Startups Venture

Startups to Watch: Hydra Studios, Feast & Fettle, Dirty Labs, Hello Genius

Crunchbase News typically covers larger funding rounds, however we think these startups are worth highlighting for their interesting approaches despite their smaller raises.

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If I had to give a theme to this week’s startups, I would say they fall into the “help when you need it” category. Let’s dig in.

Hydra Studios

Hydra Studios’ co-founders Marie Kloor and Dan Nielsen

Former Goldman Sachs colleagues Marie Kloor and Dan Nielsen are providing a “home-away-from-home” where New Yorkers can exercise, meditate or recharge their human batteries–amenities typically limited to employees of larger companies.

Hydra Studios, a network of wellness studios, raised $3.8 million in seed capital from a list of investors, including Slow Ventures, Company Ventures, Courtside Ventures, CityRock Venture Partners, Hatzimemos/Libby and Fifth Wall.

“The funding is being used to launch our flagship location, as well as help grow our studio network in New York and nationally,” said CEO Kloor via email. “In addition, it will allow us to make key programming and community hires.”

Plans for next year include expanding Hydra’s footprint into multifamily developments and health care centers. It is also investing further into its experiential retail platform, first by making everything in the studios shoppable, and then on a broader scale to serve as a discovery platform for direct-to-consumer brands, she added.

Also on our radar

Feast & Fettle delivery van
  • Feast & Fettle, a fully prepared meal delivery service based out of Rhode Island, closed on a $1.2 million seed round led by Salem Capital Management and the family office of Paul Salem, senior managing director emeritus at Providence Equity Partners and chairman at MGM Resorts. The startup was launched in 2016 by personal chef, Maggie Mulvena Pearson, and hand-delivers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The new funding will enable Feast & Fettle to build a production facility for expansion into the Boston area early next year, as well as into Connecticut in late 2021.
  • Portland, Oregon-based cleaning brand Dirty Labs raised $1.8 million in a round of seed funding led by Entrée Capital and joined by Vectr, Bullish and a group of angel investors.This brings its total raised to $4 million since the company was founded in 2018. Dirty Labs specializes in bio-based cleaning products, with its first being a line of laundry detergents. The new investment will go toward marketing and R&D on future products.

Honorable mention

Though this raise is not technically venture capital, I am giving a shout-out to Hello Genius, which launched its app-based learning system this week with $5 million in seed funding. Jack Lee, CEO, and Lee Daley, chairman and chief strategy and marketing officer, founded the company this year. Its system connects parents and children through personalized learning experiences.

Photos courtesy of Hydra Studios and Feast & Fettle
Illustration: Dom Guzman

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