Delivery Drones & “Unicorns”

We’re back and starting 2021 with a bang!!

In only the first few weeks of the New Year, we’ve already had some exciting announcements.

Sidecar Health entered the ever-elusive “Unicorn” club, raising a $125m series C financing round led by Drive Capital with participation from BOND Capital, Tiger Global and Menlo Ventures.

Starship Technologies smashed a company milestone of more than ONE MILLION deliveries worldwide and raised $17m to deploy more robots.

We invested in an exciting new company, which we will reveal in the coming months as the company is still in stealth mode.

January has already been busy, and we are looking forward to sharing some exciting news over the coming months, so stay tuned.

Portfolio Company News

LA-based Sidecar Health’s low-cost, cash-pay health insurance service is now valued at $1 billion. Meet Sidecar Health, the newest member of the tech industry’s billion-dollar healthcare startup club. The valuation comes thanks to $125 million in new funding that the company will use to expand its new health insurance model. Sidecar Health’s insurance plans give consumers the ability to pay directly for care — often at steep discounts to the prices that patients would be charged through traditional insurance plans.

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From humble beginnings, our Principal, Howard Ko, writes how a LinkedIn message led to our investment in Sidecar Health. A brief written description for a talk at a local conference and a message sent via LinkedIn. That is how the Morpheus journey with Sidecar began nearly three years ago. Patrick was scheduled to give a presentation on Sidecar at a technology conference in Santa Monica back in March 2018. Howard had taken an interest in Sidecar Health based on a brief description of the company in the conference pamphlet. Still, he could not attend the presentation due to a scheduling conflict. A day after, Howard reached out to Patrick through a LinkedIn message, and the two connected shortly thereafter. There was near immediate recognition that there was something unique about Patrick and his team and what they were trying to build at Sidecar. Within a week of our first call with Patrick, we knew we wanted to be in; the combination of the team’s prior experience in the space and the vision that they had to transform how healthcare was delivered just resonated with us. We have been fortunate to have been on this journey with Sidecar early on, from its Series A all the way through today. 

💥 Starship Technologies raises $17M to roll out more delivery bots. A year ago, Starship Technologies had a couple of hundred autonomous bots delivering burritos and pizzas to students on college campuses and residents in a few neighborhoods. With $17 million of new capital in its coffers, the company has expanded its fleet five-fold since COVID-19 swept through the European and North American markets that it operates in. See below the infographic of the growth of the Starship fleet and the company’s growing footprint.

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💥 Bestow Lands $70M Series C To Expand Life Insurance Product. The Series C funding came from a group of new and existing investors, including Breyer Capital, Valar Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Core Innovation Ventures, Morpheus Ventures and Sammons Financial. In total, Bestow has raised $145 million, including a $50 million Series B led by Valar. We are very excited about Bestow and look forward to more to come in 2021.

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💥 Rapid Deploy was listed as one of 7 Austin tech companies making big moves in 2021. In 2021, the integrated, data-based emergency response platform is focusing on its expanded partnership with AT&T, which Chief Market Officer Kim Storin said will bring much-needed data to voice-centric call centers. RapidDelpoy was also voted by Money Under 30 as one of the top 50 paying companies in Austin. Well done!!

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📰  Interesting Reads

Watch how the Fontana Unified School District secured a safe, confident return to education with iAuditor from SafetyCulture. The Fontana Unified School District (FUSD) serves most of Fontana, a city in San Bernardino County around 50 miles east of Los Angeles. There are 45 schools in the district serving students from K-12 to adult education. When COVID-19 forced the Fontana Unified School District to close all of its doors, it had to respond fast. SafetyCulture was used to bring the kids back using technology.

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Wire’s CEO, Morten Brøgger, sits down for an interview with EU-Startups. “The desire for a secure messenger environment is only likely to keep growing” Wire was founded in 2012 by former Skype and Microsoft employees, Jonathan Christensen, Alan Duric and Priidu Zilmer. The startup was launched in 2014, and in 2016 they reached a game-changing milestone: end-to-end (E2E) encryption. This means that even messages awaiting transfer to their recipients are encrypted and cannot be read by the company. As soon as a message is delivered to the recipient, it is deleted from company servers. Check out the full interview below.

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Patrick Quigley of ‘Sidecar Health’: 5 Things We Must Do To Improve the US Healthcare System. High Deductible Plans. — This may seem counter-intuitive because high deductible health plans lower the monthly cost of insurance premiums so that more people can afford coverage. But are people getting what they pay for? Check out the article below to find out what needs to be done to improve the US healthcare system.

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The Morpheus Team