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FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - March 31, 2016

By Grace Barr  •  Mar 31, 2016

FundersClub Portfolio News

Scentbird, the subscription-based service for perfumes and colognes, has added another $2.8 million in venture funding to its $1 million seed round as it launches a new service that expands beyond the subscription model in "Launching a new service, fragrance subscription provider Scentbird feathers its nest with $2.8 million". 

Indian car rental firm Zoomcar, which announced an auto-rickshaw self-drive rental service this Monday, reported a thousand inquiries had already been generated 3 days into launch in "Zoomcar gets 'overwhelming response' to its auto-rickshaw self-drive rental service".

The Bluesmart Smart Suitcase, which has built-in GPS that lets you track it anywhere in the world, has been named one of the best travel gadgets of 2016 in "Best travel gadgets 2016 UK: The best tech to take on holiday". 

While companies like Atheer have been making the most visible progress in augmented reality so far, technology heavyweights are also eyeing it in "Augmented reality mapping out tech's next mind-bending trip". 


Investor Thoughts

Alex Mittal & Christopher Steiner of FundersClub note that by only investing during peak times, investors miss not only the opportunity to buy into startups at lower valuations, but they also may miss the chance to invest early in the next Airbnb, Facebook, Dropbox or Uber in "The Best Time To Invest In Startups? Always". 

Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz shares a snapshot of why mobile matters, where it is now and where it's going in "Presentation: Mobile ate the world". 

Jonathan Libov of Union Square Ventures discusses how the new incumbents turn to financing services for growth in "Time is money is equity is growth". 

Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures says the first step in deriving value from sales velocity is to consistently measure it, then determine the sensitivity of sales velocity to variables in your business in "The Equation That Governs Your Sales Team's Effectiveness".

Wen Hsieh, Rouz Jazayeri, and Paul Yeh of Kleiner Perkins discuss their thoughts on the future of wearable technology in "How KPCB thinks about the future of investing in wearable technology". 

Sarah Tavel of Greylock Partners elaborates on the "core action", a concept she introduced in her Hierarchy of Engagement in "Engagement Hierarchy: Core Actions". 

Amit Mukherjee of New Enterprise Associates Good highlights that even in the current market, good companies are still raising at fair prices, so while this correction may feel painful, markets are still working in "State of the Startup Economy (End of Q1 2016)".


Founder and Operator Thoughts

Michael Graham of Box outlines the ways that startups should approach security at each growth stage, and shares how to best position security in the broader organization in "How Early-Stage Startups Can Enlist The Right Amount of Security As They Grow". 

Sean Falconer of Proven analyzes 5,000 HR blog posts from 15 different HR blogs to understand what makes these blogs so successful in "The Secret Sauce for Blog Virality. Unexpected Insights from 5,000 Posts". 

Troy Sultan of Resource sat down with five fellow B16 founding teams to understand how they’re feeling 6 weeks out from Demo Day in "[500] Weeks 8, 9 & 10: The Founders Speak". 

LinkedIn updated their original Executive Playbook to help executives realize the benefits of a strong social media presence in "Executive Playbook". 

Stuart Hall of Appbot says listening for and collating pain points (not solutions) is a key component in how they decide what to build next in "How We Decide What To Build Next At Appbot". 

David Balter of Mylestoned shares his words of wisdom for any entrepreneur looking to raise money in "How This Entrepreneur Went From Getting Rejected by 200 Investors to Getting Funded in 56 Days". 

Kevin William David of Walletkit creates a guide list for anyone applying to 500 Startups accelerator in "Everything You Need to Know When Applying to 500 Startups Accelerator". 


In Other News

Today Elon Musk will finally unveil the Tesla Model 3, a $35,000 sedan that will go at least 200 miles on a single charge in "After the Tesla Model 3 launches this week, the world will know if Elon Musk called the electric-car future correctly". 

Spotify raises $1 billion in convertible debt, noting that by raising debt rather than equity, it doesn’t have to worry about poor signaling from a down-round raised at a lower valuation than the $8.5 billion it set in June 2015 in "Spotify raises $1 billion in debt with devilish terms to fight Apple Music". 


Did You Know?

Did you know that in 2010, the United States Air Force used 1,760 Playstation 3’s to build a supercomputer for the Department of Defense? They used PS3’s because it was more cost efficient and “green”.