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FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - June 16, 2016

By Christopher Steiner  •  Jun 16, 2016

FundersClub Portfolio News

ClearTax raises $12 million in Series A funding from SAIF partners just weeks after announcing $2 million of pre-Series A capital from Sequoia Capital and Founders Fund in "With $3.3M in the pocket, ClearTax raises another $12M in Series A funding within 2 months."

Instacart is offering a new program to retail partners, allowing store employees to pack the bags and customers to simply pick them up in "Instagram Is Testing A Pickup-Only Option". 

Zoomcar pivots to a marketplace model, looking to reach profitability in 2017. CEO Greg Moran says the company is in talks with current and new investors to make an even bigger bet on the company in "Zoomcar changes track to marketplace model, aims for profitability by 2017". 

Atheer lands a partnership with Epson America Inc. that allows remote expert collaboration and rapid task flow deployment. Ryan Fink, vice president of business development at Atheer, explains how the company and Epson's Moverio platform will deliver new abilities to 'deskless' professionals in "Epson Moverio Partners With Atheer to Deliver Remote Augmented Reality Collaboration Platform". 

Beepi, the online car selling platform, plans to roll out a television commercial developed by Kayser & Co, as part of the "Zero To Happy" campaign that integrates TV, digital and social ads in major U.S. metro areas in "Beepi To Run First TV Campaign 06/14/2016". 

Investor Thoughts

Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures offers thoughts on what he calls the 'acquisition frenzy' in the SaaS space, in the wake of Microsoft's big move this week in "The Impact To Startups Of The LinkedIn Acquisition.

Pedro Sorrentino of FundersClub gives entrepreneurs a playbook for when they're looking for investors that are a good fit for the company in "7 Questions founders must ask any VC during a first meeting". 

Jessica Livingston of Y Combinator puts forward an opus for founders, offering advice on how to avoid failure. After funding 1,000 companies that have come through YC, Livingston calls this compilation a "Pretty Complete List on How Not to Fail". 

Daniel Arbess, the founder and CEO of Xerion Investments, details how he envisions the future of artificial intelligence as it relates to work and jobs in "This Is The Future of Artificial Intelligence".

Frank Chen of Andreessen Horowitz offers a narrated slide deck that details the rise, future and importance of AI and why Silicon Valley is buzzing about it again in "AI, Deep Learning, and Machine Learning: A Primer". 

David Beisel of NextView Ventures says the seed financing market continues to become more specialized, which offers opportunities to both investors and founders in "The Atomization of Seed Venture Capital Rounds."

Founder and Operator Thoughts

Jeff Weiner of Linkedin explains how LinkedIn and Microsoft will connect the world's professionals to increase productivity and the rate of success. His thoughts come directly from an email he sent to LinkedIn's global workforce in "LinkedIn + Microsoft: Changing the Way the World Works".

Jeff Gardner of Intercom tells why customer empathy can be lost when teams grow large and siloed. Teams need to keep intimately connected to customers, which informs everything they do, he explains in "Who Are You Building For?"

Tony Xu of Door Dash tells YC's The Macro how founders can hack processes by simply outworking others and thinking independently in "Relentless Work Ethic Can Outpace Experience."

Claire Lew of Know Your Company explains why feedback from anonymous sources online can have an outsized negative effect on a business and encourages a lack of trust within a marketplace in "Anonymous feedback breeds a culture of distrust."

Sabrina McGrail and Emma Straight of Techstars address a host of seminal issues facing startups, from their early days, to times of scaling in "Hiring, Culture & Recruiting: Tips for Growing Your Startup."

Bas Prass, growth hacker for startups and investors tells startups that they should find and dominate a smaller universe of customers before broadening their target audience. Dare to go small, he emphasizes, in "Dear startups: Go niche or go home."

In Other News

Microsoft went to its cash pile and bought LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, buoying the hopes, stocks and valuations of dozens, if not hundreds of companies. Christopher Mims of The Wall Street Journal offers his thoughts on the logic behind the deal in "Why Microsoft Bought LinkedIn."

Mark Zuckerberg's philanthropy project announced that it will be investing $24 million in Andela, which trains and recruits software developers in Africa. Investing alongside the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was Google Ventures. The startup has nearly 200 engineers now employed in its Nigeria and Kenya offices, says Reuters in "Zuckerberg's philanthropy project makes first major investment."

Did You Know?

The U.S. city that added the most to its population between 2010 and 2015 wasn't a newer boomtown like Houston, Dallas or Phoenix. It was New York City, which added 375,272 people, bringing its population to 8,550,405.