VIDEO - Kate Ryder, Maven Clinic founder and chief executive officer, discusses the startup's telemedicine services for women with Bloomberg's Emily Chang on "Bloomberg Technology." (Source: Bloomberg)
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.
Online used car startup Shift adds another $40M, snags COO in road to IPO
How this start-up is trying to disrupt the oil industry with technology
GrubMarket raises $25M more for its farm-to-table food delivery service
Farmers markets have become a staple presence in many US cities, where there is a steady supply of smaller, often organic farmers and other food producers wanting a more direct channel to sell their goods, and a steady demand from foody types who like having the option of bypassing bigger grocery stores to amble around a group of stalls with a wider choice of items to cook and eat. Now, one of the startups that has turned that model into a profitable on-demand delivery business has raised some funding as it continues its expansion in the US, and beyond, en route to an IPO filing, potentially as soon as this year. GrubMarket, which works with smaller farms and other suppliers to sell and deliver their items by way of its online store both to businesses — such as restaurants and stores of different sizes, as well as the plethora of food startups that prepare food for consumers — and consumers, has raised $25 million in an oversubscribed C1 round of funding (it was originally only going to be $15 million).
What makes a consumer brand marketable?
It seems like every day I see an ad online or on the subway for a new consumer product — from shoes, to vitamins, or even blue-light glasses. As discussed by others, there is a great un-bundling of the old conglomerates occurring where each and every brand you can think of now has a hip, new, millennial-focused counterpart...