spark capital

spark capital

Courtesy of Polygon

Here’s how Jack Rolo describes his childhood: He was good at chess, and bad at spelling. He was good at math, and bad at reading. Rolo went on to study physics at Durham University in his native England—and despite often struggling in his courses, it wasn’t until after he graduated that he was diagnosed with dyslexia, a common language processing disorder that affects reading.

Rolo’s experiences informed his founding of Polygon, a Santa Monica-based diagnostics startup that emerged from stealth on Friday with $4.2 million in funding, and the goal of better diagnosing dyslexia, ADHD and other learning-related disabilities. The funding includes a $3.6 million seed round led by Spark Capital, as well as $600,000 in pre-seed funding led by Pear VC.

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Twenty-four-year-old David Dobrik rose to internet fame with a vlog crew known for comedy videos and then quickly used his cache to launch a buzzy camera app that pulled in more than $20 million from investors.

All that good will evaporated in days after allegations of sexual assault by a member of the Vlog Squad came to light. The situation has raised flags about how well investors vetted the startup's founders — and whether VC firms or brands should prepare for these situations when working with young influencers, who are increasingly creating their own brands and companies.

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Investors behind David Dobrik's app Dispo are beginning to cut ties.

The venture-backed startup lost its top investor Sunday night following an investigation into a sexual assault allegation against a former member of his vlog crew.

And two early investors have since released statements and confirmed they would donate any profits from from investments to organizations working with survivors of sexual assault.

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