I'm sitting in a WeWork office in San Francisco that looks torn from a West Elm catalog, talking with Michael Brandt about Nootrobox, a subscription service for "smart drugs," or cognitive-enhancement supplements. But I can't stop admiring his shoes — a pair of fuzzy gray sneakers. "They're really awesome. I don't wear socks anymore," Brandt, a
Silicon Valley is obsessed with these wool sneakers that claim to be the 'most comfortable in the world'
Silicon Valley is Obsessed with These Wool Sneakers
Allbirds is becoming a ubiquitous brand throughout Silicon Valley, as evidenced by the company's ability to raise over $5 million in venture capital funding. Henry McNamara, a general partner at Great Oaks venture firm, liked Allbirds enough to invest, as well. His video is worth watching because it shows off Allbirds' surprising packaging design.
The Gig Is Up: The Real Value Of Gig Economy Startups Isn't The Model -- It's The Supply
It’s not just Uber and Airbnb. As startup Bellhops has demonstrated with its tech-based, college student-supported moving services, it’s possible to offer a service similar to that provided by existing companies (like movers and transportation) but in ways that drastically move the needle—such as enhancing consumer experience. Justin Caldbeck, a partner at early-stage VC firm Binary Capital and one of the first backers of Bellhops, came to that realization when conducting due diligence on the gig economy himself.
Olapic Acquired for $130M by Font Giant Monotype
Font foundry Monotype, a company specializing in digital typesetting and typeface design, has acquired Olapic, a startup that helps brands garner relevant photos and videos from social media users for marketing campaigns. Founded in the 1880s, Massachusetts-based Monotype, in all its various guises, has been a key player in the evolution of printing technology. It played a crucial part in the development of the first mechanical typesetter and also helped produce some of the most familiar fonts you see today, including Times New Roman and Arial. Olapic has a less illustrious history, but since its inception in 2010, the New York-based startup has nabbed more than $20 million in funding and has played a notable part in bringing user-generated content to marketers. So why would a font foundry acquire a company such as Olapic? According to a press release, it’s all part of Monotype’s mission to serve brands across two key areas — marketing and design.
The On-Demand Economy Hits The Reset Button
"What do you think about ‘Lyft for food’?" In 2013, Gagan Biyani was working as what techies like to call a "growth hacker" at the ride-hailing company Lyft—his job was to help launch its service in Los Angeles, Lyft’s first market beyond San Francisco—when a childhood friend, Neeraj Berry, asked him if he’d be interested in applying Lyft’s blueprint to another type of service.
I tried an app that lets you video chat with a doctor, and it was the best healthcare experience I've ever had
If you've ever suddenly come down with a deeply uncomfortable ailment like strep throat or a urinary-tract infection, you likely have two immediate thoughts: "I know exactly what this is and how I need to treat it," and, "How am I going to get in to see a doctor right away?" Enter Maven, a women's health app that connects you with doctors via video chat, allowing you to ask questions, get advice, and receive prescriptions.
The Muse raises $16 million to grow its recruitment service for millennials
The Muse, a job search website aimed at millennials, has raised a further $16 million as it looks to push out into more markets. Before today, the company had raised almost $13 million, so the latest funding takes its total investment to around the $29 million mark. The latest Series B round was led by Icon Ventures, with participation from current investors, including Aspect Ventures, DBL Partners, and QED Investors. Founded out of New York in 2011, The Muse serves up advice, resources to improve skills, and coaching services — in addition to helping match candidates with employers. The career-focused platform isn’t just about potential employees selling their services though — firms can also use the website to sell themselves by showcasing their company culture.
No PhD, "No Fear" - Alice Zhang, 27, Aims Software At Neuro Diseases
It’s impossible to sum up a person with a word, a sentence, or even a paragraph. We all contain multitudes. But if a picture of 27-year-old biotech CEO Alice Zhang could emerge from a single line, it might be her response when asked to describe her first time through the whirlwind of the annual J.P. Morgan healthcare conference in San Francisco. “I wasn’t super frazzled by the whole thing,” she said with a slight shrug.
EquipmentShare raises $5.5 million for peer-to-peer marketplace for heavy equipment
To grow its peer-to-peer marketplace for construction equipment, Columbia, Missouri-based EquipmentShare has raised $5.5 million in a venture funding round led by Romulus Capital. Earlier, the “Airbnb for construction” raised $2.1 million in seed funding and participated in the Y Combinator accelerator. EquipmentShare’s co-founders, brothers William and Jabbok Schlacks, drew inspiration for their business from the socialist commune where they grew up in rural Missouri. The commune’s leaders had them building and fixing things from a young age, and living there taught them incredible work ethics, they say.
Home WiFi Startup Eero Raises $50 Million, Heads to Best Buy
Eero, the maker of home Wi-Fi devices that use multiple access points to improve coverage, on Tuesday will announce that it has raised $50 million in new venture capital funding. It also will unveil a non-exclusive retail agreement with Best Buy BBY 5.11% , whereby Eero devices will be available at BestBuy.com next week and in more than 500 Best Buy bricks and mortar stores sometime this summer.
eero inks $50 million funding deal with Menlo’s Opportunity Fund, plans to sell products at Best Buy
Just months after finally shipping its product to consumers, smart wireless routing system eero has pulled in a new $50 million in growth funding from Menlo Ventures, as the first investment from the Menlo Opportunity Fund. Existing investors First Round Capital, Shasta Ventures, Red Point Ventures, and Playground Global also added to this round.
Zesty hires Nate Keller, Will Douillet to ramp up healthy corporate catering
Food delivery startup Zesty is rolling out its office catering service beyond San Francisco to locations throughout the Silicon Valley peninsula, and has brought on two food and hospitality executives to support its expansion. Joining Zesty as Director of Food is Nate Keller, formerly Executive Chef at Google who oversaw its growth from 400 to 400,000 meals served daily, and was the founding executive chef at Sprig. Also joining the startup as Director of Service and Hospitality is Will Douillet, the former Senior Director of Operations of Michael Mina’s restaurant group.