Startup

This Week’s Top Seed Companies to Watch —api.video, Locomation, Calibrate, Pragli, Karat

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:

Mastercard buys consumer financial data provider Finicity for $825M. The company was founded in 1998 and raised $80M in venture funding throughout its private operating journey.

Cloud-based operating system for financial institutions nCino files for IPO. The filing revealed that nCino generated $138.2M in net revenue over the fiscal year ending in January with a net loss of $27.7M. The company has raised a total of $213M in venture funding to date from the likes of night Partners and Salesforce Ventures.

Amazon is looking to accelerate its move into the autonomous vehicle space by acquiring self-driving car start-up Zoox for $1B. Zoox has raised $955M in venture funding to date, with its Seed round being led by Threshold and Lux Capital.

Here are my top seed investments from the last week:

API Video

EVA Growth Index:

Product:
End-to-end PaaS which enables developers to easily build, scale and operate on-demand and live streaming videos in apps, software or platforms

Investors:
Blossom CapitalKima Ventures

Total Raised:
$6.4M

Business Model:
Pay per use based on streaming, hosting and transcoding volume

Comparables:
Agora

X-Factors:
1. Existing organic growth as represented by the EVA Growth Index

2. Provides a global CDN infrastructure

Thoughts:
Developer first approach to video streaming technology already used by large EU businesses. The CEO previously built an online streaming business called LibCast.

Locomation

EVA Growth Index:
No external sources showing growth

Product:
Autonomous truck-driving technologies, which has one truck automatically follow a second, so that the driver of the following truck can rest/sleep

Investors:
Reinforced Ventures, Plug and Play, Fusion Fund, SaaS Ventures, Homebrew, Microventures, Batshit Crazy Ventures, Draper Triangle, Reshape, AV8 Ventures, Motus Ventures, Firebrand Ventures, Blackhorn Ventures

Total Raised:
$5.5M+

Business Model:
SaaS license

Comparables:
Embark, TuSimple

X-Factors:
1. Have trucks driving, even as driver rests

2. Massive market in the US

Thoughts:
A practical approach to autonomous driving, which solves the biggest issue with trucking, the human labor component. The CEO has spent a significant amount of his career focused on human-robot interactions.

Calibrate

EVA Growth Index:
No external sources showing growth

Product:
Virtual weight-loss assistant that gives a consumer access to prescription medication, one-on-one video doctor visits, and personal coaching on food, sleep, exercise, and emotional health

Investors:
Forerunner Ventures

Total Raised:
$5.1M

Business Model:
Subscription starting at $129 per month

Comparables:
Noom

X-Factors:
1. High LTV opportunity

2. Full-service that covers every step along the way (diet, connected device, pharmaceuticals when necessary, coaching)

Thoughts:
Large global market opportunity with little competition for this type of offering. Most players in this space have tried digital only solutions. The Founder comes from Capsule, which is a drug delivery business.

Pragli

EVA Growth Index:

Product:
Virtual office software for remote teams

Investors:
Good News Ventures

Total Raised:
Undisclosed

Business Model:
Freemium SaaS subscription starting at $75 per month

Comparables:
Sococo, Rovva

X-Factors:
1. Massive market momentum for this product category, with users from Facebook, Vmware, Asana, GoDaddy, and others

2. All communication is encrypted & transmitted using WebRTC

Thoughts:
There is friction to spin up a Zoom room and Google Hangouts is not great. “One Click to Talk” is a decent value proposition.

Karat

EVA Growth Index:
No external sources showing growth

Product:
Credit card for influencers and creators

Investors:
SignalFireY-CombinatorCRV, Coatue Management

Total Raised:
$4.6M

Business Model:
Will have a margin on transaction volume. May also earn revenue by driving loyalty to specific retailers that influencers purchase from.

Comparables:
N/A

X-Factors:
1. Growing business demographic that is underserved from a financial offering perspective

2. Cashback rewards based on follower volume

Thoughts:
Great team with relevant experience tackling a growing category of consumers.

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

https://medium.com/@brendanwales/this-weeks-top-seed-companies-to-watch-c9157ba50ee8

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.

Nicolas Von Blottnitz is an Analyst at e.ventures where he invests in both Consumer Internet and SaaS businesses. Since joining in 2018, he has invested in Codota, Bitwarden, and FlowHub.

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.