Top Seed Companies: Pylon, Dawn, XFactor.io, Gankster, SellScale

Nicolas von Blottnitz
Headline Asia Publication

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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.

Pylon

EVA Growth Index:
No external sources showing growth

Product:
API-first platform to embed consumer mortgages into any product within weeks, not years

Lead Investors:
Conversion Capital, Village Global

Total Raised:
$8.5M

Comparables:
SolidFi, AtomicFi, ClydeInsurance

My Thoughts:
Our thesis or bullishness around embedded finance is formed by the belief that most fintechs are winning because of superior customer access. Like all, the neo-banks were able to win market share as they drastically reduced the friction for any consumer to gain access to a bank account. Embedded finance solutions like Pylon take this to the next level, where platforms that already have the customer can just plug them into their existing experience and earn additional high-margin revenue within days.

Dawn

EVA Growth Index:

Product:
Digital sleep coach that gets consumers off of medication and solves for healthy sleep with bottoms-up behavioral change

Lead Investors:
Kindred Ventures, Bragiel Brothers

Total Raised:
$1.8M

Comparables:
SleepWatch

My Thoughts:
Cut out Netflix and Ben&Jerrys before bed, and your sleep should drastically improve without taking pills that are proven to not be good for you. These and many more are the behavioral changes that DawnHealth help consumers to implement in their day-to-day lives. Also, being in network with many top healthcare providers should enable cost-effective adoption for DawnHealth at large.

XFactor.io

EVA Growth Index:
No external sources showing growth

Product:
AI-enabled go-to-market software with constant sales performance monitoring, real-time “next-move” recommendations, and live analytics

Lead Investors:
Lightspeed Venture Partners

Total Raised:
$10M

Comparables:
MadKudu

My Thoughts:
Being very data-driven here at Headline, one of the topics we are yet satisfied with, as far as business analytics go, is real-time insights into the status of an organization's sales pipeline. We have yet to see something that truly satisfies this. XFactor looks to have created quite a compelling solution here that looks to show and account for the true fluidity that is typical for sales pipelines. I wonder/worry about how customizable or how much of a black box the AI is here, though.

Gankster

EVA Growth Index:

Product:
Online competitive gaming platform to let anyone team up, practice, and compete in their favorite video games

Lead Investors:
Hetz Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners

Total Raised:
$4.3M

Comparables:
Gamer’s Lounge

My Thoughts:
Even with the platform dependencies of the game publishers, it is almost surprising how fragmented competitive gaming still is today. Especially as waging in gaming is becoming more socially and legally acceptable, there should be a cross-game platform that owns the category with defensible social network effects. Gankster is already showing strong early traffic growth with reputable professional teams on the platform (100Thieves, Immortals) and a strong Seed syndicate.

SellScale

EVA Growth Index:
No external sources showing growth

Product:
GenerativeAI to create outbound sales emails based on knowledge/research pulled across tech-content platforms like Techcrunch, LinkedIn, and a team’s internal CRM

Lead Investors:
Pear VC

Total Raised:
$3.4M

Comparables:
LavenderAI

My Thoughts:
After writing marketing copy, this seems like a no-brainer category for generative AI to gain real end-user adoption. I will be transparent by saying that our junior investors today are leveraging AI-enabled writing tools to enrich our founder emails, and the results are pretty impressive. What is unique here is that you can steer the AI from which content it should draw its knowledge, making for more targeted/higher quality results.

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
Headline Asia Publication

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