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Author: Kate Clark

Startups Weekly: The opportunities & challenges for mental health tech

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy startups and venture capital news. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I wrote about Zoom and Superhuman’s PR disasters. Before that, I noted the big uptick in VC spending in 2019. Remember, you can send me tips, suggestions and feedback to kate.clark@techcrunc...

Medallia stock up 76% following first day trading on the NYSE

Customer experience management platform Medallia (NYSE: MDLA) rose more than 70% in its New York Stock Exchange debut Friday. The nearly two-decades-old business priced its shares at $21 apiece, the top of its proposed range, Thursday evening and traded as high as $39.54 the following morning. Medallia closed up roughly 76% at about $37 per share on Friday. Medallia sold a total of 15.5 million sh...

India’s Oyo valued at $10B after founder purchases $2B in shares

The fast-growing Indian hospitality business Oyo has garnered a valuation of $10 billion after its founder, Ritesh Agarwal, reportedly purchased $2 billion in shares from venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Agarwal, 25, founded Oyo in 2013 at the age of 19. Following immense growth of the now global hotel chain business, Agarwal opted to increase his 10% stake to...

Startups Weekly: Zoom, Superhuman and small reactions to big scandals

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy startups and venture capital news. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I noted the big uptick in VC spending in 2019. Before that, I struggled to understand WeWork’s growth trajectory. Remember, you can send me tips, suggestions and feedback to kate.clark@techcrunch....

Hospitality business Sonder confirms new investment, $1B+ valuation

Sonder, which rents serviced apartments akin to boutique hotels, has raised $225 million at a valuation north of $1 billion, the company announced this morning. News of the round, which brings Sonder’s total raised to date to more than $400 million, follows an April report from The Wall Street Journal that the business was closing in on its unicorn round. Valor Equity, Westcap and Nicol...

Birth control delivery startup Nurx introduces STI home-testing kits

Nurx, the “Uber for birth control,” will allow customers to test themselves for many of the most common sexually transmitted infections within the comforts of their own homes with its new STI home-testing kits. Nurx, a graduate of Y Combinator, has raised about $42 million in venture capital funding from Kleiner Perkins, Union Square Ventures, Lowercase Capital and others to date. It l...

Startups Weekly: 2019 VC spending may eclipse 2018 record

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy startups & venture capital news. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I struggled to understand WeWork’s growth trajectory. Before that, I noted some thoughts on scooter companies’ struggle to raise new cash. Remember, you can send me tips, suggestions...

Investing elsewhere with Revolutions’s Clara Sieg

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. I was in the studio alone this week with the wonderful Clara Sieg of Revolution, an early-stage venture capital fund that invests in disruptive startups from underrepresented geographies. As you might have guessed, we talked about the rising trend of investors backing c...

Pod Foods gets VC backing to reinvent grocery distribution

Larissa Russell and Fiona Lee founded a cookie startup called Green Pea Cookie in 2014. The cookies were 100% natural, vegan and “handcrafted with love.” The company failed but not because the cookies weren’t selling. The business couldn’t keep up with the antiquated wholesale food distribution system’s steep costs. Two incumbent players, United Natural Foods Inc. and...

Bird investor Upfront Ventures eyes $250M growth fund

Upfront Ventures, a Los Angeles-based venture capital firm, has filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to raise its third growth-stage investment fund. Though the firm typically invests at the seed and Series A, capital from Upfront Growth III will be used for follow-on or late-stage deals. The firm, known for its investments in Bird, Goat, Ring, ThredUP and Parachute, pl...

Sam Lessin and Andrew Kortina on their voice assistant’s workplace pivot

Sam Lessin, a former product management executive at Facebook and old friend to Mark Zuckerberg, incorporated his latest startup under the name “Fin Exploration Company.” Why? Well, because he wanted to explore. The company — co-founded alongside Andrew Kortina, best known for launching the successful payments app Venmo — was conceived as a consumer voice assistant in 2015 ...

VCs bet on Aegis AI, a startup using computer vision to detect guns

A new startup using computer vision software to turn security cameras into gun-detecting smart cameras has raised $2.2 million in venture capital funding in a round led by Bling Capital, with participation from Upside Partnership and Tensility Venture Partners. Aegis AI sells to U.S. corporations and school district its technology, which scans thousands of video feeds for brandished weapons and pr...

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