Month: September 2020

Online garden shop Bloomscape raises $15M Series B, acquires plant care app Vera

If you thought to invest in more plants or started growing a small garden during 2020’s coronavirus lockdowns, you weren’t alone. According to Bloomscape, a company that ships live plants straight from greenhouses to customers’ homes, a number of people become interested in plants this year, increasing demand for its already growing service. Today, Bloomscape announced it’s expanding its business with the addition of $15 million in Series B funding as well as the acquisition of plant care app Vera.

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The new round of financing was led by General Catalyst, and included participation from Annox Capital’s Bob Mylod; former Chairman of Booking Holdings and Home Depot board member Jeff Boyd; former Seventh Generation and Burt’s Bees CEO John Replogle; along with existing investors Revolution Ventures and Ludlow Ventures.

Joel Cutler, co-founder and Managing Director of General Catalyst and Bob Mylod, Managing Partner at Annox Capital Management will join Bloomscape’s Board of Directors as part of the round. To date, Bloomscape has raised $24 million.



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Image Credits: Bloomscape, screenshot via TechCrunch

Bloomscape was founded by Michigan designer and entrepreneur Justin Mast and launched in 2018 with the goal of reinventing how plants move about the country and arrive on customers’ doorsteps.

Today, there are other businesses that ship live plants, including home improvement stores and large e-commerce retailers like Amazon. But what makes Bloomscape different are the steps it has made to ensure a better delivery process and its logistics operations behind-the-scenes.

The company has filed a patent on parts of its plant packaging technology, where plants and pots are held securely at the right temperature. It also uses a proprietary soil mix that has a bonding agent that holds the soil together better during shipping and better protects the roots, explains Boomscape CEO Justin

Tyler Kistner For U.S. House

PRIOR LAKE, MN — The 2020 election is heating up in Minnesota and there are plenty of races with candidates eager to serve in elected office. Eyes are primarily focused on the presidential election, but voters will also decide the outcome of seats in the United States House.

Patch asked candidates to answer questions about their campaigns and will be publishing candidate profiles as election day draws near.

Tyler Kistner, a Prior Lake resident, is running for U.S. House of Representatives District 2.

Important note: U.S. House Election Delayed After Candidate’s Death

Age: 32
Party affiliation: Republican Party
Family: Wife – Marie, Daughter – Elodie (3 Years Old)
Occupation: Marine Corps Special Operations Forces Officer (9 years in the Marine Corp)
Previous elected experience: None
Family members in government: No
Campaign website

The single most pressing issue facing our state is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.

We need to reopen our economy and get people back to work. Too many small businesses in Minnesota are suffering because they can’t reopen at full capacity. Many of our local restaurants in particular are only allowed to serve customers at 50 percent capacity and this is simply unacceptable. When elected I will work with other lawmakers to get these businesses fully open so they can provide for their families.

What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?

I am the only candidate in this race who wants to fully re-open our economy back up. I am the only candidate that supports our law enforcement and I have backed our local police departments 100 percent. I am the only candidate in this race who is actually following the rule of law as my opponent is trying to overturn a state law, implemented

High drug prices driven by profits, House committee reports find

Enormous drug company profits are the primary driver of soaring prescription drug prices in America, according to a damning investigation that Democrats on the House Oversight Committee began releasing Wednesday.

The first two reports in the investigation focus on Celgene and Bristol Myers Squibb’s Revlimid cancer treatment, the price of which has been raised 23 times since 2005, and Teva’s multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone, which has risen in price 27 times since 2007.

The costs have little to do with research and development or industry efforts to help people afford medication, as drug companies often claim, according to the inquiry.

“It’s true many of these pharmaceutical industries have come up with lifesaving and pain-relieving medications, but they’re killing us with the prices they charge,” Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., said as the hearings began Wednesday. He added, “Uninhibited pricing power has transformed America’s pain into pharma’s profit.”

The top Republican on the committee, James Comer of Kentucky, called the investigation a partisan attack. “These hearings seem designed simply to vilify and publicly shame pharmaceutical company executives,” Comer said.

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Much of the drug industry’s profits come at the expense of taxpayers and the Medicare program, say the reports, which say that they are used to pay generous executive bonuses and that they are guarded by aggressive lobbying and efforts to block competition, regulation or systemic change in the United States while the rest of the world pays less.

“The drug companies are bringing in tens of billions of dollars in revenues, making astronomical profits, and rewarding their executives with lavish compensation packages — all without any apparent limit on what they can charge,” committee chair Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., wrote in a letter attached to the first two staff reports.

Rep. Elijah Cummings,

Montana presses to finish census, eyeing 2nd House seat

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A complete count of Montana’s households could come with a big reward — a second seat in Congress and millions of federal dollars annually. But the 2020 census deadline remains in flux, making it uncertain if census takers will finish counting the vast, rural state.

Projections show that Montana would gain another seat in the U.S. House of Representatives after the census, but a study published earlier this month found that a shortened deadline for collecting data could cost the state the rewards. The findings gained urgency Monday when the Census Bureau pulled forward the deadline to Oct. 5.

The study, published by the American Statistical Association, found that under the Sept. 30 deadline, both Montana and Florida could lose seats in the U.S. House that they would have taken from California and Ohio were the deadline extended through October.

With over 1 million people, Montana’s congressional district is the nation’s most populous. Experts say a second House seat is a prize the state can scarcely afford to lose.


The situation is even more urgent for the state’s eight Native American tribes, which rely on an accurate census count for federal aid worth millions of dollars. Without an extended deadline, their tribal lands are poised for a historic undercount.

A judge gave Montana some hope when she issued a preliminary injunction on Sept. 25 to prevent the Trump administration from winding down census operations on Sept. 30. The last-minute ruling came after it emerged that top census officials believed a shortened deadline could hinder a full count.

But the ruling’s meaning remains unclear. On Monday, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce announced in a tweet that census takers would stop knocking on doors and questionnaires would be due Oct. 5, despite the ruling.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration

Inside the Japanese retreat at 28 Mackennal Street in Canberra

Behind the unique front of this 1950s home lies a spectacular ‘Japanese retreat’ – complete with a dreamy bathroom sanctuary, modern decor and an airy open plan living area perfect for entertaining

  • An architect has created an epic oriental retreat fronted by an unassuming façade on a quiet Canberra street
  • The one-of-a-kind home at 28 Mackennal Street in Lyneham was inspired by Japanese interior design
  • Made from Australian-sourced recycled materials, it has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a four-car garage
  • Standout features include a bath clad in Tasmanian oak and a grass-watering system controlled from an app
  • The outdoor deck is made out of timber salvaged from a basketball court at the Australian Institute of Sport
  • So unique is the design that the home is nominated for the 2020 Master Builders Association Housing Awards

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An architect has transformed a 1950s brick cottage into a unique oriental retreat fronted by an unassuming façade on a quiet Canberra street.

Redesigned in collaboration between construction firm MegaFlora and architect Blake O’Neill, the one-of-a-kind two-storey at 28 Mackennal Street in Lyneham, in the capital’s leafy north, was inspired by the owners’ love of Japanese interiors which are simple but always of the highest quality craftsmanship.

Built from recycled materials sourced across New South Wales and the ACT, the four-bedroom house – which took three years to complete – has sustainability etched into every corner.

The outdoor entertainment deck is made out of timber salvaged from an old basketball court at the Australian Institute of Sport, while a whopping 680 metres of repurposed hardwood battens run along the ceiling alone.

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The redesigned 1950s cottage at 28 Mackennal Street in Canberra, which has been transformed into a unique four-bed home

The redesigned 1950s cottage at 28 Mackennal Street in Canberra,