March 11, 2022

February might be only 28 days but we made it a very busy investing month for Ulu!

Fund III Investments

Ulu made 11 investments in Fund III companies in February, two remain  in stealth.

 

Beam Impact’s mobile app builds connections between retail brands and customers by converting purchases into direct financial support for non-profits that matter to consumers with no extra cost to them. Beam is also a Fund II company.

Cion Digital’s blockchain orchestration platform allows institutions to build finance solutions by quickly and seamlessly connecting their systems with the complex and ever-changing world of decentralized finance. Cion just raised $12M in seed funding.

ContentGroove offers free audio transcription and AI clip creation. Enables users to set up subscriptions to their YouTube or Vimeo channels or upload videos manually; trim or expand the clips; add captions, intros, outros, and music and push to channels of their choice.

 

FreeWill offers free online software tools designed to broaden Americans’ access to estate planning tools, while helping them support charitable causes. The firm has helped more than 460,000 individuals create wills and commit nearly $5 billion to more than 10,000 nonprofits through charitable bequests. They just raised a $30M Series B round. FreeWill is also a Fund II company,

Future Family makes starting a family more accessible and affordable via advances in fintech, fertility care and telehealth. In addition to offering flexible personalized financing plans, Future Family coaches and supports clients throughout the course of treatment. FutureFamily is also a Fund II company.

GoSchoolBox’s secure platform connects K-12 students with academic specialists, helps teachers prescribe critical after-school support, and gives administrators the tools to assess progress.

Onuu’s offering combines fintech and insurtech to provide a product bundle for consumers who are currently living paycheck to paycheck and want to improve their financial security. For a nominal monthly fee, Onuu will provide customers with access to life insurance, a credit card and credit line, and automatic transfer of a preset monthly amount into a savings account.

Parfait uses computer vision and AI technology to revolutionize the way women can buy wigs and hair extensions.

Sparkz is commercializing a cobalt-free, American-made lithium-ion battery, while continuing its groundbreaking research and development focused on re-engineering the rest of the battery supply chain to make it easier and cheaper to put batteries in industrial and commercial settings.

Thought Leadership

We featured our extraordinary Black founders in celebration of Black History Month. You can read all their stories in the Insights section of the Ulu website.

At Toigo’s annual Spring APEx Conference, Ulu Principal, Nancy Torres,who is also a Toigo alumna, facilitated a fireside chat with Miriam Rivera on her path to leadership, inflection points in her journey, and career insights for graduating Fellows

Ulu Principal Nancy Torres wrote an insightful piece on A Diverse Investor’s Special Sauce: Their Network. 

Nancy Torres spoke at Harvard Business School’s 2022 Adelante Conference on the entrepreneurship and VC industry panel. Adelante is an annual conference hosted by the Latinx Student Organization (LASO) at Harvard Business School.

Ulupreneurs in the News

Our founders continue to be featured in major news outlets for their remarkable accomplishments featured in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CNBC, Newsweek, Fortune and more.

BetterUp

Harper’s BAZAAR featured highlights from a BetterUp virtual event with Serena Williams and Prince Harry and how she turns to the prince for advice.

Cerebro

Baltimore Sun profiled Cerebro Capital’s new partnership with Harbor Bank aimed at   lending $50M to minority-owned businesses.

Cion Digital

International Business Times quoted Cion Digital co-founder Arpit Agrawal about the elusive correlations between the Nasdaq index and Bitcoin.

Eskalera

Cosmopolitan featured Eskalera founder Dr. Tolanda Tolbert in an article about women of color who are changing corporate culture.

Finalis

Traders Magazine featured an article written by Finalis CEO Federico Baradello with tips for investors on navigating the post-GameStop regulatory environment.

Future Family

CrowdFund Insider profiled OurCrowd investment platform and how Future Family will be raising money through the platform.

Gable

Forbes interviewed Gable CEO Liza Mash Levin about setting companies up for success in the hybrid workplace.

Guild Education

CNBC profiled six companies giving free tuition to employees, mentioning partnerships with Guild Education.

Crunchbase highlighted Guild Education in an article about how the ‘great resignation’ trend is driving billions in VC dollars to upskilling startups.

Forbes mentioned Guild Education in a piece about five trends to watch for in the new world of work.

NowRx

AlleyWatch wrote a piece on startups to invest in 2022 and highlighted NowRX.

Sounderfm

AdWeek highlighted the partnership between Sounder and iHeart Media and how they will bring brand safety to audio.

SUMA

Yahoo! featured Encantos and SUMA Wealth’s Announcement regarding their Strategic Partnership to bring NFTs to the Latinx community.

tEQitable

Ebony Magazine spotlighted tEQuitable CEO Lisa Gelobter as one of the hidden figures of Black history and trailblazer in STEM.

SoFi

Wall Street Journal headlined SoFi’s move to buy banking-infrastructure firm Technisys for About $1.1B.

Tomo Credit

Fast Company highlighted Tomo Credit in an article describing how consumers without a credit score can still get credit card through Tomo.

Ulu Ventures

Fortune quoted Ulu’s Miriam Rivera in a profile of JoAnn Price of FairView Capital Partners and how numbers of women in VC and private equity have hit an all-time high but they still get only a sliver of the funding.

Zum

Newsweek featured an article profiling Zum’s new app for school bus safety.

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About the Author: Rusty Dornin

Rusty Dornin is the director of marketing and communications for Ulu Ventures. An award-winning radio and television journalist, she was a CNN correspondent for nearly 18 years covering domestic and world news ranging from war to natural disasters and tales of crime and politics