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Startups Weekly: SoftBanks second act

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy startups and venture capital news. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I noted some challenges plaguing mental health tech startups. Before that, I wrote about Zoom and Superhuman’s PR disasters. Remember, you can send me tips, suggestions and feedback to kate.clark@techcrunch.com or on Twitter @KateClarkTweets. If you don’t subscribe to Startups Weekly yet, you can do that here. accelerating its IPO plans and targeting a September listing. We don’t…

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Mejuri raises $23M Series B to serve women buying jewelry for themselves

New Enterprise Associates, the 42-year-old venture capital firm, has invested in the $23 million Series B round for Mejuri, a startup capturing millennial women’s penchant for affordable and treat yo’ self type of jewelry rather than diamonds and precious stones for special occasions. It’s the latest instance of startups drawing investor interest with their direct-to-customer retail model. Based in Toronto and Buenos Aires, four-year-old Mejuri designs, makes and sells jewelry directly to women primarily online in addition to two offline showrooms, bypassing middle-person costs. Besides striving for reasonable prices, Mejuri…

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Why Silicon Valley needs more visas

Henrique Dubugras Photo courtesy of Flickr/jvoves While it might sound counterintuitive, immigrants create more jobs and make our economy stronger. Research from the National Foundation of American Policy (NFAP) has shown that immigrant-founded billion-dollar companies doubled their number of employees over the past two years. According to the research, “WeWork went from 1,200 to 6,000 employees between 2016 and 2018, Houzz increased from 800 to 1,800 employees the last two years, while Cloudflare went from 225 to 715 employees.” We’ve seen the same growth at Brex. In just one year…

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In venture capital, its still the age of the unicorn

Howie Xu At the time, the piece defined a new breed of startup — the $1 billion privately held company. When Lee did her first count, there were 39 “unicorns”; an improbable, but not impossible number.. Today, the once-scarce unicorn has become a global herd with 376 companies on the roster and counting. But the proliferation of unicorns begs raises certain questions. Is this new breed of unicorn artificially created? Could these magical companies see their valuations slip and fall out of the herd? Does this indicate an irrational exuberance…

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The SaaS VC gap: China & other markets trail the US

Jason Rowley As of mid-October (when we pulled the data for the above chart), Chinese companies accounted for about 39.3 percent of venture funding raised in 2018. Compare that to 38.4 percent for U.S.-based companies, overall. In this respect, the venture markets in the U.S. and China are running neck-and-neck.

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The decentralization of startup building

Sam Cash is a vice president at Betaworks. Building and investing in startups is rapidly proliferating to the many, instead of remaining the preserve of the few. The old paradigm of physical centralization Silicon Valley is the innovation bellwether of our time. The concentration of talent and capitalas well as a culture typified by speed and boldnesshas created trillions of dollars of shareholder value and pushed the envelope of innovation. The venture capitalists on Sand Hill Road have for decades dined on the fruits of funding entrepreneurs who travelled to…

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Cabin secures $3.3M for its moving hotel

Cabin recently announced it had secured $3.3 million in seed financing for its sleeper-car buses. (Ill explain that concept in a minute.) The funding was led by Founders Funds FF Angel, with participation from half a dozen other investors. This new round of funding will enable Cabin to expand its overnight transportation services regionally and nationally. Now, about that moving hotel idea. A full-size travel bus has been outfitted with sleeping berths lining a narrow walkway, like trains used to have. Theres a small communal lounge area for social insomniacs,…

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Top Ten Automotive Startups competition open for submissions

For the past few years, the Los Angeles Auto Show has hosted the Top Ten Automotive Startups competition. The event is now open for submissions through July 15, so if youve got an automotive app, service or cool bit of tech, nows your chance. The 10 winners will be featured at the LAAS Automobility Technology Pavilion, which is just outside the LA Convention Center. These companies will get booth space in the pavilion, where thousands of industry analysts, media members, manufacturers and government types will be hanging out and looking…

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See you tomorrow at the Pittsburgh Micro-Meetup

Were in town for a few days and were excited to meet all of you at the Pittsburgh Micro-Meetup tomorrow. In preparation for Disrupt New York and our upcoming TC Sessions series on robotics, John Biggs and I are in Pittsburgh to talk to some startups. We will meet at The Shop on April 11 at 7pm, a new place near Bakery Square. Please RSVP ASAP. We also need lots and lots of startups, preferably in hardware. Startups will have two minutes to pitch and two minutes of questioning from…

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