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Brightwheel

mybrightwheel.com

Stage

Series C | Alive

Total Raised

$88.8M

Valuation

$0000 

Last Raised

$55M | 2 yrs ago

About Brightwheel

Brightwheel offers a mobile app that helps pre-K teachers and care providers to manage their business, while sending parents updates about their kids throughout the school day. The app handles payments, and records sign-in and sign-out data when parents drop off or pick up kids at school. Caregivers can also use it to share photos and information with parents through a secured platform.

Headquarters Location

275 Battery Street

San Francisco, California, 94111,

United States

415-851-4857

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Research containing Brightwheel

Get data-driven expert analysis from the CB Insights Intelligence Unit.

CB Insights Intelligence Analysts have mentioned Brightwheel in 2 CB Insights research briefs, most recently on Aug 31, 2020.

Expert Collections containing Brightwheel

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

Brightwheel is included in 3 Expert Collections, including Baby and Kids Tech.

B

Baby and Kids Tech

1,281 items

Companies developing tech-enabled products and services that primarily serve babies, children up to approximately 12 years old, and their parents.

E

Education Technology (Edtech)

2,667 items

These companies offer tech-enabled solutions that facilitate education and learning for people of all ages, from pre-K to adult and professional education.

D

Digital Health

13,119 items

Technologies, platforms, and systems that engage consumers for lifestyle, wellness, or health-related purposes; capture, store, or transmit health data; and/or support life science and clinical operations. (DiME, DTA, HealthXL, & NODE.Health)

Latest Brightwheel News

4 college friends turned $1 million into a New York venture-capital empire backing tech's hottest unicorns. Here's how they did ...

Nov 29, 2022

Eniac Ventures This story is available exclusively to Insider subscribers. Become an Insider and start reading now. Founded as the side project of four college friends, Eniac Ventures has become a major player in VC. It was an early investor in Airbnb, SoundCloud, and Hinge, and it has worked with big names in VC. Now Eniac is looking to grow into an institution that can outlast its four founding partners. Vic Singh and Hadley Harris hatched the idea to raise a venture fund in 2008 over beers in the lobby of a Boston hotel. Singh was interning at RRE Ventures sourcing fintech deals and trying to convince his bosses to let him run his own seed fund. Harris was fundraising for a virtual-assistant startup receiving a steady stream of rejections from big-name venture capitalists up and down Sand Hill Road. They were both ready to build something of their own. "The conclusion was we weren't going to kiss some old guy's ass for 10 years to move up the ladder," Harris said. They called their old college friends Tim Young, who was working as a patent attorney at a corporate law firm, and Nihal Mehta, a serial founder who had just exited his latest startup. "I'll never forget that email," Mehta said. "They said we're raising a fund, and I said I'm in." They named the firm Eniac Ventures, after the first electronic computer , developed at the University of Pennsylvania's engineering school, where the four had met. Over the next two years they scraped together a little over $1.5 million from friends and their savings and decided to go after what was then thought of as a backwater in the VC world: seed-stage investing. What started as the side hustle of four college buddies has become a powerhouse of the venture-capital industry, backing some of tech's hottest unicorns. Along the way, the four partners — who've served as godfathers to each other's children and groomsmen in each other's weddings — have chosen to stay small and scrappy, with the goal of building a different kind of VC firm. A side hustle For the first few years of its existence, Eniac was a nights-and-weekends project. The partners would meet founders in coffee shops while juggling their day jobs. Scattered across New York, San Francisco, and Boston, they would have a four- to six-hour partner call every Sunday to discuss potential investments. "There was a period during the first two funds where balancing acts were really hard," Singh said. Sourcing deals was no easy task, but they relied on their personal networks and local startup accelerators to meet promising founders. The fund's first investment was in a marketing-analytics company called Localytics, which in 2010 raised a $700,000 seed round led by Launchpad Venture Group and which was recently acquired by Upland Software. It wasn't until the firm closed its third fund in 2015 — a $55 million fund anchored by the Duke University endowment — that Eniac hired its first employees and moved into its first real office, on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. "I always really dreamed of when we would become, like, a real established VC fund and we'd have our own office with a sign on the door," Harris said. "It was really emotional." More than a decade after that first conversation in Boston, Eniac has become a fixture of the New York venture-capital landscape. With over $300 million under management, the fund has more than 120 portfolio companies — nearly a third of which are in New York — and has had more than 50 successful exits. Friendship as a partnership The firm claimed major successes with early investments in companies like Airbnb; Anchor, the podcasting platform that Spotify acquired; and Hinge, the dating app that was acquired by Match Group. It has backed promising unicorns like the identity-verification platform Alloy and the marketing-software company Attentive, which was recently valued at nearly $7 billion. And Eniac has invested alongside some of the biggest names in venture, including Y Combinator, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and New Enterprise Associates. Throughout it all, the friendship of the four founding partners has remained central to the business. All deals are decided unanimously, and each partner has the right to veto any investment. Unlike most venture funds, the company has a policy of never attributing individual investments to individual partners. All deals are owned collectively by the partnership, and no one is paid differently based on how many deals they bring in. "We're the most consistent partnership in venture," Mehta said, "and there's an inherent trust that comes with that, a trust that's hard to earn." Dave Vasen, the founder and CEO of Brightwheel, an Eniac portfolio company that was recently valued at over $600 million , said the idiosyncrasies of the friendship are a feature, not a bug. Vasen met the Eniac partners at an event they hosted for prospective founders at a Chinese restaurant in San Francisco. "If I'm being honest, it wasn't even a very nice Chinese restaurant, you know, it felt very scrappy," Vasen said. While open-bar receptions and expensive dinners are characteristic of VC events, the four partners and a group of founders sat around a circular table and shared food family style. And Vasen said that while bigger-name VCs would often scroll Facebook or take calls during his pitches, Eniac showed an immediate interest in Brightwheel. "I can very clearly remember the level of engagement that they had in that first meeting," Vasen said. "And that for me was far more important than the brand name or having a big platform team." Vasen also remembers one meeting early on when the partners were deciding whether to back Brightwheel. A debate between Young and Harris over the right way forward grew heated, with voices raised and tables pounded. "If you thought they were just friends and buddy-buddy and not willing to challenge each other intellectually, well, I saw it in that meeting," Vasen said. Eniac's partners acknowledge that working with with friends you've known for decades can present challenges when it comes to navigating disagreements. That's why they say ther are committed to allowing any partner to veto any new deal. Singh said that though it's rarely used, the veto provides a moderating mechanism. "Even if I am the loudest voice in the room, it doesn't matter," Singh said. "Everyone is equal. There's no one man controlling the show. And you have to be able to listen to other people's opinions, especially when they disagree with you." Succession planning Twelve years in, as Eniac prepares to raise its sixth fund, fundamental questions have arisen: How does a business built on the personal relationship of four college buddies transform itself into a durable institution? And can Eniac forge ahead while retaining the magic that has made it so successful? Some other firms have struggled to build a legacy beyond their founding partners. Earlier this year, the VC fund Homebrew said it would no longer take outside money and would switch to an evergreen approach allowing its founding partners, Satya Patel and Hunter Walk, to pursue pet projects. Arlan Hamilton's Backstage Capital recently announced it would no longer make new investments , instead focusing on its existing portfolio companies. "There are a lot of firms that become family offices, they get rich quickly, and they're done," Mehta said. "We want the firm to live beyond us." The partners have taken concrete steps in that direction. Last year they hired six new employees, doubling the size of their team and they promoted investor Kristin McDonald to start weighing in on new deals on equal footing with the four founding partners. Tim Young says the plan is to eventually bring on new general partners to help lead the firm going forward. "Relinquishing control is something that's really hard to do," Young said. "But it's like I always tell founders: They should be looking for ways to fire themselves from jobs, to bring in new people who can do things even better than they can." Sign up for notifications from Insider! Stay up to date with what you want to know. Subscribe to push notifications

Brightwheel Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Where is Brightwheel's headquarters?

    Brightwheel's headquarters is located at 275 Battery Street, San Francisco.

  • What is Brightwheel's latest funding round?

    Brightwheel's latest funding round is Series C.

  • How much did Brightwheel raise?

    Brightwheel raised a total of $88.8M.

  • Who are the investors of Brightwheel?

    Investors of Brightwheel include Addition, Emerson Collective, Next Play Ventures, Lowercase Capital, Eniac Ventures and 22 more.

  • Who are Brightwheel's competitors?

    Competitors of Brightwheel include Kangarootime and 5 more.

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