Index Ventures, Stripe back bookkeeping service Pilot with $40M

Five years after Dropbox acquired their startup Zulip, Waseem Daher, Jeff Arnold and Jessica McKellar have gained traction for their third business together: Pilot. Pilot helps startups and small businesses manage their back office. Chief executive officer Daher admits it may seem a little boring, but the market opportunity is undeniably huge. To tackle the […]

Brex, the credit card for startups, raises $100M debt round

Brex, widely known for its billboards littered across San Francisco, has secured a $100 million debt financing from Barclays Investment Bank . The company, which provides a corporate credit card designed specifically for startups, has previously raised $215 million in equity funding at a $1.1 billion valuation in the less than two years since it […]

Startups Weekly: Lessons from a failed founder

I sat down with Menlo Ventures partner Shawn Carolan this week to talk about his early investment in Uber. Menlo, if you remember, led Uber’s Series B and has made a hefty sum over the year selling shares in the ride-hailing company. I’ll have more on that later; for now, I want to share some […]

African e-commerce startup Jumia’s shares open at $14.50 in NYSE IPO

Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia listed on the New York Stock Exchange today, with shares beginning trading at $14.50 under ticker symbol JMIA. This comes four weeks after CEO Sacha Poignonnec confirmed the IPO to TechCrunch and Jumia filed SEC documents. With the public offering, Jumia becomes the first startup from Africa to list on a major global […]

ShopBack, a cashback startup in Asia Pacific, raises $45M from Rakuten and others

ShopBack, a Singapore-based startup that offers cashback and consumer rewards in Asia Pacific, has closed a $45 million round led by new investors Rakuten Capital and EV Growth. Founded in 2014, the startup had been relatively under-the-radar until late 2017, when it announced a $25 million investment that funded expansion into Australia, among other things. […]

Grab plans to raise $2B more this year to fund an acquisition spree in Southeast Asia

Always be raisin’. That appears to be the motto of Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing companies Grab and Go-Jek. Fresh from closing a near-$1.5 billion raise from SoftBank’s Vision Fund as part of a huge, multi-billion Series H deal, Grab said today that it plans to extend the round to $6.5 billion to amp up its battle […]

Startups Weekly: US companies raised $30B in Q1 2019

Let’s start this week’s newsletter with some data. Nationally, startups pulled in $30.8 billion in the first quarter of 2019, up 22 percent year-on-year, according to Crunchbase’s latest deal round-up. A closer look at the numbers shows a big drop in angel funding and a slight decrease in mega-rounds, or financings larger than $100 million. […]

Forge acquires IRA Services to expand offering for private company shares

Forge, the marketplace for trading private company shares formerly known as Equidate, announced that it will be acquiring custodial trust company IRA Services for a purchase price of $55 million. IRA Services is a trust company that provides custodial services for retirement accounts managed by individuals and mid-to-large sized Institutions. Stripped of financial jargon, the […]

Microsoft gives 500 patents to startups

Microsoft today announced a major expansion of its Azure IP Advantage program, which provides its Azure users with protection against patent trolls. This program now also provides customers who are building IoT solutions that connect to Azure with access to 10,000 patents to defend themselves against intellectual property lawsuits. What’s maybe most interesting here, though, […]

Dakar Network Angels begins startup investments in francophone Africa

The Dakar Network Angels group launched this month, making its first investment in francophone Africa to cleantech venture Coliba. The Ivorian startup — which uses a mobile app to coordinate waste recycling — will receive mentorship and a minimum of $25,000 in seed funds. The deal is part of Dakar Network Angels’ mission of convening […]