Venture water, biotech investment and 2021 carnage – TechCrunch

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Welcome to the world of work my friends, I hope you have survived the return to work well and are both warm and healthy. The current boom in COVID cases is a huge disappointment, but this may be the last year we will have to come back to productivity under the specter of blockages, mass deaths and lack of hugs. I hope.

Anyway, today we have a lot of fun stuff that should keep you from thinking about the state of the world for a few minutes.

Let’s start today, let’s talk about Liquid Death. The company that lives up to its name kill thirsty with the water, hence its name. It really is the business in a nutshell. Liquid Death sells water in a can, a company around which she has adapted an anti-plastic stance and general heavy metal vibe. It’s nice.

But Liquid Death also raised $ 75 million this week, which makes me wonder why everything is so expensive to build these days. Why does a water company have to raise a whole pre-seed fund in one investment? Why does he need the money? To research? It’s selling water!

A few years ago, there was a general prospect that it was cheaper than ever to start a startup. With off-the-shelf software, cloud computing, and modern fintech backends, putting the building blocks of a modern business together was getting faster and cheaper. Besides the high costs of hiring software developers, it looked like startups would be able to do more with less.

And even. Startups are raising more money than ever. The stock market is diving into venture capital data next week, but it’s clear the venture capital and startup classes continue to move funds with great fun. So much so that Liquid Death has raised over $ 130 million to date, by Crunchbase data.

Squaring the circle of lower startup costs and mega-towers for me if you can. Are we seeing increased marketing spend from equity sources? If so, that worries me a bit!

(Note that Liquid Death could be a great company with big margins and a nice economy; I don’t know its numbers. But why does it need $ 75 million if it’s in such good shape? are we missing here?)

Level of money collected

From the depths of the note documents, a brief note on Level. Level is a company that I covered in February 2021. The company had just closed a $ 1.5 million cycle for work that we described as providing “credit to workers who might not be able to.” leverage it from traditional sources, using their current freelance income. work to support the advance.

This was an interesting model, because asset-based versus cash-flow lending is a bit of a dumb in a world where a lot of people work but don’t live an asset-rich lifestyle. (That’s a polite way of criticizing the NIMBY baby boomers, of course).

Either way, Level raised another round at the 2021 close, this time a $ 7 million Series A. Anthos Capital led the funding, NextView Ventures and other earlier inventors provided cash as well. The capital came after the company increased its size “10 times”, according to its own data.

What I find most remarkable about the news from Level is not that the company has raised more money – more than its set goal is super big. Through the company, he wants to build a “financial OS for microenterprises”.

I’m digging this because small businesses aren’t the kind of businesses that get a lot of attention from traditional financial institutions. Fintech should be, in my opinion, a method of applying technology to break down walls and bring more value to more people. Level seems to work in this direction, while creating a business ready for the business. Cared for!

PsyMed raises a biotech fund

After learning that a16z has raised $ 9 billion in new funds for venture capital, growth and biotech investing, it’s easy to forget that there are smaller funds in the market as well. And some that are quite new, actually.

On the biotechnology front PsyMed companies is busy raising a $ 25 million fund, the first closing of which ($ 8 million) is in the bank. I spoke with the group on Friday to dig a little deeper into their model.

First of all, the basics. PsyMed has three investor partners: Dina Burkitbayeva, Greg kubin and Matias Serebrinsky. As you can see from his first fund size goal, he will invest things upstream in the psychedelic medical space, as well as a few related areas. The group is not new to working together, having previously formed an investment group using AngelList technology to invest around $ 15 million to date.

Some thoughts on PsyMed. First, I am convinced that we are pushing the boundaries of what we test for medical purposes. The prudishness in my country of origin has slowed down this kind of work, to our detriment. Second, I’m interested in the biotech investment space, because founded companies go public much earlier than what we tend to see, say, in the enterprise software market. So you get more information about companies, faster and more frequently.

For venture capitalists in biotech companies, it can also mean earlier liquidity opportunities than is often seen in today’s unicorn age.

Speaking with Burkitbayeva, Kubin and Serebrinsky gave me the impression that we are approaching a point of confluence in terms of regulatory, scientific and medical advancements that could unlock many interesting new treatments for some delicate human issues. Things like PTSD, treatment resistant depression, and my favorite substance abuse disorder.

All of this to say that I will be keeping an eye on where the group puts its new fund to work and how quickly it can stimulate early stage pharmaceutical startups in public markets. Here’s to read more about S-1 biotech this year and next year I guess!

The weekend

And this is what I have so far – don’t forget it Equity is back to its regular three times a week pace next week, so I’ll be chatting with you about your podcasting app of choice as soon as possible! Cuddles!

Alexis



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