The Drum | With the upcoming Dmexco and Ad WeekNew York trade shows on the horizon, the words 'Artificial Intelligence', or 'AI', are likely to be ringing in the ears of attendees. The Drum probes experts on how to tell who actually knows what they're talking about, and who is just using another buzzword.
TechCrunch | We get a lot of weed-related pitches at TechCrunch, but most of them don’t come with the pedigree of Herb‘s investors. Herb is announcing today that it has raised $4.1 million in seed funding led by Lerer Hippeau Ventures, with participation from Slow Ventures, Buddy Media co-founder Michael Lazerow, Bullpen Capital, Shiva Rajarama, Liquid 2 Ventures (the firm led by football legend Joe Montana), Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke, Shopify COO Harley Finkelstein and Adam Zeplain.
Mobile Marketer | The Major League Baseball Players Association, the collective bargaining representative for players in the league, granted a license to sweepstakes app Lucktastic to create free scratch cards that feature star baseball players. MLBPA Fun Packs will be released each week for the remainder of the 2017 season, according to a release made available to Mobile Marketer.
DIGIDAY | Most publishers that share a story about George Clooney on Facebook would know to target the segment of its audience that’s interested in George Clooney. Fewer would consider targeting the post at people who are interested in Conway Twitty or Cristiano Ronaldo, though. The Los Angeles-based startup Ranker does, and that’s been a major reason for its climb on Facebook.
INC. | Uber has been living a public relations nightmare in recent weeks, including accusations of inappropriate handling of user data, widespread sexual harassment, and stealing intellectual property from a Google spin-off. The good news coming out of all this bad news: Several important lessons can be learned from Uber's plight. Take it from Bullpen Capital Partner Paul Martino who says decades of watching CEOs run companies gives him a unique perspective on Uber's publicity problems.
BUILT IN LA | James Conlon doesn't possess anything that could be described as a traditional venture capitalist background. Instead of going to Stanford, getting an MBA and interning at Google, Conlon went to Bucknell and graduated with a degree in philosophy. He's also a former professional poker player and has a law degree from American University. Now an LA-based partner for Bullpen Capital, he's dedicated to growing local tech startups, and it all started with two chairs, an elevator and a few NSFW quips between complete strangers.
FORTUNE | The Entrepreneur Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute answers to timely questions about entrepreneurship and careers. Today’s answer to the question, "When’s the best time to look for investors?" is written by Paul Martino, general partner at Bullpen Capital.
THE BUSINESS JOURNALS | An increased number of small venture-backed businesses got caught in the type of bind last year that is exactly what Paul Martino said he co-founded Menlo Park-based Bullpen Capital to ease. They couldn’t raise a Series A funding round despite revenue numbers that would have easily attracted investors a few years ago. In the following TechFlash Q&A, Martino discusses the situation and how Bullpen helps some founders who get caught in a widening Series A gap.
FORBES | On the heels of the announcement by the U.S. Depository Trust Clearing Corporation’s (DTCC) transitioning a central part of its financial infrastructure onto a blockchain, the premier post-trade market infrastructure for the global financial services industry that processes trillions of dollars, many are wondering what it means for the blockchain market’s future.
Eric Wiesen, a General Partner at early-stage, post-seed venture fund Bullpen Capital that invests in technology companies, says that although the “hurdle to adoption still remains high” the DTCC’s decision “validates the blockchain approach for core financial markets – not just fringe markets.”
TECHCRUNCH | One of the big HR startup stories of the last year has been the trials and tribulations of Zenefits, but news coming out today from another company in the space shows that there is still a lot of opportunity in the industry with the right approach.
Namely, a New York-based SaaS HR firm that focuses on mid-sized (100 to 1,000 employees) companies offering an all-in-one human resources platform, payroll and benefits services, today announced that it has raised $50 million, closing out a Series D totalling $80 million, which Namely said was the biggest round for an HR startup in 2016 amid some $2.5 billion in funding in a very fragmented market