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Talent Should Own The Marketplaces They Transact In. With Braintrust They Do

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.

Shield Raises $210 Million Series D to Move Closer Towards Becoming a 21st Century Defense Prime

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.

Chime Raises $750m To Support Financial Wellness For Almost Every American

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.

Gusto Raises $175 Million Series E to Power SMB Success

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!

Canopy: A Modern API for Loan Servicing

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.

Third Wave Automation Raises $40 Million Series B to Modernize the Forklift

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.

Elroy Air Raises $40 Million Series A to Power Autonomous Aerial Robotics

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


Ethena Raises $15.5 Million Series A to Make Corporate Compliance Training Modern, Effective and Personalized

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.

Z1: Bringing Modern Banking to the Youth of Latin America

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.

Intellimize Raises $30 Million to Personalize the Internet

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.

Coda’s Vision for All-In-One-Docs Gets Another $100 Million of Funding

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.

Traptic’s Farm Automation Robotics Hit The Fields (And Garner More Funding)

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.

Orum Raises $56 Million Series B to Transform How Money Moves

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.

Habi Raises $100 Million to Simplify Home Buying and Selling in Latin America

June 29, 2021

Those of us in the US know how painful it is to buy and sell a home. But the process of doing so is much worse in countries throughout Latin America, where it’s difficult to obtain mortgages and where there is no single database of real estate transactions like the MLS in the US. For the past two years, Habi has been working to digitize, simplify and expedite the home buying and selling process in Latin America, starting in Colombia. With its recent expansion to Mexico and $100 million of fresh capital in the bank, Habi is well on its way to redefining the residential real estate transaction throughout Latin America. Habi is hiring in Colombia and Mexico, so now’s the time to join this incredible team and business.

ResQ Restaurant Maintenance & Repair Platform Hits 3,000 Locations Deployed, Announces Seed Funding

June 23, 2021

Much of what we do at Homebrew is based on the belief that software has the power to meaningfully empower individuals with information and access. A considerable number of the startups we’ve backed look to bring these capabilities to traditional industries that predate the PC, including construction, agriculture and health care. The hospitality business - especially restaurants - is one of the world’s oldest industries, and we’re excited to share what ResQ is doing to help it. ResQ grew 750% through the pandemic and just announced its seed financing.

WHO: When we first met KJ, ResQ’s CEO, one thing we loved was that he’d experienced the problem he was looking to solve, as the owner of an Australian Meat Pie cafe. He was able to talk passionately about what it meant to his business when the refrigerator went down or the grease trap cleaner had to reschedule. Namely, more stress, fewer dollars and long hours. He knew there was a better way and that he could build a team to help him create it.

WHAT: ResQ is a software platform that helps restaurants request, manage and pay for their maintenance and repair needs. By giving owners and team members increased visibility into the schedules and costs of their operations it allows them to operate more efficiently and effectively. ResQ also works on behalf of service vendors, giving them the tools they need to perform high quality work, run their businesses as entrepreneurs and take pride in their outcomes.

HOW: By combining a SaaS tool with labor marketplace and financial tools, ResQ ensures that all parties are using the same information. This limits downtime and increases quality of operations while also reducing operational expenses due to miscommunication and lack of pricing transparency. Restaurant locations save as much as 10-30% on their maintenance costs and service providers find themselves with more time to work, avoiding unnecessary travel, delays and approvals.

WHY: Restaurants operate on thin margins already and want to focus their time and resources on great guest experiences. No one gets into the hospitality business because they love to worry about uptime and ResQ can often be the difference between a packed house or a “closed for unexpected repairs” sign on the door.

If you’d like to join a team creating real value for one of the world’s largest industries, ResQ is hiring.

Bowery Farming Raises $300 Million For a Safe and Healthy Future of Food

May 27, 2021

Sitting down to eat a meal is often a simple act but the supply chain that created that experience and brought it to your plate is increasingly complex. Accordingly, there are new startups using modern technology to help ensure a future where we can still access healthy and affordable food while minimizing costs and environmental impact. Bowery Farming is one of the most promising companies attacking this opportunity and it just raised an additional $300 million to further develop and deploy its FarmOS and indoor farm footprint.

Congratulations to the Bowery team! And if solving problems like these sound interesting to you, it’s a perfect time to join them.

Together Raises $2 Million Pre-Seed Round to Grow Community-Based Housing Platform

May 26, 2021

Shelter and Community are both pretty essential components in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs so why not combine them? That’s the motivation behind Together, a new startup founded by Tom Schultz and Jeff Christian. Together’s platform is in some ways a three sided marketplace where Casa organizers, likeminded people and real estate owners come together for a single goal: to put groups of people with shared interests or needs together in a rental property. Already Casas have been organized around professional interests, personal hobbies and more.

Tom and Jeff’s vision intrigued us because we too have been looking for new models of community housing which can expand beyond just urban millennials and don’t require property ownership or the acquisition of long term leases to grow. Together is just that solution and we’re happy to have become supporting investors in their $2 million pre-seed raise.

If organizing or participating in a Casa house sounds right for you, there’s more information on their website. And of course, if building Together the company interests you, they’re hiring.

Data.World Raises $11 Million to Scale its Powerful Data Prep and Management Solution

May 18, 2021

Data quality is one of the largest impediments to successful implementation of AI and machine learning. That’s why data scientists end up spending so much time cleaning and organizing data. It’s this headache that Data.World has been addressing with its data prep and management software and why it raised another $11 million to scale its business supporting incredible customers like the Associated Press, WPP and Wunderman Thompson.

Data.World is hiring for its team in Austin so if you’re interested in making data easier to work with while being part of an awesome team, check out the open positions.

Gatheround: Team Software Designed By People For People

May 2, 2021

“Pivot to Virtual” was a reality for many teams and communities this last year, but our involvement with Gatheround predates any COVID-influenced workplace trends. And today they’ve announced their launch and funding.

WHO: A very special team of cofounders, with experience spanning technology and community organizing. We first met CEO Perry Rosenstein, whose previous startup helped pioneer and productize peer to peer texting, taking lessons he learned from the Obama campaign. Perry introduced us to his two cofounders, COO Lisa Conn and CPO Alexander McCormmach. Their thoughtful commitments to one another about what Gatheround could be and their operating talent convinced us this was a company we wanted to back.

WHAT: A better way to bring people together. Gatheround is a synchronous video experience which uses smartly designed features to turn online gatherings into productive ways for people to bond, learn and connect.

HOW: The Gatheround team has combined its lessons from political campaigns, social media products, community organizing and group dynamics into a video product that makes you energized and stimulated, not fatigued. Group experiences are oriented around content prompts which can be designed by the host or integrated from Gatheround’s library. Already, companies and teams are using Gatheround to onboard new hires, connect new managers, introduce clients to their account teams and come together for thoughtful conversations around workplace DEI.

WHY: We’ve long-believed that modern workplaces, teams and communities need software designed with our human behaviors in mind. Think of the first wave of workplace SaaS tools as being “IQ-centric” -- basically taking data workflows and turning them into digital ones. The next wave will bring EQ into the mix, designed to be effective, not just efficient. As leaders and managers start to notice they’ve reached the productivity (and happiness) ceilings they’ll seek out modern experiences. And we believe Gatheround will be one of the leaders.

If this sounds interesting, try out their product. And if it sounds like a company you’d like to consider joining, Gatheround is hiring!

Embedded Helps Settle Trades for Modern Financial Markets

April 21, 2021

We love businesses tackling the “most people don’t wake up in the morning and decide they want to spend the next 10 years of their lives working on X” problems. With Michael Giles, that problem is fixing the archaic way in which clearing and custody is done for US listed equities and options by broker-dealers. He and his team are building Embedded, a fintech startup that’s building a modern clearing system from the ground up.

Clearing *seems* simple - just updating the accounts of the trading parties and arranging for the transfer of money and securities. But it’s incredibly complex and obviously critical for the functioning of a complex economy. New trading platforms are putting increased pressure and attention on the velocity, accuracy, transparency and fairness of clearing systems (maybe you’ve read about GME and Robinhood?). Embedded has been capitalized to do great work here and we’re excited to be a supporting investor in its $20 million financing.

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