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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Co-Star, the maker of an astrology app, has raised $15 million in Series A funding led by Spark Capital, with Maveron, Female Founders Fund, and all existing investors also participating.

Why it matters: The company says it has more than 20 million app downloads without any real marketing efforts, and has been downloaded by a quarter of all young women ages 18-25 in the U.S.

What they're saying: "It's much more like sitting on a couch with your best friends and talking about yourself without judgement," Co-Star co-founder and CEO Banu Guler told Axios, adding that she sees astrology as a language and framework for understand and discussing one's self.

  • The app provides users with personalized horoscopes and other content, and lets them connect with other friends on the app to share and bond over astrology. (However, users have been less social and used the app more for self-reflection during the past year's pandemic, according to Guler.)
  • The company plans to roll out subscriptions (in addition to the individual content purchases it currently sells) later this year, though Guler declined to share more details about what Co-Star is working on. It also plans to use its new funding to expand its team, and add new product features.

The bottom line: "The question isn't whether astrology is real, the question is whether the effects are real... Is it a legitimate tool for self-care, and the answer is yes," said Guler.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Apr 13, 2021 - Economy & Business

Singapore-based Grab going public in largest-ever SPAC deal

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Grab, a Singapore-based "super app" maker, on Tuesday announced plans to go public in the U.S. via the largest-ever SPAC deal.

Why it matters: The deal is more than twice the size of the previous record-holder, United Wholesale Mortgages.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Microsoft announced Tuesday it plans to acquire video game giant Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in cash.

Why it matters: The move comes as Activision Blizzard has faced a wave of accusations of workplace harassment.

2 hours ago - World

Blinken to visit Ukraine as Russia invasion threat looms

Blinken (R) with President Zelensky. Photo: Efrem Lukatsky/Pool via Getty

Secretary of State Antony Tony Blinken will travel to Ukraine on Tuesday as the country faces an ongoing threat of Russian invasion.

Driving the news: Blinken will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, as well as officials at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv to discuss contingency planning. He'll then travel to Berlin to meet German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and attend a meeting of the "Transatlantic Quad" — France, Germany, the U.K. and U.S.