For many, the pandemic has made us reevaluate how we view our living situations and our possessions. As millions flocked to remote lifestyles, they were also forced to downsize and shed items including clothing. Wardrobe is a peer-to-peer fashion rental marketplace that allows users to rent out their fashion items to aspiring fashionistas and earn. For renters, they are able to access high-end and unique items while participating in a sustainable circular economy at a time where $400B+ of clothing is discarded each year. The company, founded in 2018, uses retail dry cleaning locations as hubs for its service where renters can pick up and drop off clothing if they are in NYC. The dry cleaners also provide storage and cleaning while earning incremental revenue. Items can also be shipped nationwide for those not near a hub. Wardrobe charges ~35% of the rental fee as a service charge. AlleyWatch caught up with Wardrobe CEO and Founder Adarsh Alphons to learn more about how Wardrobe is making fashion more sustainable, the company’s celebrities influencers, strategic plans, latest funding round from investors that include Slow Ventures, Foundation Capital, Neil Parikh, and Leon Bridges.
Funded in New York
The customer data platform market size is expected to grow to $15.3B by 2026; that’s just the platform market. The value of the data that these platforms contain is worth much more; when this data is harness correctly, the value increases even more. Providing personalized experiences has become of paramount importance to brands in today’s demanding digital environment but managing the data intake, processing, and management process has become n tedious task for many, especially at scale. mParticle is a customer data infrastructure platform that allows businesses to manage the massive data opportunities available, through a single platform, allowing them to focus on delivering superior customer experiences rather than spending valuable internal resources managing data. Organizations can manage data from disparate sources, ensuring that data quality is preserved, privacy requirements are maintained, and the data is accessible to all facets of the organization. With a single API, teams can access customer data as well as sync data with 300+ marketing and analytics APIs. The data-infrastructure-as-a-service platform is trusted by organizations across a breadth of industries; clients include Klarna, NBCUniversal, Spotify, and Airbnb. AlleyWatch caught up with mParticle CEO, Cofounder, and serial entrepreneur Michael Katz to learn more about how the digitization during COVID has changed customer behavior to make customer data solutions critical for brands, strategic plans, latest round of funding led by Permira.
Microbes are essential to all life on earth and, in fact, the most dominant form of life on Earth. The study of microbes has historically advanced society in numerous ways such as the creation of the first smallpox vaccine, identifying the causes of cholera, tuberculosis, and anthrax, and the discovery of penicillin. Today, microbes in controlled settings can improve healthcare, food production, and agricultural output. Kingdom Supercultures is a designer and supplier of microbial strains that are naturally found in food. By using experimental and computational approaches for formulation, the company is able to provide the raw ingredients for use in manufacturing plant-based food, fermented beverages, and personal care products. There are over 6000 food additives – flavoring, glazing agents, bleaching agents, improvers, etc. – that are used to process foods that we’re told are harmless but, in reality, are anything but and never found in natural food. Kingdom Supercultures offers a viable substitute, at scale, to these ingredients to ensure that the future of food production and consumer goods is with real, natural ingredients, free of manipulation and processing aids. AlleyWatch caught up with Kingdom Supercultures CEO and Cofounder Kendall Dabaghi to learn more about the company’s ambition mission to reframe the way we think about food production, strategic plans, latest found of funding from investors that include Shine Capital. In addition to Shine Capital, this funding round was supported by Valor, Tao, Lux, SALT, Reference, and Digitalis
Everything you need to need to know about the largest NYC startup funding rounds of Q3 2021; broken down by industry, stage, investors, and more…
Malls, Claire’s, tattoo parlors, a friend’s house, and jewelry stores may seemingly not have anything in common but these are the common venues people frequent in order to get their ears pierced, each offering a varied experience. Millennials and Gen Z favor experiences over possessions and getting your ears pierced at any of these places is not consistent with the new experiential economy. Studs has built the first-of-its-kind modern ear piercing studio that caters to the piercing needs of today’s most discerning millennials and Gen Zs. With a devout focus on customer experience, patrons at the studio receive personal consultations aided through technology and aftercare check-ins to ensure the entire experience is personalized. The company, founded in 2019, also offers accessibly-priced trend-driven earrings, both at its studio and direct-to-consumer online. AlleyWatch caught up with Studs Cofounder and CEO Anna Harman to learn more about the inspiration for the business, strategic plans, building in-person retail and e-commerce lines in tandem, latest round of funding from Spark Capital, Thrive Capital, First Round Capital, and Lerer Hippeau.
Over $4B in new capital deployed during September. Learn more about some of the ground-breaking rounds that shaped the NYC funding landscape.
Francis Bacon is credited with using the phrase “knowledge is power” in the late 16th century. 400+ years later, the phrase is still very applicable. The advent internet of the internet has exponentially increased the amount of information available both publicly and privately. AlphaSense is a market intelligence platform for corporations that uses NLP and AI to extract relevant insights from over 10,000 premium business sources that include analyst research, transcripts, SEC filings, and news sources. The platform saves businesses countless hours and ensures they are not missing potentially market-moving content. The company has built a strong presence within financial institutions, where the timely synthesis of information can translate into millions of dollars, but the platform is versatile enough to be used in any application that relies on mission-critical information. The company works with 1800+ customers, including a large portion of the SP 500, and the team has scaled to close to 500 employees since its founding in 2011. AlleyWatch caught up with AlphaSense CEO Jack Kokko to learn more about the company’s impressive traction, strategic plans, latest round of funding led by Viking Global Investors and the Growth Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
SQL stands for Structured Query Language and it has been the gold standard used to communicate with databases since it was pioneered at IBM in the 1970s. Materialize, a streaming SQL database company, allows businesses to take the already known SQL commands and apply them directly to datasets in real-time, instead of querying databases. Unlocking insights straight from data results in fewer steps, making the data more valuable as there are no lags and results are provided continuously instead of a single point in time as with traditional querying. Materialize is best suited for instances when the same query is repeatedly asked as found in dashboards, reports, automation, and most application code across any setting or industry. The company’s developer community is nearing 1000 members and employee count has grown 63% in the last six months as the company prepares to move into its new headquarters at the old Slack New York offices. AlleyWatch caught up with Materialize CEO and Cofounder Arjun Narayan to learn more about how the company is making streaming data accessible without specialized knowledge, future strategic plans, and latest round of funding led by Redpoint Ventures.
Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) requirements typically require financial institutions to rely on numerous third-party data providers for both onboarding and ongoing monitoring. Digitally-focused financial providers (neo-banks, fintech startups, global banks, and platform banks) face the decision to build systems in-house, a resource-intensive process, or rely on third-party integrations that are available in order to be compliant. Alloy, a complete identity decisioning and monitoring platform, makes that decision easy with its infrastructure-as-a-service platform. Launched in 2015, the company streamlines the onboarding process aided with automation and supports the customer lifecycle with ongoing monitoring to flag potential fraud and minimize risk. Alloy integrates with 120+ sources to ensure that its customers are able to build a complete and accurate picture of their customers and their financial transactions. The company has 200+ clients and has tripled its revenue in the last year. AlleyWatch caught up with Alloy Cofounder and CRO Laura Spiekerman to learn more about NYC’s newest unicorn, how streamlining identity decisioning and monitoring spurs innovation in digital finance, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding from investors that include Lightspeed Venture, Canapi Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Avid Ventures, and Felicis Ventures.
Employee benefits or non-wage compensation is growing in importance and the pandemic has further solidified this trend as employees are re-evaluating their relationship with work. For example, there’s been a pronounced increase in interest in financial health, mental wellbeing, caretaking, and wellness options. Technology has enabled benefits selection and redemption to be a family-wide affair where partners can be included in the decision-making process. Benepass is an employee benefits management platform and card that can manage all benefits, meeting the needs of both employers and employees. The platform allows employers to easily integrate all their pre-tax benefits given to employees along with perks into a unified mobile app and card that gives employees the flexibility to easily access and utilize their benefits. Without Benepass, HR teams were forced to provide a disparate experience to employees, encompassing several benefit providers without a unifying resource or any personalization options. The company’s benefit card is usable everywhere VISA is accepted. In an era where the competition for talent has become relentless, Benepass is ensuring that company’s have benefits management solidified for their workforce.
AlleyWatch caught up with Benepass CEO Jaclyn Chen to learn about how she successfully navigated the fundraising process while serving on a grand jury, the company’s strategic plans, and latest round of funding led by Threshold Ventures.
Building a culture of learning is of critical importance for today’s workforce. Employees must be engaged and given growth opportunities in order for an organization to scale to meet its strategic and operational goals. However, most organizations have focused on providing the requisite talent development programs largely to senior-level personnel or through blanket non-specific offerings. GrowthSpace is a talent development platform that focuses on progress-based training, coaching, and mentoring. The platform is data-focused to ensure that employees are matched with relevant experts and that the custom programs are supporting company objectives while measuring outcomes and progression. Each custom program is designed as Founded in 2019, GrowthSpace is at use at companies like Dynamic Yield (also an investor), Johnson & Johnson, Nespresso, and Siemens, whose workforce are accessing 600+ experts in 300+ subject matters. CEO and Cofounder Omer Glass to learn more about the future of leadership development, the company’s strategic plans, and latest round of funding led by M12 Ventures and Vertex Ventures.