Built Robotics, a company aiming to make construction equipment autonomous, is announcing a $33M Series B round this morning. With the construction industry facing a global labor shortage, Built’s aim is to allow one equipment operator to oversee a fleet of vehicles working autonomously in parallel, hopping in the cab only for tasks the machine can’t handle. Rather than building its own vehicles, Built focuses on converting the popular construction equipment thats already out there. They sell a kit that straps to the top of things like excavators, bull dozers, and skid steers, taking tech like LIDAR, GPS, and WiFi and meshing them into the machine’s innards to give it autonomous smarts. They sell the conversion boxes to other companies, help them get installed, then charge a usage fee whenever the machines are in autonomous mode.
Allbirds now makes water-resistant shoes — here's your first look, plus our verdict
Online shoe brand Allbirds knew that its fans were starting to store away their shoes come fall and winter time in order to protect the wool construction. Now, it has two new shoes that let you enjoy soft comfort and support no matter the weather conditions. The new Mizzle collection features the Wool Runner Mizzle and the Wool Runner-Up Mizzle, which are both made with water-resistant merino wool and a reinforced sole for more traction on slippery surfaces.
Credit card start-up Petal raises $300 million debt round from Jefferies
Credit card start-up Petal just completed a new financing round. The New York City-based company announced a $300 million debt round from Jefferies on Tuesday, adding to existing venture capital investments from names like Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures. Petal offers a Visa rewards card to people with little to no credit history. Founder and CEO Jason Gross said the idea was to offer younger customers, who often haven’t established credit, a rewards-based card. Instead of using a traditional FICO score, it uses other data and metrics to assess whether or not someone can repay the loans. Companies like Square, Stripe and PayPal are leaning on similar tactics to underwrite small business loans.
Porter Road Butcher is Empowering Farmers and Disrupting the Meat Industry
Happy Money Raises $70 Million At A Valuation Of Nearly $500 Million
Happy Money, the Costa Mesa, California-based fintech that operates a marketplace that hooks borrowers up with credit union lenders, has raised $70 million in venture funding at a valuation of $495 million. The Series D round of funding was led by CMFG Ventures, the venture capital arm of CUNA Mutual Group. The round is double its previous fundraising efforts and is more of a strategic investment. CUNA Mutual Group does business with 95% of the credit unions in the U.S. giving Happy Money access to more partners. Under the investment deal, Happy Money will work with CUNA Mutual’s sales force to reach more credit unions.
ReadMe scores $9M Series A to help firms customize API docs
Software APIs help different tools communicate with one another, let developers access essential services without having to code it themselves and are critical components for driving a platform-driven strategy. Yet they require solid documentation to help make the best use of them. ReadMe, a startup that helps companies customize their API documentation, announced a $9 million Series A today led by Accel with help from Y Combinator. The company was part of the Y Combinator Winter 2015 cohort. Prior to today’s funding announcement, the company had taken just a $1.2 million seed round in 2014. Today, it reports 3,000 paying customers and that it has been profitable for the last several years, an unusual position for a startup. In spite of this success, co-founder and CEO Gregory Koberger said as the company has taken on larger customers, they have more sophisticated requirements, and that prompted them to take this round of funding.
Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez Are Investing in Fintech Firm Acorns
Acorns Grow Inc. RZI 4.44% wants to go viral. It has enlisted A-Rod and J.Lo to help. Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez are buying a stake in the California-based company, Acorns said Monday, joining an investor base that includes Ashton Kutcher, Bono and Kevin Durant. Acorns doesn’t just want celebrities as investors—it is also talking to some of them about designing financial products tailored to their interests. The influencer strategy is the brainchild of Acorns Chief Executive Noah Kerner, a onetime DJ for Ms. Lopez and a former head of marketing at WeWork Cos. He is trying to transform Acorns from a niche savings app that invests users’ spare change into a bank alternative used by 100 million consumers. “Our focus is getting everyday Americans saving and investing for the future...in the hopes that we help the next Kevin Durant or Jennifer [Lopez] get there,” Mr. Kerner said.
Cashback and rebate startup Ibotta secures funding at a $1B valuation
Ibotta, a startup whose platform doles out rewards for in-store and online purchases, today announced a series D funding round led by Koch Industries subsidiary Koch Disruptive Technologies, at a $1 billion valuation. The size of the raise wasn’t disclosed, but it comes after three previous rounds totaling roughly $85 million. CEO Bryan Leach said the capital infusion will enable Colorado-based Ibotta to accelerate its hiring plans over the next year and expand its two-floor downtown Denver headquarters.
Denver Startup Ibotta Reaches $1 Billion Valuation
Shopping rebates app maker Ibotta Inc. said it is worth $1 billion after receiving a new funding round that looks likely to make it the highest-valued technology startup in Colorado. The Denver-based payments company just raised an undisclosed nine-figure Series D led by Koch Disruptive Technologies. The company is now valued at $1 billion. The startup offers a coupon alternative for consumers that want to save money and get cash back rewards. Users of the Ibotta app can shop at places like Uber, Chipotle, Whole Foods, among others and get cash back rewards for each transaction.
Human Interest Raises $15.4M Series B For DIY Startup Retirement Plans
Human Interest wants to help every startup worker get a 401k. And with new capital in hand it’s on its way to accomplishing that. The San Francisco-based financial services startup announced today that it has raised $15.4 million dollars in a Series B led by U.S. Venture Partners. Wing VC, Uncork Capital, and Slow Ventures also participated in the round. Human Interest was founded by Roger Lee and Paul Sawaya as part of the Y Combinator Summer 2015 batch. The company sells software to help small businesses, like tech startups, build their own retirement plans.
Verb Energy Plans to Expand Unique Text-to-Commerce Platform, Portfolio with $3.5M Fundraise
An infusion of $3.5 million in seed funding will help the trio of co-founders behind the startup Verb Energy meet the rapidly growing demand not just for its caffeinated oat- and nut butter-based bars, but also for the human touch the company offers consumers through its unique text-to-order platform.
Personal lender Oportun Financial files for a $50 million IPO
Oportun Financial, which provides installment loans to low and moderate income consumers with limited credit history, filed on Wednesday with the SEC to raise up to $50 million in an initial public offering. The San Carlos, CA-based company was founded in 2005 as Progress Financial (Progreso Financiero) and changed its name to Oportun Financial in 2015. The company booked $523 million in gross revenue for the 12 months ended March 31, 2019 and plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol OPRT. Oportun Financial filed confidentially on July 18, 2018. Barclays, J.P. Morgan, Jefferies, and Keefe Bruyette Woods are the joint bookrunners on the deal. No pricing terms were disclosed. The article Money moves: Personal lender Oportun Financial files for a $50 million IPO originally appeared on IPO investment manager Renaissance Capital's web site renaissancecapital.com.