March 3, 2020 | 4-minute read (662 words)
If you’re looking for venture capital or other funding for your business, you might be curious about what types of firms are getting funded right now. We took a look at a few recent deals to find out whether these might be indicators of any trends that could be materializing.
1. Fresh-Cooked Dog Meal Delivery
Near the end of February, General Mills’ venture arm, 301 Inc., was the co-leader in a $9 million Series A funding round for a company that sends fresh meals for dogs directly to their homes. Pet Plate initially sought investment on “Shark Tank” in the past, but was unable to secure an investment from the sharks. Since then, the firm has sold over nine million dog meals.
This business model is a somewhat new territory, but seems to make sense, considering that people want to treat their pets to the same experiences they enjoy themselves. And considering that home delivery of food for humans appears to be booming, it would stand to reason that pet owners are getting in on the game as well.
2. Digital Banking in the Philippines
TONIK plans to launch a digital bank in the Philippines with the $6 million in equity funding it raised in late February. The company aims to cater to the thousands of Philippine residents who don’t have access to a physical bank and would benefit from having a completely digital option. The company hopes to launch its first offering in the third quarter of this year.
The digital bank is expected to bring Philippine consumers further convenience — a way to connect them to a more modern framework that goes along with other offerings they’ve adopted. Emerging markets are increasingly enjoying the ease of such options as Amazon, so digitizing their banking appears to be a new way to boost their independence.
3. Dating App
Over the summer, dating app MuzMatch raised $7 million in Series A funding to drive growth in key international markets. The app brings together couples who practice the Islamic faith, and as of its funding date, had over 1.5 million users across 210 countries. The company also hopes to bring on new staff members with the funding.
Although funding appears to have peaked for dating apps a few years ago, the recent MuzMatch infusion suggests that investors are still interested in these platforms if they have a clear route to profit. MuzMatch is said to be one of the dating apps that is already profitable.
4. Air Purification
Molekule raised $58 million in Series C funding last week to boost research and development efforts and scale its business, which makes branded air purifiers. Whereas most air purifiers filter out particles, Molekule says its products use photoelectrochemical oxidation to eradicate pollutants. The company has now raised about $96 million overall since it launched in 2017.
Consumers are growing increasingly interested in clean living. From healthy meals to clean water to clean air, people want to stay healthy and are paying careful attention to how they live their lives so they can remain safe. This investment makes it clear that the clean living category is still robust and continuing to gain momentum.
5. e-Commerce Platform
In late February, Near.Store raised $300,000 in seed funding to build its plug-and-play e-commerce capabilities. The company, based in India, allows stores to have an online presence where customers can browse current in-store inventories.
The investment appears to be aimed at the brick-and-mortar sellers that are eager to have an online presence but aren’t sure where to start. The company’s proprietary software allows the online store to mirror the exact same SKUs available in stores so only available merchandise can be sold online. This seems to be in line with the needs of many retailers who are eager to boost their e-commerce capabilities.
For more on funding trends, keep an eye on this space as we continue to track activity throughout the year.