholm, Sweden-based commerce platform that competes against companies like Square, Paypal and SumUp, has raised another €40 million ($47 million) led by previous backer Dawn Capital. Other participants in the round include the Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund and other, earlier (unnamed) investors. TechCrunch has more here.
Homeis, a months-old, New York-based startup that aspires to build a digital online community for immigrants in cities across the globe, has raised $4 million in seed funding led by Canaan Partners, with participation from Oath CEO Tim Armstrong and numerous others. Business Insider has more here.
Joblift, a two-year-old, Berlin-based European job platform, has raised €10 million ($11.8 million) in funding led by VC DN Capital, with participation from Picus Capital and earlier backers Cherry Ventures, btov and TruVenturo. TechCrunch has more here.
INSIKT, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based online lending company to “underserved” individual and small businesses, has raised $50 million in fresh funding led by Grupo Coppel, with participation from FirstMark Capital,Revolution Ventures and Colchis Capital. The company has so far raised $100 million to date. TechCrunch has more here.
ispace, a 4.5-year-old, Tokyo, Japan-based private space venture with two lunar missions in the works, has raised $90.2 million in a Series A funding round that it’s calling the “largest ever” Series A in commercial space financing. The funding comes from Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, Development Bank of Japan, Tokyo Broadcasting System, Konika Minolta and others. TechCrunch has more here.
Kasisto, a four-year-old, New York-based developer of a conversational AI platform for finance (called “KAI”), has raised $17 million in Series B funding led by Oak HC/FT, with participation from earlier investors Propel Venture Partners, Two Sigma Ventures, Commerce Ventures, Mastercard and Partnership Fund for New York City. More here.
Lily, a nearly three-year-old, Bay Area-based personalized shopping service for women that says it takes into account how women feel about their bodies, has raised $2 million in seed funding from New Enterprise Associates and other backers, including Global Founders Capital, Triplepoint Capital, Think + Ventures, Unshackled Ventures and numerous individuals. TechCrunch has more here.
Workboard, a four-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based SaaS platform that helps enterprises measure their OKR (objectives and key results), has raised $9.3 million in Series A funding led by Floodgate and Microsoft Ventures, with participation from earlier backers. The company has now raised $12.1 million altogether. More here.
NSI Ventures, a three-year-old, Singapore-based investor that early on backed the Indonesian unicorn and Uber rival Go-Jek, has announced a first close of its second fund, which is targeting $125 million. The firm, which closed its first fund with $90 million in 2015, says it has secured $75 million in capital commitments so far and expects to close its newest fund to investors in the first half of next year. TechCrunch has more here.
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EBay said today that it’s acquiring Terapeak, a Toronto-based startup that has built a platform that crunches data about supply, demand and pricing to help guide companies on what to sell and how to price it. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Terapeak had raised around $5 million in funding, including fromGeorgian Partners, shows Crunchbase. TechCrunch has more here.
WedPics, a five-year-old, Raleigh, N.C.-based photosharing app that had raised $10.7 million from investors like Bullpen Capital, is being acquired by Mixbook, an 11-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based platform for digitally collecting and editing physical photo books that has also raised roughly $11 million from investors. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. TechCrunch has more here.
Crikey. The FCC’s own chief technology officer expressed concern today about Republican Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to repeal the net neutrality rules, saying it could lead to practices that are “not in the public interest.” Politico has the story here.
Here’s what people were Googling in 2017.
A San Francisco animal shelter has been facing a backlash after using a surveillance robot to scare off homeless people (raising the question of how society will respond to similar robots down the line).
Google is opening a new research center in China, with a focus specifically on AI. As TechCrunch notes, the development is a little surprising, given that Google has very little product presence within the Chinese market.
Patreon, a venture-backed platform that enables fans and sponsors to support artists and creators, has called off plans to add a service fee to patrons’ pledges, a proposed update that angered many users.
Omarosa’s dramatic White House exit.
A British surgeon has (gulp) admitted to branding patients’ livers.
You’re probably buying fancy jewelry the wrong way.