Venture Investors Light Up Cannabis Startups

Venture Investors Light Up Cannabis Startups

Editor’s Note: This is a repost of a TechCrunch article by Christine Magee. 

As American lawmakers legalize cannabis in a handful of states and decriminalize it in others, “potrepreneurs” are emerging from the shadows to bring tech to the cannabis community.

There’s Weedmaps, the Google Maps for tracking down dispensaries, Leafly, the Yelp-like rate and review platform for various strains of the plant, and MassRoots, the social network for marijuana enthusiasts.

Not surprisingly, venture capitalists had taken a (puff puff) pass on investments in cannabis startups – until now. Recently, all signs point to a revolution budding in the cannabis tech industry.

In the past year, CrunchBase has recorded 29 venture investments in cannabis startups for a total of nearly $90 million in capital committed – and this is not including the reported $75 million Series B for Seattle-based Privateer, rumored to list Peter Thiel’s Founder’s Fund as an investor.

Granted, the majority of this money is going into companies based in Canada, where medical marijuana use has been federally legalized. But participation from U.S. funds is rising, and networks like ArcView Group are growing quickly with a mission to facilitate investments in the cannabis sector.

Continue reading

The Barbelling of the Venture Industry

The Barbelling of the Venture Industry

Much has been said recently about the shifts in the Venture Capital industry since 2009.

Mark Suster focused the debate in his discussion of “The Changing Structure of the VC Industry.”

I recently chatted with Nabeel Hyatt from Spark Capital about 2014, their new growth fund and how they view themselves given these substantial shifts.

I met Nabeel over a year and a half ago when he was first planning to set up shop here in San Francisco. Spark Capital was founded in 2005 in Boston where the founders were based, but from the very beginning Spark has invested with a bi-coastal focus.

Continue reading

Innovation And Investment In 3D Printing Surges

Innovation And Investment In 3D Printing Surges

Editor’s Note: This is a repost of a TechCrunch article by Jon Shieber. 

Although the technology hasn’t yet lived up to its hype as the harbinger of a new industrial revolution, investments in 3D printing technology have surged in 2014.

Last year, spending on 3D printing and additive manufacturing hit $3.07 billion dollars, according to a report from industry analyst group Wohlers Associates. That number is projected to reach $12.8 billion by 2018, and $21 billion by 2020, according to the group.

Meanwhile 54 companies launched or raised capital with an eye toward tapping this growing market in 2014, according to data from CrunchBase. It’s the highest number of investments the sector has seen, and at $72 million of disclosed investments, it’s the most amount of venture capital committed to the sector.

Continue reading

Startup Calendar for December 16th

Three events are featured in this week’s Startup Calendar:

Other events:

As well as ten accelerator programs:

Read the weekly newsletter for more… To take part in this program as an organization that hosts startup events, visit the Startup Calendar page for guidelines and send us an email at events@crunchbase.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

The Year Of The Monster Funding Round

The Year Of The Monster Funding Round

Been noticing a lot of unusually large funding rounds lately?

You’re spot on.

The venture dollars are pouring in at an exceptionally rapid rate this week. From WeWork’s brand new $350 million, to SurveyMonkey’s $250 million cash influx announced yesterday, to Uber’s latest mega round reported this weekend, CrunchBase has captured over $1 billion in capital committed this week alone. And it’s only Tuesday.

The abundance of venture cash invested in the past few days may seem out of the ordinary, but these recent deals fit into a broader trend. As the number of rounds tracked remains relatively static, the amount invested is growing, according to CrunchBase data.

This applies to later stage funding especially. In 2014, the number of later stage funding rounds (Series C+) increased by less than 20% from 2013, but the total funding raised more than doubled.

Continue reading

In-Q-Tel Goes Dormant, But Its Startups Are Alive And Kicking

In-Q-Tel Goes Dormant, But Its Startups Are Alive And Kicking

All has been quiet on the In-Q-Tel front for months now, but the startups it has backed continue to rake in millions in follow-on VC dollars.

Palantir, Silicon Valley’s big data company that’s currently raising up to $400 million in new venture funding, was a seed investment of In-Q-Tel’s back in 2005.

Nearly ten years later, Palantir is the highest valued In-Q-Tel company, ranking in 6th on the Unicorn list with a most recent valuation of $9.3 billion. It leads the pack in follow-on funding raised, second only to Cloudera.

Continue reading

VCs Swipe Right For Dating Startups

VCs Swipe Right For Dating Startups

With two months until Valentine’s Day, investors worldwide are singling out a variety of online dating and matchmaking startups that believe tech is the solution to improving our love lives.

The $12M Series A announced yesterday for matchmaking app Hinge is the 4th largest round recorded to date for a dating-related startup, beat out only by rounds for Skout, Zoosk, and HowAboutWe.

Hinge wasn’t the only dating tech startup to announce new funding yesterday — Paris-based Happn got $8 million for its location-based mobile dating app.

In the past year, we’ve seen over $40 million invested in dating tech across 38 venture rounds. And this doesn’t account for the over 500 Online Dating startups in CrunchBase, most of which have yet to raise any venture money.

Continue reading