Startup funding roundup
New VC Investments for ConverseNow, CorVent Medical, Azul 3D, Lucid Lane, Ettitude, & Parsec
The world may be changed, but startups are still getting funded. Here are a few deals announced in the last week.
For weeks, we’ve been following the daily ebbs and flows of COVID-19 relief efforts in our “Small Business News Roundup.” With the constant changes and controversies the news was endless. I’ll continue following those relief efforts, but it’s time to look forward, so starting today, we’re going to change things up a bit.
We are entrepreneurs, and while the pandemic has hit small business hard, from every crisis there is opportunity. So let’s stop waiting and start innovating by looking at companies who received funding and industry trends that would imply.
- Venture deals are trending downward in both scope and size. Silicon Valley is the bellwether for trends. According to a report from Fenwick & West LLP, a Bay Area law firm that specializes in funding, Silicon Valley deals went from 126 in January to just 44 in March.
- Tech startup ConverseNow raised $3.25 million in seed funding for their software platform that harnesses artificial intelligence to automate restaurant ordering. As restaurants pivot to remote ordering and other social distancing requirements, expect restaurant and retail tech space to be robust in the near term. (The Spoon)
- Obviously healthcare will be a huge trend moving forward. Last week, CorVent Medical raised $4.5 million in seed funding for a single-use ventilator system. (Mass Device)
- Another company finding opportunity in the crisis is 3D printing company Azul 3D, which is using its printers to create PPE such as face shields, of which it can print 1,000 per day. They announced $8 million in seed funding this week. (ChicagoInno)
- Lucid Lane received $4 million in seed funding for its software that helps addicts in recovery through coaching and community. Another coaching platform, Coachabl received an undisclosed pre-seed investment for its software that combines machine learning with human coaches to transform the workforce. With job loss due to automation conflating with the pandemic/economic crisis, millions of workers will need to learn new skills. (MobiHealthNews)
- In the retail space, organic bamboo bedding and sleepwear company Ettidude received $1.6 million in seed funding. The company operates as a direct to consumer retail company. With recent news that Amazon uses data to launch competing versions of successful third-party products, savvy companies will continue to explore DTC and avoid the aggregators. (TechCrunch)
- We all need a little entertainment while being stuck at home. Mobile gaming platform Parsec announced $7 million in Series A funding on Wednesday for its P2P streaming technology. (GamesIndustry.biz)
Other Small Business News:
- The slowdown in PPP funding continues. As of Thursday, $196.6 billion has been allocated, up “only” about $5 billion from a week ago. This means there’s about $124 billion remaining. The average loan size continues to decrease, and is now at $71K. (SBA.gov)
- The SBA Inspector General spoke in front of the House Small Business Committee today. This is on the heels of his report last week. Today he reiterated his finding that the eight week forgiveness window is not long enough. (@zachary via Twitter)
- The “safe harbor” deadline was extended again, and businesses now have until May 18. It was originally May 7. Then it was May 14. We are still waiting on SBA loan forgiveness rules, so I wouldn’t be suprised if that was extended yet again. (Entrepreneur)
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