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FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - October 13, 2016

By Grace Barr  •  Oct 13, 2016

FundersClub Portfolio News

Flex raises a $3 million seed round led by Vivek Ranadive’s new fund, Better Our World Capital, with participation from Cyan Banister of Founders Fund, Ellen Pao and others in "Flex raises another $3 million to replace tampons."

Octane Lending, a technology-enabled powersports finance company, announces the closing of its Series A round to support their rapid growth in powersports and adjacent verticals in "Octane Lending Announces Series A Round Led by Berenson and IA Ventures."

Lygos won the “Bio-Based Chemical Innovation of the Year” award at the inaugural Bio-Based Live conference for its biobased method to produce malonic acid, a versatile chemical used to make products ranging from flavorings in food to ultraviolet radiation-resistant coatings in "Lygos Wins Innovation Award for Cutting-Edge Progress Toward Biobased Chemical Production."

Bitaccess announces the expansion of bitcoin sales to hundreds of storefronts in select states across the US, where customers can now buy bitcoin with cash by sending a bill payment directly to Bitaccess in "Bitaccess Extends Instant Bitcoin Purchases to Nearly New 1,000 Locations."

Investor Thoughts

Luke Tucker of Sultan Ventures interviews Pedro Sorrentinoof FundersClub on his journey to becoming a VC in "The Startup Catalyst Podcast - Episode 23." 

Mark Achler of Techstars 
says one of the biggest mistakes he sees many entrepreneurs make is trying to optimize the current transaction at the expense of the future in "Kicking The Can: Valuations and Planning for the Future."

Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures explains why working in venture capital is essentially working in the people business, and that your core skill is identifying talent, helping surround founders with other talent, and acting as a resource for success in "Venture Capital is About Human Capital."

Mixpanel shares what hundreds of billions of data points tell us about the future of mobile. Key experts like a16z's Benedict Evans, Connie Chanand more, share their predictions and advice for building mobile products in today's ecosystem in "The iOS 10 Report."

Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures highlights the importance of removing product features that aren't used by enough users so organizations can move more quickly, reduce their product debt, and deliver a more perfect experience in "What Can You Remove From Your Product?"

Point Nine Capital relates acquiring paying customers and growing a business to animal hunting in "5 Ways to Build a $100 Million Business."

Michelle Tandler of Trinity Ventures lists a couple of reasons why it could be beneficial for founders to meet with VC Associates in "10 Reasons To Meet With A VC Associate."

Founder and Operator Thoughts

Anant Kale of AppZen explores how artificial intelligence will profoundly affect the way we structure our workforce in "AI Expert: How the Fourth Industrial Revolution Will Impact Our Lives."

Isaac “Biz” Stone of Twitter and Blogger emphasizes the importance of exploring the unimportant and pursuing interests outside work in "How To Succeed Without Being A Workaholic: Twitter Co-founder Shares His Secret."

Steve Blank of Lean Startup attends the 2016 Strategyzer Bootcamp to answer audience questions on Lean Startup, innovation, and more inside large companies in "Bootcamp Exclusive: Steve Blank On Lean Startup Inside Big Companies & More."

Jon Westenberg advises that when you keep an open mind about people, and you try and give them some of your time, you could be surprised by the value that they add in "I don’t care if you’re a CEO or a student."

Sam Madden of PocketSuite shares his perspective on on-demand models within service industries in "Why Many On-Demand Platforms Fail."

Requests for Startups offers a dynamic view of the current state of self-driving startups in "The Road Ahead: Autonomous Vehicles Startup Ecosystem."

Tiffany Sun of Rabbut gives  a practical guide that outlines what you need to do and bring before settling in a new place in "The Startup’s Guide to Working Remotely."

In Other News

Google and Facebook are working together to lay a nearly 8,000-mile cable between Los Angeles and Hong Kong, which should allow them to offer faster and more reliable service to visitors on the other side of the Pacific in "Google and Facebook building super high-speed cable between LA and Hong Kong."

Samsung has confirmed that there are no plans to repair or refurbish a single recalled Galaxy Note 7 in "Samsung will 'dispose of' recalled Note 7 phones, won't repair or refurbish them."

Did You Know?

Did you know rats multiply so quickly that in 18 months, two rats could have over a million descendants?