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FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - May 12, 2016

By Grace Barr  •  May 12, 2016

FundersClub Portfolio News

LitBit announces a $7 million funding round in "This guy helped Yahoo and Apple grow like crazy — now he's raised $7 million to solve a big problem". 

New York state's financial regulator is close to approving licenses for bitcoin companies, like Coinbase, which would allow them to offer digital currency services in the state in "Exclusive: Coinbase, Ripple close to landing New York bitcoin licenses - source". 

Move Loot offers itself as a better curated, more convenient alternative to services like Craigslist to stay competitive in the low cost furniture market in "The start-up taking on IKEA is hoping to make moving easier". 

Bitpagos created a payment system that enables users to buy goods online without the need for a credit card, or credit check, but no actual bitcoin is involved for either merchant or buyer in "BitPagos uses the blockchain to enable credit for online payments in emerging markets" and was just named a finalist at TechCrunch Disrupt NY in "The TC Disrupt NY Battlefield Finalists are Bark, Beam, BitPagos, Ritual, SeaDrone, and WaterO". 

LabDoor buys dietary supplements and energy drinks off retail shelves and sites and sends each product to an FDA-registered laboratory for a chemical analysis to find out how effective and accurate your supplements are in "The Crazy, True And Scary Facts About The Supplement Industry". 

India’s leading Income Tax Returns e-filing website ClearTax has launched its mobile app that comes with an offline sync feature, allowing taxes to be filed even in commute without Internet in "ClearTax launches offline mode 2G mobile app to file taxes". 


Investor Thoughts

Chris Douvos, Josh Kopelman, and Andy Weissman sit on a panel at TechCrunch Disrupt NY and discuss the current state of the technology market in "LPs are feeling the pressure of startups not finding exits". 

Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures says that the best lesson to learn for yourself if you’re struggling is self reflection in order to learn how to improve in "Getting Your Series A Mojo Back". 

Sarah Tavel of Greylock Parners discusses what it takes to create a sticky product in "How To Create A Sticky Product Like Facebook and Evernote". 

Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures argues that the highest correlated factor to post-money valuations for Series A SaaS companies isn’t revenue or revenue growth, but negative churn in "The Leading Predictor Of Series A Valuation For SaaS Companies". 

Rob Go of NextView Ventures highlights a few ways to overcome the sort of a sophomore slump for founders that are trying to start their second significant company in "Second Time Founders — The Sophomore Slump". 

Adley Bowden of PitchBook looks at the 357 U.S. venture-backed companies valued at over $250 million, and argues that a 2016 fundraising downturn will not put them out of business since they took advantage of the 2014-2015 venture boom to stock up on capital in "A pile of dead unicorns is not around the corner". 


Founder and Operator Thoughts

Product Hunt shares over a dozen responses from entrepreneurs, investors, and other thought leaders about things they used to believe in "Things I Used to Believe That I’ve Since Changed My Mind About". 

Khalid Halim of Reboot reforms the way leaders and teams communicate with each other, and dissects four meta models that've proven to be especially effective tools for the leaders he’s coached in "The Science of Speaking is the Art of Being Heard". 

Ian Spalter of Instagram discusses the inspiration, challenges, and process behind building Instagram's new logo in "Designing a New Look for Instagram, Inspired by the Community". 

Ali Mese of Crew believes that no matter how strong the temptation to obsess about conversions or short-term hacks, what lies behind sustainable growth is your ability to delight customers with dedication to extreme value creation in "I Can’t Tell You Why Our Business Is Growing". 

Brandon Redlinger of PersistIQ shares some specific social hacks and tactics that you can use to help you generate more leads, book more demos/meetings and close more deals in "3 Social Selling Hacks to Help You Find Better Prospects Faster". 

Michael Cho shares a 6-part series covering the good, bad, and ugly behind designing products at Crew and Unsplash in "Building in Public: What it’s (actually) like building a product". 


In Other News

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones swerved between gains and losses before ending virtually flat today, with Microsoft being the largest upward force in the S&P 500. Apple Inc was the heaviest drag on the three major indexes, slumping 2.35 percent to $90.34, its lowest since June 2014 in "Wall Street mixed as Apple tumbles to two-year low". 

Amazon announces that it will soon allow users to upload their own videos, just like YouTube, where they’ll be able to charge money for the privilege, or let Amazon run ads to eventually let some of the revenue trickle back down to them in "Amazon Video Direct challenges YouTube". 


Did You Know?

Did you know that Apple has a ‘no smoking’ ban regarding their computers? So if you smoke while using an Apple computer, you may void the warranty!