Startups Venture

Last Week In Venture: Squad Sharing, Bioengineered Bee Food, And Greener Lawn Care

Hello and welcome back to Last Week In Venture, the weekly roundup of venture deals which may have flown under you radar over the past few days.

There are so many companies operating outside of the public-market and unicorn spotlight, but in their stories we can find current trends and see the way ahead.

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Without further ado, let’s check out a few rounds from the week that was in venture-land.

Sharing With The Squad

These days, a lot of us spend more time on our phones than ever. There’s a lot going on, so why not share that? This week, Squad raised $5 million in a seed round led by First Round Capital.

Using Squad’s app, friends can share what’s going on on their phone screens with their group, their squad. That can range from watching videos together, coaching each other through dating app DMs, or planning a vacation together.

A number of other institutional investors participated in the deal, including Day One Ventures, Betaworks, Alpha Bridge Ventures, Jane VC, and Y Combinator. Snapchat employee #4 Sebastian Gil and Gina Bianchini, founder of equality advocacy group Lean In, made individual investments in the deal. The transaction brings Squad’s total funding to $6.6 million.

Greener Grass On The Other Side

Grass. Lawns. Well-manicured, verdant, and lush. It’s where dogs do their business, where we do our picnicking, and what serves as the backdrop of the suburbs. To keep that grass so green and free of weeds, though, is a challenge, one to some that warrants shortcuts like Roundup, the brand name of a chemical called glyphosate which can cause cancer and birth defects in people, as well as being disruptive to the delicate gut microbiome of bees.

There are alternative, non-toxic options for lawn care, and Sunday is a Boulder-based upstart business delivering such products directly to consumers.

Its nutrient blends are based on ingredients like fruit and vegetable food waste, molasses, seaweed, and other macro- and micronutrients. This week Sunday raised $6 million in a Series A round led by Tusk Ventures, with participation from Forerunner Ventures and hybrid VC and branding firm Bullish.

The Buzz Around Bee Startups Continues

And lastly, a bit about our little yellow stripey friends, the bees. In June, we covered the hive of bee-focused startups and the buzz around them. In that article, we mentioned a venture called Beeflow.

Beeflow formulates organic compounds for bees to eat, growing their appetite for the flowers they’re tasked with pollinating, enhancing their immune systems, and helping them stay active even in cold temperatures. The company raised $3 million in Series A funding from Ospraie Ag Sciences, the venture arm of agricultural commodities hedge fund Ospraie Management.

According to coverage of the company’s round in AgFunder News, Beeflow recently launched partnerships “with strawberry giant Driscoll’s and almond powerhouse Harris Woolf along the way, and it is currently running field trials for its technology in Argentina.” The company has offices in the Bay Area and in Argentina, where it was founded in 2016.

And with that we’re done for the week! See you all on Monday!

Image Credits: Last Week In Venture graphic created by JD Battles. Photo by Remi Miller, via Unsplash.

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