Joey Zwillinger, Allbirds co-founder and co-CEO, joins 'Squawk Box' to discuss the company's origin story, growth strategy and entering the brick and mortar retail as well as intern national expansion for the hot shoe company
How Yale students launched a caffeinated energy bar company from their dorm—and raised $1.4 million to turn it into a business
Back in 2016, Matt Czarnecki, then a sophomore at Yale University, found himself exhausted after studying for an exam one night. He needed a caffeine boost and his only option was a coffee shop, where he reluctantly handed over $6 for a coffee and some granola. He asked himself: Why isn't there a simpler, healthier, cheaper alternative? Czarnecki tossed some ideas around with his classmates Bennett Byerley and André Monteiro and, that semester, the students started experimenting with caffeinated energy bar recipes in their dorm kitchen.
Sneaker Startup Allbirds Takes Flight With $50 Million In Funding
Two years ago, Allbirds started with one type of shoe: a pair of superfine merino wool sneakers designed to be the most comfortable shoe on Earth. In a world where the line between formal and casual has become increasingly blurred, Allbirds’ grey sneaker struck a note and sales took off—with over a million pairs sold in its first two years. Investors bought in too, and on Thursday the company announced it had raised an additional $50 million in funding from T. Rowe Price, Fidelity and Tiger Global, bringing the total raised to $77.5 million. The new funding round values the company at over $1 billion, according to a source familiar with the deal.
Trendy Sneaker Startup Allbirds Laces Up $1.4 Billion Valuation
Trendy Silicon Valley shoe startup Allbirds Inc. is now valued at $1.4 billion, people familiar with the matter say, after raising new cash from investors. Allbirds, whose sneakers has become hip footwear for striving venture capitalists and celebrities alike, sells two varieties of shoes made of wood or wool. It announced a new $50 million investment round Thursday from backers including T. Rowe Price Investment Management, Fidelity Management and hedge-fund firm Tiger Global Management. The new valuation, which wasn’t publicly disclosed, vaults the San Francisco footwear brand into the closely watched realm of so-called Silicon Valley unicorns, or startups valued at more than $1 billion. It was valued by investors at $370 million last year, one of the people said.
Silicon Valley's 'Pixar': Why The Startup Studio Behind Hims' Breakout Success Just Raised $150M
When direct-to-consumer men’s health startup Hims launched in November 2017, it seemed to come out of nowhere. Offering easy-access prescriptions for men’s issues like hair loss and erectile dysfunction through a quick online doctor consultation, Hims had sleek branding and eye-popping numbers for a debutant: $1 million in first-week sales and $7 million in funding from blue-chip investors including Kirsten Green and Josh Kushner right out the gate. Even in Silicon Valley’s hard-charging startup culture, Hims’ momentum stood out. Less than a year later, Hims has already raised another $90 million at a reported half-billion-dollar valuation, with tens of millions in sales. Its torrid pace has made CEO Andrew Dudum look brilliant; or at least, very, very lucky. “We were excited about how men interacted with the healthcare system,” Dudum tells Forbes. “I don’t think anybody expected how fast this would grow.”
Investors are betting $75 million on AllTrails and its content for hikers
The startup AllTrails is popular with the hiking set, giving trailgoers a way to track their path up and down a mountain. Now it’s taking on real outside money to try and build a real business. Investors are putting $75 million toward the company in its first serious fundraising round — but one that will hand control over to Spectrum Equity. It’s money that it will use to hire and grow overseas and into diffferent languages, plus cash to buy out existing shareholders. The company depends on very little advertising but mostly paid subscriptions, claiming hundreds of thousands of hardcore hikers who pay $30 a year to gain access to things like overlays of upcoming weather and ways to share a route with friends. The company says it has 9 million registered users (including ones who pay nothing).
With a $10.2M Boost, YourMechanic Aims At Mobility Fleet Market
Every month, there’s news of another partnership among carmakers like GM and tech companies such as Uber, as they vie for dominant roles in a transportation future where individual car ownership may largely give way to rides-on-demand from fleets of autonomous and tech-enabled vehicles. But whether Uber, Toyota, GM, Honda, or Google end up at the very top of this mobility industry, it’ll be good news for the companies that are developing services to support future high-tech car fleets, says Anthony Rodio.
Circle to Buy SeedInvest to Help Startups Raise Cash With Crypto
Circle Internet Financial Ltd., one of the most valuable U.S. cryptocurrency marketplaces, agreed to acquire crowdfunding firm SeedInvest as it seeks to help startups issue digital tokens and allow its own customers to trade a wider variety of coins. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. SeedInvest, founded in 2012, helps private companies raise money from individuals on the internet. Investors can browse through businesses on the platform and then, depending on their eligibility, buy a piece of their favorite one. The New York-based firm facilitates the equity-crowdfunding service through its broker-dealer, SI Securities LLC.
Away is one of TIME's 50 most genius companies of 2018
When Steph Korey and Jen Rubio started doing market research for Away, their e-commerce luggage startup, they asked people to name their biggest traveling peeve, whether or not it had anything to do with suitcases. There’s nothing you can do about this, was the frequent response, but my phone is always dying before I can get to a charging station. So Away built a USB charging port into its first product, a distinctive-looking, smartly designed hard-sided carryon that became an instant hit. (When new regulations prohibited lithium batteries in checked bags, Away made them ejectable.) Two and a half years later, the company has sold more than half a million suitcases, employs more than 200 people and has expanded to more than 20 countries, including retail stores in the U.S. and Europe. They’ve rolled out unique looks, from collaborations with fashion designers to Star Wars and Despicable Me models.
Petal Set To Flourish With $34 Million Funding As US FinTech Finally Blossoms
US FinTech company Petal, a 'new kind of credit card company built to help people financially succeed' has today raised $34 million in new funding from global investment bank Jefferies and Silicon Valley Bank. This funding will support the public roll-out of the Petal Visa credit card that launched today. The company also said that 100,000 people who had already joined a waiting list in 2018, who will (obviously) be the first holders of the card. This sounds like a big deal for US FinTech startups, currently struggling to keep up with those in Europe. There are a number of reasons why. US tech behemoths such as Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google tend to discourage new opposition. Their ongoing forays into real-time payment apps and mobile banking services are frightening in their possible scope.
Truebill lands $5 million to help people manage their money
Keeping control of your finances can mean the difference between being able to afford that daily avocado toast and struggling to pay rent. Millennials already have a wide range of financial pressures to deal with, so anything that can help them stay on top of their budget is welcome. An app that helps people manage their finances, Truebill today announced that it has raised $5 million in Series A funding and has launched new “Smart Savings” capabilities.
Petal’s no-fee credit card for the credit score-less is now open to the public
Petal, the startup credit card company that’s offering a no-fee credit line to people without a credit history, is now publicly available. Launched earlier this year by co-founders Jason Gross, Andrew Endicott, David Ehrich, and Jack Arenas, Petal has received a $34 million credit facility from Jeffries and Silicon Valley Bank to bring its consumer lending product to the masses. That money will take Petal beyond the few thousand customers that have trialed the company’s credit card in a pre-release to broad distribution for applicants.