Remember when scheduling meetings was a total nightmare?

All those annoying back-and-forth emails are now gone…thanks to smart scheduling tools like Calendly.

Fixing this ubiquitous productivity problem paid off big for Atlanta-based Calendly, which recently announced a $350 million investment deal.

Read on to find out more about the Calendly announcement, and how the deal fits into Atlanta’s larger efforts to increase opportunities for minority-owned businesses.

Meanwhile, a recent survey from venture capital firm Initialized had some surprising answers to the question, “Where’s the best place to found a startup?” Read on to discover founders’ top location picks.

Without further ado, let’s dig into the biggest tech trends and startup stories from the Unvalley:

  • ☁️ Cloud City?
  • ⚕️HealthTech Traction
  • 🦄 Atlanta’s Unicorns



☁️ Cloud City?

Are offices out? Venture capital firm Initialized recently shared the results of their annual founder survey, which gathered data from the founders in their portfolio companies. From their results, they learned that over 40% of their founders believe that after the pandemic is over, the most beneficial place to start a company won’t be in a regular office in a city like San Francisco or NYC – it will be in the cloud.

Read the replies on Ryan Hoover’s tweet about the survey for some interesting reactions from traditional and Unvalley tech communities, or check out the results of our informal survey on office model preferences.

What do you think about the data? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and Twitter.

⚕️HealthTech Traction

Care is just a click away. If you’ve ever been frustrated with the U.S. healthcare system, take heart: Change is coming. In the VC news this week were two companies that are part of a larger trend in customer-focused innovations in healthcare.

Up first, the groundbreaking Los Angeles-based startup Sidecar Health has been valued at $1 billion. Sidecar Health allows their members to shop around for the best providers and pay directly for medical services, continuing the push for more transparency in healthcare in the United States. 

Virgo Investment Group recently invested $20 million in Apricus Health, an Arizona-based startup that has a unique healthcare model for its members. The startup, which was founded by a prominent group of Arizona doctors, aims to make healthcare easier and more affordable for its patients by providing more flexible, convenient care options for patients.

Looking for jobs in healthtech? 150+ healthcare companies in Powderkeg’s directory are hiring! Generate a list by selecting “healthcare” under “type” in the directory.

🦄 Atlanta’s Unicorns

Hotlanta tech buzz. We’ve been talking quite a bit here on The Spark about Atlanta building momentum as a fast-growing tech hub, with Kabbage, SalesLoft, and OneTrust making their homes there. But there’s another piece of the story: Black and immigrant founders are a big part of Atlanta’s momentum.

Atlanta’s tech community is making a concerted effort to support diverse entrepreneurs as the city grows – and that makes them an even more attractive place for companies.

One of Atlanta’s biggest recent success stories is Calendly, a Black-owned business that just closed a $350 million investment from OpenView Venture Partners and Iconiq. Calendly founder and CEO Tope Awotona is an immigrant from Lagos, Nigeria who moved to the U.S. with his family when he was in his teens.

Greg Isenberg noted on Twitter that the Calendly VC investment news is a big win not only for Atlanta, but also for Black-owned startups and immigrant founders like Awotona.

Romeen Sheth also tweeted that Atlanta tech is ripping right now, noting not only the Calendly win, but OneTrust’s valuation at $5.1 billion and Greenlight Card’s valuation at $1.2 billion. He backed up other experts by predicting the continued rise of tech in Atlanta for the next decade.

Do you live in Atlanta? Send us a tweet and let us know what you’re working on. We’d love to get to know you!


Top fundings, acquisitions, and IPOs between the coasts. 

Atlanta, GA

SoftWear Automation, uses sewing robots, or SewBots, to make it cost efficient to manufacture textiles, and just closed an $18.1 million Series B round.

Boise, ID

AppDetex, a developer of a brand protection platform, has raised $10 million in Series B equity financing led by First Analysis.

Chicago, IL

Upkey, digitizing how Gen-Z puts together resumes and preps for jobs interviews, has raised $2.6 million in a seed round led by S3 Ventures.

Cincinnati, OH

Physna, a geometric deep-learning and 3D search solutions company, has raised $20M in Series B funding

Denver, CO

Plume, the first and largest health tech company built for the transgender community, announced a $14 million Series A funding round.

Minneapolis, MN

Flywheel, the leading data management platform for medical research and collaboration, announced it has secured $15 million in Series B funding.

Naples, FL

Prisidio, a B2C software company that allows individuals to store and manage key documents, raised $3.5M seed financing led by Origin Ventures V.

Nashville, TN

Integrative Health Centers (IHC), a leading provider of specialized health care services, has raised a $2.95M Seed round, led by FCA Venture Partners.

Seattle, WA

Pandion, the first parcel network designed for the unique challenges of e-commerce, announced the close of a $4.9 million seed round led by Playground Global and Schematic Ventures.


Know someone looking for a new gig? The economy is unpredictable right now, but startups in the middle of the country are still hiring.

We have a few of our Top Powderkeg Picks below:Austin, TX:

  • Jungle Scout, the leading all-in-one platform for selling on Amazon, is hiring Account Executive, Brand Analyst – Ecommerce/Amazon Data, Customer Success Manager – Ecommerce/Amazon and more.
  • Loop & Tie, a platform connecting with customers and employees through gifting, is hiring a Finance and Operations Manager, Full Stack Software Engineer and Growth Marketing Manager.

Bellevue, WA:

  • ProbablyMonsters, which is building a family of sustainable game studios, is hiring Audio Software Engineer, Game Tools Engineer (Unreal Engine 4), Senior Data Engineer and more.

Indianapolis, IN:

  • Eleven Fifty Academy, a nonprofit code and cybersecurity academy, is hiring a Employer Engagement Manager and an Alumni Engagement Manager.
  • Givelify, a free web-based donation management software, is hiring Data Analyst, Frontend React Engineer, iOS Engineer and more.
  • STANLEY Security, a leading global provider of electronic security solutions, is hiring a Solutions Architect, Lead Software Engineer and a Learning & Development Director.

Nashville, TN:

  • Branch Technology, a full-stack design and construction company, is hiring an Account Executive, Enterprise Customer Success Manager, Product Marketing Manager, Senior Security Engineer and more.

Salt Lake City, UT:

  • Simplus, a Platinum Salesforce partner specializing in quote-to-cash implementations, is hiring Sales Director, CRM Strategist, Enterprise Project Manager, Salesforce Lightning Developer and more.

Washington, DC:

  • Ordway, a smart billing and revenue automation platform for scaling businesses, is hiring Full Stack Engineer, Product Marketing Manager, Quality Assurance Engineer and Sales Engineer.

Need to optimize your resume for opportunities like these? Get feedback using our resume review tool.


Get the lowdown on even more compelling companies, stories, and events to help you reach your full potential…

Economic Relief Unpacked:

Join CLA and gener8tor for a webinar on economic relief on February 9th. RSVP now >>

Invest with Backstage Capital:

Earlier this week, Arlan Hamilton raised $1M to invest in founders of color, women and LGBTQ+. Learn more about the campaign and how you can participate in the next wave.

Indiana Venture Fireside Chat:

Learn about the angel investor community in Indianapolis from leaders at Elevate Ventures, VisionTech Partners, and Gravity Ventures, along with Powderkeg founder Matt Hunckler. RSVP now >>

This email was curated by Meg, Casey, Deric, Nikki, Beth, Nick and myself from the Powderkeg team. These are just some of the amazing stories happening in the Unvalley.

Got 30 seconds? Share some interesting tech news with us by hitting reply to this email. The Powderkeg team will share the best stories in an upcoming virtual event, on social, or in a future email.

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