Forbes 30Under30 Alumni - Stephanie Korey ran the supply chain at Warby Parker and Casper before launching high-end luggage startup Away with list alum Jen Rubio. They launched Away together in 2015 after identifying the opportunity to build a beloved, trusted brand and product for modern travelers.
High Tech, High Finance and High Times for U.S. Pot Industry
Prominent VC firms that have warmed to cannabis include Founders Fund, started by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, which has invested in Privateer Holdings. Prominent Silicon Valley VCs 500 Startups, DCM Ventures, along with New York-based Great Oaks Venture Capital, have all backed Eaze, a medical marijuana delivery app that allows patients to order cannabis on demand.
Allbirds Founder Joey Zwillinger is No. 39 on the Recode 100
A year ago, Allbirds was a pair of wool shoes designed by a New Zealander. Not something you’d peg as a fashion statement. Now here we are: Allbirds are what you wear if you work in Silicon Valley or the New York tech scene. They’re so omnipresent that The Gray Lady has taken notice. Co-founder Joey Zwillinger is trying to make the shoes even more popular, by raising $18 million and putting the online retailer in physical storefronts in San Francisco and New York. Expect more brick-and-mortar stores in 2018 — along with pressure to prove that the company can do more than outfit the tech set.
2017 Totally Unbiased Gift Guide
We, at Great Oaks, are very lucky to partner with ambitious entrepreneurs reimagining products & experiences for consumers in a range of industries. This year, I put together a list of products and services that are among the most exciting consumer brands we’ve been lucky enough to work with! Check out the guide below and find a gift for everyone on your list! PORTER ROAD - www.porterroad.com
Away Co-Founders Define Brand, Business Strategy
PayPal to Introduce Customers to Robo Investing through Acorns Partnership
PayPal Holdings is making a move into robo-investing. The San Jose, Calif., payments company is connecting its website and smartphone apps with those of Acorns Grow Inc., a five-year-old automated savings and investment service, the two companies said Monday. PayPal users will be able to use their accounts to make contributions to Acorns and will be able to monitor and manage their Acorns investments from the PayPal app, said Joanna Lambert, the company’s vice president of consumer financial services. PayPal is rolling out the Acorns offerings in phases, with the first batch of users getting access on Monday and all U.S. users by early 2018. The new partnership is being launched about a year after PayPal took a minority stake in Acorns as part of a $30 million fundraising round that PayPal led. Under CEO Dan Schulman, PayPal has tried to branch out beyond its roots in payments and into other financial services geared toward consumers who lack access to bank accounts and other mainstream financial products.
How to shop without harming people or the planet
Spending money on products and services that match your values can be tricky if you don't have the time -- or inclination -- to do huge amounts of research each time you go shopping. There's a lot at stake. After all, Americans spend $36 billion each day, said Andrei Cherny, a former speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore and co-founder of Aspiration -- an investment firm that aims to make it much easier to spend on products and services you trust. "People want to think about how they can use their money to make a positive impact, but often they don't have the information to make those decisions," said Cherny, who has also worked as a financial fraud prosecutor.
Roomi raises $11 million to find you a roommate
Looking for a roommate on Craigslist can be cumbersome. And it can be difficult to determine what the person will be like in real life. A startup called Roomi thinks it has a better solution for finding people to live with. Its app and website help you search for apartment listings with background-checked profiles from the tenants. It also pulls data from social media, like photos and employment information. New York-based Roomi says it has signed up a million people since it launched in 2015. Its average customer is a young professional, aged 26. Roomi is announcing that it’s raised $11 million to accelerate its business.The round is led by London-based Atami Capital, with participation from DCM, Great Oaks Venture Capital and others. Strategic investors including Scott and Cyan Banister are also participating. This brings the total funding raised to date to $17 million.
Sports jersey rental startup Rep the Squad expands to NBA, raises another $1M from athletes
Rep the Squad is growing. The Seattle startup, which launched its sports jersey rental service three months ago, today added NBA jerseys to its collection and also announced an additional $1 million in funding. Rep the Squad charges customers $19.95 per month to receive selected jerseys in the mail, one at a time — it’s the model Netflix used in its early days. When you’re done wearing one, you can return it and receive a different jersey as long as you maintain your subscription. The company launched with NFL jerseys for Seahawks, 49ers and Lions players; it added Denver and Oakland last month. NBA jerseys from Golden State Warriors, Detroit Pistons, and Denver Nuggets players will soon be available on the platform, the company announced Wednesday. Seattle hoops fans, take notice: Rep the Squad also added retro Sonics jerseys today.
Thrive Capital leads healthtech startup Welkin Health’s $8 million Series A
Digital patient relationship platform Welkin Health has landed $8 million in Series A financing, led by Josh Kushner’s Thrive Capital. This now brings the total in the VC piggy bank to $12 million for the company. Welkin launched in 2013 as a digital monitoring system for diabetics. It joined Rock Health in 2014 to create a disease management platform with robotic coaching tools similar to Livongo Health and other chronic condition management platforms. Welkin launched its first major pilot with Humana’s Innovation Group in 2015, helping to put the startup in a recognizable position among competitors.
Rep the Squad is a subscription service to borrow authentic sports jerseys
Authentic sports jerseys are expensive and infrequently worn, but that doesn’t stop fans from wanting to own as many as possible from all their favorite players. So why not borrow them? Meet Rep the Squad – the company is essentially Netflix (well, the old DVD-version of Netflix) for sports jerseys. For $20 a month the startup will send you one authentic jersey at a time that you can wear to a game, to the bar or around the house. You keep it as long as you want, and once you return it they’ll send you the next one on your list. The jerseys will always be 100% authentic and authorized by each respective league – meaning for NBA jerseys fans will get the new Nike ones, with a built-in interactive chip. There’s also a youth option for $17 per month, with smaller versions of the same jerseys that adults get. All jerseys are also professionally cleaned and inspected before being re-sent out.
Acorns to launch new retirement accounts after buying Portland fintech startup, Vault
Micro-investment service, Acorns, which automatically invests small amounts from its customers’ bank accounts into investment funds, has bought Vault, a Portland-based developer of retirement fund investment services. Vault’s application lets its users set aside part of their paychecks into retirement funds. The deal is a solid compliment to Acorns’ own investment app, which is more for acclimating users to the idea of investing in the stock market. The company said that, thanks to the acquisition, it will be launching a new individual retirement account, called Acorns Later. Current Acorns customers can get on the waitlist today for the new product, available starting January 2018, the company said.