Flutterwave – Digital Payments Infrastructure for Africa Raises $10M

Just added an year ago to our portfolio startups, Flutterwave – a digital payments infrastructure service as API that allows businesses to send and receive money from cards, mobile money wallets and banks across Africa has raised $10M in Series A funding round led by Greycroft Partners and Green Visor, with participation from YCombinator and Glynn Capital. Congrats to the Flutterwave!

This new funding is in addition to previous investments by the company’s current investors which include, Omidyar Network, Social Capital, CRE Venture Capital and HOF Capital amongst others. Flutterwave will use the capital to hire more talent, build out its global operations and fuel its expansion across Africa.

“Flutterwave is building infrastructure and technology solutions that will help modernize African payments. We are excited to be working with this extraordinary team,” says Joe Saunders, Chairman and General Partner at Green Visor Capital, who also joins Flutterwave’s board of directors.”

“We are excited to work with world-class investors who have helped build global payments giants like Visa and Braintree to achieve our mission of building modern payments infrastructure to connect Africa to the global economy.” adds Aboyeji.

Please read the full story at Medium.

SimpleLegal – Cloud Based Enterprise Legal Management Software Raises $10M

SimpleLegal, a cloud based software to manage accruals, e-billing, legal matters and spend of enterprises was added to our portfolio in August 2013 and they were in seed round till the end of 2015. Since then company was growing on its own without requiring any extra funding. However, after experiencing the unplanned increased growth, they have now raised a Series A round of $10M to keep up the pace. We are very pleased to share about it and wish the very best for SimpleLegal.

This new round of funding is led by Emergence Capital, early investors in Salesforce and a slew of other successful cloud-based software companies (earlier investor RinconVP and Susa Ventures also participated). It is also another feather in the cap of Y Combinator, whose partners seem to have a knack for picking great legal start-ups (see e.g. Casetext, Ironclad, Legalist, Willing, Ross, just to name a few).

“We did raise our A Round earlier than planned. We always knew we were building a venture-backed company focused on growth. But, we also believe that enterprise software companies needed to take a different path than the typical Silicon Valley consumer-focused startup. Where their motto might be move fast and break things, in enterprise software with SOX and other compliance issues, our motto has to be get everything right, then move fast.“, said SimpleLegal CEO Nathan Wenzel.

Please read full story at Above The Law.


Boom – Supersonic Passenger Airliner Raises $33M

It’s been one year since we started dreaming about affordable supersonic passenger airplanes with Boom, one of our portfolio startups. But, building such airplanes is not cheap and it not only requires time but also a great team. And to make it all happen, Boom has successfully raised $33M in Series A round. This funding amount is enough for Boom to build its Baby Boom (XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator) that is one third scale realization of actual Boom passenger airliner and most probably it would fly next year to demonstrate the key technologies for practical supersonic travel.

“This funds our first airplane, all the way through flight tests,” explained Boom founder and CEO Blake Scholl in an interview. “Now we have all the pieces we need – technology, suppliers and capital – to go out and make some history and set some speed records.”

“We have almost all the engineering completed, and the first wing components are showing up in the office this week,” Scholl told me about their progress since wind tunnel testing. “We’re about to do structural tests, and then we’re probably about a year away from flight.”

The investors contributing to the new round include 8VC, Caffeinated Capital, Palm Drive Ventures, RRE Ventures and YC’s Continuity Fund. YC President Sam Altman joins the board alongside this round, as does entrepreneur and investor Greg McAdoo. Boom’s total funding is now at $41 million, and also includes investment from Lightbank and Paul Graham.

Please read full story at TechCrunch.

Bluesmart – Smart Luggage Manufacturing Company Raises $12M

Almost two years ago we added Bluesmart to our list of portfolio startups and same year after six months Bluesmart added more $11.5M to its capital to prove its potential. Keeping its growth steady, Bluesmart has again won the hearts of its investors and raised another $12M funding in Series A round led by Tsing Capital. We are very happy to make this announcement and being part of Bluesmart. Just to share, Bluesmart is no more just Blue. It also offers a Black Edition now.

Tsing Capital is one of the largest venture firms in China. The partner leading this round, Michael Li, is a former Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers partner with strong expertise in cross-border technology companies. This investment comes from a dedicated Tsing Capital fund called “Smartech Innovation Fund” which is focused on Internet of Things and connected devices. We will leverage this partnership to continue our manufacturing and global operations in Asia. With the proceeds we plan to expand our product line in order to continue our mission of helping people travel the world in a smarter way.

“With a long history of venture capital investing in China and North America, we are pleased to add Bluesmart to our portfolio of sustainable life style companies,” said Li. “China represents one of the largest and fastest growing markets for premium luggages globally, and we look forward to helping support Bluesmart’s expansion and product delivery.”

Please read full story at Medium.


Eight – Smart Sleep Products Developer Raises $5M

Almost two years ago, we invested in Eight (formerly called Luna and member of YCombinator’s Summer 2015 batch), a technology company that produces smart sleep products specially the smart mattress that includes a cozy mattress and smart cover which tracks your sleep and connects with your mobile through its app to show sleep data trends that can help you improve your sleep.

There has been a great demand of smart sleep technology like Eight but to further expand its business and market reach, it’s important to have more money in your reserves. And to keep moving forward on the road of success, Eight has raised $5M in series A round which increases its total funding amount to $11.62M.

Its technology tracks your sleep, allowing you to monitor the data on your phone and interacting with other ‘smart’ home products to warm your bed or start brewing your morning coffee. The tracker, which retails at $349 for a Queen, sold out of its 8,000 pre-orders.

Investors in this round include Yunqi Partners, Azure Capital, Y Combinator, Stanford StartX fund, Comcast Ventures, and Sinovation Ventures.

On Tuesday, as well as announcing its Series A, Eight will open the doors to its first showroom in downtown Manhattan. At the Eight Suite, shoppers can test out the startup’s mattresses, as well as see firsthand how its technology integrates with other ‘smart’ home brands like auto-thermostat devices from Nest.

Please read full story at Forbes.

Flirtey – Real Time Delivery Service by Drones Raises $16M

We are pleased to announce that one of our portfolio startups, Flirtey – a premier delivery service using flying robots to deliver food, medicine, gifts, first-aid, books and mail has raised $12M in Series A round. When we invested in Flirtey less than two years ago, we were confident that it would fly high and deliver just like its drones.  Good luck Flirtey!

Flirtey’s Series A round was led by the company’s seed investors, Menlo Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures, and joined by Chris Sacca’s Lowercase Capital, Y Combinator and World Innovation Lab, a firm that counts among its limited partners the Japanese airline ANA, Goodwater Capital, Amity Ventures and Partech Ventures.

Flirtey’s CEO, Matthew Sweeny said the company’s drone was designed with reliability and safety as priorities, obviously. Its flagship UAV is a hexacopter that can fly right if one of its six motors is taken out. It has two batteries, and can run if one of them fails, as well. The drone lowers a payload in a box from about 50 feet over a customer’s doorstep or other designated delivery area. If a would-be drone thief attempts to pull it down by the line, the drone detaches and safely fly away, Sweeny explained.

Flirtey was also the first company to attain FAA approvals to conduct a drone delivery in the US in 2015. That fact helped it land one of its drones in the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, a milestone that CEO Matthew Sweeny calls a “kittyhawk” moment for the startup.

Please read full story at TechCrunch.

Bitmovin – Video Streaming and Cloud Encoding Service Provider Raises $10.3M


Just around a year ago Zillionize invested in Bitmovin as a seed round investor. Today we’re happy to announce that Bitmovin has raised $10.3M in a recent Series A funding round.

“We developed the fastest cloud encoding service on the market, together with the best performing adaptive streaming player. We are first-movers when it comes to new features & technologies, as evidenced by our DRM for HTML5, 360°/VR streaming, HLS in HTML5, etc…

Although we are growing nicely with a healthy business, we decided to go this way (raising Series A funding round) to further improve our video infrastructure products, to maintain the level of support to our customers, and to build new products…” said Stefan, CEO & Co-Founder, Bitmovin.

Please read full story at Bitmovin.