Hey everyone! My name is Darren and I’m a high schooler passionate about venture capital. In an effort to learn more about tech and entrepreneurship, I have summarized some of the top news that stood out to me throughout the week, and will be posting on a weekly basis going forward to help me recap learnings.
Recap of the Startup World in the US 5/24–5/30
Largest Deals and Acquisitions:
- Acorns, the fintech investment startup, is going public via SPAC, undergoing a merger valued at $2.2B
- Competitors include Robinhood, Betterment, and Stash, whose business plan most resembles Acorns, as the user can invest in small amounts, such as their daily change.
2. Wejo, a data startup focusing on vehicles, is going public via SPAC, valuing the combined company at $800M
- Wejo’s competitors include otnomo, vinli, and smartcar, but Wejo leads in terms of valuation by far.
3. Noom, a pandemic-accelerated weight-loss startup, has raised a $540M Series F led by Silver Lake
- Noom uses psychology techniques and AI to create personalized weight-loss coaching, whereas one of their largest competitors, Sharecare, mainly focuses on personal wellness.
4. Bowery Farming, an indoor farming startup based in New York City, has secured a $300M Series C, propelling the valuation to a cool $2.3B
- Bowery Farming is looking into the future by integrating vertical, sustainable farms into modern cities. Their primary goal is sustainability through farming, which is achieved by their practical methods.
5. Aurora Solar, an innovative solar panel installation startup using aerial scans, has raised a gigantic $250M Series C funding round
- Aurora Solar is particularly interesting because other competitors just focus on implementing solar power using traditional methods, but they use cloud platforms and enterprise software as well.
6. Inovca, a startup focusing on call analytics, has acquired DialogTech, a startup building tools to analyze phone calls, for $100M
- DialogTech provides practical marketing analytics for phone calls, which will fit in perfectly under Inovca.
7. Resolve, a spinout from Affirm focusing on buy now, pay later B2B billing services, has raised $60M in funding
- Resolve claims that it can extend payment terms with no interest fees if accounts are fully paid within a certain timeframe.
8. Qualified, a Salesforce centered tool that aims to improve interactions betweens sales teams and customers, has raised a $51M Series B round
- Many startups are now creating tools for larger platforms, like Salesforce, to jump on and create a better experience overall.
9. Whatnot, a startup developing a platform to buy/sell collectibles through livestreams and etc., has picked up a $50M funding round
- Selling things through livestream is actually very popular in China. The livestreamers showcase and answer questions about the product to curious buyers, so it’s not surprising to see an adaptation pop up.
10. Fireflies.ai, a natural language processing startup, has raised $14M after increasing its users to 10,000 teams and a 300% increase in revenue
- One of their most interesting services is the ability to record, transcribe, and analyze customer calls, online meetings, and basically anything.