Welcome back! We hope everyone had a restful holiday! While we’re ready to look ahead and embrace 2017, here’s a quick recap of the major activity across our portfolio last quarter. We’re looking forward to continuing this momentum into the new year.
Portfolio companies in the news
In continuing to be the consumer’s financial advocate, Trim launched a chatbot that helps renegotiate your Comcast bill. If you think you might be paying too much for your service and don’t feel like dealing with Comcast’s customer service, let Trim’s robot give it a shot. As CEO Thomas Smyth told VentureBeat, “Basically we want to see how many people we can help before Comcast shuts us down.”
Frank + Oak (who was named innovator of the year by Canadian Business) announced the launch of its 50/50 Founders’ Fund, in partnership with General Assembly. This seed-stage fund is named 50/50 since Frank + Oak plans to grant 50 percent of the fund to female entrepreneurs and 50 percent of the fund to male entrepreneurs. You can read more about the Fund here.
Mattermark released the newest version of their iOS app: it’s totally free and puts details about 1.7 million companies in your pocket. Shippo completed their integration with Stripe, making it simpler than ever to print labels and ship packages from Stripe.
Both Abstract (who’s building a common infrastructure to support the modern design workflow) and Manifold (working to secure and manage config secrets across teams, environments and services) released their private alphas.
Clio and Top Hat ranked in the Deloitte Fast 50. Geekwire named Outreach one of the top 10 transformational Seattle startups, and Top Hat got some great press from the Globe and Mail and Financial Post for its success in the Edtech market.
Both Outreach and Top Hat added some star power to their teams. Top Hat added Nick Stein as its first CMO, while Outreach had three high-profile hirings: former LinkedIn exec Sarah Imbach joined the board of directors; former T-Mobile VP Matt Millen joined as Senior VP of Revenue Operations, and former Salesforce exec Katie Doyle was hired as VP of Marketing.
Matt Munson shared an honest and transparent account of his and Twenty20’s journey: How I Burned 10 Million Dollars So You Don’t Have To (An Education in Humility, Humanity, and Leadership). It’s recommended reading for everyone.
And last but not least: in exit news, Julep was acquired by the newly formed Glansaol (who’s also acquiring Laura Geller and Clark’s Botanicals). All of Julep’s 143 employees will remain with the new company.
Our companies are hiring in SF, Toronto, New York, Seattle, Vancouver, Montreal, Edmonton… so if you’re looking for cool opportunities – ping us and we’ll help you navigate our portfolio.
Catch up on our blog
A few weeks ago, we published our second eBook on social platforms which covers everything from messaging to networks, and communities to enterprise collaboration.
We also hosted our first marketplace meetup in SF in October. In case you missed it, here is a series of blog posts recapping the event.
- Growth strategies for marketplaces: key takeaways from a fireside chat on growth
- Should you move to a managed marketplace model?
- Growing your B2B marketplace
- How Indiegogo grew its business
Last quarter, we also wrote about developing and empowering those in our ecosystem:
- One of the few girls in the room: How do we accelerate equality in tech?
- Announcing Canada Learning Code: Supporting bottom-up innovation
- Creative Destruction Lab West: Helping create the next generation of entrepreneurs