Dec 3, 2019

Digital fashion retailer Dolls Kill raises $40 million in Series B funding

Dolls Kill, a Los Angeles-based fashion brand and retailer, raised $40 million in Series B funding led by Sequoia Capital.

Why it matters: This is Hot Topic for digital natives, leveraging social media comments to find its models and focusing on sub-cultures that often congregate online.

Details: No official word on valuation, but a source puts it in the $400 million range. Dolls Kill previously raised around $20 million from groups like Maveron, Lewis Trust Group, and Angel Capital Management.

The bottom line: "I was a customer before investing... Dolls Kill isn't about being trendy. It's about expressing your authentic self above all else. This idea of has more widespread appeal than one may think, especially among younger generations who value individuality and authenticity above conformity and perfection." — Amy Sun, Sequoia Capital

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Ohio's venture capital boom lures startup founders

Data: PitchBook; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Venture capital investments in Ohio more than doubled in five years, and the increased availability of funding is helping attract a new crop of startup founders.

Zooming in: Columbus in particular is experiencing a mini-renaissance as technology is disrupting legacy industries such as manufacturing, insurance, financial services, retail and health care.

Go deeperArrowDec 5, 2019

Google backs Duolingo, Pittsburgh's first unicorn

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Duolingo, a Pittsburgh-based language-learning platform, raised $30 million in Series F funding led by Alphabet's CapitalG at a $1.5 billion valuation.

Why it matters: It's the Steel City's first-ever unicorn, and claims to be the world's most-downloaded education app.

Go deeperArrowDec 4, 2019

PayPal acquires Honey browser plug-in for $4 billion

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

PayPal (Nasdaq: PYPL) agreed to buy Honey, an app and browser plug-in for e-commerce coupons, for around $4 billion in cash and stock.

Why it matters: It's PayPal's largest-ever acquisition, and the largest-ever purchase of a Los Angeles-based tech startup.

Go deeperArrowNov 21, 2019