Hey! Happy Holidays! Welcome to Last Week In Venture, Crunchbase News’s weekly roundup of venture deals that may have flown under your radar.
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In prior years, the week right before Christmas would be a total dead zone for news, but 2018 is once again an exceptional year. This week, the Crunchbase News team covered the SoftBank Vision Fund’s billions invested in automotive and transportation tech companies like Cambridge Mobile Telematics, Fair, and Grab. We also covered hypergiant investments in JUUL and Swiggy, new funds raised by Lightspeed China Partners and HubSpot Ventures, and a big chip buyout by Cisco. As always, that’s just a fraction of what transpired.
With so much going on, it’s easy to miss what companies outside the unicorn spotlight are contributing to the global startup ecosystem. But that doesn’t mean their stories aren’t worth sharing.
Let’s dive into the week that was in venture-land.
Market Hot Spot: Raising For Rising Women
Diversity is a major theme in our coverage here on Crunchbase News, and it’s always great when founders start a company that solves a problem they faced. Amid a historic push for equality in the workplace, women are helping other women succeed.
The Mom Project is a great example. It’s a hiring platform that connects professional women who temporarily left the workforce to help raise children with jobs ranging from part-time freelance work to full-time roles. The Chicago-based company announced $8 million in Series A funding co-led by Initialized Capital and Grotech Ventures. In a statement from the company, CEO Allison Robinson observed that “Since 86% of American women will become mothers by age 44, we believe supporting and retaining moms in the workforce represents the largest opportunity to close the gender gap in the United States.” The company launched the Women’s Work Initiative with the city of Atlanta this year.
Earlier this week, Crunchbase News’s own Mary Ann Azevedo covered a $75 million Series C round raised by The Wing, a network of professional and community spaces designed for women. The company grew its revenue five hundred percent between October 2017 and October 2018, according to a representative for The Wing.
And last week we covered a $15 million Series A round raised by The Riveter, another company building collaborative workspaces for women and allies. In a prior edition of Last Week In Venture, we covered a $3 million seed round raised by Chief, another company aiming to build a professional network of what it describes as “exceptional” women. In other words, there are a lot of businesses by women for women in the works.
2018 made major advances on the road to equal representation in the workplace and positions of power. It’s neat to see entrepreneurs trying to build businesses around this important social trend, and there’s so much left to do. Forge on!
Other Interesting Deals
- The web is full of all kinds of data waiting to be mined. Tools made by companies like Import.io help you scrape, aggregate, and integrate that data into your work, and you don’t even need to know how to code to use it. This week, Import.io raised $15.5 million in Series B funding led by Talis Capital. IP Group, OpenOcean, Oxford Capital, and Wellington Partners participated in the funding round.
- Investors kick-pushed $60 million in Series B funding to Boosted, maker of electric skateboards used by N.Y.C.-based Youtubers and laid-back California technophiles alike. iNovia Capital and Khosla Ventures co-led the deal; Khosla partner Samir Kaul told TechCrunch that “Boosted has been built as a scalable light electric vehicle company that can expand its portfolio to all kinds of vehicle form factors, including perfecting the vehicle types we see on the street today, and introducing others that are more novel.” Sounds like a Boosty Scoot might be on the horizon. ⚡🛴
And with that, we’re done! We’re looking forward to bringing you more under-the-radar deals in the new year. See you back in 2019!
And for those of you who made it to the end, a little holiday treat for you: a collection of various creatures playing with presents and feeling the holiday cheer. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your kin. 🎄