Black Tux Raises $2.6M So You Can Rent That Suit And Tie

Editor’s note: This is a repost of a TechCrunch article written by Jon Shieber.

Looking to take on the rental tux market with a higher-quality, lower-priced suit and tie, Black Tux has raised $2.6 million in its first institutional round of funding.

It’s the latest brand to come to market with funding led by Lerer Ventures, which has backed everything from health and beauty retailers and eyeglass makers to a company that wants to take everyone to the mattresses.

Lerer isn’t the only brand name investor behind The Black Tux, the small early-stage round also picked up commitments from First Round Capital, RRE, Founder Collective, Crosscut, Menlo Ventures, and Raine  – the investment fund affiliated with William Morris Endeavor. Continue reading

Corporate Investors Move Into The Accelerator Market

Editor’s note: This is a repost of a TechCrunch article written by Jon Shieber.

Big banks do it, big phone companies do it, and even the biggest entertainment companies do it: After years of neglect, the world’s biggest companies are throwing their weight (and a few dollars) behind new technology startups.

It wasn’t always this way.

Historically there’s been one big backer of early-stage companies and that’s the investment arm affiliated with the sultan of search, Google Ventures, according to data from CrunchBase.

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Startup Calendar for February 18th

Five events are featured in this week’s Startup Calendar:

And one accelerator program is currently accepting applications:

Read the weekly newsletter for more… To take part in this program as an organization that hosts startup events, visit the Startup Calendar page for guidelines and send us an email at events@crunchbase.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Startup Calendar for February 11th

Seven events are featured in this week’s Startup Calendar:

And two accelerator programs are currently accepting applications:

Read the weekly newsletter for more… To take part in this program as an organization that hosts startup events, visit the Startup Calendar page for guidelines and send us an email at events@crunchbase.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Startup Calendar for February 4th

Nine events are featured in this week’s Startup Calendar:

And two accelerator programs are currently accepting applications:

Read the weekly newsletter for more… To take part in this program as an organization that hosts startup events, visit the Startup Calendar page for guidelines and send us an email at events@crunchbase.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Euro Secondhand Marketplace Vinted Raises $27M To Take On The Salvation Army

Editor’s note: This is a repost of a story written on TechCrunch by Jon Shieber.

The clothes may be cheap, but prices for tech companies launching mobile and web-based marketplaces to sell secondhand and consignment clothing keep going up. 

The latest company trying to get people to pop their tags virtually is Vinted, which raised $27 million in its second institutional financing – one of the largest rounds ever for a Baltic-based startup.

Fresh financing from Accel Partners and Insight Venture Partners for the Vilnius-based startup comes after Accel invested $6.6 million into the company just over a year ago to port it from a web-based application to a service primarily for mobile devices… and bring its service to the U.S.

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No Industry Is Safe From VC Disruption

Editor’s note: This is a repost of a story written on TechCrunch by Jon Shieber.

Procter & Gamble, allow me to introduce hair-dye company Madison Reed and baby care and home-cleaning-products retailer The Honest Company. Gillette, perhaps you’ve heard of the shaving companies Harry’s or Dollar Shave Club? And Uniqlo, meet VANCL, the big, online, Chinese-branded clothing retailer.

These companies are part of a growing wave of venture capital investments into branded consumer goods predicated on using information technology to reduce costs and the Internet to market directly to customers. It’s all with an eye on replacing entrenched industry players, rather than selling those players the tools they’d need to compete against young upstarts.

“It used to be that tech went into the vertical and sold to everybody in the vertical. Now companies are saying ‘No. I’m going to directly compete with you,'” said one venture investor who is backing the eyeglass retailer Warby Parker. That glasses company has set the standard for how startups can try to carve out a market in old-line industries with entrenched competition, according to a number of investors.

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Startup Calendar for January 28th

Five events are featured in this week’s Startup Calendar:

And three accelerator programs are currently accepting applications:

Read the weekly newsletter for more… To take part in this program as an organization that hosts startup events, visit the Startup Calendar page for guidelines and send us an email at events@crunchbase.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Startup Calendar for January 21st

Seven events are featured in this week’s Startup Calendar:

And one accelerator program is currently accepting applications:

Read the weekly newsletter for more… To take part in this program as an organization that hosts startup events, visit the Startup Calendar page for guidelines and send us an email at events@crunchbase.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

VCs Investing To Heal U.S. Healthcare

Editor’s note: This is a repost of a story written on TechCrunch by Jon Shieber.

The U.S. healthcare system is sick, but increasingly early stage investors are spending money on new technology companies they believe can help provide a cure.

Earlier this week, Greylock Partners, one of the investors behind Facebook and LinkedIn, and the Russian billionaire technology investor Yuri Milner put together a $1.2 million round alongside a group of co-investors to back First Opinion – a consumer facing service selling a way to text message doctors anytime of day or night.

Greylock and Milner join a growing roster of technology investors focused on healthcare in recent years. The number of companies raising money from investors for the first or second time has skyrocketed since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, according to data from CrunchBase.  Continue reading