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SGVC Launches $50M Third Venture Fund Less than 18 Months After Second Fund Closes

Alt Assets | September 25th, 2017

SGVC is launching its third flagship venture capital fund less than 18 months after its second fund closed on $50m. A person familiar with the matter said that the firm would look to maintain the size of its previous fundraises and continue to focus on Silicon Valley or Israel-based companies in the B2B, Enterprise Software and FinTech sectors. It will invest in their Series A rounds.

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HomeLight Raises $40M In Series B Funding To Help You Find A Listing Agent

Forbes.com | by Omri Barzilay | August 15th, 2017

San Francisco-based HomeLight, a marketplace for connecting home sellers with real estate agents, announced today that it has raised $40 million in Series B funding led by Silicon Valley’s Menlo Ventures with participation from Citi Ventures, and existing investors Zeev Ventures, SGVC, Crosslink Capital and Innovation Endeavors. HomeLight’s venture funding since inception in 2012 now totals $55 million. Following the round, Tyler Sosin of Menlo Ventures will join HomeLight’s board of directors. Venky Ganesan of Menlo Ventures and Dovi Frances of SGVC will join HomeLight’s board as observers.

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SoftBank Vision Fund Leads $200 Million Bet on Indoor Farms

Bloomberg.com | by Selina Wang | July 19th, 2017

Masayoshi Son has discovered a green thumb.

The SoftBank Group Corp. chief’s Vision Fund is leading a $200 million investment in Silicon Valley startup Plenty, which says it has cracked the code on growing crops indoors super efficiently. Other participants in the round include Moore Capital Management founder Louis Bacon as well as existing backers such as DCM Ventures and funds that invest on behalf of Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

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TripActions and Coupa Announce Strategic Partnership to Deliver Seamless Travel and Expense Management

FROM Coupa.com | July 17th, 2017

BOSTON, MA, July 17, 2017 – Coupa Software (NASDAQ:COUP), a global leader in cloud-based spend management, and TripActions, an innovative end-to-end corporate travel solution, are announcing a strategic partnership to help deliver a more seamless travel and expense management experience. Modern organizations with managed travel programs can now take advantage of the integration between these two premier solutions.

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American Express invests in insurance startup Next Insurance

BY Anna Irrera | Reuters | June 20th, 2017

American Express Co has invested in Next Insurance, a Palo Alto-based technology startup that sells customized insurance for small businesses online, as Silicon Valley companies look to shake up the insurance sector.

Next Insurance, which raised $29 million in May from investors led by reinsurer Munich Re’s HSB Ventures, said on Tuesday that American Express’s venture capital arm has joined the investor group. Next Insurance will use the new cash injection, which brings the investment round to $35 million, to expand the products it offers and target new business sectors, the company said.

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Why this startup CEO went to the White House alongside Tim Cook and Jeff Bezos

BY CNN Money | by Aimee Rawlins | June 19th, 2017

The CEOs of some of the world’s biggest tech companies descended on the White House Monday — along with a few people who aren’t yet household names. One of those is Zachary Bookman, CEO of OpenGov. Launched in 2012, OpenGov focuses on helping state and local governments streamline their systems. Think opening up the budget process, setting trackable goals and being more transparent with constituents.

The state of Ohio, which used OpenGov to drill down on local spending, went from #46 in financial transparency to #1, according to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. Meanwhile an official in Ivins, Utah (population 8,000) was able to cut his budgeting time in half using OpenGov. His experience made Bookman a perfect fit for Monday’s meetings, which were geared toward modernizing the federal government.

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Fintech start-up SoFi is moving into traditional banking

BY LA Times | by AP | June 13th, 2017

Online lender and financial start-up SoFi has taken the first step toward competing with the nation’s biggest banks on their home turf: the checking account.

Last week, the San Francisco provider of student and personal loans submitted an application for federal deposit insurance, a protection normally available only to conventional banks. In its application, the company said its SoFi Bank subsidiary will offer bread-and-butter banking products, including checking accounts, debit cards and eventually credit cards.

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Addepar raises $140 million to help rich people manage their assets

BY Paul Sawers | VentureBeat | June 9th, 2017

Addepar, a company that touts itself as the “operating system for the financial world,” has raised a whopping $140 million in a series D round of funding led by Valor Equity Partners, 8VC, and QuantRes founder Harald McPike.

Founded out of Mountain View, Calif. in 2009, Addepar is a data-driven investment management platform targeted at financial advisers, who use the software to track assets and “visualize” information for their clients. The company also offers APIs to integrate with third-party products, including Salesforce Financial Services Cloud. The company said that it works with hundreds of advisers, endowments, and major financial institutions, with more than $650 billion in assets funneled through its platform — up from $300 billion 18 months ago.

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Has This Silicon Valley Startup Finally Nailed The Indoor Farming Model?

FastCompany.com | by Adele Peters | May 18th, 2017

“I like to call this the cathedral.” So says Matt Barnard, CEO and cofounder of the vertical farming startup Plenty. We’re standing in a room at the company’s headquarters in a former electronics distribution center in South San Francisco, staring up at glowing, 20-foot high towers filled with perfectly formed kale and herbs.

The company isn’t the first to build an indoor urban farm in a warehouse. Aerofarms, for example, grows greens in a 70,000-square foot former steel factory in Newark, New Jersey. Nearby, Bowery, another tech-filled indoor farm, grows what it calls “post-organic,” pesticide-free produce. But Plenty, which has received $26 million in funding to date from investors such as Bezos Expeditions and Innovation Endeavors, believes that it has the technology to grow food more efficiently–at the same cost or less than crops grown in the field–so it can more easily scale up to supply supermarkets around the world.

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For OpenGov, President Trump is proving a boon for business

BY Connie Loizos | TechCrunch | Jan 24th, 2017

OpenGov, a Redwood City, Ca., company whose software helps local governments keep transparent financial records, has been picking up speed in a variety of ways, and co-founder and CEO Zac Bookman traces some of that momentum to the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president.

“We had the best Q1 in company history. It’s typically a quiet quarter, and we blew the top off” our internal projections, says Bookman…

Given the Trump “bump,” we ask Bookman — who has already raised $47 million for OpenGov and will announce a Series C round this year — if he has observed whether governments in so-called blue states and red states are distinct in any way. We ask if they use different products or whether their attitude toward the company itself is discernibly different.

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