News & Press

Solana Foundation, Polygon Lead $30M Fundraise for Web3 Firm Cosmic Wire

Cosmic Wire, a Web3 startup offering a wide range of infrastructure products, has raised $30 million in a seed funding round led by the Solana Foundation, the non-profit firm dedicated to spreading adoption of the Solana ecosystem, and Polygon.

The crypto-related offerings from Miami-based Cosmic Wire include world-building 3D architecture tools and artificial intelligence-backed avatars for metaverse creation. The startup also offers a number of blockchain solutions, including analytics, digital identity management, smart contract development tools and chain-agnostic marketplaces, according to a product list provided to CoinDesk by a Cosmic Wire representative.

“We are very excited for Cosmic Wire’s Web3 infrastructure to be built on the Solana network,” said Johnny Lee, general manager of games, entertainment, and media at Solana Foundation, in a press release. “Their metaverse SDK solutions significantly reduce development times of high-fidelity, 3D, browser-based metaverse experiences with e-commerce of both physical web3 digital products, content CDNs [content delivery networks], payment solutions and avatar UGC [user generated content] all integrated,” Lee added.

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Hound Labs Forms Strategic Partnership with Quest Diagnostics

Hound Labs, a leader in ultra-sensitive, automated, accurate, and portable analytical technologies and creator of the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER, today announces their agreement with Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services. The agreement establishes Quest as the exclusive provider of laboratory services for confirmatory testing of positive breath sample results generated by the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER, used by employers on location as an objective measure to detect and deter cannabis use during the workday….

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Boatsetter, the Leading Marketplace for On-the-Water Experiences and Boat Rentals, Raises $38m in Series B Funding

… Boatsetter, co-founded by Baumgarten and Andrew Sturner nearly a decade ago, is one of South Florida’s most successful homegrown scaleups. Boatsetter’s team totals nearly 100 people, and the majority of them live in Florida…

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StateHouse Holdings Inc. Reports Second Quarter 2022 Financial Results and Provides Additional Business Updates

Orange Island Ventures & Entourage Effect Capital portfolio company StateHouse Holdings Inc. (CSE: STHZ) (OTCQX: STHZF), a California-focused, vertically integrated cannabis enterprise, today announced its financial results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2022, and provided additional business updates. The unaudited condensed interim consolidated financial statements for Q2 2022 and corresponding management’s discussion and analysis are available for download from the Company’s investor website,, and on the Company’s SEDAR profile. Unless otherwise indicated, all dollar amounts in this press release are denominated in U.S. currency…..

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Mobile Gaming Platform VersusGame Raises $25 Million Series A

Orange Island Ventures Portfolio Company VersusGame announced the closing of a $25 million Series A financing round. Investors include APEX Capital, Brightstone Capital Partners, Feld Ventures, Gaingels, Kombo Ventures, Lifeline Ventures, Moonshots Capital, NewView Capital, Republic Capital and TribeJoint Amenti, alongside individual investors TV personality and digital star David Dobrik, Jeff Gaspin, former chair of NBC Universal Television, media personality Harry Jowsey and Andrew Romans, and Millennial and Generation Z fashion retailer REVOLVE….

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How Anatomie Pivoted From Wrinkle-Free Luxury Travel Wear To Work-From-Home Essentials Brand

For more than a decade, Orange Island Ventures portfolio company Anatomie has branded itself as European-inspired luxury travel wear, but the signature design and durability that differentiates it from other athleisure brands stem from its cofounders’ roots in competitive sports…

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Southern Marinas acquires Premier Properties from Aqua Marine Partners

Southern Marinas, announced the purchase of Hi-Lift Marina in Aventura, Fla.; Hidden Harbour in Pompano Beach, Fla.; and Palm Harbour in Cape Haze, Fla. These locations were acquired from Aqua Marine Partners LLC in a deal that brings the growing Southern Marinas portfolio to 10 properties. The Hidden Harbour Marina in Pompano Beach will soon be neighbors with a vibrant new community being developed by Andy Sturner, CEO of Aqua Marine Partners.

“I am delighted to be working with the Southern team as our development moves forward. I have known the principals of Southern for many years, and this will be an ideal situation for both of our organizations,” said Sturner in a statement.

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Wesana Announces Sale of Clinic Management Services Organization

Orange Island Ventures Portfolio Company Wesana Health Holdings Inc. (CSE: WESA; OTCQB: WSNAF), a data-driven life sciences company focused on developing the novel therapies of tomorrow, today announces that it successfully completed a transaction to sell the Management Services Organization  assets as part of the Company’s Care Delivery segment for a total consideration of USD$2,100,000…..

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itopia raises $5.9M to meet demands of the workplace new normal

With work-from-anywhere policies becoming the new workplace standard around the globe, Orange Island portfolio company, Miami-based itopia has seen demand for its cloud management solutions soar. In response, the company raised additional funding, launched products and went on a hiring spree in the second half of 2021.

At its core, itopia helps companies set up and manage their distributed workforces in the cloud. CEO and co-founder Jonathan Lieberman said the company grew 300% in 2020 and exceeded that pace in 2021, reeling in larger enterprise customers. “We ended last year on a high note with additional funding to accelerate our growth,” Lieberman said.

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Start-ups set sights on funding.

Finding early-stage financing is still one of the biggest challenges South Florida entrepreneurs face. Experts say robust angel networks experienced in technology investing are needed… On the angel front, there are a few formal and informal groups in the area — and more are forming. Accelerated Growth Partners — co-founded by investors Juan Pablo Cappello, Jonathan Mirabito, Andrew Sturner and Marco Giberti — came together this spring, and now…

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Startup Genexa Raises $60 Million From VC-Led Group, Including Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle

Over-the-counter medicine company Genexa Inc. raised $60 million of funding from venture-capital firms and celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle. The round values the company at roughly $200 million….

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An interview with Andrew Sturner....

Herwig Konings (MVCA): Miami is a small community when it comes to startups. Can you tell us about your experience with how it has grown over time?

Andy Sturner: Sure. I moved to South Florida in early 1995 to join the founder of SportsLine USA. At the time, his vision was to build a bulletin board service akin to AOL for sports gamblers. This was at a time when the fastest connection was a 14.4-kilobit modem. Imagine trying to build a sports media company when each screen took 2 mins to load! Needless to say, a lot has changed since those early Web 1.0 days!

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SoftBank’s latest proptech bet is leading Pacaso’s $125M Series C

Less than six months after raising $75 million, Pacaso — a real estate platform which aims to help people buy and co-own a second home — announced today that it has raised $125 million at a $1.5 billion valuation.

SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led the Series C funding round for Pacaso, which essentially went from “launch to unicorn” in five months earlier this year and is pronounced like Picasso. New backers Fifth Wall and Gaingels also participated in the financing, along with existing backers Greycroft, Global Founders Capital, Crosscut and 75 & Sunny Ventures. (Sunny Ventures is Pacaso co-founder Spencer Rascoff’s venture firm). With the latest round, Pacaso has now raised a total of $215 million in equity funding since its 2020 inception. It also secured $1 billion in debt financing earlier this year.

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Endeavor Catalyst raises over $290 Million, backed by over 100+ high-impact entrepreneurs

Endeavor announces the final closing of Endeavor Catalyst Fund IV, a $292M venture capital fund through which it plans to continue to invest in the companies led by Endeavor Entrepreneurs globally. The closing of Endeavor Catalyst Fund IV represents Endeavor’s largest fund to date, surpassing the fund’s initial $200M-$250M target. It also brings Endeavor Catalyst’s total assets under management (“AUM”) up to $500M+….

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GrubMarket Raises $200 Million Series E to Accelerate Profitable Growth and IPO Readiness

GrubMarket, a San Francisco-based food technology company with a mission to digitally transform the American food supply chain industry, announced today that it has raised $200 million in a massively oversubscribed Series E funding round from Tiger Global Management, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Liberty Street Funds, Apeira Capital, Japan Post Capital, Celtic House Asia Partners, We Capital and Walleye Capital, among other unnamed participants. This round values GrubMarket at over $1.2 billion….

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