Tech Funding (Mostly) – Dec 2018
Here are a couple of startups (and one GoFundMe page) that have received new funding just before the Christmas holidays. Most of which haven’t entered the Australian market, but still worth keeping your eye out.
Funding amount: $USD 1.2 million
What it does: Bounce is the Airbnb for your belongings. It is an interesting concept where you book a location to drop your belonging off, and pick them up later at the cost of $USD 6/day. They’re already trialing a system where items are transported by local couriers between different storage locations
This is useful for people visiting many places in one day where they don’t need everything at every location e.g. airport layovers or multiple business meetings.
Funding amount: $USD 10 million
What it does: Blind is the anonymous online community of people working in the tech industry. It made headlines as one of the sources exposing the sexual harassment at Uber. See more in their FAQ.
Blind has the potential to be a safe harbor for whistle blowers. But with a recent security breach, they will need to shore up their infrastructure and restore trust with their user base
Funding amount: $USD 125 million (Series C)
What it does: Earnin is allowing workers get paid instantly instead of the regular 2 week + pay cycle. Helping those who are living paycheck to paycheck to access their earned wages faster. All you need is:
- A checking account
- A regular pay schedule
- A fixed work location OR an online timekeeping system at work
This is a really cool concept which bridges the gap between businesses needing to control and report their cash-flow (hence the regular pay cycles) and their employees wanting access to their earned wages/salaries ASAP. Another interesting part of this startup is it’s revenue model of tipping, where user tip the app what they think is a fair amount for using the service. However the sustainability and scalability of this revenue model is questionable.
Funding amount: $USD 150 million ($2USD Billion valuation)
What it does: Discord should be familiar to any online multiplayer gamer. It is the current voice chat app of the choice for most, displacing its predecessors Mumble, Teamspeak and Ventrilo (from personal experience).
The app is extremely user-friend, and with its large gamer user base they will be using the new investment to bolster their challenge of Valve’s Steam game store. With a 90/10 split of revenue between developer and publisher (compared to Steam’s 70/30) Discord is hoping to attract more indie developers onto its platform.
Giant Escalator over Trump’s Wall
Founding amount: $USD 7,309 (Goal of $USD 200 million)
Purpose: After the serious but ridiculous attempt by a triple amputee veteran to crowdfund Trumps Wall, a journalist is running his own Go Fund Me Page to:
build a series of giant escalators that are spaced out a half mile along the wall on either side
Great combination of self promoting (of his newsletter) with making fun of the sitting US president and raising some money for a charity.