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Topknot Sees a World Transformed by Every Woman Leading the Life She Wants

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.

Maximize AI Performance, Minimize AI Risk: Raises $15m Series A

January 1, 2021

When you trust software you’re really trusting the *people* behind the software. In our 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 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, is hiring.

You Can’t Tell Modern Stories With Old Tools: Projector Raises Series B for Graphic Design Software

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.

Finch Launches API for HR and Payroll Data

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.

HomeLister: Sell Your Home Simply & Profitably

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!

1:1 or 1:Many, Superpeer Lets You Host Paid Video Calls

December 6, 2020

Superpeer recently announced its new paid channels feature and $10 million total raised so it’s time for us to share the background on Homebrew’s involvement.

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.

Honor Raises $140 Million for Home Care Network

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.

If the idea of creating a better future for our parents appeals to you they’re hiring talented, passionate Care Pros and other professionals.

Intellimize Raises $12 Million to Accelerate Intelligent Website Optimization

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 Intellimize is hiring for its team so check out its openings here.

Kettle: Balancing Climate Change Risk

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.

Stir: Building The Business Tools Creators Need and Deserve

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.

Braintrust Raises $18 Million to Grow Talent Marketplace That Actually Values Talent

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.

Noyo Closes $12.5 Million Series A to Make Connected Healthcare a Reality

September 28, 2020

Health care has never been more important in our country. And while there are many differences in opinion as to what shape health care should take, it’s abundantly clear that the digitization of health care and the associated data is here to stay. That’s where Noyo comes. Noyo is building the digital infrastructure needed for insurance carriers and benefit brokers to be able to exchange data more quickly and more accurately. As a result, consumers benefit from innovations that make it possible to get insurance, verify coverage and make changes to benefits all from their phones.

Today, Noyo announces its $12.5 million Series A financing and a few of its many industry leading customers, such as Humana and Ameritas. Noyo’s mission has been clear from day one and we’re proud to have been partners in that mission since Homebrew led the company’s seed financing. The company is just getting started as it aims to be the critical infrastructure that the health care insurance industry relies upon to deliver care more cost effectively. The team is hiring in San Francisco, Raleigh-Durham and remotely so check out their openings here.

Camera IQ Announces Series A as AR Marketing Continues Fast Growth

September 28, 2020

Camera IQ, the most powerful software platform to help companies create and manage their augmented reality marketing, just announced its Series A. We’re happy to be supporting investors of this innovative Los Angeles-based startup and its founders, Allison Ferenci and Sonia Tsao, who are leaders in this vertical and its communities. As consumers spend more and more of their time in camera-based environments (Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and so on), brands seeking to reach these people need innovative and creative formats. Camera IQ is the tool which makes it possible at scale. And if this sounds exciting to you, they’re hiring.

Chime Raises $485 Million to Continue Building a Better Bank

September 28, 2020

It’s always special to look back at a company’s genesis and revisit the vision the founders outlined and the mission they defined. It’s even more special when that vision and mission have become reality, which is certainly the case with Chime. From the very beginning, Chris Britt and Ryan King wanted to build a better bank, one that didn’t make money by charging customers excessive fees or by limiting services that are meant to help save, invest and borrow money to the wealthiest customers. And now it’s clear to many investors, consumers and industry experts that Chime has done just that. The company just announced proof of that acknowledgment by virtue of its $485 million Series F financing. Chime is still in the early days of its journey and has much more planned over the coming quarters. If you’re interested in joining a true rocket ship with an exceptional team and culture, they are hiring in every department. Secures $26 Million to Help Enterprises Inventory and Organize Their Data

September 28, 2020 understood from the beginning that siloed, distributed data has no value to businesses. Its cloud data catalog was designed with the needs of a data-driven organization in mind. The company’s products help organizations inventory and organize data and map it to business concepts so that it can be understood and actionable. For example, a major health care organization uses to securely integrate data from a variety of other sources, tie that data to specific health conditions and treatments and then expose that data to the entire organization for research and review. With its $26 million Series B financing, intends to make its products available to many new verticals and for many emerging use cases. We are proud seed supporters of the team and their mission to make data accessible and useful for everyone. They’re actively hiring in the hotbed of Austin, Texas.

Habi Raises Series A to Bring Data Intelligence to the Latin American Real Estate Market

August 30, 2020

The thesis behind which we invest at Homebrew is that technology is a great democratizer, providing access in broad and inclusive ways. And often, data is the key component to opening a market. Habi was founded on the idea that the lack of real estate data in Latin America was hurting both buyers and sellers of residential properties. Unlike the US, in which there are Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) that record all residential real estate transaction data, the Latin American market is one with no price transparency and no information on homes for sale. Habi is creating the definitive residential real estate dataset in Latin American while also providing a service that makes it easier, faster and safer to sell a home. With its recently announced Series A financing, Habi will be expanding throughout Colombia. We’re incredibly proud to have supported Brynne McNulty Rojas and Sebastian Noguera in their mission since the seed round and to do so now again in the Series A.

Orum: Making Money Move Faster

August 30, 2020

With as much innovation as there has been in financial services over the past decade, the reality is that there are core infrastructure components that limit what can be done. One important example is something that all of us have experienced -waiting for money to transfer between accounts. While a solution to this problem would seem to be simple, it’s actually quite complex to solve in a modern way. That’s what led us to lead the $5.2 million seed financing for Orum, along with our friends at Inspired Capital, Acrew Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, Clocktower Ventures and BoxGroup.

WHO: Stephany Kirkpatrick, Ryan Cooke and Christine Hurtubise, co-founders of Orum, bring needed skills in management, sales, product management, engineering and data science to Ourm. Stephany led key business units for LearnVest and then all digital products for Northwestern Mutual. Ryan and Christine are savvy technologists with extensive experience in fintech from companies including N26, Stash and OnDeck. Together, the team has experienced the problem that Orum is addressing firsthand and understands what it will take to solve it for the entire financial industry.

WHAT: Orum uses rich data and machine learning to predict when funds are available and if there is any fraudulent activity. The company’s first product, Foresight, makes it possible for any financial institution to access these data-driven insights via a simple API. By doing so, those institutions can move money immediately without taking any financial risk. Orum helps make it possible for the end customers of these institutions to access funds when they are moved rather than wait days for an antiquated financial system to authorize their transactions.

HOW: Orum’s product combines a sophisticated machine learning platform with an accessible API. The data platform leverages the customer’s internal data and third-party data that Orum accesses itself. That makes it possible for Orum to evaluate every individual financial transaction and to provide its customers with a highly accurate assessment of whether a transaction should be authorized immediately, delayed, or rejected outright. The real-time API allows customers to incorporate this assessment into their normal transaction flow. In total, Orum helps money move immediately.

WHY: Frictionless money movement makes it possible for the entire economy to operate more efficiently. Workers and businesses can all get paid more quickly. Moving money between accounts happens instantly. Sending money to friends and family is completed without delay. Legacy financial industry infrastructure wasn’t designed for the demands of a real-time world. But Orum is helping it meet the needs of a modern economy,

If making money move fast is of interest to you, join the Orum team. You’ll get to be part of a company that will be the infrastructure for all money movement, changing how the world thinks about using money.

Coda Raises $80 Million Series C

August 25, 2020

An all-in-one platform that brings words, data and teams together sounds like a ‘must have’ in 2020. But Shishir Mehrotra started working on Coda in 2014 which means customers are already enjoying the benefits of thoughtful, scalable technology that rethinks documents. So it’s not surprising that investors noticed too, resulting in Coda’s recently announced Series C raise of $80 million. Having worked with Shishir at Google, we were fortunate to support Coda in its initial financing and even though six years have passed since, the journey is still just beginning - they’re hiring.

Hummingbird Raises $8.2 Million Series A to Continue Fighting Financial Crime

July 27, 2020

We’ve been investing in financial services infrastructure since Homebrew’s inception, starting with our seed investment in Plaid. Innovation in financial products for consumers and businesses is still often hamstrung by legacy infrastructure and processes. So we’ve consistently been active in identifying opportunities to replace those antiquated systems with modern software and APIs, enabling an entirely new era of financial services innovation that can dramatically benefit end customers.

Our original investment in Hummingbird was based on the idea that financial services companies, new and old, would seek out more efficient and effective strategies to tackle compliance and regulatory requirements. By replacing manual but required processes, they could focus resources on what differentiates them, their products and customer experiences. Hummingbird recently raised a Series A of $8.2 million to continue helping financial institutions fight financial crimes more efficiently and effectively. We’re thrilled to continue investing in a company that is solving a problem that is critical to easing further innovation in the industry. And we’re even more excited to continue supporting a team that uniquely combines product and regulatory expertise to deliver an incredible set of products and services.

Hummingbird is hiring so if you’re keen to unlock financial innovation while maintaining the safety of our financial systems, check out its open positions.

Braintrust: A Talent Marketplace That Isn’t Greedy

June 30, 2020

The internet was supposed to get rid of middle-men and sometimes it does, but often it just creates new ones. Braintrust brings together talent and serves the gig economy but with a take-rate much lower than previous staffing models. Since Braintrust is built from the ground up to be a low-friction, community-directed platform, it anticipates a world where the job seekers are also co-owners. This is a vision we’re proud to support as investors. Customers like Porsche and Nestle are already staffing from Braintrust, and if you want to hire talent from the platform or join Braintrust yourself, they’re open for business.

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