It’s hard to believe that the end of 2019 marked three years into our journey here at Morpheus Ventures.
And while we’re still in our early stages as a venture capital fund, our 20+ years of investing together as partners and founders have allowed us to build something truly unique.
Over the past few years, we’ve had the privilege of working with some amazing founders and companies—and 2019 was no different.
Our current Portfolio Stars (HouseCanary and Safety Culture), continue to grow rapidly, while our Emerging Stars (Starship, Bestow, Wire & Bridg), seem to have found a real product-market fit and revenues are beginning to scale.
As we look ahead in 2020, it will be exciting to see a number of these Emerging Stars move into our Portfolio Stars category.
Here’s what happened in 2019
We were thrilled to invite some of our Limited Partners to co-invest with us in HouseCanary’s $65m Series C funding round led by Morpheus Ventures with participation from Alpha Edison, and PSP Growth.
Jeff Somers joined HouseCanary as company President and Chief Operating Officer. Jeff brings his extensive experience in the tech sector to the team. He was previously the president of digital insurance company Insureon, and before that, he was Chief Product Officer at Ticketmaster. His resume also includes roles at tech giants like eBay, Microsoft, Zillow, and Amazon.
Automated valuations for properties less than US$400k received US regulatory approval, which will help accelerate HouseCanary’s AVM (Automotive Valuation Model) across the U.S.
HouseCanary signed a deal for the ComeHome product in partnership with JP Morgan Chase.ComeHome is a proprietary platform built for mortgage lenders to attract, retain and convert customers into their suite of loan products. Watch out for more ComeHome partnerships in 2020.
SafetyCulture continues to emerge as one of our portfolio stars with ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue) growing rapidly in 2019 and is beginning the successful transition from a product to a platform company.
At StartCon, Safety Culture won the “Best Australian Technology Company” award, beating out some amazing companies such as Atlassian and Canva.
Two great key executive hires were made — Alistair Venn as Chief Operating Officer, the former Chief Executive of Menulog and Groupon Australia, and Chief Financial Officer Rachael McVean, the former CFO of UBank and Groupon.
SafetyCulture led a funding round in EdApp, a corporate training platform that provides information in an easily digestible and memorable way to reinforce key concepts and message retention. Check out the website.
Starship continued to break ground with over 631,000km driven to date, and over 180,000 customer deliveries while doubling service area in Milton Keynes (UK).
Starship raised a Series A financing in early August, totaling $40m
Starship announced ambitions to be deployed on 100 US university campuses in the next 24 months. Great early market adoption with deployments at George Mason, PITT University, Purdue University, University of Texas at Dallas, Ole Miss, UW Madison, and Houston. Everyone is raving about the robots and lots more deployments are coming this year.
Sidecar Health raised $18m in Series B funding led by Morpheus and received approval from the Texas Department of Insurance to launch the product in Texas. Read some of the press.
Stuart Battersby and Joe Greenberg join Sidecar Health’s growing team. Battersby spearheaded the transformation of Washington’s healthcare system by working with the provider community to generate better outcomes while lowering the total costs of care. Battersby now serves as Sidecar Health’s Chief Financial Officer. Joe Greenberg joined Sidecar Health as Vice President of the company’s Group Business Segment to develop and execute Sidecar Health’s national employer market strategy.
We welcomed Wire into the Morpheus Family. Founded by Skype’s Janus Friis alongside some early Skype employees, Wire is the world’s most secure collaboration platform for messaging, video and file sharing. The mobile messaging app is set to transform the way businesses communicate in the same way the founders disrupted telephony with Skype.
Wire won the inaugural Secure Communications Solution of the Year Award at the prestigious Cybersecurity Breakthrough Awards, beating 3,499 competitors to take home the prize.
In addition to Wire’s recognition as ‘Most Secure Communication Solution of the Year’, as well as endorsements from both Forrester and Gartner as one of the most effective and secure communications platforms on the market, Wire was also selected by TechCrunch editors as a TC Top Pick in the category of Privacy and Security, at Berlin disrupt 2019.
Chief executive Morten Brøgger says Wire isn’t competing with other, more consumer-driven encrypted messaging apps anymore. Instead he’s taking on Slack and Microsoft Teams.
Look at what they’re predicting for 2020
Bestow, our full-stack life insurance portfolio company, founded by Melbourne O’Banion and Jonathan Abelmann, closed a $20m funding round led by NY based Valor Ventures.
The company continues to prove product-market fit as sales growth multiples from 2018 and month on month growth was very impressive
Keep an eye out for some exciting news and partnerships coming in 2020.
We were very excited to invest in Jawbone Health. Founded by Hosain Rahman, Jawbone Health is a continuous health monitoring platform that leverages machine learning and clinical-grade sensors to detect and prevent lifestyle diseases.
Our investment thesis in Jawbone Health was bolstered as Google bought Fitbit for $2.1bn and moved aggressively into the health wearables space.
Vicarious, our leading AI portfolio company raised an extension of the company’s Series C preferred stock with notable investors including, Dustin Moskovitz (Facebook co-founder), Kholsa Ventures and other existing shareholders.
Some exciting initiatives are starting this year as we continue to build the Morpheus platform into a world-class venture capital firm.
We will be introducing Morpheus Newsletter, informing our partners and the broader community about company news, interviews with founders and interesting articles.
We can’t wait to see what is in store for 2020 as we continue our journey with some incredible founders building game-changing businesses.