Shift Technologies, an online marketplace for used cars, has closed a Series D financing round of more than $140 million in equity and debt. The round, which consists of about $70 million in debt and $71 million in equity, was led by automotive retailer Lithia Motors. Bryan DeBoer, CEO and president of Lithia, will join Shift’s board of directors. Previous investors Alliance Ventures, BMW iVentures, DCM, DFJ, G2VP, Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and Highland Capital also participated. This new capital brings Shift’s total financing of equity and debt to $265 million.
Shift Raises $70M in Series D Funding, Led by Lithia Motors $LAD
Used car marketplace, Shift Cars, says that is has raised $70M in new equity in its Series D financing, led by Lithia Motors $LAD. Alongside the equity, Shift has also raised $70M in debt to help fund its operations and inventory. Lithia CEO Bryan B. DeBoer will join Shift's board of Directors as the company eyes future growth an a potential public offering.
Porter Road wants to herd the meat industry in a new direction
Down a two lane road on the outskirts of Princeton, Ky., next to a cemetery and past the Light of Truth Church is the Porter Road Butcher Meat Co. facility — a staging ground for what the Nashville-based startup Porter Road hopes will be a revolution in the American meatpacking industry. For the company’s co-founders, James Peisker and Chris Carter, the refashioning of the meat business in America is the next step in a nearly decade-long journey since the former chefs first met working in the restaurant of Nashville’s historic Hermitage Hotel. The two men started their butcher business, selling locally sourced meat from the East Nashville Farmer’s Market in 2010 and eventually moved to a storefront in the same neighborhood a year later.
Is This the Suitcase of the Summer?
Save for Louis Vuitton steamer trunks, luggage has never had a particularly sexy connotation. (Recall Holden Caulfield complaining about his Gladstones banging the hell out of his legs.) The 1 percent of yore hired people to carry their belongings, and some celebrities still glide through airports with nary a suitcase in sight. But about a year ago, amid the sea of black polyester-nylon that dominates most airports, I started noticing something new: sleek, colorful, grooved hard-shell rolling suitcases with built-in chargers. They’re made by Away, a two-year-old luggage start-up with $81 million of investment. Fans include Rashida Jones, Karlie Kloss and Dwyane Wade, all of whom have designed limited editions with the company.
Nylas scores $16M Series B to expand email API tool
Nylas, a startup that helps developers integrate email content into applications via an API, announced a $16 million Series B today led by Spark Capital. Other investors joining in included Slack Fund, Industry Ventures, and ScaleUp along with existing investors 8VC, Great Oaks Capital, Rubicon Venture Capital and John Chambers’ personal fund. Today’s investment brings the total raised to $30 million. The Nylas API works in a similar way to Stripe or Twilio, but instead of helping developers connect to payments or communications
Hungryroot, a popular plant-based meal delivery service, makes it possible for vegans and meat eaters like me to assemble healthy meals in under 10 minutes
When it comes right down to it, my biggest hurdle to healthy eating is convenience. I love neither grocery shopping nor cooking, and I don't want to spend my limited free time deep diving into (often contentious) online nutritional resources to construct balanced meals each week. But, I do want to eat healthy foods that are good for me. So when I heard about Hungryroot through a colleague, I was intrigued. Hungryroot is a meal subscription service that sends healthy, nearly-ready meals to your door, with ingredients and sauces that you essentially just heat and mix together. Each serving costs about $6-$7 when you do the math, and they take fewer than 10 minutes to prepare.
Andreesson Horowitz leads $20M round in Wonderschool's marketplace for in-home preschools
Linda Jung's living room has been taken over by six noisy, cheering, playful little children — their toys, their books, and their art. Brightly colored geometric shapes cover the walls, and an alphabet rug and train tracks lie where a coffee table or storage taller than three feet might have once been. None of the children are Jung's. Last year, Jung quit her job at a San Francisco Bay Area preschool, where she had been making about $50,000 a year, to launch a preschool out her two-bedroom apartment in the East Bay. Right now, she earns close to $80,000, with room to grow, and has plans to lease a home in the future so she can accommodate more students.
Wonderschool raises $20M to help people start in-home preschools
Educators already don’t get paid enough, and those that work in preschools or daycares often make 48% less. Meanwhile, parents struggle to find great early education programs where kids receive enough attention and there’s space, but they don’t need special connections or to pass grueling admissions interviews to get in. Any time there’s a lousy experience people have an emotional connection to and spend a lot of money on, there’s an opportunity for a startup. Enter ‘Wonderschool‘, a company that lets licensed educators and caretakers launch in-home preschools or daycares. Wonderschool helps candidates get credentialed, set up their programs, launch their websites, boost enrollment, and take payments in exchange for a 10 percent cut of tuition. The startup is now helping run 140 schools in the SF Bay, LA, and NYC where parents are happy to pay to give their kids an advantage.
Leonardo DiCaprio Invests in Footwear Brand Allbirds: 'I Am Proud to Join the Company'
Leonardo DiCaprio takes his footwear choices very seriously — so much so that he just invested his money in one of his favorite sneaker brands. The environmentally conscious actor has teamed up with sustainable footwear company Allbirds, news that comes hot on the heels of the brand’s latest launch: a sustainable, eco-friendly sole unveiled on the label’s debut flip-flop. “Creating sustainable consumer products requires a deep commitment from brands that understand the role they have in helping solve our environmental crisis,” DiCaprio said in an exclusive statement. “Allbirds is on the forefront of developing new materials that will serve as a model for the footwear industry. This kind of innovation is crucial for creating a more sustainable future. I am proud to join the company as an investor.”
Allbirds wants to fix your sole
Allbirds‘ newest product, a flip-flop, is deceptively simple. The two-year-old startup–which took Silicon Valley by storm with its wool sneakers–is now releasing a sandal made from a piece of squishy, lightweight foam. The base softly cradles your foot when you slip it on, and a polyester strap with a microsuede lining sits snugly between your toes. There’s no doubt it’s a comfortable piece of footwear. Still, to the untrained eye, it looks like any other flip-flop on the market.
Interior Define, the custom furniture startup, opens new location in SF
The direct-to-consumer space has some stand-out players, both in newcomers like Brooklinen and old-timers like Warby Parker. But one company, Interior Define, has maintained a low profile over the four years of its existence. The company offers fully customizable furniture, including couches, dining sets and bed frames, to customers through an online showroom. But ID also has guide shops in Chicago (its home market), LA, New York, and Austin.
Swivel Raises $4.75 Million Seed Round Led by First Round Capital
AUSTIN, Texas -- Swivel, a new online service where fast-growing companies can find and design their own plug-and-play workspace and pay for it on flexible terms, has raised a $4.75 Million seed round led by First Round Capital and from other leading firms including Fuel Capital, Correlation Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Hack VC, Capital Factory and Abstract Ventures. Existing investors Floodgate and Next Coast Ventures also participated in this round.