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FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - January 14, 2016

By Grace Barr  •  Jan 14, 2016

FundersClub Portfolio News

BioBots co-founders and Move Loot co-founders were both named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List in the Manufacturing & Industry and the Retail and E-commerce categories respectively in "Forbes 30 Under 30". 

Platzi has raised $2.1 million in seed funding for its education technology startup that offers professional skills courses online in Spanish and English in "Platzi Raises $2.1 Million to Deliver Professional Skills Courses". 

CourseHorse, the New York-based company that helps fill empty seats in classrooms for mostly general-interest courses in three major U.S. cities, has raised $4 million in "Red Ventures Invests $4M in Company That Helps Fill Empty Classroom Seats". 

Bluesmart announces a check-in version of their original suitcase that will have all the same features, but in a larger edition suitable for main baggage in "The World’s Smartest Suitcase is About to Get Bigger". 

ClearTax recently launched a free service for automated generation of rent receipts that individuals can use to claim house rent allowance (HRA) to help create monthly rent receipts for a year in "Product crack: Rent Receipt Generator by ClearTax". 

drchrono, announces that it has partnered with digital health marketplace ZocDoc, allowing medical professionals using the two digital health platforms a more seamless experience by syncing their calendars and EHRs directly with ZocDoc's patient-facing platform in "drchrono Partners with ZocDoc to Sync Medical Records and Online Appointment Booking".


Investor Thoughts

Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures takes a close look at how public SaaS companies have fared in the public markets over the past few years in "The Downward Pressure Of Public Markets On Startup Valuations". 

Geoff Ralston of Y Combinator offers a brief summary of what startup founders need to know about raising the seed funds critical to getting their company off the ground in "A Guide to Seed Fundraising". 

Li Jiang of GSV highlights the difference between companies with high valuations and a financial and economic bubble on a national or global scale in "Nice Try, But There’s Still No Bubble in Technology". 

Charlie O’Donnell of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures gives some tips for founders on how to maintain a healthy mental and emotional state in "How to Stand Tall While Being Human". 

PitchBook Blog dives into venture capital investment within top U.S. markets, examining data on pre-money valuations, major deals within the markets, top investors and more in "Visual insight into 2015 VC activity in Major U.S. Markets". 


Founder and Operator Thoughts

Brian Halligan of HubSpot lays out some of the skills and tools he has needed to develop in this scale-up phase of his startup in "Scale-up Leadership Lessons I’ve Learned Over 9 Years as HubSpot’s CEO". 

Bret Taylor of Quip distills key lessons and tactics he has learned from building many products in competitive markets and successfully taking on entrenched competitors in "Take on Your Competition with These Lessons from Google Maps". 

Ben Thompson of Stratechery discusses the “What?”, “How?”, and “Where?” of electrically-powered self-driving cars in "Car and the Future". 

Palmer Luckey of Oculus VR chats about both the near-term and long-term future of virtual reality, and his thoughts on the key differences between mobile- and desktop-powered VR in "Oculus Rift Inventor Predicts Virtual Reality's Future". 

Jon Westenberg explains why if you don’t have the 'business skills and understanding that it would take to start and run at least a moderately successful sandwich shop, you have no chance and no business running a scaleable start-up' in "The Sandwich Shop Start-up". 


In Other News

Facebook Messenger now has 800m monthly active users, and they are pushing efforts in 2016 to turn it into a platform – eliminating phone numbers and building a chat platform as a replacement for apps – in "Here's to 2016 with Messenger". 

Uber's leaked financials show that ride-hailing giant is growing rapidly, way outpacing rival Lyft, and yet, Uber is also burning through cash at a faster rate than ever in "Leaked: Uber's Financials Show Huge Growth, Even Bigger Losses". 


Did You Know?

Did you know the founders of Cisco, VMWare, Eventbrite, and Buddy Media were all founded by married co-founders? Stripe was founded by 2 brothers.