The last in less than 30 years

LLast March, 29-year-old Melanie Fellay announced that her employee training startup Spekit raised $12.2 million in Series A funding. Only ten months later, she announces that the company has raised an additional $45 million in Series B led by Craft Ventures (bringing total funding to $60 million).

Although Spekit was founded in 2018, it only really took off in the Pandemic and Great Resignation compels companies to take a more serious look at the way they welcome and train their employees. Rather than asking individuals to rely on in-person training sessions or user manuals, Spekit tailors training manuals and integrates them directly into the platforms themselves. This means that when an employee doesn’t know how to navigate an area of ​​Salesforce, for example, they can click on a pop-up to guide them through the process.

“I think change was inevitable” explains company CEO Fellay, who has tripled the company’s workforce to 130 employees in the past year. “When you explain that instead of people having to search for information, your workflow is exactly where you need it…it makes sense.”

Under-30 alum Sean Petterson’s StrongArm technology raises $50 million for industrial apparel to reduce worker injuries

StrongArm Technologies has evolved from exoskeletons to small, wearable devices that generate lots of data as part of its mission to keep blue-collar workers safe. The result: renowned customers, including Walmart and Toyota.

Money movements

With the boom in e-commerce, consumers increasingly want to know, “Where is my order?” Route, a three-year-old package tracking company, aims to answer this question in real time with its AI-powered software. It’s a growing and increasingly valuable company: Route co-founder and CEO Evan Walker says Forbes that the start is now worth $1.25 billion, following a fundraising of $200 million.

The Berlin seed fund Cherry raised a new $340 million fund after backing some of Europe’s recent unicorn crops including Auto1, fast grocery start-up Flink and Greyhound Lines new owner Flixbus.

Serena Williams has just joined the board of Sorare, the $4.3 billion fantasy football game on the Ethereum blockchain. The tennis star will also personally invest in Sorare as part of his growing crypto portfolio. She will advise the Parisian start-up during his stint in the American and Women’s Sports Leagues.

Microsoft’s biggest acquisition to date: it is about to acquire the famous video game publisher Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in cash, the clearest sign yet of the company’s ambitions to become a giant in the gaming world.

The inside scoop: exclusive news for people under 30

This company-backed business inks tattoos that only last a year

Why not get a tattoo? Well, because it lasts forever. In other words, until 2015, when Forbes Under 30 Joshua Sakhai founded Ephemeral, a tattoo boot inking art that only lasts a year.

After dropping out of New York University, Sakhai and his chemical engineering co-founders worked for six years to formulate non-permanent tattoo ink (testing over 50 formulations in their own bodies) with the aim of making a harmless product that only lasts 365 days. And now with $20 million in funding, the company owns and operates tattoo studios in New York and Los Angeles that do just that.

Although the company only opened its first salon in March, it has completed over 5,000 semi-permanent tattoos. Rather than selling ephemeral ink in traditional tattoo shops, Ephemeral owns and operates its own salons. Sakhai also says that all ephemeral artists have shares in the company and receive benefits such as health care and paid time off, subvert the contract employment model of many tattoo shops. But like the traditional tattoo business, clients submit inspiration to a fleeting artist, and the artist and client work together to execute the tattoos of the fleeting, that cost between $195 and $550, price according to complexity.

“Over the next five years, we want to allow as many people as possible to express themselves, and in any way possible,” says Sakhai, who hopes to expand the brand globally. “We’re launching things like color and more tattoo complexity so people can truly express themselves wherever they are in the world.”

How Daniella Pierson’s female-focused media company The Newsette made $40 million in 2021

Bored and stuck in her family home of Jacksonville, Florida, during a break from Boston University in 2015, Daniella Pierson started Newsette, a newsletter dedicated to women for his friends. She wrote about top news, personal care, and beauty tips. Today, the newsletter has more than 500,000 subscribers. But above all, the company was able generate $40 million in revenue last year by investing in personalized sponsored content and launching associate agency Newland. Pierson says it allowed his business to bring home eight figure profit.

Newsette has traditionally made money writing advertisements for companies like Ulta, Bumble and Daily Harvest, and integrate sponsored content into the newsletter. Newland will continue to develop this strategy. Although Pierson only launched the advertising agency last year, she has already worked with a number of high-profile clients, including Amazon’s campaign for International Women’s Day which featured small female founders selling merchandise through the giant. Pierson thinks Newland rose through the ranks of the crowded agency space because of his journalism-based experience and TikTok acumen.

“All the agencies you’ve heard of have been operating the same way for 40 years. It’s the same with most media companies – they hire 100 editors and have this action plan that people feel they have to follow,” says Pierson, who leads a team of 24 people. “Because we didn’t have the resources to follow that game plan, we have to be a bit scrappy and a bit creative. This is where we were able to thrive in terms of profitability.

Outside of the Newsette and Newland, Pierson also co-founded Wondermind, a mental health media venture with Selena Gomez and his mother Mandy Teefey. Additionally, the 26-year-old LatinX founder is becoming a partner in Serena Williams’ Serena Ventures.

She is not afraid of her success. “Women are conditioned not to talk about wealth” Pierson said. “I didn’t know it was possible for a 26-year-old woman to do what I do; I thought you had to win the lottery or become the greatest actress in the world. I didn’t know you did that in business.

Forbes Under 30 nominations are now open

Ten years ago, Forbes decided to create the inaugural 30 under 30 list. A decade later, this is now the definitive list of young people changing the world. Do you know someone who is creating the next Instagram, Stripe or Spotify? Nominate them (or nominate yourself!) today.

Note: Nominations for North America have already closed. All other regions are open.

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