Last Week In Venture: Dogg Digs Dutchie, Data-Driven Video, And Quantum Accelerators

Hello and welcome to Last Week In Venture, the weekly roundup of venture deals inked with interesting companies you may have missed.

Investors continued to funnel staggering amounts of capital into companies like Compass, Opendoor, and Stripe, among others which raised this week.

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It’s easy to overlook what companies outside the spotlight are contributing to startup ecosystems around the world. But that doesn’t mean their stories aren’t worth sharing.

Let’s dive in!

Market Hot Spot: Digital Media

A cluster of digital media deals bubbled up this week, which might come as a surprise to some. Venture-backed upstart news sites like The Outline and Tech In Asia are laying off writers while platforms like Facebook and Apple News put the squeeze on ad revenue for even the biggest publishers.

Nevertheless, investors committed capital to a number of digital media deals announced this week:

Other Deals In Interesting Sectors

  • Dutchie, a Bend, OR-based ordering platform for cannabis pickup and delivery rolled up $3 million in green to take root in Canada and other federally legal international markets. The round was led by Casa Verde Capital, a cannabis-focused venture fund co-founded by Calvin Broadus Jr., better known as Snoop Dogg. No word yet on whether Dutchie includes snack options for satiating future munchies.
  • Quantum accelerator company Bleximo raised $1.5 million in a seed round led by Eniac Ventures. KEC Ventures, Creative Ventures, Boost VC, and Gyan Kapur participated. Unlike quantum computing concerns like Rigetti, D-Wave, and IBM, Bleximo is instead focused on building quantum co-processors that can operate alongside classical computers to accelerate progress in quantitatively-intense problem spaces, like molecular dynamics modeling in drug discovery.
  • Austin, TX-based Hitch (which is in the middle of re-branding from Krew) raised a modest $223,100 in seed funding to build a business around a ride-sharing marketplace for inter-city travel. Hitch hopes to eventually connect budget-conscious travelers who needs to hop between cities to someone who’s driving their own car there. The Krew website says rides from Austin to Houston are $35, and that the company has facilitated over 1,000 rides to date. To be sure, Hitch faces the challenging of building up two sides of a marketplace business: the inter-city drivers on one side, and the riders on the other. This proved difficult for a little company called Zimride, which was founded back in 2007 as a way to connect college kids with rides back home. Zimride eventually gave up on inter-city travel, pivoted to local ride-hailing, and rebranded to Lyft. The rest is history.

And for those of you who made it to the end, a lagniappe: a little quacker having a swim. Have a ducking great weekend! 🦆

Image Credits: Last Week In Venture graphic created by JD Battles. Featured image by Michael Olsen on Unsplash.