Venture Capital

Y Combinator takes machine intelligence startups to school and learns a thing or two

 Machine intelligence startups are the black sheep of the startup world. The new kids on the block are challenging investors to do their technical homework and differentiate themselves in intentional ways. Y Combinator joined a growing list of investors offering exclusive services to these companies in a specialized AI track for its latest S17 batch of startups. In the competitive world of… Read More

VC doors are wide open for real estate startups

 Over the last couple of decades, online streaming, shopping and social networking startups have revolutionized the art of sitting around the house. Now, a new generation of internet entrepreneurs is focusing on getting us a better house to sit ar...

SoftBank pours $4.4B into WeWork

 WeWork just announced that it’s receiving a massive $4.4 billion investment from SoftBank Group and SoftBank Vision Fund. It’s been less than a month since WeWork announced $500 million in funding for a standalone WeWork China business, which SoftBank participated in. It’s also launching in Japan through a joint venture with SoftBank — so this funding deepens an… Read More

Descartes Labs raises $30 million Series B for its brand of geospatial analytics

 Descartes Labs is announcing a $30 million Series B this morning in a large round led by March Capital. This comes just three months after one of Descartes’ largest competitors, Orbital Insight, closed its own $50 million Series C with Sequoia. Both Descartes and Orbital are playing in the emerging market of geospatial analytics. These companies use machine learning to produce insights… Read More

The top 7 startups from Y Combinator S’17 Demo Day 2

 Day two of YC S’17 brought us autonomous store checkout, cannabis genomics and at home fertility testing. We whittled down the strong day of pitches to just seven hot companies. These are the startups our writers and the investors we spoke with were most excited about. If you want to check out the full list of startups from day 2 you can read about them here.  Additional reporting by… Read More

Here is Uber’s first pitch deck

 On the ninth anniversary of the founding of Uber, its co-founder Garrett Camp shared the company’s initial pitch deck via a personal Medium post. The deck, and the short post, comes off quite sentimental because of how much has happened to the company since it was created. But company growth and drama aside, there’s a lot to be learned from Uber’s 25 slide deck. Enjoy the… Read More

This 23-year-old just closed her second fund — which is focused on aging — with $22 million

 Laura Deming is not your typical venture capitalist. Then again, she isn’t typical in many ways. For starters, the 23-year-old, New Zealand native was home schooled, developing a love of math and physics and, perhaps most interestingly, the biology of aging, along the way. In fact, she became so preoccupied with the last that at age 11, Deming wrote to Cynthia Kenyon, a renowned… Read More

Geoff Lewis has left Founders Fund to start his own fund

 Geoff Lewis has left Founders Fund, where he was partner, and is starting a venture fund of his own. This means he’ll no longer be working with Peter Thiel, directly anyway. Founders Fund will be one of his LPs. The news was first reported by Bloomberg, which said that he intends to raise more than $100 million for the new fund. We understand that the exact amount has not been… Read More

Elucd’s polling pushes for greater community accountability for police

 From his time working as the wunderkind pollster for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign to the launch of his new startup, Elucd, Michael Simon has believed in the power of community feedback. At Elucd, which is graduating from the latest batch of Y Combinator startups, Simon is looking to take the skills he’d honed on the campaign trail and apply them to one of the… Read More

Social Capital adds a new partner to the mix: Mike Ghaffary

 If you’ve worked in tech in the Bay Area over the last decade or more, you quite possibly know Mike Ghaffary, a USC grad who nabbed both his MBA and JD from Harvard before beginning to work his way through a number of well-known institutions. Read More

Andrew Ng is raising a $150M AI Fund

 We knew that Andrew Ng had more than just a series of deep learning courses up his sleeve when he announced the first phase of his deeplearning.ai last week. It’s clear now that the turn of Ng’s three part act is a $150 million venture capital fund, first noted by PEHub, targeting AI investments. Ng, who formerly founded Google’s Brain Team and served as chief scientist at… Read More