Primary NYC Seed Deal Report: Q1 2016

Primary's NYC Seed Deal Report is your go-to resource for all NYC tech seed investment activity, including funding amounts, sectors, investors, company information and noteworthy trends. Please note that our report covers only those seed deals (which we define as $250,000-$3.5 million) that have become public. We know there are deals that have closed but not yet been announced, including some of our own, and those will be included in subsequent reports once they are public.

We’d appreciate your help in making this report as comprehensive as possible; please contact us at to let us know of any deals that should be added.

Q1 2016: Notable Trends

NYC continues to cement its position as an infosec leader

As the frequency and intensity of cyberattacks continues to grow, significant federal and private investing in information security follow an upward trend. Gartner notes that worldwide infosec spend surpassed $75 billion in 2015 - a 4.7% increase from 2014 - and is expected to reach $170 billion by 2020. Accordingly, venture capital investment in security-related startups has followed suit, having grown 40% each year over the past five years.

New York, itself, continues to be an important global hub for information security, with its critical mass of security-sensitive financial institutions as the key driver. This quarter saw seed financings for BigID and AnchorID, both focused on identification verification for transactions and access management; Chainalysis and yoPay, which are focused on identity verification within the fintech sector; and TopPatch, which helps companies protect data and manage access for secure collaboration. Security concerns arise in the social category, as well, with messaging platform Confide that enables users to send encrypted messages that self-destruct.  

Subscription services continue to bring in investors

We continue to see investor interest in subscription services, with recent funding going to LOLA (feminine care), Scentbird (perfume), Stash (investing) and Skyfit (fitness). This will be an area of continued focus, as even traditional retailers -  including Walmart, Amazon and Target - are toying with the subscription box business and driving up competition.

Focus on female consumers

While the media tends to focus on women-run startups, there’s a growing proliferation of startups focusing on women as consumers. Q1 saw the funding of Brayola, Vive, Landit and Girls Who Code, with additional rounds for LOLA and Scentbird, following their Q4 success.

Q1 Seed Deal Spotlight

The largest seed deal of the quarter goes to Raden, a smart luggage company looking to ease the burdens of travel with built-in chargers, integrated scales and proximity sensors - all built into a premium product at an accessible price point. Raden raised $3.5MM in a round that included First Round, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Primary Venture Partners and BoxGroup.


Q1 2016: Completed Deals



Brandibble: An e-commerce platform built specifically for multi-unit restaurants. $250,000

Brayola: A personal bra shop that helps women discover their next favorite bra, without having a fitting. $2.5MM | Firstime Venture Capital, Haim Dabah, HDS Capital, Jonathan Benartzi

CityVest: An online marketplace where individual accredited investors can pool their capital together to buy equity in institutional quality real estate investments. $0.85MM

Four Mine: An online shopping platform for engagement rings and jewelry. $1.08MM | Right Side Capital Management

Gooten: Formerly Makeable, provider of custom print fulfillment services, has rebranded as Gooten, with a renewed commitment to simplify product fulfillment through the leading global manufacturers. The company sports new management and fresh capital commitments. $1.35MM | ff Venture Capital, KEC Ventures  

Hooch: The first members-only cocktail app. Members receive one cocktail every day for just $9.99 per month from dozens of bars around New York and LA. $1MM | Jay Rosenzweig

LeafLink: A NY-based wholesale management platform for the cannabis industry. $1MM

LOLA: Offers safer, 100% natural tampons as a subscription service. $3MM | 14W, Andrew Hunt, BBG Ventures, BoxGroup, Brand Foundry Ventures, David Gilboa, Expansion Venture Capital, Jeffrey Raider, Jonathan Neman, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Nathaniel Ru, Neil Blumenthal, Nicolas Jammet, Seth Berkowitz, Vayner/RSE Aims to simplify the wedding planning process by providing a one-stop-shop for ideas, trends, people to hire and things to purchase. $2MM | 645 Ventures, Covera Ventures, Female Founders Fund, Great Oaks Venture Capital, GrowthX, Montage Ventures, Transmedia Capital A universal loyalty platform built on blockchain and smart contract technology. $1.5MM | Hayaat Group

Scentbird: A perfume subscription service that allows you to get a new designer scent for $14.95 per month. $2.8MM | Alexis Ohanian, Eclipse, FundersClub, Ludlow Ventures, Michael Seibel, Philip Krim, Scrum Ventures, SGH CAPITAL, Tikhon Bernstam, Vaizra Investments

SuperPhone: A personal relationship management platform that provides detailed information about everyone in your social media network and insight into your interactions with them. $1.5MM | Ben Horowitz

Zola Books: An independent bookselling tech company that enables discovery and sale of every book in every format through its open API platform. $3.4 MM | Charles F. Dolan



ExpertKnowledge: A cloud-based Learning Design System (LDS)™ that allows a company's experts to efficiently and effectively create powerful, practical, personalized learning experiences for their workforce. $0.75MM | Edge Edtech Fund

Girls Who Code: With the goal of closing the gender gap in technology, Girls Who Code offers computer science education to girls nationwide. $1MM

Major League Hacking: The official student hackathon league runs over 200 weekend-long invention competitions that inspire innovation and teach computer science skills to more than 65,000 students around the world. $1MM |1517 Fund, Alexis Ohanian, Chris Liddell, General Catalyst Partners, Grant Gittlin, hackNY, Jeff Lawson, Sundance DiGiovanni

Strayboots: Makes unique mobile scavenger hunts and tours in over 40 cities around the world. $750,000

Tinkergarten: Matches families with leaders in their local community who offer outdoor, activity-based early childhood classes. $1.6MM | 500 Startups, Albert Lee, Blue {Seed} Collective, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, City Light Capital, Don Katz, Fern Mandelbaum, John Katzman, Matt Glickman, Omidyar Network, Outbound Ventures, Structure Capital



Alpha Theory: A platform that improves precision and confidence in portfolio investment by replacing guesswork, emotion and bias with a decision process that is more disciplined, repeatable and accurate. $350,000

Cashforce: An automated platform that integrates with your ERP to help you take control of your cash flow through forecasting, simulation and a selection of third-party financing solutions. $1.09MM | Volta Ventures

dv01: A platform designed to bring transparency and liquidity to lending markets by simplifying all aspects of loan and bond investments. $2.50MM

Kard: An automated tool that simplifies credit card rewards and notifies users of the best savings opportunities for all purchases, both online and in store. $600,000

Leondrino Exchange: An issuer of private branded currencies, backed by the current and future business of global brands. $300,000 | Saxonia Systems Holding GmbH

QuantConnect: Democratizes algorithmic trading  by providing market data and a cluster computer so any engineer can quickly design an algorithmic trading system. $960,000

Sow: Transforms gift-giving by allowing young people (0-22) to receive monetary donations for birthdays, graduations, and holidays to help fund their goals. $507,500 | Pipeline Angels

Stash: A digital investment platform that makes it easy to invest based on interests, beliefs and goals, starting with as little as five dollars. $3MM | Entree Capital, Goodwater Capital, Valar Ventures

Vanare: A wealth management platform for financial advisors that’s fully customizable to their investment philosophy, workflows and way of doing business. $3.49MM


Health & Fitness

Dibs Technology: A dynamic pricing platform for fitness studios that optimizes prices and fills classes, and integrates with their existing e-commerce and point-of-sale systems. $1MM | Caerus Investment Partners, Catalyst Fund LP, DreamIt Ventures, GREE Ventures

Find Your Trainer: An on-demand marketplace that provides access to personal trainers around NYC. The platform handles scheduling and payment for both parties, and matches trainers with customers based on goals, location and other preferences. $1.5MM | Amol Sarva, Thatcher Bell, Three Fish Capital

NexHealth: A SaaS platform that automates the appointment-booking process between doctors and patients. $0.416MM

Oculogica: A patent-pending eye tracking technology to potentially detect concussion and traumatic brain injury. $1.69MM

Skyfit: An app offering on-demand running and spin classes for all skill levels. $500,000 | Itzhak Fisher, Pejman Mar Ventures, Rich Nelson

Training Amigo: A corporate wellness company that provides customizable cloud-based software and wellness solutions for your business. $300,000

Vericred: A platform for accurate, complete and accessible healthcare provider information. $3.1MM



Anchor FM: A free iPhone app that makes it easy to broadcast short audio clips to a global audience. Listeners can talk back, but no photos or text are allowed. $1.6MM | Acequia Capital, Avi Muchnick, Betaworks, CrunchFund, Eniac Ventures, Homebrew, Quire, Scott Belsky, SV Angel, Vijay Vachani

Gorgias: A helpdesk that promises to automate workflows and accelerate response times. $1.5MM | Amplify Partners, CRV, Kima Ventures

SolidOpinion Inc: A simple and easy-to-implement commenting platform for publishers. $521,000



AND CO: Easy invoicing, expensing and paperwork for freelancers through a smart app plus personal chief operator. $2MM | BoxGroup, Designer Fund, Red Swan Ventures, Thrive Capital

APPrise Mobile: A B2B native technology platform that enables organizations to quickly and affordably create native apps for iPhones, iPads and Android devices. $750,000

Boom Fantasy: An in-game fantasy sports platform that pushes real-time questions to users during live games and allows them to compete with others. $1.4MM | Mark Pincus, Rubicon Venture Capital, StartX Fund

Confide: A secure digital communication platform that lets you send encrypted messages that self-destruct. $1.6MM | CrunchFund, First Round, Howard Lerman, Marker, SV Angel, WGI Group

PadSquad: A mobile software company focused on producing high-end digital content and advertising on mobile devices. $749,987

Roger: A group voice messaging app that allows you to connect for free with anyone in your phone, regardless of distance or time zone. $1.00MM | Social Capital Partners

VeePIO: The first real-time monetization platform for interactive social videos. It allows content creators to make interactive videos that reveal pictures, comments and the ability to purchase anything a viewer sees. $500,000

Wiper: A secure messaging and calling app that offers new ways of enjoying movies and music. $2MM | Michael Choupak



AnchorID: A digital identity company that allows consumers to use one universal login, combined with smartphone authentication, to access sites across the web. The platform does not require passwords, providing a better user experience and high compliance. $260,000

BigID: An Israeli-US security company focused on helping large organizations better manage privacy and protection of personal customer data.  $2.10MM | Boldstart Ventures, Deep Fork Capital, Genacast Ventures

Chainalysis: Builds products that allow financial institutions to spot connections between digital entities, respect user privacy and prevent abuse in the financial system. $1.6MM | Converge Venture Partners, Digital Currency Group, FundersClub, Point Nine Capital, Techstars

TopPatch: Builds security solutions that reduce risk, increase data security and ensure compliance for companies of all sizes and industries. $1.88MM

yoPay: Enables financial institutions, businesses, merchants and consumers to engage in highly secure financial transactions without the sharing of secure account data, checks or cash. $550,000



Authorea: A collaborative and free online editor and word processor for academic research, allowing contributors to write and manage documents in one place. $1.5MM | ff Venture Capital, Knight Foundation Enterprise Fund, Lux Capital, New York Angels

automotiveMastermind, Inc: A Big Data behavioral analytics platform that revolutionizes the way automotive dealerships and manufacturers find, engage and win customers. Utilizes years of customer, service and market data to help you better understand and predict which customers are ready to buy and why. $3.0MM

Credly: A digital credential service provider that allows organizations to officially verify skills and competencies; distribute portable and secure digital credentials and open badges; and gain actionable data and insights. $2.5MM | City & Guilds Group, Jonathan Finkelstein, Lion Brothers Company, Lumina Foundation, New Markets Venture Partners, University Ventures

eChalk: Targeting the K-12 learning community, eChalk develops software solutions to help schools keep teachers, students, parents and staff engaged, connected and informed. $1.75MM

Odilo: Creates products that enable discovery, management and distribution of library print and digital materials. $1.42MM | Inveready Technology Investment Group

ResiModel: A deal management, analytics and valuation platform specifically designed for multifamily transactions. $500,000 | Paul Audet, Symmetrical Ventures

Shortlist: An end-to-end freelancer and vendor management system that helps users find, onboard, manage and communicate with their independent workers. $500,000 | Ron Kastner

StructuredWeb: An integrated channel marketing platform that enables companies to simplify and scale their channel marketing programs and build strong revenue pipelines. $2MM | Argentum Group



Acustom Apparel: Uses the latest 3D measuring technology to digitally tailor bespoke men’s clothing. $3MM

Antenna: A feedback platform that builds loyalty and increases KPI by enabling site visitors to easily react to anything that grabs their attention. $0.595MM | IDEA Fund Partners

Atlas Obscura: A collaborative travel guide/blog covering articles, travel tips, strange facts and event information about the world’s hidden wonders. $2.5MM | New Atlantic Ventures, The New York Times

Cheddar: A video-centric media company that focuses on business content for the 18-34 market via daily broadcasts from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. $3.0MM

CoverWallet: A smart digital wallet that offers insurance management for your business, allowing you to view all of your policies and rates, with peer comparison, certificates, advice, claims help and more. $2MM | Founder Collective, Highland Capital Partners, Two Sigma Ventures

Dashride: The leading cloud-based mobile dispatching platform that simplifies ride management operations for taxi and limo companies. Consists of a full suite of cloud-based software that automates everything from booking to billing. $0.75MM

eSports Hero: A tournament platform that gives gamers the ability to earn real money playing their favorite eSports. $1MM

Insticator: An interactive advertising platform that helps publishers to increase revenue and engagement. $2.66MM

JicaChips: A nutritious jicama chip company, with sales from both online and brick and mortar locations. $1MM | AccelFoods, Presence Marketing   

Jopwell: A diversity recruiting platform dedicated to helping blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans land jobs in tech. $3.25MM | Andreessen Horowitz, Cue Ball, Kapor Capital, Magic Johnson Enterprises, Omidyar Network, Valar Ventures

KosherSwitch Technologies: A patented technology that enables on-demand control of electricity on Shabbat and Jewish holidays. $458,500  

Landit: Creates personalized tools and guidance for women seeking to move their career forward, especially through periods of transition. $2MM | Cue Ball, Female Founders Fund, New Enterprise Associates, Xfund

Loyyal: A universal loyalty and rewards platform built with blockchain and contact technology that enables more sophisticated customer incentification. $1.50MM

Raden: A smart luggage company looking to ease the burdens of travel with built-in chargers, integrated scales and proximity sensors. $3.5MM | First Round, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Primary Venture Partners, BoxGroup

Vive: Blowout subscriptions for last-minute appointments at pre-vetted salons in New York and Chicago. $2.3MM | CrunchFund, Deep Fork Capital, Expansion Venture Capital, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Haystack, Kosinski Ventures, Ludlow Ventures, Maveron, Pascal Levy-Garboua, Paul Buchheit, Scooter Braun, T5 Capital, Vayner/RSE, Y Combinator