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Have you heard?
Blind, a community platform enabling professionals to anonymously communicate on private company channels, is raising $37 million in a Series C round from Mainstreet Investment, Cisco Investments and Pavilion Capital.
Backstory: WFH has been great, but don’t we all miss a little bit of office gossip? Blind caters to over 4 million professionals, primarily in the tech industry, enabling them to share advice, discuss company policies, and discover relevant career information. Founded by Kyum Kim and Sunguk Moon in 2013, the company is heavily trafficked by employees of Naver, Samsung, Microsoft, Amazon and Google. Blind has acquired savvy users across the world in diverse markets ranging from San Francisco to Seoul.
The scoop: Part LinkedIn, part Reddit, part Slack, Blind is building out tools to enable the future of work. Notably, while Blind’s users register and verify their identities using their work email address, their ID is hashed beyond the reach of the company (or any other third party for that matter). Their data security features have gained prominence even amongst the most privacy sensitive in big tech.
Esports athletes in the making
Esports startup Bigpicture Interactive is raising $9 million to beef up their professional esports training academy and tournament hosting platform.
Backstory: Founded in 2015 by Song Kwang-jun and Lee Il-woo, the company was launched as GameCoach Academy to offer esports training programs for professional gamers. By 2017, they saw demand rising for services across this niche industry segment. Today, Bigpicture Interactive also manages esports teams and hosts online tournaments in collaboration with industry giants such as Riot Games, Krafton and Nexon as well as universities. They’ve hosted over 10,000 esports tournaments to date.
The scoop: Esports has become a complex digital ecosystem - emerging from subculture to mainstream. The global esports market is valued at over a billion dollars, and expected to reach $1.6 billion by 2024. The majority of these revenues come from sponsorships and advertising, and the rest from media rights, publisher fees, merchandise and tickets, digital, and streaming.
On the radar
Companies raising over $1 million last week.
Sky Labs is raising $20 million in a Series B deal from Atinum Investment, Moru Asset, Soo Investment Capital, KB Investment, Korea Investment Partners and LB Investment for their healthcare tracking system.
Cleaning Lab is raising $19.5 million in a Series C deal from Korea Development Bank, DS Capital Management, Lotte Accelerator, Hana Ventures, Altos Ventures, KTB Network and Capital One for their home cleaning platform.
Medispan is raising $6 million in a Series A deal from DSC Investment, STASSETS Investment and TIGRIS Investment for their immunotherapy drugs and health data management platform.
Medipixel is raising $6 million in a Series A deal from Mirae Asset Capital, Investment Partners, Quad Investment Capital and AI Angel Club
RapportLabs (Queenit) is raising $5 million in a Series A deal from Kakao Ventures, K-Partners, Bass Investment and Klim Ventures for their fashion marketplace.
Business Canvas (Typed) is raising $1.8 million in a Series A deal from Mirae Asset Ventures, Kakao Ventures, Shinhan Capital and Nextrans for their digital workspace productivity platform.
One last hit
K, story time. Kakao Entertainment is acquiring two U.S. based storytelling platforms: online comic app Tapas and serialized fiction app Radish for $510 million and $440 million, respectively.