The RISE: A ROTR Portco Summer Newsletter
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The RISE: A ROTR Portco Summer Newsletter

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A quick note.

The joys of July 🚀.

We were busy in July, and many of you were too!

One of the highlights of July was hosting our very first Tech Talent Tour, featuring city spotlights on Clubhouse, a main stage discussion featuring a keynote with Steve and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky in conversation with Kara Swisher, and a virtual career fair that connected more than 2,000 active job seekers to your 1,000+ open jobs.

I would like to send a huge *THANK YOU* and shoutout to all of you that participated - please pass the thanks to your CPO's, Head of People's, Marketing team, etc.

The tour was the first step to rethinking how we approach talent solutions, and continue to support you with your hiring needs. If you hadn't had a chance to check out the "Resume Book" of job seekers sourced from our talent partners, and university partners, please send me (amira.ouji@revolution.com) an email ASAP. A few interviews have come out of this already!

Still on the topic of work, we surveyed all of you to understand what you were thinking in terms of remote work, returning to the office, and more. Here are some of the more interesting findings:

  • Only 29% of companies were remote before COVID-19, and nearly 80% now say they plan to make remote work a permanent option.
  • Of the 49 companies that were NOT remote before the pandemic, 38 (78%) of them plan to make remote work a permanent option.
  • 78% of the respondents will either move to a fully remote or hub and spoke model.

If you have any feedback on the tech talent tour, portfolio engagement support, or just want to catch up, please feel free to put some time on the books: https://calendly.com/amira-ouji/30min

Peace,

Amira

SAVE THE DATE: Thursday, 9/16, 3PM – 4PM EST

ROTR LP Ray Dalio – the Founder, Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Investor Officer of famed Bridgewater Associates – will join us on this September Ray recently teamed up with Wharton Psychology Professor and well-known author, Adam Grant, to develop PrinciplesYou, a powerful new self-assessment tool for leaders—available at no cost for those interested [https://principlesyou.com/].

During our discussion, Ray will share why he built the tool and how you can use it to help strengthen your leadership skills. This event is open to Revolution founders across our portfolio.

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Details to follow.

New(ish) ROTR Team Members

👋🏽 Re-meet Ayush (Washington, DC)!

Ayush first joined the Rise of the Rest team in 2020 as a Venture Fellow. Now, Ayush is a Senior Associate at Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund and is responsible for investment sourcing, execution, and portfolio support.

Prior to joining Revolution, Ayush spent several years in the Med-tech space, at startups and Fortune 500 companies. Most recently he worked at Stryker and J&J, where he held lead roles in R&D, Global Marketing, and Global Product Management. Ayush designed, developed, and launched 3 breakthrough, life-saving implants to treat brain aneurysms and peripheral vascular disease, which now collectively generate $300M+ in global revenues.

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Fun Fact: "I earned my black belt in Tae Kwon Do as a 12 year old, making me the youngest ever in my region. I went on to teach before retiring from the sport at the ripe old age of 14"

👋🏽 Meet Mahati (New York City, NY)!

Mahati is a Vice President on the investment team at Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. She joined the firm in 2021 and focuses on sourcing, due diligence, and supporting existing portfolio companies.

Prior to joining Revolution, Mahati was an Associate at Bull City Venture Partners, a Durham-based venture capital fund where she worked on seed and series A software and internet investments in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, and a Venture Fellow at Primary Ventures. Mahati is also a Venture for America Fellow and served her fellowship in Charlotte where she helped launch CFV Ventures, an early-stage fintech-focused venture fund. She started her career in Investment Banking at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey where she worked on the healthcare coverage team.

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Mahati is a recent grad from Columbia Business School.

Fun Fact: "My first internship was with ArchiveSocial, one of the original ROTR 1 fund companies. I didn't know it then, but as a result, I've crossed paths with the ROTR team more than I remember in my past. Excited to be on the team now!"

Say Hi! to our New Portfolio Companies

Here are the publicly-announced deals:

  • 👩🏾‍⚕️ Candidate (Seattle, WA), a referral hiring platform, raised a $4M Seed round led by Voyager with participation from Positive Sum, Ascend, BAM Ventures and Vulcan.
  • 👷🏽‍♀️ Daupler (Kansas City, MO), a first response software for utilities and public works, raised $4M in funding from Burnt Island Ventures, Knoll Ventures, and KCRise Fund.
  • 👚 Recurate (Washington, DC), makers of an integrated resale marketplace directly on ecommerce stores, raised a $3.25M Seed round led by Gradient Ventures, with participation from Third Kind Ventures.
  • ♻️ Recyclops (Sandy, UT), a platform to bring curbside recycling everywhere, raised a $3M Seed round led by Lerer Hippeau and The Clorox Company.
  • 🧑‍🔧 86Repairs (Chicago, IL), a service provider that streamlines the end-to-end repair and maintenance process for restaurants, raised $7.3M in their latest round. Investors include Chicago-based food industry investment firm Cleveland Avenue, led by former McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson, and Relish Works Inc.
  • 🏡 DwellSocial (Chicago, IL), a platform that connected neighborhoods to home services contractors to get group discounts.
  • 🚺 Gennev (Seattle, WA), a provider of feminine care products intended to empower women to take control of their health in menopause and beyond.
  • 🛠 Claim Informatics (Bloomfield, CT), a comprehensive payment integrity technology solution that promotes accountability and transparency for all stakeholders.

Want to connect any of these companies? Shoot me (amira.ouji@revolution.com) an email!

Deals & Discounts

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Some of you may already be familiar with 2 of our Tech Talent Tour Partners, Purpose Jobs & Powderkeg. For those that are not:

Purpose Jobs, the Midwest’s largest startup and tech community, is exclusively offering Revolution's portfolio companies free job postings, company profiles, and talent/employer matchmaking to their community of 40,000+ members.

Additionally, ROTR is offering to take one company to the next level with Purpose Jobs' custom-branded content, promoted job placements, and all inclusive platform access with a 1-year Premium Plan.

Contact me (amira.ouji@revolution.com) to learn more about both services and to help get you set up!

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PowderKeg is a growing community of more than 10,000 tech entrepreneurs, investors, and professionals who are building innovative companies across America in areas beyond Silicon Valley. They leverage real relationships and information from thousands of companies to help job seekers find the best opportunities in tech.

Infrastructure Bill

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With an Infrastructure Deal looking more and more likely, we have been helping some portfolio companies understand how new pools of federal funding may impact them. Have questions about what an Infrastructure Deal could mean for your company? Contact me (amira.ouji@revolution.com) to help set up a call with our Policy experts.

Both companies have agreed to offer their ‘freemium option’ to ALL portfolio companies :-). Contact me (amira.ouji@revolution.com) to learn more about both services and to help get you set up!

Portco Classifieds

Have you ever been featured in the Portco  Classifieds section? This section allows you to promote your business to your fellow ROTR companies - you never know who could be a potential customer.

As an entrepreneur, you should exploit this section, unashamedly. To be featured, shoot Amira a note here!

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(Madison, WI) Want to make your presentations and documents more engaging? Airdeck has your back. AirDeck gives you the power to create narrated presentations and documents for on-demand viewing, personalize, and track your content, all in one platform. Check out some of their new features here. BTW, Airdeck awesome for investor board meetings. Want to get connected? Shoot me (amira.ouji@revolution.com) an email.

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(Denver, CO) Marketing to college students? Flytedesk is your best bet. Before we get into it, we have to give yet another HUGE shoutout to OG ROTR portco, Flytedesk for their support in pushing the Tech Talent Tour to a MASSIVE number of college students (300k+ to be exact). Flytedesk is THE largest campus advertising network in the US. They make it easy to reach college students where they are most engaged. Want to get connected? Shoot me (amira.ouji@revolution.com) an email.

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(Austin, TX) Revolutionize your contractors with Zenbusiness! ZenBusiness is working with several companies in the freelance/gig space to provide their platform to set your contractors up with LLC’s at scale in all 50 states. Micro-entrepreneurship at it's best. Don't believe me? Read the Forbes, Best LLC Services 2021 for yourself. Want to get connected? Shoot me (amira.ouji@revolution.com) an email.

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(Indianapolis, IN) Does your marketing team want to to create more valuable content, while automating hours of keyword and SEO research? DemandJump is your solution. DemandJump’s Customer Behavior and Marketing Attribution Platform enables customers to see if every marketing action - including campaigns, content, keywords and organic search terms - is driving pipeline and revenue. Want to get connected? Shoot me (amira.ouji@revolution.com) an email.

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(Detroit, MI) Scale your video storytelling. Before we get into it, we have to give a HUGE shoutout to OG ROTR Portco, Waymark, for seamlessly creating short commercials for a lot of you to help promote your company and increase brand visibility during the Tech Talent Tour by scanning your company’s online footprint. Waymark’s product allows businesses to create instant, premium quality videos, accelerate sales, marketing, recruiting, and more. Empower your team TODAY. Want to get connected? Shoot me (amira.ouji@revolution.com) an email.

Relevant Reads & Shoutouts!

Congrats to our portfolio companies with funding announcements from the last few months. Are you raising a new round and looking for advice from another founder in the portfolio who has ‘been there, done that’ recently? Contact me (Amira) and I will help match you with a company.

  • ☀️ Heliogen - $200M+ (Pasadena, CA), a renewable energy technology company unlocking the power of sunlight to replace fossil fuels, will merge with Athena Technology Acquisition Corp (ATHN.N), one of the few SPACs led by women, to go public in a deal that valuing the company at about $2 billion, including a $165M PIPE. The company also recently raised $108M in funding from ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT), Edison International, Prime Movers Lab, Ocgrow Ventures, A.T. Gekko, 8090 Partners, Gordon Crawford, and Rashaun Williams. Existing investors included Bill Gates, Patrick Soon-Shiong, Nant Capital, and Neotribe Ventures.
  • 🎋 Branch - $50M (Columbus, OH), a bundled home and auto insurance provider, raised a $50M Series B led by Anthemis Group, with participation from Acrew, Cherry Creek Holdings, Greycroft, HSCM Bermuda, American Family Ventures, SignalFire, SCOR P&C Ventures, Foundation Capital and Tower IV.
  • 🏙️ Replica - $41M (Kansas City, MO), makers of an urban data platform, raised a $41M Series B led by Founders Fund, and joined by previous investors Innovation Endeavors, Sidewalk Labs, and Firebrand.
  • Collective Retreats - $23M (Denver, CO), an outdoor hospitality provider, raised a $23M Series C led by Fireside Investments and Outdoorsy (with whom they've partnered with to combine Collective Retreats' outdoor hospitality expertise and innovative guest experience programming with Outdoorsy's technology platforms and global reach).
  • 🚚 FreightWaves - $16M (Chattanooga, TN), the leading provider of supply chain market information, announced a $16 million capital raise led by Triangle Peak Partners, alongside 8VC, Hearst Ventures, Prologis Ventures, Fontinalis and Kayne Partners.
  • 🛋️ Nickson - $12M (Dallas, TX), a home furnishing subscription platform, raised a $12M Series A led by Pendulum Opportunities, with participation from Backstage Capital and Motley Fool Ventures.
  • 🚢 FlavorCloud - $6M (Seattle, WA), a global ecommerce shipping and logistics platform, raised a $6.3M Series A led by Mucker Capital, with participation from Willow Group.
  • 🥛 MilkRun - $5M+ (Austin, TX), a local farmer- and producer-focused grocery delivery platform, raised their Series A from Eudemian Ventures, Spark Capital, and Techstars. CEO Julia Niiro also moved the company's HQ from Portland, OR to Austin, TX.

ROTR Making Quick Stops on the Road

Denver, CO

Recently, Anna [Mason] touched down in Governor's Island,NY to visit portfolio company Collective Retreat's, a developer of glamping compounds in in unconventional destinations that are underserved or inaccessible to traditional hotels, Governors Island location. In July, Collective Retreats teamed up with Outdoorsy, the Airbnb of RV rentals, to develop a partnership that will to allow Outdoorsy drivers to pull up to an outdoor glamping spot at a Collective Retreats site and get access to the retreat’s hotel features, such as a cocktail bar. Get your RV's and wine glasses ready!

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Atlanta, GA

Steve [Case] and David [Hall] took a trip down to Atlanta in June, and made stopped by portfolio company Hermeus, makers of hypersonic (Mach 5) aircraft. The company recently announced a new 110,000 square foot factory in Dorvaille, GA, to work on manufacturing a new, supersonic aircraft. We're excited to be back out on the road catching up with portfolio companies in person!

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Writings & Reflections from the ROTR Team

At Georgia Tech's Inclusive Entrepreneurship Forum, our Chairman and CEO Steve Case spoke with Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera about the relationship between diversity and entrepreneurship in the U.S. Steve shared his perspective on national trends in technology and venture, community support from government for entrepreneurs, the long-term ramifications of Covid-19, and Atlanta's potential to become the nation's most inclusive startup city.

Got Deals?

Have a deal you think we'd be a good fit for? Send us a note!

As a reminder, our typical first checks range from $250K–$500K in seed rounds, with follow-on check writing from $500K - $5M. The range in round size is $1.5M - $5M at a $5M - $15M pre-money valuation. We do not lead, we are industry generalists (but no: biotech, life science, CPG, cannabis or hardware).

(Just remember: the startup has to be headquartered outside of Silicon Valley, NYC, and Boston!)