Wij willen met u aan tafel zitten en in een openhartig gesprek uitvinden welke uitdagingen en vragen er bij u spelen om zo, gezamelijk, tot een beste oplossing te komen. Oftewel, hoe kan de techniek u ondersteunen in plaats van dat u de techniek moet ondersteunen.

Beam, a Singapore-headquartered micromobility firm that offers shared e-scooters, has raised $ 26 million in a new financing round as it looks to expand its footprint in Korea, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Taiwan.

Sequoia India and Hana Ventures led the two-and-a-half-year-old startup’s Series A financing round, while several more investors from Asia Pacific region participated, Beam said without disclosing their names. The startup has raised $ 32.4 million to date, a spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Beam, like Bounce and Yulu in India, offers electric scooters in the aforementioned five markets. Electric and gasoline scooters have become popular in several Asian nations and elsewhere as people look for alternative transportation mediums to move around faster and at less cost.

While these vehicles make inroads into various markets, it’s also not uncommon to find these scooters abandoned carelessly in the streets. Beam said unlike other startups, it incentivizes its riders through in-app offers to park the scooters at predetermined spots.

“I’m really excited about our new technology and its ability to reduce the problems associated with randomly scattered scooters around a city. This helps us to further improve our industry-leading vehicle retention rates, reduce operational costs, and most importantly, benefits communities by keeping city streets neater,” said Beam co-founder and chief executive Alan Jiang.

Beam, which did not disclose how many customers it has amassed, will use the fresh capital to grow its operational and engineering focus and grow deeper in its existing markets, it said. It will also “accelerate” the launch of its third-generation e-scooter, the Beam Saturn, which features swappable batteries, improved build, to more markets, it said.

Abheek Anand, Managing Director at Sequoia Capital India, said Beam’s collaboration with regulators, technology, and insights into the transportation landscape stand to give it an edge in the Asia Pacific region.

The startup’s fundraising comes at a time when many young firms, especially those operating in transportation category, in Asia are struggling to raise capital. Beam said it had implemented stringent cleaning and operations practices to limit the possibility of virus transmission to allay riders’ concern.


TechCrunch

Tesla’s board certified a financial milestone that unlocks the first tranche — worth more than $ 700 million — of an unprecedented multibillion-dollar pay package for CEO Elon Musk, according a document filed Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The milestone allows Musk to purchase the first grouping or tranche of nearly 1.69 million shares at a steep discount. Tesla shares closed Thursday at $ 805.81, putting the value at $ 775 million. Musk is able to buy those stock options at a price of $ 350.02 per share.

“As of the date of this proxy statement, one of the 12 tranches under this award has vested and become exercisable, subject to Mr. Musk’s payment of the exercise price of $ 350.02 per share and the minimum five-year holding period generally applicable to any shares he acquires upon exercise,” the SEC document reads.

The compensation plan approved by shareholders in 2018 consists of 20.3 million stock option awards broken up into 12 tranches of 1.69 million shares. These options will vest in 12 increments if Tesla hits specific milestones on market cap, revenue and adjusted earnings (excluding certain one-time charges such as stock compensation).

When the board and shareholders approved the package, Musk was theoretically able to earn nearly $ 56 billion if no new shares were issued. However, last year Tesla sold $ 2.7 billion in shares and convertible bonds, Reuters reported at the time.

To access those first tranche of stock options, Tesla’s market value had to reach a six-month average of $ 100.2 billion and either $ 20 billion in annual revenue or $ 1.5 billion in adjusted EBITDA. To meet the next milestone, Tesla’s market cap must increase another $ 50 billion in value and $ 35 billion in revenue or $ 3 billion in adjusted EBITDA.

The board certified the market cap and revenue milestone. The other operational milestone relating to $ 1.5 billion Adjusted EBITDA has been achieved but is subject to formal certification by the board, , according to the SEC filing.

Tesla SEC May 2020

Image Credits: Screenshot/SEC filing

The board must certify that each milestone has been achieved before Musk can exercise those stock options. To unlock every tranche, Tesla’s market cap will have to reach $ 650 billion.

Musk has never accepted a salary. Instead, he opted for, the shareholders approved, equity-based compensation plans. In a previous equity compensation plan, Musk was awarded stock options worth about $ 78 million in 2012 that vested only after Tesla hit production and market value milestones.

The 2018 CEO compensation plan not only ensured Musk would a be part of Tesla for the next decade, it also put an emphasis on market cap and revenue, not necessarily profitability.

Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting is scheduled for July 7, according to the document.


TechCrunch

Founder Collective, a seed-stage fund formed 11 years ago in Cambridge, Ma., has closed its newest fund with $ 85 million.

Earlier today, we talked with the firm’s general partners — Eric Paley, David Frankel, Micah Rosenbloom — to learn more about it. Among our first questions: whether the three are themselves the largest investors in the new vehicle, as was the case with the firm’s third fund, which closed with $ 75 million in capital commitments four years ago. (The three have long prided themselves on their ability to tell founders who they take the firm’s capital that they truly are taking the investors’ money.)

We also talked exits, geography, and investing through the coronavirus, a time when a lot of personal investors are being more cautious with their dollars.

TC: Eric, you wrote a seed check to Uber and I spied you on the Midas list this year. Still, it’s a scary time to be investing one’s capital aggressively. Are you and David and Micah again the biggest investors in this new fund?

EP:  The three of us were the largest investors in [our third fund] and we’re significantly bigger investors in Fund IV. While we’re fortunate to have some of the best LPs in the world, we believe that being our own largest investor allows us to make decisions that better align with our founders.  We also hope it sends a signal to founders that we’re honest brokers. When we were running our startups, it frustrated us when VCs would add a punitive clause to a term sheet citing “fiduciary responsibilities” to their LPs as the justification. We’re principals and stewards of our capital, not agents of LPs.

TC: How many investors are now involved in the day-to-day of the firm and how has this changed at all in the past years? 

DF: We have ten people full-time with offices in Soho in New York and Harvard Square in Cambridge. There are three partners and a principal on the investment team. We also have a Founder Partner program with some of the best entrepreneurs covering a variety of geographies and domains. [Editor’s note: some of these include Raj DeDatta of Bloomreach, Jack Groetzinger of SeatGeek, Andy Palmer of Tamr, Zach Klein of DIY, James Tamplin of Firebase, Nadia Boujarwah of Dia&Co, Elliot Cohen of PillPack and Noah Glass  of Olo.

Caterina [Fake], who was a Founder Partner with us for 10 years, recently founded Yes.vc, and our first principal, Gaurav Jain, started Afore, a pre-seed VC.

TC: What are some of the most recent exits for the firm?

DF: Over the last couple of years, we’ve been fortunate to see Uber go public and PillPack join Amazon. CoverWallet and Hotel Tonight were another pair of outstanding outcomes. We were fortune to have backed ten companies that have either exited or been valued at more than $ 1 billion in our first two funds, but we’re also proud of $ 100 million M&A events. They often go unreported, but because of our fund size, they make a material impact to us – and, more importantly, the founders.

Have seed-stage check sizes changed? I imagine they were getting bigger and now I’d guess they might get smaller again?

EP: From the beginning of Founder Collective, we’ve done two kinds of investing, $ 1 million to $ 2 million checks, where we lead and take a board seat, and around $ 400,000 investments, where we participate. We’ve seen the average valuations rise over the last five years, but we’ve tried to stay disciplined.

MR: So far in the COVID era, check sizes aren’t that different. It’s been more of a binary situation where startups that are deemed as “on-trend” can still command healthy valuations. The companies that are pre-market, or in an out-of-favor category that might have gotten funded in February are having a hard time getting funded. But we try not to be influenced by thematic trends.

DF: One pleasant surprise has been how quickly most of our companies have responded to the “new normal.” Some have reopened rounds to put a little more capital on the balance sheet, while others have found strategic investors to help tide them over. By and large, they’re acting responsibly.

TC: Remind me of where Founder Collective invests — does it have a focus mostly on the Northeast?

MR: We invest primarily in four geographies: New York, Boston, the Bay Area, and Southern California. That said, we’ve invested in startups as far afield as Nigeria, South Korea, and Israel, and genuinely unusual and fun places like Wisconsin, Winnipeg, and Boise.

EP: The reality is that startup geography is changing. For example, the most valuable software startup in the Western world to launch after Facebook is Shopify, which currently has a $ 90 billion market cap and is based in Ottawa. It would be foolhardy for investors not to broaden their view on where great startups can be built.

That said, there are powerful network effects around startup centers. It’s absolutely possible to build a multi-billion dollar tech business anywhere; it’s orders of magnitude easier when there’s a deep talent pool to hire from, local mentors who have seen scale before, and a broad ecosystem of knowledgeable service providers that can provide guidance.

DF: Also, while we invest globally, we feel the East Coast is an undervalued startup hub. Over the past 20 years, Boston has had more billion-dollar exits than any Western city aside from San Francisco, and New York has produced multiple $ 10 billion-plus startups in spaces as diverse as consumer hardware, SaaS, dev tools, and craft marketplaces.

TC: How has the pandemic changed your outlook for the next year?

EP: Over the years, we’ve written a lot about capital efficiency for entrepreneurs and even made warning labels that we send to founders alerting them to the dangers of too much money, too soon. Historically, we’ve pushed this message because capital was overabundant, and it damaged startups. The principles of capital efficiency are even more critical in a tight capital market. We’ll be increasingly focused on helping founders understand efficient entrepreneurship and how to build models that are tuned to scale without burning capital.

We’ll also put a premium on founders who have demonstrated the flexibility to operate amid unprecedented levels of uncertainty. In this environment, companies need to focus on their customers’ needs as they are now and not fixate on their pre-existing strategy. For instance, our portfolio company Formlabs sells 3D printers mostly to engineers and designers. After they started printing a novel nasal swab design for COVID tests, hospitals became an important new customer category. The world is changing rapidly, and founders need to keep pace.

TC: What are a few of the firm’s most recent bets and what do they say about Founder Collective’s investing style?

MR: A few recent examples are TrueWork [which sells HR-focused software-as-a-service), Trusted Health [a nursing marketplace], Lovevery [which makes learning toys] and ULesson [which makes consumer education software for African students].

On the surface, it’s a diverse group of companies, but the common thread is a founding team that is all over it. The founders were obsessed with the problems they were solving, had spent meaningful time in these industries, and proved out a lot before seeking funding. There’s no way we can be experts in all those fields, but we do think we know how to spot the founders who are.

TC: Presumably, you’ve already sorted your startups into these red, yellow, and green groups that VCs like to talk about. What are happening to the startups in the red group? Are you helping them to unwind their businesses? 

MR: It’s still so early, it’s hard to say what the ultimate impact will be, and the longer it goes, the worse it will likely get. So far, COVID was the nail in the coffin for a few of our startups, and we’ve tried to help the founders find soft landings for the teams and assets. Some of our distance-learning companies and our health-oriented companies have benefited due to the growing need for their products.

Most of our startups are somewhere in the middle. We try to help entrepreneurs on a case-by-case basis, sometimes that means organizing peer discussion groups about cash management in a time of crisis. Other times, it takes the form of making introductions to potential acquirers. When possible, we help to catalyze new rounds of funding.

TC: What’s one new area of interest for founder collective and why?

DF: One of our core beliefs is that the best startups are built by founders approaching weird and wonderful spaces.We’ve backed ad tech for the flooring industry, IoT-based offshore oyster farming robots, crypto, cologne, doggy DNA tests, data management tools. We’re proudly anti-thematic, and historically, that’s led to good outcomes.


TechCrunch

Meal delivery service Home Chef has confirmed a data breach, two weeks after a data breach seller listed a database of 8 million customer records on a dark web marketplace.

The Chicago-based company said customer names, email addresses and phone numbers were taken in the breach, along with scrambled passwords. The hackers also took the last four digits of its customers’ credit card numbers and mailing addresses, the company said.

But the company said not all customers are affected, and that it would reach out to those whose information was taken.

News of the breach was first reported by Bleeping Computer.

It comes almost two weeks after a data breach seller, named Shiny Hunters, published marketplace listings of 11 companies — including Home Chef. The listings are purportedly selling customer databases for several other large companies, including 30 million records allegedly taken from dating site Zoosk.

Although most of the companies have yet to acknowledge a breach, the Chronicle of Higher Education at Chapman University said it was aware of the dark web postings. Printing service Chatbooks also confirmed it was hacked.

Last year, a hacker known as Gnosticplayers stole close to one billion records records from dozens of websites, including 151 million user records from MyFitnessPal and 57 million user records from Houzz.


TechCrunch

French startup Alan has raised a $ 54.4 million (€50 million) Series C funding round. Temasek is leading the round with existing investors (such as Index Ventures) also participating. Overall, Alan has raised $ 136 million (€125 million) over the past four years.

Alan has built a health insurance product for the French market. The company first started with a well-designed insurance product and wants to tackle all things related to your personal health in the future.

The startup isn’t partnering with an existing insurance company. It has obtained an official health insurance license. Compared to legacy products, Alan wants to be as transparent as possible with clear pricing and policies.

Alan has a huge market opportunity in France as every employee is covered by both the national health care system and private insurance companies.

In addition to its health insurance product, the company has been working on multiple products to help you stay on top of your health. For instance, Alan has partnered with Livi so that can easily schedule telemedicine appointments.

Alan has launched a directory of doctors around you. With Alan Map, you can easily find a health practitioner without any surprise — the company tries to predict how much you’re going to pay so that you can check if you’re 100% covered.

You can also use Alan to keep track of your past appointments, get the phone number of a doctor you’ve already interacted with and more.

Just like fintech companies are building apps that act as financial hubs, Alan wants to become a health hub. Whenever you have a question, you need a piece of information or you want to get reimbursed on your health appointments, Alan wants to become the entry point for those use cases.

More recently, Alan has worked on some content about the coronavirus outbreak and COVID-19 symptoms. You can create an account and talk to a doctor through Livi for free. You can also get two months free on a Headspace subscription in case you’re looking for a meditation app.

With today’s funding round, Alan plans to expand to other countries. It has already opened offices in Spain and Belgium and the company wants to be available all around Europe within five years.

Alan currently covers 76,000 people. It represents $ 63 million (€58 million) in revenue. At the end of 2018, Alan’s insurance covered 27,000 people. As you can see, the company is growing nicely.


TechCrunch

Kumu Holdings, a live streaming startup based in the Philippines, announced today it has raised about $ 5 million in Series A funding, earmarked for new features and growing its operations.

The round was led by Openspace Ventures, an early investor in Go-Jek, with participation from Kickstart Ventures, media conglomerate ABS-CBN, Gobi-Core Philippine Fund, and returning investors Summit Media and Foxmont Capital Partners.

With much of the country under COVID-19 lockdown or curfew orders, Kumu says usage of media and entertainment apps has increased. To address demand, the startup has launched new features over the past month to allow organizations like churches and industry groups to hold online events.

Kumu says it now has three million registered users and about 25,000 live streams broadcast each day, with average daily usage of about one hour.

Founded two years ago by Roland Ros and Rexy Josh Dorado, Kumu aspires to be a “super app” for Filipinos around the world, integrating live streaming, video chats and gaming, with plans to add online payments and e-commerce functions, too. Kumu’s upcoming features include a live commerce platform that allows users to buy items during live streams, giving content creators an additional source of revenue.


TechCrunch

Spot & Tango, the D2C pet food brand, has today announced the launch of a new line of pet food called UnKibble. Alongside the announcement of the launch, the company has also closed on a $ 4.2 million seed funding round led by Guild Capital.

Spot & Tango launched 2018 with a line of fresh, wet dog-food recipes. Competing with Farmer’s Dog, Spot & Tango developed customized meals for pups using fresh ingredients fine enough for human consumption, taking into account the dog’s weight, age, breed and activity level. Thus far, the startup has delivered more than 1 million meals to pups and their owners, quadrupling the size of the business in the last six months.

With today’s launch of UnKibble, the company looks to bring a slightly more convenient alternative to market without sacrificing quality.

Unlike most dry pet food, which is made using processed powdered meat and artificial additives, UnKibble uses a unique Fresh Dry process to preserve only whole food ingredients, with no artificial additives or coloring.

This is done by mixing whole ingredients and forming them into bite-sized pieces, which are then gently heated very slowly in a vacuum chamber to maintain freshness. This process removes water content and any potential pathogens and bacteria without extracting nutritional value. The bags are then sealed to remove oxygen and keep the UnKibble fresh.

Spot & Tango subscriptions for UnKibble start at $ 9/week, with three different options: Beef & Barley, Chicken & Brown Rice, and Duck & Salmon. The startup sends a scooper along with the UnKibble that is perfectly portioned to a single serving for your specific dog, ensuring you don’t over- or underfeed the little one.

The company also looks to be as eco-conscious as possible, shipping in bulk to delivery partners using recyclable and compostable materials.

Founder and CEO Russell Breuer explained that Spot & Tango is looking to be a health and wellness platform for pet parents.

“Whether it’s treats or other products or services, ultimately we’re building a brand around health and wellness and making it accessible for all pet parents in as many formats as required,” said Breuer. “Fresh food may not be a ubiquitous product for every single household in America. Dry food may not be, either. Maybe treats are a preference for some families. We want to be able to serve as many needs as possible under the health and wellness umbrella.”

Spot & Tango plans to use the funding to expand its R&D capabilities and build out the team.


TechCrunch

Created by R the Company. Powered by SiteMuze.