Top Seed Companies: Iluma, PropelAuth, Insightly, XP Health, SkillBank

Our Investor Nicolas von Blottnitz shares the top-seeded companies to keep an eye on this week.

We see about 5,000 startups each week, and I want to give you a glimpse into how we at Headline think about trending tech companies and tracking new investment opportunities. In this post, I’m highlighting top tech companies that have announced or raised a seed round within the past week.

Iluma

Product:
Operating system for decentralized organizations (DAOs)

Lead Investors:
Acrew Capital, Hive Hatch

Total Raised:
$5.5M

Comparables:
Utopia Labs

My Thoughts:
I really like the idea of DAOs as they enable human and contractless organizations by codifying the governance mechanisms of an entity onto the blockchain. Having a dedicated platform to manage individual stakeholders only makes sense and should be a massive opportunity as this technology grows into mainstream markets over the coming decade.

PropelAuth

Product:
User authentication and log-in solution for b2b software products

Lead Investors:
8-Bit Capital, Soma Capital, Y Combinator, Tiger Global Management

Total Raised:
2.6M

Comparables:
Okta meets Stripe

My Thoughts:
Installing and managing Okta still takes a bunch of effort, and why not make it as frictionless to enable authentication to a product as installing Stripe? This should be a type of product that is not replaced as a company scales.

Insightly

Product:
Analytics platform that visualizes data from product and collaboration tools like Jira, Github, or Notion to provide managers insights into the performance of their team

Lead Investors:
Together Fund

Total Raised:
$1M

Comparables:
Pluralsight, Linearb, Swarmia

My Thoughts:
In the work-from-home environment, it has become exponentially more difficult for managers to get real insights into the performance of their contributors, which makes Insightly an incredibly valuable and timely product in my eyes.

XP Health

Product:
Online optometrist that provides a digital-first testing, consultation, and prescription experience

Lead Investors:
Plug and Play, Valor Capital Group

Total Raised:
Undisclosed

Comparables:
DigitalOptometrics

My Thoughts:
This looks to be the right way to provide eye care — no one actually wants to spend the time to go into a physical location. With how advanced consumer devices are today, it is only natural that this will be digitized for the majority of the population.

SkillBank

Product:
12-week training and job placement program for entry-level marketing roles

Lead Investors:
Josh Richards, Champion Hill Labs, Saunder Schroeder, The Syndicate, LAUNCH, Soma Capital, Hustle Fund, Zack Bloom, Nelson Wang, John Kobs, Transcend Network, Griffin Johnson

Total Raised:
$2M

Comparables:
Careerist

My Thoughts:
I loved the idea of dedicated skill training programs to create highly employable talent. I believe the key success factor for programs like these is finding a scalable/repeatable funnel to draw in high-quality applicants, so I wonder how Skillbank will approach this.

Hi, I am Nicolas von Blottnitz, an Associate at Headline’s SF office focusing on Consumer, Fintech, and SaaS businesses. Since joining in 2018, I have led our investments in Tabnine, Polygon, Flockjay, Solid, and Grin.

What is the EVA Growth Index?
The EVA Growth index is a composite of third-party data sources around a company’s website traffic. The vertical green lines in the charts represent a point in time where the company raised outside capital.

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Nicolas von Blottnitz

Early-stage venture capitalist at the global venture firm Headline and passionate surfer.