OneTwoSee raises $1.3M from Robin Hood Ventures, MissionOG [roundup]

Monetate appears to be preparing for its IPO with a new CFO, Zoe Selzer is now running Philadelphia University's entrepreneurship center and EdWeek is running a series on articles on Autism Expressed.

VinoWine recently launched an app to help smaller wineries go directly to customers.

Imagine ordering a bottle from your favorite local winery online and having it delivered in time for dinner. That’s the goal of Mike Lawler and Mike Barefoot, the founders of Haymarket, Va.–based VinoWine, an app and website that connects wine enthusiasts with everything wine-related across the country. Lawler and Barefoot, both former military veterans, became friends in 2009 while working as defense contractors for Courage Services. It was on a business trip in London during the 2012 Summer Olympics that the pair were drinking at a pub when Lawler decided to cut through the confusion and created a pub-finder app on his iPhone. After the trip, a friend had an idea for a similar app for wine. “I was very shocked that with today’s technology and the Internet that 60 percent of U.S. wineries can't afford to distribute their wine,” Barefoot said. “It is impossible to find their wines, and there is no central marketplace to sell their wine. Once we discovered that we knew we had something.” Fast forward four years later: Lawler and Barefoot participated in Y Combinator's Startup School and became members of 1776. After four years part-timing it, they recently quit their secure defense contracting jobs, and, last month launched They have personally signed up more than 6,000 wineries from around the country, 600 of which have claimed accounts and now engage on the platform by providing products, information and wine deals. “There really was no outlet for small-to-medium sized wineries to sell directly to the consumer,” Lawler said. “The only way for them to get their wine is to go into their tasting room.” [caption id="attachment_33117" align="alignnone" width="359"]A screenshot of VinoWine. (Courtesy photo) A screenshot of VinoWine. (Courtesy photo)[/caption] They see an opening in the market. Amazon’s recent acquisition of Whole Foods has effectively put an end to Amazon Wine, which will stop selling online Dec. 31. That means all of Amazon’s vendors will be looking for a new marketplace. “We own a marketplace that every winery wants to join,” Barefoot said. “We’re not charging wineries, but we take a small convenience fee on every transaction, like Ticketmaster.” Lawler and Barefoot are thinking big. That means going bigger – a global one-stop shop for wine. “Eighty percent of wine bought today is for same-day consumption,” Lawler said. “Our goal would be to support same day delivery locally, and then scale it across the world. We can make this work globally. That’s our plan for wine domination.”


OneTwoSee closed a $1.3 million round, cofounder Chris Reynolds tells us. You can find the SEC filing here (though it doesn’t reflect the full $1.3 million raised) under the company name MobileReactor. The Center City TV companion startup works with professional and collegiate sports and plans to use the funds to enter into the spaces of Smart TV, set-top-box, social and mobile, Reynolds said.

Robin Hood Ventures, a local angel group that previously invested in the company, and MissionOG, another local venture firm, participated in the round. Andrew Newcomb of MissionOG is listed as a board member, as is former Philadelphia Inquirer reporter-turned-mobile entrepreneur Art Howe and FGI Worldwide CEO David DiPiero. When asked if Howe and DiPiero were investors, Reynolds declined to comment.

Hire an Esquire, a legal staffing startup with offices in Philadelphia and New York City, raised a $350,000 seed round, according to an SEC filing. Both Silicon Valley and New York City investors participated in the round, but not any local investors, said CEO Julia Shapiro.

PluroGen Therapeutics, a Norristown-based company developing products to help the healing of burns and wounds, raised $153,000, according to an SEC filing.


Monetate appears to be preparing for its IPO. It hired Bob Lawson as its new Chief Financial Officer, according to a release. Lawson, who will be based out of Palo Alto, Calif., was formerly the CFO of Silicon Valley-based cloud computing phone company RingCentral. Lawson was at RingCentral during their IPO and led Codexis, a biofuel company, to IPO. Read more on the Inquirer.


Monetate’s former (and first) CFO was David Stetson. The company now has 220 employees, according to the release.

After leaving the social good accelerator that she cofounded, Zoe Selzer joined Philadelphia University as its entrepreneurship center director, according to her LinkedIn.

Philly Tech Meetup is quiet this month — there are meetups scheduled for April or future months on its site. The popular monthly meetup started charging $10 in February due to costs associated with organizing the event, said organizer Rohan Mehta in an email to the group. Mehta did not respond to a request for comment about future meetups.

Osmosis, the DreamIt Health company that helps med students study with a mobile app, launched an Android app.


Autism Expressed, the digital literacy startup for special education students, has been the subject of a series of EdWeek articles, including this one about the hardships that edtech startups face. Autism Expressed founder Michele McKeone is also blogging for the education news outlet. Follow her blog here.

Who does Curalate use for PR to help land them in national press? A small boutique firm in Boulder, Colo., said marketing head Brendan Lowry at Tuesday’s PR for Startups event.

Learn about Yasmine Mustafa, entrepreneur and GirlDevelopIt Philly founder, in this Q&A on Rad Girls, which was written, full disclosure, by our events coordinator Corinne Warnshuis.

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