The Wrap 18 September – Our Weekly Round-up of Funding News

by DIANA DORAHY|18 September 2020

Female Founding News

Hi and welcome to The Wrap, a quick look at the week that was, I’m Diana Dorahy.

A big thank you to our Investor-in-Residence this month, Dennis Plomp, Head of IMS Digital Ventures for his invaluable insights on our community call yesterday.

He had some excellent advice around ongoing engagement with investors/customers/partners, getting product+market fit right and using the circle method to approach investors.

Favourite quote; “Make tech work for you, otherwise you do all the work”. Ain’t that the truth. He says, to optimise your business you need to get your SEO in place, as well as automated emails, Google Analytics and create a tech-savvy support system.


In funding news this week….

Toucan, the browser extension that scans the text of any (English-language) website you’re visiting and automatically translates some of the words into the language you’re trying to learn has announced $3 million in seed funding led by GSV Ventures.

Intelligent home gym and personal trainer, Tonal has raised an additional $110 million with a string of new athlete investors including Stephen Curry and Michelle Wie. The round brings the company’s total funding up to $200 million.

And Airmeet, a startup that offers a platform to host virtual events, has raised $12 million in a Series A round led by Sequoia Capital India.


My story of the week…

Goes to an interesting piece on Corporate Venture Capital and how it could provide the answer to achieving gender investment equality. The fact is, CVC is not driven purely by financial return. There’s also consideration of strategic alignment so an exit could take the form of an acquisition, a new OEM partner, or product integration. We’re going to talk more about this in the coming weeks. If you run the CVC division of your company, reach out to us, we’d love to hear more about your investment strategy.

Two other quick stories this week….there was a great sit-down with Catharine Dockery about investing in early stage “vice” companies, something we don’t talk much about. She runs Vice Ventures and discusses the principles of Vice investing. Sounds oxymoronic but it’s not. She says they’re looking for the same things that any investor looks for including founder quality and a team with expert-level knowledge in their vertical but also any associated regulatory issues given the nature of the investment. Exit is really important too.

And finally, Citigroup has named consumer banking head Jane Fraser as its next chief executive making her the first woman to lead a major Wall Street bank. About time.


My tip of the week…

How many times have we heard this from female founders, “I’m not big enough to invest in”. In our experience, this is more a reflection of the founder’s risk-averse mindset rather than the health of their business. So, on the blog this week, we talk about how you know you’re raise-ready.

It details what you need if you’re a B2B or B2C business with a particular focus on impact businesses which are sometimes harder to model.

Bottom line, know your numbers, refine your pitch, provide proof of product-market fit and ensure you have a solid revenue model. Have these in place and you better believe you’re raise-ready.

Coming up next week, our headline event with HSBC’s Ada Lam. This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity as Ada will go through all the different financing options. This is a free session and is open to both members and guests so register today. Head to our newsroom at

Plus, we’re giving away a free pitch review. Go to our website for details. Entries close on September 30.

In the meantime, have a great weekend and see you next time on The Wrap.