Q3 2017 Investor Newsletter
Funding News About Our Portfolio Companies
· Cassia Networks raises Series B-3: Cassia Networks raised a second tranche of their Series B in June. Cassia Networks delivers a Bluetooth router, which is important for IoT because Bluetooth uses a fraction of the power of Wifi.
· Stratifyd raises Series A-2: Stratifyd raised a second tranche of their $7M Series A in June. Stratifyd is an enterprise AI platform that automates the process of textual analysis providing visual and analytical insights from complex unstructured and structured data sets.
News About Our Portfolio Companies’ Growth
Our Recent Writing
· Where We Are Investing Now, by Managing Partner Mike Edelhart
· My In-laws Wrecked the Online Me, by Venture Partner Jim Louderback
· Windfall Returns, ICOs, and the Future, by Venture Partner Tony Peccatiello
Moment-of-Inception Investments Q2 2017
· Pistol Lake: Pistol Lake, the first great activewear brand for men, has created workout gear that has unique wicking technology built into the fabric. CEO William Sulinski is a three-time successful entrepreneur. Pistol Lake is already profitable and has gross margins over 40%. They have brought in $400K in trailing twelve month’s revenue and are forecasting a 2M run rate by the end of the year.
· Price.com: Price.com leverages machine learning and computer vision to identify potential commerce purchases for consumers and find the best deal on the internet. They scan across multiple platforms and aggregators, coupons, cash back, rewards, and other deals in seconds to give consumers power over e-commerce purchases and arbitrage. Their longer-term vision is to “price everything” on the internet and move beyond solely commerce. CEO RJ Jain is a successful entrepreneur, having sold his previous company, Appurify, to Google, and has held lead engineering roles at Sidecar and Zynga.
· Vendor Hawk: Vendor Hawk is a software optimization platform helping IT leaders manage their SaaS relationships with vendors. Vendor Hawk leverages APIs and sophisticated analysis to illuminate software inefficiencies and opportunities for their clients. CEO Patrick Lowndes has been an entrepreneur since age eleven and broke into the software world working at PayScale.com selling their premium cloud compensation software; at PayScale.com he realized how ubiquitous subscription-based software had become and founded Vendor Hawk as a solution.
· Mycroft: Mycroft is an open-source alternative to Alexa or Siri for enterprises who want to protect private data and present customers with branded voices. They are developing a unique voice-based interface for their product to avoid the proprietary solutions from Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. Mycroft is working closely with Jaguar to execute its first enterprise software licensing agreement and generating revenue through recurring consumer subscriptions and device sales. CEO Joshua Montgomery started ISP in Kansas and was a Captain in the Air National Guard developing cyber-war games training.
· Blockapps: Blockapps is a full-stack technology platform that builds blockchain applications on a customizable private and consortium blockchains, as well the public Ethereum network. Blockapps is a part of the Ethereum consortium. CEO Victor Wong is a four-time co-founder with multiple exits, most recently as the COO of SmarTots.com.
· Burrow: Burrow is a vertically integrated, direct-to-consumer sofa brand. Burrow manufactures customized couches and sofa sets that are movable and have portable charging and entertainment devices fitted to them. CEO Stephen Kuhl recently graduated from Wharton with an MBA and comes from a consumer background as a consultant and venture capitalist.
· Stoplight: Stoplight’s platform makes API development easier and more collaborative. Stoplight provides API testing, visualization, monitoring, documentation, development, and analytics for developers and enterprises. CEO Marc McLeod has an extensive development and startup background, as he was tapped by DFJ to be a CTO at a previous startup.
· Panda Squad: Panda Squad is developing a platform for Facetime augmentation through emotions (content, audio, and visual) by delivering AR augmentation on mobile. The platform learns through cumulative relationships and interactions, and leverages AI to create experiences of delight of familiarity versus structured serendipity. CEO Daniel Singer is a serial entrepreneur with experiences in human communication. He worked in contract web design at age ten, then built Youtell.com at age eleven with 2-3M users, founded Backchat shortly after, and worked at Senset as head of product. He just turned nineteen.
Advanced Seed Rounds Q2 2017
· Fama Technologies raise Series Seed: Fama closed its Series Seed financing in April. Fama provides a social media credit report for potential hires.
· Original Stitch raises Series Seed: Original raised their Series Seed of $1.5M in June. Original Stitch is a men’s business shirt e-commerce platform that can identify size measurements through AI on mobile. The company is approaching $5M in sales and operating profitability with sales in both the US and Asia.
· 30 60 90 Corporation (dba Visual Vocal) raises Series Seed: 30 60 90 raised their Series Seed of $2.5M in June. Visual Vocal is a platform that drives VR group meetings entirely via mobile phones. Current focus is on construction and architecture.
· Cleanify: Cleanify raised its second round in May. Cleanify connects potential buyers to cleaning professionals in a mobile marketplace with real-time, dynamic pricing by using sophisticated social and SEM to identify these buyers and establish relationships with cleaning professionals. CEO Justin Potter worked his way through college as a janitor and learned the business; he also has a sales background. They are bringing in over $1M in GMV per month with a strong take rate.
Series A and Beyond Q2 2017
· GameFlip: We joined the Series A round for GameFlip, which is a mobile-first marketplace for gamers to safely and securely buy and sell video games, accessories, gift codes, in-game skins, and everything gaming related. Gameflip is helping solve the issue of recapturing value from digital goods associated with games. CEO JT Nguyen spent seven years as the COO of Aeria Games and spun off PlayNext games with his co-founders at GameFlip to make branded mobile games, a spin off that he eventually sold.