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FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - February 9, 2017

By Grace Barr  •  Feb 9, 2017

FundersClub Portfolio News

Slack was named Fastest Rising Startup in 2016 at the 10th Annual Crunchies Awards in "Slack is the Best Startup of the year at the Crunchies."

AppZen was named "AI Startup of the Year" by the AI Awards in their 2nd Annual Global Achievement Awards for Artificial Intelligence in "AppZen Awarded "Best AI Startup" Recognition by the AI Awards."

TerrAvion, which helps farms take a high-tech approach to improving yield and revenue, announces today that it has raised a $10M Series A round of financing and will use the funds to further expand its presence in key agricultural areas such as the Great Plains, Mississippi Delta and Pacific Northwest in "Merus Capital leads Series A round for TerrAvion."

Le Tote, a women’s fashion subscription service, partners with Google’s Local Guides to offer a year’s worth of monthly apparel and accessories shipments to the user who writes the most “high quality” reviews on Google Maps before February 14 in "Google Teams Up With Le Tote To Get Users Writing More Maps Reviews."

Sano is prototyping a patch that can continuously track your blood glucose using small electrical signals that will launch in beta this summer in "Health Solutions Straight Out Of Science Fiction Are Closer Than You Think."

VetPronto, a startup that brings on-demand veterinarians to your home, is currently available in a handful of major cities and will be launching in Denver in "VetPronto brings its veterinary house call service to Denver."

Waggl, a technology platform that surfaces and distills real-time insights from groups of people, announces that it is working with a number of premiere non-profit organizations, and offers a platform for them to communicate with volunteers, donors, staff and clients on topics of importance in "Waggl Helps Non-Profits Enhance Communications with their Audiences."

Investor Thoughts

Alex Mittal of FundersClub joins Ben Johnson of Marketplace Tech to discuss how tech workers are reacting to the president's immigration ban in "How to figure out if that conversation went well."

Christopher Steiner and Christine Georghiou of FundersClub chat with FC member Joey Krug of Augur about his own evolution as a programmer and technology maven, as well as how he was struck by the potential of blockchain in "Blockchain’s Massive Potential: A Conversation with Joey Krug."

Jerrod Engelberg and Kevin Lee of FundersClub look at the liquidation preference component of deal making, and speak to the history of liquidation preference, share situations where it goes well, where it goes badly, and how to find alignment with it in "Transparent VC, Episode 2: Liquidation Preference."

Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures points out that the problem with predictive analysis, such as a win probability chart, is that they never capture all the variables, and applies that mentality to 'Startupland' in "Against All Odds In Startupland."

Kyle Poyar of OpenView Partners expands on a paradox between subscription memberships and SaaS companies, and explores the intrinsic value users gain from an unlimited membership in "What SaaS Companies Can Learn From Gym Membership Pricing."

Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures summarizes a recent interview that Mark Cuban had with Jason Hirschhorn of REDEF and highlights their insightful discussion about Machine Learning/AI in "Mark Cuban on Why You Need to Study Artificial Intelligence or You’ll be a Dinosaur in 3 Years."

Semil Shah of Haystack Fund shares his investor-perspective notes from his third year at Upfront Summit in "Investing Notes From The Upfront Summit (2017)."

Stephen Hays of Deep Space Ventures gives advice on what to do if you have a small fund behind you and want to start sourcing, vetting and executing some deals in "I Raised A Venture Capital/Angel Fund, So Now What?"

Founder and Operator Thoughts

Brian Armstrong of Coinbase (FC Portfolio) expands on different types of CEOs, and emphasizes focusing on your strengths rather than being something you're not in "What CEOs Do."

David Bladow of BloomThat (FC Portfolio) answers 20 questions about his daily routine, motivations and best advice, and highlights that it is necessary to get comfortable with saying no in order to be efficient in "This Founder Has 3 Simple Tips to Achieve Maximum Productivity."

Michael Seibel of Y Combinator points out that success isn’t the same as raising a round of financing, and raising a round should actually be a byproduct of success in "Fundraising Rounds Are Not Milestones."

Edith Harbaugh of LaunchDarkly shares how her lessons from her two-month, cross-country bike ride serve as tactics for both starting a company and effective software development, and gives techniques for getting through road bumps in "Startups, Software Development and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance."

Ryan Broshar of Techstars lists five key tactics to raise capital in smaller markets in the competitive world of fundraising in "Five Ways to Raise Capital in a Small Market."

Guy Marion of Autopilot offers the formula he has found for creating a high-performing onboarding experience that is educational, accelerates time-to-product success, and sets the right tone for your customer’s experience ahead in "How to Nail Your SaaS Trial: The proven six-step formula shaped from years of experience."

Hired has tapped into its data to reveal insights into technology workers’ salaries and the hiring market as part of their effort to bring more transparency to the hiring process and provide an inside look at the compensation landscape for tech workers in "2017 State of Global Tech Salaries."

James Altucher of The Altucher Report shares hard-earned lessons on becoming an entrepreneur that he learned after three attempts and failure at starting a business in "How To Develop An Entrepreneur Mindset."

In Other News

Snap reveals today in an amended filing that it expects to spend $1 billion on Amazon’s cloud services over the next 5 years, in addition to the $2 billion Snap committed to spending on Google cloud infrastructure over the same timeframe in "Snap will spend $1 billion on Amazon cloud services, amended filing shows."

Twitter posted the slowest revenue growth since it went public four years ago, and shares were down more than 10% today over fear that Facebook and Snap would win the advertising battle in "Twitter advertising revenue falls, shares drop more than 10 percent."

Did You Know?

Did you know that during the 1980s, an IBM computer was not considered to be 100% compatible if it could not run Microsoft Flight Simulator?