Funding:

  • Promus Ventures co-led London-based Behavox’s Series A to build next generation compliance software for financial institutions.
  • Promus Ventures invested in San Francisco-based Crowdflower's $10 million Series D led by Microsoft to use artificial intelligence to help data scientists.
  • True Fit raised $25 million Series B to help users find the best fitting clothes and reduce returns at retailers such as Nordstrom, Macy's, Under Armour and Adidas.
  • Promus Ventures invested in Seattle-based Deako's $3.5 million Series Seed to build a whole-house smart light switch technology platform.
Acquisitions: Highlights:

 

Funding Announcements:

 
Promus Ventures co-lead London-based Behavox's Series A funding with Hoxton Ventures. Behavox is building the next generation compliance surveillance platform for banks, hedge funds, traders, brokers and other financial institutions using natural language processing, voice analytics and advanced neural networks.

Microsoft led San Francisco-based CrowdFlower's $10 million Series D with participation from Promus Ventures, Canvas Ventures and Trinity Ventures. CrowdFlower allows its customers like Google, Facebook and Twitter to automatically perform data science tasks using artificial intelligence and machine learning. The technology is opening up new use cases across numerous verticals, including medical imaging and self-driving cars.
True Fit helps shoe and apparel businesses cut down on e-commerce returns. True Fit partners with big retailers like Nordstrom, Macy’s and Kate Spade to guide online customers to order the right size and style for their measurements. True Fit uses an algorithm based on self-reporting and purchase history to figure out what items fit the way a person likes. Promus Ventures participated along with Intel Capital, Jump Capital and Signal Peak Ventures in True Fit's $25 million Series B to help it expand its business.

Seattle-based Deako has raised $3.5 million in Seed funding led by Tandem Capital with participation from Promus Ventures.  

Deako sells to home-builders who install the hardware in new homes. Deako's hardware platform enables easily upgradable smart switches which can be easily swapped out in a few seconds. Deako's smart switch product enables lights to turn on automatically when a user returns home. These smart switches enable lights to be dimmable, set on timers, and have one touch "all off" capabilities.

 

Aquisition Announcements:

 

On-demand software development platform CodersClan acquired Promus Ventures-backed BinpressThe acquisition adds a major library of coding modules to help streamline CodersClan's capabilities and expand its marketplace options for on-demand coding. By using Binpress's extensive software module library, CodersClan will encourage code reuse to optimize the development process and lower development costs.  
 

 

Highlights:

 
WHOOP has been used by 29 U.S. Olympians at Rio to help improve their performance and train more effectively, including U.S. gold medal swimmer Ryan Lochte and NBA point guard Kyle Lowry. The WHOOP wristband constantly monitors athletes’ vitals, including heart rate variability, sleep performance and accelerometry — an objective measurement of physical activity. WHOOP analyzes data to explain how much strain athletes can put on their bodies based on previous workouts and recovery.

Kensho has developed its New Economy Indices: 21st Century Sectors to measure the growth of the many emerging technologies. Using its natural-language platform, together with a suite of sophisticated algorithms, Kensho scours millions of pages of financial statements and other public information to identify the constituents of each index. Kensho also weights each constituent according to the degree to which a given technology is central to the company's strategy. Vast computing power and intelligent processing uncover relationships that would be too time consuming or impossible for a human to do manually.

AngelList, the online platform for venture capital, has made a large impact in the early-stage funding scene in the U.S. AngelList helped raise over $160 million for startups last year, and has expanded AngelList Syndicates to India— which lets investors team up and pool funds for investments.
 

Mapbox will help IBM Watson customers visualize data such as sales, real estate values and citizen complaints by address. Watson enables customers to analyze business data by asking questions in colloquial speech or natural language. In recent years, IBM has been building out the data sources that Watson Analytics can draw from—and is now adding granular mapping info through a deal with geodata provider Mapbox.

As Mapbox continues to expand its existing business (which serves customers like Foursquare, Mapquest, Pinterest, Instacart and others), in June the company unveiled Mapbox Drive, a new version of its mapping data designed for use in cars equipped with autonomous navigation capabilities.
 
Statmuse is an interactive media platform for sports fans to search, share and discover sports, powered by natural language search technology. The company recently launched Statmuse MLB to enable searching on baseball statistics.
 

Anthem Blue Cross of California launched a pilot with Kurbo Health to help children and their families achieve a healthier weight and fight childhood obesity
Bellabeat, the maker of a line of health trackers aimed at women, has sold over 400,000 units of its first health tracker known as the Leaf – a name given to the device because of its leaf-like shape which can be worn on the wrist, as a brooch, or pendant. In July, the company announced its next generation tracker called the Leaf Urban. The update gives the wearable a more modern feel, and arrives alongside a new mobile application that helps women track stress and resolve it through exercises.
 

TerrAvion, the leader in aerial imaging and real-time data for agriculture, announced a partnership with CHS Inc., a leading global agribusiness across the United States. CHS will offer TerrAvion's aerial imagery and data solutions to its producer customers to drive informed and strategic decisions on where to allocate resources to maximize crop yield. This partnership enables TerrAvion to double its weekly acreage to nearly 10 million.
 

Toronto-based Tulip Retail creates an app for retailers, to help salespeople have information for customers at their fingertips. Tulip is expanding and looking to hire 100 people over the next few months. Current customers include Kate Spade, Saks Fifth Avenue, Coach, Lululemon, Frye, Bonobos, Frank + Oak, Toys R Us and others.
 
Spire entered into a partnership with the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF) to host an on-site ground station. The ground station is the only one of its kind in Austria. The new site joins Spire’s ground station network, which includes dozens of locations around the world, and is used to downlink crucial ship and weather data from Spire's constellation of nano satellites.
SmallSat companies such as Spire have a large demand for micro-launchers to send their cubesats into space. Micro-launchers can meet the demand of SmallSat companies by providing more frequent launches, more certainty in launch schedules and greater flexibility.

CustomInk, a retailer of custom-printed T-shirts and other apparel, announced it has doubled mobile sales and traffic in the past year. CustomInk’s 2015 mobile sales totaled $45 million. Much of the retailer’s mobile growth is a result of more mobile visits and sales from returning customers. CustomInk is the nation’s 125th largest e-retailer with annual web sales of $273 million in 2015.
 

YourMechanic used their large dataset of auto repairs to identify which cars break down the most, have the highest maintenance costs, and each car's most common types of maintenance.
 
The June Intelligent Oven uses precision sensors, high performance processors, artificial intelligence and wifi connectivity to automatically cook food for users. June can pull data from multiple industry recipes, log meals for consumers and keep photos and cooking logs. June cooks food faster and more efficiently using precision thermal engineering to use less energy than traditional ovens.
 
Gigster, a San Francisco software freelancing platform, created the Gigster Fund to provide incentive and better align a software development freelancers with their client company's success. Gigster—backed by $12.5 million in funding from investors including Promus Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, Bloomberg Beta and actor Ashton Kutcher—has revenue in the low eight figure range.
 
Navdy and Swift Navigation were Highlighted in Disrupting the Auto Industry: The Startups That Are Unbundling the Car

 

From self-driving cars and drones to precision agriculture machinery and consumer robotics, Swift Navigation provides centimeter-accurate GPS for a future of autonomous vehicles to navigate the world. By moving GPS positioning from custom hardware to a flexible software-based receiver, Swift Navigation delivers Real Time Kinematics GPS that is 100 times more accurate than the GPS in a cell phone at a fraction of the price of the competition.
 

Jonathan Downey, Airware CEO, shares his thoughts on new use cases, safety, privacy and some of the most exciting things now possible in airspace.
 

Users of Altspace VR can currently conduct a whole conversation and users can shake their avatar's head or rotate their body to show they are listening. By the end of the year, avatars could wink, smile, and frown, among possible expressions through new face-tracking technology. 
 


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