Batch 5: (Where I Would Invest)

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Remix is a planning platform for public transit working with 200+ cities worldwide.

Remix helps you plan great transit. Design routes in any city and immediately understand the cost and demographic impact of a proposed change. Automatically pull in your region’s existing transit networks to quickly evaluate different alternatives. When you’re done, export to Excel, shapefile, KML, or GTFS. Everything runs in your browser, and integrates with the tools you already have.

 

Last Funds Raised: $12M Series A, May 9, 2017 (when I found it, last round had been 10/2016!)

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

 

What I Like:

  • I am a big fan of the government technology space especially in the public transit and infrastructure sector. I believe the potential here is magnified by President Trumps current agenda to update infrastructure in the United States.
  • This company has strong traction with over 200 cities around the world. The data collected from these cities shows how much more efficient public transit can operate if proper software is utilized. This data shows the city how they can reduce congestion and save money, which are measurable to the bottom line.
  • The global opportunity of Remix is already being realized with the diverse range of cities the company serves, so I love the growth potential.
  • The founding team is very strong with all of the necessary backgrounds to make this company a success including engineers, data experts, business leaders and a designer.
  • There is no strong competitor in the space, so this company has potential to run away with market share before others enter.

 

What I Don’t Like:

  • It is difficult to onboard a city to use this platform because getting approved by a government body usually requires personal connections. This could limit the growth to cities where the team and investors have network connections.
  • The global presence of the firm proves that Remix has strong potential, but their scattered presence shows that they have not been able to dominate any specific regions/markets.
  • The company has recently raised capital so it will likely be some more time before they are raising again, but I think it is a great company to start a dialogue. It may also be difficult to get into future rounds because Sequoia and SV angel were Series A leaders, so the company may only be looking for large backers with connections moving forward.

 

Conclusions:

  • I believe this company has a ton of potential and it is not too late to join the ride. I think this is one of the stronger companies in the government technology space and it would be a great first investment in the space.
  • I love that the company has measurable success metrics that show why they save money and make a city more efficient. I believe these numbers will convince other cities to test out the software and eventually start paying for it when they see results first hand.
  • Unfortunately, since finding Remix on Monday they raised a round Tuesday, but I still wanted to include it.

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BMNT translates problems into language that is understandable and useable by entrepreneurs, industry and investors. We use these translated problems to energize our network to rapidly form a tightly connected, trusted ecosystem of entrepreneurs and experts around the problems. We uncover user requirements and problems and apply Lean Startup methodology to test theories and derive minimum viable products. Once potential solutions are identified we provide the strategies by which those solutions can be tested, improved and delivered to our partners for further development and deployment.

 

Last Funds Raised: Undisclosed Seed, Unknown

Headquarters: Palo Alto

 

What I Like:

  • I like that the company is working in the unique space of military consulting with a Palo Alto – lean startup – mentality. The description shows the companies creative approach to a problem not many other companies are trying to tackle.
  • The team has a great mix of people with military, technical, government and entrepreneurial backgrounds that could make real differences for real problems.
  • The group has a strong motivation of patriotism in helping the U.S. government become more efficient and creative with their solutions to national security problems.
  • This organization seems in like with policies that President Trump has started to implement and promote, most notably military strength, technological advancement and public/private partnerships.

 

What I Don’t Like:

  • It is difficult to forecast the opportunities for this group because they consult for national security, but I believe President Trump’s inclination for defense will prove beneficial to this group.
  • This is both a pro and a con, but the company is located in Palo Alto, which gives it a strong talent-pool and access to new technology; however, it seems like this type of company may be better suited in Washington D.C. to secure government contracts.
  • I’m not sure if this company would even accept outside capital because they have never raised money and I’m not exactly sure how they would use the capital.
  • The business model is not one that could create explosive growth because the value of the company is human capital, but I do believe bigger contracts and opportunities could accelerate revenues.

 

Conclusions:

  • My favorite aspect of the company is how unique the problem they are trying to solve represents, meaning that it can never truly be solved, but can always be improved upon.
  • I think the company has an opportunity for substantial growth, but I would want to talk with the team to see what their end goal is because this might just be a great business and not the next industry disrupting opportunity.

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PeopleGrove is a SaaS platform for companies and schools to foster professional networks in their communities, enhance career outcomes and create a culture of giving back. School such as Stanford and USC work with PeopleGrove to match students with alumni mentors. Meanwhile, companies like Intuit license PeopleGrove software to drive powerful connections and mentorship to catalyze collaboration and inclusion in their organizations, particularly among Millennial hires. Our mission is to be the ultimate community platform, bridging the gap between education and meaningful careers. We achieve this mission by building beautiful, engaging software to drive human connections for schools, companies, and other organizations.

 

Last Funds Raised: 550k Seed, Jul 2016

Headquarters: Los Angeles, California

 

What I Like:

  • I cold-outreached the founder of this company, Adam Saven, and we were able to connect over the phone for a chat, so I really appreciated his openness. I reached out because I had come up with the same idea myself and wanted to hear his thoughts compared to mine.
  • After speaking with him I could tell that the company was in the middle of pivoting the idea a bit, but I liked his ideas and his direction he wanted to move the company into which was addressing community and city colleges. He wanted to connect students with faculty and career paths to help retention rates at these universities, which are the biggest problem they face.
  • I like the traction the company has with schools like USC, Stanford and some prestigious bay area high schools. I’m actually a user of the application at USC and have connected with several students to mentor them through starting careers in finance.
  • I believe there will eventually be a universal platform for schools such as PeopleGrove and I think this could be the right team to get it done. The company is also very early in its valuation and fund raising.

 

What I Don’t Like:

  • The company has traction with some of the best schools for one of its product offerings, but with the direction of the company shifting – I’m not sure if they will maintain these relationships.
  • The current revenue model is based on schools paying a licensing fee for the service, but for the business to expand I think schools will want measurable results to continue paying for the service.
  • The company is in the middle of pivoting and doesn’t know where it will be in five years, but I am glad to see the team taking initiative and shifting directions rather than blindly barreling ahead.
  • There is a fair bit of competition in the space and although relationships with prominent schools will help – I still think that convincing schools to pay for the product may prove difficult initially.

 

Conclusions:

  • I really appreciated the founder taking the team to speak with me and listen to my ideas for the direction of his company and his openness of discussing their strategy. I like the direction he is taking his company and think there is definitely potential for substantial growth.

 

 

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