Hello everyone and happy Friday!
Hope you all have enjoyed the end of summer.
As the summer ends and fall begins, we expect to have a lot of activity to report on. Here's some recent news from the Princeton Alumni startup ecosystem.
Princeton Founders in the News
Pixm, an enterprise cybersecurity startup founded by Chris Cleveland (P ‘11), was featured by Amazon for being the first startup to fight email phishing breaches with their computer vision product. As Pixm Co-founder Arun Buduri explains, “There’s a lot of focus on malware, but it all starts with a phishing email. Yet there isn’t that much focus on phishing security. Blacklisting and IP reputation are favored solutions to block phishing attacks, but they are reactive and after the fact.” Pixm takes on phishing attacks with deep learning using Apache MXNet on AWS.
Socionado, founded by Kofi Frimpong (P '11), is a social media management-as-a-service powered by matching algorithms and freelance social media managers. Recently, Socionado was featured in Black Enterprise, and the startup has solid traction since entering Quake Capital’s accelerator. With Instagram becoming a dominant destination for consumers making purchase decisions, Socianado is poised for more growth through the rest of the year. These Founders Believe Social Media Managers are Vital to a Brand's Success.
Funding University, founded by Jeannie Tarkenton (P ‘92), is a student loan provider that doesn’t require a co-signer or FICO-score. Recently, the company raised $5M in a hybrid equity and debt round. With the round, Funding University will begin giving out loans nationally, and is aiming to have between 300 and 1,000 loans in market as their next milestone. Following Overwhelming Interest, Funding U Raises $5M to Scale Student Lending Nationally.
Carmera, a street intelligence company founded by Ro Gupta (P’00), raised their Series B led by Google Ventures and Matrix Partners. Carmera provides real-time HD maps and navigation-critical data to self-driving vehicles. With the new round, they plan to expand globally, beginning with Japan and Korea. Carmera $20M in Series B Financing.
Nyron Burke (P ‘05), the founder of Lithero, an AI-powered marketing compliance solution for life science companies, was featured as a game-changing technologist of color in the Philly startup ecosystem. These 12 technologists of color could steer the future of Philly tech
Princeton Investors in the News
Mick Hagan, who dropped out of Princeton in 2006 (but comes back to campus to share his entrepreneurial experiences), invested in MyCrypto’s $4M Series A. Mick currently works as the co-founder/CEO of Mainframe, a decentralized communication network, and this angel investment. MyCrypto is an LA-based Ether Wallet. Polychain Leads Ether Wallet MyCrypto's $4 Million Fundraise.
Brian Sheng (P '14), an early investor in and Board Member at Eaze, the marijuana delivery service, joined The Arcview Group as a General Partner. The Arcview Group believes that business is the most powerful platform for political change and that the development of a responsible, profitable, and politically-engaged legal cannabis industry be the driving force behind legalization.
A team led by William Mougayar launched a new VC fund, JM3 Capital, which is fully focused on blockchain startups, certain tokens and publicly tradable cryptocurrencies. Working with Mougayar are three Princeton Alums, Michel Jabre (P ‘09), Jean-Philippe Jabre (P ‘13), and Monica Beltran (P '13). Author William Mougayar to Launch Blockchain Investment Fund.
Have a great weekend, and thanks as always for reading!
Luke Armour P '13
Founder, Chaac Ventures