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Summersalt raises $6M for its direct-to-consumer line of eco-friendly swimsuits

Founders Fund has led the $6 million Series A for Summersalt, an early-stage e-commerce startup embracing the next-gen consumer’s penchant for inclusivity and affordability. Headquartered in St. Louis, the 1-year old company sells swimsuits designed in-house with eco-friendly fabrics directly to consumers. Like other D2C brands, Summersalt cuts out the middlemen to give its customers access to its swimsuits for $95 or less. What sets it apart is its data-focused fit system. With a patent on recommending garments based on body type and consumer preference, it uses more than 10,000 scans of real women’s bodies and some 1.5 million measurements to create what it says are designer-quality garments. Co-founder and chief executive officer Lori Coulter and her team design all the swimsuits and source the fabrics directly with factories in the U.S. and Asia. With the latest investment, Coulter says the company will launch a line of travel wear and expand its inventory to offer more sizes. “A core value of the brand really is inclusivity and we know from an economic perspective that by moving up to size 22, we really can acquire a broader set of consumers,” Coulter told TechCrunch. Reshma Chattaram Chamberlin, co-founder and chief brand officer, said their strategy is to cater to women like them. Chamberlin herself is an immigrant, originally from Mumbai, while Coulter, a mother of two, was born and raised in Missouri. “We were both tired of seeing the oversexualized approach to swimwear,” Chamberlain told TechCrunch. “We wanted a brand to appeal to women like us so we could feel sexy on our own terms. We wanted to appeal to women across the country, whether that’s a mom in Missouri or a stylish girl in Brooklyn.” “Women like us are immigrants. Women like us are moms. Women like us are size 2 and women like us are size 22,” she added. The pair said the move to incorporate a travel line is in keeping with their wanderlust-themed brand, which appeals to younger consumers. “It’s a unique time in retail; women prefer experiences over things,” Coulter said. “We really see this as the next frontier in retail.…

Recent departures hint at turmoil at Quartet Health, a mental health startup backed by GV

Backed with nearly $87 million in venture capital funding from GV, Oak HC/FT and F-Prime Capital, Quartet Health was founded in 2014 by Arun Gupta, Steve Shulman and David Wennberg to improve access to behavioral healthcare. Its mission: “enable every person in our society to thrive by building a collaborative behavioral and physical health ecosystem.” Recent shakeups within the New York-based company’s c-suite and a perusal of its Glassdoor profile suggest Quartet’s culture is not fully in line with its own philosophy.   In the last few weeks, chief product officer Rajesh Midha has left the company and president and chief operating officer David Liu is on his way out, TechCrunch has learned and confirmed with Quartet. Founding chief executive officer Arun Gupta, meanwhile, has stepped into the executive chairman role, relinquishing responsibility of the company’s day-to-day operations to former chief science officer David Wennberg, who’s taken over as CEO. “I’m focusing on our external growth,” Gupta told TechCrunch on Friday. “David has really stepped up as CEO.” Quartet raises $40M Series C to help healthcare providers collaborate on patient care Gupta and Wennberg said Liu’s role was no longer needed because Wennberg had assumed his responsibilities. Liu will formally exit the company at the end of the month. As for its product chief, the pair say Midha had “transitioned out” of the role and that an unnamed internal candidate was tapped to replace him. When asked whether other employees had left in recent weeks,  Wennberg provided the following indeterminate statement: “We are always having people coming in. I don’t think we’ve had any unusual turnover. We’re hiring and people’s roles change and that’s just part of growth.” Quartet, which provides a platform that allows providers to collaborate on treatment plans, currently has 150 employees, according to its executives. In a LinkedIn status update published this week — after TechCrunch’s initial inquiries — Gupta announced his transition to executive chairman: “Still full-time, though focused largely on our opportunity to further evangelize our mission, [I will] drive the change we want to see in this world, and expand our reach … I have tremendous confidence in David’s ability…

VCs say Silicon Valley isn’t the gold mine it used to be

In the days leading up to TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018, The Economist published the cover story, ‘Why Startups Are Leaving Silicon Valley.’ The author outlined reasons why the Valley has “peaked.” Venture capital investors are deploying capital outside the Bay Area more than ever before. High-profile entrepreneurs and investors, Peter Thiel, for example, have left. Rising rents are making it impossible for new blood to make a living, let alone build businesses. And according to a recent survey, 46 percent of Bay Area residents want to get the hell out, an increase from 34 percent two years ago. Needless to say, the future of Silicon Valley was top of mind on stage at Disrupt. “It’s hard to make a difference in San Francisco as a single entrepreneur,” said J.D. Vance, the author of ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ and a managing partner at Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Fund, which backs seed-stage companies based outside Silicon Valley. “It’s not as a hard to make a difference as a successful entrepreneur in Columbus, Ohio.” In conversation with Vance, Revolution CEO Steve Case said he’s noticed a “mega-trend” emerging. Founders from cities like Pittsburgh, Detroit or Portland are opting to stay in their hometowns instead of moving to U.S. innovation hubs like San Francisco. “The sense that you have to be here or you can’t play is going to start diminishing.” “We are seeing the beginnings of a slowing of what has been a brain drain the last 20 years,” Case said. “It’s not just watching where the capital flows, it’s watching where the talent flows. And the sense that you have to be here or you can’t play is going to start diminishing.” J.D. Vance says that most entrepreneurs don’t need to move to Silicon Valley. Here’s why. #TCDisrupt pic.twitter.com/0mFPeTuHLe — TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) September 6, 2018 Farewell, San Francisco “It’s too expensive to live here,” said Aileen Lee, the founder of seed-stage VC firm Cowboy Ventures, amid a conversation with leading venture capitalists Spark Capital general partner Megan Quinn and Benchmark general partner Sarah Tavel . “I know that there are a lot of people in the Bay…

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