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FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - December 29, 2016

By Grace Barr  •  Dec 29, 2016

FundersClub Portfolio News

LeanData, a technology company specializing in lead management, raises $10 Million in Series B funding and plans to use the funds for new partnership support apart from expanding the market for LeanData's sales solution in "LeanData Raises $10 Million in Series B Funding."

The Flex Company, which creates a disposable tampon alternative, is listed as an innovator in the feminine hygiene industry, and cofounders Lauren Schulte and Erika Jensen plan to use their platform to advocate for women’s bodily autonomy in "Why 2016 Was The Year Of The Women-Led Period Startup."

Lygos is creating yeasts that make malonic acid, an ingredient in fragrances commonly derived from cyanide, and plans to make its acid at an industrial scale in "Clean Tech Rises Again, Retooling Nature for Industrial Use."

Skymind founder and CEO, Chris Nicholson, chats with Josiah Motley of INSIDER about where the future of AI is heading in "We chat with deep learning company, Skymind, about the future of AI."

LedgerX, an institutional trading and clearing platform, is seeking approval from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to be registered as a derivatives clearing organization (DCO) and a swap execution facility (SEF) for options based on digital currency after an investment by Miami International Holdings, Inc. in "MIH invests in LedgerX Holding Company; secures exclusive product licensing rights for digital currency derivatives."

BTCJam, a P2P lending website that allows lenders and borrowers to bypass banks and have access to savings and loans on a peer-to-peer system, is listed as a reliable sources for users to be able to earn interest on their Bitcoin in "How to earn interest on your Bitcoin – P2P Lending with BTCJam."

Sunny Ray, CEO of Unocoin, a Bangalore, India-based startup that now operates as India’s largest BTC-INR trading platform enabling Indians to handle all aspects of bitcoin transactions, shares an interesting story that helped shape Unocoin in "Unocoin a powerful passion project for company president."

Le Tote is listed as a recommended online shop to rent clothes from over the holidays by ABC10 in "Renting outfits is an easy option during the busy holiday season."

Investor Thoughts

Jerrod Engelberg, Pedro Sorrentino, and Kevin Lee of FundersClubdiscuss the dangers of super pro-rata, why founders should avoid it and what they can do if they've already raised a round including it in "Transparent VC, Episode 1: Founders, Beware of Super Pro-Rata."

Andreessen Horowitz compiles their top slide decks/videos with a few corresponding podcasts, and all their “listicles” from 2016 in "16ish Listicles and Videos from 2016."

Babak Kia of Techstars describes what he loves most about mentoring startups and some other lessons he has learned along the way in "Ask a Mentor: Babak Kia."

Phil Libin of General Catalyst answers how young entrepreneurs can find a great mentor, what he looks for in a pitch and more in "How Do You Find a Great Mentor? Just Ask."

Hunter Walk of Homebrew shares his response to venture LPs who ask about the effect of “so much money” flowing into the seed space, and how they consider its competitive impact in "2016 VC Half-Thoughts: Seed Companies Aren’t Being Overfunded, They’re Being Prematurely Funded."

Christoph Janz of Point Nine Capital gives a few thoughts on what their firm will be looking for in the SaaS world in 2017 in "What we’re looking for in SaaS in 2017."

CB Insights breaks down the top 20 reasons for startup failure by analyzing 101 startup failure post-mortems in "The Top 20 Reasons Startups Fail."

Founder and Operator Thoughts

Jay Simons of Atlassian outlines the eight traits of successful teams and lays out a six-step process that’ll help any team understand where they might need improvement in "Team Health Monitors and Why Your Startup Needs a Check-up."

Jason Fried of Bootcamp warns against buying into the myth that working a lot now allows doing little work later when starting a business in "80 hours now, 40 hours later?"

Hicham Amine of Hidden Founders gives a run down of some apps that they recommend new entrepreneurs to surround themselves with to keep an edge on the startup knowledge and their priorities straight in "The 5 Best Reading Resources For Busy Founders."

Frida Polli of Mattermark shares why good entrepreneurs only sometimes make successful VCs in "What Separates Entrepreneurs And Venture Capitalists."

Charles Chu of Market Meditations shares the tactics and strategies that Isaac Asimov developed to never run out of ideas again "Isaac Asimov: How to Never Run Out of Ideas Again."

Tony Aubé looks at the history of flying cars, why humans are the reason we do not currently have them, and envisions the future of flying cars in "Our Self-Flying Car Future."

Max Nussenbaum of Castle offers his viewpoint on staying motivated when building a company, and why he practices the skill of not relying on a certain mood to do a certain job in "Don’t Look Down."

In Other News

Apple's iPhone 7 devices were unwrapped more times than the Google Pixel smartphone over the 2016 holidays, and when comparing iOS to Android devices in general, more new Apple devices were switched on than Android devices in "iPhone 7 was a top holiday gift, but Apple Watch is fading."

Patent filings from Amazon for their drone delivery ambitions reveal more details about how they could make drone deliveries work at scale through “airborne fulfillment centers” in "Amazon patents show flying warehouses that send delivery drones to your door."

It is said that the second major hack of Yahoo! Inc. user accounts is unlikely to hinder Verizon Communications Inc.’s $4.83 billion acquisition of the tech giant in "Yahoo’s Data Breaches Unlikely to Derail Verizon Deal."

Did You Know?

Did you know that 45 B.C. marks the first year in history that New Year’s Day was celebrated on January 1st? Soon after becoming Roman dictator, Julius Caesar decided that the traditional Roman calendar was in need of reform, and appointed Sosigenes, an Alexandrian astronomer, who advised him to change from the lunar cycle and follow the solar year. Source