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Q&A: Menlo Ventures’ Venky Ganesan On Why It ‘Made Sense’ For Poshmark To Go Public

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Poshmark, a social platform for buying and selling clothes and accessories, is one of the many venture-backed startups that have recently joined the ranks of public companies.

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Shares of the Redwood City, California-based began trading Thursday, doubling in price almost right out of the gate. By the close of day, its shares were trading at $101.50, up 140 percent.

Poshmark is just the latest e-commerce company to go public. In the past year, a lengthy list of retailers have either started trading on the public markets or indicated they plan to go public, including  Wish, Casper, BigCommerce, DoorDash, ThredUp, Petco and BarkBox.

In filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Poshmark reported that more than 70 million users have sold more than 130 million items through the platform since its inception in 2011.

Earlier this week, I spoke to Menlo Venture’s Venky Ganesan, who has known Poshmark CEO Manish Chandra for 20 years. Ganesan chatted with me about why Menlo Ventures made its initial investment in Poshmark, how he thinks the the relationship between his firm and the company will change now that Poshmark is publicly traded, and what this all means for the e-commerce industry.

Poshmark CEO Manish Chandra (left) and Menlo Venture’s Venky Ganesan

Why did Menlo Ventures make that first investment in Poshmark in 2012?

Ganesan: Menlo loves marketplaces, and we love the business model. We are backers of similar companies, like Uber, Rover and Getaround, and in a previous life, I was an investor in Upwork. Poshmark is the future of shopping, combining the shift to online, the social element and second-hand products. The “new new” is second-hand and reused. Poshmark is unique in that it carries new inventory all the time, and it doesn’t have to touch anything. It connects a community of buyers and sellers.

What do successes like Poshmark mean for the e-commerce industry?

Ganesan: It is an incredible space for e-commerce. It has hit an inflection point and the shift to online is real. When you look back at commerce from 2006 to 2019, it grew 6 to 16 percent, but from 2019 to today, it went from 16 to 26 percent. The shift is real. In addition, Poshmark has added an element of social, as well as addressing ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) sensitivity, especially for millennials and Gen Z who care about the environment and sustainability, so reusing things is important.

How do portfolio companies initiate a conversation with their big investors about exiting, and what advice do you typically give?

Ganesan: I tell people an IPO is not an exit, it is a financial event. It is an opportunity to build a sustainable company. You should only do it if you think you have a proven business model, in a huge market, and a long clear roadmap. Poshmark had all of those, and it made sense to go public.

After a portfolio company enters the public markets, how does the relationship between company and VC change?

Ganesan: For one, I am not going to be a board member anymore, but I will continue to be a sounding board for Manish. We have had a relationship for over 20 years, and the journey is just beginning. The future they can have is breathtaking, and we will be a sounding board in every sense of the way.

I have the satisfaction of seeing someone grow up being successful and am proud of the association. Manish has built the values himself and was sensitive to the notion of diverse perspectives, so he joined with co-founder Tracy Sun and others to offer their perspectives. Then a couple of years ago, when they wanted to diversify the board, I handed the Menlo board seat to Jenny Ming, but stayed on as a board observer and was happy to see them bring on Serena Williams.

Photo of Poshmark’s CEO Manish Chandra and Menlo Venture’s Venky Ganesan courtesy of Menlo Ventures
Illustration: Dom Guzman

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

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Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/qa-menlo-ventures-venky-ganesan-discusses-poshmark-investment/

Start Ups

Turning Talents Into Tender: West Tenth Bags $1.5M For Women’s Digital Marketplace

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The global pandemic changed the way women thought about their careers, with many choosing to leave their jobs in order to stay home and care for family members.

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West Tenth, a digital marketplace that is helping women turn nontraditional talents into flexible businesses run from home, closed $1.5 million in seed funding led by Better Ventures. Joining the firm was Stand Together Ventures Lab, Kapital Partners, The Community Fund, Backstage Capital, Wedbush Ventures and Gaingels. The funding gives West Tenth $1.75 million in total funding, according to Lyn Johnson, co-founder and CEO.

Johnson and Sara Sparhawk founded the Los Angeles-based company in 2019 after recognizing that many women turn to home-based businesses if traditional employment does not work out.

“We are supportive of women leaving the workforce, but terrible at supporting them on the way back in,” Johnson said. “As a result, women are turning to micro-entrepreneurship. However, it is hard to see all of those microbusinesses. Many are not on Google or Yelp and have to get word of mouth or be on some sort of social media.”

Prior to the pandemic, 28 million women in the United States did not participate in the workforce, Johnson told Crunchbase News. It is estimated that approximately 2.4 million women exited the workforce over the past year, compared with 1.8 million men, according to an NBC News report.

West Tenth app example

West Tenth’s app enables women to monetize their domestic talents, such as baking, photography or home organization, and then connects them with people in their communities who would like to purchase their products or services.

It is free to have a storefront on the app and people can purchase from the platform, with West Tenth collecting a portion of the purchases, Johnson said.

By Sparhawk’s count, there are more than 9 million home-based businesses, so the company will be using the new funds to build out its product team to get the marketplace into more hands, providing education and a community. The company is also spearheading a program called “The Foundry by West Tenth” that will have guest speakers and networking events focused on topics relevant to women, Sparhawk said in an interview.

The company’s marketplace started with 20 businesses and has grown to 600. It primarily operates in Southern California and Salt Lake City, and West Tenth is planning to expand into Boise and Phoenix later this year, but is also accepting new home-based businesses every day from women across the U.S.

Meanwhile, Lyndsey Boucherle, principle at Better Ventures, said in a written statement that the firm likes to back founders that are democratizing access to opportunity and prosperity.

“West Tenth provides a platform and community for women entrepreneurs to build their own businesses, at a time when women have left the workforce in record numbers,” Boucherle added. “We are excited to support their mission to enable these women to turn their skills and talents into successful home-based businesses.”

Feature photo of West Tenth co-founders Lyn Johnson and Sara Sparhawk, as well as app inset photo courtesy of the company.
Blogroll illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/turning-talents-into-tender-west-tenth-bags-1-5m-for-womens-digital-marketplace/

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Turning Talents Into Tender: West Tenth Bags $1.5M For Women’s Digital Marketplace

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The global pandemic changed the way women thought about their careers, with many choosing to leave their jobs in order to stay home and care for family members.

Subscribe to the Crunchbase Daily

West Tenth, a digital marketplace that is helping women turn nontraditional talents into flexible businesses run from home, closed $1.5 million in seed funding led by Better Ventures. Joining the firm was Stand Together Ventures Lab, Kapital Partners, The Community Fund, Backstage Capital, Wedbush Ventures and Gaingels. The funding gives West Tenth $1.75 million in total funding, according to Lyn Johnson, co-founder and CEO.

Johnson and Sara Sparhawk founded the Los Angeles-based company in 2019 after recognizing that many women turn to home-based businesses if traditional employment does not work out.

“We are supportive of women leaving the workforce, but terrible at supporting them on the way back in,” Johnson said. “As a result, women are turning to micro-entrepreneurship. However, it is hard to see all of those microbusinesses. Many are not on Google or Yelp and have to get word of mouth or be on some sort of social media.”

Prior to the pandemic, 28 million women in the United States did not participate in the workforce, Johnson told Crunchbase News. It is estimated that approximately 2.4 million women exited the workforce over the past year, compared with 1.8 million men, according to an NBC News report.

West Tenth app example

West Tenth’s app enables women to monetize their domestic talents, such as baking, photography or home organization, and then connects them with people in their communities who would like to purchase their products or services.

It is free to have a storefront on the app and people can purchase from the platform, with West Tenth collecting a portion of the purchases, Johnson said.

By Sparhawk’s count, there are more than 9 million home-based businesses, so the company will be using the new funds to build out its product team to get the marketplace into more hands, providing education and a community. The company is also spearheading a program called “The Foundry by West Tenth” that will have guest speakers and networking events focused on topics relevant to women, Sparhawk said in an interview.

The company’s marketplace started with 20 businesses and has grown to 600. It primarily operates in Southern California and Salt Lake City, and West Tenth is planning to expand into Boise and Phoenix later this year, but is also accepting new home-based businesses every day from women across the U.S.

Meanwhile, Lyndsey Boucherle, principle at Better Ventures, said in a written statement that the firm likes to back founders that are democratizing access to opportunity and prosperity.

“West Tenth provides a platform and community for women entrepreneurs to build their own businesses, at a time when women have left the workforce in record numbers,” Boucherle added. “We are excited to support their mission to enable these women to turn their skills and talents into successful home-based businesses.”

Feature photo of West Tenth co-founders Lyn Johnson and Sara Sparhawk, as well as app inset photo courtesy of the company.
Blogroll illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Checkout PrimeXBT
Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/turning-talents-into-tender-west-tenth-bags-1-5m-for-womens-digital-marketplace/

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Turning Talents Into Tender: West Tenth Bags $1.5M For Women’s Digital Marketplace

Avatar

Published

on

The global pandemic changed the way women thought about their careers, with many choosing to leave their jobs in order to stay home and care for family members.

Subscribe to the Crunchbase Daily

West Tenth, a digital marketplace that is helping women turn nontraditional talents into flexible businesses run from home, closed $1.5 million in seed funding led by Better Ventures. Joining the firm was Stand Together Ventures Lab, Kapital Partners, The Community Fund, Backstage Capital, Wedbush Ventures and Gaingels. The funding gives West Tenth $1.75 million in total funding, according to Lyn Johnson, co-founder and CEO.

Johnson and Sara Sparhawk founded the Los Angeles-based company in 2019 after recognizing that many women turn to home-based businesses if traditional employment does not work out.

“We are supportive of women leaving the workforce, but terrible at supporting them on the way back in,” Johnson said. “As a result, women are turning to micro-entrepreneurship. However, it is hard to see all of those microbusinesses. Many are not on Google or Yelp and have to get word of mouth or be on some sort of social media.”

Prior to the pandemic, 28 million women in the United States did not participate in the workforce, Johnson told Crunchbase News. It is estimated that approximately 2.4 million women exited the workforce over the past year, compared with 1.8 million men, according to an NBC News report.

West Tenth app example

West Tenth’s app enables women to monetize their domestic talents, such as baking, photography or home organization, and then connects them with people in their communities who would like to purchase their products or services.

It is free to have a storefront on the app and people can purchase from the platform, with West Tenth collecting a portion of the purchases, Johnson said.

By Sparhawk’s count, there are more than 9 million home-based businesses, so the company will be using the new funds to build out its product team to get the marketplace into more hands, providing education and a community. The company is also spearheading a program called “The Foundry by West Tenth” that will have guest speakers and networking events focused on topics relevant to women, Sparhawk said in an interview.

The company’s marketplace started with 20 businesses and has grown to 600. It primarily operates in Southern California and Salt Lake City, and West Tenth is planning to expand into Boise and Phoenix later this year, but is also accepting new home-based businesses every day from women across the U.S.

Meanwhile, Lyndsey Boucherle, principle at Better Ventures, said in a written statement that the firm likes to back founders that are democratizing access to opportunity and prosperity.

“West Tenth provides a platform and community for women entrepreneurs to build their own businesses, at a time when women have left the workforce in record numbers,” Boucherle added. “We are excited to support their mission to enable these women to turn their skills and talents into successful home-based businesses.”

Feature photo of West Tenth co-founders Lyn Johnson and Sara Sparhawk, as well as app inset photo courtesy of the company.
Blogroll illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Checkout PrimeXBT
Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/turning-talents-into-tender-west-tenth-bags-1-5m-for-womens-digital-marketplace/

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After $31M Raise, Nuvolo Eyes IPO As Early As 2023

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Nuvolo expects to significantly scale the company after closing a $31 million Series C, looking to hit $100 million in annual recurring revenue by late 2022 and possibly the public market the following year.

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“We plan to use the proceeds to drive this business to $100 million in ARR, a couple billion in valuation, and eventually liquidity in the public market,” said founder and CEO Tom Stanford.

Insight Partners led the Series C raise for the Paramus, New Jersey-based workplace services company. Other investors in the round include New Enterprise Associates, Kaiser Permanente Ventures and Revelation Partners.

“Nuvolo is exactly the kind of company we partner with,” said Henry Frankievich, principal at Insight Partners. “They have a great product with a huge market. Nuvolo is in that very exciting growth stage.”

The platform

Nuvolo’s integrated workplace management systems (IWMS) platform is built on top of ServiceNow and allows customers to manage their operations through one unified platform. Companies often use a variety of systems to manage things like real estate, operational technology, facilities and other assets. Nuvolo lets companies use just one cloud-native platform and consolidate down to one system of record, Stanford said.

In addition, Nuvolo also layers on operational technology security capabilities, letting customers such as health care providers know if medical equipment or other physical assets may be at risk of failing and proactively safeguard them.

While the company faces large competitors in the IWMS market such as IBM Maximo and Tango, Stanford said Nuvolo’s added security layer and cloud-native platform helps differentiate it in the market.

Growth ahead

Nuvolo plans to leverage its partnership with Insight to significantly grow the company in the years ahead, Stanford said. The 300-person company plans on 65 percent to 70 percent growth the next two to three years, hitting $100 million ARR by late next year, Stanford said.

While Nuvolo has customers in several categories, Stanford said life sciences and health care are the company’s largest verticals. Nuvolo currently works with more than 1,550 customers, and has a footprint in 65 percent of U.S. hospitals.

With Nuvolo’s platform expanding beyond the normal IWMS scope and into modern field service management and cybersecurity, Frankievich said, there is significant potential to expand in these large, fast-growing markets.

Stanford has no doubt that could set the company up for an IPO by 2023.

“We love ourselves as an independent company,” he said.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.

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Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/after-31m-raise-nuvolo-eyes-ipo-as-early-as-2023/

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