Bloglikes - Startups https://www.bloglikes.com/c/startups en-US Mon, 19 Apr 2021 07:03:16 +0000 Sat, 06 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 FeedWriter What we can learn from sequencing 1 million human genomes with big data http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheNextWeb/~3/0efQCLd9KVg/what-we-can-learn-from-sequencing-1-million-human-genomes-with-big-data-syndication
The first draft of the human genome was published 20 years ago in 2001, took nearly three years and cost between US$500 million and $1 billion. The Human Genome Project has allowed scientists to read, almost end to end, the 3 billion pairs of DNA bases – or “letters” – that biologically define a human being. That project has allowed a new generation of researchers like me, currently a postdoctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute, to identify novel targets for cancer treatments, engineer mice with human immune systems and even build a webpage where anyone can navigate the entire…
This story continues at The Next Web ]]>
Sun, 18 Apr 2021 11:30:33 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Science Next Featured
Boston Dynamics’ latest robot doesn’t do backflips — and that’s a smart move http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheNextWeb/~3/DTnF6mBXAGU/boston-dynamics-latest-robot-stretch-is-smart-move-syndication
Boston Dynamics has made a name for itself through fascinating videos of biped and quadruped robots doing backflips, opening doors, and dancing to Uptown Funk. Now, it has revealed its latest gadget: A robot that looks like a huge overhead projector on wheels. It’s called Stretch, it doesn’t do backflips, it doesn’t dance, and it’s made to do one task: moving boxes. It sounds pretty boring. But this could, in fact, become the most successful commercial product of Boston Dynamics and turn it into a profitable company. What does Stretch do? Stretch has a box-like base with a set of…
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Sun, 18 Apr 2021 11:00:23 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Neural Next Featured
Stream spin classes, HIIT training, and more with this fitness service on sale today http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheNextWeb/~3/_D3HMnnRKDs/stream-spin-classes-hiit-training-and-more-with-this-fitness-service-on-sale-today
TLDR: A one-year subscription to Studio Sweat onDemand lets users create their own online fitness program through video-led and livestream workout sessions, now at 60 percent off. If COVID concerns still make you uncomfortable about going to the gym, you’re not alone. Even as the world slowly begins to reopen its doors and return to normal after the past year, many say the lessons learned in 2020 might have permanently changed how people handle all kinds of situations, including their individual fitness goals. That’s fueled a huge push toward online workout programs. There were over 14 million fitness apps downloaded…
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Sun, 18 Apr 2021 10:00:06 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Offers
Here’s why we should never trust AI to identify our emotions http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheNextWeb/~3/LlQakoPdg98/heres-why-we-should-never-trust-ai-to-identify-our-emotions-syndication
Imagine you are in a job interview. As you answer the recruiter’s questions, an artificial intelligence (AI) system scans your face, scoring you for nervousness, empathy and dependability. It may sound like science fiction, but these systems are increasingly used, often without people’s knowledge or consent. Emotion recognition technology (ERT) is in fact a burgeoning multi-billion-dollar industry that aims to use AI to detect emotions from facial expressions. Yet the science behind emotion recognition systems is controversial: there are biases built into the systems. [Read: Can AI read your emotions? Try it for yourself] Many companies use ERT to test customer…
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Sun, 18 Apr 2021 05:30:26 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Neural Next Featured
5 Best Dropshipping Companies For Your Shopify Store https://www.youngupstarts.com/2021/04/18/5-best-dropshipping-companies-for-your-shopify-store/ Looking to open a Shopify store? You can assign the task of shipping or delivering your customers’ orders at the doorstep through these dropshipping companies.

The post 5 Best Dropshipping Companies For Your Shopify Store appeared first on Young Upstarts.

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Sun, 18 Apr 2021 04:45:40 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Others Dropshipping Ecommerce Online Shopping Shopify
What does it take to create a startup ecosystem? http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/QECTdItFtjI/

Say it louder for the people in the back: As tech grows bigger by the minute and venture capital adds dollar signs by the day, a startup hub’s success is not an either/or situation. The next Silicon Valley is a tired narrative, when in reality startups look, innovate and create differently all over the world.

On that note, my colleagues spent the past few months digging into the market in Detroit, Michigan:

While StockX is the startup darling that may have put the region in the generalist spotlight, I soon learned that the sneaker marketplace company wasn’t at all where the city’s story started and ended. Instead, it started a little more at ground level.

Detroit techies consistently point to billionaire Dan Gilbert, the co-founder of Quicken Loans and the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, as the reason behind the region’s startup growth. It made me immediately wonder if all it takes to create a startup ecosystem is deep pockets.

Turns out it’s a little more complicated than that.

Gilbert has poured at least $2.5 billion into rehabilitating buildings in the core of Detroit. Then he invested in the companies that took office space in those buildings, the restaurants that would feed those new families in the area and the retailers that would fill up the side blocks. It wasn’t one check by one billionaire, but instead a measured and consistent approach to try to reestablish Detroit as a city of innovation within the United States.

Detroit’s native son, billionaire Dan Gilbert, makes the case for his town

I think one founder put it best: “there are a lot of people who hate him, but the reality is that, while he wasn’t the only billionaire in town, he’s the only one who heavily invested in Detroit.”

Beyond Gilbert, the vitalization is spread throughout different sectors. There’s a 12-year-old early-stage venture firm that was one of the first to ever bet on mobility as an investment thesis; there’s a thriving garden startup; and there’s a hardware company that, despite remote work, is finding space to scale:

We’ll continue exploring emerging tech hubs, so throw us suggestions as we virtually (and one day physically) road trip across the country.

The TechCrunch Survey of tech startup hubs in England and Wales

 

In the rest of this newsletter, we’ll talk about Tiger Global, IPOs and a few exciting upcoming events. Make sure to follow me on Twitter @nmasc_ to hang during the week.

Tiger Global has a spending problem

This week on Equity, we talked about Tiger Global’s aggressive investment approach and what it could mean for early-stage firms and founders.

Here’s what to know: One of the reasons Tiger Global is feeling spendy is that it just closed one of the biggest venture funds ever. In 2020, the firm closed $3.75 billion in capital commitments. In 2021, it nearly doubled its own record, with $6.7 billion raised for its latest fund.

Tiger Global just closed one of the biggest venture funds ever, with $6.7 billion

And if you don’t believe me, below is a list of just some of the New York-based firms’ recent activity:

Crypto’s Coinbase moment

Cryptocurrency trading giant this week. The company opened at $381 per share, valuing the exchange at nearly $100 billion. It was a massive exit for the company, which underwent scrutiny last year when it banned politics at work.

Here’s what to know: It’s fairly obvious that Coinbase’s successful IPO was a big moment for fintech and crypto startups, as well as the decentralized finance movement. My colleagues Alex Wilhelm and Anna Heim dug into how the crypto ripple effect could look from the perspective of a few venture capitalists. There are too many good bits for me to choose an excerpt, so read it for yourself here, and a take sneak peek below:

So while there is an ocean of bullish sentiment that the Coinbase listing will lead to rising venture capital investment into crypto startups, there’s also some caution to be had; how much of the growing market that Coinbase can capture and control is not yet clear, though IVP’s Loverro was very bullish during our interview about the company’s expanding feature set — things like staking Tezos, or buying Uniswap. Its backers think that Coinbase is well-positioned to absorb future market upside in its niche.

Around TechCrunch

As always, we have a ton of exciting events coming up. Here’s just a taste:

Tamika Butler, Remix’s Tiffany Chu and Revel’s Frank Reig to discuss how to balance equitability and profitability at TC Sessions Mobility

Across the week

Seen on TechCrunch

Pakistan temporarily blocks social media

Republican antitrust bill would block all Big Tech acquisitions

Can the tech trade show return in 2021?

Garry Kasparov launches a community-first chess platform

Garry Kasparov launches a community-first chess platform

Seen on Extra Crunch

What’s fueling hydrogen tech?

Billion-dollar B2B: cloud-first enterprise tech behemoths have massive potential

For startups choosing a platform, a decision looms: build or buy?

Building customer-first relationships in a privacy-first world is critical

The IPO market is sending us mixed messages

What’s fueling hydrogen tech?

Best,

N

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Sat, 17 Apr 2021 14:00:58 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Startups TC Coinbase Detroit IPO Startups Weekly Stockx
New to computer vision and medical imaging? Start with these 10 projects http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheNextWeb/~3/xe7fzPNZn08/computer-vision-and-medical-imaging-start-with-10-projects-beginners-syndication
(AI) and computer science that enables automated systems to see, i.e. to process images and video in a human-like manner to detect and identify objects or regions of importance, predict an outcome or even alter the image to a desired format [1]. Most popular use cases in the CV domain include automated perception for autonomous drive, augmented and virtual realities (AR, VR) for simulations, games, glasses, reality, and fashion or beauty-oriented e-commerce. Medical image (MI) processing on the other hand involves much more detailed analysis of medical images that are typically grayscale such as MRI, CT, or X-ray images for automated…
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Sat, 17 Apr 2021 12:00:28 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Neural
Big Tech is pushing states to pass privacy laws, and yes, you should be suspicious http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheNextWeb/~3/IKjHHWmruRE/big-tech-is-pushing-states-to-pass-privacy-laws-and-yes-you-should-be-suspicious-syndication
Concerned about growing momentum behind efforts to regulate the commercial use of personal data, Big Tech has begun seeding watered-down “privacy” legislation in states with the goal of preempting greater protections, experts say. The swift passage in March of a consumer data privacy law in Virginia, which Protocol reported was originally authored by Amazon with input from Microsoft, is emblematic of an industry-driven, lobbying-fueled approach taking hold across the country. The Markup reviewed existing and proposed legislation, committee testimony, and lobbying records in more than 20 states and identified 14 states with privacy bills built upon the same industry-backed framework as…
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Sat, 17 Apr 2021 11:00:02 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs United States Next Featured
Outdoor startups see supercharged growth during COVID-19 era http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/h57kUaZOiZw/ After years of sustained growth, the pandemic supercharged the outdoor recreation industry. Startups that provide services like camper vans, private campsites and trail-finding apps became relevant to millions of new users when COVID-19 shut down indoor recreation, building on an existing boom in outdoor recreation.

Startups like Outdoorsy, AllTrails, Cabana, Hipcamp, Kibbo and Lowergear Outdoors have seen significant growth, but to keep it going, consumers who discovered a fondness for the great outdoors during the pandemic must turn it into a lifelong interest.

Outdoorsy, AllTrails, Cabana, Hipcamp, Kibbo and Lowergear Outdoors have seen significant growth, but to keep it going, consumers who discovered a fondness for the great outdoors during the pandemic must turn it into a lifelong interest.

Social media, increased environmentalism and high urbanization were already fueling a boom in popularity. There was a 72% increase in people who camp more than three times a year between 2014 and 2019, mostly spurred by young millennials, young families with kids and nonwhite participants.

But 2020 was a different animal: After months of shelter-in-place orders, widespread shutdowns and physical distancing, outdoors became the only location for safe socializing. In South Dakota, the Lewis and Clark Recreation Area saw a 59% increase in visitors from 2019 to 2020. In the pandemic year, consumers spent $887 billion on outdoor recreation according to the Outdoor Industry Association, more than pharmaceuticals and fuel combined.

And it’s going to continue to grow. Hiking equipment alone is supposed to reach a $7.4 billion market size by 2027, a 6.3% compound annual growth rate. Camping and caravanning is having an even more drastic moment. Without international travel, vacations shifted from flights to exotic resorts to domestic road trips, self-contained rentals and camping. In 2020, the market for camping and caravanning was almost $40 billion and is predicted to rise 13% to just over $45 billion this year.

After the initial and extreme drop-off in engagement early as national parks closed, private camping sites shut down and domestic travel ceased, many outdoor startups have had a breakout year. Outdoorsy, the peer-to-peer camper van rental marketplace, said it saw 44% of all bookings in the company’s history in 2020.

Campsite booking platform Hipcamp said it sent three times as much money to landowners in 2020 as compared to 2019. And it’s not just experienced outdoor veterans taking advantage of the work-from-home lifestyle: in 2020, Cabana, a camper van rental startup, said 70% of its customers had never rented a camper van or an RV before and another 26% had only done it once.

But a report commissioned by the Outdoor Industry Association showed that the most popular outdoor activities were ones that people could do close to home, not the traveling kind Hipcamp, Cabana and Outdoorsy traffic in. The three most popular outdoor activities for newbies: walking, running and bicycling.

But the pandemic did create a small boost for camping, climbing, backpacking and kayaking; fueled by an increase in women, younger, more ethnically diverse, urban and slightly less wealthy people pushing into the outdoors. This class of outdoor startups will need to engage the new demographic shift to capitalize on the pandemic’s outdoor boom because, according to the report, a quarter of those who started new outdoor activities during the pandemic don’t plan on continuing once it’s over.

Startups are increasing accessibility to the outdoors

But getting into the outdoors can be overwhelming: there’s gear to buy, skills to learn, exploring unfamiliar areas and the added stressor of safety. Outdoor startups are working to lower the barrier to entry to help grow their businesses.

“I think anytime you have like 2,000 articles with two dozen tips on how to use a product, that tells me that it is really, really too hard to use,” said Cabana founder Scott Kubly. “To me, that says there’s nothing but friction in this process. If you want to build something that’s mainstream, you need to make it super consistent and really easy to use.”

Kubly said only half a percent of the U.S. population takes a rental van or RV trip each year. Planning an outdoor adventure can be time-consuming — choosing a location, finding an open campsite, planning meals and water, and figuring out dump stations for trash or septic. That planning is multiplied tenfold if you are going for a road trip or backpacking and need to find new places every other night. ]]> Sat, 17 Apr 2021 10:15:45 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs GreenTech Startups TC Airbnb Camping EC Consumer Applications EC Market Map onX Outdoorsy Travel Activities The MowRo is the electric lawn-mowing robot that liberates you from home landscaping duties http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheNextWeb/~3/u_M8QsgUuL8/the-mowro-is-the-electric-lawn-mowing-robot-that-liberates-you-from-home-landscaping-duties
TLDR: The MowRo is a robot lawn mower that cuts your grass all by itself, including programmable scheduling, a rechargeable battery, silent running, and no wasted time for you. There are regular household chores that you don’t particularly enjoy, but they have to get done. So…you do ‘em. But when you sit back and actually think about how much time you spend handling these menial tasks over the course of your many years, the blown time becomes pretty astronomical. Like…did you know you could spend upwards of 47 days mowing your lawn during your life? Granted, depending on the type…
This story continues at The Next Web ]]>
Sat, 17 Apr 2021 10:00:13 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Offers
What Are The Benefits of Inventory Financing For Small Businesses? https://www.youngupstarts.com/2021/04/17/what-are-the-benefits-of-inventory-financing-for-small-businesses/ With inventory financing, businesses are able to unlock cash tied up on their inventory to boost their cash flow.

The post What Are The Benefits of Inventory Financing For Small Businesses? appeared first on Young Upstarts.

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Sat, 17 Apr 2021 04:10:35 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Others Business Financing Inventory Financing
3 Essentials For Expanding Your Side Hustle Into A Business https://www.youngupstarts.com/2021/04/17/3-essentials-for-expanding-your-side-hustle-into-a-business/ People launch side hustles for numerous reasons. Sometimes they're a much-needed outlet for those frustrated with their day job. But most of the time, they want more cash.

The post 3 Essentials For Expanding Your Side Hustle Into A Business appeared first on Young Upstarts.

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Sat, 17 Apr 2021 03:45:42 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Others Side Hustle
These 3 Legal Mistakes Could Ruin Your Startup https://www.youngupstarts.com/2021/04/17/these-3-legal-mistakes-could-ruin-your-startup/ Like all companies, startups are subject to legislation. When you’re launching your startup, make sure you don’t make costly legal mistakes.

The post These 3 Legal Mistakes Could Ruin Your Startup appeared first on Young Upstarts.

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Sat, 17 Apr 2021 03:00:27 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Others Legal Advice Legal Issues Startup Advice
The Best Form Templates For Freelancers https://www.youngupstarts.com/2021/04/17/the-best-form-templates-for-freelancers/ Freelancers have to collect and organize large amounts of client information, especially for major projects like entire websites or white papers. Form templates can help.

The post The Best Form Templates For Freelancers appeared first on Young Upstarts.

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Sat, 17 Apr 2021 02:35:20 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Resources Forms Freelancing Template
Top 5 Inspiration Tricks For Female Entrepreneurs – What To Do When You Feel Demotivated https://www.youngupstarts.com/2021/04/17/top-5-inspiration-tricks-for-female-entrepreneurs-what-to-do-when-you-feel-demotivated/ No one is motivated 100% of the time. Everyone goes through these phases. Here are some motivational tips for female entrepreneurs.

The post Top 5 Inspiration Tricks For Female Entrepreneurs – What To Do When You Feel Demotivated appeared first on Young Upstarts.

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Fri, 16 Apr 2021 23:20:39 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Others Entrepreneur Advice Personal Motivation
A love letter to Eve Online’s tutorial http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheNextWeb/~3/TxJDUDgjJME/a-love-letter-to-eve-onlines-tutorial
“Don’t be afraid to die!” Eve Online player “Grey Gal.” Eve Online is an immense game with nearly two decades of player-driven history and lore behind it. To the uninitiated, beginning your life in New Eden is daunting to say the least. For those unfamiliar, Eve Online is a free-to-play, massively-multiplayer, online game where thousands of players vie for resources, power, and combat victories in a shared universe set in space. The gist of the game, as far as I’ve managed to experience it, is that you’ve suddenly awakened in a spaceship and you’ve got work to do. And when I say…
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Fri, 16 Apr 2021 19:08:05 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Gaming Distract Next Featured
The Flair 58 espresso maker is a coffee-lover’s dream machine http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheNextWeb/~3/vAmx4LSRWLo/the-flair-58-espresso-maker-is-a-coffee-lovers-dream-machine
The best money I ever spent on coffee was buying myself the original Flair Espresso Maker. The Flair has a cult following among espresso aficionados for making it easy to make espresso at coffee-shop quality in a compact, affordable design that requires no electricity. The roughly 6-9 bars of pressure necessary for a proper espresso are created with your own arm strength, rather than any fancy machinery. But while the original Flair (and the Flair Pro follow-up) were capable of delivering incredible shots, there was a bit of a learning curve, and the process of actually pulling a shot was a little finicky,…
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Fri, 16 Apr 2021 18:35:41 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Insider Plugged Next Featured
How to turn your ebike into a cargo-hauling car replacement http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheNextWeb/~3/c-qf-c9drnk/how-to-turn-your-ebike-into-a-cargo-hauling-car-replacement
Let’s get this out of the way: an ebike can never fully replace a car. At least, not in the sense of carrying four passengers and a trunk full of groceries while being shielded from the rain. There will be times where having a car is more convenient. But sometimes bikes are the more convenient vehicle too. As a city-dweller who used to occasionally drive, not having to park and cutting through traffic saves me a bunch of time. I’ve been riding ebikes for transportation almost exclusively for the past couple of years, and I’ve come to realize that for almost…
This story continues at The Next Web ]]>
Fri, 16 Apr 2021 15:44:55 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Insider Shift
Extra Crunch roundup: UiPath’s IPO filing, predicting revenue, how to pivot properly, much more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/SNQ3DH1jESk/ This is not a boast, but a warning: I could write a how-to article on almost any topic.

Give me enough time to do some research, and I can put together a reliable step-by-step for building a custom gaming PC, installing a hot water heater or interpreting public health data. But since I’ve never actually done those things, I would encourage you to ignore any advice I have to offer.

Trusted advice comes from experience. That’s why Ron Miller interviewed three entrepreneurs who have each built multiple companies to uncover some essential truths about achieving product-market fit:

  • Pouyan Salehi, CEO and co-founder, Scratchpad
  • Rami Essaid, CEO and founder,  Finmark
  • Melonee Wise, CEO and co-founder, Fetch Robotics

The basic tenets presented in Ron’s story will resonate with anyone who’s launched a startup.

Alex Wilhelm was particularly prolific this morning: For The Exchange, he studied UiPath’s 2020 quarterly results to get a clearer picture of its first S-1/A filing. Is the “somewhat slack news regarding UiPath’s potential IPO valuation” a harbinger of things to come?


Full Extra Crunch articles are only available to members.
Use discount code ECFriday to save 20% off a one- or two-year subscription.


In a follow-up, he recapped news from the public debuts of Coinbase, UiPath, Zenvia, AppLovin and Grab, all of which “adds up to a somewhat muddled picture of the current IPO market.” It feels like we’re in a turbulent window, but it’s also possible that we’re in the calm after the storm, he suggests.

Final note: I asked TechCrunch graphic designer/illustrator Bryce Durbin to create an image to accompany this primer on raising a Series A round. He didn’t just exceed my expectations — it’s my favorite TechCrunch illustration ever. Thanks, Bryce!

I hope you got something out of reading Extra Crunch this week. Have a great weekend.

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, TechCrunch
@yourprotagonist

5 product lessons to learn before you write a line of code

The IPO market is sending us mixed messages

What we all missed in UiPath’s latest IPO filing

 

Building the right team for a billion-dollar startup

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

From building out Facebook’s first office in Austin to putting together most of Quora’s team, Bain Capital Ventures managing director Sarah Smith has done a bit of everything when it comes to hiring.

At TechCrunch Early Stage, she spoke about how to ensure the critical early hires are the right ones to grow a business. As an investor, Smith has a broad view into the problems companies face as they search for the right candidates to spur organizational success.

She touched on a number of issues, such as who to hire and when, when to fire and how to ensure diversity from the earliest days.

Building the right team for a billion-dollar startup

So you want to raise a Series A

"So you want to raise a Series A" pamphlet in the style of "The Simpsons"

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

During a seed-funding round, a founder needs to convince a venture capital investor on a vision. But during a Series A fundraise, napkin-stage ideas don’t make the cut — a founder needs product progress, numbers and revenue (or at least a plan to eventually generate some).

In many ways, the stakes are higher for a Series A — and Bucky Moore, a partner at Kleiner Perkins, joined TechCrunch Early Stage last week to give founders tactical advice on the process of raising one.

Moore spoke about storytelling over semantics, pricing and where his firm sees itself “raising the bar” for startups.

So you want to raise a Series A

With the right tools, predicting startup revenue is possible

Illustration of diagram graphic and calendar showing economic increase

Image Credits: Gabby K from Pexels (opens in a new window) / Pexels (opens in a new window)

For a long time, “revenue” seemed to be a taboo word in the startup world. Fortunately, things have changed with the rise of SaaS and alternative funding sources such as revenue-based investing VCs.

Still, revenue modeling remains a challenge for founders. How do you predict earnings when you’re still figuring it out?

With the right tools, predicting startup revenue is possible

How we dodged risks and raised millions for our open-source machine learning startup

Image Credits: erhui1979 / Getty Images

If you have a great idea within the open-core framework, expect your risks to be much lower than with a traditional business structure.

Clearly communicate this fact to venture capitalists for the best chance at securing the seed funding your organization needs.

But it takes more: Boasting a strong community around an emerging open-source product essentially serves as an “introduction letter” to venture capitalists. It highlights the founders’ ability to successfully execute their vision, as well as the mission to bring their product to a commercial reality.

Additionally, the iterative nature of open-source projects leads to fostering a sense of teamwork between the founders, their team and investors and stakeholders.

How we dodged risks and raised millions for our open-source machine learning startup

Founder and investor Melissa Bradley outlines how to nail your virtual pitch meeting

Image Credits: Ureeka

Melissa Bradley is the co-founder of a startup called Ureeka, an investor at 1863 Ventures and a professor at Georgetown’s business school. So it’s not an understatement to say that she understands the fundraising process from every angle.

She both invested and fundraised for her own startup during this last year, where the landscape has shifted drastically. At TechCrunch Early Stage, she led a session on how to nail your virtual pitch meeting.

Bradley covered how to allocate your time during the meeting, how to prepare, how to close out the meetings with a clear list of action items and what to avoid.

Founder and investor Melissa Bradley outlines how to nail your virtual pitch meeting

Scale CEO Alex Wang and Accel’s Dan Levine explain why sometimes unconventional VC deals are best

Image Credits: Eric Millette / Scale AI

Scale CEO and co-founder Alex Wang credits its success since founding — which includes raising over $277 million and achieving breakeven status in terms of revenue — to early support from investors, including Accel’s Dan Levine.

Accel haș participated in four of Scale’s financing rounds, and Levine wrote one of the company’s very first checks. So on this past week’s episode of Extra Crunch Live, we spoke with Levine and Wang about how that first deal came together, and what their working relationship has been like in the years since.

Scale CEO Alex Wang and Accel’s Dan Levine explain why sometimes unconventional VC deals are best

 

Ride-hailing’s profitability promise is in its final countdown

Image Credits: Nigel Sussman (opens in a new window)

Let’s parse Uber’s latest, vet its profit promise, consider its rivals and their performance, then ask ourselves if the great ride-hailing and food-delivery booms will ever make back the money they cost to scale.

Ride-hailing’s profitability promise is in its final countdown

 

UiPath’s first IPO pricing could be a warning to late-stage investors

Co-founder and CEO of UiPath Daniel Dines

Image Credits: Noam Galai/Getty Images

For UiPath, its initial IPO price interval is a disappointment, though the company could see an upward revision in its valuation before it does sell shares and begins to trade.

But more to the point, the company’s private-market valuation bump followed by a quick public-market correction stands out as a counter-example to something that we’ve seen so frequently in recent months.

Is UiPath’s first IPO price interval another indicator that the IPO market is cooling?

UiPath’s first IPO pricing could be a warning to late-stage investors

 

How to choose and deploy industry-specific AI models

Image of flow chart on a blackboard.

Image Credits: alexsl / Getty Images

As artificial intelligence becomes more advanced, previously cutting-edge — but generic — AI models are becoming commonplace, such as Google Cloud’s Vision AI or Amazon Rekognition.

While effective in some use cases, these solutions do not suit industry-specific needs right out of the box. Organizations that seek the most accurate results from their AI projects will simply have to turn to industry-specific models.

Any team looking to expand its AI capabilities should first apply its data and use cases to a generic model and assess the results.

Let’s dive into each of these approaches and how businesses can decide which one works for their distinct circumstances.

How to choose and deploy industry-specific AI models

Atomico’s talent partners share 6 tips for early-stage people ops success

Photo of Talent Partners Caro Chayot and Dan Hynes

Image Credits: Atomico

In the earliest stages of building a startup, it can be hard to justify focusing on anything other than creating a great product or service and meeting the needs of customers or users.

However, there are still a number of surefire measures that any early-stage company can and should put in place to achieve “people ops” success as they begin scaling, according to venture capital firm Atomico‘s talent partners, Caro Chayot and Dan Hynes.

Long story short: You need to recruit for what you need, but you also need to think about what is coming down the line.

5 questions about Grab’s epic SPAC investor deck

grab 1

Image Credits: Roslan Rahman/Getty Images

Southeast Asian superapp Grab is going public via a SPAC.

Grab, which provides ride-hailing, payments and food delivery, will trade under the ticker symbol “GRAB” on the Nasdaq exchange when the combination is complete.

Let’s walk through several key points from Grab’s SPAC investor deck, including growth, segment profitability, aggregate costs and COVID-19, among other factors.

5 questions about Grab’s epic SPAC investor deck

Expect an even hotter AI venture capital market in the wake of the Microsoft-Nuance deal

Image Credits: Nigel Sussman (opens in a new window)

Microsoft’s huge purchase of health tech AI company Nuance led the technology news cycle this week. The $19.7 billion transaction is Microsoft’s second-largest to date, only beaten by its purchase of LinkedIn some years ago.

For the AI space, the sale is a coup. Nuance was already a public company, but to see Microsoft offer a firm premium over its public-market value demonstrates the value that AI technology can have to wealthy companies. For startups working in the AI space, the Nuance deal is good news; the value of AI revenue was repriced by the acquisition’s announcement — and for the better.

In light of the megadeal, The Exchange dug into the AI venture capital market. What’s happening on the startup side of the coin in the artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) space?

Expect an even hotter AI venture capital market in the wake of the Microsoft-Nuance deal

What’s fueling hydrogen tech?

market-maps-hydrogen-fuel-cell

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin

When the word “hydrogen” is uttered today, the average non-insider’s mind likely gravitates toward transportation — cars, buses, maybe trains or 18-wheelers, all powered by the gas.

But hydrogen is, and does, a lot of things, and a better understanding of its other roles — and challenges within those roles — is necessary to its success in transportation.

Hydrogen is now capturing the attention of governments and private sector players, fueled by new tech, global green energy legislation and post-pandemic “green recovery” schemes.

What’s fueling hydrogen tech?

5 product lessons to learn before you write a line of code

Rearview shot of a young businesswoman having a brainstorming session in a modern office

Image Credits: LaylaBird / Getty Images

Before a startup can achieve product-market fit, founders must first listen to their customers, build what they require and fashion a business plan that makes the whole enterprise worthwhile.

The numbers will tell the true story, but when it happens, you’ll feel it in your bones because sales will be good, customers will be happy and revenue will be growing.

Reaching that tipping point can be a slog, especially for first-time founders. To uncover some basic truths about building products, we spoke to three entrepreneurs who have each built more than one company.

5 product lessons to learn before you write a line of code

Inside the US’ epic first-quarter venture capital results

Image Credits: Nigel Sussman (opens in a new window)

In broad strokes, the United States had a crushing venture capital start to the new year, pandemic be damned.

That is especially true when we consider 2020’s full-year figures. Last year, venture capitalists deployed some $166 billion into U.S.-based startups across 12,546 rounds. In contrast, if the first quarter’s pace was maintained during the rest of 2021, the United States would see around 16,000 rounds worth around $280 billion.

Of course, we cannot see the future, so those projections are merely shared to underscore how active the first quarter proved to be.

Inside the US’ epic first-quarter venture capital results

Dear Sophie: How can I get an H-1B without the lottery?

lone figure at entrance to maze hedge that has an American flag at the center

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie:

For the past few years, our company has put very promising candidates into the annual H-1B lottery. None of them have been selected — and none of them meet the requirements for other work visas like an O-1A.

We lost out again in this year’s H-1B lottery. Are there any other ways we can obtain H-1Bs for our team members?

— Soldiering on in Sunnyvale

Dear Sophie: How can I get an H-1B without the lottery?

 

Alexa von Tobel outlines how founders should manage personal finances

Alexa von Tobel

Image Credits: Alexa von Tobel

Few people are more knowledgeable on the topic of how founders should manage their finances than Alexa von Tobel.

She is a certified financial planner, started her own company in the midst of the recession (which happened to be a wildly successful personal finance startup that sold for hundreds of millions of dollars) and is now a VC who invests and advises founders.

At Early Stage 2021, she gave a presentation on how founders should think about managing their own wealth. Startup founders can often put all their money into their venture and end up paying more attention to the finances of their company than their own bank account.

Von Tobel outlined the various steps you can take to stay out of debt, build credit and accumulate wealth through investments to ensure you have financial peace of mind as you take on the most stressful venture of your life: Starting a company.

Alexa von Tobel outlines how founders should manage personal finances

How to pivot your startup, save cash and maintain trust with investors and customers

Olive CEO Sean Lane

Image Credits: Olive

A few years ago, founder Sean Lane thought he’d achieved product-market fit.

Speaking to attendees at TechCrunch’s Early Stage virtual event, Lane said Queue, a secure digital check-in tablet for hospital waiting rooms that reduced wait times by uniting and correcting electronic medical records, was “selling like hotcakes.” But once Lane realized it would only ever address one piece of a much bigger market opportunity, he sold off the product, laid off two-thirds of the people affiliated with it and redirected the employees who were left.

Lane explained that what he really wanted to build is what his company — since renamed Olive — has now become, a robotic process automation (RPA) company that takes on hospital workers’ most tedious tasks so nurses and physicians can spend more time with patients.

How to pivot your startup, save cash and maintain trust with investors and customers

Building customer-first relationships in a privacy-first world is critical

Concept of knowledge, data and protection. Paper human head with pad lock.

Image Credits: jayk7 (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

In business today, many believe that consumer privacy and business results are mutually exclusive — to excel in one area is to lack in the other. Consumer privacy is seen by many in the technology industry as an area to be managed.

But the truth is that the companies that champion privacy will be better-positioned to win in all areas. This is especially true as the digital industry continues to undergo tectonic shifts in privacy — both in government regulation and browser updates.

Building customer-first relationships in a privacy-first world is critical

For startups choosing a platform, a decision looms: Build or buy?

Blank green arrow signs pointing in both directions on top of a metal post.

Image Credits: Chris Jongkind  (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Founders shouldn’t be worried about starting companies that rely on other platforms.

Platforms exist to help startups get to users and customers faster and should be used as a means to an end, but everyone must get their piece.

For startups choosing a platform, a decision looms: Build or buy?

Coinbase’s direct listing alters the landscape for fintech and crypto startups

Image Credits: Nigel Sussman (opens in a new window)

Coinbase’s direct listing was a massive finance, startup and cryptocurrency event, and the transaction’s effects will be felt for some time in the public market, but also among the startups and capital that comprise the private market.

In the buildup to Coinbase’s flotation — and we’d argue especially after it released its blockbuster Q1 2021 results — there was a general expectation that the unicorn’s direct listing would provide a halo effect for other startups in the space.

The widely held perspective raised two questions: Will the success of Coinbase’s direct listing bolster private investment in crypto-focused startups, and will that success help other areas of financially focused startup work garner more investor attention?

Coinbase’s direct listing alters the landscape for fintech and crypto startups

Billion-dollar B2B: Cloud-first enterprise tech behemoths have massive potential

Abstract minimalist conceptual multiple coloured zig zag strip joined as one moving upwards on blue background.

Image Credits: twomeows  (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

The “billion-dollar B2B” paradigm refers to the forces shaping a new class of cloud-first, enterprise-tech behemoths with the potential to reach $1 billion in ARR — and achieve market capitalizations in excess of $50 billion or even $100 billion.

One of the biggest factors driving billion-dollar B2Bs is a simple but important shift in how organizations buy enterprise technology today.

Billion-dollar B2B: cloud-first enterprise tech behemoths have massive potential

How startups can ensure CCPA and GDPR compliance in 2021

Padlock in woman's hand. Data, information, property and security on the Internet concept. White background

Image Credits: tumsasedgars (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Data is the most valuable asset for any business in 2021. If your business is online and collecting customer personal information, your business is dealing in data, which means data privacy compliance regulations will apply to everyone — no matter the company’s size.

Small startups might not think the world’s strictest data privacy laws — the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) — apply to them, but it’s important to enact best data management practices before a legal situation arises.

How startups can ensure CCPA and GDPR compliance in 2021

Should Dell have pursued a more aggressive debt-reduction move with VMware?

Michael Dell, founder and chief executive officer of Dell Inc., speaks during the 2015 Dell World Conference in Austin, Texas, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. Dell said trimming debt for the massive deal to combine his namesake company with EMC Corp. should progress relatively quickly in the next couple of years. Photographer: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Image Credits: Bloomberg / Getty Images

When Dell announced it was spinning out VMware, the move itself wasn’t surprising; there had been public speculation for some time.

But Dell could have gone a number of ways in this deal, despite its choice to spin VMware out as a separate company with a constituent dividend instead of an outright sale.

It seems Dell hopes to have its cake and eat it too with this deal: It generates a large slug of cash to use for personal debt relief while securing a five-year commercial deal that should keep the two companies closely aligned.

Should Dell have pursued a more aggressive debt-reduction move with VMware?

What we all missed in UiPath’s latest IPO filing

Image Credits: Nigel Sussman (opens in a new window)

Robotic process automation platform UiPath filed its first S-1/A this week, setting an initial price range for its shares. The numbers were impressive, if slightly disappointing because what UiPath indicated in terms of its potential IPO value was a lower valuation than it earned during its final private fundraising.

Here at The Exchange, we wondered if the somewhat slack news regarding UiPath’s potential IPO valuation was a warning to late-stage investors.

But in good news for UiPath shareholders, most everyone — ourselves included! — who discussed the company’s price range didn’t dig into the fact that the company first disclosed quarterly results to the same S-1/A filing that included its IPO valuation interval. And those numbers are very interesting, so much so that The Exchange is now generally expecting UiPath to target a higher price interval before it debuts.

But let’s dig into the company’s quarterly results to get a clearer picture of UiPath.

What we all missed in UiPath’s latest IPO filing

The IPO market is sending us mixed messages

Photo taken in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Image Credits: Mohd Hafiez Mohd Razali/EyeEm (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

If you only stayed up to date with the Coinbase direct listing this week, you’re forgiven. It was, after all, one heck of a flotation.

But underneath the cryptocurrency exchange’s public debut, other IPO news that matters did happen this week. And the news adds up to a somewhat muddled picture of the current IPO market.

To cap off the week, let’s run through IPO news from UiPath, Coinbase, Grab, AppLovin and Zenvia. The aggregate dataset should help you form your own perspective about where today’s IPO markets really are in terms of warmth for the often unprofitable unicorns of the world.

The IPO market is sending us mixed messages

]]> Fri, 16 Apr 2021 15:41:14 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Startups TC Venture Capital Applovin Dell Entrepreneurship Extra Crunch Roundup Fintech S-1 Uipath Data scientists: Bring the narrative to the forefront http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/xVoM1aMlpns/ Share on Twitter Peter Wang is CEO and co-founder of data science platform Anaconda. He’s also a co-creator of the PyData community and conferences, and a member of the board at the Center for Humane Technology.

By 2025, 463 exabytes of data will be created each day, according to some estimates. (For perspective, one exabyte of storage could hold 50,000 years of DVD-quality video.) It’s now easier than ever to translate physical and digital actions into data, and businesses of all types have raced to amass as much data as possible in order to gain a competitive edge.

However, in our collective infatuation with data (and obtaining more of it), what’s often overlooked is the role that storytelling plays in extracting real value from data.

The reality is that data by itself is insufficient to really influence human behavior. Whether the goal is to improve a business’ bottom line or convince people to stay home amid a pandemic, it’s the narrative that compels action, rather than the numbers alone. As more data is collected and analyzed, communication and storytelling will become even more integral in the data science discipline because of their role in separating the signal from the noise.

Yet this can be an area where data scientists struggle. In Anaconda’s 2020 State of Data Science survey of more than 2,300 data scientists, nearly a quarter of respondents said that their data science or machine learning (ML) teams lacked communication skills. This may be one reason why roughly 40% of respondents said they were able to effectively demonstrate business impact “only sometimes” or “almost never.”

The best data practitioners must be as skilled in storytelling as they are in coding and deploying models — and yes, this extends beyond creating visualizations to accompany reports. Here are some recommendations for how data scientists can situate their results within larger contextual narratives.

Make the abstract more tangible

Ever-growing datasets help machine learning models better understand the scope of a problem space, but more data does not necessarily help with human comprehension. Even for the most left-brain of thinkers, it’s not in our nature to understand large abstract numbers or things like marginal improvements in accuracy. This is why it’s important to include points of reference in your storytelling that make data tangible.

For example, throughout the pandemic, we’ve been bombarded with countless statistics around case counts, death rates, positivity rates, and more. While all of this data is important, tools like interactive maps and conversations around reproduction numbers are more effective than massive data dumps in terms of providing context, conveying risk, and, consequently, helping change behaviors as needed. In working with numbers, data practitioners have a responsibility to provide the necessary structure so that the data can be understood by the intended audience.

]]> Fri, 16 Apr 2021 14:50:12 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Column Developer Enterprise Startups Computing Data Data Management Data Visualization EC Column EC Consumer Applications EC Enterprise Applications Machine Learning Peter Wang Storytelling Squarespace files for a direct listing on the NYSE http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/XDEEfC7uySU/ Today Squarespace, a well-known software-and-hosting provider for SMB websites, released its S-1 filing. The company is pursuing a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE. It will trade under the ticker symbol “SQSP.”

The company’s financial results paint the picture of a rapidly-growing company that has a history of profitability. Squarespace also has listed financial results that are inclusive of some share conversions among other matters. Its pro forma results presume that “all shares of our convertible preferred stock had automatically converted” into different types of common stock. The pro forma results are also inclusive of a private placement, and its recent acquisition of Tock.

It will take some time to unspool that particular knot. For now we’ll stick to Squarespace’s historical results through 2020 without those accoutrements; if you intend to buy shares in the company, you’ll want to understand the more complicated math. For now let’s focus on Squarespace’s own metrics.

In 2019, Squarespace generated revenues of $484.8 million, leading to gross profit of $402.8 million, operating income of $61.3 million, and net income of $58.2 million. In 2020 those numbers changed to revenues of $621.1 million, gross profit of $522.8 million, operating income of $40.2 million, and net income of $30.6 million.

Squarespace’s revenue grew just over 28% in 2020, compared to 2019.

For reference, its pro forma results for 2020 include a modest revenue gain to $644.2 million, gross profit of $530.5 million, an operating loss of $246.4 million, and a net loss of $267.7 million.

Squarespace has a history of cash generation, including operating cash flow of $102.3 million in 2019 and $150.0 million in 2020. The company’s cash flow data explains why Squarespace is not pursuing a traditional IPO. As Squarespace can self-fund, it does not need to sell shares in its public debut.

Turning to Squarespace-specific metrics, the company’s “unique subscriptions” rose from 2.984 million in 2019 to 3.656 million in 2020. Its annual recurring revenue (ARR) rose from $549.2 million to $705.5 million in 2020.

Squarespace’s ARR grew around 28.5% in 2020, a faster pace of expansion than its GAAP revenues.

Per the company’s IPO filing, the company “completed its estimate of the fair value of its Class A common stock for financial reporting purposes as a weighted-average $63.70 per share for shares granted prior to March 11, 2021.” That should help form a reference price measuring stick for now.

Finally, who owns the company? Major shareholders include the company’s founder and CEO Anthony Casalena, who owns just around 76% of the company’s Class B shares, or 49,086,410 total units. Accel has 15,514,196 Class A shares. General Atlantic has 22,361,073 Class A shares and 4,958,345 Class B shares, while Index Ventures has 19,460,619 of the Class A equity.

The majority of voting power rests with the company’s CEO, with 68.2% control. Public market investors will have to vet how much they like having zero say in the company’s future direction.

Regardless, this is going to be a fascinating debut. More shortly.

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Fri, 16 Apr 2021 14:04:09 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fundings & Exits Startups Squarespace Tock
Soona raises $10.2M to make remote photo and video shoots easy http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/HE-XBiVzcDU/ Soona, a startup aiming to satisfy the growing content needs of the e-commerce ecosystem, is announcing that it has raised $10.2 million in Series A funding led by Union Square Ventures.

When I wrote about Soona in 2019, the model focused on staging shoots that can deliver videos and photos in 24 hours or less. The startup still operates studios in Austin, Denver and Minneapolis, but co-founder and CEO Liz Giorgi told me that during the pandemic, Soona shifted to a fully virtual/remote model — customers ship their products to Soona, then watch the shoot remotely and offer immediate feedback, and only pay for the photos ($39 each) and video clips ($93 each) that they actually want.

In some cases, the studio isn’t even necessary — Giorgi said that 30% of Soona’s photographers and crew members are working from home.

Soona has now worked with more than 4,000 customers, including Lola Tampons, The Sill and Wild Earth, with revenue growing 400% last year. Giorgi said that even as larger in-person shoots become possible again, this approach still makes sense for many clients.

“There’s nothing we sell online that does not require a visual, but not every single visual requires a massive full-day shoot,” she said.

Soona

Image Credits: Soona

Giorgi also suggested that Soona’s approach has unlocked a “new level of scalability,” adding, “Internally at Soona, we really believe in the remote-shoot experience. It’s not only more efficient, it’s a lot more fun not having to fly a brand manager from Miami and have them spend a full day at a warehouse in New York. That’s not only cost-prohibitive, it’s also a time-consuming and exhausting process for everyone.”

The new funding follows a $1.2 million seed round. Giorgi said the Series A will allow Soona to develop a subscription product with more collaboration tools and more data about what kinds of visual content is most effective.

So you want to raise a Series A

“There’s an opportunity to own the visual ecosystem of e-commerce from beginning to end,” she said.

Giorgi also noted that Soona continues to employ its “candor clause” requiring investors to disclose whether they’ve ever faced complaints of sexual harassment or discrimination. In fact, the clause has been expanded to cover complaints around racism, ableism or anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

“In some ways it’s a gate that prevents bad actors from being involved […] but it really drives a deeper connection with the investor and the founder,” Giorgi said. “We can have conversations about our values and how we see the world. We get to have a conversation about equality and justice at at time when we’re talking a lot about equity and the cap table.”

Soona raises $1.2M for quick, affordable content creation

]]> Fri, 16 Apr 2021 12:21:28 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs eCommerce Funding Fundings & Exits Media Recent Funding Startups Soona Union Square Ventures How To Work With Techies So You Get The Best From Them https://www.youngupstarts.com/2021/04/16/how-to-work-with-techies-so-you-get-the-best-from-them/ Good communication is vital in the startup world. James Zhao, co-founder of Thought&Function shares some tips for non-technical founders when communicating with developers.

The post How To Work With Techies So You Get The Best From Them appeared first on Young Upstarts.

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Fri, 16 Apr 2021 11:30:11 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Professionalisms Communication Skills Developers Developmental Team James Zhao Startup Advice
Nelo raises $3M to grow ‘buy now, pay later’ in Mexico http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/Z5FkXjvQGwA/ Buy now, pay later is a way of paying for purchases via installment loans that generally have no interest. The concept has grown in popularity in recent years, especially in markets such as the United States, Europe and Australia. Numerous players abound, all fighting for market share — from Affirm to Klarna to Afterpay, among others.

But notably, none of these bigger players have yet to penetrate another very large market — Latin America. Enter Nelo , a startup founded by former Uber international growth team leads, which is building buy now, pay later in Mexico. The company is already live with more than 45 merchants and over 150,000 users.

San Francisco-based fintech-focused VC firm Homebrew led its recent seed round of $3 million, which also included participation from Susa Ventures, Crossbeam, Rogue Capital, Unpopular Ventures and others. With the latest capital infusion, Nelo has raised a total of $5.6 million since its 2019 inception.

Nelo is not the only player in the Mexican market. A number of others, including Alchemy and Addi, have recently outlined plans for buy now, pay later offerings in the region. But where Nelo has an advantage, believes CEO Kyle Miller, is its established relationships with about 45 merchants.

“What I’m excited about is the relationship with the merchants,” Miller told TechCrunch. “If we find a large global one and increase conversion for them, that is our defensibility [against competitors]. What’s important here is signing on merchants, since they usually only have one offering in their checkout.”

He and co-founder Stephen Hebson used to work for Uber’s international growth team, growing financial services products in India, Mexico, China and Brazil.

“We got to see a cross market where countries were accelerating and where others weren’t,” Miller recalls. “For example, China was a leader in mobile payments and digital finance in India was completely transformed.”

Nelo co-founders Stephen Hebson and Kyle Miller; Image courtesy of Nelo

But in markets like Mexico, the percentage of cash payments for trips was very high. And to Miller and Hebson, this spelled opportunity.

Nelo launched its first product in Mexico in January 2020, similar to a debit card offering from a neobank. In the middle of the year, the company launched credit installment loans.

“It became immediately clear that it was going to be our most popular feature,” Miller said. “By the end of the year, it was the vast majority of our business and something that our users were telling their friends about. We were solving a real pain point.”

Indeed, cash remains the dominant method of payment in Mexico, with an estimated 86% of all payments being in the form of cash. According to eMarketer, the region was the fastest-growing e-commerce market in the world in 2020, with 37% year over year growth.

“Access to credit is something we take for granted in the U.S.,” Miller said. “By the end of the year, we realized this was the future of business, and we decided to focus just on credit.”

Stori raises $32.5M in a Lightspeed-led Series B to build Mexico’s credit card for the masses

In March, Nelo launched its first product via an Android app and will be launching a web app soon.

Customers can use its offering like a credit card, connecting directly with merchants such as Netflix and Spotify. Many users are paying for things like utility bills and cell phone bills, turning them from prepaid to postpay.

With its current product, the company has lent about $2 million, and is seeing growth of about 20% month over month.

“We’re seeing massive demand for this new product in the way of organic signups,” Miller said, “for all the reasons Buy Now, Pay Later has been successful in markets like the U.S., Europe and Australia.”

Paying for installments is already common in Latin America, particularly in Brazil, so the concept is not foreign to residents in the region.

“We expected this is soon going to be a competitive market, so we’re hiring data scientists and engineers to continue improving our product, and grow,” Miller said.

Latin America’s digital transformation is making up for lost time

Nelo has about 14 employees with an engineering team in New York.

Homebrew Partner Satya Patel says he’s excited about Nelo because he believes the startup “solves a serious problem related to the lack of credit for Mexican consumers.”

“Credit card penetration is less than 10% in Mexico and other forms of credit are effectively non-existent,” he wrote via email. “Nelo makes it possible for Mexicans to easily and inexpensively increase their purchasing power at the point of sale. And importantly, Nelo is delivering this solution online, supporting growing interest in e-commerce, and also offline, where consumers regularly shop today.”

Patel adds that what Nelo is building is valuable because he is not aware of any reliable, comprehensive consumer credit rating data set in Mexico.

“They are building underwriting models based on proprietary data and growing the merchant network at an incredible rate,” he said. “This buy now, pay later opportunity is untapped in Mexico but requires a very different approach than what has been successful in other markets.”

The Nelo team, according to Patel, understands the nuances of the market and “is executing at an exceptional pace.”

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Fri, 16 Apr 2021 11:00:48 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Finance Funding Fundings & Exits Payments Recent Funding Startups Venture Capital Bnpl Financial Services Fintech Homebrew Latin America Mexico Mexico City Nelo Satya Patel Startup
The IPO market is sending us mixed messages http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/RKU_hVAv4y0/ If you only stayed up to date with the Coinbase direct listing this week, you’re forgiven. It was, after all, one heck of a flotation.

But underneath the cryptocurrency exchange’s public debut, other IPO news that matters did happen this week. And the news adds up to a somewhat muddled picture of the current IPO market.

To cap off the week, let’s run through IPO news from UiPath, Coinbase, Grab, AppLovin and Zenvia. The aggregate dataset should help you form your own perspective about where today’s IPO markets really are in terms of warmth for the often-unprofitable unicorns of the world.

Recall that we’re in the midst of a slightly more turbulent IPO window than we saw during the last quarter. After seemingly watching every company’s IPO price above-range and then charge higher on opening day, several companies pulled their offerings as the second quarter started. It was a surprise.

Since then we’ve seen Compass go public, but not at quite the level of performance it might have anticipated, and, then, this week, much has happened.

What follows is a mini-digest of IPO news from the week, tagged with our best read of just how bullish (or not) the happening really was:

  • UiPath’s first IPO price interval: Neutral to bearish . Though we anticipate that UiPath will set a higher IPO price interval before it begins to trade, that its first swing at-bat was a valuation cut of around $9 billion did not set our hearts aflame. And we could be wrong about it getting valued more richly before starting to trade. ]]> Fri, 16 Apr 2021 10:49:02 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fundings & Exits Startups Coinbase EC Cloud and Enterprise Infrastructure EC Fintech EC News Analysis Grab IPO SPAC What we all missed in UiPath’s latest IPO filing http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/2oeXUTL5Zcg/ Robotic process automation platform UiPath filed its first S-1/A this week, setting an initial price range for its shares. The numbers were impressive, if slightly disappointing because what UiPath indicated in terms of its potential IPO value was a lower valuation than it earned during its final private fundraising. It’s hard to say that a company looking to go public at a valuation north of $25 billion is a letdown, but compared to preceding levels of hype, the numbers were a bit of a shock.


    The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. 

    Read it every morning on Extra Crunch or get The Exchange newsletter every Saturday.


    Here at The Exchange, we wondered if the somewhat slack news regarding UiPath’s potential IPO valuation was a warning to late-stage investors; the number of unicorns being minted or repriced higher feels higher than ever, and late-stage money has never been more active in the venture-backed startup world than it has been recently.

    If UiPath were about to eat about $10 billion in worth to go public, it wouldn’t be the best indicator of how some of those late-stage bets will perform.

    But in good news for UiPath shareholders, most everyone — ourselves included! — who discussed the company’s price range didn’t dig into the fact that the company first disclosed quarterly results to the same S-1/A filing that included its IPO valuation interval. And those numbers are very interesting, so much so that The Exchange is now generally expecting UiPath to target a higher price interval before it debuts.

    That should either limit or close its private/public valuation gap, and, we imagine, lower a few investors’ blood pressure. Let’s look at the numbers.

    UiPath’s fascinating 2020

    The top-line numbers for UiPath’s 2020 are impressive. As we’ve discussed, the company grew its revenues from $336.2 million in 2019 to $607.6 million in 2020, while boosting its gross profit margin by 7 percentage points to 89% last year. That’s great!

    And it improved its net margins from -155% in 2019 to just -15% in 2020. The company’s rapid growth, improving revenue quality and extreme deficit reduction were among the reasons it was a bit surprising to see its estimated public-market value come in so far underneath its final private price.

    But let’s dig into the company’s quarterly results — a big thanks to the reader who sent us in this direction — to get a clearer picture of UiPath. Here’s the data:

    Image Credits: UiPath filing

    ]]> Fri, 16 Apr 2021 10:10:56 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fundings & Exits Startups TC EC News Analysis EC Newsletter The Exchange Uipath Level raises $27M from Khosla, Lightspeed ‘to rebuild insurance from the ground up’ http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/aGCOsWdL7DI/ Level , a startup that aims to give companies a more flexible way to offer benefits to employees, has raised $27 million in a Series A funding round led by Khosla Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners .

    Operator Collective and leading angels also participated in the financing, along with previous backers First Round Capital and Homebrew . The round was reportedly raised at a “nine-figure” valuation, but the company did not provide more specifics.

    Founded in 2018, New York City-based Level says it’s “rebuilding insurance from the ground up” via flexible networks and real-time claims with the goal of helping employers and employees get the most out of their benefit dollars. 

    Employers can customize plans to do things like offer 100% coverage across treatments. The company also touts the ability to process claims in four hours. 

    “That’s lightning fast when compared to 30- to 60-day claims often processed by traditional payers,” said Founder and CEO Paul Aaron, who as one of the first employees at Square, led the network team at Oscar Health and is an inventor of several patents in the payments space.

    Level first launched employer-sponsored dental benefits in the summer of 2019 and started serving its first beta customers that fall. It also now offers vision plans. The company has more than 10,000 members from companies such as Intercom, Udemy, KeepTruckin and Thistle that have paid for care via its platform. 

    “Insurance is confusing and often feels unfair. Networks restrict where you can go, billing takes weeks and you always seem to owe more than you expect,” Aaron said. “We believe paying with insurance should be as easy as any other purchase.”

    Level says it is taking a full-stack approach and building end-to-end tools, from automated underwriting to real-time benefit analytics. 

    It plans to launch a new insurance product aimed at “helping smaller businesses offer bigger benefits” that typically only enterprises have the ability to offer. The company also aims to help employers get money back for any unused benefits after paying a fixed amount each month. Ultimately, the goal is to be able to offer a full suite of products that will allow companies of all sizes — from two employees to 20,000 — provide better benefits for their teams. 

    Level claims that its self-insured dental and vision products let companies offer more coverage to their teams while often cutting nearly 20% from their benefits budget. 

    “Employers already spend so much money on benefits, and neither they nor their teams get enough out of it,” said Jana Messerschmidt from Lightspeed Venture Partners, in a written statement. “Businesses of all sizes need to compete for talent with innovative benefits that help people get more from their paychecks. Level offers a far superior employee experience, and you’re getting bang for your buck.” 

    Meanwhile, Khosla’s Samir Kaul said he believes  Level can do for insurance and benefits “what Square Cash did for person-to-person payments.”

    Investor First Round Capital claims to have saved 47% by switching from fully insured to Level. And, Thistle says it saw 41% in savings by switching to Level. 

    As Next Insurance makes its first acquisition, insurtech looks energetic

    ]]> Fri, 16 Apr 2021 10:10:03 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Recent Funding Startups TC Employee Benefits Fintech First Round Capital Insurance Khosla Ventures Level Lightspeed Venture Partners New York Startup Thistle 10 Books Every Small Business Owner Should Read  http://www.smallbizdaily.com/10-books-every-small-business-owner-should-read/ Entrepreneurs and business people ought to get their minds fit as a fiddle much the same as expert competitors form their bodies into fit mean execution machines. Stephen, the creator of 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, compared the human mind to a saw. He said we need to continually hone that found to receive the best presentation in return for quite a while. 

    The ideal way I know to keep my mind reliable is by perusing. Thus, I’ve given an elite of my leading ten most loved books each entrepreneur should pursue. For considerably more mind supporters , look at my all-inclusive rundown of must peruses for entrepreneurs.

    Could great organizations, unremarkable organizations, or even terrible organizations accomplish suffering significance? That is the issue Jim Collins answers in this book. He shares his broad exploration that uncovers what it is that makes top organizations tick. 

    In this book, writer Daniel Pink attests that the key to superior and fulfillment—at work, at school, and home—rests with the human need to coordinate our own lives, to learn and make new things, and to improve without anyone else and our reality. It’s an incredible book for getting realigned with your needs in business and throughout everyday life. 

    As extraordinary compared to other selling self-improvement guides, time, first written in 1937, Napoleon Hill keeps on provoking pursuers to improve their lives—and their organizations—through sure reasoning. It’s a “triumph” exemplary, and an absolute necessity read for all business people. 

    In this book, Michael Gerber dissipates the fantasies encompassing going into business by strolling you through the means in a company’s existence. This book will assist you with developing your business in an anticipated and beneficial manner. 

    Malcolm Gladwell investigates tipping focuses, or the specific second a thought, pattern, or social conduct passes a boundary, tips, and fans out quickly. The book shows how entrepreneurs should change how they consider selling items. 

    On the off chance that you are investigating individual change and are keen on an all-encompassing way to deal with tackling personal and expert issues, this book should make it on your rundown. In the book, Stephen Covey uncovers a bit by bit pathway for living with decency, trustworthiness, genuineness, and human nobility. 

    Great connections are the establishment of an effective business, which makes this book an incredible read for entrepreneurs. You’ll learn procedures for improving both expert and individual links while expanding your confidence. 

    In this book, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh shares the various exercises he has learned in business and life, from beginning a worm homestead to maintaining a pizza business, through LinkExchange, Zappos, and the sky’s the limit from there. It’s a fascinating, meaningful, and motivating book for all business people. 

    This book depends on more than forty meetings led by incredible business visionary Steve Jobs for more than two years, just as meetings with more than 100 relatives, companions, foes, contenders, and associates. There are exercises to be learned on each page. 

    Entrepreneurs know better than anybody how hard it very well may be to discover and keep up undeniable degrees of efficiency. In this book, David Allen shares the key to expanding efficiency: having the option to unwind. Also, he diagrams a framework that will assist you with accomplishing it.

    How Do You Choose a Business Book? 

    The variables to pick a decent book are not generally your opinion. Sufficient individuals go past large name writers or readers about notable figures. Such books don’t typically have adequate, useful assistance for a startup business visionary or proprietors of more modest organizations. We recommend you consider: 

    Your objectives – The business book classification is expansive, incorporating everything from Wall Street accounts to promoting approaches to tales about renowned business people. Pick the kind of book to address your issue. 

    Skill Gaps – You don’t need to be a specialist in all things. Yet, you do require general information about authority, promoting, account, the board, and the sky’s the limit from there. Discover your gaps and fill them. 

    Motivation – What will get you started up? One thing that is wonderful about books is their capacity to move and propel.

    Charlotte Lin is a content creator at escaperoom.com. She’s a passionate young woman, mother to an amazing nine-year-old, and an avid reader. Over the years, writing has helped her explore and understand the world as well as her own self. She loves to travel, meet new people, and spend quality time with her daughter. You can find her on LinkedIn.

    Books stock photo by jakkaje879/Shutterstock

    The post 10 Books Every Small Business Owner Should Read  appeared first on SmallBizDaily.

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    Fri, 16 Apr 2021 10:00:30 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Right Now Startup
    Do you need a SPAC therapist? http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/pLaVzy7VrX4/

    Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

    Natasha and Danny and Alex and Grace were all here to chat through the week’s biggest tech happenings. It was yet another busy week, but that just means we had a great time putting the show together and recording it. Honestly we have a lot of fun this week, and we hope that you crack a smile while we dig through the latest as a team.

    Ready? Here’s the rundown:

    • The Coinbase direct listing! Here’s our notes on its S-1, its , and . And we even wrote about the impact that it might have on other startup verticals!
    • Grab’s impending SPAC! As it turns out Natasha loves SPACs now, and even Danny and Alex had very little to say that was rude about this one.
    • Degreed became a unicorn, proving yet again that education for the enterprise is a booming sub-sector.
    • Outschool also became an edtech unicorn, thanks to a new round led by Coatue and everyone’s rich cousin, Tiger Global. The conversation soon devolved into how Tiger Global is impacting the broader VC ecosystem, thanks to a fantastic analysis piece that you have to read here. 
    • Papa raised $60 million, also from Tiger Global. What do you call tech aimed at old folks? Don’t call it elder tech, we have a brand new phrase in store. Let’s see if it catches on.
    • AI chips! Danny talks the team through grokking Groq, so that we can talk about TPUs without losing our minds. He’s a good egg.
    • And, finally, Slice raised more money. Not from Tiger Global. We have good things to say about it.

    And that is our show! We are back on Monday morning!

    Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PST, Wednesday, and Friday at 6:00 AM PST, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts!

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    Fri, 16 Apr 2021 10:00:03 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fundings & Exits Startups TC AI Chips Coinbase Crypto Degreed Edtech Equity Equity podcast Fintech Grab Groq IPO Outschool Slice Smb SPAC Unicorn
    1Doc3, a Colombian telemedicine startup, raises $3 million http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/epSIT59Oc-s/ The pandemic has made telemedicine video visits in the U.S. almost commonplace, but in Latin America, where broadband isn’t widely available, 1Doc3 is using text and chat to provide access to care. Today, the Colombia-based company announced a $3 million pre-Series A led by MatterScale Ventures and Kayyak Ventures.

    “I’m on a nice MacBook for this interview, but that’s not the case of most people in LatAm,” said Javier Cardona, co-founder and CEO of 1Doc3. The company’s name is a play on the phonetics of 1, 2, 3 in Spanish.

    Reaching your primary care doctor when you’re not feeling well is getting harder and harder, and 1Doc3 aims to solve that problem in LatAm by offering a telemedicine platform powered by AI that does symptom assessment, triage and pre-diagnosis before connecting the patient to a doctor.

    “In 97% of our consultations, you’re connected to a doctor in a matter of minutes,” Cardona said.

    After seeing the doctor, the patient can also get their prescriptions delivered to their home through 1Doc3. The startup, like others in the space, is trying to close the loop so patients can get care quickly without having to leave their homes.

    In addition to Colombia, the company already has operations in Mexico and plans to use part of the funding to expand further in the region as well as building out a marketing and sales team, which it hasn’t had thus far. 

    1Doc3 reaches customers directly and by establishing corporate partnerships where the companies themselves pay for their employees’ medical care through the startup. One of Cardona’s goals is to bring the unit economics down so that smaller businesses can also afford 1Doc3, which for corporates, now charges between $3-4 a month/employee.

    “For big companies, the money isn’t an issue, but our region is comprised of small to medium-sized businesses,” Cardona said.

    The company, which was founded in 2013 and was a finalist in TechCrunch’s Latin American Battlefield in 2018, experienced massive growth in 2020, going from 2,500 to 35,000 consultations per month from February to December 2020, respectively, which led the company to be cashflow positive last year. In March of 2021, the company had $120,000 in MRR.

    8 VCs agree: Behavioral support and remote visits make digital health a strong bet for 2021

    Like many startups, the jolt to found 1Doc3 came from a personal experience faced by the founder.  

    “When I was in Tanzania I had a medical need and I was definitely not going to go to a doctor in Tanzania, and I couldn’t reach any doctor online, not even in the U.S., and I became a little obsessed with this problem,” said Cardona, who was working in the Middle East and Africa at the time. 

    This round brings the total raised by 1Doc3 to $5 million. Other investors that participated in the round include Swanhill Capital, Simma Capital and existing investors The Venture City, EWA capital (previously Mountain Nazca Colombia) and Startup Health.

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    Fri, 16 Apr 2021 08:00:37 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Health Recent Funding Startups TC 1Doc3 Colombia Kayyak Ventures MatterScale Ventures TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Latin America Telemedicine