Hired raises $30M to build an easy subscription pipeline for company hiring

Recruiting is one of the latest industries to get a data science makeover through companies like Hired and Triplebyte, but the former hopes to turn it into a subscription business just like other enterprise software companies — and has raised a new pile of funding to do that. Hired looks to serve as a one-stop recruiting point for both companies and potential candidates. The startup collects information like a basic profile, some thoughts on what those candidates are looking for, and your resume information, and then crunches that through a series of back-end algorithms and processes in order to figure out the best match for that candidate. It then points those candidates to hiring managers at companies that are looking for a strong pipeline of candidates, though the company now hopes that they will be able to build a kind of recurring revenue model for those companies with its subscription
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Meditation app Calm hits a $250M valuation amid an explosion of interest in mindfulness apps

Just a few years ago, it might have been a bit of a challenge to convince investors that a mindfulness app would end up being a big business — but thanks to an increasing focus on mental health from both startups and larger companies, companies like Calm are now capturing the excitement of investors. From meditation sessions like you might find on other apps to tracks called “sleep stories” designed to help people get control of their sleep, Calm serves as a suite of content for users focusing on mental wellness. It’s one of an increasingly hot space centered around mental wellness and maintaining a sort of mindfulness in the hope that it’ll convert into a daily habit and help people just generally feel, well, more calm. The company says it has raised $27 million in a new financing round that values it at a $250 million pre-money led by
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Redpoint looks to fresh faces to pilot its latest $400M fund

When Redpoint’s partners handed hims CEO Andrew Dudum the term sheet for the company’s early financing round, one of the most surprising part of that whole process was that the investment partners had actually figured out the font that the company used — and printed out the term sheet with that font. “I have no idea how they even found it,” Dudum said. “I’ve obviously known these guys a long time. There’s this foundation of trust there, they were able to motivate the entire Redpoint partnership in 18 hours from a meeting at 6 p.m. at night on, like, a Thursday. We got a call that night an hour later saying, ‘are you free at 11 a.m. tomorrow morning,’ and the entire partnership showed up at our office, and they did what I’ve never seen done before which was present the term sheet right there on the spot
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Brex picks up $57M to build an easy credit card for startups

While Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi were giving up on their augmented reality startup inside Y Combinator and figuring out what to do next, they saw their batch mates struggling to get even the most basic corporate credit cards — and in a lot of cases, having to guarantee those cards themselves. Brex, their new startup,  aims to try to fix that by offering startups a way to quickly get what’s effectively a credit card that they can use without having to personally guarantee that card or wade through complex processes to finally get a charge card. It’s geared initially towards smaller companies, but Dubugras expects those startups to grow up with it over time — and that Brex is already picking up larger clients. The company, coming out of stealth, said it has raised a total of $57 million from investors including the Y Combinator Continuity fund, Peter Thiel, Max
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ezCater raises $100M as it looks to own office catered meals around the world

Everyone at the office needs lunch (or in some cases dinner) — but for salespeople trying to entice a potential lead or convince an architect to pick up their project, they might need to use a free meal as a bit of a lure to get them in the room to make that pitch. It was a problem that Stefania Mallett, CEO of ezCater, and co-founder Briscoe Rodgers ran into plenty of times — and decided to turn it into a full company. ezCater gives all those sales people, or financial advisors, or anything along those lines a way to quickly set up a catered meal and have an expectation that it’ll work without any kinds of bottlenecks all across the country. The company said it has raised a new round of funding led by Wellington Management Company, with existing investors ICONIQ capital and Insight Venture Partners also participating among
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SurveyMonkey has filed confidentially to go public

The IPO window continues to remain open as SurveyMonkey, which last raised money in 2014 at a $2 billion valuation, announced today that it has confidentially filed to go public. SurveyMonkey can file confidentially with the SEC through the JOBS act signed in 2012, which allows those companies to test the waters before they formally release an S-1. It’s increasingly popular as it allows the companies an opportunity to get a gut check while investors appear to have at least some of an appetite for fresh IPOs, while not having to spill publicly the entire financial guts of the company. SurveyMonkey is also the latest of a wave of enterprise IPOs in the past six months or so. There’s still plenty that can change given that it’s a confidential filing. We won’t know how much money the company wants to raise, what its business even looks like or any of
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Benchling raises $14.5M to help streamline collaboration among scientists

Email and a smarter notebook might be enough for handling communication for projects or experiments inside a team in a lab in some university basement. But when you have around 200 scientists working on discovering something new — say, a new drug — that communication process is going to quickly break down, and Sajith Wickramasekara that sits somewhere between science and software. That’s the goal for Benchling, which Wickramasekara hopes will make life easier for researchers and help simplify and speed up the process of scientific discovery. Specializing in life sciences, Benchling aims to create a comprehensive suite of tools that help researchers thoroughly log their processes and collaborate among other scientists. Benchling looks to provide a rigorous platform that can take a lot of the work away from researchers, who instead might be documenting everything in email, Excel sheets, or just in a notebook somewhere. Benchling said it has raised
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A conversation with Sarah Cannon and Mark Goldberg, Index Ventures’ new partners

Index Ventures — a firm with investments in companies like recent IPO Dropbox, a series of successful gaming companies like King, and others including Slack and coming IPO Zuora — has seen a lot of moves in the past few months. There was the departure of partner Ilya Fushman earlier this year, but the firm also brought on Sarah Cannon from CapitalG as one of their recent big hires. Index has also promoted former Dropboxer Mark Goldberg to partner. Prior to joining Index, Cannon led investments in companies like Looker, MultiPlan, Oscar and Care.com. Cannon will primarily be focusing on growth stage, and is also now a board observer for Slack. Goldberg has been at the firm for around three years and worked on deals like Nova Credit and CoverWallet. We sat down with the two new partners to discuss some of their plans, as well as some broader
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Opendoor raises $325M to make buying and selling homes a near-instant process

Investors are placing another huge bet on a startup looking to reinvent a decades-old process into something that’s near instant, this time pouring $325 million into Opendoor — a company that wants to bring the complex operation of buying or selling a home down to something similarly as simple as hailing a Lyft. The idea of Opendoor is one not so dissimilar from a consumer theory that’s blossomed into companies worth tens of billions of dollars — consumers hate complex processes and are willing to hand off those processes to technology companies if they can make it even a little simpler. Home-buying and selling can be one of the more intense ones, requiring a lot of moving pieces and coordinating multiple time tables and schedules. Opendoor’s theory is that it can create a sizable business by dropping that time and energy cost to zero and effectively create a new technology-powered
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Scooter startup Bird is reportedly about to hit a $2B valuation

More financing is coming in for Bird, this time potentially valuing the company at $2 billion, according to a new report by Axios. There’s not a ton to add here compared to the last round (which happened just weeks ago), as the same dynamics are probably in play here. While Uber was a bet on car rides and generally getting around, Bird is that but at a dramatically more granular level — thinking short hops of a few miles in congested areas. Startups that are exceedingly hot can sometimes pull off these rolling rounds where investors are coming in at various points, especially as the model further proves out over time. If you live in a major metropolitan area, you’ve probably seen Bird (and Lime) scooters hanging out on the sidewalks — potentially knocked over in a spot where someone might trip over them while checking his or her phone.
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Stitch fix blows out Wall Street’s expectations and announces the launch of Stitch Fix Kids

Stitch Fix, one of last year’s high-profile IPOs, has had a bumpy ride for the past few quarters — but it blew out expectations this afternoon for its most recent quarter, and the stock went absolutely nuts. There’s also a ton of news coming out from the company today, including the hire of a new chief marketing officer as well as the launch of Stitch Fix Kids. All this is pretty good timing because the company appears to be cramming everything into one announcement that is serving as a very pleasant surprise to Wall Street, which is looking for as many signals as it can get that the subscription e-commerce company will end up as one of the more successful IPO stories. Shares of the company are up more than 14% after the release came out, where the company beat out expectations that Wall Street set across the board —
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Order-ahead app Ritual picks up $70M to rethink the social office lunch break

While DoorDash, Postmates and other apps are looking to reimagine what the food delivery experience looks like, Ray Reddy says he wants to figure out what the next generation of a food court looks like. Sort of. Reddy’s startup, Ritual, aims to remake the whole process of leaving your office and walking around five minutes to a nearby deli or cafe to pick up food for lunch. But Reddy and his founders Larry Stinson and Robert Kim wanted to focus first on getting that experience right for a single building that leaves to go pick up coffee or food — and has that daily ritual of getting lunch with the team, or something along those lines. The whole process boils down to an app for consumers to order food or drinks as well as have coworkers piggyback onto that order to create a more socialized experience around getting up
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Scooter startup Lime is reportedly raising $250M led by Uber investor GV

It’s scooters all the way down this morning, with Lime also reportedly raising $250 million in a funding this morning after a new Delaware filing this morning indicated that competitor Bird authorized the sale of up to $200 million in shares. GV (formerly Google Ventures) is leading this round, according to the report by Axios, as the massive land grab for a stake in the scooter wars continues to heat up — whether that’s funding or actual scooters piling up on the sidewalk. Both companies have faced pushback from some city regulators (probably on the basis of tripping over them and falling on your face), but it still means the venture community is still salivating over potentially the next major mode of metropolitan transportation. Most venture investors in the Valley argue scooters make sense for short trips throughout areas that are just too far to be considered a trek,
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Scooter startup Bird has authorized sale of $200M in shares in latest funding round

Bird, the scooter startup whose scooters you might have seen fallen over on the sidewalk in a major metro area, has authorized a new $200 million round of funding that could value the startup at around $1 billion post-money, according to a certificate of incorporation filed in Delaware. The latest Bird round has been pretty widely reported, suggesting that the company is raising $150 million at a $1 billion valuation. That, too, comes amid a big effort by competitor Lime to raise a big funding round. These documents indicate that the company has authorized the sale of those shares, though it may not fully fill out the round. The certificate of incorporation document was provided be Lagniappe Labs, creator of the Prime Unicorn Index. The document indicates that Bird has authorized the sale of 31.5 million new shares in its financing round at a value of $6.15 per
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14 big announcements from Apple’s annual developer conference WWDC 2018

Apple’s annual developer conference, WWDC, started this afternoon down in San Jose — kicking off with a keynote as it does every year where it announced a bunch of updates to all of its major operating systems. We’ve wrapped up all the big announcements from its keynote below, and there will be plenty more information to come in over the next few days. Apple introduces iOS 12 What Apple announced: Its next generation iPhone operating system. iOS 12 comes with a variety of new features, many of which we’ll dig into below, but it includes things like group FaceTime, new Animoji, some quality of live improvements to Siri, improvements in performance (especially for older devices) and updates to its push into augmented reality. Why it matters: WWDC has always been the place where it’ll show off a slew of new features, which while very consumer-y in feel is typically
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Apple aims to simplify the Mac App Store with a redesign

Apple is rolling out a redesign of the Mac App Store to bring it more in line with some of the experiences it’s focused on with the iOS App Store, which the company showed at its annual developer conference this year. Apple is following-up on a redesign of the App Store on the iPhone, which changed the approach a little bit to highlight Apps with some editorial components and stories. The company says it is bringing over a lot of features and learnings from the iOS App Store, including whether an app was named editor’s choice or the app’s ranking. All this includes a new API to make it easier to leave reviews for the apps to try to spin up that feedback loop that helps surface the most popular or useful apps. The UI is getting a complete redesign, with a new discovery tab to find editorial content around
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It turns out TechCrunch writers have really strong opinions about Apple’s new Walkie-Talkie feature

Apple today said it is rolling out a walkie-talkie like feature for the Apple Watch, which is something that seems a really long time coming but just never made it until 2018 when the Apple Watch was out for many years and is on its third iteration. The new watch has a cellular connection, which seems like a good enough time to add walkie talkie features (or maybe they were waiting for that red dial to make it feel cool). You talk into your watch inspector gadget style, which seems like a final actualization of our childhood dreams and ignite a hope that the future may finally be here. Or not. But what was actually a little more surprising was the alarmingly lively discussion that took place following the announcement, as well as the very strong opinions some TechCrunch writers have about the walkie talkie app and its storied
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Apple is adding group FaceTime video calls to iOS 12

Apple is adding the ability to FaceTime more people onto a video call, allowing up to 32 people to be on the call — and tapping an increasing interest in group video calling stemming from apps like Houseparty As far as features go, this was a pretty natural addition to the FaceTime App. Houseparty exposed a lot of interest in this area, allowing multiple friends to spin up a video chat. But it’s also a technically strenuous proposition running multiple livestreams, and Apple does seem uniquely positioned to absorb the technical overhead (and costs) of running multiple FaceTime streams all at once. Houseparty allows up to 8 people streaming in a video call at once, though the last significant update we might have heard from Houseparty was some tweaks to notifications in January last year. Houseparty said it had 1 million users in November 2016. The app spreads out
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Klaxoon gets $50M to try to make boring meetings more interactive and productive

If you’ve ever been in a pointless meeting at work, odds are you’ve spent part of the time responding to messages or just putzing around on the Internet — but Klaxoon hopes to convert that into something a bit more productive with more interactive meetings. The French startup today said it’s raised $50 million in a new financing round led by Idinvest Partners, with early round investors BPI, Sofiouest, Arkea and White Star Capital Fund also participating. The company offers a suite of tools designed to make those meetings more engaging and generally just cut down on useless meetings with a room of bored and generally unengaged people that might be better off working away at their desk or even taking other meetings. The company has raised about $55.6 million in total. The whole point of Klaxoon is to make meetings more engaging, and there are a couple ways to
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Trilogy Education gets $50M to build a market-driven bootcamp program for universities

While coding bootcamps may be in the middle of a shakeout, technology companies around the world are still going to be struggling to fill slots with people equipped with the skills to tackle real-world problems right from the get-go — and Dan Sommer hopes the answer is through universities. That’s the premise behind Trilogy Education, which today said it is raising another $50 million round after raising $30 million last year. This round is led by Highland Capital Partners, with participation from new investorsDan Sommer and Macquarie Group. The company works with around 35 universities to identify skills gaps that they can fill with programs — such as through continuing education — that can get students ready to work at a variety of technology companies right away. Throughout all this, the startup works to collect data and feedback on each course and tune it as workforce needs change over time. “The mission
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