People.ai – AI-Based Revenue Intelligence Platform Raises $30M

Graduating from YC Summer 2016 batch and starting as a report card of sales people, People.ai has now turned into a revenue intelligence platform for enterprises that intakes data from 90+ sources and analyzes it with specially designed AI algorithms to deliver insight on revenue opportunities. To improve their technology and expand their business further, People.ai has raised another $30M in Series B funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz with participation from GGV Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Y Combinator.

The startup, founded by Oleg Rogynskyy, previously raised $7 million. It started as a software meant to give sales managers a predictive playbook for the best way to close a deal, but investors have a master plan for the long term.

While Rogynskyy tells me he’d eventually like to take the company public, People.ai first needs to solidify itself as an AI solution for enterprises. To do so, the founder says they will use about half of the Series B investment to fund commercial expansion and customer acquisition (something the Andreessen network will undoubtedly catalyze) and the other half to fuel data science and engineering advancements within the business. The San Francisco-based company has also opened offices in Boston and Los Angeles, and is considering building out an engineering-focused team in Canada.

“We’ve expanded so that we don’t solely work with salespeople. We now work with everyone who touches the customer interactions, including marketing, inside sales engineers, customer success and sales support services. People.ai not only captures the activity of salespeople, but now gives teams a 360 degree view of everything that is happening with a customer across an entire team,” explains Rogynskyy.

Please read the full story at TechCrunch.

Wallarm – AI-Powered Application Security Platform Raises $8M

Wallarm – a platform leveraged by three-layered machine learning architecture to protect applications, micro-services and APIs from security attacks, has raised another $8M in Series A round led by Toba Capital in participation with Partech, Gagarin Capital and Y Combinator.

Wallarm mainly offers three products: NG WAF (for real-time protection), Wallarm DAST (for vulnerability and incident detection) and Wallarm FAST (for automated security testing) at the moment and provides a variety of security solutions to online businesses. This round sets Wallarm’s total funding amount to $10.8M since its seed round in 2016.

In addition to funding, the company said it’s nearly doubled the number of customers it serves in the past year. Wallarm says it grew recurring revenue by 100 percent, year-on-year, in Q3 2018 as well.

Commenting on the new funding, Wallarm co-founding CEO Ivan Novikov observed in a statement from the company that, “Many companies in Silicon Valley strive to raise vast sums of money, but strategically, we’ve decided to only raise what we need and fund the rest of our growth organically.”

As part of the Series A transaction, a number of individuals will be joining the company’s executive team and its various boards. Speaking of sales and marketing: Johan Nordstrom, a former executive at Imperva and Arbor Networks will join Wallarm as its chief business development officer and HyTrust cofounder Renata Budko joined as chief marketing officer.

On the board side: Rajan Aggarwal, a partner at Toba Capital, will join the company’s board of directors. Reza Malekzadeh of Partech will join as a board observer. Wallarm is also beefing up its advisory board with the addition of two folks: LendingClub CISO Richard Seiersen and Randy Bias, who serves as Juniper Networks’s VP of technology and strategy.

Please read the full story at CrunchBase.

Paperspace – GPU-Powered Cloud Infrastructure Platform Raises $13M

In 2015 when we added Paperspace to our portfolio, it was offering full computer in the cloud accessible through any web browser. By “full”, we really mean it because you could play games and perform heavy duty jobs like using 3D CAD softwares, rendering 3D simulations and video editing etc. However, now Paperspace has walked an extra mile by offering GPU-powered cloud infrastructure for machine learning and data science.

Their new product, Gradient running on Paperspace cloud makes it possible with a suite of tools (like 1-Click Jupyter Notbooks, Job runner and Python module etc.) for data scientists to just focus on code and building models leaving rest of the management to Gradient. Not just that, advanced GPUs offered by Paperspace for machine learning, are more powerful yet less expensive than cloud giants like AWS, GCP and Azure.

With machine learning going mainstream these days, this new direction of Paperspace is quite strategic for their future growth and not just us but other investors also validate it by providing $13M in Series A funding to Paperspace.

Best of luck to Paperspace with finding their own space in the world of data science!

Battery Ventures led the round with participation from SineWave Ventures, Intel Capital and Sorenson Ventures. Existing investor Initialized Capital also participated. Today’s investment brings the total amount to $19 million raised.

Dharmesh Thakker, a general partner with Battery Ventures sees Paperspace as being in the right place at the time. As AI and machine learning take off, developers need a set of tools and GPU-fueled hardware to process it all. “Major silicon, systems and Web-scale computing providers need a cloud-based solution and software ‘glue’ to make deep learning truly consumable by data-driven organizations, and Paperspace is helping to provide that,” Thakker said in a statement.

Paperspace provides its own GPU-powered servers to help in this regard, but co-founder and CEO Dillon Erb says they aren’t trying to compete with the big cloud vendors. They offer more than a hardware solution to customers. Last spring, the company released Gradient, a serverless tool to make it easier to deploy and manage AI and machine learning workloads.

“It’s really a greenfield opportunity, and we want to be the go-to platform that you can start building out into intelligent applications without thinking about infrastructure.” With $13 million in hand, it’s safe to say that they are on their way.

Please read the full story at TechCrunch.

Flutterwave – African Online Payments Service Raises $10M in Series A Extension

Last year, Flutterwave – a digital payments technology service based in Africa had a Series A round in which $10M funding was raised and now they have got another $10M in the extension round raising the total funding amount of Flutterwave to $20.1M. With Flutterwave’s simple APIs, businesses and individuals in Africa can easily make payment integrations with their websites and apps.

Even just launched in 2016, Flutterwave has already processed 100M transactions of payments worth $2.5B which is a great achievement for this young fintech startup. Flutterwave also has business partnerships with Uber, Booking.com, TransferWise and Flywire in Africa.

The latest round of financing includes investments from Mastercard, CRE Ventures, Fintech Collective, 4DX Ventures, and Raba Capital, among others, and means the startup has now raised over US$20 million to date. Its largest investors include Green Visor Capital and Greycroft Partners.

As part of the financing, current Green Visor capital chairman and general partner, and former Visa chairman and chief executive officer (CEO Joe Saunders, has joined the Flutterwave board of directors.

Flutterwave co-founder Olugbenga Agboola will replace Iyin Aboyeji as CEO.

“On behalf of the entire Flutterwave team we wish Iyin luck in his future endeavors. Moving forward, the entire Flutterwave team and I are excited for Flutterwave’s future and look forward to growing the company,” Agboola said.

Please read the full story at Disrupt Africa.

Innov8 – Coworking Space Startup Raises $4M in Pre-Series A

In August 2016, we added Innov8 – a startup offering premium ergonomically work spaces for everyone, to our portfolio. By now, Innov8 has twelve work spaces located in five cities of India including Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Gurgaon, Chandigarh and Bengalore. Total funding amount raised by Innov8 so far is not confirmed but Innov8 has disclosed $4M funding raised in a recent Pre-Series A round led by Credence Family Office.

According to Founder and CEO, Dr Ritesh Malik this will mean opening three co-working spaces in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, with some of them as big as 1 lakh square feet in size.

The company also strongly suggested that it would look at newer geographies – Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad – only in the next fiscal year.

The company is also looking to make additional investments in building technology platforms for businesses along with customer-facing apps, and is investing in community experience while increasing its NPS (Net Promoter Score).

Ritesh added, “We will be heavily focussing on technologies, which will increase the experience of our customers. Further, we plan to take full control of some of them, for example, the WiFi, which is rated by our customers as highly important. So, we control the WiFi. Along with this we will invest heavily in data reporting tools, which will give us insights and feedback on how a different aspect of the co-working space is helping customers.”

Mitesh Shah, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Credence Family Office, added: “Co-working space is an exciting segment to be in. Innov8 has been able to clearly establish its unique proposition with its best in class design and community culture at value conscious price to its consumers. Innov8’s business model has demonstrated promising growth trajectory along with some of the leading names in the industry as its clientele. We are very pleased to partner with Innov8 and support them in their journey of creating a category of vibrant co-working spaces that exude design excellence and offer impeccable value.”

Please read the full story at YourStory.

Lambda School – Online Coding School Raises $14M


Lambda School was added to our portfolio last year in August and just after 14 months, it was good enough to raise $14M in Series A funding round. Lambda School is an online training service that aims to produce quality software engineers for competitive market with its 30-weeks full time or 12-months part time training programs. Students are not required to pay up-front for the course and only pay back if they start earning at least $50K per year. If students earn less than $50K per year, they don’t have to pay.

The funding round was led by GV and Stripe also participated in it which raised the total funding amount of Lambda School to $18.1M. Lambda School plans to use these funds for offering more new courses and growing the academy.

“We chose to work with these new funding partners because we all have a desire to fundamentally fix how we teach and train software developers. This new model has proven effective with each of our graduating classes, and we’re grateful to have the support of so many investors who see the value in our approach,” said Austen Allred, CEO and co-founder of Lambda School.

Since Lambda School’s inception in April 2017, over 75 Lambda School graduates have been hired, including 83% of early cohorts, with an average salary increase of over $47,000 per hired graduate. The school hopes to increase the number of students hired as it builds out a more advanced hiring network and continues to adapt its curriculum to teach the skills employers need in new hires today. The growing coding school currently has 700 students enrolled.

“Lambda School’s approach to alternative education democratizes access for anyone aspiring to become a full-stack software engineer,” said Shaun Maguire, partner at GV. “Lambda School’s business model is innovative in their category and the company has scaled rapidly. We’re excited to work with Austen Allred and the team as they continue to bring online software engineering education to more people.”

“Lambda School is expanding access to first rate developer education,” said Patrick Collison, CEO and co-founder of Stripe. “We love programs that spread opportunity to people who have been overlooked and underserved. Enabling more people to take advantage of the possibilities of software and the internet is a pursuit that’s firmly aligned with Stripe’s mission.”

Please read the full story at Lambda.