May 3, 2022

Sparks continue to fly as Ulu celebrated its 11th unicorn! Enya’s Boba Network raised $45M with a $1.5B valuation. Ulupreneurs raised more than $145M in funding. And hats off to Beam Impact, who raised their $13.3M Series A in six days!

Fund III Investments

Ulu made seven new investments in April.

Banyan Infrastructure’s platform automates contractual compliance and creates transparency throughout the loan life cycle of infrastructure projects. It enables lenders and borrowers to synthesize key insights, automate contractual compliance, and proactively mitigate risk with greater transparency.

EnvironXR is immersive retail for E-Commerce. Retailers lose revenue because e-commerce experiences aren’t informative, differentiated, personalized or engaging. EnvironXR’s webAR-based platform offers solutions.

MosaicVoice builds call center software designed to help agents have better, more compliant customer conversations. The software is on the agent’s screen and listens to customer calls in real-time and uses AI to understand context and intent and dynamically guide the agent through the conversation.

 

 

Oyster builds digital financial services for freelancers, startups and small-and medium-sized companies to help solve the painful process when opening a business account in Mexico. Oyster is also a Fund II company,

Prixz is an ePharmacy delivery platform that aspires to be Mexico and LatAm’s digital health provider of choice. The company is compiling the broadest catalog of health and wellness products and building out infrastructure to enable agile and ultra-fast delivery.

Rubik’s platform streamlines the sales process for homeowners. The firm will pay cash for the home, enabling owners to sell their home as-is without paying fees, and offer a ten-day closing for the transaction.

Syndicate is building Web3-native tools to create and manage Investing DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations). The first product is Web3 Investment Club which allows anyone to rapidly create and manage an investment club on Ethereum.

Thought Leadership

From Latinx Leadership Awards and judging Latinx startup competitions to fireside chats with major pension funds and conversations with the San Francisco Federal Reserve about business and venture trends, the Ulu team  continued to provide inspiration and thought leadership in the entrepreneurial and investment communities.

The Los Angeles City Employees Retirement System (LACERS) hosted Miriam for a fireside chat showcasing Ulu’s strategy  and how the firm works with LP. They also explored Miriam’s experience as an emerging manager; advice for emerging managers seeking capital from public pension funds and a myriad of other topics.

 

Miriam was given a top Latinx Leadership Award for 2022 by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Miriam spoke with Stephen DeLay, Vice President Regional and Business Engagement at the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, about topics including inflation and its impact on low income communities and the impact of venture on the upward trend in pricing. They explored how to address the problem of small, minority-and women-led businesses that often lack access to capital even though they are growing at a faster rate than those led by white men.

Nancy Torres was a part of the investor jury to select the three winners of this year’s Latinas in Tech Startup Competition. The competition organized by Latinas in Tech, is aimed at discovering, supporting, and amplifying tech startups with at least one Latina cofounder. The underlying purpose of the competition is to catalyze the growth of a select group of recently founded startups that have a serious goal of becoming billion dollar companies.

At a recent Ulu Ventures “Ask Me Anything”, Miriam spoke about the importance of advancing DEI on startup boards. Here are her thoughts.

Miriam attended the Equity Summit in Phoenix with a select group of LPs and GPs for off-the-record conversations that drive industry change, resulting in more investments in women and under-represented minority GPs and founders.

Miriam attended the Silicon Valley Bank Summit in Miami with a small group of GPs and LPs who focused their discussions on the state and trajectory of the venture ecosystem.

Nancy served as one of the Demo Day judges for Columbia Business School’s Social Enterprise Venture Accelerator alongside investors from Jazz Venture Partners, Upfront Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Closed Loop Partners, and JP Morgan. The event featured 14 companies across sectors such as digital health, sustainability, blockchain, and urbantech.

Ulupreneur Stories

In the Insights section of our website, we are taking a deep dive with our founders to explore their passions in building their firms as well as gathering tips for success they can share with other entrepreneurs. Here are some of their amazing stories…enjoy!

Viveka Hulyalkar (seen on the right), co-founder of Beam Impact, shared the “boots on the ground” strategy to get the firm up and running and how she and her co-founder Alex Sadhu raised a $13.3M round in six days! Read more about Viveka and Beam Impact here.

Hector Hulian, cofounder of Ugami,just launched their new debit and credit experience for gamers with a waitlist of 265,000 globally. Read more about how Hector was inspired by his 9-year-old son here.

Raphael Rosen, cofounder of Carbon Lighthouse, shared his dreams about doing his part to address climate change and helping building owners reduce their carbon emissions. Carbon Lighthouse has de-carbonized 600 buildings and cut 584,000 tons of carbon from the environment. Read more about Raphael here.

Just for Fun

Ulu Ventures hosted a luncheon for Ulupreneurs in New York with Nancy Torres, Earl Valencia (cofounder Plentina), Gary Sangha (founder LexCheck), Clint Korver, Sasha Landauer (co-founder Requipper), Viveka Hulyalkar (cofounder Beam Impact).

Ulupreneurs in the News

Allocate

Business Insider named Hang Yang and Samir Kaji of Allocate as one of six startups that enables everyday investors access to alternative investments.

Beam Impact

TechCrunch and several other media outlets spotlighted Beam Impact’s $13.3M raise to turn everyday purchases into support for non-profits.

Boba Network

Several media outlets including TechCrunch headlined the $45M Series A raise for Enya’s Boba Network, at a $1.5B valuation.

Buzz Solutions

San Francisco Business Times named Buzz Solutions’ co-founder Katlyn Albertoli as one of the top 40 Under 40 for 2022.

Clean Technica interviewed Buzz Solutions’ co-founders Kaitlyn Albertoli and Vikram Chaudry about how their platform can take 50% out of electrical grid image effort.

Cion Digital

Silicon Angle featured the new partnership between Cion Digital and Salt Blockchain to bring cryptocurrency lending to auto dealerships.

CoreChain

Finextra featured CoreChain’s $4.2M raise led by Ulu Ventures,

Ellevest

Yahoo!Finance featured an interview with Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck on “Influencers with Andy Serwer” about the investing platform and the possibility of a recession.

MSNBC called Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck “the most powerful woman on Wall Street” in an article where she revealed her three biggest money mistakes.

Barron’s article highlighted Ellevest as one of two alternative forms of investment platforms.

FinSMEs highlighted Ellevest’s $53M Series B raise.

Future Family

TechCrunch profiled Future Family’s $25M Series B raise.

Money Inc. profiled Future Family CEO Claire Tomkins in an article.

Guild Education

Forbes and several other media outlets headlined Guild Education’s new partnership with Tyson Foods to pay for its employees’ college education.

Business Insider featured Guild Education’s new partnership with Lowe’s to offer debt-free education to employees.

Fast Company featured a piece written by Guild Education CEO Rachel Carlson about how Guild is rethinking the future of work at their own company.

Harvard Business Review highlighted Guild Education in an article about the reasons why employers should fund debt-free education programs.

NowRX

Entrepreneur highlighted NowRX in the tech-powered pharmacy that aims to upend the $480B retail pharmaceutical industry.

CrowdFundInsider featured an article about NowRX’s raise of its current Series C round on SeedInvest, making this the fourth round NowRX raise on the securities crowdfunding platform for an overall total of $43M to date.

Onuu

Fintech & Finance News highlighted Onuu’s inaugural list of partners to democratize access to security for 166M Americans.

Parfait

Black Enterprise featured an article about recent Serena Williams investment in Parfait.

Prixz 

Contxto headlined a $100M valuation for the Mexican pharmacy Prixz.

Proterra

Yahoo!Finance announced Proterra’s award as the first electric manufacturer to earn a TRUE (total resource use and efficiency) certification for zero waste facilities in California and South Carolina.

Benziga headlined Pace Suburban Bus award of a $26.5 million contract to Proterra to acquire 20 electric transit buses.

RealBlocks

Business Insider named RealBlocks as one of the six startups VCs should watch that enable everyday investors access to alternative investments.

Schmooze

Business of Business profiled Schmooze as a popular new dating app using memes.

Syndicate

Bloomberg interviewed Syndicate co-founders Ian Lee and Will Papper about the role of decentralized autonomous organizations in the crypto ecosystem.

Tomo Credit

TearSheet featured a piece profiling a “day in the life” of Tomo Credit CEO Kristy Kim.

Ugami

VentureBeat profiled Ugami’s $4.8M raise and launch of its app and debit card for gamers.

Zum

Forbes featured an article written by Zum CEO Ritu Narayan on how to get customers to say “yes” to sustainability solutions.

 

 

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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