I spent the week in Malibu attending Upfront Ventures’ the annual Upfront Summit, which brings together the likes of Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Washington, DC, for a two-day networking session. Cameron Diaz was there for a reason, and Natalie Portman made an appearance. Stacey Abrams had a powerful question and answer session with Lisa Borders, President and CEO of Time’s Up. Of course, Gwyneth Paltrow he was there to talk about Goop, his business-funded content and commerce engine.
“I had no idea what I was getting into, but I am very satisfied and fired from this job,” Paltrow said on stage at the summit … “It’s a very different life than I used to have, but I feel very lucky to have done this. Jump. ” Speaking to Frederic Court, the founder of felix capital, Paltrow shed light on her fundraising process.
“When I set out to increase my Serie A, it was very difficult,” he said. “It’s great to be Gwyneth Paltrow when you’re raising money because people come to the meeting, but then you get a lot more rejections than if they didn’t want to take a selfie … People were understandably doubting [this business]. It becomes easier when you have a thriving business and your unit’s finances look good. “
In other news…
1. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is also an entrepreneur.
The actor stopped by at the summit to promote his startup, HitRecord. . I spoke to him about his $ 6.4 million and his big plans for the artist collaboration platform.
- Offers of the week
Backed by GV, Sequoia, Floodgate and more, Clover Health confirmed to TechCrunch this week that has brought another round of capital led by Greenoaks. The $ 500 million round is a vote of confidence for the business, which has seen its fair share of well-publicized setbacks. More on that here. Additionally, Clutter, the startup that provides on-demand moving and storage services, is raising at least $ 200 million from SoftBank, sources report to TechCrunch. The round is big business for the Los Angeles tech ecosystem, which, aside from Snap and Bird, has created few company-backed unicorns.
- Pinterest’s IPO is really, really happening
Pinterest, The nine-year-old visual search engine has signed Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase as primary underwriters for an IPO that is planned for later this year. With $ 700 million in 2018 revenue, the company has raised about $ 1.5 billion at a $ 12 billion valuation from Goldman Sachs Investment. Partners, Valiant Capital Partners, Wellington Management, Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners and more.
- Fundraising efforts
Kleiner Perkins “went back to the future” this week with the announcement of a $ 600 million fund. The firm’s 18th fund will invest in the seed stages, Series A and Series B. TCV, a sponsor of Peloton and Airbnb, closed an incredible $ 3 billion vehicle to invest in consumer Internet, IT infrastructure and new service companies. Partech has doubled its Africa venture capital fund to $ 143 million and opened a Nairobi office to complement its Dakar practice. And Sapphire Ventures has set aside $ 115 million for sports and entertainment betting.
- Sam Altman has a new idea.
The co-founder of Y Combinator. is launching something of an annual weekend getaway for nerds in scenic Boulder, Colorado. Called YC 120, it will bring its 120 people together for a couple of days in April to build connections. Read TechCrunch’s Connie Loizos interview with Altman here.
- Hims gets unicorn status
Consumer Wellness Business Hims has raised $ 100 million in a rolling round with a pre-money valuation of $ 1 billion. A growth-stage investor has led the round, with participation from existing investors (including Forerunner Ventures, Founders Fund, Redpoint Ventures, SV Angel, 8VC and Maverick Capital) . Our sources declined to name the lead investor, but said it was a “super large fund” that is not SoftBank and that it has not previously invested in Hims.
- A16Z bet on VR – again
Five years after Andreessen Horowitz. Oculus backed, is leading a $ 68 million A series Financing in Sandbox VR. Lucas Matney by TechCrunch spoke to a16z’s Andrew Chen and Floodgate’s Mike Maples about what sets Sandbox apart.
Here’s your weekly reminder to send me tips, suggestions, and more at [email protected] or @KateClarkTweets.
- More effective startup:
- An update on the Munchery fiasco.
In a new class action lawsuit, a former Munchery the facilities worker claims the new company owes him and 250 other employees 60-day wages. On top of that, another former employee says CEO James Beriker was largely absent and is to blame for Munchery’s downfall. If you haven’t kept up with the sudden shutdown of Munchery, here is some background information.
- Scooter consolidation
Consolidation in the micromobility space has arrived, at least in Brazil. Not long after Y Combinator-backed Grin merged its electric scooter business with Brazil-based Ride, it is completing another merger, this time with Yellow, the Brazil-based bike-sharing startup that also expressed its ambitions. of getting into electric scooters.
- Hear me speak
If you enjoy this newsletter, be sure to check out TechCrunch’s entrepreneurial podcast, Equity. In this week’s episode, available here, Crunchbase editor-in-chief Alex Wilhelm, TechCrunch Silicon Valley editor Connie Loizos and Jeff Clavier of Uncork Capital discuss $ 100 million rounds, Stripe’s mega valuation and the highly anticipated Pinterest IPO.