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FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - March 30, 2017

By Grace Barr  •  Mar 30, 2017

FundersClub Portfolio News

Laura Behrens Wu of Shippo hosts a Special Edition of FC Live, featuring a Q&A with Alex Mittal of FundersClub. The full video can now be watched here: Q&A w/ CEO of FundersClub, Hosted by Shippo CEO — FC Live Series.

Coinbase's application has been approved by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) to offer Ethereum and Litecoin for New York customers, and DFS has also approved those customers to access “Shift Card”, a Coinbase linked debit card service in "Coinbase Gets NYDFS Green Light to Offer Ethereum and Litecoin Trades."

Bitso, Mexico's largest bitcoin exchange, sees a record volume recently of close to $4M USD worth of Mexican pesos changing hands every week in "Mexican Exchange Bitso Sets US$4m Weekly Bitcoin Trading Volume Record."

Suiteness is featured by People Magazine as having the top pet-friendly suites in "Suite Life: 8 Luxurious Hotels for Pampering Your Pet." Additionally, CEO Robbie Bhathal offers his expert commentary on ways to save money on spring break travel in "How to Save Money on Spring Break Travel."

Leaf by Bellabeat not only performs the traditional functions of smart accessories, but also provides stress relief through built-in breathing exercises, and can be worn as a necklace, bracelet or can clip right onto your clothing in "Fashion Forward."

Investor Thoughts

Christopher Steiner of FundersClub notes that privacy will always be a driver for consumers of broadband, and while rules that prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from monitoring, gathering, and selling user data without their permission may now not become active, there is a new opportunity for startup ISPs to conquer the space for privacy in "Major Internet Service Providers Are Fueling Their Own Disruption.

Christopher Steiner of FundersClub comments that as the world is creating more and more Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enhanced software at an accelerating pace, AI itself will become a commodity, and Venture investors have seen AI as one of the next burgeoning sectors of tech in "AI Can Make Anything a Commodity, Even Creativity."

Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz discusses how the new iPhone to be released this fall reflects where we are in the product cycle, noting that new technology of any kind tends to follow an S-Curve, and that the trend this year is to say that this new S-Curve will be voice or just AI in general in "The end of smartphone innovation."

Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures highlights how Global optimization is a much better long term strategy than local optimization across revenue, marketing, and sales operations in "Customer Operations - An Idea For Maximizing Efficient Growth In SaaS Companies."

Jai Das of Sapphire Ventures shares three main lessons he has learned that lead to a successful IPO for entrepreneurs looking to take their company public in "The Anatomy Of A Successful IPO."

Kyle Poyar of OpenView Partners looks to Andy Wilson and Sheng Yang of Logik about creating a solution to finding the ideal pricing model for their customers in "The Key to Saas Pricing: Choosing the Right Pricing for Your Customers."

Sarah Tavel of Greylock Partners reflects on what she learned from being involved with Pinterest from 5 employees through 650 in "Five Lessons from Scaling Pinterest."

Hunter Walk of Homebrew recommends that founders ask Seed or Series A VCs during their fundraising what is a risk that they're more comfortable with than the average VC, since every company still has significant risks associated with it in the early stages in "A Question About Risk That Founders Forget to Ask VCs."

Founder and Operator Thoughts

Anna Hensel of Inc. asks eight founders, including Cal Henderson of Slack (FC Portfolio), to track exactly how they spent every hour over the course of one day, and they share some of their go-to productivity hacks to deal with multitasking in "The Completely Spot-On Productivity Hacks From 8 Top Entrepreneurs."

Ari Newman of Techstars, Bryan Birsic of Wunder Capital, and Bora Celik of Jukely talk about fundraising, what investors look for in a business and team, moving to the next round and more in "Ask Techstars: Going from Seed to Series A.

Tracy Young of PlanGrid goes into detail about how they cracked the construction industry and what startups looking to do the same (across sectors) can learn in "PlanGrid's Playbook for Startups to Crack Open Big, Established Industries."

Cadran Cowansage of Y Combinator asks a group of female engineers what reasons have prompted them to leave companies in the past, or what might motivate them to move out of a technical role in "Ask a Female Engineer: How Can Managers Help Retain Technical Women on Their Team?"

Donna Griffit of Donna Griffit Corporate Storyteller uses her experience seeing over 50 pitchbooks a week for 14 years to share key tips on how to create a winning deck in "The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for your Startup’s Investor Pitch Deck."

Jonas Downey of Basecamp questions the increasing number of vague specializations for designers with differentiated responsibilities, and recommends growing to become Computational Designers with a holistic understanding in "The Unnecessary Fragmentation of Design Jobs."

Mianya Ong emphasizes that overworking does not necessary lead to success or better quality work, but rather can lead to getting lost in what is important in the journey in "There’s No Glory in Overworking."

In Other News

Dropbox Inc. is opening a $600 million credit facility from six banks led by JPMorgan Chase & Co., as the cloud file-sharing startup pushes toward an IPO as soon as this year in "Dropbox Secures $600 Million Credit Line Ahead of Expected IPO."

Ford Motor Co. is hiring 400 employees from BlackBerry Ltd. to help develop wireless technology at the automaker, furthering their partnership involving in-car connectivity in "Ford Hires 400 BlackBerry Employees for Connected Cars Work."

Did You Know?

Did you know that cats have 32 muscles in each ear, while humans only have 6?