“Screen Skinz Secures $1.5M in Funding to Revolutionize Custom Screen Protection”

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Clay Canning had an idea while in high school: smartphone screen protectors that featured logos, right on the screen. “In December 2022, I resigned from my job to pursue building Screen Skinz with Clay full time.”Now, Screen Skinz can officially announce the closing of a $1.5 million seed round led by South Loop Ventures and Abo Ventures. The company produces custom, patent-pending phone screen protectors that feature personalized logos or slogans that are visible when the phone screen is black and then disappear when the phone is in use. The latest fundraise allowed Screen Skinz to move manufacturing from Asia to the U.S., allowing it to more easily control its supply chain. Screen Skinz next has some partnerships lined up and is focused on customer acquisition and deepening licensing relationships.

“B2B Market Emerges as The Folklore Secures $3.4M Seed to Expand Brand Reach in Global Retail”

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The capital, which brings total funding raised by the startup to $6.2 million, will enable it to serve more brands. For diverse brands in particular, there are a lot of economic hurdles that these groups face, which makes it even harder for them to access capital. Its other offering is a labor marketplace for brands not in a position to hire full-time teams but require talent occasionally. Its community of brands recommends the talent or manufacturer, who are listed on the marketplace after several stages of vetting. Brands gain access to the labor marketplace, capital and other resources, upon signing up (at a cost) on the startup’s main product, the B2B marketplace and SaaS product.

“Paraform Secures $3.6 Million in Funding to Facilitate Networking Between Startups and Recruiters”

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The startup charges a listing fee (subscription fee) to publish jobs on the platform and a success fee when a hire is made. “The listing fee ensures buy-in from startups to the two-way marketplace and a commitment to the recruiters they’re working with,” Kim said. In addition to early- and late-stage startups, Kim said the platform also works with larger in-house talent teams to fill challenging roles. “More than 50% of our customers have great in-house talent teams, but they continue to post roles on Paraform. “We’re already branching out into research, science, manufacturing and defense roles due to the demand we’re seeing from potential customers,” Kim said.

“Breaking Down Xpanceo’s $40M Seed Pitch Deck: A Stellar Example”

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There’s a big difference between a “solution” and a “product” slide. The biggest problem with the Xpanceo deck isn’t what is in there, but rather what isn’t. The market sizing fallacyWhen assessing the potential market size for Xpanceo’s contact lenses, it’s crucial to differentiate the nature of the product from traditional contact lenses. The full pitch deckIf you want your own pitch deck teardown featured on TechCrunch, here’s more information. Also, check out all our Pitch Deck Teardowns all collected in one handy place for you!

“Opportunities Abound: Cendana and Kline Hill Secure $105M to Acquire Stakes in Seed VC Funds from LPs Seeking to Sell”

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Cendana, Kline Hill have a fresh $105M to buy stakes in seed VC funds from LPs looking to sellIf you ask investors to name the biggest challenge for venture capital today, you’ll likely get a near-unanimous answer: lack of liquidity. Cash-hungry venture investors, whether VCs themselves or their limited partners are increasingly looking to sell their illiquid positions to secondary buyers. “We simply passed the hat around to our existing LPS at Kline Hill and Cendana,” said Kim. It then passes these opportunities to Kline Hill, which values, underwrites and negotiates the transaction price. Traditional secondary investors, such as Lexington Partners and Blackstone, recently raised their largest secondary funds ever.

‘Survey of Unicorn Creators Uncovers Underdog Nature and Rise of Female Creators’

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The study (“Unicorn Founder DNA Report) by Defiance Capital of 845 unicorns and 2,018 unicorn founders set out to look at the “DNA” of unicorn founders, concentrating on the US and UK (no EU/European) from 2013 to 2023, to define the common traits of these kinds of founders. During the last decade, all top Seed funds were generalist funds, and the market for Seed funds is highly fragmented. Only 34% of unicorn founders had worked at an elite employer prior to founding a unicorn, suggesting a McKinsey or similar background is not a prerequisite to success. Dorffer, who intends now to produce a podcast with many of the unicorn founders surveyed, said: “The stories that are coming out show crazy determination. As a female founder, you have to work twice as hard and take twice as many meetings to raise the money.

“Final Chance to Save with Early-Bird Rates for TC Early Stage 2024: Only 4 Days Remaining!”

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With only 4 days left, the clock is ticking on your chance to snag the early-bird savings for TechCrunch Early Stage 2024. Don’t miss out — secure your ticket now and save $200 before the 11:59pm PT deadline on Friday, March 29. Explore the pros and cons of convertible notes, simple agreements for future equity (SAFE), and series seed financing rounds, and equip yourself with the knowledge to navigate these alternatives with confidence. Don’t let this opportunity slip away — secure your early-bird ticket to TechCrunch Early Stage 2024 today and position yourself for startup success. Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at TechCrunch Early Stage 2024?

Critique of Protecto’s $4M Seed Pitch Deck

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The left-hand side of the slide has too much info (why are funding, product and customers on the team slide?) Three things that Protecto could have improvedPitch deck design isn’t usually that important, but the design of this deck is particularly bad. These case studies aren’t case studiesIn a 14-slide deck, Protecto wastes slide 4 as an interstitial (it just says “our platform”). The full pitch deckIf you want your own pitch deck teardown featured on TechCrunch, here’s more information. Also, check out all our Pitch Deck Teardowns all collected in one handy place for you!

“Crossing the Atlantic: Frontline Ventures Secures $200M to Support B2B Companies in Europe and US”

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Giant Ventures in January closed two new funds totaling $250 million that it will invest in startups on both sides of the Atlantic, and today, TechCrunch has learned exclusively that Frontline Ventures has also raised $200 million across two funds, named Frontline Growth and Frontline Seed. Frontline has historically invested in both Europe and North America, and its new funds will continue to follow that strategy, betting on B2B software companies. The new seed fund will favor European ventures, while the growth fund will focus on U.S. startups. Expansion roadmapO’Donnell told TechCrunch that when it helps portfolio companies navigate expansion to another market, Frontline focuses on four aspects: timing, go-to-market strategy, talent, and organizational design and location. That’s by order of importance, and a company’s location should be a derivative of the previous three aspects, O’Donnell said.

€15M Seed Raised by Cure51: Unraveling the Enigma of Cancer Survival

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Rather than grimly assembling data about cancer deaths to predict outcomes in treatment, the founders of Cure51 had another idea. Instead, the company assembles data about long term survivors of cancer, thus hoping to crack the code on what keeps people alive. It’s now raised a €15 million Seed round led by Paris-based Sofinnova Partners. Other investors in this round included: Hitachi Ventures GmbH, Life Extension Ventures, Xavier Niel, and Olivier Pomel, CEO, and co-founder of Datadog. Both had previously worked in five well-known oncology centers, such as the Gustave Roussy Institute in Paris and the Vall d’Hebronin Barcelona.