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FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - October 20, 2016

By Grace Barr  •  Oct 20, 2016

FundersClub Portfolio News

As software continues to eat VC, FundersClub today announced the rollout of its Network Search product to arm its portfolio startups with the Rolodex of FundersClub's 18000+ members in "Online VC FundersClub launches Network Search to better connect its 18,000 members."

Worklife, founded on the idea of improving online meetings, is being acquired by Cisco in "Cisco strengthens Spark meetings management with Worklife acquisition."

Abacas, the only intelligent expense management solution, announces an integration with Salesforce to provide customers who also use Salesforce real-time and accurate insight into important business metrics directly from the Abacus platform in "Abacus Empowers Users to Measure Customer and Prospect Profitability with New Salesforce Integration."

Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield has a goal to turn his messaging and collaboration platform into a super virtual assistant capable of searching every enterprise application to find employees answers to sophisticated questions in "Slack CEO describes 'Holy Grail' of virtual assistants."

Instacart is re-introducing customer tipping after pressure from shoppers complaining about losing the ability to receive tips last month as the company looked to smooth out the earnings curve in "Instacart reverses course, re-introducing tips for shoppers."

Suiteness, the first travel site to offer online booking of the hotel industry's most luxurious suites, has signed on 14 top New York City hotels as hotel partners in "Luxury Travel Startup Suiteness Signs On 14 Top NYC Hotels - Rates from $215/Night."

Sourcery, a digital payments and commerce platform focusing on the food and hospitality industry, announces the launch of the company’s accounts payable product for Quickbooks Online in "Commerce and Payments Platform Sourcery Launches AP Automation for Quickbooks."

Thalmic Labs is opening a 50,000-square-foot factory in Waterloo to make the company's new wearable technology for consumers in "Thalmic Labs opening Waterloo factory to make wearable tech."

Investor Thoughts

Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz looks at the Amazon Echo and similar devices and dissects how they are unbundling apps, removing friction, and are increasingly being driven by AI in "Echo, interfaces and friction."

Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn and Greylock Partners chats with Sam Altman of Y Combinator at Startup School 2016 on some of his personal beliefs and having "flexible persistence" in "Reid Hoffman at Startup School [Video]."

Pitchbook summarizes their inaugural PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor, a comprehensive review of venture capital activity within the US, in 18 charts in "The current state of venture capital in 18 charts."

Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures highlights the importance of being able to ask the Five Whys of intelligent computer systems if machine learning is going to continue assisting humans in decision-making processes in "The Challenge Facing Deep-Learning Powered Startups."

Stewart Alsop of Alsop Louie Partners shares with SheWorx how he thinks as a venture capitalist because the most important thing to know is what venture capitalists actually do before you pitch them in "Unicorns, Dragons, and Fairy Dust: Demystifying Investors & Venture Capital."

Tim Devane of NextView Ventures explains his emotional vs. analytical two-step process that helps determine if he moves into deeper diligence with a company‚Ää in "The 24-Hour Test."

Founder and Operator Thoughts

Laura Behrens Wu of Shippo, the platform that provides businesses with an API to ship anything, anywhere while optimizing on costs and speed, outlines how Shippo sprouted from what was originally a plan to start an ecommerce business in "Pivoting Into a Massive Market with Shippo’s Laura Behrens Wu."

John Bunch, advisor to Tony Hsieh of Zappos, discusses why and how the company restructured itself to make individuals and teams more effective in "The story behind Zappos’s shift to Holacracy."

Janine Gianfredi of U.S. Digital Service draws on her experience working at the White House to explain what adaptability really means and how you can apply it to your own companies and careers in "What Obama’s Tech Startup Has to Teach About Adaptability."

Leonard Kim of Build Your Influence predicts how the world and business trends are changing to cater to Millennials in "10 Business Trends That Will Grow in 2017."

Benjamin Hardy shares two primary systems in determining and influencing every decision and action (or inaction) in your life in "The Science of Making Bold Decisions and Avoiding Regrets in Life."

Abhishek Chakraborty of Linkletter advises doing a job or position first before hiring someone for it in order to set the right expectations in "You Should Try Doing This Before You Hire."

Pauli Olavi Ojala of The Startup relates Twitter to Mozilla and gives his thoughts on the possible future of the company in "Twitter could be the next Mozilla."

In Other News

Sequoia Capital hires Jess Lee as their first female investing partner in the U.S. in "Sequoia Capital Hires Yahoo’s Jess Lee as First Woman U.S. Investing Partner."

Rumors of a new Mac are coming to light as Apple has just started sending out press invites to an event on October 27th in "Apple sends out invites for an October 27th event, hints that new Macs are coming."

Facebook adds new features through Facebook Pages such as being able to order food with Delivery.com and Slice, request an appointment through MyTime, or buy movie and event tickets through Ticketmaster and EventBrite without leaving Facebook in "Facebook embraces utility with food ordering and ticketing."

Did You Know?

Did you know that if you lift a kangaroo’s tail off the ground it can’t hop?