Silicon Valley Funding News - Week of October 16, 2023. Prophecy Raised $35M Series B

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I cannot believe it’s already the middle of October….. 2023 is flying by!

Here are a few great reads, watch, etc for this week:

  • 💰 AI Week in Silicon Valley - This week is all AI for me.  Monday, Vectara's Grounded GenAI event. Tuesday, TED AI.  Wednesday, Future of Voice AI with Paul Ricci (founder of Nuance) and Sam Liang (founder of on October 18.
  • 💰  Franklin Templeton on Crypto and Blockchain - I am surprised to hear Jenny Johnson, President and CEO of Franklin Templeton comment on crypto and her appreciation of Blockchain and its value on payment, smart contract and NFT. Bitcoin is the greatest distraction from the greatest disruption that is coming to financial services... good line. Watch on CNBC
  • 💰  How to Raise a Series A in Today’s Market - Gone are the days when you simply needed $1 million in ARR to raise a Series A. Most investors are now looking for $2-3M ARR before investing in a Series A.  40% of seed rounds are extension round.  Series A deployment is down 60% over the past 18 months. The amount deployed per Series A is down 25% from $10 million to $7.5 million.  So before raising a Series A, how can a founder ensure their business has the right metrics and that their pitch is tuned for the current venture climate?  Watch Techcrunch
  • 👂 HongShan, formerly Sequoia China, targets global investments - Neil Shen said to be evaluating potential investments for the fund outside of China. Jon Russell wrote after the Sequoia split that it was only a matter of time before the new funds competed with each other.  Read on FT
  • 🍎 Apple will be a bank in all but name - I really like Simon Taylor's analysis on Apple and Banking. With 1.46 billion active iPhone users, Apple has more negotiating power than almost anyone. Even Google spends $20B annually to remain the default search engine on Safari. While iPhone and Mac sales are slowing, service revenue is up 8% YoY and now reaches 22% of revenue. Services include the app store, video, cloud, Apple Care, and payments. Tim Cook did mention that revenue hit all-time records for Cloud, Apple Care, and Payments on the last earnings call. Read more

This week a total of 16 startups raised $225M in funding, 2 M&As: 

  • $114.7M goes to 9 Enterprise startups
  • $16.2M goes to 2 FinTech startups
  • $43.5M goes to 1 Hardware startup
  • $11.6M goes to 2 Manufacturing startups
  • $21M goes to 1 Robotics startup
  • $18M goes to 1 Pet Care startup
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