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Housing startup Bungalow raises $14 million Series A round led by Khosla Ventures

Moving to a new city can be tough for a number of reasons, but what’s arguably hardest about moving is a competitive and expensive housing market, and lack of a pre-existing social support network. That’s the problem startup Bungalow is trying to solve. Bungalow , which just raised a $14 million Series A round led by Khosla Ventures with participation from Founders Fund, Atomic VC, Cherubic Ventures and Wing Ventures, offers people relatively affordable places to live with others who have been vetted by Bungalow’s platform. As part of the round, Keith Rabois of Khosla will join Bungalow’s board of directors. Bungalow also raised a $50 million debt facility to fuel its home growth costs. Bungalow had previously raised a $7 million seed round. Bungalow, which joins the likes of WeLive , OpenDoor,   Common, Roam and so many others,  aims to be cheaper than getting your own studio or one bedroom apartment, and offer a better experience than finding a roommate via Craigslist. Bungalow works with homeowners to lease their homes as the master tenant for three years at time. From there, Bungalow rents out the property on a room-by-room basis while guaranteeing occupancy to the homeowners. “There aren’t as many families that are looking for these four, five, six-bedroom homes and so the incremental additional cost for those additional bedrooms is not commensurate with the individual rate at which we can lease out those individual bedrooms,” Bungalow co-founder and CEO Andrew Collins told me. “And so we were able to therefore basically create value out of that and then with scale that margin that we’re able to create within those given homes in an incredibly profitable and exciting coupling.” For the renter, Bungalow says it’s about 30-40 percent cheaper than a studio. Depending on the market, of course, the prices can vary. Bungalow also furnishes shared common spaces, provides utilities, Wi-Fi and housekeeping in the monthly rental cost. In addition to what’s provided inside the space, Bungalow hosts monthly events for members in its properties to meet each other within a given market

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Armory lands $10M Series A to bring continuous delivery to enterprise masses

Armory , a startup that has built a CI/CD platform on top the open source Spinnaker project , announced a $10 million Series A today led by Crosslink Capital. Other investors included Bain Capital Ventures, Javelin Venture Partners, YCombinator and Robin Vasan. Software development certainly has changed over the last several years, going from long cycles between updates to a continuous delivery model. The concept is actually called CI/CD or continuous integration/continuous delivery. Armory’s product is designed to eliminate some of the complexity associated with deploying this kind of solution. When they started the company, the founders made a decision to hitch their wagon to Spinnaker, a project that had the backing of industry heavyweights like Google and Netflix. “Spinnaker would become an emerging standard for enabling truly multi-cloud deployments at scale. Instead of re-creating the wheel and building another in-house continuous delivery platform, we made a big bet on having Spinnaker at the core of Armory’s Platform,” company CEO and co-founder Daniel R. Odio wrote in a blog post announcing the funding. The bet apparently paid off and the company’s version of Spinnaker is widely deployed enterprise solution (at least according to them). The startup’s ultimate goal is to help Fortune 2000 companies deploy software much faster — and accessing and understanding CI/CD is a big part of that. As every company out there becomes a software company, they find themselves outside their comfort zones. While Google and Netflix and other hyper-scale organizations have learned to deploy software at startling speed using state of the art methodologies, it’s not so easy for most companies with much smaller engineering teams to pull off.

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Scale, whose army of humans annotate raw data to train self-driving and other AI systems, nabs $18M

The artificial intelligence revolution is underway in the world of technology, but as it turns out, some of the most faithful foot soldiers are still humans. A startup called Scale , which works with a team of contractors who examine and categorise visual data to train AI systems in a two-sided marketplace model, announced that it has raised an additional $18 million in a Series B round. The aim will be to expand Scale’s business to become — in the words of CEO Alexandr Wang, the 21-year-old MIT grad who co-founded Scale with Lucy Guo — “the AWS of AI, with multiple services that help companies build AI algorithms.” “Our mission is to accelerate the development of AI apps,” Wang said. “The first product is visual data labelling, but in the future we have a broad vision of what we hope to provide.” Wang declined to comment on the startup’s valuation in an interview. But according to Pitchbook , which notes that this round actually closed in May of this year, the post-money valuation of Scale is now $93.50 million ($75 million pre-money). The money comes on the back of an eventful two years since the company first launched, with revenues growing 15-fold in the last year, and “multiple millions of dollars in revenue” from individual customers. (It doesn’t disclose specific numbers, however.) Today, Scale’s base of contractors numbers around 10,000, and it works with a plethora of businesses that are developing autonomous vehicle systems such as General Motors’ Cruise, Lyft Zoox, Nuro, Voyage, nuTonomy and Embark. These companies send Scale’s contractors raw, unlabelled data sets by way of Scale’s API, which provides services like Semantic Segmentation, Image Annotation, and Sensor Fusion, in conjunction with its clients LIDAR and RADAR data sets. In total, it says it’s annotated 200,000 “miles of data” collected by self-driving cars. AV companies are not its only customers, though. Scale also works with several non-automotive companies like Airbnb and Pinterest, to help build their AI-based visual search and recommendation systems. Airbnb, for example, is looking for more ways of being able to ascertain what kinds of homes repeat customers like and don’t like, and also to start to provide other ways of discovering places to stay that are based not just on location and number of bedrooms (which becomes more important especially in cities where you may have too many choices and want a selection more focused on what you are more likely to rent)

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Even Financial raises $18.8 million Series A from GreatPoint Ventures, Goldman Sachs and others

Even Financial , a fintech startup that connects the disparate entities of the financial services industry, recently raised a $18.8 million Series A round led by GreatPoint Ventures with participation from Goldman Sachs, Canaan Partners, F-Prime Capital, Lerer Hippeau and others. The close of its Series A comes on the heels of a $3 million investment from American Express Ventures, Plug & Play and Arab Angels in February . “The round is notable because it signifies the buy-in we’re seeing from the largest institutions in the country,” Even co-founder and CEO Phillip Rosen told TechCrunch. “This is really about the maturation of the fintech ecosystem.” Even offers products like a pre-approval API, real-time pricing, machine learning optimization, a product comparison and recommendation engine for consumers and more. “We provide a Twilio-style API for any consumer facing app or site to integrate,” Rosen said. “Ideally, a consumer doesn’t know Eden Financial exists.” In March, for example, Even expanded its partnership with Credit.com to power its personal loans marketplace. Credit.com offers consumers credit scores, as well as offers and loans. Other Even partners include The Penny Hoarder and Transunion, which Even connects with financial institutions like Prosper, Lending Club and Marcus by Goldman Sachs. Eden is currently doing over $40 million a month in personal loan funding and it’s ramping up partnerships with credit card companies like American Express. “It’s now a time to take advantage of this rapid growth,” Rosen said. “We have an opportunity to build out an infrastructure play, similar to what we’ve seen in travel search.”

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Stampli raises $6.7 M in Series A funding to streamline invoice management

Stampli, an invoice management platform, announced today the closing of a $6.7 M Series A funding round  led by SignalFire, with participation from Bloomberg Beta, Hillsven Capital, and UpWest Labs. If you’ve ever freelanced for a company, you’ll know that the long, instant ramen-filled days between filing an invoice and having it completed can be grueling. Brothers Eyal and Ofer Feldman launched Stampli in 2015 to help solve this problem and bridge the communication gap between accountants, related internal departments and vendors. Aimed at mid to large size companies, to date Stampli has helped a wide range of companies (from fashion to tech) manage over $4 billion in invoices through its AI driven interface. “Invoice management is like an elephant,” co-founder and CEO Eyal Feldman told TechCrunch. “One person sees the head, one person sees the tail, one person sees the legs. It’s a process that different people see different versions of but the whole picture should include everybody. The ability for all of these people to be involved is really the core of the process.” Traditional invoice management between vendors and internal departments in a company can be a tangled mess of email exchanges, lost messages and ultimately delayed payments. But, Stampli’s interface (which can be integrated directly into a company’s enterprise resource planning software like  NetSuite, Intuit QuickBooks, or SAP) allows for every step of the invoice’s journey to have a central landing page for every relevant party to collaborate on. “We found that 85 percent of our users are not accounting people,” said Feldman. “They are all the managers around and all the other people involved. What we found in our research is that when the process works for them is when accounting is happy.” This landing page not only provides easy access to pertinent information between departments, but Stampli’s built-in AI, Billy the Bot, helps invoice managers fill in relevant information by first learning the structure of the invoice and then learning through observation the user’s behavior and work flow. When Billy passes an 80 percent confidence threshold for its decision, it goes ahead and auto-fills the information

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Stampli raises $6.7M in Series A funding to streamline invoice management

Stampli , an invoice management platform, announced today the closing of a $6.7 million Series A funding round  led by SignalFire, with participation from Bloomberg Beta, Hillsven Capital and UpWest Labs. If you’ve ever freelanced for a company, you know that the long, instant ramen-filled days between filing an invoice and having it completed can be grueling. Brothers Eyal and Ofer Feldman launched Stampli in 2015 to help solve this problem and bridge the communication gap between accountants, related internal departments and vendors. Aimed at mid to large-size companies, to date Stampli has helped a wide range of companies (from fashion to tech) manage more than $4 billion in invoices through its AI-driven interface. “Invoice management is like an elephant,” co-founder and CEO Eyal Feldman told TechCrunch. “One person sees the head, one person sees the tail, one person sees the legs. It’s a process that different people see different versions of but the whole picture should include everybody. The ability for all of these people to be involved is really the core of the process.” Traditional invoice management between vendors and internal departments in a company can be a tangled mess of email exchanges, lost messages and ultimately delayed payments. But, Stampli’s interface (which can be integrated directly into a company’s enterprise resource planning software like  NetSuite, Intuit QuickBooks or SAP) allows for every step of the invoice’s journey to have a central landing page on which every relevant party can collaborate. “We found that 85 percent of our users are not accounting people,” said Feldman. “They are all the managers around and all the other people involved. What we found in our research is that when the process works for them is when accounting is happy.” This landing page not only provides easy access to pertinent information between departments, but Stampli’s built-in AI, Billy the Bot, helps invoice managers fill in relevant information by first learning the structure of the invoice and then learning through observation the user’s behavior and work flow. When Billy passes an 80 percent confidence threshold for its decision, it goes ahead and auto-fills the information. But, if it’s feeling unsure about its choice, Billy will leave it as a suggestion instead to avoid introducing any errors to the paperwork. The more invoices users process through Stampli, the more Billy learns how to best streamline the process for that company.

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