Crunchbase News released some striking data this week on the funding market for Series As. As the chart above illustrates, average round size more than doubled over the past five years - it’s now approaching $20M!
The full article also includes a rundown of the most active Series A investors. Insight Partners (historically a growth firm) leads the pack with $1.3B deployed, followed by a16z, Tiger Global, and Sequoia.
The past year marked an interesting shift. 2020’s most active Series A investors were GV and GGV Capital - now, multi-stage firms dominate the list. Are T. Rowe Price and Fidelity next? Crazier things have happened…
📱 PayPal launches super app. PayPal is reinventing itself as a one-stop shop for consumer fintech! The company introduced a bunch of new features, including a high-yield savings account, enhanced bill pay, and crypto trading. PayPal has high expectations for its super app - it wants to compete with neobanks like Chime and eventually mobile brokerages like Robinhood.
🚫 Coinbase cancels Lend. After its public spat with the SEC, Coinbase announced that it’s halting plans to launch Lend. The product, which had a long waitlist, would have allowed users to earn interest on select cryptoassets. Still no word from the SEC about exactly why it threatened to sue Coinbase when other crypto exchanges offer the same product.
🍞 Toast pops in IPO. Restaurant point-of-sale company Toast went public this week. The stock climbed 56% on the first day of trading, ending the week at a $28B market cap (becoming Boston’s largest-ever IPO!). Toast’s software is used in 50k restaurant locations, and saw 3x YoY revenue growth - particularly impressive after the company had to slash half of its workforce at the start of COVID.
🤑 Mega rounds continue. A few funding announcements this week:
Sports NFT game Sorare raised $680M at a $4.3B valuation from SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The company has partnerships with 180 European football orgs, and has enabled $150M of trades from 600k registered users YTD.
Gorillas, a grocery app with 10 min delivery, is (reportedly) raising $950M at a $3B valuation. The round will be led by German company Delivery Hero - Europe is Gorillas’s biggest market, but you’ve likely seen them in NYC too!
Sunday, which allows diners to pay restaurant bills via QR codes on tables, raised a $100M round led by Coatue. The product launched just five months ago but is live at 1.5k restaurants and has been used by 1.1M consumers.
The seed war is heating up! This week, Greylock announced a $500M fund specifically for “day one” companies - 70% of the firm’s new deals thus far in 2021 have been seeds. The news follows a16z’s $400M seed fund and Sequoia’s $195M seed fund, both announced earlier this year.
Between mega-funds moving earlier, dedicated seed funds, and emerging managers - where is all the money going to go? I expect to see more “mango seed” rounds ($4M+), founder bets, & incubations. It’s a good time to be a seed-stage founder!
what i’m following 👀
After studying hundreds of brand accounts, I shared some thoughts on how consumer companies can be successful on TikTok - with examples!
Gen Zers are flummoxing their professors by not understanding file folders.
A look at the software stack that will power the next gen of solo workers.
Loyal raised a $27M Series A to help dogs live longer.
The school year has officially started, unleashing a wave of students looking for part-time internships! I can’t speak for all startup operators, but I’m overwhelmed with emails and LinkedIn DMs from students interested in working with our team at Canal.
How do you stand out from the crowd? Most advice focuses on warm intros - a great strategy, but not feasible for many students. Sometimes cold outreach is your only way in! A few tips on writing a great message:
Find the right person. There are no hard-and-fast rules on who to contact, but try to pick someone in a relevant role (don’t message the CTO about marketing!) with an appropriate level of seniority (the CEO likely isn’t the right contact at a 50+ person company).
Signal interest. Demonstrate that you’ve done your research on what the company does, and that you’re genuinely interested in its vision + mission! It’s shocking how many people don’t do this - I always respond to the ones who do.
Reference relevant experience. The idea of managing someone who is starting from scratch can be intimidating. It’s helpful to demonstrate that you have some experience and skills in the industry and/or function.
Be specific. Talk about the specific types of projects and tasks you could work on. Some companies have lots of ideas, while others need inspiration! You can also mention your time availability + location.
Keep it short. Your message should fit in one Gmail window - most people don’t have the attention span for anything longer (Yes, I realize the irony of this). Concise communication is a skill.
In many cases, the biggest cost of hiring an intern isn’t monetary - it’s time. Your message should convey that you’re self-sufficient, resourceful, and detail-oriented. Make it clear that the team won’t have to chse you for unfinished deliverables or redo poor quality work.
The example above isn’t a perfect template, but I hope it’s a helpful start!
If you’ve successfully cold emailed your way into an internship (or if you’ve hired an intern via a cold email), I’d love to hear what worked! Message me on Twitter (@venturetwins) or respond to this email.
Vetamer Capital Management launched a talent network to find opportunities at portfolio companies.
Dorm Room Fund just opened applications for student investment partners in Philly, NYC, Boston, and SF.
Plastiq - Strategy & Financial Ops Analyst (SF, Remote)
JP Morgan - Growth Equity Associate (SF)
Otter - Market Launcher (SF)
Forward - Growth Ops Generalist (SF)
PinataFarms - Chief of Staff (LA)
Two Sigma Ventures - Associate (NYC)
Pinwheel - Chief of Staff (NYC)
Fractal Software - Research Investment Associate (NYC)
Sunday - Operations Associate (NYC)
Brooklinen - Finance & Strategy Analyst (NYC)
Rough Draft Ventures - Venture Fellow (Remote)
Dorm Room Fund - Investment Partner (Remote)
Zillow - Biz Ops & Strategy Intern (Remote)
Cerebral - Growth Marketing Product Intern (Remote)
Modern Fertility - Strategy & Ops Intern (SF)
Flip Fit - Social Media Marketing Intern (LA)
Wondery - Marketing Intern (LA)
Elevate Brands - BD Intern (Austin)
Dataiku - Partner Ops Intern (NYC)
Instagram - Brand Design Intern (NYC)
puppy of the week 🐶
Meet Leo, a seven-month-old Golden Show Cocker Spaniel that lives in England.
He enjoys hanging out at the beach (and the lake), playing in leaves, and eating pupsicles.
Follow him on Instagram @_leo.and.me!