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FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - December 15, 2016

By Grace Barr  •  Dec 15, 2016

FundersClub Portfolio News

Memebox, which sells thousands of brands of Korean beauty products through its app and websites, has raised $60 million just a few months after announcing an initial $66 million Series C investment, bringing their total raised to $160 million in "One of Y Combinator’s hottest startups is a Korean beauty brand that just raised another $60 million."

Lygos, who uses microbugs to convert low-cost sugar into specialty chemicals used in manufacturing, now has a technique to make malic acid, an ingredient needed in the mass production of electronics, and announces that it has raised $13 million in Series A funding in "Synthetic biology startup Lygos raises $13 million from OS Fund and IA Ventures to make cleaner chemicals."

Suiteness, a company that makes it easy to book hotel suites for groups, has raised $5M in Series A funding and will use this capital to continue its expansion, starting with 10 new cities it plans to be operating in by the end of 2017 in "Suiteness raises $5M to expand their hotel suite booking platform."

GO1, a Queensland, Australia-based startup enabling organizations to create online training programs for their employees, has raised AU$4 million in seed funding in "Queensland edtech startup GO1 raises AU$4m at AU$15m valuation."

GitLab and Skymind are listed as two of "51 enterprise startups to bet your career on in 2017."

Unocoin, Indian Bitcoin company, announces the launch of its new mobile app for both iOS and Android devices that will allow consumers to buy, sell, send, receive and store bitcoin in one place, from any remote device in "Unocoin Launches Bitcoin iOS and Android Mobile App."

Notable Labs and Labcyte Inc. announce a collaboration to apply the capabilities of Labcyte’s acoustic liquid handling technology to screen individual cancer patients’ tumor cells to identify which available drugs or drug combinations may be most effective at treating their cancer in "Labcyte Announces Collaboration with Notable Labs to Apply Functional Cancer Cell Screening to Help Clinicians Individualize Patient Care."

Sourcery Technologies' CEO and co-founder, Na’ama Moran, has been named the winner of a Gold Stevie Award in the Female Entrepreneur of the Year category in the 13th Annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business in "Na’ama Moran, CEO and co-founder of Sourcery, wins gold Stevie® Award in 2016 Stevie Awards for Women in Business."

HeadOut, a mobile app for booking last-minute experiences, has teamed up with short term property manager and Airbnb concierge, MetroButler, to offer New York visitors deals on nearby attractions in "Sharing economy brings best tourist experiences to visitors of New York."

drchrono, a mobile electronic health record (EHR) vendor, launches a new feature for its iPad app called Kiosk that lets patients check themselves in at physicians’ offices, and is also a new Apple mobility partner, allowing it to broaden access to medical records through its native iOS app in "drchrono unveils mobile check-in device for patients."

ClearTax, a tax returns e-filing website in India, releases the ‘ClearTax Startup Programme’ that will offer entrepreneurs early stage advisory services including legal compliances and government schemes benefits, business incorporation, legal agreements and tax registration in "ClearTax clears ways for entrepreneurs to start up with new service."

Investor Thoughts

FundersClub offers an educational guide that covers the types of startups innovating within the tech space, along with the metrics to look out for when evaluating an industry-disrupting startup in "Exploring the Tech Startup Space."

Christopher Steiner of FundersClub provides a simple guide to ensuring your startup is reasonably prepared to fend off the constant threat of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks in "How to Repel DDoS Attacks."

Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz shares a new version of his presentation that looks at the state of tech, machine learning and mobile in "Mobile is eating the world."

Michael Seibel of Y Combinator discusses why the scientific method will guide founders towards the right solution that will actually solve their customer’s problem in "The Scientific Method for Startups."

Brad Feld of Foundry Group explains the importance of increasing conversion and decreasing churn at a SaaS company in “Managing New User Satisfaction On A Daily Basis.

Ash Rust of Trinity Ventures shares the advantages of giving significant equity stakes to employees in "7 Reasons to Give Employees More Equity."

Savina van Der Straten of Point Nine Capital shares the nine main components they base their investment decisions on in "What Do We Base Our Investment Decisions On?"

Founder and Operator Thoughts

Joe Waltman of VetPronto lists characteristics that a distributed team must possess; communication, accountability and trust, and details how they implement them at VetPronto in "How does our distributed team work?"

Joanna Lord of ClassPass clarifies what product marketing really is, and shares tactical advice for recruiting, integrating, and establishing the culture of a top-notch product marketing team and more in "ClassPass’ CMO on How and When to Invest in Product Marketing."

Jason Fried of Basecamp demonstrates a simple example that pushes back against the popular notion that “working harder and longer than other people is the way to get ahead” in "More work, worse outcome."

Aaron Painter of Microsoft shares three principles – attitude, self-reflection, and knowledge – or as he calls it, the ASK model, which provides some simple steps to improve the way you project yourself in interviews in "ASK to Be Hired: Three Ways to Prepare for Your Next Job Interview."

Jonas Almeling of Startup Grind says that to get started with the Internet of Things (IoT), you must surround yourself with the right people, start getting involved in discussions on the topic, and not be embarrassed by what you don’t know  yet in "Get Started With IoT."

David Willbe of Lewis Silkin aims to demystify the termsheet by explaining the jargon to watch out for and giving practical examples and resources to understand what each term might mean for your business in "How to read an Investment Termsheet: Understanding Valuations."

Sheila Marikar of Inc. shares how Inc. 5000 honorees say they would tackle a common business challenge of growth in "You Need to Grow Your Customer Base by 10 Percent. What's the Cheapest Way to Do It?"

In Other News

The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate yesterday for just the second time since the financial crisis of 2008, citing a steady growth of employment and other economic measures, and signaled that it expects to raise rates more quickly next year to prevent the economy from growing too quickly in "Fed Raises Key Interest Rate, Citing Strengthening Economy."

Uber began their self-driving pilot program in San Francisco, and has been ordered by state regulators to stop using self-driving cars in California until it secures the necessary permit issued by the state to allow companies to test autonomous vehicles on public roads in "Uber ordered to stop self-driving vehicle service in San Francisco."

Did You Know?

Did you know that in 18th century England, gambling dens employed someone whose job was to swallow the dice if there was a police raid?