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FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - February 19, 2016

By Grace Barr  •  Feb 19, 2016

FundersClub Portfolio News

Rainforest has raised a $12M Series A round led by Bessemer in "We just raised a $12mm series A!". 

Marketing startup, Sverve, is being acquired by Bloglovin’ to expand monetization options for writers using the Bloglovin’ platform in "Bloglovin’ Embraces Influencer Marketing With Sverve Acquisition". 

LeadGenius is recognized by Huffington Post for their network of human researchers, machine learning and lead database for helping sales and marketing in "LeadGenius Recognized by Huffington Post as 10 Fast-Growing B2B Startup To Transform Business". 

Coinbase announces that it is going to incorporate Bitcoin Classic nodes and urges users to switch to Bitcoin Classics, which will help to boost bitcoin adoption in "Coinbase Integrates Bitcoin Classic".

LeanData announces the release of LeanData Clarity: a first-of-its-kind platform that provides accurate marketing reporting and allows marketers to use that information to launch targeted campaigns in "LeanData Announces First-Ever Account-Based Marketing Platform".

Purse Instant is now offering Steam Gift Cards to US customers, that includes free two-day shipping and a five percent discount on all orders in "Purse Starts Pre-Integration Steam Gift Card Sale". 


Investor Thoughts

Heidi Roizen of DFJ compiles a list of certain behaviors that she believes separates the companies that live from the ones that die in "Dear Startups:  Here’s How to Stay Alive".

Mark Solon of Techstars tells recent entrants into VC to invest the same amount of capital at the same pace each year, regardless of the economic state, and to continually support their portfolio companies and founders in "Some Gray Haired Insights For New Investors".

Alex Iskold of Techstars argues that this is the best time to start a company if you believe that your company is needed, that the business will be profitable and will create wealth in "#RIPGOODTIMES, Welcome Back Great Times! 5 Reasons Why Now Is The Perfect Time For Your Startup".

Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures offers a framework for founders to decide what is the right burn rate for their company in "So What is The Right Level of Burn Rate for a Startup These Days?".

Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures describes how venture debt can be a useful financing option for SaaS companies to elongate runways, command higher valuations and suffer less dilution to achieve growth in "Venture Debt For SaaS Startups". 

Mike Maples of Floodgate explains how to build a legendary company with the tools of exponential force multipliers and the 'Value Stack' in "Dare to make your startup Legendary".

PitchBook Blog outlines an economic model that can explain the boom and bust of this complex market in "The Supply & Demand Economics Behind the Current VC Boom and Crunch". 

CB Insights releases an infographic showing the timeline of companies entering the unicorn club, and found that the pace of unicorn creation slowed noticeably in Q4 of 2015 in "The Increasingly Crowded Unicorn Club In One Infographic".


Founder and Operator Thoughts

David Heinemeier Hansson of Basecamp highlights the risk of companies making their dependence on customers, vendors, or employees too big to fail in "Make Losses Affordable".

Joel Grossman’ of Location Labs describes what a high-retention culture looks like, and how to build one from scratch in "This Company Retains 95% of Its Employees — Here’s Its Secret".

Troy Sultan of Resource releases the third post in a weekly series documenting his company’s journey through 500 Startups Batch 16, and summarizes a few talks covering Legal 101, managing the cap table, and pitch prep in "[500] Week 4: Experiments, Friends & Tequila".

Brandon Redlinger of PersistIQ provides actionable tips on how to take control of your inbox, get organized and become more productive in "The Ultimate Guide to Email Productivity". 

Chris Avore of NasdaqDesign frames the business themes of revenue, profit, and margin in a way that is directly related to a designer to help them understand the lens to view their design work in "Designing for Business: When Revenue, Profit, and Margin are Stakeholders".


In Other News

Barack Obama has confirmed he will visit Cuba in March as part of a broader trip to Latin America, making him the second sitting US president in history to travel to the island's capital of Havana in "President Barack Obama to make historic Cuba visit in March". 

Walmart shares have gained over 5 percent in 2016, but have fallen over 25 percent in the last 12 months. The stock also fell more than 2 percent Thursday after Wal-Mart reported mixed quarterly results in "Analyst: Why Wal-Mart Can Still Make a Comeback". 


Did You Know?

Did you know that a number of rappers have become successful angel investors, partners at VC firms and business founders? A few ones to mention are Jay Z, Nicki Minaj, and 50 Cent in "Hustle & cash flow: 11 rappers in venture capital".