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FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - May 26, 2016

By Grace Barr  •  May 26, 2016

FundersClub Portfolio News

Coinbase co-founder, Fred Ehrsam, compares Bitcoin and Ethereum, and explains how they plan on strongly supporting both to advance digital currency in "Ethereum is the Forefront of Digital Currency". 

Placemeter helps businesses and municipalities measure what’s happening in front of their stores, on their streets and in their parks by relying on real-time video feeds and distinguishing between people, bicycles, motorcycles, cars and large vehicles in "Placemeter’s urban intelligence platform gets smarter". allows users to save 15 percent or more on their Amazon purchases because of the demand to exchange out of gift cards and into bitcoin in " Co-Founder Explains How Bitcoin Enables Their Amazon Discounts". 

Bluesmart, the makers of smart luggage with GPS and charging capabilities, introduces the Black Edition, the latest in their line of luggage that puts design top of mind, adding higher-value materials and more attention to detail so it looks and feels like a luxury item in "Smart suitcase maker Bluesmart unveils luxury Black Edition". 

Cleartax, a startup that wants to make filing taxes online in India easier, has added $2 million to its total funding just one month after announcing its angel round in "Indian startup ClearTax raises $2M from Founders Fund and Sequoia Capital". 


Investor Thoughts

Alex Mittal and Christopher Steiner of FundersClub offer a guide to investors on how to diversify their portfolio in "Startup Investor Guide: Diversification". 

Benedict Evans, Connie Chan, Kyle Russell, and Steven Sinofsky of Andreessen Horowitz share some quick reactions to Google I/O, Google's annual developer conference, where they announced a number of new platform products in "a16z Podcast: Innovation vs. Invention at Google I/O". 

Dan Portillo of Greylock Partners
 shares his presentation on frequent “bugs” in the recruiting process, covering three stages of recruiting and common mistakes made at each level in "Debugging Recruiting". 

CB Insights releases a Q1 2016 report with KPMG which provides a global analysis of fintech venture funding and highlights a rebound in funding and deals from the pullback seen in Q4'15 in "The Pulse of FinTech, Q1 2016 Review".

Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures argues that although there are many different ways of building a very successful SaaS company, the most important consideration is ensuring that your product, marketing, and go to market strategy aligns with customer base regardless of size in "What Average Contract Value Is Best For A SaaS Company". 

Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures compiles the short videos with startup advice he had previously posted on Snapchat over the past few months on a new website in "Introducing Why, oh, why Snapchat?". 


Founder and Operator Thoughts

Alex Mittal and Christopher Steiner of FundersClub argue that although growing startups have more ways to fundraise privately now, they still must honor tacit pacts with both investors and employees in "The right time to IPO? It's complicated".

Sam Goertler of Asana covers why redesigns — even of apps users have already come to love — are as difficult as they are inevitable and how to navigate them in "Here’s How Asana Won With Its Product Redesign". 

Ben Thompson of Stratechery highlights how the biggest problem for Apple and Google is culture, and the assurance that what worked before will work eternally into the future, even if circumstances have changed in "The Curse of Culture". 

Talia Frenkel, Katelyn Gleason, Aarthi Ramamurthy, and Liz Wesselhave an in-depth discussion on the realities of raising funding – and provide advice for navigating through the good and the bad in "Fundraising Advice From the Female Founders Conference". 

Jon Westenberg offers his opinion on networking and says he will only meet people who genuinely care about the work he is doing, who want to have a real conversation, and let an organic relationship grow in "Networking sucks. Because people don’t give a shit". 

Jayme Hoffman shares an early collection of some of the most important mental models you need as a founder to help you with what to think, how to think, make decisions, solve problems and see the world in an entirely new way in "13 Mental Models Every Founder Should Know". 

Benjamin P. Hardy discusses the misconception about success and how it is less about how much someone works and more about how they set things up in "The Power of Planting Big Dreams". 


In Other News

An SEC filing reports that Snapchat has raised $1.8 billion in its latest Series F round, and separately, TechCrunch has also obtained a leaked pitch deck, revealing Snapchat’s revenue and forecasts in "Snapchat raised $1.8B in a Series F round; leaked deck reveals revenues, user numbers". 

Uber announces a global partnership with Foursquare to let users type in a venue name (instead of address) when setting their destination in "Uber taps Foursquare’s Places data so you never have to type an address again" as well as a strategic investment from Toyota to help Uber expand its financing program for drivers in "Uber and Toyota confirm strategic investment and auto leasing deal". 


Did You Know?

Did you know that a group of giraffes is called a tower?