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FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - January 13, 2017

By Grace Barr  •  Jan 13, 2017

FundersClub Portfolio News

BitPagos, a bitcoin and digital payments startup, has closed a $1.9 million Series A round to expand its services in its native South America, and is also renaming itself to Ripio in "BitPagos, now Ripio, lands $1.9M to promote financial inclusion in South America using bitcoin."

Coinbase announces that it will support more cryptocurrencies in 2017 in a bid to become a digital currency company, not just a bitcoin company in "Coinbase to add support for more cryptocurrencies in 2017."

Shippo is providing a new, direct method to access the U.S. Postal Service through their ePostage program, giving tens of thousands of businesses real-time access to a wide selection of USPS shipping services online, which is the first time a new public access USPS connection has been allowed since 1999 in "Shippo Provides Exclusive Access to USPS’ ePostage Program."

VetPronto, a San Francisco startup that allows pet owners to connect with mobile on-call vets, will soon launch in Portland, marking the 11th city the app will launch at in "A New App Will Soon Bring Veterinary House Calls to Portland."

Co-founders of Thalmic Labs, which produces the wearable motion-controlled device called the Myo armband, have made Forbes magazine's 30 under 30 list for 2017 in the consumer technology category, in addition to other FC company founders making the list including ShippoFlexLobEight SleepGitLabNotable LabsSano, and FundersClub Venture team member Jerrod Engelberg in "Co-founders of Thalmic Labs in Kitchener make the Forbes' 30 under 30."

Jeff Epstein, former CFO of Oracle, has joined AppZen's board of advisors and will help support the company’s product strategy, as well as marketing efforts in "Enterprise A.I. Solutions Provider AppZen Taps Former CFO of Oracle Jeff Epstein as an Advisor."

CloudMedx Co-Founder & COO, Sahar Arshad, explains why data analysis is so crucial to improving medical care, and how they are able to reduce the process of studying patient data from hours to minutes or even seconds in "Worldwide Business with kathy ireland® Discusses How Cloudmedx is Using Complex Data Analysis to Make a Difference in Healthcare."

Investor Thoughts

Erin Griffith of Fortune covers FundersClub's returns in an effort to bring more transparency to venture capital performance, a historically un-transparent area, in "Online Venture Capital Firm Makes Returns Public."

Christopher Steiner of FundersClub puts together a guide on how to build a SaaS sales process with the guidance of Pete Kazanjy, a preeminent thought leader in Silicon Valley on this topic of founder-led selling, and by leveraging sales materials he has made public in "Product-focused Founder Turned Sales Leader Shares How Founders Can Fuel Sales Success."

Steven Sinofsky of Andreessen Horowitz shares his experience at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show by reporting strategy and industry observations and also his own view of categories in "A Very Producty #CES2017."

Sarah Guo of Greylock Partners discusses our "always-on, audio-enabled, ambient computing future" and the opportunity that lies within mobile in "The Conversational Economy — Voice and the New Era of Multi-Modal Computing."

Semil Shah of Haystack Fund shares a few thoughts about the implications of the acquisition of Trello by Atlassian in "Unpacking Atlassian’s Acquisition Of Trello."

Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures lists a few things he has learned about how to avoid a burnout and how to start the year in balance in "What I Learned From Complete Burnout At Work."

Chris Orlob of OpenView Partners analyzed 25,537 B2B sales calls from 17 customer organizations and explains two counterintuitive trends they discovered in terms of forecast accuracy signals in "We Analyzed 25,537 Sales Calls. Here's What We Learned."

Crunchbase releases their yearly report covering global investment for 2016, highlighting that investments in U.S. companies declined, fewer unicorns made it big, and more private Chinese companies were valued at $1 billion or more in "Global Innovation Investment Report."

Sarah McBride of Bloomberg reports that the U.S. venture industry raised $41.6 billion last year, the highest since 2001, but startup investing slowed last year in "VCs Raise Most Since Dot-Com Era But Are Slow to Spend It."

Founder and Operator Thoughts

Sam Altman and Craig Cannon of Y Combinator answer questions submitted on Hacker News in "Office Hours with Sam Altman."

Ibrahim Bashir of Twitter walks through his experience launching a product line in less than an hour while at Kindle, and shares hard-won lessons that’ll help startups counteract any trials or turbulence on launch day in "My Launch Lessons from 37 Minutes in an Amazon War Room."

Brad Feld of Foundry Group chats with James Park of Fitbit about their startup journey, including the ups and downs they’ve experienced since they started and all the way through to IPO in "How did Fitbit get started?"

Andy Sparks of Mattermark offers a list of reference pitch decks for founders to view when building their own in "All the Public Startup Pitch Decks in One Place."

Daniel Debow of Helpful shares how the mistakes he made taught him how to be an effective early stage employee in "How to be an effective early stage employee. Hint: be helpful."

Pablo Stanley of Carbon Health offers six basic guidelines that will help you improve the typographic quality of your designs in "The Type Snob."

Jessi Hempel of Backchannel pieces together a narrative about BitTorrent and emphasizes that to be successful, a startup requires both a great idea for a product or service, and a great idea for how to make money off of it in "The Inside Story of BitTorrent’s Bizarre Collapse."

In Other News Inc. reveals plans to hire more than 100,000 people in the U.S. in the next 18 months, as they're moving into multiple categories from groceries, hardware and video to fashion and cloud services in "Amazon to Create 100,000 New Jobs in U.S. in Next 18 Months."

Apple Inc. has been speaking with makers of original programming about buying rights to scripted shows and potentially movies, according to a person familiar with the situation, to expand its $10-per-month music subscription service beyond just offering songs in a bid to differentiate itself from Spotify Ltd. in "Apple Wants Original Programming to Expand Its Music Service."

YouTube announces a new feature aimed at helping creators make money while connecting with their fans during a live stream, called Super Chat, which allows viewers to pay real money in order to highlight their message in a bright color, and have their comment pinned on the stream in "YouTube launches “Super Chat,” a way for creators to make money from their live streams."

Did You Know?

Did you know that two hundred and twenty million tons of old computers and other technology devices are trashed in the United States each year?