Away, a direct-to-consumer travel products business founded by alumni of eyewear specialist Warby Parker, has raised financing to help it expand beyond its roots in selling luggage. The New York-based company, formally called JRSK Inc., said it has raised $100 million at a $1.4 billion valuation. The investment was led by Wellington Management Co., with participation from Baillie Gifford, Lone Pine Capital and Global Founders Capital.
These hip, healthy TV dinners just might win over the Sweetgreen generation
TV dinners have always been frozen, but they’re about to get cool, too. Mosaic is a new startup shaking up the frozen meal industry with a line of healthy, vegetarian options that look more like what you would order at Sweetgreen than that Hungry-Man Salisbury Steak dinner lurking in your grandparents’ freezer. While meal kits like Blue Apron and Purple Carrot are convenient, they require spending your valuable free time peeling and chopping vegetables and then following the detailed instructions. And if you don’t have time to whip up whatever they’ve sent you that week, the ingredients spoil.
How Frozen Food Startup Mosaic Is Disrupting The Category With A DTC Subscription Service
Mosaic, a direct-to-consumer startup that takes a different approach to frozen, taking stock of the vertical’s untapped potential to provide consumers with meals cooked with care and delivered straight to their door. The just-launched brand offers consumers the chance to pick from all-inclusive meal bowls like Greek Jackfruit and Smoky Southwest to Tuscan Pesto, providing a variety of cuisines from around the world. PSFK had the chance to interview the founders, Sam McIntire and Matthew Davis, to find out about what led to the founding of the all-vegetarian brand, why going the DTC route enables them to better serve consumers and why they believe this is only the beginning of a new era for frozen.
Celeb-Loved Brand Allbirds Just Launched Flats So Comfortable, You’ll Never Want to Take Them Off
PEOPLE Magazine - By now, you’ve likely heard of sustainable footwear brand, Allbirds. Known for its popular Wool Runner sneakers — which are beloved among Hollywood stars including Mila Kunis, Hilary Duff, Amy Adams, and tons of other celebs — the brand has gained a cult-like following since it started in 2016 thanks to its insanely comfortable and sustainable styles. And there’s a new shoe member joining the popular footwear gang, an old-school ballet flat known as the Tree Breezers. The latest addition to the Allbirds family comes after its loyal customers begged the brand for a feminine silhouette they could wear all week long. With such a high demand, the Tree Breezers were born. The flats are just a step above casual, making them the perfect flats for work — and everything about these flats adds up to total comfort!
The Telemedicine Startup Closing the Gap in Women's Health Care
Cover Launches New Auto Insurance Service in Texas To Ease Driver Frustrations
Cover, the mobile-first insurance brokerage, today officially begins selling its own policies in Texas to address widespread frustration with insurance shopping felt by drivers in the state. In a recent survey, Cover found that five million drivers in Texas haven't shopped around for a better rate in over two years, even though Texans pay the 13th highest premiums in the U.S. The new service — an evolution from the company's nationally-licensed insurance brokerage — combines a streamlined process for buying policies, using smartphone technology such as camera and location services, with the ability to set fairer rates. These features are designed to alleviate common insurance shopping pain points for Texans. Survey data published by Cover shows that the vast majority of Texans (62%) are frustrated by auto insurance shopping, citing the time it takes to shop (29%) and doubts about the potential to find lower premiums (40%) as reasons they don't shop more often.
Blueshift announces $15M Series B to expand AI-fueled cross-channel marketing tool
Blueshift is a startup founded by tech industry veterans who saw first-hand how difficult cross-channel marketing was. They decided to launch a company and build a cross-channel marketing platform from the ground up that uses AI and machine learning to make sense of the growing amount of customer data. Today, the startup announced a $15 million Series B round to keep it going. The round was led by SoftBank Ventures Asia, a fund focused on AI startups like Blueshift . Previous investors Storm Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners also participated. Today’s investment brings the total raised to $30 million, according to the company.
Allbirds imposed a carbon tax on itself–and your brand should, too
As a fashion journalist who cares about sustainability, I see many brands trying to save the planet in their own way. Some, like Everlane and Adidas, are tackling plastic pollution. Others, like Marine Layer and For Days, are developing circular systems that make new clothes out of old clothes. But here’s the thing: It’s now clear that climate change is the most pressing issue for us to address, because if we don’t deal with the problem now, our own survival is at risk.
The New Cannabis Companies Want to Give You a “Wellness Experience”
VOGUE - From metallic vapes in prismatic shapes to pre-rolled joints packaged in jewel boxes, the world of marijuana has never offered so many options for today’s tastemakers. One need look no further than the recent opening of Barneys’ new shop-in-shop, The High End in Beverly Hills—where sculptural bongs by master glassblower Caleb Siemon sit on glimmering chrome shelves next to organic rolling papers by legendary stationer Devambez—for proof that weed is the modern aesthete’s favorite new accessory. But weed might also be the athlete’s (or at least the green juice-sipping yogi’s) favorite new accessory. In California in particular—where the market has exploded ever since recreational marijuana became legal just over a year ago—the most intriguing and enterprising new brands are focusing more on the wellness benefits
This AI Startup Is Using Gamification to Fix Hiring
Most seasoned IT hiring managers know the sinking feeling that comes with realizing within months of onboarding that a new tech professional is ill-suited to the role. The pressing work that prompted the hire in the first place may stall, eliciting outcry from stakeholders and frustrating colleagues charged with picking up the slack. Meanwhile, the prospect of letting the employee go and starting the search anew creates even more headaches—not to mention added expense. Hiring even one employee racks up a long list of external and internal expenses totaling over $4,000 on average.
Is Silicon Valley Coming For Rosé?
The early backer of Facebook, Airbnb, Lyft, and Spotify wants to cash in on rosé all day. Founders Fund, the San Francisco based venture capital firm founded by billionaire Peter Thiel, announced Tuesday that it has led a $7 million investment round in Bev, a woman-run canned rosé startup based in Los Angeles. Other private investors include DJ duo The Chainsmokers and Facebook's vice president of social good. It's now the firm's first-ever investment in an alcohol company. But partner Lauren Gross says it's really a bet on Bev's 28-year-old founder and CEO Alix Peabody. "We're founder-driven," Gross recently told Forbes. "While we're often rooted in hard tech, we truly are a generalist firm. It's really about investing in any founder that can build in any sector." Gross says Peabody stands out for being particularly "bright and authentic."
Hungryroot, the plant-based grocery e-commerce platform, debuts first pop-up
It seems Instagram-driven grocery pop-ups are all over New York right now. Earlier this month we checked out the snack shopping experience at Pop Up Grocer in SoHo. Now, Hungryroot, the grocery e-commerce platform, debuts its first-ever IRL retail location, and the first-of-its-kind direct-to-consumer grocery pop-up. Though Flatiron has no shortage of groceries (and a nearby Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Eataly) the vegan-friendly online produce shop hopes to attract office workers in the area with plant-based offerings. The pop-up runs now until June 28. Online, Hungryroot only offers subscription-based services, a model that's increasingly prevalent amongst meal kit and other delivery food services: a customizable small order, 11 items costs $69; Medium, 16 items is $99; Large, 21 items, costs $129. You're locked into the bundle deal, though you can cancel at anytime. They compete with other online grocers such as Peapod, Instacart and Fresh Direct's FoodKick (which markets itself as the more millennial-friendly arm) with similar pricing. According to a recent poll from Morning Consult, which surveyed 2,191 adults, only nine percent said they stayed on with their food delivery subscription for half a year or more. Subscription services are waning, perhaps why Hungryroot wants to try a different model.