First Stage Investor

Startup Portfolio Update

Startup Portfolio Update
By Adam Sharp
Date February 22, 2018

We’re overdue for a startup portfolio update. So let’s go over some recent highlights.

Court Innovations (CI) has made great strides in its mission to bring every courtroom online. I spoke with CEO MJ Cartwright this month and got exciting news: It’s considering doing another round of equity crowdfunding in the near future. More details on that soon.

CI now has 30 courts using Matterhorn, its revolutionary online dispute resolution platform.

Importantly, Matterhorn has expanded into five additional states. Previously it was only in two: Michigan and Ohio. Most courts are reluctant to sign on as the first one in a state, so this greatly expands CI’s opportunity base.

Check CI’s Twitter for many more updates.

DSTLD’s new line of leather jackets was featured on New York Magazine’s “The Strategist” site. Co-Founder Corey Epstein is quoted as saying, “Our jacket is not distinguishable from any other $900 leather jacket.”

The online retailer continues to shine, expanding its line of fashionable denim at reasonable prices and adding new items like its stylish new leather jackets.

Whim has shifted the startup’s focus to a new app called Tonight. The Whim model wasn’t catching on as fast as its developers had hoped, so founder Eve Peters pivoted the business to Tonight, which is a smart move.

Whim required people to pick the nights they wanted a date in advance. But people don’t like planning in advance, apparently. So the company shifted to Tonight, where the concept is more simple: find a date tonight. If it can manage to build up a solid starting user base, I think the concept has legs.

BrewDog continues to attract flattering press. A recent article from South Bend Tribune has the headline “Drink Up: BrewDog breaks into the local craft beer market.”

We also just got news that BrewDog has filed for another round of equity crowdfunding. It’ll be a Regulation A+ deal, where it can raise up to $50 million. We don’t have many details yet, but we will let you know when we do.

Good investing,


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