#Aerospace & Defense

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Blue Origin lofts NASA and student experiments in New Shepard tomorrow morning
Devin Coldewey

The 11th mission for Blue Origin's New Shepard launch vehicle is slated for takeoff Tuesday morning. The craft will be carrying 38 (!) experimental payloads from NASA, students, and research organizations around the world. You'll be able to watch the launch live tomorrow at about 6 AM Pacific time.

Netatmo enters the smart door lock space with programmable NFC keys
Romain Dillet

Netatmo, the French startup that got acquired by Legrand, is announcing a new device at CES, the Netatmo Smart Door Lock. You can install it as a replacement to any cylinder door lock, which are more common in Europe than U.S.-style deadbolts. Compared to many smart door locks, Netatmo isn’t as heavy-handed as other solutions […]

Launch startup Skyrora successfully tests 3D-printed rocket engines powered by plastic waste
Darrell Etherington

Rocket launch startup Skyrora, an Edinburg-based company that’s developing a new launch vehicle for small satellites, has successfully tested its new rocket engines in their first stationary ground-firings, a huge step on the way towards developing their launch vehicle. Skyrora’s rocket engines are novel not only in their use of 3D printing, but also because […]

Startups Weekly: This year in startups
Kate Clark

In this week's newsletter: The moments that defined venture capital and startups in 2019.

Sinclair leads $10.3M investment in rideshare advertising startup Octopus
Anthony Ha

Octopus Interactive, a startup bringing an interactive TV and ad experience into Uber and Lyft rides, has raised a $10.3 million funding round led by Sinclair Digital Group. Backseat TVs mixing show snippets and commercials have become a common part of the taxi experience in New York City and elsewhere. Octopus is offering something of […]

NGK Spark Plugs launches $100M corporate venture fund, will seek M&A opportunities
Catherine Shu

NGK Spark Plug, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of automative spark plugs, announced a new $100 million fund to invest in startups and find potential merger and acquisition deals. The fund was launched with Pegasus Tech Ventures, the “venture capital as a service” firm that has also worked with corporations like Sega Sammy Holdings, […]

Albertsons sets off Firework’s livestream, shoppable video experience on website
Christine Hall

Albertsons is the first U.S. grocer to utilize Firework's platform to create, host and curate its own short-form and livestream video to improve customer engagement.

WayUp’s new dashboard helps employers see where their recruiting process loses diverse candidates
Anthony Ha

WayUp started out as a platform to help college graduates find jobs and internships, but over time, it has increasingly focused on helping employers find diverse job candidates. And it recently introduced a new feature to help those employers see exactly where their diversity and inclusion efforts may be falling short. Co-founder and CEO Liz […]

Architect Capital brings alternative capital to the early stage with new $100M fund
Mary Ann Azevedo

Early-stage startups are increasingly looking for alternative ways to access capital, meaning not every company wants to raise money from VCs or take on debt. In recent years, a flurry of startups have emerged to give companies other options. (Think Pipe, for example.) And today, San Francisco-based Architect Capital is a new firm that is […]

Tesseract makes spacecraft propulsion smaller, greener, stronger
Devin Coldewey

Launch vehicles and their enormous rocket engines tend to receive the lion's share of attention when it comes to space-related propulsion, but launch only takes you to the edge of space — and space is a big place. Tesseract has engineered a new rocket for spacecraft that's not only smaller and more efficient, but uses fuel that's safer for us down here on the surface.

Accel leads $18M Series A for Knoetic, a startup that wants to make HR professionals’ lives easier with software
Mary Ann Azevedo

Knoetic, a startup that has built a software analytics platform for chief people officers, emerged from stealth today with $18 million in Series A funding. For the unacquainted, chief people officers are also known as heads of human resources, or HR. Accel led the financing, which notably also included participation from over 100 angel investors, […]

Venture capital firm Redpoint hires a ‘head of founder experience’
Kate Clark

"The founder is the center of the solar system,” says Redpoint's new hire Travis Bryant.

E-commerce platform Whitebox raises $18M
Anthony Ha

Whitebox, a startup that manages e-commerce logistics and fulfillment for a variety for brands, has raised $18 million in Series B funding. While discussing the new funding, CEO Marcus Startzel repeated a point he made after Whitebox raised its $5 million Series A last year — that the startup is differentiated by combining tools for […]

SaaS growth appears to slow as churn concerns rise
Alex Wilhelm

A set of charts provided to TechCrunch detail how the growth rate of SaaS companies, in both B2B and B2C, are falling. The market could be in for SaaS's first patch of hard times in recent memory.

Venture capital is going to get even bigger, faster, and more expensive this year
Alex Wilhelm

The venture capital market has skewed later and larger in recent quarters, something you might have felt in the rapid recent pace of new unicorn formation. December was a hot month for new unicorns, for example. So was January. February likely will be more of the same. Powering those unicorns births are huge rounds led […]

Why are VCs launching SPACs? Amish Jani of FirstMark shares his firm’s rationale
Connie Loizos

It’s happening slowly but surely. With every passing week, more venture firms are beginning to announce SPACs. The veritable blitz of SPACs formed by investor Chamath Palihapitiya notwithstanding, we’ve now seen a SPAC (or plans for a SPAC) revealed by Ribbit Capital, Lux Capital, the travel-focused venture firm Thayer Ventures, Tusk Ventures’s founder Bradley Tusk, […]

Austin-based FlashParking raises $60 million for parking management technology
Jonathan Shieber

FlashParking, an Austin-based developer of parking management software and services, has raised $60 million in new financing from the private equity investment firm L Catterton. The company’s software, first launched in 2011, provides real-time data and variable pricing options for parking space providers. FlashParking’s CEO and co-founder, Juan Rodriguez, envisions his company’s software and services […]

Out of the box influencer strategies to accelerate awareness for your startup
Arman Tabatabai

For new brands, growing awareness and gaining consumer trust are two of the most important yet challenging marketing objectives. But startups don’t have the budget to activate mega-influencers...

Allocate banks $5M to open up venture capital fund access
Christine Hall

The world of venture capital investing is a relatively small one, and family offices and accredited investors are eager to get involved, but find it difficult to access fund managers.

How startups close their first big sales
Walter Thompson

Your chances of closing your first big sale are going to be directly related to how well you’re targeting prospective customers.

Startups Weekly: Chinese investors double down on African startups
Kate Clark

In this week's newsletter: China's pivot to Africa, another big scooter funding and a new entry to the unicorn club.

Path Robotics raises $56M Series B for automated welding
Brian Heater

Columbus, Ohio-based firm Path Robotics today announced the completion of a $56 million Series B. The round, led by Addition (featuring Drive Capital, Basis Set and Lemnos Lab) brings the robotic welding company’s total funding to $71 million. Adding another piece to the broader automated manufacturing puzzle, the company is focused on robotic welding. The […]

Superhuman’s Rahul Vohra says recession is the ‘perfect time’ to be aggressive for well-capitalized startups
Megan Rose Dickey

Email is one of those things that no one likes but that we’re all forced to use. Superhuman, founded by Rahul Vohra, aims to help everyone get to inbox zero. Launched in 2017, Superhuman charges $30 per month and is still in invite-only mode with more than 275,000 people on the waitlist. That’s by design, […]

As media revenue struggles, subscription startups see growth
Alex Wilhelm

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been a friend to the media business. Its economic impacts slashed advertising budgets, diminishing a key revenue plank for many publications. The results of falling ad spend have been felt across the industry, with a wave of layoffs hitting publications large and small, niche and general. The Exchange explores startups, markets, […]

Jow raises $20 million for its meal and grocery planning service
Romain Dillet

French startup Jow has raised a $20 million funding round led by Eurazeo. Jow wants to make it easier to cook at home by taking care of menu ideas and helping you manage your online orders of groceries. The company has partnered with national food retailers so that your oder is seamlessly processed by your […]

Ordway lands $10M Series A to bridge gap between sales and finance
Ron Miller

Ordway, a Washington, DC startup, is building a platform to deal with all of the stuff that happens after you make sale. It starts with the order and goes all the way to revenue, however that revenue manifests itself — as a one time payment or a recurring subscription. Today the company announced a $10 […]

New startup Capital wants to reintroduce founders to venture debt
Kate Clark

Capital raises $5M from Future Ventures, Greycroft and others.

Gaming company Scopely adds $200 million more to its M&A stockpile
Jonathan Shieber

Scopely, the mobile gaming publisher behind titles including Marvel Strike Force, Scrabble Go, Yahtzee with Buddies and Star Trek Fleet Command, has added another $200 million to its hoard of cash for mergers and acquisitions. While some startups are fearing a cash crunch, other businesses seem to be preparing to go on a shopping spree. […]

How to value a startup in a downturn
Alex Wilhelm

The value of technology companies has fallen as the broader public markets have repriced themselves in light of COVID-19-related market and economic disruptions. And as the public markets sort out the new value of a huge piece of global business, private companies are being shaken as well. What happens in the public markets trickles into […]

Google quietly acquires Dataform, the UK startup helping businesses manage data warehouses
Steve O'Hear

Dataform, a startup in the U.K. that was building what it dubbed an “operating system” for data warehouses, has been quietly acquired by Google’s Google Cloud division. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed, although I understand this is mostly an acqui-hire, albeit one where the founders — both ex-Googlers prior to founding Dataform — […]

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