Delane Parnell’s plan to conquer amateur esports

Most of the buzz about esports focuses on high-profile professional teams and audiences watching live streams of those professionals. What gets ignored is the entire base of amateurs wanting to compete in esports below the professional tier. This is like talking about the NBA and the value of its sponsorships and broadcast rights as if […]

Startups Weekly: VCs are drunk on beverage startups

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a newsletter published every Saturday that dives into the week’s most noteworthy venture deals, fundraises, M&A transactions and trends. Let’s take a quick moment to catch up. Last week, I wrote about an alternative to venture capital called revenue-based financing and before that, I jotted down some notes […]

Beyond Meat prices its public offering

Beyond Meat, the meat replacement company whose packages of Beyond Burgers line grocery store aisles across America, has priced its initial public offering. The company is looking to raise roughly $200 million in the stock sale for its portfolio of burger, chicken and sausage replacements, selling 8.75 million shares of common stock at an upper […]

Kindbody raises $15M, will open a ‘Fertility Bus’ with mobile testing & assessments

Kindbody, a startup that lures millennial women into its pop-up fertility clinics with feminist messaging and attractive branding, has raised a $15 million Series A in a round co-led by RRE Ventures and Perceptive Advisors. The New York-based company was founded last year by Gina Bartasi, a fertility industry vet who previously launched Progyny, a […]

DroneBase raises capital and partners with FLIR Systems to train pilots on thermal imaging tech

Publicly traded sensor technology developer FLIR Systems is investing in a strategic round of funding for the outsourced drone imaging company, DroneBase. The two companies are also partnering to provide FLIR’s thermal imaging technology and training services to DroneBase’s stable of pilots. Terms of the investment were not disclosed. “Our investment in DroneBase helps expand […]

The team behind Baidu’s first smart speaker is now using AI to make films

The HBO sci-fi blockbuster Westworld has been an inspiring look into what humanlike robots can do for us in the meatspace. While current technologies are not quite advanced enough to make Westworld a reality, startups are attempting to replicate the sort of human-robot interaction it presents in virtual space. Rct studio, which just graduated from […]

Snap is channeling Asia’s messaging giants with its move into gaming

Snap is taking a leaf out of the Asian messaging app playbook as its social messaging service enters a new era. The company unveiled a series of new strategies that are aimed at breathing fresh life into the service that has been ruthlessly cloned by Facebook across Instagram, WhatsApp and even its primary social network. […]

Flying taxi startup Blade is helping Silicon Valley CEOs bypass traffic

One year after a $38 million Series B valued on-demand aviation startup Blade at $140 million, the company has begun taxiing the Bay Area’s elite. As part of a new pilot program, Blade has given 200 people in San Francisco and Silicon Valley exclusive access to its mobile app, allowing them to book helicopters, private […]

Venture investors and startup execs say they don’t need Elizabeth Warren to defend them from big tech

Responding to Elizabeth Warren’s call to regulate and break up some of the nation’s largest technology companies, the venture capitalists that invest in technology companies are advising the presidential hopeful to move slowly and not break anything. Warren’s plan called for regulators to be appointed to oversee the unwinding of several acquisitions that were critical […]

FabFitFun raises $80 million for its growing lifestyle brand

Nine years after launching its online magazine, and three years after diversifying into the subscription box business, FabFitFun has raised $80 million in a growth round of funding, led by Kleiner Perkins, with participation from its previous investors Upfront Ventures and NEA.  The Los Angeles-based company has steadily expanded its retail and lifestyle empire through […]