Category: Recent Funding

April 26, 2019 Off

Wireless broadband startup Starry files to raise up to $125 million

By Jill T Frey

The never-ending quest to kill Comcast is poised to receive some renewed investment as an ambitious startup readies to secure some new cash.

Starry, a Boston-based wireless broadband internet startup, has filed to raise up to $125 million in Series D funding according to a Delaware stock authorization filing uncovered by PitchBook. If Starry closes the full authorized raise it will hold a post-money valuation of $870 million.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed it had already raised new capital, but disputed the numbers. The company has already raised over $160 million from investors, including FirstMark Capital and IAC. The company most recently closed a $100 million Series C this past July.

The internet startup takes a different approach from fiber-toting competitors by relying on radio tower and high-rise-mounted transmitters that dispatch millimeter wavelength signals to receivers connected to a building’s existing wiring. Customers with Starry’s slick touchscreen … Read the rest

April 25, 2019 Off

Mejuri raises $23M Series B to serve women buying jewelry for themselves

By Jill T Frey

New Enterprise Associates, the 42-year-old venture capital firm, has invested in the $23 million Series B round for Mejuri, a startup capturing millennial women’s penchant for affordable and treat yo’ self type of jewelry rather than diamonds and precious stones for special occasions.

It’s the latest instance of startups drawing investor interest with their direct-to-customer retail model. Based in Toronto and Buenos Aires, four-year-old Mejuri designs, makes and sells jewelry directly to women online and through offline showrooms, bypassing middle-person costs. Besides striving for reasonable prices, Mejuri also wants to upend an entrenched practice in its industry.

Traditional jewelry, the startup points out, targets men for gifting and makes higher markups acceptable. With its D2C play, Mejuri believes it’s putting the purchasing decision back with women; indeed, it found 75 percent of its customers are buying for themselves. Its team of 120 employees is constantly on the watch for … Read the rest

April 25, 2019 Off

The startup behind that deep-fake David Beckham video just raised $3M

By Jill T Frey

The recent global campaign showing Malaria survivors speaking through David Beckham to help raise awareness around the Malaria Must Die initiative spooked a lot of people:

The campaign has already exceeded 400 million impressions globally.

But a behind-the-scenes video explains how the video was made:

The campaign was a joint collaboration between RG/A, Ridley Scott Associates and the clever video startup Synthesia, for Malaria No More.

And it turns out, there’s a huge commercial imperative over this cool technology.

Video production today is highly unscaleable. It’s a physical process with many cameras, many studios and many actors. Once a marketing, product or entertainment video has been shot, it’s very difficult to quickly and affordably edit the creative or translate into different languages.

As co-founder Victor Riparbelli Rasmussen tells me: “We believe generating semi or fully artificial video is more efficient. This digital creation process is already the industry standard … Read the rest

April 25, 2019 Off

Internet connectivity projects unite as Alphabet spinout Loon grabs $125M from SoftBank’s HAPSMobile

By Jill T Frey

Two futuristic projects are coming together to help increase global internet access after Loon, the Google spinout that uses a collection of floating balloons to bring connectivity to remote areas, announced it has raised money from a SoftBank initiative.

HAPSMobile, a SoftBank project that is also focused on increasing global connectivity, is investing $125 million into Loon, according to an announcement from SoftBank made this morning. The agreement includes an option for Loon to make a reciprocal $125 million investment in HAPSMobile and it includes co-operation plans, details of which are below.

HAPSMobile is a one-year-old joint venture between SoftBank and U.S. company AeroVironment . The company has developed a solar-powered drone that’s designed to deliver 5G connectivity in the same way Facebook has tried in the past. The social network canceled its Aquila drone last year, although it is reported to have teamed up with Airbus for new trials … Read the rest

April 23, 2019 Off

India’s Mfine raises $17.2M for its digital healthcare service

By Jill T Frey

Mfine, an India-based startup aiming to broaden access to doctors and healthcare by using the internet, has pulled in a $17.2 million Series B funding round for growth.

The company is led by four co-founders from Myntra, the fashion commerce startup acquired by Flipkart in 2014. They include CEO Prasad Kompalli and Ashutosh Lawania who started the business in 2017 and were later joined by Ajit Narayanan and Arjun Choudhary, Myntra’s former CTO and head of growth, respectively.

The round is led by Japan’s SBI Investment with participation from sibling fund SBI Ven Capital and another Japanese investor, Beenext. Existing Mfine backers Stellaris Venture Partners and Prime Venture Partners also returned to follow-on. Mfine has now raised nearly $23 million to date.

“In India, at a macro-level, good doctors are far and few and distributed very unevenly,” Kompalli said in an interview with TechCrunch. “We asked ‘Can we build … Read the rest

April 23, 2019 Off

Chive Media’s out-of-home TV spinoff Atmosphere raises $10M

By Jill T Frey

When Chive Media Group spun out its out-of-home TV business last year, co-founder and CEO Leo Resig said the structure should help the new company, called Atmosphere, raise venture capital.

Looks like those fundraising efforts were successful, with Atmosphere announcing that it has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by S3 Ventures, with participation from Capstar Capital.

“I have yet to meet someone who enjoys watching closed-captioning or talking heads at their favorite establishments,” said S3 Ventures partner Charlie Plauche in a statement. (Plauche is joining Atmosphere’s board of directors.) “Yet, that is the best option most businesses have to entertain patrons. That all changes with Atmosphere, who offers engaging content to viewers of all ages with no audio needed.”

Chive Media Group is known for its namesake website, theChive, which focuses on funny and viral content. Chive co-founders (and brothers) Leo and John Resig told me … Read the rest