WeWork has acquired venture-backed Fieldlens

WeWork, the seven-year-old, New York-based co-working juggernaut that more recently entered into the business of co-living, has been making a series of small acquisitions with some of the $1.8 billion that it has officially gathered from investors.

Its latest acquisition: Fieldlens, a 5.5-year-old mobile communication system for the construction industry that aims to replace calls, texts, emails and all the other back and forth that’s typically sent between building owners, contractors, subcontractors, architects and everyone else involved in a construction project.

WeWork was already one of Fieldlens’ biggest customers and, as an early adopter — says WeWork’s chief product officer, David Fano, in a new blog post about the acquisition — the company has “seen first-hand what connected front-line teams can accomplish.”

Read the full article in TechCrunch.

SimpleReach Raises $9 Million, Lands New CEO

New York startup SimpleReach has raised new funding and replaced its CEO, founder and former CEO Edward Kim tells Term Sheet. New funding for the "content data platform" startup totals $9 million, led by Spring Mountain Capital. Hal Muchnick, formerly of DoubleClick, Kontera, AddThis, and LowerMyBills, will become CEO.

This news is notable for two reasons:

1. In the last year, investors have viewed any startups related to advertising and marketing as toxic, in part, because the category was over-capitalized and VC portfolios are over-exposed to struggling assets.

2. Kim's move from the CEO role is notable because it goes against the prevailing narrative among startups that says founders should avoid handing their companies over to a more professional CEO. Those that didn't willingly step aside risked being forced by their investors.

Read the full article here.

Greats Raises $10M in Series B Funding

Greats, a Brooklyn, New York-based digitally native, direct-to-consumer sneaker company, raised $10MM in Series B funding.

The round was led by JH Partners with participation from new and existing investors Resolute Ventures, retired NFL star Adrian Wilson, Eric Zinterhoffer of Searchlight Capital.

The company intends to use the funds to invest in new technologies, grow the team and open 10 or more pop-up retail experiences over the next two years, in key cities across the United States.

Read the full announcement here.

Ollie: The Startup Delivering Healthy Dog Food Straight To Your Door

The pet food market has grown to become a $30 billion industry in the United States, totaling over $70 billion worldwide. Nearly doubling since 2000, the market value jumped 22.5% from 2014-2015. Controlled by a small conglomerate of companies, 7 of the 11 of highest-grossing dry dog food brands in the U.S. are owned by either Mars or Nestle. Yet, despite generating massive profits, the industry has struggled to break through dark clouds of criticism. Riddled with recalls, lawsuits and intense scrutiny surrounding manufacturing practices -- the need for a disruptive paradigm shift has appeared more evident than ever.

Stemming from the dangerously unhealthy ingredients found in processed pet foods, 60% of dogs in the U.S. are obese, with diabetes and cancer rates amongst pets continually on the rise. In the past 10 years, the total number of dogs diagnosed has increased by 900%. These staggering statistics are due, in large part, to a history of negligent state-imposed legislation, loosely enforced regulations, and a profit-driven approach to mass manufacturing. 

Founded in October of 2016, Ollie produces and delivers healthy dog food directly to your door, using human grade ingredients and smart technology to design custom diets for your pet. Assembling a team of trained nutritionists, tech specialists, and manufacturers – Ollie aims to not only reverse a looming stigma surrounding the industry, but to establish an adoptable model of trust and transparency with pet parents.

Read the full article published in Forbes.

Can Mom-and-Pop Pizzerias Be Modernized?

When Saroj Poudel worked as an employee at Papa John’s and Domino’s pizza franchises in North Carolina, he saw firsthand how important convenience was to customers: Sixty percent of sales at those chains, he says, came from online orders. So last year, when Poudel bought Pop's Backdoor Pizza, an independent pizza shop in Durham, he knew that if he had any chance to compete with the big pizza chains, he needed to offer the same conveniences.

When delivery services like GrubHub and Seamless first hit the scene, they were hailed as saviors for independent restaurants like Poudel’s, but restaurants quickly saw their profits eaten by commissions. As of 2014, GrubHub and Seamless received an average commission of 13.5 percent per order. But going at it alone and trying to build the technology wielded by delivery apps and big chains is often prohibitively costly to independent restaurants.

Most food delivery and ordering startups aim to solve a problem for the eater: namely, get them their food, fast. IT professional Ilir Sela, whose grandparents owned pizzerias in Manhattan and Brooklyn, started Slice, an independent pizza-ordering platform, with another group of customers in mind — the restaurants. Poudel started working with Slice in September, and estimates 20 percent of Pop’s orders come through the company’s website and app.

Read the full article on Eater.
 

BounceX: The Behavioral Marketing Startup Shifting How Brands Reach Consumers

Since being founded in 2012, Bounce Exchange has swiftly grown to become the leader in cloud-based behavioral marketing and analytics software.

Their technology has been adopted by marketers looking to shift their marketing strategy, moving away from audience segmentation and fragmented targeting to build more complete profiles of their consumers. Based on these robust profiles, marketers can execute direct marketing efforts and curated personal experiences rooted in holistic behavioral patterns, instead of focusing on very nuanced lifestyles and interests.

Bounce Exchange has raised $7.8 million to date, receiving $6.3 million in Series A funding. In August of 2016, Inc. named BounceX the fastest growing software company in the United States, ranking the startup seventh overall on the Inc. 5000. In just three years, the company experienced an astonishing 14,500% spike in revenue.

Headquartered in New York City, the company is also widely recognized as a leader in employee retention and workplace culture. Internet Week, Crain’s New York, Computerworld and Fortune have each honored the company for its commitment to building a diverse and innovative workplace, citing Bounce Exchange among the best places to work in tech.

Read the full article here.

Shoptalk Infused With $2M VC Investment, Sets Sights on Europe

Organizers of Shoptalk said today that is received $2 million in venture capital funding to launch “Shoptalk Europe,” which will be held at the Bella Center in Copenhagen on Oct. 9 through the 11th.


Confirmed speakers of the event include: Edoardo Manitto, vice president of corporate development and innovation at Galeries Lafayette; Jonathan Alferness, vice president of product management for shopping and travel at Google VP; Michael Ward, managing director at Harrods; Julian Burnett, chief information officer at  House of Fraser; Jerry Storch, chief executive officer of Hudson’s Bay Co.; Simona Scarpaleggia, ceo of IKEA Switzerland; Stephan Schambach, e-commerce pioneer and founder of Demandware and Intershop, and founder and current ceo of Newstore; Tim Kendall, president of Pinterest; and Adrian Letts, managing director of online at Tesco; among many others.

Shotalk said the investment was led by New York-based Primary Venture Partners “and included participation from San Francisco-based Commerce Ventures as well as individual partners at Bain Capital Ventures and New Enterprise Associates (NEA).”

Shoptalk said total funding raised exceeds $5 million. Ben Sun, general partner at Primary Venture Partners, said Shoptalk “has successfully reframed the conversation for the U.S. retail and e-commerce ecosystem to focus on disruptive technologies and trends as well as reset the standard for industry events. We believe a similar opportunity exists to deliver incredible value in Europe, and we’re excited to support the launch of Shoptalk Europe with our investment.”

Read the full article here.

Despite Small Fund, Primary Venture Partners Showcases Array of Services

At $3.3 billion, the amount Wal-Mart Stores Inc. paid for Jet.com Inc., the online retailer became the largest venture-backed company at time of exit ever in the New York metropolitan area. But the record-setter had just one local investor that backed it in its early stages: seed firm Primary Venture Partners.

Primary’s general partners, Brad Svrluga and Benjamin Sun, have been investing in New York for a long time, earlier under the High Peaks Venture Partners moniker. Most of their major deals have a New York connection and were sourced locally, including Jet.com; Ticketfly LLC, acquired by Pandora Media Inc. for about $450 million; and even South Korea-based Coupang, valued at $5 billion last year.

It was at a game of pickup basketball open to all New Yorkers in the gym at Stuyvesant High School where Mr. Sun met Bom Kim in 2009, said Mr. Sun. At that time, Mr. Kim, who had just sold a small media company, wanted to start something new. Mr. Sun ended up investing in Mr. Kim’s new e-commerce startup, Coupang, first as an angel investor and then through Primary and is still on the company’s board.

Jet.com and Coupang together showcase Primary’s eye for New York startup talent, but also the firm’s service approach to venture capital.

Primary—which closed a $60 million pool last year—hopes to demonstrate that even small funds can offer portfolio companies a bevy of services, from recruiting to business development, that have become par for the course at large firms, especially at West Coast VCs such as Andreessen Horowitz.

Read the full text from The Wall Street Journal.