The direct to consumer department store Neighborhood Goods has raised $11 million – gpgmail


Neighborhood Goods, the direct to consumer department store hawking brands like Rothy’s, Dollar Shave Club, Buck Mason, Draper James and Stadium Goods, has new cash to expand its storefront for e-commerce juggernauts.

The company has raised $11 million in a new round of financing led by Global Founders Capital, with participation from previous investors Forerunner Ventures, Serena Ventures, NextGen Venture Partners, Allen Exploration, Capital Factory and others.

The Dallas-based startup has raised $25.5 million to date and is expanding into a new location in Austin to complement its stores in Plano, Texas and a location in New York, opening soon, according to the company’s chief executive and co-founder Matt Alexander.

The Neighborhood Goods concept, providing a brick and mortar outlet for online brands, is one that dovetails nicely with backers like Global Founders Capital and Forerunner Ventures, which are both longtime investors in direct to consumer startups.

“As we expand our network of brands, we’re so thrilled to have Neighborhood Goods as a core element of our portfolio for them to test, assess, explore and learn about the impact of physical retail as they grow,” said Global Founders Capital investor Don Stalter.

As the company expands its geographic footprint, it’s also experimenting with different online features, like online browsing of in-store collections and the option for physical, in-store pickup of digital orders. Neighborhood Goods also said it will begin offering an analytics back-end for brand partners to provide data on activations and branded events at the company’s stores.


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Mythic Markets just raised $2 million in seed to build a fractional ownership market for rare collectibles – gpgmail


Mythic Markets, a young, San Francisco-based fractional investing platform for fans, has raised $2 million in seed funding led by Slow Ventures, with participation from Third Kind Venture Capital, Global Founders Capital, and others.

The company is being led by cofounder and CEO Joseph Mahavuthivanij, who previously spent a couple of years as an associate with the seed- and early-stage fund Social Leverage.

We can see why it piqued the interest of investors. Mythic is capitalizing on the broader trend of fractional ownership that gives numerous investors a piece of the same — hopefully appreciating — asset. The idea dates back fifty years or so to vacation time-shares, but it has picked up momentum of late, with startups asking potential customers to buy parts of new cars, homes, art, sneakers, and even virtual items.

For its part, Mythic is focusing on pop culture collectibles, starting with an Alpha Black Lotus, a trading card that only fanatics of the game “Magic the Gathering” might recognize but that’s apparently worth $90,000 right now. (Mythic, which opened up the card to investors last week, has broken its ownership into 2,000 shares, 663 of which have been purchased.)

Mahavuthivanij says Mythic will next offer a collection of five “Magic the Gathering” booster boxes circa 1994 and that it has other assets that it plans to acquire shortly off its balance sheet. “There’s just a huge secondary market for this stuff,” he says enthusiastically. “It trades like stock. You can watch the daily moving average of any moving card.”

To be on the safe side, Mythic only offers securities that are regulated by the U.S Securities & Exchange Commission, which not only includes rare and appreciating collectibles, similar to stocks, but also other things that Mythic plans to start selling next year, including vintage comic books, sci-fi memorabilia and, a little further afield, esports team equity. Investors needn’t be accredited but neither can they invest more than 10 percent of their income or net worth in an offering.

It’s little wonder that Mahavuthivanij cofounded the company. He’d earlier become tangentially familiar with Rally Road, a Social Leverage portfolio company sells stakes in classic cars to investors, and wondered if he couldn’t apply a similar idea to one of his great personal passions: card collecting.

In a way, it’s payback to an unfair universe. As a kid, Mahavuthivanij collected limited edition “Magic the Gathering” cards, assembling a collection that he thinks would have been worth $1 million today — but that was stolen from a car in 2002. As he began trying to reassemble his collection, he came to appreciate how much the market had changed and how richly priced some of the cards had grown, including those that weren’t reprinted outside of English.

As he saw investment grade cards soar further in value and out of his own reach, he couldn’t help but notice that on the secondary markets, the same trends were quickly elevating the prices of other industries like comic books, where one Wonder Woman comic book produced in 1941 sold for $1 million in 2017, a record amount. (The buyer was presumably inspired in part by “Wonder Woman,” the movie starring Gal Gadot, which had come out just three months earlier.)

Whether Mythic can start throwing off real money is a giant question mark, as it is with most two-year-old companies.

It does have additional revenue streams in mind. Namely, the company also expects to generate revenue eventually by offering a premium subscription model that offers early access to collectibles on its platform, opportunities to attend fan club appearances, and  opportunities to see special assets made available to the company at shows like Comic-Con and elsewhere.

It’s also chasing a growing market, one where there isn’t much hard data to quantify its size but that’s known to be more profitable than the traditional toy market because there aren’t manufacturing costs and prices are typically higher, sometimes by a shocking amount.

On the other hand, the collectibles market is highly sensitive to the disposable income of its investors, which may well shrink if a recession begins to take shape, even if they are buying bite-size stakes.

It’s also the case that a growing number of younger collectors are satisfied with digital images of what they like, rather than the actual items, a kind of sub trend that’s largely driving crypto collectibles — unique digital assets that can bought and sold and sometimes swapped between players in gaming environments.

Naturally, Mahavuthivanij — who is running Mythic with three other cofounders plus several other part-time contractors — thinks Mythic can change the market and grow it exponentially by divvying it up. If enough potential investors gravitate toward the idea, he might be right, too. We’ll stay tuned to see what happens.


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On-demand parking startup SpotHero raises $50 million – gpgmail


SpotHero, the Chicago-based company that has developed an on-demand parking app, has raised $50 million in a Series D round led by Macquarie Capital.

Union Grove Venture Partners participated in the round, along with existing investors including Insight Venture Partners, Global Founders Capital, OCA Ventures, AutoTech Ventures and others, according to the company. SpotHero has raised $118 million to date.

SpotHero said Thursday that this new capital will be used to grow into new markets and expand in its existing ones, build out its digital platform and strengthen partnerships with mobility companies.

SpotHero, which has operations in San Francisco, New York, Washington, D.C. and Seattle, initially set out to develop software that connects everyday drivers to parking spots in thousands of garages across North America.

SpotHero has expanded its focus in the eight years since its founding. The company has added other services as urban density has increased and on-street parking has become more jumbled and confused thanks to an increase in traffic, ride-hailing and on-demand delivery services that take up valuable curb space. It has locked in more than 900 distribution partnerships and integrations including Google Assistant, for voice-enabled parking and Waze in-app navigation to parking. Other partners include Hertz and car2go for fleet parking, WeWork, for commuter parking and Moovit, for multi-modal parking.

Most recently, SpotHero launched a new service dubbed “SpotHero for Fleets” that targets shared mobility and on-demand services.

The service aims to be a one-stop shop for car-sharing and commercial fleets to handle all that goes into ensuring there is access and the right number of designated parking areas on any given day within SpotHero’s large network of 6,500 garages across 300 cities. That means everything from managing the relationships between garage owners and the fleet companies to proper signage so car-sharing customers can find the vehicles, as well as flexible plans that account for seasonal demands on businesses.

Under the new service, customers are able to source and secure parking inventory in high-traffic areas across multiple cities and pay per use across multiple parking facilities on one invoice to streamline payments. 

The company has signed on car-sharing companies and other commercial fleets, although it’s not naming them yet.


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