20 January 2022 |

Facet Wealth’s Big Raise



131 companies entered unicorn territory in Q4, taking the total global unicorn count to 959. 

The US specifically added 78 new unicorns in Q4, taking the total US unicorn count to 494 — more than half of all unicorns globally. Who’s in second place? Asia with 30 Q4 unicorns (295 total).

Check out CB Insights “State of Venture” for more unicorn stats and analysis.


Facet Wealth’s Big Raise

Yesterday, we shared some big news (before the official press release) regarding Facet Wealth’s $100M Series C announcement. The disruptive investment FinTech company will continue to fuel their mission of creating affordable, professional financial planning for all regardless of wealth status. 

Check out our announcement here.

Alan’s Angle: 42% of Americans feel that financial advisors are only for the wealthy. Facet Wealth is on a mission to change this by offering consumers a CFP financial advisor for a reasonable fixed fee. 

Modern consumers demand services that are transparent, easy to understand and trustworthy. Facet Wealth is the only major company that checks these boxes, especially compared to legacy players, and they’re on a magical run — they’ve raised $165M since 2016 and 10X’d their valuation since 2020. Best part? 

They’re just getting started and I think an IPO is near.

A Tornado Hits Crypto.com 

$15M of Ethereum (4,600 coins) were stolen from Crypto.com, forcing the Singapore-based company to freeze transactions earlier this week 

It’s believed that the ETH is being laundered through Tornado Cash, an Ethereum blockchain known for making it difficult to track transactors. 

Alan’s Angle: Crypto fraud and the inability to track funds laundering is something that the Feds hate and criminals love. Tornado Cash might be on a similar trajectory to Bestmixer and Helix, two other crypto mixers that were shut down by the EU and FBI, respectively. 

How high are the stakes on these mixers? An Ohio man recently pleaded guilty for laundering $300M+ in illegally obtained crypto on Helix.

Crypto, we have a problem. 

Can I Get an Autograph? Or Actually Maybe Not.

Autograph, the star-studded NFT venture, secured $175M in funding to further accelerate their mission to become the celebrity NFT company. 

Autograph’s celebrity partners include Tom Brady, Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter, Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles, and Usian Bolt. Basically, everyone but Lebron. 

Alan’s Angle: As a lifelong sports fan, I know better than to count out Tom Brady. But in this scenario, I’m skeptical. Why? 

Last year, NBA TopShot exploded onto the scene… and has mostly fizzled out According to Statista:

  • In February ‘21, TopShot saw $224M in transactions from over 80K daily unique buyers
  • By December, sales volume was down to $34M and daily unique buyers dropped to ~50K. Yikes 

But the NFT industry is just getting started, and several professional sports leagues and teams are buying in:

  • New York Rangers will be giving out 5K NFTs to honor a legendary player next month
  • Every fan attending the Super Bowl will receive an NFT as a token of proof for attending the game.

Still, Autograph is a pass for me.

There are so many phenomenal companies in industries with much more clear trajectories. Sometimes it should be more about the money you can lose vs. the money you can make.



What They Do: Print-on-demand apparel and design manufacturing 

Amount Raised: $40M Series B 

Lead Investors: Joyy Inc.

Why It Matters: The customized apparel market is exploding. Why? Two key trends:

  1. Creators, artists, and influencers are creating their own, independent clothing lines at massive rates.
  2. Consumers desire to create customized, personally designed swag for any and every occasion.

The custom t-shirt printing market is expected to grow from $1.997B in 2021 to $3.086B in 2022. 

For HugePod specifically, I see a tough road to success due to the strength in the US of brands like CustomInk ($40.8M Raised) who’s innovating daily to not only maintain but grow their current ~$500M in annual revenue. 

What HugePOD does have going for them? Cheap prices — something that consumers, obviously, think is huge.  

Learn More: Press Release & Company Website


What They Do: Digital healthcare company focused on chronic disease management initially targeting patients with COPD and Asthma.

Amount Raised: $25M Series A

Lead Investors: Hikma Ventures

Why It Matters: Respiratory diseases are one of the most common illnesses in the world. In the US alone, there are estimated to be ~15M people with COPD and ~15M people with Asthma annually. In 2019 (Pre-COVID), Respiratory diseases were the fourth-leading cause of death in the US, representing 5.5% of total US deaths. 

For comparison, there are ~34M cases of diabetes in the US annually, but the disease was only the 7th leading cause of death and accounted for 3.1% of total deaths. 

The path NuvoAir is taking reminds of Livongo, a company that created an innovative platform for diabetes patients led by cutting edge med devices. Livongo was acquired by Teladoc for $18.5B 2020. 

NuvoAir had a strong start before COVID. The respiratory space is, unfortunately, only getting bigger, so NuvoAir could share a similar fortune. 

Learn More: Press Release & Company Website


What They Do: Develops and manufactures critical ion-exchange membranes and polymers for the hydrogen economy. 

Amount Raised: $15M in Series A

Lead Investors: Shell Ventures and Finindus

Why It Matters: Hydrogen is a big winner in the renewable energy push — the market is already massive and expected to grow from $187.5B in 2020 to $286.8B in 2027. 

With decaying legacy oil revenues for the Shell’s and Chevron’s (also an investor in the deal) of the world and commitments to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, acquisitions of companies like Ionomr are going to get much more common

Shell and Chevron having $28.2B and $6.3B in cash, respectively, shouldn’t hurt the call for a shopping spree by the sharks either. 

Learn More: Press Release & Company Website


What They Do: A platform that connects filmmakers directly with streaming services, circumventing legacy studios 

Amount Raised: $6.8M Seed Round led by 

Lead Investors: a16z

Why It Matters: One of the most exciting components of Web3 is how it moves power from established, large institutions to the people. 

Filmhub is doing something similar to the film industry by promoting independent, under-the-radar writers. In my eyes, the biggest catalyst for the success of a Filmhub will likely come from Advertising Video On Demand (AVOD) services like Tubi, PlutoTV, and The Roku channel, which themselves are seeing explosive growth. How explosive? The three services together will likely earn $2.5B-$3B in revenue for 2021. 

These AVOD services are now increasing content spending to fuel further growth. Tubi is creating original TV series’, PlutoTV is acquiring exclusive second-tier sports rights, and The Roku Channel recently ordered its first original biopic starring Daniel Radcliffe. 

With media companies looking to keep a tight budget around their AVOD services yet still wanting exclusive, quality content, AVOD will enable companies like Filmhub to thrive. 

Learn More: Press Release & Company Website


What They Do: Developer of hybrid-electric-ultra-short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) aircraft

Amount Raised: N/A

Lead Investors: Lockheed Martin Ventures

Why It Matters: The Global urban advanced air mobility market is expected to reach $250B to $1T by 2040. Last time I checked, there were only a few helicopters in the air, so we should expect a ton of new players will enter the market. 

There are several reasons why I am bullish, and excited, about Electra:

  • Can take off and land in as small as 300×100 feet location
  • Patent-pending electric propulsion and blown lift technology 
  • Small turbine generator in plane allows plane to recharge during flight

The biggest red flag post-Lockheed investment for Electra is their competition, like Airflow. From a technical perspective, Airflow has similar capabilities to Electra. 

The main differentiating factor? 

Airflow is further along in the testing and production process and they’ve already sold 11 jets for over $600M. 

I’ll be keeping an eye on the urban advanced air mobility market because simply put, it is cool AF and has massive potential. 

Learn More: Press Release & Company Website


Last week, my teammate Joe Sweeny caught up with Habib Haddad on the Just Raised podcast. Habib is the managing partner of E14, a venture fund focused on investing in MIT Media Lab scientists to help them turn their research into products. 

Here’s Habib on the transition from academia to founder:

Founders have to switch their brain almost. When you are in academia and you are working on your science you are thinking of very different things than if you were a founder building your company. That shift of mindset does not come naturally to folks who have been at the lab working on the science for 7,8,9 years. 

How do you shift your mindset? Listen to the full interview below: Listen Here →