October 20, 2021
Embed, which is building a modern clearing and custody platform for financial services, received its necessary regulatory approvals (yippee!) and raised the rest of the capital it needs to launch ($20 million Series A equity and $40 million of debt). This is one of those complex areas that you can’t ‘lean startup’ to solve, nor ignore the guardrails put in place by regulators. Still, CEO Michael Giles and team led Embed to accomplish these milestones at unheard of speed, and now with a total of $80m raised, the company is ready for launching and scaling its early clients.
Way to go Embed!
October 14, 2021
Like many hospitality industry startups, ResQ had to chart a path through a unique 2020. But they turned inward, strengthening an already talented team and outward, helping their restaurant partners prepare for reopenings - ultimately with great success. And this momentum resulted in a just announced $39 million Series A!
ResQ works with over 4,000 restaurant groups, providing a software and labor solution that helps manage maintenance and repairs for owners. The result is high quality work performed by vendors who are able to spend more of their time applying their skills and less of their time sourcing new business or driving between locations. There’s a long roadmap ahead and a huge global market to service.
If you want to join a company solving real world problems with technology, they’re hiring!
October 12, 2021
While Buy Now Pay Later seems to be spreading like wildfire, purchasing with installment plans has always existed in Mexico. But scaling that offering was incredibly difficult and risky for merchants and consumers couldn't leverage those plans for ecommerce purchases. Nelo is changing all of that with its mobile app-based Buy Now Pay Later solution for consumers in Mexico. With hundreds of thousands of consumers and over 100 merchants in the Nelo network, the appeal of Nelo was obvious to investors, leading to its recent $20 million Series A financing. With that capital in the bank, Nelo aims to make it possible for any Mexican consumer to purchase at any offline or online merchant using BNPL. In the long run, Nelo hopes to spur overall economic activity in Mexico by making lending products more accessible to all Mexican consumers. It's a broad vision with huge potential impact. The team is hiring in Mexico City and New York and is seeking mission-driven talent for its team.
October 11, 2021
Dapper Labs recently announced its acquisition of Brud, a startup focused on the future of virtual and community owned media. Homebrew was a small, previously unannounced investor in Brud, and it’s wonderful to see Trevor and team joining one of the most impressive young companies operating in the blockchain space. When Brud was just starting out we had the chance to meet Trevor, who was already seeing into the future beyond our own understanding of what was to come. Although we didn’t have the foresight to commit then, we maintained a relationship and when the opportunity presented itself to clean up one of our mistakes, we jumped on it. And we’re excited for the friendship to live on beyond the exit! Go go Trevor and team!
October 5, 2021
Honor just announced an additional $370 million in equity and debt investment which brought to mind a previous conversation with Honor CEO Seth Sternberg. He called Honor his “20 year startup,” meaning the problem he looked to solve with Honor wasn’t going to be a quick rocketship and exit (like his previous company had been). Seth and team strapped in and started working on one of the largest and most valuable problems: senior care. As the global population ages, it needs a combination of technology and human support so our seniors can live their later lives with dignity, joy and affordability. Honor is taking a broad approach to this solution and obviously investors continue to display enthusiasm (unicorns).
October 1, 2021
Homebrew has been investing in Latin America for nearly three years because we believe that the need for low cost access to financial products and services is even more acute there than in the US. And unlike the US, the majority of the economy still operates with the inefficiency and challenges of cash. For businesses, which are transacting with consumers and each other every day, the lack of financial products puts their operations at risk every day. That's the problem that Higo has been focused on from day one. It's rapid growth and extremely satisfied customers enabled the company to raise $23 million just a few short months after raising its seed round. We couldn't be more bullish about the team and the opportunity to democratize access to financial products for businesses of all sizes in Latin America, starting with Mexico.
If this mission excites, definitely check out the opens positions at Higo, which is hiring in Mexico City and remotely!
September 14, 2021
When Tia CEO Carolyn Witte first pitched Tia for funding in 2017 one of the hurdles she needed to overcome was a perception amongst investors that ‘female healthcare’ was just a ‘niche’. How billions of underserved adult women, over 100 million here in the US alone, could be considered too small doesn’t make sense, unless you believe that generic undifferentiated health and wellness was the best that could be offered to consumers. Tia didn’t and we didn’t either.
Four years later the ‘niche’ question has been answered by a handful of startups approaching this market from multiple angles. In Tia’s case, its solution has been whole woman care, blending the virtual with the on-premise - combining URL and IRL as they say. And it has delivered against its ‘all women’ promise, prioritizing the acceptance of insurance at its clinics.
Tia is today announcing a $100m Series B investment to fuel continued growth. If transforming the future of women’s healthcare appeals to you, the company is hiring (and we want to draw specific attention to the engineering roles).
September 1, 2021
Braintrust was founded on the notion that freelancers often get a raw deal from the marketplaces they use to source clients. “No Middlemen. No Markups. No Hassle” is their motto and it’s clearly been resonating with both talent and customers. Underlying the network is the BTRST token, which has been used as an incentive to reward the community for building the decentralized network, inviting and vetting talent, and referring clients. The ownership and governance of the Braintrust network is manifested in its token and today, September 1st, the BTRST token launches.
We’re incredibly excited to see the first decentralized talent network continue to put power back in the hands of the people creating its value in the first place.
August 31, 2021
At a time when US national interests and civilian and military lives are top of mind, it’s clear that the future of military engagement needs to be autonomous and unmanned. Shield AI continues to be a leader in facilitating that undeniable trend with its self-driving autonomy stack for military and commercial aircraft. Investors who understand that our national defense needs to modernize have recognized Shield’s leadership with a recent $210 million Series D financing. We are incredibly proud to be partners in Shield’s journey from the earliest days. Shield’s mission of protecting civilian and military lives has both value and merit. If you’re interested in supporting that mission, the team is hiring in San Diego, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.
August 16, 2021
One of the most exciting journeys we’ve taken thus far with Homebrew is alongside the founders of Chime. Their vision has always been focused on helping mainstream Americans bank in a manner that assists their economic wellness instead of thwarts it. Chime isn’t just a swipeable plastic product, it’s a financial services platform that has added savings, credit building and other enhancements as it evolves. Ultimately, we don’t see a reason why it should stop there! The expansiveness of what Chime can do for its customers is enormous, powered by a software platform and the trust account holders have put in the company.
And increasingly the largest startup investors have put that same confidence in Chime, most recently as part of a $750 million financing. Collectively we’re excited about what’s ahead for Chime, not just because of the potential economic benefit for our fund, but because of the impact they can continue making in people’s lives. If that sounds interesting to you, Chime is hiring.
August 13, 2021
No small business owner starts their company because they’ve always dreamed of running payroll, benefits and the other necessary infrastructure. Instead, that’s usually the cost to be born by tireless teams otherwise putting all their effort into actual entrepreneurship. Well Gusto was started years ago with a pretty clear and appealing value proposition: deploy modern software to help SMBs run their back office so that they can focus more of their time building, selling, hiring, marketing, etc. And, well, it’s working!
Gusto CEO Joshua Reeves recently announced that the company has raised $175 million to continue accelerating the company’s growth. There are lots of exciting milestones ahead and of course, the company is hiring in all groups.
Onward with Gusto!
August 10, 2021
For several years now we’ve been investing based on the idea that while fintech has introduced innovation in the consumer and business experience, true innovation will only be unleashed by modernization of the infrastructure upon which financial products and services are currently built and managed. That’s why we added to our fintech infrastructure portfolio by leading the seed round for Canopy, which just announced its $15 million Series A financing.
Who: Matt Bivons and Will Hanson have a deep and thorough understanding of online lending, having worked in the industry for years. Matt led growth efforts at Earnest and Greensky. Will was an early engineer at LendUp and spent years at Capital One. Together, they have experienced the pain of servicing and managing loans firsthand and have the business and technical acumen needed to solve an incredibly complex problem.
What: Canopy is building a modern API for loan servicing that can be used to create and manage loans at any point in their lifecycle. Traditional loan servicing and management platforms are inflexible, expensive and take ages to implement. Canopy takes all of that complexity and cost and reduces it to simple APIs with usage-based pricing.
How: Canopy combines an understanding of how lending works, both financially and operationally, with robust technology built for today’s developers. With easy implementation, modular features and support for many lending constructs, Canopy is making it possible to create entirely new lending products, even those that are individually tailored to a customer’s needs.
Why: True innovation in credit and lending products is only going to be possible if the infrastructure upon which products are built makes it possible to create and manage them easily and inexpensively. Wouldn’t we be better off if consumers and businesses didn’t have to fit into a loan underwriting “box” but instead every consumer and business could access a credit product that matched their needs and capacity? That’s the future that Canopy enables.
If making credit and lending products available to everyone is a compelling vision to you, join the Canopy team. They’re on a mission to democratize access to financial products for everyone.
August 5, 2021
The self-driving future we were hoping for is starting to become a reality, but in warehouses ahead of highways. Third Wave builds an autonomous forklift that efficiently and safely complements the human labor in warehouses to multiply the facility’s productivity. Industry partners are taking notice and so are venture investors with Third Wave recently announcing a $40m Series B. If Third Wave’s mission sounds compelling to you, they’re hiring.
August 4, 2021
It takes a special company to bite off a huge challenge and Elroy Air is an example of one such effort. Its goal of enabling “same day shipping to every person on the planet” spans consumer, industrial and public sector use cases. At the core of this mission is the world’s first end-to-end autonomous vertical take-off and landing aircraft. The company’s progress has attracted lots of attention and support - most recently a $40m Series A funding.
Oh, and of course, they’re hiring
July 19, 2021
Whether your company is back in the office, using a hybrid strategy or plans to be fully remote, one thing is certain, traditional compliance training hasn’t met modern needs. Ethena is fixing that, starting with sexual harassment education, and clients are responding enthusiastically. Over 150 companies have adopted Ethena, including Netflix, Zoom and Figma, resulting in 29x ARR growth during its first year.
All of this caught the attention of multiple investors and we’re excited Ethena has raised an additional $15.5 million to enter their next phase of growth. Cofounders Roxanne Petraeus and Anne Solmssen are an impressive duo and they treat their company as a product, being especially thoughtful about culture, practices and people. You can read more about the Why and How behind Ethena in Roxanne’s Series A blog post.
If Ethena’s mission motivates you, they’re hiring.
July 12, 2021
The digitization of financial services in Latin America represents an enormous opportunity. Most financial products are inaccessible to the majority of the population. And the introduction of digital financial products is still in its infancy. This is most true for teens and young adults, who are looking to generate incomes, spend online and get educated about finance. That’s why we were ecstatic to lead the seed round for Z1, alongside our friends at Clocktower, Maya Capital, Mantis, Goodwater, Gaingels and Soma Capital.
Who: João Pedro Thompson, Thiago Achatz, Mateus Craveiro and Sophie Secaf are the cofounders of Z1. Together, they bring a unique mix of skills in education, financial services, marketing, engineering and design, to the problems that Z1 is tackling. Based in Sao Paulo, the team has a true appreciation for the needs of their customers and the dynamics of the market.
What: Z1 provides teens in Brazil with a digital bank account tied to a prepaid credit card. Banks in Latin America don’t offer products to young people and most online stores don’t accept debit cards. Combine simple but powerful financial products with education on how to live a sound financial life, and you have a beloved offering for teens in Brazil.
How: Rather than targeting parents, Z1 focuses on and empowers teens. In Latin America, nearly one third of teens earn their own incomes. Yet financial products are unavailable to them and their only option is to use cash. Z1 understands that teaching these young people to make sound financial decisions and to use financial products intelligently not only benefits them, but it engenders trust with Z1 and allows the company to be the digital bank for these teens as they grow into adulthood.
Why: In Latin America, even more than in the US, financial products and services are only available to the wealthy. In addition, Gen Z in Brazil grew up during three recessions over the last decade and wants to become financially independent as soon as possible. They’re becoming economically educated and financially active much earlier than previous generations. But cash, with its many limitations and risks, has been their only vehicle for being active. Z1 is changing that so all teens in Latin America can become active participants in the economy and financial prosperity.
Z1 is building the smartest, most innovative team in Latin American fintech. Consider joining the Sao Paolo based team by visiting its current openings.
July 9, 2021
In many ways, the job of a digital marketer has never been harder. Digital acquisition channels have as much competition as ever. More companies are vying for customers in virtually every category. And standing out from the crowd with a unique message is exceptionally challenging. That’s where Intellimize comes in. The company recently raised a $30 million Series B financing to help it continue to scale its business of helping marketers optimize customer acquisition by personalizing websites. Intellimize combines sophisticated AI with human creativity to generate unique webpages for site visitors in real time. If you’re interested in solving some of the hardest problems in marketing with the most sophisticated solution, check out Intellimize’s open positions.
July 8, 2021
We’re big believers in flexible, collaborative and high quality productivity tools for modern workers. Perhaps no one has a bigger vision for what this future could look like than Shishir Mehrotra and Coda, who just raised an additional $100m in funding. If you want to help them build this platform of collaboration and the ecosystem around it, they’re hiring.
July 2, 2021
Bringing robotics out of the lab and into real world physical environments is always a tremendous milestone. And even better when this milestone occurs alongside commercial momentum, such as a customer paying for your harvesting-as-a-service. Traptic recently celebrated both of these accomplishments, and shared news of a previously unannounced funding from new investor Collaborative Fund. Traptic is helping automate $200B of produce crops that today are still picked by hand. If applying your skills to creating modern food supply chains sounds intriguing, they’re hiring.
June 30, 2021
There’s never been more interest in making sure that consumers and businesses get access to their money quickly and inexpensively. That’s why it’s no surprise that Orum attracted another $56 million to enable frictionless, universal access to money. Maybe as important, Orum is building its business with a commitment to diversity at all levels of the organization. If you’re interested in joining a company that combines values and value, Orum is hiring across the country for its distributed team.
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