2022 was … quite a year. The companies in Expa’s portfolio have had some high-profile coverage for their category-defining concepts — a testament to the innovative spirit of our builders. Each new calendar month brought a slew of new pride points. So, without further ado…
In January, Yumi kicked off the year with a $67 million Series B led by Jazz Ventures, AF Ventures, and 23andme co-founder and CEO Anne Wojcicki. And the hits didn’t stop there – in September Yumi was named among Good Housekeeping’s top 10 vegetarian meal-delivery services.
In February, headless commerce company fabric reached unicorn status with its $140 million Series C raise at a $1.4 billion valuation. While competitors like Shopify tend to court small companies, fabric goes for bigger brands that are typically running their ecommerce stores with monolithic legacy software and therefore have difficulty creating good online experiences. The round was led by SoftBank, and the new money is helping the company improve automation and intelligence to accelerate development and geographic expansion.
In March, Statespace’s Aim Lab became a presenting sponsor of the Call of Duty Challengers Scouting Series. Aim Lab is an aim-training service that helps gamers improve skills like hand-eye coordination and reflex time. In May, video game giant Riot Labs acquired a minority ownership stake in Statespace in a deal that saw Aim Lab become the official training platform for its mega-hit Valorant.
In April, we at Expa announced our new $200 million fund. We raised this fund to continue to find and support incredible founders in their earliest days of company creation - helping with strategy, building MVPs, hiring, finding product-market fit, and fundraising.
In May, Convoy was named No. 6 on the CNBC Disruptor 50. This honor came on the heels of the company’s $260 million Series E raise, which the digital freight network has been using to expand its suite of logistics products. And Convoy kept earning honors – in July, Convoy made No. 4 on the GeekWire 200, and last month, CEO Dan Lewis was named to Insider’s T100.
Following a $20 million Series A in June, Kolors, a Mexico City-based intercity smart-bus platform began work to expand operations outside of Mexico. Although the past few years have been challenging for founders — and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon — Kolors co-founder and CTO Anca Gardea told TechCrunch that empathy from leaders can go a long way toward engaging talent and keeping them on board to drive innovation.
In July, Expa Venture Partner Hooman Radfar, who also serves as CEO at Collective, shared how he and co-founders Ugur Kaner and Bugra Akcay built a platform to help solopreneurs streamline the administrative aspects of their businesses. A big takeaway from this conversation? Despite the economic uncertainty hanging over this moment, now is the time for bold builders.
In August, Mos CEO Amira Yahyaoui was named to Bloomberg’s New Economy Catalysts. Earlier in the year the fintech platform, which focuses on financial literacy and support for college students, had opened access to a pool of more than $160 billion in financial aid to more than 400,000 students and launched new features designed to help users find jobs, receive financial counseling, and address cash-flow gaps.
In September, Grammy-winning Colombian recording artist J Balvin and co-founders Mario Chamorro and Patrick Dowd launched OYE, a bilingual wellness app aimed at using creativity to improve mental health. Then in November, Balvin was honored at the Latino Impact Summit, held at the United Nations, for his important work in breaking down stigmas surrounding mental wellness issues and therapy.
In October, the personal carbon-cutting app Joro raised $10M Series A led by Sequoia, Jay-Z’s Arrive, and Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger. Joro provides personalized solutions toward cutting users’ carbon footprints and offsetting emissions. Founder and CEO Sanchali Pal’s work in this area earned Joro a spot on the TIME100 Most Influential Companies of 2022.
Last month, Loop came out of stealth and announced it had raised $30 million in total funding — $6 million through seed and the rest through Series A. The company eliminates snags in the supply chain by simplifying logistics payments for freight companies. Its technology can reduce invoice clearing time from 50 days to just three and take invoice errors from 20% to “near zero.”
As we look ahead to holiday travel and hopefully planning some much-needed getaways over the coming year, we can’t help but think of Aero. In August, the semi-private luxury airline raised a $65 million Series B led by Albacore Capital, Cyrus Capital, and Expa. CEO Uma Subramanian credits the company’s success with Camp’s ability to drill down on product-market fit. “If you do find product-market fit, go hell for leather and exploit it right,” she told us. They’re evidently doing something right. Men’s Journal has called Aero “the ultimate way to fly.”
Here’s to another great year.