Is blitzscaling killing early employee equity opportunities?

Silicon Valley has many dreams. One dream — the Hollywood version anyway — is for a down-and-out founder to begin tinkering and coding in their proverbial garage, eventually building a product that is loved by humans the world over and becoming a startup billionaire in the process. The more prosaic and common version of that […]

Startups Weekly: Zoom, Superhuman and small reactions to big scandals

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy startups and venture capital news. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I noted the big uptick in VC spending in 2019. Before that, I struggled to understand WeWork’s growth trajectory. Remember, you […]

Digging into the Roblox growth strategy

Could Roblox create a new entertainment and communication category, something it calls “human co-experience”? When it was a small startup, few observers would have believed in that future. But after 15 years — as told in the origin story of our Roblox EC-1 — the company has accumulated 90 million users and a new $150 […]

Cannabis processing startups hope to unlock new chemicals and treatments

Jeff Ubersax knows yeast. The chief executive officer of Demetrix studied yeast genetics and biochemistry in school and was an early employee at Amyris Biotechnologies, a technology company that was using fermentation to make biofuels back in the early days of the first clean technology boom back in 2008.  Now, the same technology that Ubersax […]

Runa Capital closes $70M for its third fund aimed at early-stage ‘deep tech’

Runa Capital, an international VC firm headquartered in Silicon Valley, has now closed $70 million for its third fund aimed at backing early-stage startups in so-called “deep tech.” There are rumors Runa is aiming for a $135 million final target for the fund. Last year, its total funding in the U.S. increased by 30%, tallying […]

VC firm Otium Venture becomes Frst and raises new fund

It’s a breakup of some sort, but with no hard feelings. The team behind Paris-based VC firm Otium Venture is creating a new management company called Frst and raising a new fund. But first, let’s talk about Otium Venture. Smartbox founder Pierre-Edouard Stérin’s family office created Otium Venture and Otium Brands to manage his startup […]

The future of car ownership: Cars-as-a-service

Car shoppers now have several new options to avoid long-term debt and commitments. Automakers and startups alike are increasingly offering services that give buyers new opportunities and greater flexibility around owning and using vehicles. Cars-as-a-Service In the first part of this feature, we explored the different startups attempting to change car buying. But not everyone […]

A91 Partners, a new VC fund from former Sequoia Capital India execs, closes $351M maiden fund

India’s growing number of startups now have one additional VC fund that will listen to their business ideas. A91 Partners, a new VC fund founded by former partners at Sequoia Capital India, has closed their maiden fund at $351 million. A91 Partners will focus on high-growth startups in consumer, technology, financial services and healthcare sectors in […]

Samsung backs Indus OS, three other startups in first investments for its VC arm in India

Samsung Venture, the investment arm of the South Korean technology giant, has invested $8.5 million in Indus OS and three other Indian startups as the company’s VC fund begins its journey in the country. Indus OS is a popular Android fork that has built a suite of localized applications focused on serving the masses in […]

Visa funds $40M for no-password crypto vault Anchorage

Visa and Andreessen Horowitz are betting even bigger on cryptocurrency, funding a big round for fellow Facebook Libra Association member Anchorage’s omnimetric blockchain security system. Instead of using passwords that can be stolen, Anchorage requires cryptocurrency withdrawals to be approved by a client’s other employees. Then the company uses both human and AI review of […]