You're not at the mall

Weekly update #7: USD 312.42 in capital raised, Skyline AI raising next round

Housekeeping items: if you wrote in or shared this newsletter, thank you. If you haven’t, write in and let me know what you like about this newsletter, what you hate, and how it can provide more value to you.

If you share this newsletter, then reply to tell me that you’ve done so and I’ll include a blurb about your startup, side hustle, or cause that you’re championing in next week’s edition.

Lastly, if you’re in a hurry, skip everything and watch the Vox video below about the decline of the mall and what that means for communal space. And if you’re a founder working on or VC investing in communal/third space startups, reach out!

Data from the Week 📊

Last week, I tracked 51 early-stage startup capital raises totalling USD 312.42, up from USD 282.96m the week prior. The median amount raised rose to USD 6m fromUSD 5.4m.

A full list of deals tracked last week can be found here.

By reader request, you can check out a full list of VC and PE deals tracked last week here. Total amount raised over the week exceeded USD 1.94bn, down from USD 2.1bn the week prior.

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Sectors of Interest 🚀

Food 🥑 🍞🍳

The Primal Pantry, a UK-based protein bar company, raised GBP 3m in funding.

Tannico, a Milan-based online wine platform, raised EUR 2.5m in funding, in a round led by led by Nuo Capital.

City Pantry, a London-based food startup, secured USD 4m in funding. The round was led by Octopus Investments.

Farmwise, a Boston-based company that makes french fries, tater tots and rings blended with vegetables, raised a USD 4.5m round. The round was led by Cleveland Avenue.

Property Management 🏢

Great Jones, a New York City-based residential property management company, raised an USD 8m Series A round.

Digible, a Denver-based digital marketing company focused on property management, raised a USD 250,00 seed round.

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Future Funding 🔮

Skyline AI is currently in the midst of raising its next round, the company told this newsletter. The company declined to provide further details. To date, Skyline AI has raised a total of USD 3m from Sequoia Capital, which was announced in early March.

“We have a long relationship with Sequoia. We were fortunate that the last company we built with Sequoia’s backing, was acquired. When Skyline AI was born, finding funding was a relatively short process because we turned to people we knew, trusted and had a longstanding successful track record together.”

Skyline AI connects accredited global investors to US real estate opportunities via its technology platform. The company was founded in 2017, as per Crunchbase.

“Our AI-driven investment analysis is able to identify flaws in desirable deals and hidden value in undesirable deals, often flipping the asset analysis process on its head.”

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Q&A

Last week I asked: can two non-technical co-founders successfully build a technology startup by outsourcing development?

Andrew Jasco, CEO of Blocksphere, wrote in to say that:

“My partner and I started National Bitcoin ATM back in 2015 and at the time neither of us had any prior development experience.  While we've been very fortunate since we launched, we definitely had our fair share of struggles when it came to software development and building technologies to support our network of bitcoin ATMs.”

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Problems that Need Solving

Affordable housing 🏡

“The most unaffordable cities in the world are all in the Global South—cities like Hanoi, Mumbai, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, and Rio de Janeiro, where housing costs exceed 200 or 300 percent of incomes. The most unaffordable city of all is Caracas, whose economy is in a tailspin. There, average housing costs exceed incomes by more than 3,000 percent” - CityLab

“Educators in the City by the Bay earn a median salary of $72,340. But, according to a new Trulia report, they can afford less than one percent of the homes currently on the market.” - Curbed

Communal third spaces to fill the gap left by declining malls: What America's shopping mall decline means for social space - Vox

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Partner 🤝

Yet Another Mail Merge (YAMM) is something that I use personally and I find it to be to an incredible time-saving tool. Ok, so I think YAMM is great, so what? Well Siftery named YAMM as the Best-In-Class winner for the Top Product by Market Share in the Email Marketing Platforms Category. YAMM is also a top Google Sheets add-on, with approximately 940,000 users. Check it out here.

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If you’re a startup and you’re raising capital and would like to be featured in next week’s newsletter, reach out by emailing: chris@pdreporter.com.

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