Startup

This Week’s Top Seed Companies to Watch — Advekit, ClassTag, Scope, Vendr, TradeHounds

We see about 5,000 startups each week, and I want to give you a glimpse into how we at e.ventures think about trending tech companies and tracking new investment opportunities. In this post, I’m highlighting top tech companies that have announced or raised a seed round within the past week.

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Happy Monday!

Some notable industry news from last week:

Just Eat/Takeaway.com to acquire Grubhub for $7.3B dollars. The meal-delivery category has been thriving throughout COVID and consolidation has been inevitable for the space. Grubhub raised $64M before going public at a $2.7B valuation in 2014. The company’s first round was led by Origin Ventures in 2007.

Staying in the food delivery space, Instacart raises $225M at a $13.7B valuation led by DST Global and General Catalyst. The company has now taken on over $2B in funding with its first-round being led by Canaan Partners in April 2012.

AI-enabled insurance provider Lemonade files its S-1 to become the first insure-tech company to reach the public markets. The company has raised over $480M to date with its Seed round being led by Aleph and Sequoia Capital Israel in December 2015.

Here are my top seed investments from the last week:

Advekit

EVA Growth Index:

Product:
Online platform for an individual to find out-of-network therapy providers and book them online

Investors:
Moment Ventures

Total Raised:
$3M

Business Model:
Charge therapists a monthly subscription to be on the platform and have a 12% take on transaction volume

Comparables:
Talkspace

X-Factors:
1. Rising mental health challenges due to quarantining and remote work

2. The founder was formerly a licensed therapist herself

Thoughts:
Already live in five states with over 25K clients matched to therapists within the last two years. A category that will have several winners. I like that Advekit is building tools for the therapist, rather than just sending new customers to them.

TradeHounds

EVA Growth Index:
No external sources showing growth

Product:
Professional network for skilled tradesmen

Investors:
Corigin Ventures, Brick & Mortar Ventures, Hyperplane Venture Capital

Total Raised:
$5M

Business Model:
No clear monetization showcased as of yet

Comparables:
There have been a fair amount of labor marketplaces, but no one has taken this angle. Yelp has also done a decent job in this category.

X-Factors:
1. Massive segment of the workforce that is not well represented within LinkedIn

2. Report to already have 150k tradesmen on the platform

Thoughts:
They are doing their best to build a community, via their Top Dog program, which provides tradespeople swag when they onboard others members. Still early, but a large market.

Scope

EVA Growth Index:
No external sources showing growth

Product:
SaaS-enabled marketplace that connects its network experts with customers of new software products who need implementation

Investors:
Craft VenturesWilliam Hockey (of Plaid)

Total Raised:
$1M

Business Model:
Take a margin on the GMV referred to the experts

Comparables:
GuideCX

X-Factors:
1. Symbiotic effect by enabling a great implementation experience for customers and reducing churn for SaaS providers

2. Work directly with Plaid, Square, Shippo, and TryNow

Thoughts:
Love that the business provides a full solution, not just a part of one. Massive market opportunity. Could be a large tech-enabled marketplace further on down the line.

Vendr

EVA Growth Index:
No external sources showing growth

Product:
Central management solution for a business software expenditure to optimize for savings by taking over negotiations upon purchase or renewal

Investors:
Craft Ventures, F-Prime Capital

Total Raised:
$6M

Business Model:
SaaS subscription ranging from $2.5k per month to $10k per month

Comparables:
Some overlap with Getapp.com

X-Factors:
1. Tailwind in the market, with SaaS spend sneaking up on businesses

2. Strong client list including Brex, Toast, Drift, Canva, Hubspot and Plaid to name a few

Thoughts:
The CEO and Founder was formerly the Head of Enterprise Sales (Americas) for Invision, so he knows a thing or two about SaaS pricing. Prior to that he was at Hubspot.

ClassTag

EVA Growth Index:

Product:
Software platform to facilitate parent-teacher communications

Investors:
Founder CollectiveNewark Venture Partners, Contour Ventures, SmartHub, TMT Investments

Total Raised:
$9M

Business Model:
Make money through brand advertisers such as Clorox, Under Armor, and HP

Comparables:
ClassDojo, Remind, Google Classroom

X-Factors:
1. Claim to have 25k schools connecting with over 2M families through ClassTag

2. Accelerated growth driven by students not being able to go to school at the moment

Thoughts:
They appear to have built a nice three-sided marketplace between parents, teachers, and brand advertisers. Teachers receive free supplies for engaging with the platform and parents get a better parent-teacher communication flow. Makes a lot of sense. Exciting opportunity. Glad they are monetizing early.

>> See last week’s Seed Companies to Track >>

https://medium.com/eventuresvc-news/this-weeks-top-seed-companies-to-watch-anvil-benepass-pillar-lili-goodmonday-314deb1f7bc2

Brendan Wales is a Partner at e.ventures, a global venture capital firm investing in consumer and software companies from early to growth. Since joining e.ventures in 2012, he has been a Seed or Series A investor in Segment, Shipt, HousecallPro, Fetch Rewards, Test.ai, and Shopmonkey.

You can connect with Brendan on LinkedInTwitter, or by following him on Medium.

What is the EVA Growth Index?
The EVA Growth index is a composite of third-party data sources around a company’s website traffic. The vertical green lines in the charts represent a point in time where the company raised outside capital.