Showing posts from February, 2020


“The human brain is a complex organ with the wonderful power of enabling man to find reasons for continuing to believe whatever it is that he wants to believe.” • Voltaire News Blue Apron, the meal-kit company that was once valued at $2 Billion is trying just about everything to raise cash ( ) Turns out, the model of ordering meals with one click is easily replicated, marketing spend is high, and the act of cooking itself is still time-consuming. Meanwhile, consumers continue to dine out or order delivery. Other meal kit makers such as Plated (acquired by Albertsons Companies) and Chef’d have shuttered their doors. Opinion: As I wrote in an earlier newsletter - On paper the model looks great, but in the end it does not benefit the targeted customer so much as he has other options. The only still high valued company in this space is german HelloFresh. Outdoor Voices founder Tyler Haney is stepping down as CEO as growth slows ( ) Outdoor V


“In Venture Capital, you build your track record on the companies that work. You build your reputation on the companies that don’t." • Jeff Fagnan Deals Sexual wellness startup Lover launches on Valentine's Day with $5M seed round with funding from Tinder founder ( ) Lover lets you take a sexual personality quiz, explore carnal knowledge tutorials and discretely figure out which turn-ons you share with your partner including audio guides to oral sex, video explainers on how to be generous in bed and multi-step “playlists” of content like “Getting Hard, Made Easy.” “In our [pre-launch tests] focused purely on erectile dysfunction, 62% of users reported improvements to their erections within three weeks of using the app.” Presto: We are actively looking at sexual wellness startups as we believe this is an interesting and see a long time overlooked startup industry with a lot of potential. Attenio, Hamburg, Germany-based digital cooperation platfo


“Kids go to school thinking they’re going to be astronauts or lawyers or entertainers, never knowing that most jobs are just sending emails until you die.” • Nikita Singareddy Deals Emerge raises $20 Million to take its digital freight marketplace for truckers up a gear ( ) A platform for shippers and brokers to find and allocate truck freight more effectively. The company has processed more than $1 billion in freight with 1,500% year-over-year growth between 2018 and 2019. There are currently some 30,000 carrier profiles on the platform, and 12,000 transportation entities — including carriers, brokers or other shippers — transacted in Q4 alone. The Zebra Raises $38.5 Million For Insurance Comparison Site After 200% Growth In 2019 ( ) The Zebra is an insurance comparison website with live agents for customer support. It is a rare transparent startup that actually divulges revenue figures. Last year, it saw its revenue surge by nearly


“Don’t worry about the level of individual prominence you have achieved; worry about the individuals you have helped become better people. Think about the metric by which your life will be judged, and make a resolution to live every day so that in the end, your life will be judged a success.” • Clayton Christensen, RIP Deals 99Math and 19-year-old co-founder raise $500,000 for edtech app based on e-sport gaming ( ) Tallinn, Estonia-based startup that created eSports style competitions for math students. Students face off in real-time math battles, complete with live viewers. Co-founded by a 19-year-old Estonian recent high school grad and gaming lover, Timo Timmi, 99math has already had 30,000 elementary students from around the world participate in its eSports style math league. I’ve met with Timo and we have decided not to invest due to not having clear monetization model, which is too risky for us, but I am a big fan of him. OpenPhone grabs $2 million for i