SOFI : Student Loans :: Earnest : Personal Lending?
If you have been following our prior Rounds of the Week, you know we here at C:V. are big fans of the disruption in the student loan space that SOFI is causing. Well, this week we are featuring a company that is armed with $15M to wreak havoc on the personal lending market in the same way SOFI is the student loan market! It’s time for you to meet Earnest.
Funding to Date: $15M ($15M Series A)
Deal Notables: We really like this business model of low-cost loans to qualified applicants via future expectations and less on prior history. That, and the market potential is staggering so we think Earnest has some serious upside. Another interesting note is that the company is based in San Francisco but chose Boston as their pilot city. Earnest claims it is due to the “high population of young working professionals” but we personally think Boston’s general awesomeness was the deciding factor. But hey, we aren’t biased or anything…
Is “On-Demand Delivery Dining” the food equivalent of the Mobile Payments battle of 2014? We seem to be seeing a lot of companies (we see you Sprig, Plated, Blue Apron, GrubHub, Munchery…) in the space raising rounds recently, and SpoonRocket is no exception. They recently raised an $11M A round to further their mission of creating the “Most Convenient Meal Ever”.
Funding to Date: $13.5M ($2.5M Seed, $11M A)
Deal Notables: With all the movement in the space recently, we wonder how everything will shake out. It appears there are a few avenues that these companies can travel down (ready to eat: SpoonRocket, cook yourself: Blue Apron, standard delivery of existing restaurants: GrubHub). We like the fact SpoonRocket claims and $8 fee and under 10 minute delivery in the ready to eat category, but are very interested in finding out what the proper logistical balance is to keep supply and demand in check with the pricing/delivery parameter when they eventually scale the business to greater/more disperse locations.
Coming to a ski resort near you?
Roller Coaster Photo meets Ski Resort? If Deja View Concepts and their $900K funding have anything to say about it, this will become commonplace. Their Paparazzi Pass app allows you to track and record your movements on the slopes and then you can view the video playback later. They also specialize in mPOS security tracking systems for retailers.
Name: Deja View Concepts, Inc.
Funding to Date: ~$1.45M ($900K Equity, $550K Debt)
Deal Notables: Gotta wonder how GoPro feels about this… Think of how many people cruise the slopes GoPro in hand only to get average-at-best video of them chest/head-level going down a mountain. Obviously its in its early stages, but add in some properly placed cameras and editing components and we would take Paparazzi Pass over GoPro any day!
The cold call is dead! Well, that is what sales acceleration company InsideSales.com is attempting to prove and their latest $100M funding will give them quite the arsenal to do so. This is not your typical “big data” cloud platform because in addition to providing a lot of sales features, it also uses predictive analytics and machine learning to provide insight that adapts to your business. Given how large the Inside Sales market is, we could easily see this company being a massive disruptor in the space in the next few years. We here at C:V. will be following them along their journey for sure!
Funding to Date: $143M ($4M Seed, $4M A, $35M B, $100M C)
Deal Notables: You know you have something good going when you have the ability to turn down over 10 term sheets and $200M in additional funding…
A crowdsourced enterprise security firm raises an A round from top investors and our “C:V. favorite” Shape Security’s CEO? Talk about a guaranteed way to get featured as a Round of the Week on C:V.! NSA-led Synack has done just that with their $7.5M Series A this week to capitalize on the growing security needs of the Fortune 2000.
*Editor’s Note: If you are new to this site (Welcome, we hope you like it!) or unfamiliar with our infatuation about A) enterprise security or B) Shape Security please refer to the respective hyperlinks to get a taste…
Funding to Date: $9M ($1.5M Seed, $7.5M A)
Deal Notables: While we are on record here at C:V. for being suckers for a large disruptive market with a strong management team (Synack has these in spades), we are intrigued by this business model as it can drastically reduce the costs for mid to large size businesses looking increase their security awareness. Needless to say, we look forward to following Synack in its life cycle.
One of the upstarts in the crowdinvesting space, Wefunder has reportedly raised a $500K round this week. Similar to the AngelLists of the world, Wefunder is a crowdinvesting platform that allows almost anyone to invest in promising companies. What type of companies you ask? Well, you have your run of the mill tech/hardware startups and then there’s the Flying Cars company. Seriously, one of the most successfully funded projects to date for them is Terrafugia, a flying car startup with $30M in preorders to boot.
Funding to Date: ~$1.1M ($530K Seed, $500K A?)
Deal Notables: Not so much deal related, but C:V. has a storied history with Wefunder. Some of our early inspiration for creating C:V. stemmed from an email chain between colleagues where we would evaluate and value selected Wefunder startups. We would pick a company and do a rundown on their market size, management team, and product offering to determine whether or not we saw the opportunity as viable for investment. VC nerds gonna VC nerd…
MAU strikes again! Mobile App Performance Management (mAPM) company Crittercism raised a $30M C round to assist in their expansion to the B2B app market. We can only imagine how much larger their MAU will be once they do infiltrate the corporate world…
Funding to Date: $48M ($1.2M Seed, $5.5M A, $12M B, $30M C)
Deal Notables: Being tasked with fixing the “blue screen of death” for apps is quite an undertaking but Crittercism seems to have a solid direction of how to get there. Interesting to note that two of their goals are to 1) Deliver more product capabilities/Expand their value-add and 2) Expand their distribution and partnership channels. Hmmmm… where have we seen those tactics before...
P.S. if you were wondering, they already have plenty of “Lighthouse” customers…