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FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - October 6, 2016

By Grace Barr  •  Oct 6, 2016

FundersClub Portfolio News

AnyPerk, perks and rewards provider, announces that it has raised $11.5 million in Series A-1 funding, bringing the company's total Series A funding to $20 million in "AnyPerk Closes $11.5 Million Series A-1 Round to Build Upon Employee Happiness."

Shippo, a multi-carrier shipping API, announced their $7 million Series A last month, and now shares their seed and Series A decks so other entrepreneurs can learn from their experience, while CEO Laura Behrens Wu chats with TechCrunch about the process in "Lessons from Shippo’s Series A."

Bitso, Mexican cryptocurrency exchange, has closed a $2.5 million round of investment in "Bitcoin Boom Town: Mexican Bitcoin Exchange Bitso Secures $2.5 Million Investment Round."

Bengaluru-based Unocoin has raised $1.5 million in funding from a mix of Indian and US investors in "Meet India’s new Bitcoin superstar: Unocoin."

Le Tote, the fashion rental service for everyday style, announces the launch of four new membership offerings featuring tiered pricing and clothing-only alternatives in "Le Tote Launches Four New Subscription Offerings."

TerrAvion announces the first aerial imaging solution specifically designed for rangeland that helps ranchers spot early-warning signs of invasive species, plant/vegetation health issues, irrigation problems, overgrazed areas, etc. in "TerrAvion Launches First Aerial Imaging Solution Specifically Designed for Rangeland."

Investor Thoughts

Alex Iskold of Techstars points out that by asking the right questions and getting clear answers, you minimize the chance of wasting your time with investors who will not invest in "11 Questions Founders Need to Ask Investors During the First Meeting."

Mahesh Vellanki of Redpoint Ventures shares the consumer startup concepts he would go after if he became a founder tomorrow in "A VC's Personal List of Consumer Startup Ideas."

Matt Turck of FirstMark discusses the 5 P's – positioning, product, petabytes, process and people – that are critical to building a great AI company in "Building an AI Startup: Realities & Tactics."

Rodrigo Martinez of Point Nine Capital begins a series of articles where he will cover 10 priorities that guide companies who follow the SMB’s go-to-market approach in "From Launch to Series A: 10 Prios Before You Reach 10k MRR — SaaS SMBs Ed. (1/10)."

Srikar Kalvakolanu of High Alpha highlights that understanding your customers is critical for the success of your product in "Billion Dollar Ideas: How to Know When You See One."

Founder and Operator Thoughts

Jack Altman of Lattice interviews Sam Altman of Y Combinatorabout advice on how to have an impact on the world in "How to Build the Future – Sam Altman."

Steve Blank of Sirius XM Radio advises that rather than asking for a busy person's time, instead offer to share what you’ve learned about a technology, market or industry for better results in "How to get meetings with people too busy to see you."

Jan Smejkal of Shenzhen WFOE describes the preparation that is necessary in order to be an effective networker in "The Ultimate Guide to Business Networking."

Joshua Davidson of ChopDawg tells entrepreneurs who are building a new company or product to constantly think about how it will look to a new user, who has no idea what the company is about in "You need to think more about your product’s first impression."

Linden Tibbets of IFTTT explains why they believe that while voice is a catalyst, services and APIs are the next big wave of innovation in "Why voice is the catalyst for compatibility."

Sam Udotong of shares six things he does to stay productive without needing to learn a new tool in "6 productivity hacks for the ambitious entrepreneur."

In Other News

Samsung has agreed to acquire Viv, an AI and assistant system created by the founders of Siri, which was acquired by Apple in 2010. Viv has been called a more extensible, powerful version of Siri in "Samsung acquires Viv, a next-gen AI assistant built by the creators of Apple’s Siri."

Blue OriginJeff Bezos' rocket company, tested their rocket’s in-flight escape system (a means of bringing passengers to safety if something were to happen during launch), and ended up with a safely recovered crew capsule and an unexpectedly intact New Shepard rocket in "Blue Origin conducts in-flight escape test and unexpectedly lands rocket for a fifth time."

Did You Know?

Did you know that dolphins sleep with one eye open? When they rest, they only shut down only one hemisphere of their brain and close the opposite eye, while the other half of the brain monitors the environment and regulates breathing.