Summer Funding Update – Le Harbus


Keith Bender, contributor

The founders of the alumni raised $ 3.3 billion in venture capital this summer; startups founded since 2010 have exceeded $ 350 billion in market capitalization. Keith Bender reports (MBA ’20).

HBS alumni-led startups have received more than $ 3.2 billion in venture capital funding since early June through press time for this issue (August 21, 2021). Here, I review the fifty biggest fundraising rounds, sorted by industry:

Biotech and agriculture

  • Ecto, an aquaculture biotechnology company founded by Dmitry Kozachenok (MBA ’13), raised $ 7.2 million from Aqua Spark and Vodia Ventures.
  • Donkey, an independent agricultural company founded by Charlie Anderson (MBA ’14), raised $ 6 million from ff Venture Capital and SVG Ventures.

Consumer

  • Gym Pass, a Brazilian fitness company founded by César Carvalho (MBA ’12), raised $ 220 million from Valor Capital Group, SoftBank, Kaszek and General Atlantic.
  • Flowering & Will, a London-based flower delivery company founded by Aron Gelbard (MBA ’09), raised $ 40.8 million from General Catalyst, Index and MMC Ventures.
  • Collective retreats, a hospitality and experience provider originally co-founded by Cristina DeVito (MBA ’08) (who now serves as an advisor to the company), raised $ 23 million from Slow Ventures, First Round Capital and BBG Ventures.
  • Electric game box, an immersive group entertainment platform led by the founder of Tough Mudder Will Dean (MBA ’09), raised $ 11 million from Index, Brookfield Asset Management and Project A Ventures.
  • Wagr, a peer-to-peer sports betting application founded by Mario Malavé (MBA ’20) and Eliana Eskinazi (MBA ’20), raised $ 4 million from Greycroft and Pear VC.
  • To delight, a community of women over 50 founded by Alexa Wahr (MBA ’16) and Lisa Marrone (MBA ’17), raised $ 3.5 million from Forerunner Ventures and August Capital.
  • Root, a nutrition startup founded by Rachel Soper (MBA ’17), raised $ 3 million from Righ Side Capital Management, Techstars and Cleo Capital.
  • Glory, a disposable diaper company founded by Amrita Saigal (MBA ’14), raised $ 2.4 million from Precursor Ventures, SV Angel, Foundation Capital, Liquid 2 Ventures and Underscore VC.
  • MeTripping, a travel research platform founded by Varun Gupta (MBA ’11), raised $ 850,000 from Fonds SEA, Arali Ventures and Wayfare Ventures.

Business

  • Scholar and its online subsidiary Skilled, Indian edtech startups led by Ashwin Damera (MBA ’03), raised $ 430 million and $ 650 million respectively from Sequoia India, Accel India, SoftBank and Canada’s Pension Plan.
  • Sensitization, a business engagement platform founded by Manny Medina (MBA ’03), raised $ 200 million from Spark Capital, Tiger Global, Sapphire Ventures and Salesforce Ventures.
  • At the bay, a cybersecurity insurance company founded by Rotem Iram (MBA ’13) and Roma Itskovich (MBA ’12), raised $ 185 million from LocalGlobe, Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed, Acrew Capital and Microsoft’s M12 venture capital fund.
  • SellerX, a Berlin-based buyer of businesses made by Amazon founded by Malte Horeyseck (MBA ’10) and Phillipp Triebel (MBA ’10), raised $ 117 million from L Catterton, Village Global and 83North.
  • Bubble, a codeless visual programming language founded by Emmanuel Straschniv (MBA ’12), raised $ 100 million from Insight Partners, Signalfire, WndrCo and Betaworks.
  • JW player, a multimedia player for web and mobile founded by Dave Otten (MBA ’06), raised $ 100 million from Greenspring Associates, Greycroft and Headline.
  • Instawork, a marketplace for hotel professionals founded by Sumir Meghani (MBA ’08), raised $ 60 million from Spark Capital, Craft Ventures and Benchmark.
  • Open Sesame, e-publisher of in-company training founded by Don Spear (MBA 1986), raised $ 50 million from Altos Ventures and FTV Capital.
  • We maintain, a Parisian elevator maintenance startup founded by Benoit Dupont (MBA ’16), raised $ 35.1 million from Eurazeo and Idinvest Partners.
  • Cobli, an IoT company for LatAm fleets founded by Parker Treacy (MBA ’12), raised $ 35 million from SoftBank, Qualcomm Ventures, Valor Capital Group and NXTP Ventures.
  • Conserve.AI, a customer knowledge platform founded by Eric Chernoff (MBA ’13), raised $ 23 million from Emergence and Afore Capital.
  • Visualization, an RPA company for change alerts founded by Serge Salager (MBA ’04), raised $ 6 million from Mistral Ventures and FUSE.
  • Register now, a subscription-based e-commerce platform founded by Dileepan Sivapathasundaram (MBA ’13), raised $ 4 million from Uncork and The House Fund.
  • ApnaKlub, a consumer goods purchasing marketplace founded by Shruti Gupta (MBA ’19), raised $ 3.5 million from Surge, Whiteboard Capital and Blume Ventures.
  • factual, a cybersecurity company founded by Charles Tillinghast (MBA ’90), raised $ 3.3 million from Arthur Ventures and SeaChange.
  • The duration of the conversation, a B2B sourcing platform for food and beverage brands founded by Lillian Cartwright (MBA ’20), raised $ 3 million from the MBA Fund, Kindred Ventures, Rough Draft Ventures, Dorm Room Fund and Next View Ventures.
  • Sona, a frontline workforce planning platform founded by Oli Johnson (MBA ’11), raised $ 1.6 million from Speedinvest.
  • Liatris, a building materials company founded by Frank Yang (MBA ’06), raised $ 1 million from Propel (X) and the Maryland Momentum Fund.

Fintech, crypto and real estate

  • Capchase, a fintech platform founded by Przemek Gotfryd (MBA ’21) and Miguel Fernandez Larrea (MBA ’21) which provides seed funding to SaaS companies based on their future revenues, raised $ 280 million and $ 125 million in debt and equity in two rounds this summer from QED, i80, Caffeinated Capital, ONEVC and Bling Capital .
  • FalconX, a cryptocurrency brokerage company founded by Raghu Yarlagadda (MBA ’14) and Prabhakar Reddy (MBA ’14), raised $ 210 million from Coinbase Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, B Capital and Fidelity.
  • Habi, a Colombian real estate i-buyer founded by Brynne McNulty Rojas (MBA ’16), raised $ 100 million from SoftBank, Tiger Global, FJ Labs and 8VC.
  • Pintu, a crypto asset platform founded by Jeth Soetoyo (MBA ’19), raised $ 35 million from Coinbase Ventures, Pantera Capital, Lightspeed and The Spartan Group.
  • EmCasa, a Brazilian real estate marketplace founded by Gustavo Vaz (MBA ’18) and Yann Metz (MBA ’18), raised $ 21 million from Monashees, Canary and Pear VC.
  • Jones, a real estate insurance startup founded by Omri Stern (MBA ’15), raised $ 12.5 million from Khosla Ventures, MetaPop and JLL Spark.
  • Lidya, a fintech platform for Nigeria founded by Tunde Kehinde (MBA ’11), raised $ 8.3 million from Musha Ventures, Flourish Ventures and Mastercard Start Path.
  • Monarch Silver, a personal finance platform to track expenses founded by Ozzie Osman (MBA ’14), raised $ 4.8 million from Accel and SignalFire.
  • CrediVerso, a fintech platform focused on the Latin American population founded by Charlie Hernández (MBA ’17), raised $ 3.1 million from Point72 Ventures, Clocktower Technology Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners.
  • Foundation devices, an open source hardware company for Bitcoin founded by Zach Herbert (MBA ’17), raised $ 2.5 million from Bolt, Unpopular Ventures and Third Prime.

Health (for humans)

  • Zus Health, a digital health platform founded by Jonathan Bush (MBA 1997), raised $ 34 million from Andreessen Horowitz, F-Prime Capital and Maverick Ventures.
  • Medrhythms, a digital therapy company founded by Owen McCarthy (MBA ’15), raised $ 25 million from Advantage Capital, Morningside Ventures and Bose Ventures.
  • SolasCure, a wound care startup founded by Benjamin Newmark (MBA ’16), raised $ 20.4 million from Seneca Partners, Bionova Capital and the Development Bank of Wales.
  • Connie Health, an elderly care company founded by Oded Eran (MBA ’16), raised $ 13 million from Khosla Ventures, Pitango Venture Capital and Abstract Ventures.
  • Think, a mental health telecare company founded by David Ronick (MBA ’94), raised $ 9 million from Streamlined Ventures and Link Ventures.
  • Elektra Health, a women’s healthcare platform founded by Jannine Versi (MBA ’14), raised $ 3.7 million from Seven Seven Six, Flybridge, Human Ventures, Flare Capital Partners and January Ventures.

Health (for animals)

  • Embark, a pet health platform originally co-founded by Matt Salzberg (MBA ’10) (who now sits on the board), raised $ 75 million from SoftBank, FJ Labs, F-Prime Capital and Slow Ventures.
  • Mixlab, an animal pharmacy founded by Frédéric Dijols (MBA ’13), raised $ 20 million from TQ Ventures, Global Founders Capital and Brand Foundry Ventures.
  • Wagmo, a pet welfare company founded by Christine Horvath (MBA ’18), raised $ 12.5 million from Clover Health and Flatiron Health.
  • Paw, a pet food company founded by Roger Morgan (MBA ’99), raised $ 1 million from undisclosed investors.

If you feel that this summer’s HBS Alumni Seed Funding is missing, please contact me via the contact details below!


Keith Bender (MBA ’20) is an investor in Pear VC at Palo Alto, where it is investing in pre-priming, priming and A-series towers in all industries. He leads Founders Bakers, a community dedicated to former HBS entrepreneurs. Previously, Keith worked at Bessemer Venture Partners and BCG. He is a graduate of Harvard College and is originally from Arizona. For comments and questions, please contact keith@pear.vc.


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