In recent years, companies have emerged to let you rent your apartment, find a taxi or order dinner with the click of a button. As the on-demand economy evolves, Shift Technologies is hoping that consumers will be comfortable with buying and selling cars over the web with similar ease. On Tuesday, San Francisco-based Shift, one of a handful of startups hoping to make the process of buying and selling used cars easier by using online technology, announced it had raised $50 million in a round led by Goldman Sachs Investment Partners. The company declined to disclose a valuation for the investment, but noted that it had raised nearly $75 million since its launch less than two years ago.
Shift Raises $50M to Make Selling your Old Car a Less Terrible Experience
Shift Technologies, an online marketplace for used cars in San Francisco and Los Angeles, said on Tuesday it has raised $50 million in new funding. The San Francisco-based company is operating in an increasingly crowded market, with competitors like Beepi, Carvana, Vroom, and Carlypso, among others, vying for the same business.
Trusted Lets Parents Book Vetted Babysitters At The Last Minute
Trusted is launching a new service for parents in search of high-quality babysitters — particularly parents who need to find someone ASAP. CEO Anand Iyer compared the startup’s approach to the recently launched senior care service Honor. When you’re looking for a babysitters, Trusted lets you browse the available providers and book them from within the mobile app — you can schedule a session for the next week, the next day or even the same day. The company performs background checks on all of its babysitters and makes sure they’re CPR certified. In contrast to many of on-demand services, Trusted makes its child care providers actual employees, rather than contractors. “We didn’t want there to be any ambiguity” about the provider’s status, Iyer said — plus, this allows Trusted to provide a higher level of training and support.
Trusted Launches to Make Finding a Babysitter as Easy as Hailing an Uber
Childcare is a tough topic for many families because there’s a great deal of trust involved — this person is watching your kid — so it would be great if there was an easy way to find reliable, trustworthy, and vetted providers. Trusted hopes to be that solution and is launching today in San Francisco. This service lets busy, on-the-go parents request a verified caretaker for those occasions when they need someone to watch their children for a few hours. But here’s the thing: These aren’t people that you’d find on Craigslist or in the Help Wanted section of a newspaper. Trusted does the necessary background checks to make sure these people can do the job so you have some peace of mind.
BlackRock Acquires Sequoia-Backed FutureAdvisor
BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, is acquiring FutureAdvisor, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based online financial advisory firm that aims to help people manage their existing IRAs, 401(s) and other investment accounts. According to the Financial Times, FutureAdvisor was picked up for between $150 million and $200 million. The company had raised $21.5 million from investors, shows Crunchbase.
BlackRock Embraces Robo Finance Advice with Acquisition of FutureAdvisor
Rise, A Nutrition Coaching App, Acquires HealthyOut
Rise, a service that connects users with diet coaches, has acquired healthy restaurant food recommendation startup HealthyOut. HealthyOut combs the menus of nearby restaurants to find healthy foods and then gives recommendations on what is the best option for different kinds of diets and eating habits. It uses machine learning to process restaurants, and is processing 140,000 restaurants around the country. HealthyOut has been downloaded around 730,000 times and helps Rise provide more of what they think is necessary to help create a healthier diet in a range of different scenarios, CEO Suneel Gupta said.
Education Search Tool Noodle Acquires AllClasses in All-Stock Deal
Noodle, a search engine for educational resources, has acquired AllClasses in an all-equity deal. Prior to being acquired, AllClasses nabbed $1.5 million in investor funding last year. The acquisition will add over 100,000 classes to Noodle’s database, and it will also give its technology a major boost. Already, Noodle has more than 800,000 school, tutoring and workshop profiles in its database.
Verge Genomics Wants To Cure Neurodegenerative Diseases Through Advanced Algorithms
Launching out of Y Combinator, Verge Genomics is looking to find cures for brain diseases. Alzheimers, ALS, and Parkinsons are complex diseases that usually involve a network of genes, as opposed to a single gene. According to the company, over 99.9 percent of drug discoveries ultimately fail because researchers are looking at a single gene at a time. But Verge Genomics is able to cure brain diseases 1000x more quickly than big pharma by using algorithms to map out the human genome and understand hundreds of genes at once. The company then takes public information about which genes are affected by already-FDA-approved drugs that may have expired patents and go into testing once the matching process is already complete. By comparison, big pharma goes straight into blind testing on drugs based on single genes, usually spending around $2 billion and 12 years to get a single new drug to market. “I like to use a basketball analogy,” said co-founder Jason Chen. “Big pharma is taking the approach of covering the best player on the court, whereas we approach the game by spreading out our defense and covering the whole team, man-to-man.”
Mobile Shopping App Wish Buys Android Lockscreen App Maker Locket
Mobile shopping startup Wish — fresh off a $500 million round of funding — has made its first acquisition. The company has acquired Locket, a startup that makes lockscreen apps for Android handsets: an eponymous app that serves tailored news to your lockscreen; and lockscreen messaging app ScreenPop. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. From what we understand there could have been others who had approached Locket, including Facebook and Yahoo.
Healthy Food Delivery Startup Zesty Served $17 Million In Funding To Cater Beyond The Bay
Food delivery startup Zesty turned corporate last year and began an office catering program. The startup now plans to go beyond serving in San Francisco and recently pulled in $17 million in Series A funding to do that. Index Ventures led the round, with participation from Founders Fund and previous investor Forerunner Ventures. Zesty raised a healthy $3.7 million in seed money from Y Combinator, SV Angel and others in the spring of 2014. The startup now possesses a total of $20.7 million in venture capital to use for its expansion plans.
Interactive Video Startup Fuisz Media Shows It Pays to Hit Cannes to Wheel and Deal
If you’ve never been to the Cannes advertising festival, you may wonder if any work actually gets done amid all of the yacht parties, rosé consumption and celebrity sightings. Well, the startup Fuisz Media may provide an illuminating look into why all these high-powered media and ad executives spend so much money to get to the South of France for a week. Fuisz, with the help of media investor and just-named board member Ross Levinsohn, used Cannes last week to conduct more than 20 meetings with top ad agency executives and chief marketing officers from major brands. Chief Executive Justin Fuisz said he expects to have immediate, serious discussions about partnerships with several of these folks in the next few weeks as the result of his Cannes travels.