Welcome back to the Morpheus newsletter again from our respective home offices, kitchen counters and living rooms. If you missed it, our Partner Joe Miller is joining Scott Helfstein, Head of Thematic Portfolios and Co-Head of Market Research and Strategy at Morgan Stanley to host – Perspectives from Tech Startups in the age of COVID.
Theevent is being held Tuesday, May 12th 2020 – 1pm PDT / 4pm EDT& Wednesday, May 13th 2020 – 6am AEST. See the link below to the audience event and conference agenda. We will be recording the event for those who are unable to attend. Please reach out to Stefan Blaszczynski for a copy.
Here is everything that happened in April:
💰 Bestow raises $50 million, becomes licensed carrier.
This month we kicked off with Bestow announcing their $50m series B investment led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures.
The company is also announcing that it has become “the first fully digital life insurance carrier” after obtaining a carrier license and it plans to launch its own product later this year. At the end of Q1 2020 Bestow has seen 800% YoY policy growth as revenue growth was even higher. Amazing!
And if the news couldn’t get any better, the company has also set up the Bestow foundation, a non-profit organization created to assist those most in need of financial support during a crisis or disaster. Bestow will be donating to the CDC Foundation for every policy solid. Well done!!
We are very proud to continue our journey with Bestow as they seek to disrupt the traditional term life insurance market in the U.S.
🙏 Welcome to the team
Morpheus is excited to announce our latest addition to the team, Bradley Welch.
Bradley is primarily focused on sourcing new investments and working with Morpheus portfolio companies. Prior to joining Morpheus, Bradley was a Principal with BMW i Ventures (BMW’s $550M early-stage venture capital fund in San Francisco), where he participated on the boards of robotics, autonomous vehicle, and enterprise SaaS companies leveraging artificial intelligence. Prior to this, he earned his MBA from Harvard Business School, where he wrote his capstone master’s thesis on artificial intelligence and robotics. He previously helped lead early-stage VC investments for Greycroft Partners in Los Angeles, and has operating experience leading product teams for Argus Cyber Security in Tel Aviv, which was acquired by Continental for $450M in 2017.
Early on his career, Bradley spent five years as a Senior Associate with PW Asset Management in New York, where he led VC investments in the Series A rounds of industry leading companies such as Health-Ade, Essentia Water, Drizly, and SoFi. Prior to this, he completed the Morgan Stanley two year Analyst program, where he served as the Technology Sector Specialist for Structured Investments and Exotic Derivatives Products. Bradley’spassion for tech has deep roots, as he started working on Wall Street for Raymond James Investment Bank at the age of fifteen, performing equity research on technology stocks. Bradley holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and American History from Duke University, where he was a member of the Duke Varsity Football Team and Captain of the Duke Rugby Team. He is a FINRA registered securities principal, and holds his Series 7 and Series 63 licenses. Welcome aboard Bradley!!
📰 What are we reading!
HouseCanary’s own Michael Green shares insights into the valuation and price discovery during a liquidity shock. Very interesting and thoughtful read.
HouseCanary also launched its ‘Market Pulse report’, an in-depth look into what’s happening in the residential real estate market in the U.S. If you are interested in taking a deeper dive, please contact HouseCanary at firstname.lastname@example.org
Interesting read from the WSJ: The scramble for Delivery Robots is On and Start-ups can Barely Keep up. Starship gets a mention as the market for autonomous delivery heats up.
Bond Capital has put out an interesting article on ‘our new world’. They have compiled observable trends that help form their views of the present and provide insights into the future.
Our very own Principal, Howard Ko was featured on the coefficient-labs podcast. Read the 3 lessons learned from their conversation.
Andreesen Horowitz talks about how we seek to rebuild after the Covid-19 pandemic.
❤️ Founder love
Jeremy from HouseCanary discusses 3 ways Covid-19 will change mortgage lending forever.
Sidecar health launched a new TV commercial as policy numbers see an increase given the Corona pandemic. Check out the commercial here for better insight into how Sidecar Health is flipping the traditional insurance model on its head.
Luke Anear from SafetyCulture talks to ausbiz about their future plans for the business.
Starship has been featured in the news a lot given the need for autonomous deliveries during the Covid-19 pandemic. Starships fleet of robots in Milton Keynes has increased to 70 to cope with excess demand after the UK government implemented a nation-wide lockdown.