April 20 (4/20) is a kind of American national holiday in the pot-smoking world , but no one seems to know exactly why. Is it Bob Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” (12 x 35 = 420)? Is it an old police code (a 420) for marijuana possession? Or is it for some other wild reason, like Adolf Hitler’s birthday? Whatever the reason, to Eaze Solutions, Inc. (Eaze) this week seemed a good time to release the results of its recent cannabis survey. Eaze is a four year-old San Francisco-based technology platform serving licensed cannabis dispensaries and brands. The company’s technology provides help to cannabis businesses with compliance, inventory management and delivery. Eaze says it helps consumers too by connecting them either online or via mobile. According to Eaze’s social impact director, Jennifer Lujan, the company’s mission is to “improve people’s lives by helping them understand the benefits of cannabis and by providing them with safe, convenient access to legal cannabis products.”
The Great California Cannabis Experiment Lurches Forward
To coincide with this "holiday," a technology company with San Francisco roots held an open house this week at its new Venice office, just steps from the sign. Eaze, a platform that connects consumers to dispensaries for home deliveries of cannabis, invited the city's cannabis czar, a dispensary owner and a delivery driver to talk about the newly legalized recreational market.
How Kate Ryder Started a Healthcare App Designed for Women
Everyone needs healthcare. Yet, to the surprise of many people I speak with, both healthcare providers and the consumers interacting with the healthcare system are overwhelmingly female. Approximately 80% of healthcare decisions are made by women, who commonly guide care not just for themselves, but also for their children and families. Likewise, the majority of healthcare jobs — including doctors, nurses and technicians — are held by women. Given this, it’s worth a double-take that the system is run almost entirely by men. Only about a fifth of healthcare executives are women. I’m part of a small percentage of women who run digital health startups. My company, Maven, a digital clinic for women, bridges gaps in healthcare by providing on-demand access to a network of over 1,000 women’s and family health providers. Patients can see Maven Practitioners either by video, by text
Tentrr is turning private land into glampgrounds, with the help of VCs
Venture capitalists certainly appreciate the startup’s pitch. Tentrr — founded by one-time investment banker turned former NYSE managing director Michael D’Agostino — has raised $13 million to date, including a newly closed $8 million Series A round led by West, a San Francisco-based venture studio that both funds startups and helps them market their goods and services. No doubt the investors are looking at the overall market, whose numbers are compelling. According to one trade association, for example, the outdoor recreation industry represents an $887 billion opportunity, with Americans shelling out $24 billion annually on campsites alone.
They created the Uber of flower delivery. Then disaster struck. Could they find redemption?
It was around 3 a.m. on Feb. 14, 2017, when Ajay Kori and Jeff Sheely knew things were starting to go wrong. Three years earlier, the two college buddies — along with friends Jereme Holiman, Chetan Shenoy and Scott Simpson — had set out to upend the stodgy, low-tech world of flower delivery with a sleek, Silicon Valley-like competitor. They named their start-up UrbanStems and based it in downtown Washington. But that Valentine's Day, it felt like it could all come crashing down. Hours before deliveries were supposed to begin, Kori, Sheely and several employees were still entombed in their building’s mailroom, clustered around a few tables, assembling bouquets and putting them in boxes. They’d never used such a small space for prep work on a Valentine’s Day before, and this year, the number of orders had nearly tripled compared with the previous year’s. Sheely recalls worrying about whether they would finish in time for deliveries. “At a certain point, it was like, ‘We are not gonna make it,’ ” he says.
Virta Health Raises $45 Million for Digital Diabetes Treatment
Virta Health, a startup that is taking a software approach to treating diabetes rather than pills or injections, has raised $45 million in funding to support its technology. San Francisco-based Virta says its software “reverses” diabetes through behavioral changes that reduce the biological measures of the disease. The company’s software platform, accessible via a mobile app, helps the patient track blood sugar, carbohydrate intake, and other indicators. The Virta starter kit includes a scale, blood pressure cuff, and glucose meter that automatically upload data to the Virta app. The platform also provides clinicians and caregivers real-time access to the data so that they can provide additional guidance and support. Virta unveiled its technology last year, along with $37 million in funding. At that time, the startup pointed to published clinical data from a Virta-funded study showing that after 10 weeks, the software reduced or eliminated the need to take insulin in 87 percent of patients.
Is the $40 Billion Laundry Industry Ready for Reinvention? This Startup Is Betting on It
The delivery man in the bright-blue fleece rings the intercom at a home in the Richmond district of San Francisco. "It's James from Rinse," he says when the homeowner's voice crackles through the speaker. With that, the entryway light goes on, the door opens, and the occupant arrives to retrieve the bag of laundry that Rinse had picked up, in a considerably dirtier state, a couple of days earlier. James scans the QR code on the bag with his phone, and hoofs it back toward his Prius to head to the next stop. The customer couldn't have known that he had just been handed a sack of cleaned-to-order laundry by one of the nation's most exquisitely educated delivery guys. James Joun has degrees from Dartmouth and Harvard Business School. He also doesn't do this much anymore, since he's the co-founder and COO of Rinse, a rapidly growing laundry and dry-cleaning startup that is trying to become the first nationally scaled company in what has always been a very local business. This Joun knows intimately: His Korean immigrant parents have run a dry-cleaning shop in South San Francisco for more than 25 years.
IAC Invests $14 Million In An App That Makes It Easier to Find Temp Work Straight From Your Phone
Isaac Mangrum was just hanging out with a friend when he looked over his buddy's shoulder and saw him scrolling through an app filled with jobs. Mangrum had already been driving for Uber and Postmates in his spare time just to get through college. The list of jobs he saw as his friend scrolled through the app had similar flexibility where he could work in his spare time, but paid a guaranteed hourly wage. "As I saw the app, I began to put it all together. You’re looking through jobs and you look for jobs you want," Mangrum said. "You'd have total control over what you'd accept."
Hungryroot Raises $22 Million in Series B Funding from Lightspeed
Most startup entrepreneurs would view $1 million a month in revenue as a happy milestone for a company. For Ben McKean, nearing the million dollar mark meant it was finally time to recognize the fear that had been gnawing at him over the last year. His healthy and convenient subscription food business, Hungryroot, had been growing fast since it launched in 2015. Customers were literally hungry for more as they filled the company's Facebook page with five-star reviews and product suggestions. But McKean, the CEO and founder of the company, started to realize that its own manufacturing capabilities were holding growth back. As the company neared the million-dollar mark in early 2017, McKean made the choice to stop taking orders and shut down its own food manufacturing facility. Hungryroot lost all of its revenue overnight.
The best mesh Wi-Fi systems you can buy
Mesh Wi-Fi systems are the perfect way to upgrade the wireless Internet in a large home or spaces with Wi-Fi “dead zones.” The second generation Eero Home WiFi System is our top pick because it's beautifully designed, and the powerful modules plug right into your wall to ensure the signal is everywhere.
Productivity boost? Robots break new ground in the construction industry
As a teenager working for his dad's construction business, Noah Ready-Campbell dreamed that robots could take over the dirty, tedious parts of his job, such as digging and leveling soil for building projects. Now the former Google engineer is turning that dream into a reality with Built Robotics, a startup that's developing technology to allow bulldozers, excavators and other construction vehicles to operate themselves. "The idea behind Built Robotics is to use automation technology make construction safer, faster and cheaper," said Ready-Campbell, standing in a dirt lot where a small bulldozer moved mounds of earth without a human operator. The San Francisco startup is part of a wave of automation that's transforming the construction industry, which has lagged behind other sectors in technological innovation. Backed by venture capital, tech startups are developing robots, drones, software and other technologies to help the construction industry to boost speed, safety and productivity.
Watch out Rimowa! Luggage competitor Away is making aluminum cases
Away just celebrated its second anniversary, and the direct-to-consumer luggage startup continues to grow. It’s sold 300,000 suitcases to date, opened four stores across the country, and grown to a team of 140 employees. One part of the company’s strategy is to release a steady flow of new products, which usually involves iterations of the same polycarbonate hard shell case in different colors and textures. Away has partnered with everyone from Rashida Jones, who helped select colors inspired by Scandinavia, to the NBA, which created colors representing some of its teams.