Robinhood raises $320M more, bringing its latest round to $600M at an $8.6B valuation

The stakes keep getting higher for American discount brokerage Robinhood, which today disclosed that it has added hundreds of millions of dollars to its previously disclosed funding round.

Including the $ 280 million that the company had already announced, Robinhood said that it was “pleased to share” that it “raised an additional $ 320 million in subsequent closings.” Its now $ 600 million funding round brings its post-money valuation to $ 8.6 billion. Fortune first reported the news.

(A detail, but the new capital is part of the same round as it was raised at the same price. TechCrunch reported when the company’s $ 280 million round was announced, the fintech company was worth $ 8.3 billion. Another $ 300 million in capital at a flat share price means that the company’s valuation should have risen by only the dollar amount added. As it did.)

Robinhood’s new capital was as unsurprising as its first tranche of this megaround; the former startup is seeing demand for its product surge as investors of all sizes take part in the year’s huge equity volatility. Many investing-and-savings-focused fintech companies are enjoying a huge year, as consumers look to hoard and employ their cash.

Robinhood has had a good business year, even if some of its practices have come under fire. The company pledged to tighten up parts of its platform relating to more exotic trading after the suicide of one of its users, for example; a topic that TechCrunch discussed at length last week.

What is inescapable is that Robinhood is having one hell of a year. When it might go public isn’t clear, especially as the private company is having no problem raising capital without an IPO. But as its value continues to rise, it becomes an increasingly remote acquisition target.

Startups – TechCrunch

[BlueNalu in Business Wire] BlueNalu Signs MOU with Pulmuone, Announces Partnership Bringing Cell-Based Seafood to South Korea

BlueNalu, a leading food technology company developing cell-based seafood products, announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Pulmuone Co. Ltd., a leader in healthy lifestyle and environmentally-friendly food products headquartered in South Korea. Pulmuone also participated in BlueNalu’s A round of financing, which was announced earlier this year

Read more here.

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K4Connect, a startup bringing tech to senior living centers, closes its $21M Series B – TechCrunch

K4Connect, a startup bringing tech to senior living centers, closes its $ 21M Series B  TechCrunch
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Nayya, bringing transparency to choosing and managing healthcare plans, raises $2.7 million

Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator -backed Nayya is on a mission to simplify choosing and managing employee benefits through machine learning and data transparency.

The company has raised $ 2.7 million in seed funding led by Social Leverage with participation from Guardian Strategic Ventures, Cameron Ventures, Soma Capital, as well as other strategic angels.

The process of choosing an employer-provided healthcare plan and understanding that plan can be tedious at best and incredibly confusing at worst. And that doesn’t even include all of the supplemental plans and benefits associated with these programs.

That’s where Nayya comes in. When enrollment starts, employers send out an email that includes a link to Nayya’s Companion, the company’s flagship product.

Companion helps employees find the plan that is right for them. The software first asks a series of questions about lifestyle, location, etc. For example, Nayya founder and CEO Sina Chehrazi explained that people who bike to work, as opposed to driving in a car, walking or taking public transportation, are 20 times more likely to get into an accident and need emergency services.

Companion asks questions in this vein, as well as questions around whether you take medication regularly or if you expect your healthcare costs to go up or down over the next year, without getting into the specifics of chronic ailments or diseases or particular issues.

Taking that data into account, Nayya then looks at the various plans provided by the employer to show you which one matches the user’s particular lifestyle and budget best.

Nayya doesn’t just pull information directly from the insurance company directory listings, as nearly 40 percent of those listings have at least one error or are out of date. It pulls from a broad variety of data sources, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to get the cleanest, most precise data around which doctors are in network and the usual costs associated with visiting those doctors.

Alongside Companion, Nayya also provides a product called ‘Edison,’ which it has dubbed the Alexa for Helathcare. Users can ask Edison questions like “What is my deductible?” or “Is Dr. So-and-So in my network and what would it cost to go see her?”

The company helps individual users find the right provider for them with the ability to compare costs, location, and other factors involved. Nayya even puts a badge on listings for providers where another employee at the company has gone and had a great experience, giving another layer of validation to that choice.

As the healthtech industry looks to provide easier-to-use healthcare and insurance, the idea of ‘personalization’ has been left behind in many respects. Nayya focuses first and foremost on the end-user and aims to ensure that their own personal healthcare journey is as simple and straightforward as possible, believing that the other pieces of the puzzle will fall into place when the customer is taken care of.

Nayya plans on using the funding to expand the team across engineering, data science, product management and marketing, as well as doubling down on the amount of data the company is purchasing, ingesting and cleaning.

Alongside charging employers on a per seat, per month basis, Nayya is also looking to start going straight to insurance companies with its product.

“The greatest challenge is educating an entire ecosystem and convincing that ecosystem to believe that where the consumer wins, everyone wins,” said Chehrazi. “How to finance and understand your healthcare has never been more important than it is right now, and there is a huge need to provide that education in a data driven way to people. That’s where I want to spend the next I don’t know how many years of my life to drive that change.”

Nayya has five full-time employees currently and 80 percent of the team comes from racially diverse backgrounds.

Startups – TechCrunch

Bringing Innovation With Decentralized Projects, An Interview With Serial Entrepreneur Stelian Balta – GlobeNewswire

Bringing Innovation With Decentralized Projects, An Interview With Serial Entrepreneur Stelian Balta  GlobeNewswire
“startups when:1d” – Google News

The Novel Legal Strategy Bringing This ICO-Backed ‘Micro-Mobility’ Startup to Court – CoinDesk – CoinDesk

The Novel Legal Strategy Bringing This ICO-Backed ‘Micro-Mobility’ Startup to Court – CoinDesk  CoinDesk
“startups when:1d” – Google News

[DreaMed in Yahoo Finance] DreaMed’s Automated Insulin Delivery Technology Is Featured in Medtronic’s New System Bringing Its Vision of Helping People With Type 1 Diabetes to Life

DreaMed Diabetes is announcing the use of its Artificial Pancreas algorithm in Medtronic’s new CE Marked MiniMed 780G Advanced Hybrid Closed Loop system. Collaboration between Medtronic and DreaMed dates back to 2015, when the two companies signed an exclusive worldwide development and license agreement.

Read more here.

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La Haus is bringing US tech services to Latin America’s real estate market

The alchemy for a successful startup can be hard to parse. Sometimes, it’s who you know. Sometimes it’s where you go to school. And sometimes it’s what you do. In the case of La Haus, a startup that wants to bring U.S. tech-enabled real estate services to the Latin American real estate market, it’s all three.

The company was founded by Jerónimo Uribe and Rodrigo Sánchez Ríos, both graduates of Stanford University who previously founded and ran Jaguar Capital, a Colombian real estate development firm that had built over $ 350 million worth of retail and residential projects in the country.

Uribe, the son of the controversial Colombian President Daniel Uribe (who has been accused of financing paramilitary forces during Colombia’s long-running civil war and wire-tapping journalists and negotiators during the peace talks to end the conflict) and Sánchez Ríos, a former private equity professional at the multi-billion-dollar firm Lindsay Goldberg, were exposed to the perils and promise of real estate development with their former firm.

Now the two entrepreneurs are using their know-how, connections and a new technology stack to streamline the home-buying process.

It’s that ambition that caught the attention of Pete Flint, the founder of Trulia and now an investor at the venture capital firm NfX. Flint, an early investor in La Haus, saw the potential in La Haus to help the Latin American real estate market leapfrog the services available in the U.S. Spencer Rascoff, the co-founder of Zillow, also invested in the company.

“Latin America is very early on in its infancy of having really professional agents and really professional brokerages,” said Flint.

La Haus guides home buyers through every stage of the process, with its own agents and salespeople selling properties sourced from the company’s developer connections.

“The average home in the U.S. sells in six weeks or less,” said La Haus chief financial officer Sánchez Ríos in an interview. “That timing in Latin America is 14 months. That’s the dramatic difference. There is no infrastructure in Latin America as a whole.”

La Haus began by reaching out to the founders’ old colleagues in the real estate development industry and started listing new developments on its service. Now the company has a mix of existing and new properties for sale on its site and an expanded geographic footprint in both Colombia and Mexico.

“We have a portal… that acts as a lead-generating machine,” said Sánchez Ríos. “We aggregate listings, we vet them. We focus on new developers.”

The company has about 500 developers using the service to list properties in Colombia and another 200 in Mexico. So far, the company has facilitated more than 2,000 transactions through its platform in three years.

“Real estate now is turning fully digital and also in this market professionalizing,” said Flint. “The publicly traded online real estate companies are approaching all-time highs. People are just prizing the space that they spend their time in… the technologies from VR and digital walkthroughs to digital closes become not just a nice to have but a necessity. “

Capitalizing on the open field in the market, La Haus recently closed on $ 10 million in financing led by Kaszek Ventures, one of the leading funds in Latin America. That funding will be used to accelerate the company’s geographic expansion in response to increasing demand for digital solutions in response to the COVID-19 epidemic.

“Because of Covid-19, consumers’ willingness to conduct real estate transactions online has gone through the roof,” said Sánchez Ríos, in a statement. “Fortunately we were in the position to enable that, and we expect to see a permanent shift online in how people conduct all, or at least most, of the home-buying process. This funding gives us ample runway to build the end-to-end real estate experience for the post-Covid Latin America.”

Joining NFX, Rascoff, and Kaszek Ventures are a slew of investors including Acrew Capital, IMO Ventures and Beresford Ventures. Entrepreneurs like Nubank founder David Velez; Brian Requarth, the founder of Vivareal (now GrupoZap); and Hadi Partovi, CEO and founder of Code.org also participated in the financing.

“We backed La Haus because we saw many of the same ingredients that resulted in a fantastic outcome for many of our successful companies: A world-class team with complementary skills; a huge addressable market; and an almost religious zeal by the founders to solve a big problem with technology,” said Hernan Kazah, co-founder and managing partner of Kaszek Ventures. 

Startups – TechCrunch