November 1, 2021

Ulu News

October was a banner month!

Ulu portfolio firms raised nearly $400M. We continue to invest in incredible entrepreneurs and our team provided engaging insights about Ulu’s investment thesis and DEI in seminars, webinars and conferences. We wrapped up Hispanic Heritage Month after spotlighting the personal stories of 28 Latino Ulupreneurs including members of our own team. (See their stories here!)

Fund III Investments

Big Wolf is a publisher that develops games, using proprietary intellectual property (IP) and third party IP. Their products create innovative monetization opportunities for brands and social media influencers. The platform has 10M top-ranking downloads, has generated $50M in gross revenue, and there are 132 countries where their games are played.

Carbon Lighthouse has a mission to fight climate change by reducing emissions caused by wasted energy. They are developing AI technology to profitably eliminate 40% of carbon emissions generated by commercial and industrial buildings. Carbon Lighthouse software facilitates turnkey energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for office buildings, hotels, large apartment buildings, industrial facilities, and schools.

Thought Leadership

Kauffman Fellows

Clint gave a thought-provoking, in-person presentation on Ulu’s approach to large portfolio construction to Kauffman Fellows, a two-year educational, networking, and leadership development program for venture capitalists. Clint is a Kauffman Fellow Class 14. Miriam, a member of Kauffman Fellows Class 15, was also part of a mentoring session. Kauffman Fellows program has members in 57 countries who have raised $840B globally. Ulu Venture Partner and CFO Steve Reale is also a Kauffman Fellow.

IADEI Panel

Miriam was a panel member for the webinar sponsored by Institutional Allocators for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. The organization provides research and methods to increase DEI in assets under management. Speakers included panelists from Kellog and Knight Foundations,  Illumen Capital, the former head of research for Kauffman Fellows, and representatives of the Perception Institute and the Expanding Equity Program of McKinsey & Company.

VentureCrush

Miriam was a featured panelist on Lowenstein Sandler’s VentureCrush along with Faye Wattleton, Co-founder/Director of EeroQ Quantum Hardware and former CEO & President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. VentureCrush Founder and Chair Ed Zimmerman led the moving and sometimes raw discussion about personal narratives, abortion rights, venture capital and yes, somehow Ed even mixed in insights about quantum computing.

Culture Shifting Weekend

Nancy Torres and Miriam attended Culture Shifting Weekend which unites hundreds of accomplished Black and Latinx tech executives, entrepreneurs, investors, innovators and social impact leaders with a mission to help narrow the inequality gap in entrepreneurship and venture capital. They participated in sessions and networking events to help enable deals, collaborations and wealth creation for these broader communities.

Photos show (on the left) Charles Hudson/Precursor Ventures with both Miriam and Angela Matheny/Crewcial Partners; and on the right Kauffman Fellow Noramay Cadena/Supply Change Capital with Nancy Torres.

Silicon Valley Bank Panel

How do you open up opportunities in the innovation ecosystem to more Black and Latinx founders? Miriam was featured on Silicon Valley Bank’s panel: Playing to Win or Playing Not to Lose? Black & Latinx Risk-Taking in the Innovation Ecosystem which is also the title of an upcoming research report sponsored by SVB and Share Ventures. The panel was part of SVB’s webinar on Step Forward: Fueling Diversity in the Innovation Economy.

FairView Capital Panel

Miriam was spotlighted as a trailblazer in the Fairview Capital Fearless Investors webinar and featured on the panel Taking My Shot. There were more than 100+ women GPs in the audience. The panel was focused on answering questions about building one’s own firm.

NMS Management Fall Forum Panel

Miriam was featured on the NMS Fall Forum panel entitled Emerging Managers: Opportunities and Misperceptions with Rob Rahbari, Senior Investment Officer and Assistant Treasurer, the University of Rochester and Jason Howard, Managing Director, GSM Grosvenor. The discussion covered the performance of emerging managers being comparable or greater to traditional firms as well as how to create diverse manager access by realizing it’s a networking problem

Hispanic Heritage Foundation Panel

Hispanic investors are increasingly making critical decisions about whether or how to include crypto and blockchain investments in their portfolio.Nancy Torres, Ulu’s new Principal, was part of the discussion for a Hispanic Heritage Foundation Investors Forum on that topic. Crypto & Blockchain Charla was led primarily by investors actively deploying capital into the crypto and blockchain space.

GV and CapitalG Panel

Tiq Chapa, Ulu’s MBA Associate, was featured as a panelist on Understanding the Latinx Experience within VC sponsored by GV and CapitalG. The webinar was part of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Ulupreneurs in the News

BetterUp

Fortune named BetterUp in the Fortune “2021 Impact 20”.

Reuters highlighted BetterUp’s Series E $300M raise and nearly $5B valuation.

Carbon Lighthouse

Forbes featured Carbon Lighthouse’s fight against the impact of climate change using machine learning and data.

Coding Dojo

California News Times featured Coding Dojo in a piece about why Americans are leaving their jobs in favor of investing in retraining and “reskilling” at places like coding bootcamps.

Puget Sound Business Journal named Coding Dojo co-founder Richard Wang to their 40 Under 40 list.

Compound Foods

The New York Times mentioned Compound Foods in a piece about how coffee growing is being severely affected by climate change.

CoreChain

PYMNTS.COM featured an article about the new partnership between CoreChain and Scanco Software.

Dwellsy

MSN Money featured Dwellsy’s data that showed a decrease in rental prices across the market nationwide.

Ellevest

Yahoo! Money interviewed Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck about women’s top source of stress.

NewsNation USA featured an Ellevest survey stating that 38% of women face stress about holiday spending and offering advice on how to prepare.

CNBC interviewed Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck with advice for 18-34 year olds about how not to lose their shirts when investing.

Guild Education

ColoradoInno Biz Journal interviewed Guild Education CEO Rachel Carlson on how the company stays true to its mission amid rapid growth.

Homelight

CBInsights named Homelight to their list of 250 of the most promising fintechs.

Interviewing.io

Financial Times highlighted Interviewing.io as an interviewing platform taking on LinkedIn.

NowRX

InvestorPlace highlighted NowRx as one of 7 best startups in which to invest through internet based crowdfunding platforms.

Yahoo! Finance article profiled  NowRx’s launch of a $73 Million Series C Round on equity crowdfunding platform SeedInvest.

Peanut Robotics

The New York Times mentioned Peanut Robotics in a piece about how restaurants desperate for workers are turning to robotics for help.

Praxis Labs

Essence article highlights Praxis Labs as a Black-owned VR company raising a $15.5M round.

Fortune highlighted Praxis Labs’ $15.5M Series A raise.

WLUC (Fox 6) featured Praxis Labs’ mission to bring diversity and inclusion to the workplace.

SoFi

The Street called SoFi a solid stock to buy for gains.

Nasdaq profiled Sofi as an offering that’sclicking with millennials as well as a good opportunity for the  growth-savvy.

SUMA Wealth

Finsmes highlighted SUMA Wealth’s $2M pre-seed fundraise.

CrowdFund Insider featured a piece about how SUMA Wealth has gone live on the MX platform for data aggregation and data enhancement.

RealBlocks

TheFinancialAdviser interviewed RealBlocks CEO Perrin Quarshie about disrupting the alternative investment marketplace.

TeachFX

Forbes quoted TeachFx CEO Berk Coker in a piece about why those under 30 are disrupting everything.

TomoCredit

Yahoo! News featured TomoCredit’s ability to verify cardholder identity through school email address instead of a Social Security Number.

TechCrunch profiled TomoCredit’s $10M Series A raise.

TheFinTech Times profiled TomoCredit CEO Kristy Kim in a piece about championing females in the fintech industry.

Watson Living

Forbes highlighted Watson Living in an article titled: “App’s Triple Play: Cash For Renters, Cost Cuts For Landlords, Sales For Local Stores”.

Zebit

Stockhead featured an article about the importance of ESG (environmental, social and governance) principles at the core of the Zebit platform.

Zum

TechCrunch featured Zum’s plan to add 10K electric vehicles to their platform.

Fortune headlined a story about how Softbank is helping give Zum a ride to near unicorn status.

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About the Author: Kevin Hoffberg

Kevin Hoffberg is a Venture Partner at Ulu Ventures