Modi and Hardy’s Bobbie raises $15M in Series A funding led by VMG Partners

From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing June 7, 2021

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Tinsleys YellowBird secures $1.7M in seed funding

YellowBird, which was co-founded by Michelle Tinsley, is set to take flight after landing seed funding. The Phoenix company secured $1.7 million from Ridgepeak Partners and Revelry Venture Partners.

YellowBird has created a marketplace that matches vetted risk and environmental, health and safety professionals with businesses on demand. Services include OSHA incident investigations and mock audits, industrial hygiene, on-site safety manager and custom projects and training. Michelle, who is chief operating officer, founded the company with Michael Zalle, who is CEO.

Amodei’s Anthropic raises $124M in Series A funding

An AI safety and research company co-founded by Daniela Amodei secures funding. Anthropic raised $124 million in Series A funding led by Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn with participation from James McClave, Dustin Moskovitz, Center for Emerging Risk Research, Eric Schmidt and others.

Based in San Francisco, Anthropic was developed to build reliable, interpretable, and steerable AI systems with research in natural language, human feedback, scaling laws, reinforcement learning, code generation and interpretability. Large, general systems of today can have significant benefits, but can also be unpredictable, unreliable, and opaque; Anthropic’s goal is to make progress on these issues. For now, the company is primarily focused on research towards these goals but foresees many opportunities to create value commercially and for public benefit. Daniela created the company with her brother, Dario Amodei.

The SoftBank Latin Armerica Fund leads Espinosa’s Kushki’s $86M Series B round

An Ecuadorian payment platform co-founded by Daniela Espinosa lands capital. According to TechCrunch, Kushki raised $86 million in Series B funding led by SoftBank Latin America Fund, along with previous investors including DILA Capital, Kaszek, Clocktower Technology Ventures and Magma Partners.

Kushki is a payment platform tailor-made for Latin America that uses local logic and pricing and can be rapidly integrated. Unlike many other fintechs in Latin America that are out to help the unbanked, Kushki works behind the scenes building the tech infrastructure that companies use to transfer money. Some of the functionalities they build enable both local and cross-border payment players in credit and debit cards, bank transfers, digital cash, mobile wallets, and other alternative payment methods.

The company already has operations in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile, and the new funding will be used to accelerate growth and expand to Brazil and nine other markets in Central America.

McDowell-led Opopop secures $5M in Series A funding

Investors bite into a popcorn brand led by Sarah McDowell. Opopop secured $5 million in a Series A investment led by Valor Siren Ventures with participation from Peter Rahal, Tiësto, Jimmy Chin and Batsh** Crazy Ventures.

The Denver-based popcorn brand is launching a product line called Flavor Wrapped™ Popcorn Kernels following the Series A funding, where each kernel is individually wrapped in flavor prior to popping. In a statement, Sarah said, “the potential for Opopop feels bigger than anything that I’ve ever worked on and I’m really excited about it.”

Sarah has prior executive experience at food brands such as General Mills and LÄRABAR.

Jansen-led Forensic Access makes an acquisition

Forensic Access, whose CEO is Rachel Jansen, makes its second acquisition since being acquired by a private equity firm last year. Terms of Forensic Access’ purchase of Alecto Forensic Services were not disclosed.

Based in Swindon, UK, Alecto specializes in forensic: anthropology, archaeology, ecology, imaging, proficiency testing, case reviews and CSI/forensic training.

Forensic Access provides advice, guidance and science across sectors of criminal and private sector justice. Based in Oxfordshire, UK it specifically focuses on firearms and ballistics, fingerprints, forensic biology and DNA, animal forensics and a wide range of niche forensic and medico-legal capabilities.

Both Forensic Access and Forensic Axis Limited were founded by Angela Gallop and both were acquired in 2020 by Limerston Capital. Earlier this year, Forensic Access announced that it had acquired IntaForensics, which specializes in digital forensics and cyber security.

Kaderali’s Mommy’s Bliss is acquired by Swander Pace Capital

Swander Pace Capital acquires an all-natural health and wellness brand for babies, kids, moms and moms-to-be founded by Roshan Kaderali and led by her daughter Yasmin Kaderali.

Based in Richmond, Calif., Mommy’s Bliss, Inc. was founded in 1999 by Roshan, a mother of three, who introduced Gripe Water, an herbal digestive supplement for infants, to the United States while working in the medical field as a pediatric nurse, midwife and doula. The Mommy’s Bliss product line now includes more than 40 wellness products for families, focusing on digestive support, probiotics, vitamins, sleep support and immunity products.

In a statement, Yasmin said, “for 22 years we have been on a mission to help moms everywhere bond with their babies and children by creating high-quality, trusted products incorporating effective ingredients from around the world. We recently expanded our reach to pregnant and postpartum moms, combining our mommy wisdom and innovation to create products that truly meet the needs of all moms. We are excited to partner with Swander Pace Capital, which has deep experience in the consumer product sector, to help us continue our growth, drive further innovation, and take our mission to an even higher level.”

Swander Pace Capital is a private equity firm that invests in companies that are integral to consumers’ lives.

Investors pump $37M into Segal’s DayTwo 

Investors pump additional capital into DayTwo, whose founder and CEO is Lihi Segal and which is developing a glycemic control solution for people with type 2 diabetes. The company raised $37 million from Poalim Capital Markets, La’maison Fund, Micron Ventures, and existing investors aMoon and Cathay Innovation. It now has raised $85 million. The company’s prior investors include Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. and Seventure Partners, whose CEO and managing partner is Isabelle de Cremoux.

With locations in Tel Aviv, Israel and San Francisco, DayTwo has developed a method to accurately predict an individual’s glycemic response to specific foods and food combinations using an individual’s microbiome and other clinical factors. The company, in turn, is able to offer personalized diet and nutrition plans. It currently has 70,000 users in Israel and the United States and employs 130 people.

Lihi co-founded DayTwo in 2015 with Marius Nacht, Yuval Ofek and Yair Schindel. Previously, she was COO and CFO of Sisense, a provider of business intelligence and analytics software.

Abani-led AliveCor purchases CardioLabs

AliveCor, Inc., a venture-backed provider of cardiology solutions whose CEO is Priya Abani, does an acquisition. Terms of AliveCor’s purchase of CardioLabs were not disclosed.

CardioLabs is an independent diagnostic testing facility that provides monitoring and cardiac diagnostic services. Mountain View, Calif.-based AliveCor said the acquisition enables it to extend its comprehensive cardiological services to patients who are prescribed monitoring devices by their health care providers.

AliveCor in November raised $65 million in Series E funding that was led by Omron, Khosla Ventures, WP Global Partners, Qualcomm Ventures and Bold Capital Partners. The company’s products have served more than 1 million customers.

Priya joined the company as CEO in 2019. She most recently was general manager for devices and enablement at Amazon.

Hu’s One Concern raises $45M from Sompo Holdings

Sompo Holdings backs a company co-founded by Nicole Hu with a mission to make disasters less disastrous. According to TechCrunch, One Concern raised $45 million from Sompo. The investment is part of a total $100 million, multi-year deal that will plug One Concern’s platform into the Japanese market.

Based in Menlo Park, One Concern provides a resilience-as-a-service solution that helps customers uncover, prepare for and mitigate unpredictable disaster risk such as earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters. The company’s probabilistic modeling can show the potential impact on a local community. The investment will help the company expand its core capabilities in AI-enabled resilience solutions and disaster-risk mitigation technologies.

Pancoast’s The Beans secures $2M to help get rid of financial stress for early-career professionals

A company founded by Melissa Pancoast raises capital to eliminate financial stress for early-career professionals. The Beans secured $2 million in funding in a round led by Precursor Ventures, with participation from Relay Ventures, One Planet, Swing Ventures and Oxford Angel Fund, as well as a group of angel investors.

The San-Francisco technology company builds financial plans that empower early career professionals to stress less about money and focus on what they love. The new funding will be used on technology and product development, as well as new hires.

In a statement, Melissa said, “The Beans’ unique visual financial planning shows you all of your resources and enables you to divvy them up across categories so you can discover if you have enough money. We are excited to put the money to work to grow the team and the technology to extend the reach of the product to new markets. When people are stressed out about their money, they do things to make themselves feel better. We are in the position to be in their headspace and then be like the Nike training club to train them on how to get there.”

Modi and Hardy raises $15M for their organic infant formula company, Bobbie

An organic infant formula company co-founded by Laura Modi and Sarah Hardy laps up funding. Bobbie raised $15 million in Series A funding led by VMG Partners.

Based in San Francisco, Bobbie sells direct-to-consumer and offers a subscription service. Disappointed by the grocery store formula’s ingredients, Laura and Sarah collaborated to bring a European-style formula recipe to U.S. parents. The funding will be used for product development, branding and hiring.

In a statement, Laura said, “the world of infant formula involves a lagging product. People are seeking out products you yourself had in the 1980s. The science has changed, and baby food is changing, and infant formula needs to catch up.”

Bolt Partner Kate McAndrew was involved in the company’s 2018 $2.5 million seed round.

Walsh-led YDesign Group has been sold

YDesign Group, whose CEO is Laura Walsh, has been sold by its private equity owner to a private equity-backed company. Terms of Alpine Investors’ sale of YDesign to Design Holding S.p.A. were not disclosed.

An online destination for modern and contemporary design products, YDesign offers a curated selection of lighting, furniture and décor from more than 300 brands. Alpine had owned the San Francisco company since 2008. Design Holding is controlled by Investindustrial and The Carlyle Group.

Trilogy Equity leads $7M Series A round for Freeman-led Ganaz

Investors plant capital in a startup led by Hannah Freeman that is focused on bringing workforce management and financial tools to the agricultural industry. According to GeekWire, Ganaz raised $7 million in a Series A round led by Trilogy Equity with participation from Bessemer Venture Partners, Founders’ Co-op, Taylor Ventures, AgFunder and Techstars.

Seattle-based Ganaz’s software offers employee onboarding, training, communication and analytics tools to farm workers, growers and food processors across North America. Later this year, the company will expand with a Mastercard Payroll Card service to digitize financial paperwork for its customers. The company hopes to eliminate paper checks, which Hannah said in a statement that 90 percent of the industry still uses. Hannah also explained in a statement that she hopes to expand to eight additional countries, primarily in Latin America, by the end of the year.

Ekelund’s

A Swedish online office platform co-founded by Charlotte Ekelund raises funds. Teemyco secured $3.2 million in a round led by 42CAP with participation from Antler, Luminar Ventures and angel investors Mehdi Ghissassi and Keith Richman.

Based in Stockholm, Teemyco is a startup developing a virtual office space for dispersed employees to meet through voice and video connections. Companies can utilize the service to have co-workers all in the same virtual room and use voice and video tech to interact with each other with no need for any special links. The company plans to invest the funds in refining the product with new features, such as allowing companies to customize their virtual office space created on the platform.

In a statement, Charlotte said, “during our closed beta in 2020, users told us they love the seamlessness, seeing what is going on, the ease to co-work in the same virtual room and the fact that no links are needed to talk when needed. With this new design we add further customization opportunities. Users want it to be their branded office, not the Teemyco software.”

Oakley Capital’s Oakley Capital Origin Fund acquires Salzmann-led Afterbuy

A German e-commerce software provider led by Daliah Salzmann gets acquired by a private equity firm. Oakley Capital’s Oakley Capital Origin Fund acquired controlling stakes in Afterbuy, led by Daliah, and DreamRobot, which will be combined to become ECOMMERCE ONE Group.

The two companies provide a comprehensive suite of software-as-a-service solutions for small to mid-sized online merchants selling their products through web shops and online marketplaces. The platform enables its users to manage and automate difficult, manual and time-critical processes, such as multi-channel product listing, data collection and stock management. Oakley will support the growth of the businesses through its operational experience and software buy-and-build expertise.

In a statement, Daliah said, “in partnering with Oakley, we look forward to building Germany’s leading e-commerce software provider. A combination of this initial platform investment, a fragmented marketplace and Oakley’s expertise will result in ECOMMERCE ONE being the principal supplier of software solutions to small and medium sized online retailers.”

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