All posts tagged: venture capital

NBA champion Kyle Kuzma looks to bring his team mentality to Scrum Ventures

NBA champion Kyle Kuzma looks to bring his team mentality to Scrum Ventures

[ad_1] Kyle Kuzma is a lot of things. He’s a forward for the Washington Wizards NBA team and a 2020 NBA champion. He’s also a style icon — depending on who you ask — and an angel investor. Now he’s an adviser at a venture fund too. “I’m part of a new generation of the NBA,” Kuzma told TechCrunch in a phone interview. “For me, I’ve always been a hustler and somebody that is very interested in business and doing things just to set up my family’s generational wealth. I think getting into venture is only going to take that to a different stratosphere.” Kuzma, 28, joined early-stage-focused Scrum Ventures in March as an adviser to help with the firm’s sports and entertainment fund, which is targeting $120 million. The partnership started in January when Kuzma’s agent, Austin Eastman, was connected to Scrum managing director and partner Michael Proman. Kuzma said he was impressed with Scrum’s team. Proman said the positive sentiment was mutual. “The thing about Kyle is, I personally didn’t really even understand …

Human composting and timber marketplaces: talking “industrial” VC with investor Dayna Grayson

Human composting and timber marketplaces: talking “industrial” VC with investor Dayna Grayson

[ad_1] While the venture world is abuzz over generative AI, Dayna Grayson, a longtime venture capitalist who five years ago co-founded her own firm, Construct Capital, has been focused on comparatively boring software that can transform industrial sectors. Her mission doesn’t exclude AI, but it also doesn’t depend on it. Construct recently led a seed-stage round, for example, for TimberEye, a startup developing vertical workflow software and a data layer that it says can more accurately count and measure logs and, if all goes as planned, help the startup achieve its goal of becoming the marketplace for buying timber. How big could that market be, you might be wondering? According to one estimate, the global forest products industry hit $647 billion in 2021. Another Construct deal that sounds less sexy than, say, large language models, is Earth, a startup that’s centered around human composting, turning bodies into “nutrient-rich” soil over a 45-day period. Yes, ick. But also: it’s a smart market to chase. Cremation today accounts for 60% of the market and could account for …

Amae Health is building an in-person approach to mental healthcare in an increasingly digital space

Amae Health is building an in-person approach to mental healthcare in an increasingly digital space

[ad_1] When Sonia García and Stas Sokolin decided to launch Amae Health to solve the broken care system for people with severe mental illness, they were already intimately familiar with the industry’s issues. “I started thinking about this problem a very long time ago,” said Sokolin, Amae’s CEO. “I grew up with a sister who had bipolar disorder for many, many years, and as a family we always struggled to find her care. It seemed like everything was so piecemeal, and it broke our family apart.” Garcia had her own experiences with the mental healthcare system, too. She lost her father to suicide when she was 16 years old, and then she and her family spent years as caregivers for her brother with schizoaffective and bipolar disorder. Sokolin and García were introduced by mutual friends at Stanford because they were both passionate about this area. The pair knew the system could be better. They launched Amae Health in 2022 to be a new approach to helping patients with severe mental illness. Amae brings resources — …

Iconiq raises .15B toward seventh flagship fund

Iconiq raises $5.15B toward seventh flagship fund

[ad_1] Iconiq Capital has raised $5.15 billion across two funds associated with the seventh growth fund family, according to SEC filings. The firm, which launched in 2011 as a private office managing capital of some of the most prominent and wealthiest people in tech, including Mark Zuckerburg and Jack Dorsey, originally targeted $5.75 billion, according to meeting information from New Mexico State Investment Council, the Wall Street Journal reported in March 2022. It is unclear if the firm is still raising capital toward its goal. Iconiq didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.  The fund size is a substantial increase from Iconiq’s fund VI target of $3.75 billion.  Iconiq’s latest fund haul is impressive, given that many other large growth investors failed to reach their targets by a long shot. Most notably, Tiger Global closed its latest venture capital fund at $2.2 billion, the firm’s smallest fund since 2014, Bloomberg reported. Tiger initially planned to raise $6 billion, less than half its predecessor vehicle of $12.7 billion the firm closed in March 2022.  The …

Despite recent successes, IPO market still won’t fully open until 2025

Despite recent successes, IPO market still won’t fully open until 2025

[ad_1] This year already proved that startups are willing to go public in a less-than-ideal market — and get rewarded for it, too. But bankers, lawyers and investors said the recent IPO successes aren’t enough to foster more than a dozen tech IPOs this year. “I don’t think we will have the floodgates open like I might have thought,” Greg Martin, co-founder and managing director at Rainmaker Securities, told TechCrunch. “The trickle was delayed; I thought it would happen sooner in Q1. Because of that, I think the floodgates can’t open til 2025, but we could have a healthy flow of 10 to 15 companies for the year.” Jeremy Glaser, a lawyer and co-chair of Mintz’s venture capital and emerging companies practice, said that despite how the recent IPOs have performed thus far, people need more data than just a few weeks, or a month, of trading to feel confident. Looking at how Klaviyo and Instacart are performing today shows why people remain cautious. Klaviyo is currently trading at a $5.94 billion market cap, down …

Adam Neumann’s Bid to Buy WeWork Failed. Will He Now Try to Compete With It?

Adam Neumann’s Bid to Buy WeWork Failed. Will He Now Try to Compete With It?

[ad_1] Adam Neumann’s bid to buy back WeWork essentially ended this week. A bankruptcy court on Monday approved a deal that gets WeWork out of debt. It could conclude its restructuring and leave bankruptcy by late May following a vote on the deal, thanks to $450 million in financing provided largely by WeWork creditor and real estate technology provider Yardi Systems. That deal would eliminate $4 billion in debt and also shut the door on Neumann. He’s been persistent in his efforts to buy the company he cofounded but was later forced out of by investors, offering more than $500 million and following up with promises to beat any other offer by 10 percent. A spokesperson for Neumann did not provide comment about whether he will continue to pursue a purchase of WeWork, or what this meant for the future of Flow, Neumann’s new company that aims to transform the residential rental experience. “After misleading the court for weeks, WeWork finally admitted it is trying to sell the company to a group led by Yardi …

Hubble Network makes Bluetooth connection with a satellite for the first time

Hubble Network makes Bluetooth connection with a satellite for the first time

[ad_1] Hubble Network has become the first company in history to establish a Bluetooth connection directly to a satellite — a critical technology validation for the company, potentially opening the door to connecting millions more devices anywhere in the world. The Seattle-based startup launched its first two satellites to orbit on SpaceX’s Transporter-10 ride-share mission in March; since that time, the company confirmed that it has received signals from the onboard 3.5mm Bluetooth chips from over 600 kilometers away. The sky is truly the limit for space-enabled Bluetooth devices: the startup says its technology can be used in markets including logistics, cattle tracking, smart collars for pets, GPS watches for kids, car inventory, construction sites, and soil temperature monitoring. Haro said the low-hanging fruit is those industries that are desperate for network coverage even once per day, like remote asset monitoring for the oil and gas industry. As the constellation scales, Hubble will turn its attention to sectors that may need more frequent updates, like soil monitoring, to continuous coverage use cases like fall monitoring …

Alliance DAO is attracting fewer US founders amid crypto crackdown

Alliance DAO is attracting fewer US founders amid crypto crackdown

[ad_1] The graduates of Alliance DAO are often useful indicators of investor appetite and user adaption trends within the crypto space. The latest batch of the stage-agnostic crypto accelerator, unveiled today, comes at a moment of great excitement for the recovering market. Just two months ago, Bitcoin hit its all-time high; though the value of the largest cryptocurrency has since declined, it continues to trade at much higher levels than during the market downturn following FTX’s implosion in late 2022. Venture investors are responding and plowing money into web3 startups, sending total fundraising in the space to roughly $1.9 billion in Q1, a sharp 58% jump from the quarter before, according to Crunchbase data. The renewed enthusiasm among web3 believers is evidenced by catchphrases like “we are so back” that have filled crypto X/Twitter. In the meantime, regulatory efforts to rein in the industry have not waned. In the U.S., Binance’s Canadian founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao is set to become the richest person to ever face imprisonment. Uniswap, which has been vocal about its decentralized …

From Connie Chan to Ethan Kurzweil, venture capitalists continue to play musical chairs

From Connie Chan to Ethan Kurzweil, venture capitalists continue to play musical chairs

[ad_1] When Keith Rabois announced he was leaving Founders Fund to return to Khosla Ventures in January, it came as a shock to many in the venture capital ecosystem — and not just because Rabois is a big name in the industry. It was surprising because unlike in many other fields, venture capitalists don’t traditionally move around very much — especially those that reach the partner or general partner level as Rabois had. VC funds have 10-year life cycles and partners have good reason to stay that course. In some instances, they may be a “key man” on a firm’s fund, meaning that if they leave, the fund’s LPs have the right to pull their capital out if they choose. Many partners and GPs also have some of their own money invested in their firms’ funds, which gives them further reason to stick around. So, while big-name investor moves in venture capital aren’t common, they seem to have become so in recent months. So far this year, there have been notable instances of investors returning …

Midi is building a digital platform for an oft-overlooked area of women’s health

Midi is building a digital platform for an oft-overlooked area of women’s health

[ad_1] When Joanna Strober was around 47, she stopped sleeping. While losing sleep is a common symptom of perimenopause, she first had to go to multiple providers, including driving 45 minutes out of San Francisco to pay $750 out of pocket, to get that diagnosis and proper treatment. “That feeling of wow, I’ve really been suffering unnecessarily for the past year really stuck with me,” Strober said on a recent episode of TechCrunch’s Found podcast. “I started talking to all my friends and trying to understand what’s going on with them and what became clear is that perimenopause and menopause is this big thing. It kind of hits women like a pile of bricks. There’s lots of different symptoms to it and there are very few providers who are trained to take care of this population.” That realization is what inspired Strober to launch Midi Health, a telehealth platform designed to serve women in midlife by connecting them with providers who are trained in perimenopause and menopause symptoms and treatments. Despite her “aha” moment, Strober …