Our Q2 2016 Round-Up
By Angela, July 06, 2016
Hope you had a great Canada Day and Fourth of July weekend!
Here’s a quick recap of some of this quarter’s news clippings for V1 and our portfolio companies. Keep in mind that these are just the things that have been announced publicly; other equally important and interesting things have been happening behind the scenes too.
We made three new investments this quarter. They are all yet to be announced but include our first Fintech company, a dev tool company and knowledge management company.
Portfolio companies in the news
Seattle-based sales tech company Outreach raised more $17.5 million in Series B funding. Outreach is used by sales professionals at companies like Adobe and Zillow, giving them a customizable workflow to communicate with clients and prospects. It integrates with Salesforce’s CRM solutions, with plans for Microsoft Dynamics in the works too.
Retailer Frank + Oak, known for making high quality fashion for millennial males, announced its plans to launch a womenswear collection this fall. The collection (which will comprise of clothing, outerwear and bags), is said to have “functional, modern-day classics that stay true to Frank + Oak’s masculine origins, but with a feminine touch.”
In other news, Shippo announced new partnerships with both Stripe and UberRUSH. This means that businesses using Stripe can get discounted shipping rates and purchase labels directly from Shippo. Businesses using Shippo in San Francisco, NYC, and Chicago now can offer local customers on-demand delivery via UberRUSH.
And in June, Figure 1 – which started out as a photo-sharing app and network for medical professionals – announced it’s adding direct messaging to its platform. In the words of TechCrunch, “showing signs the startup wants to be more of a Facebook and less of an Instagram in its field.”
Looking ahead: what we’re excited about
Back in February, we published a more focused investment thesis centered on network effects. We still like marketplaces (and recently syndicated our marketplace handbook in deck form), but we’re also looking toward the AI/ML space. Some themes that we’re currently exploring include:
- Autonomous vehicles and drones
- Commoditized robots with command line in the cloud
- Automating enterprise processes
- Data analysis for large verticals
Moving forward, we’re excited to meet great founders working on interesting ideas that leverage strong network effects – including marketplaces, social, SaaS, or AI/ML.
And finally, this has been an emotional quarter for the V1 family, as we are heartbroken by the passing of Jon Zimmerman, founder of Front Desk. For those of you lucky enough to have met or known Jon over the years, you know that he was an amazing entrepreneur and even better person. We are all better for having known you, Jon.