April 9, 2021
Higo recently announced the $3.3 million seed financing that it closed to help move B2B payments in Latin American from spreadsheets and email to modern software and digital payments. It was the opportunity to make B2B payments in Latin American as simple as peer-to-peer payments in the US that led us to lead the seed round in partnership with Susa Ventures, Haystack, J Ventures and several prominent angels.
WHO: Cofounders Rodolfo Corcuera, Juan José Fernández and Daniel Tamayo had experienced the manual and cumbersome process for paying vendors at their previous ventures. So they saw the opportunity to bring their complementary skills in product, operations, growth and design together to build the fastest and easiest way to pay vendors in Latin America.
WHAT: Higo makes it fast and simple for small businesses in Mexico to accurately pay their vendors. The company takes what has traditionally been a very manual and error-prone process and turns it into beautiful software that automates the entire payments process.
HOW: Mexican tax law requires that invoices be recorded digitally so that proper taxes can be collected. Higo takes that available invoicing data and transforms it into intelligence that can then be used to automatically and digitally pay the vendors that small businesses work with. By being the intermediary for B2B tax information Higo provides Mexican small businesses with a real alternative to the traditional way they are used to doing banking and business.
WHY: Small businesses make up more than a quarter of Mexico’s GDP. And those businesses lack visibility into their cash flows and working capital. By providing that information and handling payments in real-time, Higo reduces operational risk for these businesses and ultimately helps them grow. Mexico is the focus for now, but Higo intends to expand throughout Latin American so it can help small businesses throughout the region thrive.
The Higo team is distributed and hiring everywhere. Learn about its open positions and take the opportunity to work at a company rethinking the payments experience in Latin America.
April 8, 2021
Finance has always been an industry built on data, but mostly keeping that data siloed, opaque or inaccessible. Plaid has been on the forefront of changing that approach, helping consumers be the ultimate owner of their financial information and deciding where they want it to go on their behalf. And the company has now become a foundational piece of the emerging fintech stack across the globe. There’s lots more work to be done though and Plaid recently raised a $425 million Series D financing to continue investing in its people, product and mission. The company is truly ‘just getting started’ and hiring, hiring, hiring.
April 6, 2021
At Homebrew we truly believe that software can help an increasingly broad range of industries and people achieve their goals, but that these startups tackling these markets require intense founder-market fit. When we met the team at Hallow and their Catholic prayer and meditation app, we knew there was a special combination of mission-driven founders and ‘problem to be solved.’ So it doesn’t surprise us that their community has agreed and subscribed to the service at impressive velocity; so impressive in fact that Hallow just raised a $12 million Series A to continue its growth. If bringing peace and serenity to people is a fit for you, they’re hiring.
March 31, 2021
Fictitious sports agent Jerry Maguire famously yelled, “Show me the money!” in an attempt to win over a potential client. But to show someone the money, you need to know where it is. Windfall Data is helping nonprofits (and other commercial clients) understand and segment consumer wealth in order to help them better engage donors. Assisting nonprofits in raising funding turns out to be not just a noble pursuit, but also a lucrative one, resulting in Windfall Data’s recent $21 million Series A. Combining data science with a great mission is a winning combination and if it sounds interesting to you, they’re hiring.
February 24, 2021
There's no question that unmanned systems are the future of national defense, both because they save military and civilian lives and because they can perform objectively with precision. Shield AI has been at the forefront of this trend and recently raised $90 million to continue the development and deployment of its autonomy software stack for unmanned defense systems. We are huge believers in this team and mission and are proud to continue our partnership with the company. Based in San Diego and Pittsburgh, Shield is hiring people who are enthusiastic about saving lives and supporting our nation's defense.
February 12, 2021
Health care is one of those areas where founders often need to straddle being “insiders” and “outsiders.” The regulatory environment, partnership opportunities and intricacies of payment models all rely upon knowing your way around the industry. At the same time, ‘lifers’ often list all the reasons that the status quo won’t change, rather than charge bravely into new ideas. In Sitka’s CEO, Kelsey Mellard, we felt we’d met the perfect combination of insider knowledge and reputation matched with an outsider’s impatience - she and the Sitka team believe that improvements in care and cost can go hand in hand. And now we’re thrilled that Venrock agrees with us, leading Sitka’s $14m Series A. Sitka brings specialists to health systems, primary care providers and other patient-oriented environments where an expert opinion can mean the difference between an unnecessary, expensive surgery and a simple, smart rehab plan. Its telemedicine solution is creating a ‘specialist cloud’ that every healthcare provider front end will tap into as needed on an ongoing basis. There’s no reason for specialist deserts, where a patient can’t access expertise because of her location or socioeconomics. Sitka is truly democratizing access to high quality health care.
If you’re excited about bringing better health care to everyone, Sitka is hiring.
January 21, 2021
Alula is a resource for anyone impacted by cancer: patients, survivors, and caregivers. Liya Shuster-Bier founded Alula after her own experience with cancer — first as a caregiver for her mother, then as a patient and survivor after being diagnosed herself. We’re incredibly enthusiastic about Alula’s mission of making cancer less lonely and easier to navigate for the millions of people impacted each year. We’re proud to have been part of the company’s first funding alongside a fantastic and diverse set of investors.
January 20, 2021
We’re all in agreement that workplaces are changing and more collaboration is going to be done in virtual environments alongside physical ones. At Homebrew, we believe so long as humans are doing the work, they’re going to need spaces to gather and interact with one another. And these spaces will take design inspiration not just from the real world, but also the synthetic ones an increasingly large percentage of the workforce grew up with in games, social media and augmented reality. They’ll be places for serious work, meaningful conversation and intense creativity, even if their design aesthetic pushes the boundaries.
That’s why we invested in the first funding for branch.gg, a virtual HQ for your remote team that borrows heavily from the founders’ learnings in game mods, Minecraft and other user-built worlds. If you want to request access for your team, hit them up.
January 20, 2021
When we started Homebrew at the beginning of 2013, we wouldn’t have guessed that we’d invest in a company tackling the problems associated with commercial HVAC repair and maintenance. But we knew that technology was going to be a democratizing force in many traditional industries, and the team at Ravti convinced us that HVAC was no different. More than six years later, the company recently shared news of its sale to Building Engines, the leading provider of building operations software for commercial real estate. Alex Rangel, Wade Knall and the entire Ravti team were relentless in their vision for a more efficient, inexpensive and environmentally-friendly HVAC repair and maintenance solution. We’re so pleased that they’ll be able to continue pursuing that vision as part of Building Engines.
January 20, 2021
Topknot is a membership-based coaching, skill-development and personal growth product built by and for women. The founders were incredibly intentional about building a cap table that’s representative of their values and we’re proud that Homebrew was included in their pre-seed fundraise alongside a diverse coalition of investors. If you’re interested in learning more about their groups, or even just signing up for their informative weekly newsletter, you can do so here.
January 1, 2021
When you trust software you’re really trusting the *people* behind the software. In our Arthur.ai seed investment we were eager to back these particular humans. Helping to ensure AI/ML algorithms are observable, monitorable and explainable isn’t just about business performance. It’s about fairness, regulatory compliance and peace of mind for your software developers. The Arthur.ai team has deep experience building and scaling fullstack AI solutions and customers took notice as Arthur entered into commercial agreements with a number of large health care, financial services and enterprise clients. This earned the company the right to raise a strong Series A round late last year, in which we enthusiastically continued our support.
If working for a company that cares about the impact of AI software seems interesting to you, Arthur.ai is hiring.
January 1, 2021
Projector was created with the notion that graphic design software is lagging modern storytelling needs. From slide decks to multiple media formats. From one owner to collaboration. From boring clip art to WOW. And they’ve been right about what creators and companies of all sizes need. So they raised a $10m Series B to fund even more product development and distribution. Congrats to the Projector team and if this sounds like a challenge you want to be a part of check out their team openings.
December 16, 2020
Data has historically been siloed but the modern software economy has moved quickly to tear down these walls across many different industries. We’ve been enthusiastic investors in the API Economy and pleased to play a supporting role in Finch’s seed round. Being a ‘source of truth’ for HR and Payroll data has allowed Finch’s early developers to quickly innovate on their own products, such as one user who built out functionality to offer PPP loans to their own customers. If you want to use Finch, you can easily request access via their website. And if working for a company like Finch sounds appealing, they’re hiring.
December 14, 2020
At Homebrew, we believe that technology is impacting every industry profoundly, but especially those verticals that haven’t historically leveraged technology to its greatest benefit. Until recently, real estate was one of those industries. And while a number of significant companies have helped move real estate information online or make the traditional process more efficient, there hasn’t been a structural change to the industry, which still relies on real estate agents to act as intermediaries. That’s why we’ve been so excited to partner with HomeLister, which recently announced its $4.5 million seed financing.
WHO: Lindsay McLean and Jennifer Stein, co-founders of HomeLister have deep experience with the legal, structural and economic nuances of real estate. It’s that background that led them to see a way in which the industry could be changed to better serve homeowners..
WHAT: HomeLister makes it simple to sell your home yourself, saving you both time and money. Just create an account and provide details on your home and HomeLister manages the entire process from listing your home on all of the relevant Multiple Listings Services and real estate websites to completing the legal paperwork for the transaction. With HomeLister, homeowners save up to 60% versus traditional home selling with an agent and sell their homes twice as fast. Already, nearly 10% of home transactions are completed without an agent, and that is expected to grow dramatically over the coming decade.
HOW: The real estate selling process is perceived as complex, largely because of the high value of the transaction and the fear of doing something wrong. HomeLister takes that process, which is well-defined, and turns it into self-service software that is simple, straightforward and fast. And instead of charging a commission based on the selling price of the home, HomeLister charges just a low flat fee. Everything including listing your home, obtaining yard signs, conducting showings and responding to offers is managed via the platform. And there is always an expert available to help if you get stuck or need reassurance. HomeLister fundamentally changes the industry by removing an intermediary that extracts and exorbitant fee for something that can be handled by software alone.
WHY: Most homeowners lose 30% of their home equity when they sell their home thanks to the commissions that agents charge. And the most often cited reason for relying on agents is fear of the homeselling process. HomeLister believes that homeowners should get to keep more of the equity in their homes and feel confident in selling their homes directly. HomeLister currently operates in 13 states and will launch in many more in the coming months. The company’s mission is to transform the real estate industry so that it’s more transparent, simple and cost effective. The residential real estate industry has charged the same fees for decades even though home prices have appreciated dramatically. HomeLister is fixing that problem one home sale at a time.
The HomeLister team is based in Santa Monica and hiring both there and remotely. Check out their open positions. And try HomeLister next time you sell a home!
December 6, 2020
WHO: CEO Devrim Yasar and his cofounders believe in the value of connections. As an international founder (and team), Devrim has seen that knowledge is held by a diverse group of experts across the globe but that it’s still too difficult for this expertise to be showcased, and way too hard for people to turn their time into money.
WHAT: Superpeer is a platform that lets people host 1:1 or 1:many video calls and get paid for doing so. You can book a call or event and set the price for your time, making available slots on your calendar. Superpeer started out simply, supporting just 1:1 calls. But it just launched channels, which allow others to subscribe to you ongoing. It’s up to you to decide if you want to charge for these subscriptions or just for certain premium events.
HOW: A consumer product sensibility with enterprise scale video and payment infrastructure. Sounds easy, right? But as any product development team that has worked on either media or commerce platforms will tell you, the devil (and the performance) are in the technical details and the user experience.
WHY: From our earliest days working together on Google AdSense, we’ve seen how expertise and new voices can attract audiences. When we ran product at Twitter and YouTube we doubled down on this belief. Superpeer resonated for us because the team understood that you need community and experience alongside monetization to help individuals build lasting businesses. That winning this market isn’t just about putting a paywall in front of a Zoom call - that’s going to be a commodity feature in dozens of products. What you see on Superpeer today is just the tip of the iceberg and we believe that this team has the intuition and execution abilities to continue moving fast towards helping all people unlock the value of their expertise and create businesses of one.
If you want to become a Superpeer, apply today.
November 18, 2020
When we backed Honor it was because we knew it had the combination of a huge problem in home care to solve and an amazing mission-driven team. Now, six years later, Honor has established its wedge and has started to really scale - 1,000 communities in six states delivering over 5 million hours of care to seniors. This model, where Honor partners with independently owned home care agencies and other integrated senior care providers, continues to impress investors who responded with a $140m Series D.
November 10, 2020
Homebrew has been investing in AI/ML powered applications for many years. We believe that the first generation of SaaS was great at improving workflows but that the next generation is using data and technology to bring intelligence and automation to software, giving end users superpowers that enable them to get more done more effectively. Intellimize is an example of this evolution. Early forms of website optimization required many steps and tons of time and still yielded very general solutions. By leveraging AI/ML, Intellimize can optimize websites quickly, automatically and on targeted to each site visitor.
It’s that capability that helped the company attract $12 million in a new round of funding. The company will use that capital to grow a customer base that already includes leading companies such as Snowflake, Tableau, Looker and Bill.com. Intellimize is hiring for its team so check out its openings here.
November 10, 2020
Wildfires have been a natural threat forever. But the last few years have made it clear that climate change is making wildfires more prevalent and more unpredictable than ever. Insurance carriers have dealt with massive losses as their actuarial models have failed them. And they’ve subsequently pulled out of the market, no longer offering insurance policies covering wildfires. As a result, homeowners have no options for the financial protection of their properties. That’s why we invested in Kettle.
We’re thrilled to support Nat Manning and Andrew Engler as they work to balance risk in a changing climate. Kettle combines deep learning, used to understand and price risk, with reinsurance. The result is a financial product that uses modern technology to underwrite modern risks. And wildfires are just the start. Climate change has created insurance risk in a number of areas that each need to be navigated. Kettle recently announced its seed financing and expects to begin underwriting wildfire policies in early 2021. If you’re interested in the intersection of technology and climate change, check out their open positions.
October 21, 2020
Stir announced its seed round to help creators manage their revenue streams, gather their analytics and grow their businesses. We lept at the chance to lead its financing alongside other wonderful funds and some of the smartest builders, including founders of YouTube, Patreon, Cameo and more.
WHO: Cofounders Joseph Albanese and Kushal Byatnal started with a very basic question - what tools do creators need to run their businesses like they were, well, businesses? Besides a shared mission, they also spent time making sure they shared values, knowing that their company was itself a product. They share a background mixing experiences at both startups and larger tech companies, borrowing learnings from each to build Stir.
WHAT: Creators - in the broadest sense of the word - are increasingly a new type of small business, but one with a host of unique attributes and needs. Instead of trying to make use of tools that were originally designed for coffee shops or corporate finance departments, Stir is building a suite of software tools and financial products which help creator-driven businesses thrive.
HOW: Stir isn’t just spreadsheets with “Creator!” in the title and pretty colors. They’re building from the bottom-up alongside major creators - tools like “Collectives”, which enables bringing together other creators, distributors and talent into shared cooperative spaces for managing, distributing, analyzing financials. A dashboard that integrates into major distribution platforms to monitor various revenue streams all in one place. Automating revenue splits from endeavors such as YouTube videos to make sure all participants get paid. And this is just the beginning.
WHY: Prior to Homebrew, we had leadership roles at Google AdSense, Twitter and YouTube. These positions gave us the opportunity to see how attention and dollars were moving quickly to new voices and new creators and the durability of those changes. We also saw how the platforms themselves would only build what’s needed to support their own business goals. No one was stepping up to build a creator-first financial software platform. Until Stir.
If Stir sounds interesting to you, they’re hiring a diverse group of people to help them build.
October 4, 2020
The dynamics of marketplaces lean towards ‘winner take most’ outcomes, where one or more entrants capture a significant portion of available supply and demand. As they grow larger and more efficient rarely do they decrease their take rate -- in fact, they may often *increase* it for a variety of reasons, pulling value towards the center versus distributing it to participants.
Braintrust is a marketplace that intends to do the opposite, and its participants are responding with enthusiasm. Enterprise clients have access to a wide variety of motivated technical talent and the people doing the work capture the rewards, as Braintrust works to minimize - not maximize - their fees and push enterprise value to a blockchain token infrastructure.
We’re thrilled to see new investors join the cap table to the tune of an $18 million raise. While the company actually attained profitability on its seed round, there is more work to do and this capital will help ensure that Braintrust accelerates its mission of being the best marketplace for talent.
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