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FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - April 13, 2017

By Grace Barr  •  Apr 21, 2017

FundersClub Portfolio News

Memebox, an online seller of Korean cosmetics, raised the most investment among South Korean startups last year, according to data by startup platform Platum, by attracting a total of 143 billion won ($127 million) from investors in "Cosmetics seller 'Memebox' raises most investment among startups."

Kiwi Crate is a STEM learning service designed for children ages five through eight, with a monthly box that explores a different aspect of science or engineering, complete with a small magazine that further elaborates on the concepts in age-appropriate language in "Kiwi Crates a Fun Way to Open the World of STEM to Kids."

Flex is targeting the feminine hygiene industry with a refreshing, new product solving old problems and by confronting discrepancies in women's health in "Flex is the Menstrual Cup That Let’s You Have Mess-Free Period Sex."

ClearTax has launched a first-of-its-kind multi-GSP (GST Suvidha Provider) taxation solution and the software will be able to handle over 1 billion invoices in "ClearTax launches tech platform for GST."

Waggl announces that it has achieved a number of key milestones, including growing its revenues by 450% over the previous fiscal year, enabling it to accelerate and scale significantly in the remainder of 2017 in "Waggl Hits Key Growth Milestones, Prepares to Scale in the Year Ahead."

Burrow is a direct-to-consumer furniture company that just released their first piece, featuring a lightweight and easy-to-assemble frame that arrives in three to five shipping boxes, and is tech enabled with a power outlet to keep your devices charged while you're lounging in "A Smart Couch That Will Change Everything."

Investor Thoughts

Christopher Steiner of FundersClub uses his experience with YC to advise founders who don't get the answer they want from YC to not let that alter their course, pointing out that their mission should remain the same, and other accelerators can help them achieve it in "The Biggest Lesson Accelerators Impart To Startups: This Isn’t A Finish Line."

Product Hunt LIVE Chat hosts Steve Jurvetson of DFJ, and shares highlights from their stimulating conversation including which tech CEO he would switch lives with for a week, his view on robots, autonomous vehicles, the future of tech and more in "Meet One of the Most Brilliant Investors in Silicon Valley."

Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures explains why people should think of business in terms of asset allocation – a strategy that aims to balance risk and reward by apportioning a startup’s assets according to a company’s goals and risk tolerance – in "The Asset Allocator In Chief."

CB Insights with PwC release a report on the state of VC in Q1 of 2017 summarizing overall trends, sector activity, top regions and more in "MoneyTree™ Report."

Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures highlights prioritization, moving stuff down the funnel and being careful about widening your funnel if you’re not closing enough of your tasks in "Why Great Executives Avoid Shiny Objects."

Nick Kalliagkopoulos of Prime Ventures explains why everyone though has their own understanding and definition of disruption, and details three types of innovation in "What disruption actually is (and what it is not)."

Phin Barnes of Sneakerhead VC gives an example of someone telling him that his meeting was not a priority, and emphasizes how knowing that was very helpful for him and his priorities in "I’m sorry, I can’t."

Founder and Operator Thoughts

Ryan Petersen of Flexport (FC Portfolio) chats with Michael Cardamone of SaaStr on key lessons learned from their success so far in "5 Lessons Learned building Flexport – Interview with CEO Ryan Petersen."

James Watters of Pivotal chats with Sonal Chokshi and Martin Casado of Andreessen Horowitz on lessons he learned about monetizing open source in "a16z Podcast: Monetizing Open Source (Or, All Enterprise Software)."

David Loftesness of eero and Alexander Grosse of BCG Digital Ventures look at five areas where startups can either take action to deactivate destructive factionalism or even prevent them from forming in the first place in "Fighting Factions: How Startups Can Scale Without Mutiny."

Reham Fagiri of AptDeco discusses skills learned during her MBA, going from a bank to a startup, starting the company, her favorite podcasts and more in "Founder Stories: Reham Fagiri of AptDeco."

Rahul Iyer of InSite details how and why he transitioned his career into tech and includes a knowledge drop of all the things he experienced and learned in the process in "How I left my consulting career behind and broke into tech."

Jonathan Z. White of Airbnb points out the importance of choosing type as a designer, and offers a starting point to help others learn how to choose type for their designs, encouraging exploring unfamiliar fonts and font combinations in "Typography can make or break your design: a process for choosing type."

Brent Chudoba of PicMonkey unravels how to think about “free” by exploring its definition, why to use it, picking the right form of free, its cost, and finally the perception, expectations and virality it creates in "A Look at the Impact of Freemium Pricing on Saas Products."

Nathan Kontny of Highrise compares the success Bubba Gump and the decline of Planet Hollywood in relation to how many companies get too clever with their attempt at growing a business, forget the basics, and therefore fool their customers in "Beat the competition by sticking to the basics."

In Other News

The Qualtrics IPO that many have been expecting is on hold for now, as the online market research platform has just raised its third round for $180 million at a $2.5 billion valuation in "Qualtrics waits on that IPO, raises $180 million at a $2.5 billion valuation instead."

BlackBerry Ltd. stock rose the most in more than two years after it was awarded $814.9 million to end a dispute with Qualcomm Inc. over royalty payments in "BlackBerry Jumps as $814.9 Million Qualcomm Refund Bolsters Cash."

Did You Know?

Did you know that a single cloud can weigh more than 1 million pounds?


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