Startup

This Week’s Top Seed Companies to Watch — Around, Superpeer, n8n.io, Assembled, Influence

A weekly newsletter highlighting the top seed companies that have announced or raised a seed round within the past week.

There are over 1,000 companies that raise seed or angel financing each quarter in the United States. This weekly post provides a glimpse into how we think about tracking new investment opportunities.

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Happy Monday!

A few general venture capital highlights from last week:

e.ventures portfolio company and mobile gaming giant Scopely adds $200M to their Series D. The company has now raised $659M in venture funding with its Seed round being lead by Anthem Venture Partners in September 2012.

Indonesia’s leading on-demand motorcycle delivery and transport company Gojek raises $1.2B Series F. The company has now raised over $4.5B in funding with its first financing round being lead by Openspace Ventures in December 2014.

Customer insight platform UserTesting raises $100M Series C led by Insight Partners. The company has now taken on over $148M in venture funding with its first public financing round being led by Kern Whelan Capital in September 2012.

Here are my top seed investments from the last week:

Around

EVA Growth Index:
No external sources indicating growth

Product:
Low-friction group video calls with AI features that improve call quality (ex. video framing, background noise blocking)

Investors:
Initialized Capital, Floodgate

Total Raised:
$5.2M

Business Model:
Still pre-launch, but probably a freemium subscription pricing model

Comparables:
Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts

X-Factors:
1. Taking the formality and friction out of conferencing software

2. Using integrated background noise blocking as a key initial feature

Thoughts:
There is still friction in setting up video calls, specifically — for Zoom — that a client needs to be installed on one’s computer in order to use the software. By using Slack as the client, Around is able to streamline the meeting creation process. The challenge here is that not everyone uses Slack. By offering video framing and noise blocking, Around is trying to make it more comfortable (and productive) to answer a video call in an atypical place.

EVA Growth Index:
No external sources indicating growth

Product:
1 on 1 video calls between online influencers (focused on business) and their followers for a pre-set price

Investors:
Eniac Ventures

Total Raised:
$2M

Business Model:
Take-rate on GMV earned by influencers

Comparables:
GLG, Clarity.fm

X-Factors:
1. Enables business focused influencers the ability to monetize their followers

2. Creates a management layer (discovery, payment, scheduling, etc.) between the influencer and the person looking to gain some type of insight

Thoughts:
People are always looking for business advice. Those that would like to give such advice also have other responsibilities, so by creating a simple way for them to provide such advice while making it worth their time solves an incentive problem.

n8n

EVA Growth Index:
No external sources indicating growth

Product:
Free and Open tool to build workflow automation, such as automated communication responses or data syncing

Investors:
Sequoia Capital, Firstminute Capital, Obvious Ventures

Total Raised:
$1.5M

Business Model:
Free at this point in time

Comparables:
Zapier, Tray.io

X-Factors:
1. Open and collaborative approach to the growing workflow automation space

2. Best in class Seed investors

Thoughts:
We love the open-source business model here at e.ventures. Applying this approach to work-flow automation is logical. The team at n8n.io has is using a license called Faircode.io, which solves some of the challenges associated with scaling an open-source project, specifically that it can be replicated.

Assembled.com

EVA Growth Index:

Product:
Customer support team utilization and load balancing

Investors:
Stripe, SignalFire, Basis Set Ventures

Total Raised:
$3.1M

Business Model:
Saas fees per agent per month

Comparables:
N/A

X-Factors:
1. Bringing intelligence to customer support management

2. Extraordinarily large market size. Count Everlane, Looker, Harry’s and others as early customers

Thoughts:
Created by an early Stripe team member, who helped scale their growth team. We are seeing a macro movement wherein businesses are building more attractive and powerful layers on top of existing systems of record. This is a great example.

Influence

EVA Growth Index:

Product:
Online platform for influencers to display their professional profiles to connect with other industry stakeholders and potential clients

Investors:
Bonfire Ventures, Batshit Crazy Ventures, Next 10 Ventures

Total Raised:
3.8M

Business Model:
Premium subscription, hiring services and advertising

Comparables:
LinkedIn for the social media world

X-Factors:
1. LinkedIn is no place for influencers and other social media platforms are influencer’s marketing/monetization platforms

2. Tremendous logarithmic traffic growth

Thoughts:
If everyone is becoming an influencer in one way or another, then a social network for influencers seems to make sense. Influence has reached a pretty decent scale while flying below the radar.

Have you recently raised a Seed round? Do you think your start-up could be of interest to e.ventures? Provide us your information here to be potentially included next week.

See last weeks Seeds to Track >> here

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
.