M1 Finance closes $45M Series C mere months after it raised its $33M Series B

Just months after it announced a $33 million Series B, Chicago-based M1 Finance today disclosed a $45 Series C.

The new financing event was led by Left Lane Capital, the same investor that led M1’s Series B. Bear in mind that so-called inside rounds are now a bullish sign in 2020, as opposed to in prior VC eras when they were viewed more cooly. Other M1 investors include Jump Capital, Clocktower Technology Ventures and Chicago Ventures, though only the first two appear to have taken part in this round.

Per M1, the Series C comes just 120 days after it raised a Series B. A good question is why M1 has raised more capital, and why Left Lane Capital wanted to lead two rounds for the consumer-focused fintech provider. Going back to our prior coverage, we can figure it out.

In February, we reported that M1 Finance had reached the $1 billion assets under management mark, or AUM.

The startup combines three different traditional fintech services into one (roboadvising, neobanking and lending), allowing it to price the package aggressively. The model appears to be working. When M1 raised its Series B a few months later in June, it had reached the $1.45 billion AUM, or about 45% growth in just over a quarter. That’s very good.

Today, the company announced that it has surpassed the $2 billion AUM mark, up more than 38% in the last four months.

M1 posted slower AUM growth in percentage terms and greater growth in raw AUM over a similar time frame heading into its Series C. But regardless of that nuance, the company’s AUM grew quickly.

That fact helps explain its new round. If you were Left Lane Capital, had just led a round into the company, and then watched it keep growing rapidly,

LA To Deliver 6 Months Of Free Internet To Public Housing

LOS ANGELES, CA — Mayor Eric Garcetti Friday announced a new initiative designed to deliver six months of free internet access to residents in four public housing communities across Los Angeles, making low-cost, high- quality broadband options available to 9,000 people in nearly 3,600 housing units.

The initiative stems from a partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Budget and Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, Starry Internet, and Microsoft Corp., a city statement reported.

“COVID-19 has reinforced what was already a clear and unmistakable fact: internet connectivity is not a luxury in our time — it’s an absolute necessity for parents trying to work, students looking to learn, and families and friends seeking to communicate,” Garcetti said. “With Starry and Microsoft lending their resources and expertise, our city’s public housing residents will no longer find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide, but fully connected to their classrooms and to the opportunities of the 21st century.”

With so many Angelenos staying safer at home and nearly all students logging into their classes online, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical need to bring reliable and affordable internet access to all Angelenos to support virtual learning, facilitate remote work for employees, and expand telehealth resources, according to the city statement.

In the city’s view, the absence of Internet access in underserved communities “exacerbates the existing challenges for lower income communities already caused by the digital divide.” In Los Angeles, Black and Latino households are only one-third as likely as White households to have internet, with the elderly four times less likely to be connected, according to the city, which says more than 30% of Watts households do not have a broadband subscription.

The partnership announced Friday builds on the work of the mayor’s

Viking.TV Celebrates Six Months Of Award-Winning Programming

“There is no doubt that we are living in an unusual time that has disrupted all of our lives. It is well known that having a daily routine is important during times of stress and isolation, so we launched Viking.TV to livestream at a set hour each day, when our guests, crew and other curious people can continue to explore the world and have a daily session of positivity and learning,” said Karine Hagen, Executive Vice President of Viking. “After just six months, we are honored to have welcomed so many esteemed viewers on Viking.TV and to have received such positive feedback. We look forward to once again traveling together, but in the meantime, we are pleased to continue fostering the Viking.TV community—with daily livestream sessions and conversations with some of the world’s most fascinating people.”

Viking.TV Highlights

Since its launch, Viking.TV has featured exclusive interviews and live Q&A with remarkable explorers, museum curators, musicians, astronauts, actors, artists, performers, photographers, filmmakers and more. Highlights include:

  • Museum Mondays – Museum directors, curators and experts have hosted virtual Privileged Access to cultural institutions around the world, including Oslo’s Munch Museum and The Viking Ship Museum, The British Museum in London, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Iowa.
  • Tuesdays – Viking Resident Historians, who typically provide a destination-specific curriculum on every ocean cruise itinerary, have shared Iconic Lectures about world history, including “Greek Civilization,” “The History of France,” “The Italian Renaissance,” and “The Vikings.” Additionally, Viking Resident Photographer Alastair Miller has hosted conversations with notable individuals such as filmmaker Ric Burns, wildlife filmmakers Amos Nachoum and Gavin Thurston and artists Magne Furuholmen and Alexander Talbot-Rice.
  • (Explorer & Music) Wednesdays – In the spirit of exploration, Viking has hosted sessions with explorers

“Covid-19 has Compressed VC’s Vision of 5 Years into 5 Months”


5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Covid-19 has brought about a paradigm shift across industries, and venture investing is no exception. The pandemic and ensuing lockdowns have influenced consumer behaviour and preferences majorly, may be even permanently in some cases.

To understand how the investment landscape has transitioned amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on long-term investing, Entrepreneur India interacted with Vinnie Lauria, founding partner, Golden Gate Ventures, an early-stage venture capital (VC) firm in Southeast Asia. Lauria shared his views on the nitty-gritty of investments along with the bounce back plan for businesses.

Impact of Pandemic on Investment and Bounce Back Approach

Most of the work operations continue to be remote in Singapore and Indonesia despite lifting of lockdown restrictions. “In a market like Indonesia, people are working from home and locked down. There were certain presumptions about bounce back in a short time-frame,” says Lauria.

It is essential for term investors to check the growth level of companies and that their growth plans for the next decade has to be reflected over, he added.

Even though economies across the world have been hit by the pandemic, certain verticals, such as edtech and healthtech, have grown due to this phase.

VCs look upon trends, growth plan and future of the company while making an investment decision. However, COVID-19 has compressed the vision of five years into five months. At the same time, the growth scale has become swift over the past few months, especially for digital businesses. For instance, online education, grocery, health and tech startups have grown immensely, gaining from the opportunity in the market.

Investment Prospects During the Pandemic

Vinnie said that even during the pandemic, investments on both existing as well as new projects are being made.

These hackers have spent months hiding out in company networks undetected

A cyber espionage campaign is using new malware to infiltrate targets around the world including organisations in media, finance, construction and engineering.

Detailed by cybersecurity company Symantec, the attacks against organisations in the US, Japan, Taiwan and China are being conduced with the aim of stealing information and have been linked to an espionage group known as Palmerworm – aka BlackTech – which has a history of campaigns going back to 2013.

The addition of an US target to this campaign suggests the group is expanding campaigns to embrace a wider, more geographically diverse set of targets in their quest to steal information – although the full motivations remain unclear.

In some cases, Palmerworm maintained a presence on compromised networks for a year or more, often with the aid of ‘living-off-the-land’ tactics which take advantage legitimate software and tools so as to not raise suspicion that something might be wrong – and also thus creating less evidence which can be used to trace the origin of the attack.

Researchers haven’t been able to determine how hackers gain access to the network in this latest round of Palmerworm attacks, but previous campaigns have deployed spear-phishing emails to compromise victims.

SEECybercrime and cyberwar: A spotter’s guide to the groups that are out to get you

However, it’s known that deployment of the malware uses custom loaders and network reconnaissance tools similar to previous Palmerworm campaigns, leaving researchers “reasonably confident” it’s the same group behind these attacks.

Palmerworm’s malware also uses stolen code-signing certificates in the payloads in order to make them look more legitimate and more difficult for security software to detect. This tactic is also known to have been previously deployed by the group.

The trojan malware provides attackers with a secret backdoor into the network and that access