Acorns is quickly turning into an oak tree in the financial services space. The company now boasts more than 2 million investment accounts (with 600,000 opened in 2017 alone) and is on track to do 1 billion trades in 2017 through the proprietary broker-dealer that it created. Those are hefty numbers to post for any financial services company, especially considering that Fidelity (one of the nation’s largest money managers) will do approximately 60 million trades over the same period.
Mobile savings & investment app Acorns raises $35M from Bain, is on track to do 1 billion trades in 2017
BMW Leads $37M Funding Round In Online Used Car Startup Shift
BMW has invested in Shift Technologies, an online marketplace for used cars, as part of a $37 million financing round. The funding was led by BMW's venture capital arm BMW iVentures, and partner Christian Noske has joined the startup's board. BMW is interested in technology companies that "challenge the status quo and build products that help improve transportation options for consumers,” Noske said in a statement explaining the investment. DCM Ventures and G2VP, a fund spun off from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers also participated in the funding of Shift Technologies as did existing investors DFJ, Highland Capital, and Goldman Sachs Investment Partners.
Ashton Kutcher Discusses Acorns on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (VIDEO) - Actor and investor Ashton Kutcher discusses some of his top preforming venture capital investments including Uber, Airbnb and Acorns. Stephen discusses his idea for a startup and asks Ashton if he is interested in an investment in his new company, "Flurpy."
Cover raises $8 million to insure your belongings
Applying for homeowner’s insurance should be as easy as waving your phone camera around your room. That’s the premise behind Cover, an app that recommends insurance based on what’s photographed in your home. Whether it’s electronics, jewelry or even your pet, Cover will cover just about anything. Cover is licensed to sell insurance and they work with Progressive, Allstate, Nationwide and other major providers to tailor a plan for the customer, taking about a 10 to 15 percent commission for referring the business. Now they’ve raised an $8 million Series A led by Social Capital and are announcing a previously undisclosed $3 million seed round. Arjun Sethi from Social Capital will be joining Cover’s board.
Allbirds opens a pop-up shop featuring footwear and specialty food and home goods at Grand Central Market
LA Times- Tim Brown, a British-born former professional soccer player from New Zealand, noticed an opportunity in the footwear market for minimalist, nonperformance sneakers. So he reinvented a simple lace-up tennis shoe in soft New Zealand wool and launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 that quickly raised $120,000. An investment round a year later attracted an additional $2.25 million, with contributions from Jeff Raider and David Gilboa, co-founders of affordable eyewear brand Warby Parker. By then, Brown had partnered with Joey Zwillinger, a business-savvy friend working in the biotech industry. He also upgraded the shoes with a super-fine merino wool spun into fabric by the 153-year-old Italian
How This Company Launched With Zero Products--and Hit $12 Million in First-Year Sales
Steph Korey and Jen Rubio had a problem. Their planned launch of Away, a new luggage brand, was fast approaching--and none of their suitcases would be ready to sell in time. Luckily, the two had a social media trick packed in their bags. They turned a proven retailing tactic, the preorder, and an idea for a book into a campaign that went viral on Instagram and beyond. --As told to Burt Helm Korey: As December approached, we knew our first production run was not going to be ready in time for Christmas. Even so, we thought there are a lot of people who have terrible luggage. They might be happy to preorder something. Rubio: We wanted to get everyone on board in the beginning.
Rinse raises $14M in Series B funding to bring its laundry pick-up nationwide
Rinse, the San Francisco-based dry cleaning and laundry delivery service, has closed a $14M Series B round of funding. This comes after a $6M Series A last year, meaning the startup has now raised about $23.5M in three rounds. The round is being led by Partech Ventures, with participation from existing investors including Javelin Ventures, Arena Ventures, Accelerator Ventures, and Structure Capital. Rinse was started in 2013, at the height of the on-demand boom. At the time companies like Washio (which is now shut down) offered to pick up your dry cleaning within an hour and return it the next day. But Rinse had a different model. Sticking to the belief that no one really needed their dry cleaning picked up within an hour, Rinse focused on nightly pickups between 8-10pm with standard return times (unless you wanted to pay extra for faster service).
Walmart to Buy Bonobos, Men’s Wear Company, for $310 Million
Walmart has agreed to acquire the men’s clothing company Bonobos for $310 million. The purchase is part of a sweeping effort by the world’s largest retailer to revamp its business model as it tries to better compete with Amazon, which on Friday announced that it would buy the upscale grocer Whole Foods for $13.4 billion. Bonobos, founded 10 years ago in New York, began by selling simple chino pants on the internet. In recent years, it has expanded to offer shirts, suits and other men’s clothing, and has opened dozens of brick-and-mortar locations, as well as boutiques in Nordstrom department stores, a previous investor in the start-up.
Collective Health’s Goal: Medical Benefits That Work
The No. 2 company in the WSJ’s Tech Companies to Watch says insurance can be less costly for employers and less frustrating for workers... As costs for health care keep rising, Collective Health Inc. is counting on companies turning to it for better ways to spend their medical dollars. Collective Health administers health benefits for businesses that self-insure, meaning they cover their employees’ medical claims themselves instead of paying premiums to an insurer. Most large and many small and midsize companies self-insure because it lets them customize their benefits and save money in the long term.
The Wall Street Journal's Top 25 Tech Companies to Watch
#22 Acorns - The Wall Street Journal set out to identify companies that show signs of becoming emerging leaders. A data analysis assessed their founders' experience, investor track record, amount of investments raised, growth of workforce and buzz about the company. These five factors were given an equal weighting to calculate a maximum score of 100.
Eero Offers a Tool to Eliminate Wi-Fi Dead Spots
The company, ranked fifth in WSJ’s Tech Companies to Watch, believes its independence gives it an edge... After a lifetime of repairing internet connections for friends and family, Nick Weaver had seen it all. “I’ve been the guy who’s had to fix the internet for my friends and family my entire life,” Mr. Weaver says. One huge improvement equipment makers could make, he recognized soon after Wi-Fi came along, would be to fix the gaps in service that people experience in their homes, causing dead spots that people have to avoid if they want to stay connected when using their computers or phones.
Eero's New Router Doubles as a Bouncer for your Smart Home
GENERALLY SPEAKING, YOUR router has one job: keep those internet juices flowin'. When Eero launched its mesh router, it made waves by stringing multiple devices together so that your Wi-Fi could reach more places in your home and run more quickly. The concept of "mesh networking" took off and soon, everyone else copied the idea. Now even Netgear and Linksys want to sell you a three-part mesh system. Your Wi-Fi options are better and faster than ever, but Eero lost its advantage.