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5 Interesting Startup Deals You May Have Missed In September: Tesla For Boats, Managing Relationships, And Learning Something New

Illustration of a robot arm/wrench turning a nut in the middle of the number 5.

This is a monthly column that runs down five interesting deals every month that may have flown under the radar. Check out last month’s entry here.

Vacations are over, everyone’s back in school, football’s here and we are in the full swing of fall.

That means some pretty fascinating rounds may have escaped your eye — but don’t worry, we’re here to recap.

So let’s take a look at some of the most interesting rounds for September.

Teslas on the water

Have a Tesla but you’re already looking for your next EV?

Arc Boats raised a $70 million Series B led by Eclipse — which also included the likes of Andreessen Horowitz and Menlo Ventures — as the electric boat-maker looks to expand operations and grow.

Electric boat startups aren’t so rare, as Sweden-based X Shore and Florida-based Nautique Boat Co. also play in the space.

However, Arc has had some success already. Its $300,000 limited edition Arc One sold out and the company is focused on going head-to-head with gas boats on both price and range. The Los Angeles-based startup is currently developing newer models with more mass-market appeal as it looks to get its chunk of what it estimates is a $13 billion-plus water sports industry.

Better relationships through AI

You knew it wouldn’t take us long to get to generative AI on this list.

Meeno, an app looking to fight loneliness, has raised a seed funding round led by Sequoia Capital this month and has now raised nearly $5 million in total.

The San Francisco-based startup was founded by someone who knows about relationship apps: former Tinder CEO Renate Nyborg, who serves as CEO.

Meeno is a relationship mentoring app that uses AI to give personalized guidance for all types of relationships — not just dating. It looks to help people manage their relationships with friends, family, romantic interests and even colleagues at work.

Loneliness has been declared a public health crisis — similar to tobacco and obesity — with younger generations most affected. If an app can help stem that epidemic, that Series B could be money well spent.

Helping health professionals

One of the things we’ve certainly learned in recent years is that health care professionals are overworked.

In fact, as the system becomes more strained, some research suggests doctors spend just three hours per day with patients and six hours on admin work.

Obviously the answer is AI, right? Well, Denmark-based Corti thinks so, and the startup raised a $60 million Series B co-led by Prosus Ventures and Atomico to help prove it.

The company has created an “AI co-pilot for healthcare interactions,” giving doctors and anyone else in health care real-time guidance during patient interactions, as well as handling all the documentation and medical coding.

The startup said its software has proven to allow workers to be up to 40% more accurate in outcome predictions and 90% faster in handling the administrative tasks.

Corti says it now covers approximately 100 million patients a year and is helping to augment health professionals more than 150,000 times a day.

It’s unlikely an AI assistant will solve our health care woes, but it may be a start.

Learn something new

Ever want to learn a new sport, but weren’t sure where to start, or who to trust to teach you?

Well, there’s an app for that now, too.

TeachMe.To got a $2 million seed round led by 1984 Ventures — which also included money form OpenAI’s Sam Altman — to grow its platform that helps beginners learn new sports like pickleball, golf, tennis and surfing.

The San Diego-based startup currently offers lessons in more than 100 U.S. cities. While new learners of all ages can use the app to sign up for a class taught by an instructor, the platform also vets all instructors on the platform to make sure they are qualified.

The company said early beta test cities saw hundreds of lessons booked on the platform every day with an average instructor rating of 4.9. Those vetted coaches can use the app to build out their client portfolio while also earning upwards of $5,000 per month.

The company plans to add further tools to the platform to help coaches schedule and organize their offerings, as well as new features for learners to track their progress.

So, go ahead — learn why everybody is talking about pickleball.

Rate your school

School rankings can be something that are hard to figure, since they are usually based on hard-to-decipher formulas or crunching massive amounts of data based on every graduate.

What you sometimes don’t get is a real perspective about the school from an actual student.

A U.K.-based startup is trying to fix that, and even raised a round worth about $3 million to help.

StudentCrowd has created a platform that offers in-depth information and reviews on universities, courses and even accommodations around the area so a student can know where they may be living.

What’s unique is the information is 100% based on verified student reviews, not some indescribable formula.

The company plans to use the new cash — which included investment from MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund and Mercia’s EIS funds — to produce reviews of other student services.

Unfortunately it’s for U.K. schools, so you are out of luck if you’re in the States.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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