Upfront Ventures leads with 18 investments, followed by Wavemaker Partners and Tech Coast AngelsRead more...
Some see The Honest Company co-founders on stage with Bambi Francisco at Splash LA in Santa Monica
We have had some very exciting speakers at our past Vator Splash events, including PayPal co-founder and CEO and serial investor Peter Thiel; Box CEO Aaron Levie; Twitter CEO Dick Costolo; EvernoteCEO Phil Libin; Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh; Pandora co-founder Tim Westergren; Eventbrite co-founders Kevin Hartz and Julia Hartz; Big Fish Games founder and CEO Paul Thelen, and Lending Club CEORenaud Laplanche, just to name a few.
We pride ourselves on being able to attract the most celebrated, high-profile, news-making entrepreneurs who are changing the world. This time, we're proud to add to that growing list: Jessica Alba and Brian Lee, the co-founders of The Honest Company, a subscription service for eco-friendly baby and family products, who will join Bambi Francisco, Founder of Vator, on stage for a Fireside Chat.
Alba, as I'm sure you know, is a world-famous Golden Globe-nominated actress, known for her parts on the television show Dark Angel, as well as movies that include Fantastic Four, Sin City and Into the Blue. She's also been nominated multiple times for the People's Choice Award and the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards.
Lee, meanwhile, is an entrepreneur who regularly teams up with celebrity clients to start new companies. First, he and famed OJ Simpson lawyer Robert Shapiro came together to found online legal solution site Legalzoom in 2001. The company has now raised $266 million in funding.
Big and bold mission
Besides both aiming to usurp P&G's prowess (P&G has a market cap of some $250 billion), both Alba and Lee are on a mission to rid the world of toxins.
And it wasn't until Lee had children that he got that religion. Both Lee and Alba have two children the same age (3 yrs old and 5 yrs old). Alba has Honor and Haven. Lee has Madison and Davis (named after Baron Davis, who is close friends with Alba and her husband Cash Warren).
The Santa Monica-based The Honest Company designs and manufactures all of its own products, such as diapers, wipes and bath / skin care. The Honest Company also formulates and manufactures household cleaning products, such as laundry detergent, surface cleaners and dish soap.
Launched in 2012, The Honest Company has raised $122 million in venture capital funding, most recently a$70 million round in August of this year. It has a $1 billion market cap at the last round, and is on a revenue run-rate of $200 million.
So what's next for the company? A possible IPO, Lee told me after the company's most recent funding round.
"I believe that the public market is what we’re heading for, the reason being that want to control own destiny," he said. "We are very mission focused, and to accomplish our vision, and what we set out to do, we have to control our own destiny and the public markets will allow us to do that."
He pointed to being a public company as allowing The Honest Company to control its own product and formulation, and to "make sure our actual ingredients are not disrupted."
It also wants to be able to maintain the direct relationship it currently has with its customers.
"We are blessed and thankful that there are so many mothers who see the world the same way we see it, who want to see change, make a difference, and create a healthy environment," Lee said.
Attendees can come watch Lee and Alba talk with Vator's founder and CEO Bambi Francisco on Thursday. During the conversation, Lee and Alba will touch on what's in store for The Honest Company in 2015 (China? Baby Formula? Honest Beauty) as well as beyond.
You'll hear it at Splash first!
Don't forget to REGISTER before prices jump at the door.
(Image source: nytimes.com)
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Joined Vator on
Box provides secure, scalable content sharing that both users and IT love and adopt, including 82% of the FORTUNE 500. Box's dynamic, flexible content management solution empowers users to share and access content from anywhere, while providing IT enterprise-grade security and oversight into how content moves within their organizations. Content on Box can also be accessed through mobile applications, and extended to partner applications such as Google Apps, NetSuite and Salesforce. Box is a privately held company and is backed by venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Emergence Capital Partners, Meritech Capital Partners, NEA, Scale Venture Partners, and U.S. Venture Partners, and strategic investors salesforce.com and SAP.
Joined Vator on
The Honest Company (www.Honest.com), founded by Jessica Alba, Christopher Gavigan, Brian Lee and Sean Kane, was created to ensure that parents have access to non-toxic, eco-friendly, effective and beautiful family products that don't break the bank. Honest.com offers essentials for every family member including diapers, wipes, bath, skin care, home cleaning and health & wellness products conveniently door-delivered through a monthly subscription service of customized product bundles or single item purchase. As a certified B Corporation, The Honest Company strives to promote sustainability, engage employees and community, and support non-profit initiatives working to solve critical health and social issues affecting children and families. Available in the U.S. and Canada.
Joined Vator on
Lending Club is a social lending network where members can borrow and lend money among themselves at better rates.
Lending Club provides a much improved infrastructure for social lending: state-of-the-art technology to authenticate all users (ensuring making sure they are who they say they are); credit scoring systems which rate borrower risk; and, the automated clearing house (ACH) system to move the funds between both parties. In addition, we provide our LendingMatch™ system to minimize risk and allow community based lending.
Joined Vator on
Founded in 2002, Big Fish is the leading online marketplace for premium casual games. Through its proprietary, data driven platform, millions of consumers seeking immersive, relaxing entertainment easily discover and purchase premium casual games created by Big Fish’s network of more than 500 development partners and in-house by Big Fish Games Studios. Renowned for offering A New Game Every Day!® on www.bigfishgames.com, the company offers thousands of games on multiple platforms -- PC, Mac, mobile phone, and tablet. Big Fish’s websites, games, and customer service are available in ten languages – Danish, Dutch, English, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish – and its games are sold in more than 150 countries. The company is headquartered in Seattle, WA, with regional offices in Oakland, CA; Vancouver, Canada; Cork, Ireland; and Luxembourg.
Joined Vator on
Pandora, the leading internet radio service, gives people music they love
anytime, anywhere, through a wide variety of connected devices: laptop and
desktop computers, smartphones, connected BluRay players, connected TVs,
etc. Personalized stations launch instantly with the input of a single “seed” –
a favorite artist, song or genre. The Music Genome Project®, a deeply
detailed, hand-built musical taxonomy, powers the personalization or
Pandora. Using this musicological “DNA” and constant listener feedback
Pandora crafts personalized stations from the more than 800,000 songs that
have been analyzed since the project began in January 2000.
More than 75 million people throughout the United States listen to
personalized radio stations for free on Pandora through their PCs, mobile
phones and devices such as the iPad, and connected in-house devices
ranging from TVs to set-top boxes to Blu-Ray players. Mobile technology has
been a significant factor in the growth and popularity of Pandora, starting
with the introduction of the Apple app store for the iPhone in the summer of
2008. Pandora instantly became one of the most top downloaded apps and
today, according to Nielsen, is one of the top five most popular apps across
all smartphone platforms.
Pandora is free, simple and, thanks to connectivity, available everywhere
consumers are – at the office, at home, in the car and all points in between.
In 2009 the Company announced that Pandora would be incorporated into
the dashboard in Ford cars via SYNC technology; GM has already followed in
announcing plans to integrate Pandora into its vehicles and Mercedes-Benz
introduced their Media Interface Plus device that works with the
free Pandora iPhone app to provide direct control of Pandora from in-dash
stereo controls. This was all great news for the millions of Pandora listeners
who had been plugging their smartphones into car dashboards to listen to
personalized stations while driving. More than 50 percent of radio listening
happens in the car, making it a crucial arena for Pandora.
Today tens of millions of people have a deeply personal connection with
Pandora based on the delight of personalized radio listening and discovery.
These highly engaged listeners reinforce the value Pandora provides to: 1)
musicians, who have found in Pandora a level playing field on which their
music has a greater chance of being played than ever before; 2) advertisers,
who benefit from the multi-platform reach of Pandora, as well as its best
practices in targeting consumers for specific campaigns; 3) the music
industry, which has found in Pandora a highly effective distribution channel;
and 4) automobile and consumer electronics device manufacturers, who have
noted that incorporating Pandora into their product makes it more valuable
Pandora continues to focus on its business in the United States. The radio
arena has never been hotter, thanks to technology that enables radio to be
personalized to the individual and more accessible than ever before. Right
now millions of people listen to Pandora in the United States and we hope
someday to bring Pandora to billions of people around the world.
• 2000 – Tim Westergren’s Music Genome Project begins.
• 2005 – Pandora launches on the web.
• 2008 – Pandora app becomes one of the most consistently downloaded
apps in the Apple store.
• 2009 – Ford announces Pandora will be incorporated into car
dashboard. Alpine and Pioneer begin selling aftermarket radios that
connect to consumers’ iPhones and puts the control and command of
Pandora into the car dashboard.
• 2010 – Pandora is present on more than 200 connected consumer
electronics devices ranging from smartphones to TVs to set-top boxes
to Blu-ray players and is able to stream visual, audio, and interactive
advertising to computers, smartphones, iPads, and in-home connected
Joined Vator on
What is Twitter?
Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from Twitter.com, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests.
Where did the idea for Twitter come from?
Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.
How is Twitter built?
Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes.
We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.
How do you make money from Twitter?
There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.
In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within Twitter.com, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet.
At the same time, we launched Promoted Trends, where companies can place a trend (clearly marked Promoted) within Twitter's Trending Topics. These are especially effective for upcoming launches, like a movie or album release.
Lastly, we started a Twitter account called @earlybird where we partner with other companies to provide users with a special, short-term deal. For example, we partnered with Virgin America for a special day of fares on Virginamerica.com that were only accessible through the link in the @earlybird tweet.
What's next for Twitter?
We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users.
We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.
Joined Vator on
Eventbrite is the world’s largest self-service ticketing platform, and enables people all over the world to plan, promote, and sell out any event. The online event registration service has helped organizers process over 130 million tickets in 179 countries, and makes it easy for everyone to discover and share the events with people they know. In this way, Eventbrite brings communities together by encouraging people to connect through live experiences. Eventbrite's investors include DAG Ventures, Sequoia Capital, T. Rowe Price, Tenaya Capital and Tiger Global. Learn more at www.eventbrite.com.
Joined Vator on
Our goal at Evernote is to give everyone the ability to easily capture any moment, idea, inspiration, or experience whenever they want using whichever device or platform they find most convenient, and then to make all of that information easy to find.
And we’ve done just that. From creating text and ink notes, to snapshots of whiteboards and wine labels, to clips of webpages, Evernote users can capture anything from their real and digital lives and find it all anytime.
Joined Vator on
Our goal is to position Zappos as the online service leader. If we can get customers to associate the Zappos.com brand with the absolute best service, then we can expand into other product categories beyond shoes. And, we're doing just that.
Internally, we have a saying: We are a service company that happens to sell ________.
- and handbags
- and clothing
- and eyewear
- and watches
- and accessories
- (and eventually anything and everything)
Joined Vator onFounder, Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of Big Fish Games. He has an MBA from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington.