FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - March 11, 2016
FundersClub Portfolio News
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".
Coinbase is continuing their expansion process by offering their services in Florida and Virginia in "Coinbase expands its services to Florida and Virginia".
Instacart announces a partnership with Grow that will serve businesses in downtown Los Angeles in "Instacart to deliver groceries in downtown Los Angeles" and also their extended strategic relationship with Whole Foods in "Instacart and Whole Foods Confirm Expanded Relationship, Plans for Expansion".
Eden discusses their business model pivot, and initial results appear promising with $1 million revenue run rate in January and 70% growth of sales in February in "YC Backed, Millions Raised And A Surprise Pivot: One Startup's Wild Year In The On-Demand Economy".
inDinero CEO and co-founder, Jessica Mah, is featured in San Francisco Business Times 40 Under 40 list in "40 Under 40 2016: inDinero CEO Jessica Mah is already a serial entrepreneur at age 25".
BitAccess launches bitcoin purchases at thousands of retail locations across Canada, where customers can purchase bitcoin using a Flexepin voucher in "BitAccess Launches Bitcoin Purchases At Multiple Storefronts in Canada".
Placemeter, the urban intelligence platform, was selected as a finalist for the 19th annual SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards in "Placemeter Named a Finalist for 2016 SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards".
ClearTax helps start-ups dealing with the hassles of TDS returns filing, form generation and correction in India in "ClearTax makes Filing TDS Returns More Convenient for SMBs and Start-ups with ClearTDS!".
Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz suggests that the next untapped market after mobile reaches everyone on earth could be Artificial Intelligence, and compares it to the web making Windows a commodity in "Disrupting Mobile".
Tomasz Tunguz of Repoint Ventures provides a lens into the state of the fundraising market, and data supports the notion that investors are still looking to invest, and round sizes are relatively stable in "What's Really Happening In The US Venture Fundraising Market In Early 2016".
Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures relates his recent creation of a SnapChat account to the importance of trying new products to learn and using the technology in which you invest in "Why You Should Put Yourself Out There and Try New Products".
Anu Hariharan of Andreessen Horowitz explains what network effects are and why they're attractive for startups to possess in "All about Network Effects".
Boris Wertz of Version One lists four ways startups can move faster, acknowledging it is their biggest advantage over large companies in "Move Fast: It’s Your Biggest Competitive Advantage".
Hunter Walk of Homebrew advises spending time with 'extremely impressive people in industries outside of pure tech' to benefit you in terms of new ideas, expanding your perspective, and accessing new talent pools in "Spend Time with A+ People in Other Industries".
CB Insights, along with their partners at KPMG, release their inaugural Fintech Pulse quarterly report on venture-backed fintech companies globally in "The Pulse of FinTech, 2015 in Review".
Founder and Operator Thoughts
FundersClub member Betsy Ziegler explains how she applies a startup and innovation mindset in her role as CIO of Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern in An Education in Following your Dreams
Scott of Radical Candor and formerly of Google and Apple argues that politics and fear of tears for men, and gender bias for women, push them away from being radically candid with each other in "Thoughts on Gender and Radical Candor".
David Rusenko of Weebly sits down with Aaron Harris and Kat Manalac of Y Combinator and discusses how they have approached work-life balance from the earliest days when the company was unsure of its survival, to its healthy and cash flow positive operations today in "Why Weebly’s Founders Took Vacation Even in the Early Years".
Dean Carter of Patagonia believes that creating a workplace that supports family life is the right thing to do, and also has many business benefits in "Why Strong Families Build Strong Businesses".
Jon Westenberg puts together a marketing canvas that gets the people he works with thinking about the direction of their marketing and establishes a high level plan in "Hustle Your Marketing With This Canvas".
Julia Lam of Bucket reflects on lessons she learned while building Bucket, and shares that startups are 'one of the most effective tools for continuously teaching you new skills and about the world around you' in "Fighting to turn the Light on with Bucket".
In Other News
Google announces a search feature, Destinations on Google, that touches on almost every aspect of a vacation, from research to flight selection, hotel booking and itinerary planning in "Your Next Trip, Courtesy of Google Search".
The Amazon Echo makes it clear that voice is how you'll be controlling your gadgets in the future, and that the trend is flowing down to smaller companies who are starting to develop voice-operated devices in "Echo effect: How Amazon's Alexa will give voice to more devices".
Did You Know?
Did you know that Nintendo was started in 1889 as a playing card company?