📅 [1/25/21–02/21/21] DWDG Digest #15
Maybe monthly works a bit better…
With the Robinhood & GameStop situation setting up a full-on David and Goliath story, we lost track of our keeping up with our digests. In this Digest we’ll recap the last 4 weeks in Doing Well by Doing Good news, and highlight the companies getting funded and hiring whose products and services are making a positive difference for the most vulnerable populations today.
Happy Wednesday! You’re almost to Friday (well kinda…) Enjoy all the news, fundings and jobs you know and love, just a bit more condensed.
Stay tuned for our next podcast as well!
- After the GameStop escapade, we explored the question — Is Robinhood Doing Good? — in this deep dive into their financials to answer the question: how much does Robinhood help the poor vs. the rich? Consider this part 1, and stay tuned for part 2 once their S-1 is public [ Read More]
- In the latest episode of the Podcast, we chatted with Ethan Perlsteinabout his first-of-a-kind Biopharma Public Benefit Corporation Perlara [Listen Here]
- This BBC article identifies the challenge of being a small business social enterprise in the UK during the pandemic and the difficulty of getting government help [Read More]
- The World Economic Forum is reiterating it’s April 2020 call in 2021 to social enterprises from all walks of life to help in achieving goals to respond and take action to address the COVID-19 crisis via their “COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs”. [Read More]
Pula, a 5.5-year-old, Kenya-based company that sells agricultural insurance and digital products to smallholder farmers to counter climate risks and improve their farming practices, has raised $6 million in Series A funding led by TLcom Capital. [TechCrunch Report]
- Doing Good: Pula enables farmers typically unable to afford insurance in Africa to protect against climate disasters and cultivate more sustainable farming practices.
Sproud, a three-year-old, Malmö, Sweden-based maker of pea-made milks, has raised $6.5 million from VGC Partners. [BevNet Report]
- Doing Good: Sproud reduces the need for milking cows much like other milk alternatives and instead shifts to peas which are more sustainable to grow reducing overall emissions.
FreeWire Technologies, a seven-year-old, San Leandro, Ca.-based EV charging company that says it can deliver up to 480 driving miles with a one-hour charge, has raised $50 million in Series C funding. Riverstone Holdings led the round, joined by earlier backers BP, Energy Innovation Capital, TRIREC and Alumni Ventures Group.
- Doing Good: FreeWire builds a charger that reduces range anxiety to prospective EV buyers increasing adoption of a more sustainable form of transport reducing emissions
Sidecar Health, a three-year-old, Los Angeles-based low-cash, cash-pay health insurance startup, has raised $125 million in funding, including from Drive Capital, Bond, Tiger Global Management, and Menlo Ventures. [ TechCrunch Report]
- Doing Good: Sidecar Health is an alternative for uninsured patients to access healthcare that would otherwise not be accessible and lowers the overall cost of treatment.
Stilt, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based lending company focused on immigrants and other underserved groups in the United States, has raised a $100 million warehouse facility from Silicon Valley Bank. It brings Stilt’s total debt facilities so far to $225 million. [TechCrunch Report]
- Doing Good: Stilt enables immigrants and other underserved populations without traditional credit to access loans otherwise unavailable to them.
Divvy Homes, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based fractional home ownership startup, has raised $110 million in Series C funding led by Tiger Global Management, with participation from GGV Capital, Moore Specialty Credit, JAWS Ventures and earlier backers, including Andreessen Horowitz. The new round brings the company’s total debt and equity raised to more than $500 million, with about one-third of that raised in equity and two-thirds in debt. [ TechCrunch Report]
- Doing Good: Divvy Homes expands access to ownership in real estate and credit building to vulnerable populations with low credit scores and low access to capital.
Hurdle, a nearly three-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based digital mental health platform company with a focus on culturally sensitive self-care support for people of color, has raised $5 million in seed funding co-led by 406 Ventures and Seae Ventures, with participation from F-Prime. More here.
- Doing Good: Hurdle enables patients of color access the mental health services they needs where they may otherwise have been blocked by socioeconomic factors.
Rhino, a four-year-old, New York-based insurance agency that gives renters financial alternatives to security deposits (i.e. insurance instead), has raised $95 million at a post-money valuation of $500 million led by Tiger Global Management. [TechCrunch Report]
- Doing Good: Rhino helps renters who struggle to afford rents and security deposits with more economically feasible smaller payments through insurance.
Wallbox, a six-year-old, Barcelona, Spain-based maker of smart charging systems for electric vehicles, raised €33 million. Cathay Innovation and Wind Ventures co-led the round, joined by Iberdrola and Seaya Ventures.
- Doing Good: WallBox’s smart charging system enables adoption of more sustainable forms of transport, making EVs an easier choice to make over gas-guzzling alternatives.
RxRevu, a 7.5-year-old, Denver, Co.-based prescription pricing platform that aims to arm doctors and healthcare professionals with information about drug prices so they can help patients from paying more than in necessary, has raised $7 million in Series B funding led by JAZZ Venture Partners. [Built in Colorado Report]
- Doing Good: RxRevu’s product keeps the price of drugs low to better serve patients for whom price can be a barrier to access.
Landed, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based mobile app that connects hourly food and retail workers with local employers, has raised $1.4 million in seed funding led by Javelin Venture Partners, with participation from Y Combinator, Palm Drive Capital, and individual investors angels. [ TechCrunch Report]
- Doing Good: Landed’s product and marketplace focuses on providing shift workers, the ones most susceptible to financial shocks, more stability in their income stream.
GajiGesa, a year-old, Indonesia-based fintech company that offers Earned Wage Access (EWA) and other services for workers in the country, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding. The round was co-led by and Quest Ventures. Other participants included GK Plug and Play, Next Billion Ventures, Alto Partners Multi-Family Office, Kanmo Group and individual investors. [ TechCrunch Report]
- Doing Good: GajiGesa’s financial product enables Indonesian service workers to access capital more consistently via Earned Wage Access and stabilize their income stream.
Svante, a 13-year-old, Burnaby, British Columbia-based CO2 marketplace using second-generation carbon capture technology, has raised $75 million in Series D funding led by Temasek. Other investors in the round included publicly traded Chart Industries and Carbon Direct and Export Development Canada. [ DealStreetAsia Report]
- Doing Good: Svante’s carbon capture technology enables industrial players to reduce carbon emissions by incentivizing them through lower energy costs.
Powin Energy, a 10-year-old, Portland, Ore.-based energy startup that buys battery cells and hooks them up with proprietary software controls and ancillary equipment to produce full-fledged power plants, has raised more than $100 million in funding to compete with better-funded rivals like Tesla. Investors in the new round include Trilantic, a private equity firm, and Energy Impact Partners.
- Doing Good: Powin Energy’s battery technology incentivizes usage of renewable source of energy over non-renewable sources by emulating the power plant experience thus reducing carbon emissions.
Imperfect Foods, a 5.5-year-old, San Francisco-based company that began its operations by delivering fresh produce to consumers that was in surplus or deemed ugly, has tacked on $15 million more to a $95 million Series D funding it announced two weeks ago led by Insight Partners and Norwest Venture Parters. Its newest backers are Hamilton Lane and Blisce. The company is on a fundraising tear, having closed a Series C round, also led by Insight, just eight months ago.
- Doing Good: Imperfect Foods shows up yet again as it continues to reduce food waste by creating a market for the “imperfect” foods that are typically wasted. As the company expands, it continues to serve more vulnerable populations.
Tickr, a 2.5-year-old, U.K.-based startup whose app invites consumers to make financial investments based on their impact on society and the environment, has raised £2.5 million ($3.4 million) in funding lead by Ada Ventures. [TechCrunch Report]
- Doing Good: Tickr is creating a marketplace for retail investors to make investments tied directly to social and environmental good, diverting existing pools of money to more sustainable targets and expanding that market as it grows.
Phable, a three-year-old, Bangalore, India-based full-stack health tech startup that is serving patients with chronic illnesses in India, has raised $12 million in Series A funding led by Manipal Hospitals, one of the largest healthcare providers in India, with participation from earlier backer SOSV. [ TechCrunch Report]
- Doing Good: Phable’s full stack solution is serving the patients with chronic illnesses.
Maya, a nine-year-old, Bangladesh-based company that’s dedicated to making it easier for women to get healthcare, especially for sensitive issues like reproductive and mental health, has raised $2.2 million in seed funding co-led by the early-stage fund Anchorless Bangladesh and The Osiris Group, a private equity firm focused on impact investing in Asian markets. [ TechCrunch Report]
- Doing Good: Maya enables women in Bangladesh vulnerable to not getting the right healthcare on reproductive and mental health issues due to societal forces to access the healthcare they need.
RapidSOS, an eight-year-old, New York-based company that has built a data platform for emergency response services, just raised $85 million in Series C funding led by Insight Partners, with other unnamed investors participating. Valuation is not being disclosed, but the company says it has now raised $200 million altogether. [TechCrunch Report]
- Doing Good: RapidSOS is by definition helping those in vulnerable emergency positions to better get the help they need through their service helping first responders ad emergency personnel respond more effectively to calls for help.
AccessiBe, a three-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based startup that caters to small business customers that want to make their websites accessible but lack the resources for a serious revamp and so settle on an “accessibility overlay” to add new features, has raised $28 million from K1 Investment Management. [TechCrunch Report]
- Doing Good: AccessiBe builds a product to expand the accessibility of SMB websites on the internet today. This helps populations who require these functions to access tools and websites previously inaccessible to them.
SoLo Funds, a three-year-old, L.A.-based peer-to-peer lending platform, has raised $10 million in funding led by ACME Capital, with additional support from Impact America Fund, Techstars, Endeavor Catalyst, CEAS Investments and numerous notable individual investors. The company has now raised $12 million altogether. [ Crunchbase News Report]
- Doing Good: SoLo Funds enables financially vulnerable users typically living paycheck-to-paycheck to have an alternative to predatory lending.
Public.com, a two-year-old, New York-based self-described social investing app, and competitor to Robinhood and other fintechs, that aims to give people the ability to invest in companies using any amount of money, commission-free, has officially closed on $220 million in funding at a post-money valuation of $1.2 billion — four times where the company was valued in December. Backers included Accel, Greycroft, Lakestar, Intuition Capital, Tiger Global Management, Mantis VC, Dreamers VC, Inspired Capital, Aglaé Ventures, and YouTube personality Phil DeFranco. Just two months ago, the company raised $65 million Series C funding. It has now raised $310 million altogether. [ TechCrunch Report]
- Doing Good: Public much like Robinhood is focused on expanding the capital markets to retail investors with less access to capital in order to help them benefit from the capital gains.
Brightly, a three-year-old, Seattle-based discovery platform for eco-friendly products, has raised $1 million in funding led by The Female Founders Alliance, with participation from Tacoma Venture Fund and Keeler Investments.
- Doing Good: Brightly is aggregating eco friendly products to increase adoption of these products in lieu of less sustainable alternatives.
TomoCredit, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based fintech that offers a credit card aimed at helping first-time borrowers build a credit history based on their cash flow, has raised $7 million in seed funding. Participants in the deal included KB Investment (a subsidiary of South Korean consumer bank Kookmin Bank), Barclays, Knollwood Investment Advisory, BAM Ventures, Passport Capital, Ulu Ventures and Strong Ventures. [ TechCrunch Report]
- Doing Good: TomoCredit much like other alternative credit lending startups is expanding access to borrowers without a significant credit history using cash flows instead.
Redefine Meat, a three-year-old, Israel-based startup that has developed technology to produce plant-based meat substitutes on 3D printers, has raised $29 million in Series A funding co-led by Happiness Capital and Hanaco Ventures. Other investors in the round include CPT Capital, Losa Group, Sake Bosch, and K3 Ventures. [ Reuters Report]
- Doing Good: Redefine Meat, much like alternative meats companies (e.g. Impossible Foods, etc) aims to divert unsustainable manufacturing methods to more sustainable ones with their technology.
PayZen, a two-year-old, San Francisco, Ca.-based that pays hospitals upfront for patient invoices and offers patients zero-interest, fee-free payments, has raised $5 million in seed funding. Viola Ventures incubated and provided some of that early funding to the business, joined by Picus Capital and TWO39 Ventures. [ Calcalist Report]
- Doing Good: PayZen aims to help financially vulnerable patients who cannot afford hospital bills find alternative payment plans to account for unseen health bills (the vast majority of large health bills)
SeedFi, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based startup with two lending products aimed at Americans living paycheck to paycheck, has raised $15 million in an equity funding led by earlier backer Andreessen Horowitz, which had also led a $4 million seed round for the company. It also raised $35 million in debt financing. TechCrunch has more here.
- Doing Good: SeedFi creates financial products which enable the most vulnerable of populations living paycheck to paycheck to afford their critical needs
Rheaply, a six-year-old, Chicago-based subscription-based startup focused on recycling unused items, raised $8 million in Series A funding led by High Alpha. 100 Black Angels & Allies Fund, Concrete Rose Capital, Hyde Park Angels, M25, MCJ Collective, Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab and Salesforce Ventures. [ Chicago Inno Report]
- Doing Good: Rheaply’s product encourages and expands the circular economy by increasing the number of unused recycled items.
Promise, a 3.5-year-old, Bay Area-based company that today integrates with official payment systems to offer what it says are more forgiving terms on fees and debts for customers who can’t pay all at once, has raised $20 million in funding from earlier backers Kapor Capital, XYZ, Bronze, First Round, Y Combinator, Village, and others. The company has now raised $30 million altogether. [ TechCrunch Report]
- Doing Good: Promise offers more forgiving and feasible terms on payments for bills (e.g. tickets, water, electricity, rent, etc) which often are the cause of financial instability of vulnerable populations.
ZenBusiness [Series B] — HQ: Austin, TX, USA
- Mission: “We’re empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and freelancers by making it easier than ever to start, run, and grow a successful business.”
- Jobs: https://www.zenbusiness.com/careers/
Sunday [Series B] — HQ: Boulder, CO, USA
- Mission: “Support the whole ecosystem for a beautiful lawn that’s full of life.”
- Jobs: https://www.builtincolorado.com/company/sunday/jobs
Apna [Series A] — HQ: Bangalore, India
Enjoy the rest of your week! And remember, if the companies above are any example, that Doing Well and Doing Good don’t have to be two separate ways of living. You can do both if you find a way to connect them. Until our next post…
Originally published at https://dwdg.substack.com.