HBS Alumni Startup Corner: Summer Funding Update
Entrepreneurship, Start Ups

HBS Alumni Startup Corner: Summer Funding Update

Keith Bender, Contributor

Alumni founders raised $3.3B in venture capital this summer; startups founded since 2010 topped $350B in market cap. Keith Bender (MBA ’20) reports.  

Startups led by HBS alumni received more than $3.2B in venture capital funding from the beginning of June through press time for this issue (August 21, 2021). Here, I review the fifty largest funding rounds, categorized by industry: 

Biotech and Agriculture

  • Ecto, an aquaculture biotech company founded by Dmitry Kozachenok (MBA ’13), raised $7.2M from Aqua Spark and Vodia Ventures. 
  • Burro, an autonomous farming company founded by Charlie Anderson (MBA ’14), raised $6M from ff Venture Capital and SVG Ventures. 

Consumer

  • Gympass, a Brazilian fitness company founded by Cesar Carvalho (MBA ’12), raised $220M from Valor Capital Group, SoftBank, Kaszek, and General Atlantic. 
  • Bloom & Will, a London based flower delivery company founded by Aron Gelbard (MBA ’09), raised $40.8M from General Catalyst, Index, and MMC Ventures. 
  • Collective Retreats, a hospitality and experience provider originally co-founded by Cristina DeVito (MBA ’08) (who now serves as an adviser to the company), raised $23M from Slow Ventures, First Round Capital, and BBG Ventures. 
  • Electric Gamebox, an immersive group entertainment platform led by Tough Mudder founder Will Dean (MBA ’09), raised $11M from Index, Brookfield Asset Management, and Project A Ventures. 
  • Wagr, a peer-to-peer sports betting app founded by Mario Malavé (MBA ’20) and Eliana Eskinazi (MBA ’20), raised $4M from Greycroft and Pear VC. 
  • Revel, a community for women over 50 founded by Alexa Wahr (MBA ’16) and Lisa Marrone (MBA ’17), raised $3.5M from Forerunner Ventures and August Capital. 
  • Rootine, a nutrition startup founded by Rachel Soper (MBA ’17), raised $3M from Righ Side Capital Management, Techstars, and Cleo Capital. 
  • Kudos, a disposable diaper company founded by Amrita Saigal (MBA ’14), raised $2.4M from Precursor Ventures, SV Angel, Foundation Capital, Liquid 2 Ventures, and Underscore VC. 
  • MeTripping, a travel search platform founded by Varun Gupta (MBA ’11), raised $850K from SEA Fund, Arali Ventures, and Wayfare Ventures.   

Enterprise 

  • Eruditus and its online affiliate Emeritus, Indian edtech startups led by Ashwin Damera (MBA ’03), raised $430M and $650M respectively from Sequoia India, Accel India, SoftBank, and Canada’s Pension Plan. 
  • Outreach, a sales engagement platform founded by Manny Medina (MBA ’03), raised $200M from Spark Capital, Tiger Global, Sapphire Ventures, and Salesforce Ventures. 
  • At-Bay, a cybersecurity insurance company founded by Rotem Iram (MBA ’13) and Roma Itskovich (MBA ’12), raised $185M from LocalGlobe, Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed, Acrew Capital, and Microsoft’s venture fund M12. 
  • SellerX, a Berlin-based buyer of fulfilled-by-Amazon businesses founded by Malte Horeyseck (MBA ’10) and Phillipp Triebel (MBA ’10), raised $117M from L Catterton, Village Global, and 83North. 
  • Bubble, a no-code visual programming language founded by Emmanuеl Straschnοv (MBA ’12), raised $100M from Insight Partners, Signalfire, WndrCo, and Betaworks. 
  • JW Player, a multimedia player for web and mobile founded by Dave Otten (MBA ’06), raised $100M from Greenspring Associates, Greycroft, and Headline. 
  • Instawork, a career marketplace for hospitality professionals founded by Sumir Meghani (MBA ’08), raised $60M from Spark Capital, Craft Ventures, and Benchmark. 
  • OpenSesame, a corporate training course e-publisher founded by Don Spear (MBA ’86), raised $50M from Altos Ventures and FTV Capital. 
  • WeMaintain, a Paris-based elevator maintenance startup founded by ​​Benoit Dupont (MBA ’16), raised $35.1M from Eurazeo and Idinvest Partners. 
  • Cobli, an IoT company for LatAm fleets founded by Parker Treacy (MBA ’12), raised $35M from SoftBank, Qualcomm Ventures, Valor Capital Group, and NXTP Ventures. 
  • Retain.AI, a customer insights platform founded by Eric Chernoff (MBA ’13), raised $23M from Emergence and Afore Capital. 
  • Visualping, an RPA company for change alerts founded by Serge Salager (MBA ’04), raised $6M from Mistral Ventures and FUSE. 
  • Upscribe, a subscription ecommerce platform founded by Dileepan Sivapathasundaram (MBA ’13), raised $4M from Uncork and The House Fund.
  • ApnaKlub, a consumer goods procurement marketplace founded by Shruti Gupta (MBA ’19), raised $3.5M from Surge, Whiteboard Capital, and Blume Ventures.
  • Factal, a cybersecurity company founded by Charles Tillinghast (MBA ’90), raised $3.3M from Arthur Ventures and SeaChange. 
  • Shelflife, a B2B procurement platform for food and beverage brands founded by Lillian Cartwright (MBA ’20), raised $3M from The MBA Fund, Kindred Ventures, Rough Draft Ventures, Dorm Room Fund, and Next View Ventures. 
  • Sona, a frontline staff scheduling platform founded by Oli Johnson (MBA ’11), raised $1.6M from Speedinvest. 
  • Liatris, a building materials company founded by Frank Yang (MBA ’06), raised $1M from Propel(X) and the Maryland Momentum Fund. 

Fintech, Crypto, and Real Estate

  • Capchase, a fintech platform founded by Przemek Gotfryd (MBA ’21) and Miguel Fernandez Larrea (MBA ’21) that provides upfront funding to SaaS companies based on their future revenue, raised $280M and $125M in debt and equity in two rounds this summer from QED, i80, Caffeinated Capital, ONEVC, and Bling Capital. 
  • FalconX, a cryptocurrency brokerage founded by Raghu Yarlagadda (MBA ’14) and Prabhakar Reddy (MBA ’14), raised $210M from Coinbase Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, B Capital, And Fidelity. 
  • Habi, a Colombian real estate i-buyer founded by Brynne McNulty Rojas (MBA ’16), raised $100M from SoftBank, Tiger Global, FJ Labs, and 8VC. 
  • Pintu, a crypto assets platform founded by Jeth Soetoyo (MBA ’19), raised $35M from Coinbase Ventures, Pantera Capital, Lightspeed, and The Spartan Group. 
  • EmCasa, a Brazilian real estate marketplace founded by Gustavo Vaz (MBA ’18) and Yann Metz (MBA ’18), raised $21M from Monashees, Canary, and Pear VC. 
  • Jones, a real estate insurance startup founded by Omri Stern (MBA ’15), raised $12.5M from Khosla Ventures, MetaPop, and JLL Spark. 
  • Lidya, a fintech platform for Nigeria founded by Tunde Kehinde (MBA ’11), raised $8.3M from Musha Ventures, Flourish Ventures, and Mastercard Start Path. 
  • Monarch Money, a personal finance platform to track expenses founded by Ozzie Osman (MBA ’14), raised $4.8M from Accel and SignalFire. 
  • CrediVerso, a fintech platform focused on the U.S. Latino population founded by Charlie Hernández (MBA ’17), raised $3.1M from Point72 Ventures, Clocktower Technology Partners, and Bessemer Venture Partners. 
  • Foundation Devices, an open-source hardware company for Bitcoin founded by Zach Herbert (MBA ’17), raised $2.5M from Bolt, Unpopular Ventures, and Third Prime. 

Healthcare (for humans) 

  • Zus Health, a digital healthcare platform founded by Jonathan Bush (MBA ’97), raised $34M from Andreessen Horowitz, F-Prime Capital, and Maverick Ventures. 
  • Medrhythms, a digital therapeutics company founded by Owen McCarthy (MBA ’15), raised $25M from Advantage Capital, Morningside Ventures, and Bose Ventures. 
  • SolasCure, a wound care startup founded by Benjamin Newmark (MBA ’16), raised $20.4M from Seneca Partners, Bionova Capital, and the Development Bank of Wales. 
  • Connie Health, an eldercare company founded by Oded Eran (MBA ’16), raised $13M from Khosla Ventures, Pitango Venture Capital, and Abstract Ventures.
  • Minded, a mental health telecare company founded by David Ronick (MBA ’94), raised $9M from Streamlined Ventures and Link Ventures. 
  • Elektra Health, a women’s healthcare platform founded by Jannine Versi (MBA ’14), raised $3.7M from Seven Seven Six, Flybridge, Human Ventures, Flare Capital Partners, and January Ventures.

Healthcare (for pets)

  • Embark, a pet health platform originally co-founded by Matt Salzberg (MBA ’10) (who now sits on the board), raised $75M from SoftBank, FJ Labs, F-Prime Capital, and Slow Ventures. 
  • Mixlab, a pet pharmacy founded by Frederic Dijols (MBA ’13), raised $20M from TQ Ventures, Global Founders Capital, and Brand Foundry Ventures. 
  • Wagmo, a pet wellness company founded by Christine Horvath (MBA ’18), raised $12.5M from Clover Health and Flatiron Health. 
  • PawTree, a pet food company founded by Roger Morgan (MBA ’99), raised $1M from undisclosed investors. 

If you believe any HBS alumni startup fundings from this summer are missing, please reach out to me via the contact information below!


Keith Bender (MBA ’20) is an investor at Pear VC in Palo Alto, where he invests at pre-seed, seed, and Series A rounds across industries. He leads Baker Founders, a community dedicated to HBS alumni entrepreneurs. Previously, Keith worked at Bessemer Venture Partners and BCG. He is a graduate of Harvard College and is originally from Arizona. For comments and questions, please reach out to keith@pear.vc.

September 23, 2021
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