Empowered by AI technologies, Mira wants to create a more enriching buying experience that combines millions of consumer product reviews, side-by-side comparisons, and click-through purchasing into a single unified interface. For the moment, Mira is centered around shopping for beauty products — giving users a means of asking advice from other consumers who have similar skin types, skin tones, and aesthetic preferences. But the beauty industry isn’t the story; what’s compelling is the process and the technology underneath it all that has broader applications to other markets and verticals. “While we’re laser focused on serving the beauty community today, our technology clearly extends well beyond,” Jay Hack, Mira CEO and cofounder, told VentureBeat in an email interview. “We can do the legwork for the
Andreessen Horowitz Leads $300 Million Investment in RigUp
RigUp Inc., which operates a marketplace for contract workers in the energy sector, surged to a $1.9 billion valuation with a new infusion of capital, according to a person familiar with the situation. Andreessen Horowitz led the $300 million Series D financing in the Austin, Texas-based startup using its recently formed late-stage fund.
Hungryroot Bolsters Online Grocery Store With Popular Plant-Based Brands Like Beyond Meat, Banza And More
Eating vegan gets easier everyday as food companies race to make plant-based products more convenient for consumers. Grocery stores offer Impossible Meat, Blue Apron sends Beyond Meat to subscribers’ homes and today, Hungryroot announced an increase in their variety of plant-based groceries by teaming up with several packaged food brands. Customers will be able to purchase both Hungryroot and partnering products online. And when they are delivered, buyers can make vegan meals within minutes. “More products are becoming available to consumers,” Hungryroot CEO and founder Ben McKean said. The Hungryroot brand more or less remains the same, even with its changing gears. “The change is more partnering,” he said.
Atom Finance Raises $10.6 Million in Series A Round
Atom Finance, a new media and financial technology company, has raised $10.6 million in a Series A round, executives tell Axios. The company had previously raised $1.9 million in an unreported seed round in February. The big picture: The news and analysis market for high-end individual investors has been difficult to corner. While there are pricey solutions for big enterprise companies, like the Bloomberg Terminal, and free solutions for casual investors, like Google Finance, Atom execs argue that there isn't one company that truly owns the middle. Details: The round, led by General Catalyst, brings the company's total funding to $12.5 million. General Catalyst’s Peter Boyce will take a seat on the company's board.
Allbirds CEO Joey Zwillinger on Amazon's new competitive shoe
Built Robotics raises $33M for its self-driving construction equipment
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.