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FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - March 16, 2017

By Grace Barr  •  Mar 16, 2017

FundersClub Portfolio News

Wheelys is enabling entrepreneurs to open unmanned retail stores that allow customers to buy snacks and treats at any time of the day or night, and are opening their first store in Shanghai in "Wheelys is opening an unmanned store to satisfy all your late night cravings."

Suiteness announces its expansion into the Chicago market, giving consumers access to hundreds of luxury hotel suites in 30 of the city's most prestigious four and five-star properties in "Suiteness Fulfills Rapid Expansion Plans with Launch into Chicago."

Simbi is a new network that allows members to trade their skills for services or things that they need, without the use or need for money, with their neighbors, friends and family members in "What If You Could Trade Your Skills With Others For Goods & Services Without The Use of Money?"

Flex is listed as a new company that is dominating the feminine hygiene industry in "Hey Silicon Valley, Let's Talk about Periods."

Bitso, Mexican bitcoin exchange, has been working with Canadian payments startup Paycase to create a new remittance corridor between the two countries in "Bitcoin Exchange Bitso Trials Canada-Mexico Remittance Service."

Tamatem is the leading mobile game publisher in Arabic-speaking markets - namely the Middle East and North Africa, and their goal is to bring millions of mobile gamers content they can enjoy in their native language and to help developers make the most of the market's sheer size and potential in "Why mobile developers shouldn't ignore the high-spending Middle East."

Unocoin started as a platform to buy, sell, send and receive bitcoins in India, and now has expanded to include services like mobile phone recharge service (airtime) through bitcoins and a unique Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) to help the users to buy bitcoins by averaging out the cost, and are now the largest Bitcoin-related company in the country in "A Look Inside India’s Leading Bitcoin Trading Service, Unocoin."

Investor Thoughts

Christopher Steiner of FundersClub discusses the idea that while growth-hacking is great, and startups may need to claw and fight their way to growth in any method possible – provided it's not illegal, it should be done with consideration of the future, and uses Uber as an example in "As Uber Shows, Growth Hacking Should Have Limits."

Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz shares a couple of different causes for the explosion of Voice in tech this year, and also a couple of problems in "Voice and the uncanny valley of AI."

Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures explains that the best content marketers are TV networkers and applies the same ideas to SaaS in "The Best Content Marketers In The World."

Mark Suster of UpFront Ventures publishes some of their VC survey data from a recent report, showing that it is a great time to be a startup raising venture capital right now in "Why 2017 Should be a Great Year to Raise Venture Capital."

Semil Shah of Haystack Fund offers his quick takeaways from the mega-acquisition of a Israel’s Mobileye by Intel for $15B in "Quickly Unpacking Intel’s Acquisition of Mobileye."

Kyle Poyar of OpenView Partners posts an infographic with data they received after surveying more than 1,000 SaaS leaders to better understand how they price their products in "The State of SaaS Pricing."

Carl Fritjofsson of Creandum lists two phases that manifest a dangerous mindset and gives a simple 4 step plan to force yourself out of this mentality in "Size doesn’t matter: 2 excuses startups should never use."

Founder and Operator Thoughts

Joe Waltman of VetPronto (FC Portfolio) shares the three steps, and tools required at each step, that they followed to be more aggressive with their PR efforts by doing it themselves in "VetPronto’s DIY PR strategy."

Steve Blank of Lean Startup explains that in order to keep the same level of productivity when scaling your company, you must on-board and train your team about mission and intent in "Why Some Startups Win."

Cody Simms, Greg Rogers and Nicole Glaros of Techstars answer questions from founders about applying to an accelerator in "Ask Techstars: Applying to an Accelerator."

Tim Trefren of Mixpanel thinks 'golden handcuffs' are B.S. Stock options that should improve the quality of life for employees, not limit them, and reveals exactly how and why they revamped their equity program, including the open-source deck they shared with investors to navigate this complicated process in "Why (and how) Mixpanel revamped its employee equity."

Kim Scott of Candor shares her epiphany about management and the mindset and framework it takes to really build an amazing team, starting with deciphering the distinct attributes and incentives of high-performers in "Warning: This Is Not Your Grandfather’s Talent Planning."

Ritesh Malik of Innov8 discusses starting the company, being an international founder in YC, India’s startup ecosystem, advice, and his favorite books in "Founder Stories: Ritesh Malik of Innov8."

Steve Bryant of Dicks & Betties explains that the audience is the point of your publication because what the audience cares about leads naturally to who the publication is in "You don’t get it. You aren’t the point."

Brian Kyed of Airtame dives into how they went from an "engagement=success" mindset to a classic marketing-sales-support organization that just works in "Don’t Rethink The Organization. Just Add the Right People."

In Other News

GoPro Inc. shares rose 13 percent to $8.29, the most in almost a year, after the action-camera maker unveiled a second round of job cuts, this time eliminating about 270 full-time and open position, getting them closer to an elusive goal of making a profit in "GoPro Surges After Job Cuts Bring Elusive Profit Goal Closer."

Tesla is looking to raise a total of around $1.15 billion from stock and convertible senior notes as a way to help reduce any risks that it’ll incur as it scales its business to handle its aggressive Model 3 production schedule in "Tesla to raise over $1 billion to help offset risk for Model 3 production."

Did You Know?

Did you know that the Basenji is the only dog that can't bark?