Startup

This Week’s Top Seed Companies to Watch — Tailscale, Mutable, Obviously.ai, Upshift, Atmosphere TV

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:

Insight Partners closed a $9.5B Growth Equity Fund. This is the firm's 11th fund and its biggest to date with the purpose of investing $10M to $350M into “enterprise-ready businesses” that are “positioned for rapid growth”. The firm has invested over $19B to date.

Zumper raised a $60M Series D led by e.ventures to digitize the one-year property leasing experience. The company has now raised a total $150M to date with high-profile investors such as Kleiner Perking, Breyer Capital, and NEA on the cap-table. Its Seed round was lead by Kleiner Perkins in September 2012.

Here are my top seed investments from the last week:

Tailscale

EVA Growth Index:
No external sources indicating growth

Product:
Software solution to create secure networks between servers, computers and cloud instances even across firewalls or subnets

Investors:
Uncork CapitalHeavybit

Total Raised:
$3M

Business Model:
Freemium SaaS subscription starting at $10 per user per month

Comparables:
ZeroTier

X-Factors:
1. Cloud-computing minimized on-prem intranet, this brings private network security back

2. Integrates with existing SSO (single sign-on)and MFA (multi-factor authentication) providers like Okta, Google or Microsoft

Thoughts:
Given the increase in WFH, a more secure and nimble private network will be attractive to employers. Relevant early-stage investors, who understand this type of model and go-to-market.

Mutable

EVA Growth Index:
No external sources indicating growth

Product:
Software infrastructure which lets businesses leverage its idle computing power across all its hardware or sell/purchase idle computing power to/from other Mutable network participants

Investors:
Lunar VenturesFly Ventures, Right Side Capital, Techstars

Total Raised:
$1.6M

Business Model:
SaaS subscription with a take-rate on marketplace revenue

Comparables:
Kazuhm, InteGrade

X-Factors:
1. Enabling businesses to more effectively leverage or monetize their idle computing power

2. The potential to be a global AWS powered by everyone other than Amazon

Thoughts:
Large businesses still do not have the best understanding of their network capacity. Mutable helps a business better understand this as well as to open it up between product groups as well as other companies. We have seen similar models in gaming as well as across many crypto projects.

Obviously AI

EVA Growth Index:
No external sources indicating growth

Product:
Code-free data science software with a search engine like interface

Investors:
Arka Venture Labs, Sequoia Scouts, NVIDIA

Total Raised:
Undisclosed

Business Model:
SaaS subscription ranging from $49 to $1,500 per month

Comparables:
Vidora

X-Factors:
1. Democratizing computer science skills, by allowing people to just ask questions, rather than writing SQL queries

2. Taking the no-code movement to the computer science space

Thoughts:
Non-technical people within an enterprise need answers to business questions. Right now, they rely on “Business Intelligence” people as well as engineers to pull queries from a database. Obviously lowers the bar for all to get the answers they need, when they need them.

Atmosphere TV

EVA Growth Index:

Product:
TV streaming service for businesses with channels catered for every mood, business type, and customer profile

Investors:
Valor Equity, S3 Ventures, Capstar Capital

Total Raised:
$15M

Business Model:
Subscription model ranging from $20 to $50 per month

Comparables:
No one significant

X-Factors:
1. Retail locations with TV drive repeat and new visitors

2. Strong EVA Growth

Thoughts:
A large market that is underserved by existing cable providers (those cable providers are also quite expensive for b2b). The challenge with Atmosphere is that it appears that the majority of their customers are restaurants, hotels, and gyms.

Upshift

EVA Growth Index:
No external sources indicating growth

Product:
On-demand fully insured and fueled cars delivered and picked-up to/from where the consumer likes it

Investors:
Various Angels, BMW, Urban Us

Total Raised:
$1.4M

Business Model:
Monthly subscription-based around the number of days used, with each day costing between $45 and $60

Comparables:
Turo, Zipcar, GetAround

X-Factors:
1. Eliminating the Uber drive to an on-demand car-share, as well as the parking and gas refilling that comes with it

Thoughts:
Solving many of the logistical challenges associated with short-term car rental. Do more people rent cars on a short-term basis in a COVID world or do they end-up owning more, looking for the most amount of logistical freedom?

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
.