Stunning, unprecedented, chaotic…relentless.
At some point, each of us at Bee Partners used those–and many other colorful–words to make sense of 2020. But, we also tested our ability to pivot quickly and effectively in order to provide the support our portfolio companies needed as we all adapted to our new reality. Perhaps surprisingly, 2020 brought a lot of good news for both us and our portfolio: new investments, profitability-against-the-odds, successful product launches and partnerships, and many funding rounds closed.
Some key highlights:
- Knowde closed a Series A led by Sequoia
- DeepScribe launched telemedicine services in response to the pandemic
- Snaptravel showed a profit less than four months into global lockdown
- AI-enabled Node.io was acquired by SugarCRM
- Skipify partnered with Gmail to enable in-email purchasing
On our side, we streamlined our processes and continued the tight teamwork that enables our day-to-day support of portfolio companies and LPs, even while working fully from home. We supported dozens of companies as they applied for vital pandemic funding and launched a get-out-the-vote initiative to raise voter awareness during the U.S. general election. We also invested another $10M into new startups, representing over 15% of the total capital Bee Partners has deployed to date.
We hope never to see a year like 2020 again: the health emergency, social division, rollercoastering financial markets. But we know that those experiences have made us more aware, more resilient, more hopeful...and, more strongly positioned for the years ahead.
Here’s a quick snapshot of some of the exciting things that happened across our portfolio in 2020.
- We closed a follow-on investment in Crowdbotics, which explains here how it’s keeping customers happy.
- Knowde became the first Bee portfolio company funded by Sequoia by tapping into an abstract but massive industry.
- We increased our investment in Rapid Robotics as they redefine manufacturing
- We facilitated more than a dozen PPP applications as our portfolio companies braced for market unknowns
- Glide Health became our fifth health IT investment (our 20th in Applied Data)
- We increased New Culture investment as Seed plan milestones were exceeded
- We increased investment in UPC as trade shows went digital and growth accelerated
- Snaptravel reached profitability despite a substantial contraction in hotel bookings
- Node.io was acquired by SugarCRM
- Pandemic-driven growth fueled AxleHire’s Series B with support from a new Bee Partners SPV
- FutureFields, which is solving one of agriculture’s biggest problems, joined the portfolio
- Skipify launched in-message shopping with Gmail(over 100 articles and a Times Square newsflash marked the occasion)
- Iris Automation closed its Series B with a syndicate including Sony Innovation Fund, Verizon Ventures and our colleagues at Bessemer
- SynthesisAI, billed as part of AI’s next generation, joined the portfolio
- We increased our position in Voltaiq as ‘Big Auto’ clamored for battery solutions
- Rapid Robotics closed on a $5.5M Seed round led by us and Greycroft
- We increased our DeepScribe position as the company grew amid continued innovation
- Nubix closed its Seed financing with help from Chevron and others
Learn how Bee Partners uses vector-driven analysis to identify Founder-partners.
Read Bee Partners’ position paper, Human Machine Convergence: The Intersection of Early Investment and Profound Opportunity. Download Bee Partners’ inception-stage fundraising guide for Founders.
About Bee Partners
Founded in 2009, Bee Partners is a pre-Seed venture capital firm that partners with revolutionary Founders working at the forefront of human-machine convergence across technologies that include robotics, AI, voice, i4.0, and synthetic biology. The firm leverages a singular approach to detecting new and emerging patterns of business as well as inside access to fertile but often overlooked entrepreneurial ecosystems to identify early opportunity in large, untapped markets. Bee’s portfolio companies consistently realize growth at levels that outstrip industry averages and secure follow-on capital from the world's top VCs.