After an intense workout, downing a bottle of Gatorade may feel refreshing but it’s not doing your body any favors – a 20 oz bottle of Gatorade has 34g of sugar; effectively negating your workout. As wellness continues to gain popularity and influence fitness, dietary habits, and metabolic health, people are increasingly conscious about healthy alternatives to combat hydration and replenish electrolytes. Cure Hydration is the organic, plant-based hydration powder mix that has 4x the electrolytes of popular sports drinks without the added sugar; the company uses natural, organic coconut water as a base. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Lauren Picasso to learn more about how training for a triathlon inspired the company, the company’s experience distributing to essential stores during the pandemic, recent round of funding from investors that include Lerer Hippeau, M3 Ventures, Litani Ventures, Andy Roddick, Nas, Matthew Dellavedova, Philip Krim, Nick Green, and others.
The importance of agile supply chains has never before been more important as companies need to adjust quickly to respond to market volatility, economic uncertainty, and shifts in consumer behavior. Gooten is an e-commerce supply chain platform for the on-demand manufacturing of printed items that allows merchants to quickly route and fulfill orders from over 45 global manufacturers seamlessly. This is done through a simple API that allows e-commerce stores to turn images into print-ready files, verify addresses, list products, optimize shipping, and more. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO Brian Rainey to learn more about Gooten, the impact it’s making in expanding online commerce, and the company’s future plans.
ShopKeep, the integrated POS solution provider, has agreed to be acquired by Montreal-based Lightspeed. The acquisition is for $440M in a cash and stock deal based on Lightspeed’s current stock price.
Freshly, the meal delivery service for freshly-prepared meals, has agreed to be acquired by global food conglomerate Nestle for $950M with an additional $550M in earnouts possible.
Lunchbox, cofounded by Nabeel Alamgir, helps restaurants develop digital ordering experiences on their own websites and apps, reducing the reliance on third-party platforms that charge debilitating commissions at a time when restaurants are struggling for survival. Alamgir walks us through Lunchbox and how it plans to use this recent funding to scale its team, provide more products that will level the playing field for restaurants, and the company’s recent funding (at a reported $100M valuation) from investors that include Coatue, Tom Colicchio, Scott Belsky, Michael Vaughn, Robert Early, Bryan Ciambella, and Reshma Saujani.
The pandemic has led to a profound increase in online consumer spending online with an increase of 52% or $466B between March-September. Yet for startup employees, the uncertainty of the economy can be worrisome. E-commerce transaction marketing platform firm Rokt raised an unexpected Series D round to provide some liquidity to its employees to serve as reassurance and support its growth. Rokt powers the “AHA-moment” of many large online merchants like Ticketmaster, Fanatics, GoDaddy, and Staples and offers seamless add-on purchases from both the merchant and its own marketplace. In less than a year, Rokt’s valuation has increased by 42% to $450M+, the company is on track to expand its headcount from 260 to 400 by the end of 2021, and the company’s weekly revenue averages $2-3M per week, back to pre-pandemic levels. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Bruce Buchanan to discuss learn more about the motivation for this funding round, Rokt’s plans to expand into new verticals and markets, and the company’s impressive traction. The company has now raised a total of $162M in funding from investors that include Square Peg Capital, Moelis Australia Asset Management, Time Inc., TDM Growth Partners, Lachlan Murdoch, Greg Roebuck, and John Ho.
Shopping for swimwear can be nerve-racking but it doesn’t have to be. Direct-to-consumer brand Andie offers a stylish but functional line of swimwear designed for women, by women that takes the headache out of shopping for the perfect beach or poolside attire. CEO Melanie Travis walks us through the company’s expansion, impressive traction, and recent funding round from investors that include City Rock Venture Partners, Trail Mix Ventures, and Sonostar Ventures.
As a patient in the healthcare system, you’re the customer but more often than not, it does not feel like. Tend is the modern dental studio that brings a customer-centric experience to dentistry, borrowing practices from the hospitality industry. Whether it’s in-person or through a virtual consultation, Tend places an emphasis on reducing the anxiety associated with a visit to the dentist. For example, patients can drift into their favorite Netflix show while undergoing treatments. In addition to routine cleanings, Tend offers teeth whitening, braces, root canals, veneers, and more. Next year, the company, still less than a year old, plans to expand into direct-to-consumer oral health products for its customers. CEO Doug Hudson shares more about the experience of building Tend 150-person team, the company’s geographic expansion plans, and most recent round of funding from investors that include GV, Juxtapose, Redpoint, Tiger Global, Zigg Capital and Good Friends, the fund formed by the founders of allbirds, Harry’s, and Warby Parker.
Conjure (formerly Mobley) offers a flexible furniture rental model that gives customers access to designer-curated furniture pieces and home accessories for 3-12 months. The service also includes free assembly and delivery as well as the option to trade-in, purchase, or return pieces at the end of the lease term. AlleyWatch caught up with COO and Cofounder Aditya Khilnani to learn more about how Conjure impacts the home décor industry, makes designer furniture accessible, and the company’s recent funding from investors that include Pillar VC, RiverPark Ventures, and CoVenture.
After an early career in investment banking and a Harvard MBA, Andrew Forman cofounded Givz, a SaaS-based, social impact marketing platform that has worked with blue-chip clients ranging from sports leagues to major clothing retailers and beverage companies. Andrew shares more on the company’s impact during COVID and future plans.
“OffLimits is run by a team of creatives who don’t fit into any one market. We represent countercultures: punk rockers, K-Pop stans, skaters, kids, adults, artists, and anyone who loves cereal. We’re on a mission to build a community of like-minded people who question the status quo and challenge the way things are.” CEO and Founder Emily Elyse Miller discusses launching a counter-culture cereal brand that she contends addresses a culture rooted in racism, sexual repression, misogyny, and bad ingredients.