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FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - May 20, 2016

By Grace Barr  •  May 23, 2016

FundersClub Portfolio News

VetPronto, the largest house call veterinary service in the US, has launched a vet triage chat bot which uses machine learning to help pet owners determine if their pet should see the vet. 

BitPagos announces a new feature for their bitcoin wallet, Ripio, which allows its users to pay any bitcoin-accepting merchant in installments denominated in their local currency in "BitPagos to Bring Credit to the Unbanked via Bitcoin". 

Le Tote is an online subscription service where users create a virtual wish list of clothing and accessories to rent and the items are delivered right to their door in "Tired of Your Work Wardrobe? Rent Fresh Looks for (Much) Less".

Boosted announces the next version of its board, which is still called the Boosted Board, but has an upgraded battery that is now removable in "Boosted’s New Electric Skateboard Goes Farther, Is Less Punk". 

True & Co. launches the Try-On Truck so women can try-on items before they make an online purchase in "How This Online Lingerie Shop Is Letting Customers Try Before They Buy". 

Fred Ehrsam, co-founder of Coinbase, discusses the controversy that surrounds bitcoin and blockchain technology in "Coinbase Co-Founder Ehrsam: Bitcoin's Open Network Beats Private Blockchains". launches a new payment option called Purse Pre, which allows customers to pay in bitcoin for popular pre-order items in " Launches Bitcoin Escrow Service for Pre-orders". 


Investor Thoughts

Alex Mittal and Christopher Steiner of FundersClub provide actionable guidance to angel investors on diversification based on a review of angel and VC startup investing data in "Startup Investor Guide: Diversification".

MIT Innovation Initiative Lab for Innovation Science and Policy Reportdiscusses whether equity crowdfunding, under Title III, can democratize access to capital and investment opportunities in "Can Equity Crowdfunding Democratize Access to Capital and Investment Opportunities?"

Steven Sinofsky of Andreessen Horowitz highlights the key elements of disruption that are often overlooked – duration of entire disruption timeline and impact on every business attribute – in "Disruption’s Long, Slow, Complex Journey". 

Brad Feld of Foundry Group explains his method to making important decisions in "Try On The Decision For 30 Days". 

Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures recommends that SaaS startups use qualitative data, like interviewing users or reviewing a product, rather than A/B testing in "Is A/B Testing A Good Idea For SaaS Startups?".

Nic Brisbourne of Forward Partners analyzes deal flow stats and finds that founders need four second meetings and as many as 24 first meetings to have a good chance of a deal in "Fundraising is a numbers game". 

Pitchbook looks at a decades worth of PE and VC data, with reports on benchmarks, quarterlies, historical return multiples and cash flows in "3Q 2015 Global PE & VC Benchmarking & Fund Performance Report". 


Founder and Operator Thoughts

Preethi Kasireddy of Coinbase shares her journey of switching careers and the lessons she learned along the way in "What Happened After I Left the Best Job in the World to Become an Engineer?". 

Mikael Cho of Crew discusses the trap that many products fall into of not solving a problem in "Start with problems. Not solutions". 

Robleh Jama of Tiny Hearts Apps compares apps to cars, and highlights some common confusions regarding software in "Why apps cost the same as cars". 

Brandon Silverman of CrowdTangle adds to the discussion about trending articles on facebook and analyzes how they got their users in "Facebook, Conservative News and How You Get to 1.5 Billion Users". 

David Kadavy of Design for Hackers offers a general framework for productivity in order to achieve full output in "Do the right work, at the right time, with the right tool". 

Product Hunt asks a dozen thought leaders for insights about the future of VR, robotics, self-driving cars, and much more in "How Will The World Change Over The Next 50 Years?". 


In Other News

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg heard from more than a dozen U.S. conservative leaders on Wednesday and said he will work to build trust with users who believe the social network displays politically biased news content in "Facebook's Zuckerberg meets U.S. conservatives over bias controversy". 

Federal Reserve officials felt the U.S. economy could be ready for another interest rate increase in June, according to the minutes from the central bank's April policy meeting released on Wednesday in "Fed signals interest rate hike firmly on the table for June". 


Did You Know?

Did you know that the national animal of Scotland is the Unicorn?