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As globalization slows, new startup Globality raises $27 million to bring SMBs to world markets

TechCrunch TechCrunch 7/04/2016 Jonathan Shieber

Global capitalism is in a bit of pickle right now.

Goldman Sachs (either a vampire squid or the second-best investment bank in the world, depending on your point of view) came out with a report earlier this year questioning the efficacy of capitalism, while The Wall Street Journal, recently published an article pointing to signs that international trade is sputtering. 

The Journal’s Josh Zumbrun writes:

Much of the world is struggling with a sluggishness that is clouding the U.S. outlook, driven by aging demographics, slumping labor productivity and policy makers lacking the tools or the will to pump more life into the global economy.

Beyond productivity problems and geriatric Gene no longer working at the machine, there’s a sense that big multinational companies may have wrung all the efficiencies they’re going to wring out of the system.

That’s where the stealth mode startup Globality is hoping to make a difference. Founded by Joel Hyatt, the former co-founder and head of Al Gore’s news channel Current TV and the founder of Hyatt Legal Services, the company is announcing a new $27 million round to bring to market his vision of a technology that can help take small and mid-sized businesses to global markets.

“Small and midsize companies have largely been on the sideline when it comes to global business opportunities,” Hyatt said in a statement. “Making globalization work requires a new and robust platform that eliminates frictions in global trade and creates ‘micro-multinationals’ able to compete globally.”

Globality declined to comment on what it is that the startup will actually do, and its press release is long on jargon and short on details, simply noting that it will use “artificial intelligence and human curation” to get small and mid-sized businesses into international markets.

The money for this current round came from the same pool of heavy hitters and family offices that backed the Series A including: former Vice President Al Gore; Ron Johnson, CEO of Enjoy and a former Apple retail executive; John Joyce, Vice Chairman and CFO of Kony and former CFO of IBM; Michael Marks, Managing Partner of Riverwood Capital and former CEO of Flextronics; and Ken Goldman, CFO of Yahoo.

Those captains of the tech and political worlds aren’t the only big names to sign on to the cause. With the new round, Globality has also added three new board members: Juliet de Baubigny, a senior partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Mark Hurd, the chief executive of Oracle; and Mark Vorsatz, a managing director and chief executive of Andersen Tax.

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