Hello and welcome back to Last Week In Venture, the weekly rundown of deals which may have flown under your radar this week.
There are plenty of companies operating outside the unicorn and public company spotlight, but in their stories we find current trends in tech and get a peek into the future.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Yet Another Way To Scoot Around The City
Shared scooters, bikes, and little mopeds are proliferating as a convenient way to get around town. Electrically powered and available for rent via a mobile phone, these micro-mobility solutions have created fans and critics alike. And it seems like there’s a new service sprouting up every week.
Headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, Revel operates a fleet of electric mopeds, which folks in the NYC boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn, Washington, D.C., and an as-yet unspecified Texas city (if hiring info surfaced by alternative data publication Thinknum is indicative of growth plans) can rent for $1 to start and $0.25 per minute thereafter. The vehicles max out at 30 miles per hour, and they come with helmets which must be worn at all times.
This week, the company raised $27.6 million in Series A funding. The deal was led by Ibex Investors and included participation from Toyota AI Ventures, Maniv Mobility (which led Revel’s seed round), LaunchCapital, and Blue Collective. Co-founder and CEO Frank Reig said in a statement shared with Crunchbase News that the new round will help “responsibly” scale Revel around the U.S.
Sense Distress, Feel Better
If you’re feeling depressed or anxious, reaching out for help can feel like an impossible task. You might feel guilty or ashamed, or that what you’re wrestling with is yours alone to resolve. A lot of us, your correspondent included, have been there. Don’t give in to those feelings: there are people out there who can help.
Therapy, medication, and technical solutions alone can’t magically manifest mental wellness, but they’re all tools that can help along the path. Sentio Solutions is the company behind Feel, a digital therapeutic product which combines wearable biosensors to detect physiological signatures of emotional distress with a mobile application which helps people log their feelings and connect with a licensed cognitive-behavioral therapist in Feel’s network.
The company, which is headquartered in San Francisco but maintains its product and development office in Athens, Greece, raised $4.5 million in seed funding led by Felicis Ventures, with participation from Anthemis Exponential Ventures and SOSV. In its press release announcing the round, the company cites a study which found that people dealing with mental health issues submit two to four times as many medical claims as people who don’t have depression or anxiety disorders. Feel’s go-to-market strategy involves partnering with insurance companies and employers to provide its hardware and software products to potential users.
Stay Sharp, Check Your Brain
Here’s another one from the digital therapeutics sector. Headquartered in Houston, TX is BrainCheck, a company which produces mobile applications for testing and tracking cognitive health.
For older adults, BrainCheck offers a way to test for and detect early warning signs of cognitive decline from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. This application of BrainCheck’s tech is a registered Class II medical device with the FDA and is the culmination of two decades of research at Baylor College of Medicine. The company also developed an implementation of its cognitive health tracker for athletes. Compared against baseline measurements taken when athletes first start using the application, tests taken immediately after a concussion or other hard knock to the head helps athletes, trainers, and medical staff assess the damage done and determine next steps.
The company says that more than 100,000 people have used BrainCheck to monitor their cognitive health.
Image Credits: Last Week In Venture graphic created by JD Battles. Photo by Andrew Ly, via Unsplash.