Bear Robotics, a company making robot waiters, just raised a $32 million round led by SoftBank

Back in August, we flagged a filing for you that we found interesting, one for a now 2.5-year-old, 40-person Redwood City, Calif.,-based startup called Bear Robotics that’s been developing robots to deliver food to restaurant customers. The filing listed a $35.8 million target; Bear Robotics founder and CEO John Ha now tells us the final…

The four corners of the new space economy

It’s gotten to the point now where a handful of angel investors can put a space company on the map. But the same changes that have made the industry accessible have made it increasingly complex to track its trends. By default, all space startups are exciting, but companies vary widely in risk, capital intensity and…

Remembering the startups we lost in 2019

All manner of startups fail for all manner of reasons. But there’s one constant: this is an incredibly difficult business. Launching a successful company isn’t just a matter of drive and finding the right people (though both, clearly, are important). Doing well in this business requires the stars to align perfectly on a billion different…

As 2019 closes, a look back at what happened to the altcoin boom

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. Today we’re peeking at what’s gone on in the world of altcoins recently, the other cryptocurrencies aside from bitcoin. As 2016 came to a close, altcoins like ether and XRP saw their value soar. Toward…

Public investors loved SaaS stocks in 2019, and startups should be thankful

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. Today, something short. Continuing our loose collection of look backs of the past year, it’s worth remembering two related facts. First, that this time last year SaaS stocks were getting beat up. And, second, that…

Rivian adds $1.3 billion in funding for its electric utility and adventure vehicles

American automotive technology startup Rivian has raised $1.3 billion in new funding, the company announced today. The new investment is the fourth round of capital announced by the company in 2019 alone, following prior announcements of $700 million from Amazon, $500 million from Ford (which includes a collaboration on electric vehicle technology) and $350 million…

MasterCard acquires security assessment startup, RiskRecon

MasterCard announced today that it is acquiring RiskRecon, a Salt Lake City startup that uses publicly available data to build security assessments of organizations. The companies did not share the purchase price. It’s become increasingly important for financial services companies like MasterCard to help customers navigate cyber security and RiskRecon will give customers an objective…