October 2019

Portfolio Highlights

Spire announced over $40m in new funding from strategic partners including ITOCHU, Mitsui, and Scottish Investment Bank and financial investors led by the GPO Fund, Perennial Value Management Limited, and Bessemer Ventures. Existing investors RRE, Qualcomm, Expon Capital, and Seraphim also participated.

This investment will allow Spire to substantially increase the creation of its proprietary space-based data and analytics with a new level of accuracy for aviation, crucial weather data and extreme weather prediction analytics. 

Promus Ventures is an early investor in Spire and led its previous $40M Series B round.

Banco Santander's fintech venture capital arm, Santander InnoVentures, has led a €35M Series B into Berlin-based CrossLend's digital debt market place. The investment will help CrossLend to enter new markets, with strong participation from existing investors including ABN Amro, Lakestar, and Earlybird.

Founded in 2014, CrossLend provides a marketplace for consumer loans and other forms of debt originated by banks. Buyers are institutional investors such as banks, investment funds and insurance companies.

Promus Ventures is privileged to be an early investor in CrossLend. Further coverage of the CrossLend Series B is available from PEHub and Tech.EU.
Aurora Insight has announced that it has raised $18 million in funding across a seed round and Series A. Led by Alsop Louie Partners and True Ventures, backers also include Promus Ventures, Tippet Venture Partners, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Alumni Ventures Group, ValueStream Ventures and Intellectus Partners.

Aurora Insight provides a dynamic global map of wireless connectivity that it built and monitors in real time using AI combined with data from sensors on satellites, vehicles, buildings, aircraft and other objects. Aurora has launched its first product, a platform providing insights on wireless signal and quality covering a range of wireless spectrum bands, offered as a cloud-based, data-as-a-service product.
Dark emerged from stealth in July and announced $3.5 million in seed funding, which it closed in 2017. The founders have spent the last couple of years building the Dark platform. Dark's seed round was led by Cervin Ventures, with participation from Promus Ventures, Boldstart, Data Collective, Harrison Metal, and others.

Dark is focused on "deployless" software development - if you build your application in Dark’s language inside of Dark’s editor, you can deploy it automatically on Dark’s infrastructure on Google Cloud Platform without worrying about all of the underlying deployment tasks.

The company provides more details on its seed round and the Dark platform on the Dark blog.

Promus Ventures News

 
Mike Collett spoke on the panel "What's the Equation for Investing in Space Businesses" during the 23rd Satellite Financing Summit track at World Satellite Business Week in Paris.
 
Gareth Keane spoke at the 2019 Wharton Aerospace Ventures Forum in San Francisco on a panel with investors and startup CEOs, covering the role of venture capital in space and aerospace innocation.
 
Mike Collett spoke at the 2019 Satellite Innovation Conference as a panelist, covering sources of financing for space-related companies.

Gareth Keane spoke at the 70th International Astronautical Congress in Washington, DC, on October 23rd. 
 
Mike Collett and Gareth Keane will be speaking at the NewSpace Europe conference in Luxembourg on November 13th/14th 2019. 

Promus Ventures Recent Blogposts

"Measurement as a Differentiator"
(Gareth Keane)

"Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all." 
Charles Babbage

Promus Ventures' Community Job Board

The Promus Ventures' Community Job Board currently has more than 330 recent job posts from Promus Ventures-backed companies. 

Portfolio News

Swift Navigation Announces Partnership with Arm (GPS World)
 

Swift Navigation is partnering with Arm, a global leader in semiconductor IP. Arm will offer Swift Navigation’s high-integrity, high-accuracy GNSS positioning solutions as an option on Arm-based platforms to developers of autonomous and connected vehicles.

Swift Navigation is redefining GNSS positioning technology for autonomous vehicles. Swift’s partnership with Arm will deliver a high-integrity, high-accuracy GNSS positioning solution for silicon makers and Tier 1 and 2 auto suppliers to integrate precise positioning into the sensor suite.

ICEYE SAR Imagery Helps With Hurricane Dorian Relief Efforts (CNBC)

 
Helsinki-based satellite startup ICEYE shared imagery of the Grand Bahama island during Hurricane Dorian with CNBC and other media. The photo, taken midday Monday September 2nd from the ICEYE-X2 satellite, reveals Dorian’s storm surge. ICEYE outlined the previously uncovered coastline in yellow and roads in white.

The company estimates that more than 60% of the Grand Bahama island shown in the imaging from the ICEYE satellite is submerged.

Rocket Lab Launches 9th Electron (TechCrunch), Announces Plans to Launch to Lunar Orbit (Forbes)

 
Rocket Lab has added another successful commercial launch to its track record, launching the Electron rocket for the ninth time last week. This is the eighth commercial mission for Rocket Lab since it began ferrying payloads for paying clients in 2018. 

This mission was a late-stage substitute, swapping in for another Rocket Lab client that had to delay their own launch. Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck told TechCrunch that “Electron is a launch on demand service — we’re ready when the launch customer is,” highlighting the flexibility of the launch service they offer to adapt to the needs of their customers.

Separately, Rocket Lab has announced its lunar launch capabilities, and Space News reports that Rocket Lab's US launch site on Wallops Island, Virginia, is nearing completion.
CB Insights has included Gauss Surgical in the inaugural Digital Health 150 ranking, showcasing the 150 most promising private digital health companies in the world. 

Gauss Surgical is transforming surgery with an AI-enabled mobile platform for the operating room. Gauss leverages artificial intelligence, including machine learning and computer vision, to power surgical safety protocols by delivering real-time insights, simplifying clinical workflow, and closing communication gaps. Gauss' flagship platform, Triton, is FDA cleared and CE Marked, and powers maternal hemorrhage protocols in hospitals performing over 250,000 annual procedures. Gauss recently announced the introduction of Triton Count, an AI-powered application built for the iPhone that supports best practices for surgical sponge counting.
Communications app developer Slack has expanded its utilisation of Cobalt Robotics’ mobile security robot, with a new integration between Slack’s widely used enterprise communications and collaboration platform and Cobalt's mobile security robots.

With this new integration, security teams add the Cobalt Security Service to a shared channel within a corporate Slack workspace. When Cobalt detects anything that needs escalation or further review – from an unauthorized visitor, to CO2 emissions, to a water leak – it triggers a real-time alert in a designated Slack channel.
  

Cape Analytics has launched the insurance industry’s first geospatial portfolio monitoring solution. Cape Analytics’ Portfolio Monitoring is comprised of two initial offerings: Change Detection, which alerts carriers when Cape’s AI identifies a change to a property that affects a policy’s risk profile, and Property Chronicle, a visual representation of property attribute history over time.

Together, Change Detection and Property Chronicle will change how insurers detect and proactively respond to shifts in property risk over time and across their book of business.

June Oven CEO Matt Van Horne spoke at the Smart Kitchen Summit in Seattle, and described some of the upcoming milestones for the company, including the imminent launch in Amazon's Whole Foods supermarket chain later this month.
  

Vox covered Promus Ventures' portfolio company True Fit in an in-depth story on the challenges consumers face when shopping for clothes online due to sizing and fit variations between clothing brands and manufacturers.
 
  

Promus Ventures Investment Team - Chicago / San Francisco


Mike Collett 
Managing Partner
 

Gareth Keane
Partner
 

Bill Merchantz
Venture Partner

Matt Martorello
Venture Partner
 
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Promus Ventures includes PVM I, LLC, PVE GP I, LLC and PVM II, LLC, which are relying advisers under Promus Asset Management, LLC (“PAM”). Promus Venture Management, LLC is not managed, controlled or owned by Promus Holdings, LLC (“Promus Holdings”), the parent company of PAM and its affiliates. Furthermore, please note that the San Francisco office is solely affiliated with Promus Venture Management, LLC and has no connection to, is not affiliated with, and does not perform functions on behalf of Promus Holdings and its affiliates. Mike Collett performs functions on behalf of both PAM (and its relying advisers) and Promus Venture Management. Mike Collett, an employee of Promus Holdings and control person of PVM I, LLC, PVE GP I, LLC, and PVM II, LLC, controls Promus Venture Management, LLC. Please note that Gareth Keane, Bill Merchantz and Matt Martorello perform functions on behalf of Promus Venture Management, LLC and are not affiliated with PAM or Promus Holdings or their affiliates.