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FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - October 30, 2016

By Grace Barr  •  Oct 30, 2016

FundersClub Portfolio News

Slack announces that it now has more than 4 million daily active users (up from more than 3 million in May), more than 1.25 million paying users (up from 930,000 in May), and Slack teams have now installed 6 million apps in "Slack passes 4 million daily users and 1.25 million paying users."

Coinbase debuts a “beta version” redesign of its website that is indicative of a company that is adapting and entering into new businesses while hoping to attract a broader customer base in "Behind the Redesign and Reinvention of Coinbase."

Verbling, a language education company that pairs learners in one-on-one sessions with native speakers, announces the launch of Verbling Enterprise: a service specifically designed to tackle the growing international needs of businesses in "Language learning platform Verbling announces new enterprise-centered system."

Vanhawks, maker of Valour, the world’s first smart carbon fiber bicycle, has a new marketing plan that includes a hybrid sales model with both online and in-store sales in "After Misjudging Market, Connected Bike Maker Vanhawks Has Been Resurrected with a New Approach."

Placemeter receives the Connectivity Award by Smart Cities Council for most effectively enhancing connectivity between local governments and residents, which aligns with the release of Speed Distribution, a new feature that allows users to see how fast people, bikes and vehicles move through their city in "Smart Cities Council Awards Innovative Start-Ups for Commitment to Connectivity and Climate During Smart Cities Week."

Abacus Data Systems unveils Abacus Next as its overarching brand of next generation turnkey technology solutions. This family of products and services brings to market fully managed IT infrastructure, virtual desktops, enterprise software, security and compliance solutions, all 'as a service' in "Private Cloud Provider Unveils New Corporate Brand Identity, Abacus Next®."

Investor Thoughts

Tomasz Tungus of Redpoint Ventures assures that after a startup has seen a steady increase in the awareness of their brand, they can then be confident to focus on creating urgency in "Why Demand Generation Can Be So Challenging For Startups."

Elizabeth “Beezer” Clarkson of SapphireVC chats with Harry Stebbings about everything venture in 2016, from the unprecedented levels of fundraising this year to the impact of Brexit and private IPOs in "Dishing With The Twenty Minute VC On Venture In 2016.

Sarah Tavel of Greylock Partners writes why she believes young Americans in particular have a need for new financial products, and why now is a perfect time for new startups in "Saving People Money, Fintech Edition."

Joanna Glasner of CrunchBase writes that venture capital investment has slowed in the third quarter, but estimates reliant on data available at quarters’ end overstate the extent of early stage declines in "Early stage VC holds up (even as late stage plunges)."

Willy Braun of daphni breaks down the due diligence process of a VC and highlights the key role of speed, which is also the biggest constraint, in "The Hard Truth Behind Investing as a VC."

Rodrigo Martinez of Point Nine Capital advises giving yourself plenty of time and being reasonable when creating your financial plan for your startup in "From Launch to Series A: Get Your Finance Plan Right (3/10)."

CB Insights finds that corporate investment in IoT startups peaked in 2015 at more than $2B of financing across 175 deals, however, involvement is on track to see deals fall by 22% and funding by 12% (still up from 2014) in "Corporates Pull Back On Deals To IoT Startups In 2016."

Founder and Operator Thoughts

Saleem S. Khatri of Instavest shares his journey of launching Instavest, including his meeting with Y Combinator partners and his quest looking for analysts to share their ideas in "Instavest: The Startup That Wants to Uproot Hedge Funds."

Flo Thinh of NerdWallet outlines what distinguishes an exceptional Head of Recruiting as well as how to create a "magical candidate experience" in "Turbocharge Your Recruiting Machine — Here’s How."

Ash Rust previously of SendHub gives an overview of the approach they used for hiring, which emphasizes deciding fast, being thorough, spending the most time with the best candidates and leaving a good impression in "How to Hire Great People.

David Brier of Rising Above the Noise says you must set up your brand to rise above the noise in your space and defy limitation to in order to capture your customer’s attention in "How to (Finally) Capture Your Customer’s Attention."

Larry Kim of WordStream shares how incredibly productive can people shut off the voice in their head that says they can accomplish something later in "5 Amazing Ways Productive People Master Their Time."

Jordan Gonen writes about why he thinks communication is the most important, rarely-discussed founder skill, and offers some communication tips in "The most under-prioritized skill: communication."

James Clear says that writing about your personal values is a proven method that can help you improve your ability to manage stressful events in your life in "One Research-Backed Way to Effectively Manage Your Stressful and Busy Schedule."

In Other News

Tesla Motors Inc. posted a surprise $22 million profit in its latest period after 12 quarterly losses amid a push to generate cash for building its $35,000 Model 3. Tesla has pledged to lift annual production to 500,000 cars in 2018, from about 50,000 last year in "Tesla Generates a Profit."

Snapchat will seek to raise as much as $4 billion in its planned initial public offering, which could value Snapchat at about $25 billion to $35 billion in "Snapchat Seeks to Raise as Much as $4 Billion in IPO."

Did You Know?

Did you know that the origin of carried interest can be traced to the 16th century, when European ships were crossing to Asia and the Americas? The captain of the ship would take a 20% share of the profit from the carried goods, to pay for the transport and the risk of sailing over oceans. (source)