The Brilliant Approach that Allowed Hims to Reach Unicorn Status in One Year

Though founded just over a year ago, Hims' novel approach to issues of a men’s health has already allowed the company to raise more than $197 million at a reported $1 billion valuation.

A Brilliant Approach to Treating ED

The company, which specializes in men’s healthcare products was able to capitalize on Viagra’s patent expiration and developed its own ED medication using the same active ingredient. Customers consult discreetly with an online physician, then the product is sent directly to the customer’s home. In a move away from Viagra’s targeting of the older male demographic however, Hims markets primarily to a much younger demographic, often under the age of forty, and conveys the common nature of the issue through social media and celebrity sponsored ads in an effort to reduce the stigma surrounding ED treatment.

Addressing Other Men's Wellness Issues

In much the same way as its ED treatment, Hims has also taken a similar approach in manufacturing and marketing its men's hair-loss treatment. Once Merck’s patent on Propecia expired in 2014, Hims was again free to repurpose the active ingredient and sell it as its own treatment. It also doesn't hurt that one of the most common side effects of Propecia is impotence. Along with ED and hair-loss, Hims also addresses the embarrassing problem of cold sores which it combats with a pill containing the active ingredient in Valtrex, whose patent expired in 2009. All of these medications, as well as skin creams and supplements and a new women’s line, are all aggressively targeted in fun and clever ways towards a younger consumer.

An Approach That Pays

So far, the approach seems to be working. It was reported yesterday, Hims will be closing a new round of Series C funding for $100 million. The pre-money valuation of this latest round of funding has reportedly pushed the value of the company over $1 billion. This latest round of funding comes less than seven months after the company closed its last round of funding, a Series B round for $50 million. To date, Hims has raised more than $197 million after eight rounds of funding.

An Optimistic Future

While some investors balked at the $1 billion pre-money valuation, company co-founder and CEO Andrew Dudum remained undeterred. In a recent interview Dudum remarked, ‘We think what we’re building is a $10-20 billion company in the next few years.’ Whether or not the company will reach this valuation remains to be seen, but for now, Hims see,s off to a very good start.


Lalamove Officially Gains Unicorn Status

Hong Kong-based delivery startup Lalamove has reportedly raised a $300 million round of Series D funding at a +$1 billion valuation.

A Huge Southeast Asian Presence

Founded in 2013, Lalamove is a ride-haling delivery and logistics company like similar to Uber, which focusing on business and corporate clientele. The company - which operates out of mainland China - has over 2 million drivers across more than 130 cities, and boasts more than 28 million active users. Outside of China, Lalamove operates in seven other Asian countries, including Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Thailand. The latest round of funding is anticipated to be used to further expansion into southeast Asia and India.

The Latest Large Round of Funding

The latest $300 million round of Series D funding will reportedly be split in to two halves: Hillhouse Capital will lead the ‘D1' portion, and Sequoia China will lead the ‘D2’ tranche. The exact size of each half has not been disclosed. Previous to this, Lalamove closed a $100 million round of Series C funding in 2017. To date, Lalamove has raised more than $460 million after seven rounds of funding.

Firmly in Unicorn Territory

According to reports, the latest round of funding places Lalamove firmly into unicorn status. However, according to company head of international Blake Larson, Lalamove has been, “past the unicorn mark for quite some time [but] we just don’t talk about it.” The company was reportedly just shy of a $1 billion valuation when it closed its $100 million round of Series C funding.

A 21st Century Founder and CEO

Lalamove was founded in 2013 by Stanford graduate, Shing Chow. According to Sequoia China founder and managing partner Neil Shen, “Shing is a role model for Hong Kong’s new generation of innovative entrepreneurs. Raised in Hong Kong and educated at Stanford University, Shing returned and plunged himself in the entrepreneurial wave of ‘Internet Plus,’ becoming a figure of entrepreneurial success.” By all accounts, the future seems very bright for the young CEO.


Collibra Raises $100 Million at $1 Billion Valuation

Collibra, a leader in enterprise data governance, recently announced it has closed a round of $100 million in Series E funding. The new round of funding gives the catalogue software company a post-money valuation of more than $1 billion.

Big Investors are Bullish

The latest round of funding was led by Alphabet’s growth equity investment fund, CapitalG, and also saw participation from existing investors ICONIQ Capital, Index Ventures, Dawn Capital, and Battery Ventures. The new round of funding brings the total raised by Collibra to more than $233 million after six rounds of funding.

Collibra: A Darling of Big Tech

Collibra is a company which makes sure the data that companies like Facebook and Google collect is stored in a way that complies with legal regulations. In the wake of a $57 million fine levied by the French government against Google, companies like Collibra will become more-and-more valuable to big tech. The fact that Google’s parent company Alphabet led the round which also saw participation from the Zuckerberg/Dorsey/Sanderberg-backed ICONIQ, bares testament to this fact.

A Proud Founder

According to Collibra co-founder and CEO Felix Van de Maele, “Now more than ever, we live in an economy where the most innovative companies are fueled by data. It has become our most valuable asset. This investment is a testament to Collibra’s leadership and our ability to help customers transform their market proposition through data-driven insight. With this latest round, we are well-positioned to leverage our heritage in understanding data to help our customers utilize the most cutting-edge innovation to power their digital transformation journeys.”

New Funding as a Victory Lap

According to the company statement, ‘The funding comes on the heels of a record revenue year, with an 80 percent increase in annualized recurring revenue and rapid expansion across the globe.’ The latest round of funding is expected to be used to expand the company’s product offerings and to extend its reach into machine learning and AI, as well as to fund its own growing in-house data scientist teams.

Currently, Collibra boasts more than 300 global clients across industries as varied as fintech, healthcare, retail, and tech.


Bird to Allow Entrepreneurs to Buy Scooters

 

After becoming the fastest company to reach a $1 billion valuation Bird scooters has now opted to allow entrepreneurs to purchase scooters outright in order to operate their own fleet.

Bird Scooters Adopt the Uber Model

Much the same way Uber drivers often own the vehicle they use to make money, Bird Scooters has decided to allow individuals the ability to purchase scooters which buyers can then rent-out on the Bird Platform. Again much like Uber, Bird says it will take 20% of the cost of the rides, while the owner will pocket the other 80%. Owners will also have access Bird chargers and mechanics, and will also have the ability to brand their scooters in any way they see fit.

A Move Brought-On by Demand

According to company CEO Travis VanderZanden, the move - which is called Bird Platform and has been in the works for some time - comes in response to an overwhelming amount of requests received from individual investors interested in taking Bird Scooters into new markets. “In the last year of operating, we kept getting these inbound requests from entrepreneurs that really wanted to take Bird to their cities. I think there’s been a lot of people passionate about the electric scooter movement and taking cars off the road. There are a lot of entrepreneurs who want to bring Bird to their city.”

Some Details Still Unclear

While there is no minimum, or maximum of scooters a person can own, owners will have to abide by all local and city regulations. In cities such as San Francisco, regulations have capped the number of e-scooters allowed within the city limits, making the new initiative irrelevant. Other factors that are unclear at present are the cost per each scooter and what risk owners run in the event of stolen or damaged scooters.

Bird Scooters: a Company on the Rise

One thing that’s certain however is the enthusiasm investors have shown so far for the Bird scooter trend. As mentioned about, Bird - which is now valued at a reported $2 billion - was the fastest company to ever reach unicorn status. This is all the more impressive considering the company's just over a year old. Currently, Bird scooters are operate in more than 100 cities, and have given more than 10 million rides. To date, Bird has raised more than $415 million in venture funding from.

Just how much Bird owners stand to make from the venture remains to be seen, but with over 300 partners already lined up to invest Bird's Platform initiative is certain to get a true test out in the marketplace.