Welcome back to Last Week In Venture. While Jason is deservedly off in a cabin somewhere, we’re taking a team-approach to rounding up some venture deals that may have flown under your radar.
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We had our fun with Uber’s public debut this morning, but beyond that, the Crunchbase News team covered a slew of news from the tech and venture world this week. We wrote about Colorado’s tech scene, an “Airbnb mafia” fund which is not-so-aptly named, and an Irish startup getting in on the Africa e-payment wave. We also covered the growth of real estate startups, and how a shaving startup found a home in exchange for a hefty return.
That’s just a peek into our day-to-day. Let’s broaden this up to what the week was like for all of venture-land.
Recruiting company humanpredictions landed $1.16 million from investors. The round was led by Network Ventures. The company wants to help hiring managers fill their shortages of tech roles, from software engineers to data scientists. The company claims it wants to discover “hidden tech talent outside of LinkedIn” by using data and machine learning.
With humanpredictions, recruiters can analyze skills and behaviors, potentially seeing when someone might change jobs, the company claims. It makes $1 million in recurring revenue.
However, humanpredictions is not the first company to try to use tech and AI to solve a shortage in engineers.
Daye, a startup that wants to use CBD-infused tampons to fight menstrual cramps, raised $5.5 million led by Khosla Ventures, TechCrunch reported. The company has not yet brought its product to market yet, but wants to make a women’s hygiene product that is sustainable and long lasting.
In our past coverage of period tech, we’ve prodded questions on materials, sustainability and sourcing. CBD is a new one. Milanova told TechCrunch that she doesn’t believe CBD should be in everything, but that it works as a strong painkiller and has the “fastest route of absorption into the bloodstream when it comes to pain relief.”
The More Deals You Know
Of course, a lot more money exchanged hands in tech then the highlighted rounds above. Here’s what else caught our eye.
- On the heels of our real estate funding coverage, Reali raised a $9 million “Series B2,” adding to its initial round of $20 million that we reported on last July. Existing investors Group 11 led the latest financing, which also included participation from Zeev Ventures and Signia Ventures. The way Reali works is to hire its own licensed real estate agents, who are salaried and not paid on commission. Buyers and sellers pay a flat rate of $5,000 to $10,000 depending on the price of the property, rather than a several percentage commission. As of last July, Reali had processed hundreds of millions of dollars in homes bought and sold on its transaction platform. This week, the company said it saw its transaction volume triple in 2018 and 40 percent employee growth since the beginning of 2019. Also, in April, it acquired online mortgage platform Lenda and then launched a loan arm to its business.
- Toronto-based Lane, which calls itself a workplace experience platform, said it would use a $2.5 million funding to expand into the U.S. The five-year-old company raised the money from Alate Partners, Panache Ventures and Colliers/Techstars. It plans to open offices in New York and Los Angeles by the third quarter of this year. Lane said its modular technology integrates with an existing building “to create a tailor-made workplace experience that dramatically increases the overall ROI of any office with the use of a technology-driven assistant.” Its goal is to streamline traditional building management by “providing instant access to software, services, and amenities.”
- As Uber goes public today, across the pond Paris-based Heetch, a self described “high-growth” ride-hailing platform, raised $38 million in a Series B funding round from a group of investors including Cathay Innovation, Total Ventures, and others. In a statement, the company said its goal is “to become the leading ride-sharing platform across French-speaking countries.” Over the past year, Heetch has accelerated its international development, particularly in Africa, and now has a presence in four countries: France, Belgium, Morocco, Ivory Coast. This year, the company plans to launch in Algeria, Cameroon and Senegal.
With unicorns now exiting at a rapid clip, new millionaires are sure to be minted, which means more mafias will likely form and more cash will assuredly burn. At least word counts will never be a problem for this column. We’ll see you next week.
Until then, here’s a GIF of Jason on vacation right now: