Startup News http://feed.informer.com/digests/Z5TH2MUW7I/feeder Startup News Respective post owners and feed distributors Mon, 29 Aug 2016 14:16:14 +0200 Feed Informer http://feed.informer.com/ Pro gamer Tfue files lawsuit against esports org over ‘grossly oppressive’ contract https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/21/pro-gamer-tfue-files-lawsuit-against-esports-org-over-grossly-oppressive-contract/ TechCrunch » Startups urn:uuid:36d9cd50-144c-4132-a4fe-c4f6c77b569b Tue, 21 May 2019 18:48:30 +0200 Turner &#8216;Tfue&#8217; Tenney, one of the world&#8217;s premier streamers and esports pros, has filed a lawsuit against esports organization Faze Clan over a &#8216;grossly oppressive, onerous and one-sided&#8217; contract, according to THR. The complaint alleges that Faze Clan&#8217;s Gamer Agreement relegates up to 80 percent of the streamer&#8217;s earnings from branded content (sponsored videos) to [&#8230;] <p id="speakable-summary"><a href="https://www.twitch.tv/tfue">Turner &#8216;Tfue&#8217; Tenney</a>, one of the world&#8217;s premier streamers and esports pros, has filed a <a href="https://www.scribd.com/document/410833590/Tenney-v-Faze-Clan#from_embed">lawsuit</a> against esports organization Faze Clan over a &#8216;grossly oppressive, onerous and one-sided&#8217; contract, according to <a href="https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/tfue-sues-faze-clan-oppressive-contract-1212124?">THR</a>.</p> <p>The complaint alleges that Faze Clan&#8217;s Gamer Agreement relegates up to 80 percent of the streamer&#8217;s earnings from branded content (sponsored videos) to Faze Clan, and that the contract hinders Tfue from pursuing and earning money from sponsorship deals that Faze Clan hasn&#8217;t approved.</p> <p>Tfue&#8217;s lawyer, Bryan Freedman of Freedman + Taitelman, took the complaint to the California Labor Commissioner with issues that span far beyond financial contracts. Freedman wrote that Faze Clan takes advantage of young artists and actually jeopardizes their health and safety, noting an incident where Tfue was allegedly pressured to skateboard in a video and injured his arm. Freedman also wrote that Faze Clan pressured Tfue to live in one of its homes where he was given alcohol before being 21 years old and encouraged to illegally gamble.</p> <p>From the complaint:</p> <blockquote><p>In one instance, Tenney suffered an injury (a deep wound that likely required stitches) which resulted in permanent disfigurement. Faze Clan also encourages underage drinking and gambling in Faze Clan&#8217;s so-called Clout House and FaZe House , where Faze Clan talent live and frequently party. It is also widely publicized that Faze Clan has attempted to exploit at least one artist who is a minor.</p></blockquote> <p>Faze Clan issued the following statement on Twitter following the news:</p> <div class="embed breakout"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">A follow-up from <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/faze-clan" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="faze-clan">FaZe Clan <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> on today&#39;s unfortunate situation. <a href="https://t.co/qm6sK8v88B">pic.twitter.com/qm6sK8v88B</a></p> <p>&mdash; FaZe Clan (@FaZeClan) <a href="https://twitter.com/FaZeClan/status/1130625973953736706?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 21, 2019</a></p></blockquote> <p><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></div> <p>Faze Clan claims that it has taken no more than 20 percent of Tfue&#8217;s earnings from sponsored content, which amounts to a total of $60,000. The owner of Faze Clan, Ricky Banks, took to Twitter to make his case, showing the incredible growth of Tfue&#8217;s popularity across <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/twitch" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="twitch">Twitch <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> and YouTube since signing with Faze Clan.</p> <div class="embed breakout"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">I recruited Tfue to FaZe Clan in April of 2018. These are graphs from both his <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/youtube" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="youtube">YouTube <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> &amp; Twitch channels following the mark of our relationship. <a href="https://t.co/c7m3QwsoTZ">pic.twitter.com/c7m3QwsoTZ</a></p> <p>&mdash; FaZe Banks (@Banks) <a href="https://twitter.com/Banks/status/1130575292416716800?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 20, 2019</a></p></blockquote> <p><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></div> <p>As it stands now, Tfue boasts more than 120 million views on Twitch, more than 10 million YouTube subscribers, and 5.5 million followers on Instagram.</p> <p>Banks also reiterated Faze Clan&#8217;s official statement saying that the company has taken 20 percent of Tfue&#8217;s earnings from branded deals, totaling $60,000.</p> <div class="embed breakout"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="550" data-dnt="true"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">OK LAST TWEET &#8211; To clarify Turners contract does outline splits in prizes, ad revenue, stuff like that. But again we&#39;ve collected absolutely none of it with no plans to and that was very clear to him. We have collected a total of $60,000 from 300k in brand deals (20%). That&#39;s it</p> <p>&mdash; FaZe Banks (@Banks) <a href="https://twitter.com/Banks/status/1130585349720166400?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 20, 2019</a></p></blockquote> <p><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></div> <p>The Tfue claim, however, seems to take issue with the content of the agreement, not necessarily its execution, and the general legality of these types of gamer agreements across the esports landscape. Moreover, the complaint alleges that Tfue lost potential earnings due to his agreement with Faze Clan and their own conflicts of interest with various brands interested in a sponsorship.</p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/u2H8ecn9KO8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> What does ‘regulating Facebook’ mean? Here’s an example https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/21/what-does-regulating-facebook-mean-heres-an-example/ TechCrunch » Startups urn:uuid:3743e421-ec2d-0fff-a18c-fe39bfbb9eca Tue, 21 May 2019 18:05:54 +0200 Many officials claim that governments should regulate Facebook and other social platforms, but few describe what it actually means. A few days ago, France released a report that outlines what France — and maybe the European Union — plans to do when it comes to content moderation. It’s an insightful 34-page document with a nuanced [&#8230;] <p id="speakable-summary">Many officials claim that governments should regulate <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/facebook" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="facebook">Facebook <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> and other social platforms, but few describe what it actually means. A few days ago, France <a href="https://www.numerique.gouv.fr/actualites/remise-du-rapport-de-la-mission-de-regulation-des-reseaux-sociaux/">released</a> a report that outlines what France — and maybe the European Union — plans to do when it comes to content moderation.</p> <p>It’s an insightful 34-page document with a nuanced take on toxic content and how to deal with it. There are some brand new ideas in the report that are worth exploring. Instead of moderating content directly, the regulator in charge of social networks would tell Facebook and other social networks a list of objectives. For instance, if a racist photo goes viral and is distributed to 5 percent of monthly active users in France, you could consider that the social network has failed to fulfill its obligations.</p> <p>This isn&#8217;t just wishful thinking as the regulator would be able to fine the company up to 4 percent of the company’s global annual turnover in case of a systemic failure to moderate toxic content.</p> <p>The government plans to turn the report into new pieces of regulation in the coming months. France doesn&#8217;t plan to stop there. It is already lobbying other countries (in Europe, the Group of 7 nations and beyond) so that they could all come up with cross-border regulation and have a real impact on moderation processes. So let&#8217;s dive into the future of social network regulation.</p> <h2>Facebook first opened its doors</h2> <p>When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg <a href="https://techcrunch.com/story/zuckerberg-testifies-at-congressional-hearings/">testified</a> before Congress in April 2018, it felt like regulation was inevitable. And the company itself has been aware of this for a while.</p> <p><div class="extra-crunch-offer-container"></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/sQ8kfPe9AgI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Raisin rides into the U.S. with its savings and investment marketplace https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/21/raisin-usa/ TechCrunch » Startups urn:uuid:f78333e9-be8a-f886-bc18-b78ece1eb0bc Tue, 21 May 2019 18:00:26 +0200 Raisin, the pan-European fintech marketplace for savings and investment products, is headed to the U.S., announcing plans to roll out a similar offering across the pond. The German company, which is backed by the likes of PayPal, Index Ventures, Ribbit Capital and Thrive Capital, wants to bring greater competition and easier savings and deposit account [&#8230;] <p id="speakable-summary"><a href="https://www.raisin.com/">Raisin</a>, the pan-European fintech marketplace for savings and investment products, is headed to the U.S., announcing plans to roll out a similar offering across the pond.</p> <p>The German company, which is backed by the likes of PayPal, Index Ventures, Ribbit Capital and Thrive Capital, wants to bring greater competition and easier savings and deposit account opening to U.S. customers. The deposits market in the U.S. is said to be $12.7 trillion, and yet <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/raisin-weltsparen" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="raisin-weltsparen">Raisin <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> claims most Americans could be getting a much better return on their savings.</p> <p>Despite the U.S. Federal Reserve raising interest rates and most consumers having ample opportunities to optimise their savings in theory, Raisin says shopping around for a competitive savings rate often involves too many hurdles for many American to bother. This includes finding out where good rates are available, assessing the quality of offers and in some instances switching from your existing primary bank.</p> <p>In contrast, Raisin’s marketplace model claims to addresses theses issues by making the range of offers transparent, whilst also creating a convenient and simple way to access the best rates on the market. Part of its remedy is that only have to sign up to Raisin once, including regulatory checks, in order to access any of the offers from partner banks on its platform.</p> <p>To kick off the new U.S. expansion, Raisin has hired Paul Knodel as U.S. CEO. Boasting twenty years financial industry experience, prior to joining Raisin he held executive and senior management positions at Citigroup and Merrill Lynch as well as TD Ameritrade, E-Trade and robo-advisor Wealthfront. Most recently Knodel led Wealthfront’s extension of its product suite into cash savings.</p> <p>In addition, Raisin’s American expansion is being supported by the German government’s U.S.-based &#8220;German Accelerator&#8221; program. Each year 12 of Germany&#8217;s most promising startups are selected with the aim of helping them break into America.</p> <p>Meanwhile, back in Europe, Raisin says it has more than 175,000 customers who have invested almost €13 billion into Raisin marketplace deposits. This year has also seen the fintech company <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/03/06/raisin-acquires-mhb-bank/">acquire Germany&#8217;s MHB Bank</a>, and <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/05/raisin-raises-114m-for-its-pan-european-marketplace-for-savings-and-investment-products/">close €100 million in Series D investment</a>.</p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/2jTUS1zeor4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> How to Create Your First Successful Business Plan https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/334003 Entrepreneur.com: Starting a Business urn:uuid:9a4762f3-c32d-11e6-58e5-39b9fabe1dee Tue, 21 May 2019 17:30:00 +0200 Entrepreneurial expert Chris Haroun uses his patented process to help make your new business plan a reality.<div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=KR2CVA1Kyk0:VLAwStzsFfM:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=KR2CVA1Kyk0:VLAwStzsFfM:dnMXMwOfBR0"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=dnMXMwOfBR0" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=KR2CVA1Kyk0:VLAwStzsFfM:F7zBnMyn0Lo"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?i=KR2CVA1Kyk0:VLAwStzsFfM:F7zBnMyn0Lo" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=KR2CVA1Kyk0:VLAwStzsFfM:7Q72WNTAKBA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=7Q72WNTAKBA" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=KR2CVA1Kyk0:VLAwStzsFfM:V_sGLiPBpWU"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?i=KR2CVA1Kyk0:VLAwStzsFfM:V_sGLiPBpWU" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=KR2CVA1Kyk0:VLAwStzsFfM:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=KR2CVA1Kyk0:VLAwStzsFfM:gIN9vFwOqvQ"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?i=KR2CVA1Kyk0:VLAwStzsFfM:gIN9vFwOqvQ" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=KR2CVA1Kyk0:VLAwStzsFfM:TzevzKxY174"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=TzevzKxY174" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/entrepreneur/startingabusiness/~4/KR2CVA1Kyk0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Who helped your startup grow? Nominate a growth marketing agency. https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/21/who-helped-your-startup-grow-nominate-a-growth-marketing-agency/ TechCrunch » Startups urn:uuid:e0026032-2076-bfd2-a036-8e2a521542e0 Tue, 21 May 2019 17:00:25 +0200 Growth marketing is critical to a startup’s survival, but it’s not always clear how to successfully pull it off. How do you jump the chasm from one to ten million customers? Should you recruit an in-house growth team or hire an agency? How do you actually get content marketing to work? How much money should [&#8230;] <p id="speakable-summary">Growth marketing is critical to a startup’s survival, but it’s not always clear how to successfully pull it off. How do you jump the chasm from one to ten million customers? <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/19/how-do-you-hire-a-great-growth-marketer/">Should you recruit an in-house growth team or hire an agency</a>? <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/13/how-do-startups-actually-get-their-content-marketing-to-work/">How do you actually get content marketing to work</a>? How much money should you spend before writing off or doubling down on a marketing channel? <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/02/3-key-secrets-to-building-extraordinary-teams/">What does it take to build an extraordinary team at every stage of your startup?</a></p> <p>There isn’t a silver bullet when it comes to growth, but we are tapping some of the most brilliant minds in growth marketing to share their experiences and advice to entrepreneurs.</p> <p>Last month, we launched an initiative to find the industry’s <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/17/help-techcrunch-find-the-best-startup-growth-marketing-agencies/">best growth marketing agencies</a>, and since then entrepreneurs from all around the world have submitted their nominations.</p> <p>If you haven’t already, take two minutes to <a href="https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScDx3wA0hZCxoM7bd0BfZK8uLuUDeXKNO_sYMzuvYFKZIQPMQ/viewform">nominate a growth marketing agency</a> that has helped your company scale and reach its target customers.</p> <p>We’re zeroing in on a shortlist of top firms and we’ll begin publishing their profiles in the next few weeks, but founder recommendations, like yours, help determine who we feature.</p> <p>Similar to our work with startup lawyers and brand designers, our goal is to make it easier and faster for entrepreneurs to find the right service provider, but without real and relevant founder recommendations, we can’t accomplish our mission. Growth is the latest iteration of Verified Experts (with more to come).</p> <p>Help us support early-stage startups by <a href="https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScDx3wA0hZCxoM7bd0BfZK8uLuUDeXKNO_sYMzuvYFKZIQPMQ/viewform">nominating a growth marketing agency you’ve worked with</a>.</p> <p>Have any questions? Email <a href="mailto:ec_editors@techcrunch.com">ec_editors@techcrunch.com</a></p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/7AR2s2F_dMo" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> FlareAgent, a platform that automates real estate transactions, launches out of YC https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/21/flareagent-a-platform-that-automates-real-estate-transactions-launches-out-of-yc/ TechCrunch » Startups urn:uuid:a5a55364-22ce-9720-2505-95f19df35ec9 Tue, 21 May 2019 16:32:55 +0200 The real estate industry is experiencing a bit of a rejuvenation. After years resisting the influence of tech, the industry is now feeling the entrance of e-buyers, as well as a variety of software to streamline the process. One such tech company looking to infiltrate real estate is FlareAgent, which launches today out of Y [&#8230;] <p id="speakable-summary">The real estate industry is experiencing a bit of a rejuvenation. After years resisting the influence of tech, the industry is now feeling the entrance of e-buyers, as well as a variety of software to streamline the process. One such tech company looking to infiltrate real estate is <a href="https://www.flareagent.com/">FlareAgent</a>, which launches today out of Y Combinator.</p> <p>FlareAgent was founded by Abhi CVK and Rashid Aziz. The duo, who just graduated out of NYU, first built FlareAgent when Rashid&#8217;s dad, a real estate agent, was asked by his boss (Mr. Brown) about finding software that might speed up the process of completing a transaction.</p> <p>Abhi and Rashid built something that ended up helping grow the real estate firm from 20 deals per month to over 100 deals/month. How?</p> <p>FlareAgent lets all parties collaborate on a transaction from the comfort of their own home or office. From purchase offers to escrow documents to the closing agreement, FlareAgent allows brokers and clients to view and interact with various documents to speed up the time to close.</p> <p>This used to be done manually by brokers, who&#8217;d have to fax or mail or hand-deliver documents to and from various parties in the transaction. If changes take place to the paperwork, this process may start over from scratch.</p> <p>With FlareAgent, all the time spent changing and sharing documents manually can be done online.</p> <p>To be clear, a transaction doesn&#8217;t actually go through FlareAgent. In other words, the money changing hands from buyer to seller doesn&#8217;t flow through the FlareAgent platform. But all the documents that need to be reviewed, amended, and signed can be handled on FlareAgent.</p> <p>To make money, the company charges a monthly subscription to brokers using the platform.</p> <p>Thus far, FlareAgent says it has around 100 active agents on the platform and has processed more than 2,500 transactions (worth $550 million in property value) since its inception.</p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/wP8_V0jmpFY" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> How to Help Other People Be Successful https://www.entrepreneur.com/video/333683 Entrepreneur.com: Starting a Business urn:uuid:03adc91d-a2e8-923c-b3c6-02a0e7b8c97d Tue, 21 May 2019 16:30:00 +0200 This CEO breaks down some of the common challenges a business might face in its early stages.<div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=Z9WifeIfivc:YGKbD1LK7yM:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=Z9WifeIfivc:YGKbD1LK7yM:dnMXMwOfBR0"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=dnMXMwOfBR0" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=Z9WifeIfivc:YGKbD1LK7yM:F7zBnMyn0Lo"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?i=Z9WifeIfivc:YGKbD1LK7yM:F7zBnMyn0Lo" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=Z9WifeIfivc:YGKbD1LK7yM:7Q72WNTAKBA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=7Q72WNTAKBA" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=Z9WifeIfivc:YGKbD1LK7yM:V_sGLiPBpWU"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?i=Z9WifeIfivc:YGKbD1LK7yM:V_sGLiPBpWU" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=Z9WifeIfivc:YGKbD1LK7yM:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=Z9WifeIfivc:YGKbD1LK7yM:gIN9vFwOqvQ"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?i=Z9WifeIfivc:YGKbD1LK7yM:gIN9vFwOqvQ" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=Z9WifeIfivc:YGKbD1LK7yM:TzevzKxY174"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=TzevzKxY174" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/entrepreneur/startingabusiness/~4/Z9WifeIfivc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> People.ai, the predictive sales startup, raises $60M at around $500M valuation https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/21/people-ai-the-predictive-sales-startup-raises-60m-at-around-500m-valuation/ TechCrunch » Startups urn:uuid:bd0f7006-ccfd-20a4-649a-caa32d1f355d Tue, 21 May 2019 15:24:00 +0200 The best salespeople like to pride themselves on having both a sixth sense when it comes to closing a deal, and a healthy amount of persuasive magic to get a sale over the line. Now, a startup that says it can help any salesperson be like those top people, and help those top people be [&#8230;] <p id="speakable-summary">The best salespeople like to pride themselves on having both a sixth sense when it comes to closing a deal, and a healthy amount of persuasive magic to get a sale over the line. Now, a startup that says it can help any salesperson be like those top people, and help those top people be even better, has raised a large round of funding to take its own company to the next level.</p> <p><a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/people-ai" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="people-ai">People.ai, <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> which has built a platform to ingest all the data that salespeople generate in the course of their work, and then use it to provide guidance to them to help source and close more deals, is today announcing that it has raised another $60 million in funding, which it will use to continue growing the business and building partnerships with new channels, such as system integrators to target bigger enterprises.</p> <p>Alongside this, it is also launching a new product that it calls &#8220;The Wire&#8221; &#8212; a feed of insights that salespeople can access to find leads, pick up tips on how to approach them and ultimately to sell to them.</p> <p>&#8220;Some people say it&#8217;s what LinkedIn should have been,&#8221; <span style="font-size: 1.125rem; letter-spacing: -0.1px;">Oleg Rogynskyy, People.ai&#8217;s founder and CEO, said in an interview. It helps, he said with a little laugh, that People.ai had managed to recruit David Flink to lead up project management at the startup. Flink joined earlier this year, having worked for nearly three years at LinkedIn on areas like search and discovery. </span></p> <p>The startup is not disclosing its valuation, but sources tell us it is around $500 million &#8212; specifically in the &#8220;mid-nine-figures.&#8221; The big number is partly the result of the startup&#8217;s strong growth so far: It has already ingested 350 million sales activities, 40 million contacts, a sales pipeline of $300 billion and $100 billion in closed and won deals. Its revenues have been growing 5X year-over-year, with customers squarely so far in the tech camp that surrounds the San Francisco-based startup. They include Red Hat, Lyft, Zoom, New Relic and Splunk.</p> <p>This latest round is being led by Iconiq, the VC that includes the family office of Marc and Priscilla Zuckerberg, among others, with participation from previous investors Andreessen Horowitz (which led its <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/23/predictive-sales-tool-people-ai-racks-up-30m-series-b-led-by-andreessen-horowitz/">previous round</a> just seven months ago), Lightspeed Venture Partners, GGV Capital and <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/17/these-are-the-most-successful-companies-to-emerge-from-y-combinator/">Y Combinator</a> (where it was in a cohort in 2016).</p> <p>There have been a number of startups and tech giants (<a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/03/19/oracle-adds-more-ai-features-to-its-suite-of-sales-tools/">Oracle</a> and <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/18/microsoft-launches-new-ai-applications-for-customer-service-and-sales/">Microsoft</a> being just two) that have been <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/03/19/ai-has-become-table-stakes-in-sales-customer-service-and-marketing-software/">applying AI mechanics</a> to the world of sales &#8212; specifically to help improve one aspect or another of the process. Startups range from those that use Robotic Process Automation to do some of the mundane work around data entry, to those that <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/13/chorus-ai-rings-up-33m-for-its-platform-that-analyses-sales-calls-to-close-more-deals/">analyse conversations</a> to parse them for clues to help close deals, to those that offer <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/21/clari-ai-sales/">predictive analytics</a> and those that are <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/30/conversica-which-uses-ai-to-replicate-sales-agents-raises-31m-now-valued-around-300m/">using AI to replicate sales</a> agents altogether.</p> <p>People.ai&#8217;s approach, says <span style="font-size: 1.125rem; letter-spacing: -0.1px;">Rogynskyy</span>, is not to replace salespeople but to &#8220;supercharge&#8221; the teams by using AI to ingest &#8220;high-value, low-volume activity.&#8221; Sitting in the background, requiring no active input from the user, it picks up all the &#8220;exhaust&#8221; produced in the process of a day, and uses it to produce cheat sheets to salespeople so that they can use them when speaking to clients to help them close deals, providing interesting insights, relevant facts and other details.</p> <p>That is now going to be augmented with The Wire, which takes some cues from social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, providing a stream of information to the viewer, and tapping into the concept of &#8220;graphs&#8221; to source names of people and information that is most relevant to the viewer (without the ads, of course).</p> <p><span style="font-size: 1.125rem; letter-spacing: -0.1px;">Rogynskyy points out that his company currently has more than 65 patents (secured and in progress) on intelligent matching, and the plan longer term will be to take the sales model and apply it to a wider range of industry verticals. These are likely to include areas like real estate, financial services and recruitment (areas where the product is already being used in smaller use cases, he noted). </span></p> <p>&#8220;This model is applicable to any area where you are building external, complex relationships at scale,&#8221; he said.</p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/BCqx9vTq9Fg" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Future Family launches a $200 membership for fertility coaching https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/21/future-family-launches-a-200-membership-for-fertility-coaching/ TechCrunch » Startups urn:uuid:0046e85f-44ff-4122-fd7f-04d4053ad34a Tue, 21 May 2019 15:10:49 +0200 Future Family is a startup aiming to make fertility services like IVF and egg freezing more accessible. They work with doctors and clinics to make the pricing of these services more predictable and upfront, then offer monthly payment plans to help customers spread the cost (often in the tens of thousands of dollars) over a [&#8230;] <p class="p1"><a href="https://www.futurefamily.com/membership">Future Family</a> is a startup aiming to make fertility services like IVF and egg freezing more accessible. They work with doctors and clinics to make the pricing of these services more predictable and upfront, then offer monthly payment plans to help customers spread the cost (often in the tens of thousands of dollars) over a few years.</p> <p class="p1">In its recent user research, <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/future-family" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="future-family">Future Family <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> found that around 70% of their new customers had yet to see a fertility doctor; they were starting the process online, often without the next steps mapped out. With that in mind, today they&#8217;re rolling out a new membership plan that offers users a dedicated fertility coach, and helps them find a doctor in their area.</p> <p class="p1"><strong>The membership will cost $200, which gets you:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Two and a half hours with a dedicated fertility coach, who will video chat with you on your schedule and platform of choice to help you figure out what&#8217;s next. Future Family CEO Claire Tomkins tells me their coaches are all registered nurses with clinical fertility experience, many of whom the company recruited from top U.S. clinics. The coach can help you figure out the first steps, prep you to meet with your doctor and help you understand your lab results.</li> <li>Recommendations on doctors/clinics in your area, based on things like distance, cost and your personal preferences, like the doctor&#8217;s gender and whether they&#8217;re part of a large hospital or a smaller clinic.</li> <li>Upfront service pricing; as Future Family already works with these doctors, they&#8217;re able to tell you how much it&#8217;ll all cost before you dive in.</li> </ul> <p class="p1">The membership will also offer a way for members to sign up for one of Future Family&#8217;s financing plans — but Claire Tomkins tells me that there&#8217;s no lock in. If a customer does the video coaching and doctor matching and already has the payment side of things figured out, the promised prices will all still apply.</p> <p id="speakable-summary">The new membership program will go live today.</p> <p><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-1830516" src="https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/FF-2.png?w=680" alt="" width="680" height="395" srcset="https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/FF-2.png 1692w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/FF-2.png?resize=150,87 150w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/FF-2.png?resize=300,174 300w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/FF-2.png?resize=768,447 768w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/FF-2.png?resize=680,395 680w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/FF-2.png?resize=50,29 50w" sizes="(max-width: 680px) 100vw, 680px" /></p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/gS6L0LmwbkE" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Kard is a challenger bank for teens https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/21/kard-is-a-challenger-bank-for-teens/ TechCrunch » Startups urn:uuid:741929e2-7a18-60af-3c27-a809723e513e Tue, 21 May 2019 15:03:04 +0200 Meet French startup Kard, a challenger bank that works a lot like N26 or Revolut. But Kard is all about convincing teens that their first bank account is going to be a Kard account — a bit like Step in the U.S. When I talked with Kard co-founder and CEO Scott Gordon, he kept saying that [&#8230;] <p id="speakable-summary">Meet French startup <a href="https://kard.eu">Kard</a>, a challenger bank that works a lot like N26 or Revolut. But <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/kard" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="kard">Kard <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> is all about convincing teens that their first bank account is going to be a Kard account — a bit like <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/31/step-targets-teens-and-parents-with-a-no-fees-mobile-bank-account-and-visa-card/">Step</a> in the U.S.</p> <p>When I talked with Kard co-founder and CEO Scott Gordon, he kept saying that Kard was a product for the generation Z. While I’m not a fan of that buzzword, it still looks like a well-designed app with some personality.</p> <p>“Gen Z is a generation that has been forgotten by traditional banks,” Gordon said. “70 percent of their transactions are digital transactions,” he added later. Many teenagers borrow their parents’ card for those expenses.</p> <p>Kard wants to empower teens with their own bank account, their own IBAN and their own Mastercard debit card. Instead of controlling every expense, parents can just top up the Kard account and let their child spend it however they want — you can top up with a bank transfer or using another card — just like in Revolut. Opening an account is free.</p> <p><img src="https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Kard-screenshots.jpg" alt="" width="1024" height="668" class="breakout alignnone size-full wp-image-1830508" srcset="https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Kard-screenshots.jpg 9011w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Kard-screenshots.jpg?resize=150,98 150w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Kard-screenshots.jpg?resize=300,196 300w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Kard-screenshots.jpg?resize=768,501 768w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Kard-screenshots.jpg?resize=680,444 680w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Kard-screenshots.jpg?resize=50,33 50w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <p>Like other electronic wallet apps, opening a Kard account is much simpler than opening a traditional bank account in France. You can sign up in a few minutes from your phone and confirm your identity later by sending a photo of your ID, etc.</p> <p>After that, you get an account that you control from a mobile app. You can block and unblock the card, see transactions, send and receive money in real time with other Kard users. It ticks all the right boxes that you’ve come to expect if you have a bank account from a challenger bank.</p> <p>In a couple of months, you’ll also be able to create money pots, round up your transactions to save some money, donate money to nonprofits, etc.</p> <p>Kard is also borrowing a few ideas from Venmo. Users will be able to share expenses with their group of friends in the Kard app. Many teens already share a photo of their brand new sneakers on Snapchat for instance. Kard wants you to use their own app for this kind of content.</p> <p>The startup raised $3.4 million (€3 million) back in January from Kima Ventures, Jean-Pascal Beaufret, Jambu Palaniappan, Francis Nappez, Julien Lemoine, Jason Dorsey and David Amsellem.</p> <p>While the service is not live yet, you can sign up to the waiting list on the <a href="https://kard.eu">company’s website</a>. Kard’s positioning is interesting. The startup doesn’t need to convince people to open yet another bank account — the company is tapping an endless funnel of new users by focusing on teens.</p> <p>Like all startups focused on teens, it faces a dilemma. It has to retain its users as their needs become more complex <em>and</em> attract new teens as the product becomes more complex.</p> <p><img src="https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Visuel-app-Kard-x-Tech-Crunch.png" alt="" width="1024" height="1547" class="vertical alignnone size-full wp-image-1830507" srcset="https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Visuel-app-Kard-x-Tech-Crunch.png 1086w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Visuel-app-Kard-x-Tech-Crunch.png?resize=99,150 99w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Visuel-app-Kard-x-Tech-Crunch.png?resize=199,300 199w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Visuel-app-Kard-x-Tech-Crunch.png?resize=768,1160 768w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Visuel-app-Kard-x-Tech-Crunch.png?resize=450,680 450w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Visuel-app-Kard-x-Tech-Crunch.png?resize=33,50 33w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/aOkkyFTwtXM" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Michelle Pfeiffer's Fragrance Brand Took 20 Years (And Plenty of Rejection) to Build https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/333179 Entrepreneur.com: Starting a Business urn:uuid:4e5eb15c-79d8-1ecc-ef32-ea6a3053f045 Tue, 21 May 2019 15:00:00 +0200 She wanted the fragrance industry to be more transparent.The fragrance industry said no. So the actress took matters into her own hands.<div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=nnlRpx93M8A:pJmv_iXcbM0:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=nnlRpx93M8A:pJmv_iXcbM0:dnMXMwOfBR0"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=dnMXMwOfBR0" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=nnlRpx93M8A:pJmv_iXcbM0:F7zBnMyn0Lo"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?i=nnlRpx93M8A:pJmv_iXcbM0:F7zBnMyn0Lo" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=nnlRpx93M8A:pJmv_iXcbM0:7Q72WNTAKBA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=7Q72WNTAKBA" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=nnlRpx93M8A:pJmv_iXcbM0:V_sGLiPBpWU"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?i=nnlRpx93M8A:pJmv_iXcbM0:V_sGLiPBpWU" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=nnlRpx93M8A:pJmv_iXcbM0:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=nnlRpx93M8A:pJmv_iXcbM0:gIN9vFwOqvQ"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?i=nnlRpx93M8A:pJmv_iXcbM0:gIN9vFwOqvQ" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=nnlRpx93M8A:pJmv_iXcbM0:TzevzKxY174"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=TzevzKxY174" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/entrepreneur/startingabusiness/~4/nnlRpx93M8A" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Payment card startup Marqeta confirms $260M round at close to $2B valuation https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/21/payment-card-startup-marqeta-confirms-260m-round-at-close-to-2b-valuation/ TechCrunch » Startups urn:uuid:432e0731-5bde-46b6-e618-f06239b3302c Tue, 21 May 2019 14:59:02 +0200 Startups that are disrupting and unlocking the lucrative world of financial services continue to unlock big funding rounds for themselves. Today, Marqeta &#8212; which helps third parties like Square, Affirm, DoorDash, Kabbage and Instacart build and offer card services to their customers &#8212; announced that it has raised a Series E of $260 million led [&#8230;] <p id="speakable-summary">Startups that are disrupting and unlocking the lucrative world of financial services continue to unlock big funding rounds for themselves.</p> <p>Today, <a href="http://marqeta.com">Marqeta</a> &#8212; which helps third parties like Square, Affirm, DoorDash, Kabbage and Instacart build and offer card services to their customers &#8212; announced that it has raised a Series E of $260 million led by Coatue Management.</p> <p><a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/marqeta" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="marqeta">Marqeta <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> plans to use this growth round to continue building out its platform with an emphasis on global expansion, founder and CEO Jason Gardner said in an interview. He added that the funding values the startup at close to $2 billion.</p> <p>While the company is not yet profitable, it&#8217;s growing fast: Gardner said Marqeta has doubled revenues each year for the last three years, and he expects that the next step for the nine-year-old company is likely an IPO in the next 18 months.</p> <p>The news today <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/03/21/marqeta-files-to-raise-250m-on-a-1-9b-valuation/">confirms our scoop</a> about the funding two months ago. (When it was still raising, the total was $250 million.)</p> <p>In addition to Coatue, other new investors include Vitruvian Partners, Spark Capital, Lone Pine and Geodesic, with participation from several of Marqeta&#8217;s existing investors: Visa, ICONIQ, Goldman Sachs, 83North, Granite Ventures, CommerzVentures and CreditEase.</p> <p>“We’re incredibly excited to be partnering with Marqeta,” said Kris Fredrickson, partner at <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/coatue-management" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="coatue-management">Coatue Management, <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> in a statement. “We believe that the company has a world class team, industry leading technology, and the ability to bring about profound change in card issuing and the global payments infrastructure. The company’s momentum over the last several years is a testament to the team’s hard work and the scale of the opportunity at hand.”</p> <p>The growth of the internet and the use of smartphones for e-commerce has had a big impact on financial transactions: fewer people and businesses are paying and getting paid in cash, and card usage &#8212; both physical and virtual &#8212; is on the rise. C<span style="font-size: 1.125rem; letter-spacing: -0.1px;">iting research from Edgar, Dunn &amp; Company, Marqeta estimates the volume of the card issuing industry &#8212; that is, transactions made via cards &#8212; to be worth around $45 trillion.</span></p> <p>&#8220;Visa and Mastercard have interconnected every single merchant that accepts cards, and that is still growing significantly,&#8221; Gardner said, but that expansion is coming at the same time that banks have been pricey and slow to move to accommodate the long tail of new opportunities for payment services. That is the opportunity that Marqeta is seizing, by providing quick and flexible options to any kind of commerce company that wants to make the move into issuing cards to its customers, along with supporting services around them such as payment reconciliations, real-time fund transfers and customer interactive voice response services. Gardner notes that while credit remains king, alternatives like debit and virtual cards are growing the fastest.</p> <p>On the international front, the company opened an office in London recently to start to capitalise on building more inroads to providing card-related services to so-called &#8220;challenger banks&#8221; (examples include N26, Monese, Starling and Revolut) that have emerged with lower fees and app-friendly interfaces to tap into a growing base of younger working people, and older consumers who have grown tired of bank fees and poor options to move their money digitally.</p> <p>A recent report from Accenture, cited by <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-marqeta-europe/goldman-backed-fintech-startup-marqeta-launches-in-europe-idUKKCN1MV10W">Reuters</a>, noted that challenger banks collectively now account for 14% of the banking market’s revenues in Europe, or €206 billion ($238 billion) compared to just 3.5% of the U.S. market (which is worth $1.04 trillion).</p> <p>Further afield, Gardner said the company has its eye on Asia, where he says growth in the past year has been &#8220;stagnant,&#8221; largely because its a &#8220;cash-centric culture.&#8221; However, government efforts to bring more transactions into the digital 21st century will lead to about 30% growth next year &#8212; an opportunity Gardner said Marqeta will want to try to cash in on.</p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/nNspwP5D2kQ" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Generation closes $1B growth fund targeting sustainable startups https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/21/generation-closes-1b-growth-fund-targeting-sustainable-startups/ TechCrunch » Startups urn:uuid:4bc43fef-2cdb-07c9-792b-702e18f70444 Tue, 21 May 2019 14:00:47 +0200 Generation Investment Management, the firm co-founded by environmentalist and former Vice President Al Gore, was built on the premise of backing sustainable startups. Now, as the idea of sustainability starts to gain wider traction, the firm is doubling down on the concept. Today, Generation is announcing that it has closed a $1 billion Sustainable Solutions [&#8230;] <p id="speakable-summary"><a href="http://generationim.com">Generation Investment Management</a>, the firm co-founded by environmentalist and former Vice President Al Gore, was built on the premise of backing sustainable startups. Now, as the idea of sustainability starts to gain wider traction, the firm is doubling down on the concept.</p> <p>Today, Generation is announcing that it has closed a $1 billion Sustainable Solutions Fund for growth investments. As the name implies, it plans to put the $1 billion to work backing later-stage startups that work on sustainability in at least one of three areas &#8212; environmental solutions; healthcare; and financial inclusion, including the future of work &#8212; and are creating financially sustainable businesses out of that focus.</p> <p>Typical investments will range from $50 million to $150 million, and there have already been two made out of the fund before it closed, both indicative of the kinds of investments Generation plans to be making.</p> <p><a href="http://andela.com">Andela</a> &#8212; the startup that pairs companies needing engineering talent to work on projects with developers based out of Africa &#8212; in January <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/23/connecting-african-software-developers-with-top-tech-companies-nets-andela-100-million/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">announced a $100 million round</a>. Also that month, <a href="https://www.sophiagenetics.com">Sophia Genetics</a> &#8212; the company that applies AI to DNA sequencing to help formulate more accurate medical treatments &#8212; <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/04/sophia-genetics-bags-77m-series-e-with-850-hospitals-signed-up-to-its-data-driven-medicine/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">raised $77 million</a> led by the firm.</p> <p>Other companies that Generation has backed include <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/11/29/asana-a-work-management-platform-nabs-50m-growth-round-at-a-1-5b-valuation/">Asana</a>, DocuSign, gogoro, CiBO, M-Kopa, Ocado, Optoro and Seventh Generation.</p> <p>This is Generation&#8217;s third growth fund and the largest raised by the firm to date, which itself is a sign of the swing we&#8217;ve seen in the tech world.</p> <p>In general, founders, workers and investors all remain relentlessly focused on growing new ideas. But along with that there has been a rising conscientiousness of the massive role that tech plays in shaping the world, and so some are now trying to make more of an effort to use that for more meaningful outcomes.</p> <p>&#8220;You are seeing how sustainability is attracting high performing entrepreneurs,&#8221; said Lilly Wollman, partner and co-head of the Growth Equity platform, in an interview. &#8220;They care about the mission, and that is also driving financial performance.&#8221;</p> <p>“We believe that we are at the early stages of a technology-led sustainability revolution,” said <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/person/al-gore" target="_blank" data-type="person" data-entity="al-gore">Al Gore, <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> Chairman and Co-Founder, in a statement, “which has the scale of the industrial revolution, and the pace of the digital revolution.”</p> <p>In the case of Generation, it&#8217;s also an indication that the firm &#8212; which has $22 billion under management today &#8212; is providing impressive enough returns on its mission to drive more interest from LPs to grow the commitment to back it.</p> <p>&#8220;There is a recognition of this momentum,&#8221; added Lila Preston, a Partner who is the growth platform&#8217;s co-head, of the 15 years the firm has already spent on this concept and the work it&#8217;s put into it. &#8220;We see this as a movement, but one with a roadmap based on research and understanding.&#8221;</p> <p>It&#8217;s also notable to me that the two people leading the growth team are women. Wollman noted that 60 percent of the Generation team is female, with the employee base spanning eight nationalities. &#8220;The firm believes more diversity leads to better outcomes,&#8221; she said.</p> <p>Consumers are also playing a big role. Of all the good, bad and ugly that have been wrought by the rise of social media, one of the positives has been how social platforms have been used to raise awareness of issues such as climate change and inclusion. We may be getting into more online fights with our distant cousins (and closer friends and relatives), and sometimes issues like trying to curtail emissions gasses seems like an insurmountable challenge. But some will also use what they read about and watch online as inspiration to try to make a change.</p> <p>&#8220;One of the things that is so interesting in this moment is at we are at an inflection point,&#8221; said Wollman. &#8220;Sustainability is winning on economics alone. You see sustainable products and solutions that are both efficacious and cheap. People are buying electric vehicles not just because they are green, but because they are starting to become cheap enough, and provide better performance.&#8221;</p> <p>That&#8217;s bringing in a new wave of investors to the mix, and it&#8217;s interesting to see how some more conventional investors are even starting to take a bigger step into making mission-driven investment decisions. (Just yesterday, in the UK, <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/20/wagestream-closes-51m-series-a-to-plug-the-payday-gap-without-putting-workers-in-debt/">Balderton co-led a large round for Wagestream</a>, a startup aimed at helping promote financial inclusion by creating a way to easily and cheaply draw down money from monthly paychecks. Generation hinted that it too might be making an investment in a startup working in a similar area in the weeks to come.)</p> <p>&#8220;It helps to have a set of coinvestors to ask questions related not only to &#8216;what are your growth metrics&#8217; but &#8216;how does what you are doing affect the wider world,'&#8221; said Preston. &#8220;We are finding an increase of sophistication, which we think is positive recognition. Given the context of our shift, whether it&#8217;s a new economic model or climate change, we are going to need masses of capital to drive sustainable solutions and reframe what is successful.&#8221;</p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/4JFOntYcZA4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> How to Come Up With Startup Business Ideas in the Digital Era https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/333959 Entrepreneur.com: Starting a Business urn:uuid:9ca23a61-e620-420c-5ad1-284358fa65ee Tue, 21 May 2019 13:30:00 +0200 Your idea doesn't have to be completely original, just better than what's available already.<div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=F-APfduZe8k:gWDwK0BpThY:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=F-APfduZe8k:gWDwK0BpThY:dnMXMwOfBR0"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=dnMXMwOfBR0" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=F-APfduZe8k:gWDwK0BpThY:F7zBnMyn0Lo"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?i=F-APfduZe8k:gWDwK0BpThY:F7zBnMyn0Lo" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=F-APfduZe8k:gWDwK0BpThY:7Q72WNTAKBA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=7Q72WNTAKBA" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=F-APfduZe8k:gWDwK0BpThY:V_sGLiPBpWU"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?i=F-APfduZe8k:gWDwK0BpThY:V_sGLiPBpWU" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=F-APfduZe8k:gWDwK0BpThY:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=F-APfduZe8k:gWDwK0BpThY:gIN9vFwOqvQ"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?i=F-APfduZe8k:gWDwK0BpThY:gIN9vFwOqvQ" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=F-APfduZe8k:gWDwK0BpThY:TzevzKxY174"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=TzevzKxY174" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/entrepreneur/startingabusiness/~4/F-APfduZe8k" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Ravin.ai raises $4M to use computer vision for vehicle damage inspections https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/21/ravin-ai/ TechCrunch » Startups urn:uuid:fa881f72-c1bf-08ba-7726-0510536ad1f2 Tue, 21 May 2019 11:00:05 +0200 Ravin.ai, an Israel and U.K.-based startup developing AI to autonomously inspect vehicles for damage, has closed a $4 million seed round. The investment is led by Pico Venture Partners, with participation from Shell Ventures and &#8220;automotive entrepreneur&#8221; Adam Draizin. It marks Shell Ventures’ first Israel investment. Founded in 2018 and based in Haifa and London, [&#8230;] <p id="speakable-summary"><a href="https://www.ravin.ai/">Ravin.ai</a>, an Israel and U.K.-based startup developing AI to autonomously inspect vehicles for damage, has closed a $4 million seed round. The investment is led by Pico Venture Partners, with participation from Shell Ventures and &#8220;automotive entrepreneur&#8221; Adam Draizin. It marks Shell Ventures’ first Israel investment.</p> <p>Founded in 2018 and based in Haifa and London, Ravin combines computer vision and deep learning to detect and analyse damage in vehicles via standard cameras, such as a smartphone or CCTV cameras. The startup is initially targeting car rental companies but also eyeing up other markets for its tech, including fleet companies within the shared mobility space, and used car marketplaces.</p> <p>&#8220;We have all rented and bought used cars in our lives and there is always some discomfort associated with true car condition: Ravin&#8217;s mission is to create transparency around damage wherever vehicles operate or change hands,&#8221; Ravin co-founder and CEO Eliron Ekstein, who previously helped launch Shell&#8217;s digital business arm, tells me.</p> <p>&#8220;Damage in vehicles is a massive problem, if you consider that vehicles get damaged almost every fice seconds. For the consumer it&#8217;s a big headache because you&#8217;re never really sure if the car you&#8217;re picking up for rental, or the one you just bought, has some kind of hidden damage. For car rental, dealers and insurance companies, this translates to losses of over $100 billion due to damage undetected in time, overestimated repairs and the overhead of dealing with claims. This problem will only get worse as more vehicles are shared and people buy their cars online&#8221;.</p> <p>In contrast, Ekstein says Ravin provides the needed transparency to facilitate easier transactions. This is delivered via what he claims is an &#8220;objective&#8221; vehicle condition report generated via the startup&#8217;s AI using off-the-shelf cameras. Vehicles can be scanned via a mobile phone walk-around (similar to a panoramic view experience) or by driving through a set of CCTV cameras.</p> <p>&#8220;From there we create a 360-degree view of the vehicle and expose any damages, and in many cases some underlying problems, reasons and repair action,&#8221; says Ekstein. &#8220;This leads to frictionless rental and sharing of vehicles and minimises unnecessary arguments as both sides know about the vehicle condition. It also helps car buyers verify a vehicle condition, and finally helps insurance companies validate claims quickly&#8221;.</p> <p>More broadly, Ravin wants to provide an almost &#8220;Docusign-like&#8221; experience where people can hand cars over in confidence, which Ekstein says is really what the sharing economy is all about.</p> <p>To that end, Ravin says it has commercial partners across the U.S. and Europe, including Avis’ Heathrow Airport location. It plans to use the new funding to further develop its technology products and to expand commercial reach across North America, Europe and Asia.</p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/xvyzyzZVOZk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Amsterdam’s New Golden Age? An In-Depth Review of The Next Web Conference 2019 https://siliconcanals.nl/news/amsterdams-new-golden-age-an-in-depth-review-of-the-next-web-conference-2019/ Silicon Canals urn:uuid:05e76065-dbbf-a056-25e4-87cce75dc1e9 Tue, 21 May 2019 09:36:53 +0200 <p>On the 9th and 10th of May, technology specialists, generalists, and enthusiasts from around the European continent (and globe) gathered in Amsterdam to partake in the 14th edition of the The Next Web (TNW) conference &#8211; aptly labelled “the heart of tech”. Based on my own experience, as well as the feedback I’ve seen so [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://siliconcanals.nl/news/amsterdams-new-golden-age-an-in-depth-review-of-the-next-web-conference-2019/">Amsterdam’s New Golden Age? An In-Depth Review of The Next Web Conference 2019</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://siliconcanals.nl">Silicon Canals</a>.</p> These 6 electric scooter startups from France are ready to challenge Bird and Lime https://siliconcanals.nl/news/these-6-electric-scooter-startups-from-france-are-ready-to-challenge-bird-and-lime/ Silicon Canals urn:uuid:b651fdad-ef18-18c8-1e83-c4f503627d1b Tue, 21 May 2019 09:00:00 +0200 <p>Electric scooters are quite convenient to use, especially for short distance commutes. These vehicles manage to get you from one point to another in a relatively lesser time and leave you free from responsibilities such as owning a vehicle, finding a parking slot and maintaining the same from time to time. France is a startup [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://siliconcanals.nl/news/these-6-electric-scooter-startups-from-france-are-ready-to-challenge-bird-and-lime/">These 6 electric scooter startups from France are ready to challenge Bird and Lime</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://siliconcanals.nl">Silicon Canals</a>.</p> Pinduoduo user growth and engagement efforts weigh as Q1 losses deepen https://technode.com/2019/05/21/pinduoduo-q1-2019/ TechNode urn:uuid:a7eef41e-8241-3e89-a198-339c618b1608 Tue, 21 May 2019 08:09:33 +0200 Promotional activities including sponsoring the annual CCTV Spring Festival Gala weighed on profits. Qutoutiao widens losses in Q1 as user acquisition bites, CEO resigns https://technode.com/2019/05/21/qutoutiao-widens-losses-in-q1-as-user-acquisition-bites-ceo-resigns/ TechNode urn:uuid:f799a13f-61b3-110f-4e59-c2b6ed791466 Tue, 21 May 2019 06:51:24 +0200 Despite strong growth, losses continued to widen in the first quarter as the company aggressively grows its user base. Briefing: US issues warning about Chinese-made drones stealing data https://technode.com/2019/05/21/chinese-made-drones-dhs-alert/ TechNode urn:uuid:c04c6332-13cc-4d21-ca67-864efbca979c Tue, 21 May 2019 05:57:51 +0200 Nearly 80% of drones in the US and Canada are made by DJI, the world's largest commercial drone maker based in Shenzhen. Briefing: China’s new civil code draft adds regulations for human gene editing https://technode.com/2019/05/21/briefing-chinas-new-civil-code-draft-adds-regulations-for-human-gene-editing/ TechNode urn:uuid:927ce084-4ff9-ab12-d977-ab2f4ea78d83 Tue, 21 May 2019 04:31:54 +0200 Human genes and embryos fall under a section on protected personality rights. Xiaomi’s overseas sales offset slowing China growth, Q1 revenue surges 27% https://technode.com/2019/05/21/xiaomi-first-quarter-revenue-jumps-27-driven-by-overseas-sales/ TechNode urn:uuid:b167bdd5-6967-3b86-96cd-a86247ce8056 Tue, 21 May 2019 04:09:51 +0200 Xiaomi is weathering a shrinking smartphone market in China by increasing focus on others such as India and Europe. Hello Transtech: Alibaba’s other, other unicorn https://technode.com/2019/05/21/hello-transtech-alibabas-other-other-unicorn/ TechNode urn:uuid:51206343-7c94-fae3-3a9e-5f7c8e19fd9d Tue, 21 May 2019 02:59:59 +0200 Hello Transtech, an Alibaba-backed mobility unicorn, is streets ahead of the bikesharing firms that have come before it. Quadric.io raises $15M to build a plug-and-play supercomputer for autonomous systems https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/20/quadric-io-raises-15m-to-build-a-plug-and-play-supercomputer-for-autonomous-systems/ TechCrunch » Startups urn:uuid:3df6f7d6-5f27-7619-e239-7ed049f06b5b Mon, 20 May 2019 23:09:43 +0200 Quadric.io, a startup founded by some of the folks behind the once-secretive bitcoin mining operation “21E6,&#8221; has raised $15 million in a Series A round that will fund the development of a supercomputer designed for autonomous systems.   The round was led by automotive Tier 1 supplier DENSO and its semiconductor products arm NSITEXE, which will also [&#8230;] <p class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-p1"><span class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-s1"><a href="https://quadric.io/">Quadric.io</a>, a startup founded by some of the folks behind the once-</span>secretive bitcoin mining operation “21E6,&#8221;<span class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-s1"> has raised $15 million in a Series A round that will fund the development of a supercomputer designed for autonomous systems.  </span></p> <p class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-p1"><span class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-s1">The round was led by automotive Tier 1 supplier DENSO and its semiconductor products arm NSITEXE, which will also be one of Quadric.io&#8217;s customers for future electronic systems in all levels of autonomous driving solutions. </span><span class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-s1"><span class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-s3">Leawood VC</span> also participated in the Series A round.</span></p> <p id="speakable-summary">The company says it will use the injection of capital to build out its product, hire more people and business development.</p> <p><span class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-s1"><span class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-s4">Pear</span></span><span class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-s2">, <span class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-s3">Uncork Capital</span>, <span class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-s3">SV Angel</span>, <span class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-s3">Cota Capital</span>, and <span class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-s3">Trucks VC</span> are seed investors in Quadric.io.</span></p> <p>The roots of Quadric.io grew from a seemingly disconnected mission to produce an agricultural robot designed to transform the way vineyards were managed. The company launched in 2016 by CEO Veerbhan Kheterpal, CTO Nigel Drego and CPO <span class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-s1"><span class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-Apple-converted-space">Daniel Firu —</span></span> all co-founders of 21 Inc. The bitcoin startup, once known as 21E6, would later rebrand as Earn.com before being <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/04/16/coinbase-buys-earn-com-and-makes-ceo-balaji-srinivasan-its-first-cto/">acquired by Coinbase</a> for $100 million.</p> <p>Quadric&#8217;s original plan was stymied by some real-world fundamentals. The power-hungry ag robot was weighed down by batteries that became too unwieldy to move amongst vineyard rows and the processing time to turn loads environmental data into actual actions based on algorithms were too slow.</p> <p id="5bb4" class="graf graf--p graf-after--p">Quadric was looking for a chip designed for processing on the edge and that supported decision-making in real time — all while crunching data faster and sipping, not slurping power. That need grew into Quadric&#8217;s core product today: a supercomputer that the company says hits that sweet spot of increased computational speed and reduced power consumption.</p> <p>Kheterpal noted in a recent post on Medium that Intel’s CPU’s work &#8220;very well for standard computer processing&#8221; and Nvidia’s GPU’s have &#8220;ushered in astounding new graphics processing for gaming and much more.&#8221; But he argued, that Quadric needed something neither of those companies could provide: a chip designed for processing on the edge.</p> <p><span class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-s1"><span class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-Apple-converted-space">The company created a single unified architecture in the supercomputer that enables <span class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-s2">high performance computing and artificial intelligence. The supercomputer, which is built around the </span></span></span><span class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-s1">Quadric Processor, is plug-and-play. This means people can plug in their sensor set and build their entire application to support &#8220;near-instantaneous&#8221; decision making, Quadric says. The company claims that early testing of Quadric’s system </span><span class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-s2">has shown up to 100 times lower latency and a 90 percent reduction in power consumption.<span class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-Apple-converted-space"> </span></span></p> <p>Quadric designed the instruction set, chip architecture and system architecture of the chip. System-level manufacturing is done at a contract manufacturer in Santa Clara, Calif., while chip manufacturing and assembly is done in Asia.</p> <p>Quadric argues this underlying technology is a prerequisite for companies developing autonomous systems that will be used in the <span class="m_147180955421258249gmail-m_-1955584082889072973gmail-s1">construction, transportation, agriculture and warehousing industries. The underlying tech that supports autonomous machines used in these industries either </span>lacks the performance or solves only a small part of the full application, according to Quadric.</p> <p>The startup contends that machines with autonomous functions requires processing speed and responsiveness “on the edge” — meaning at the machine level, not in the cloud.<span class="m_-7634227353821401903gmail-m_4214586857977866195gmail-m_4348512837022533271gmail-m_4422492313881789118gmail-m_2156498517605945805gmail-m_763006074630054776gmail-m_-6979290027146172865gmail-m_-8530905184013714997gmail-Apple-converted-space">   </span></p> <p>Other companies, <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/22/teslas-computer-is-now-in-all-new-cars-and-a-next-gen-chip-is-already-halfway-done/">most recently Tesla,</a> have opted to build their own chips to meet this specific need. But as<span style="font-size: 1.125rem; letter-spacing: -0.1px;"> </span><span style="font-size: 1.125rem; letter-spacing: -0.1px;">Kheterpal notes, </span><span style="font-size: 1.125rem; letter-spacing: -0.1px;">not all companies have the resources to build the tech from the ground up. </span></p> <p>&#8220; Quadric is a plug and play option that eliminates the need for building heterogeneous systems with significant hardware and software integration costs — thereby taking years off of product development roadmaps,&#8221; Kheterpal wrote.</p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/3EtVJHAFhB0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Talk key takeaways from KubeCon 2019 with TechCrunch writers https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/20/talk-key-takeaways-from-kubecon-2019-with-techcrunch-writers/ TechCrunch » Startups urn:uuid:f8da44ca-45b4-52d0-a449-31344ed8492a Mon, 20 May 2019 22:00:13 +0200 The Linux Foundation&#8217;s annual KubeCon conference is going down at the Fira Gran Via exhibition center in Barcelona, Spain this week and TechCrunch is on the scene covering all the latest announcements. The KubeCon/CloudNativeCon conference is the world&#8217;s largest gathering for the topics of Kubernetes, DevOps and cloud-native applications. TechCrunch’s Frederic Lardinois and Ron Miller will be on [&#8230;] <p id="speakable-summary">The <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/the-linux-foundation" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="the-linux-foundation">Linux Foundation&#8217;s <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> annual KubeCon conference is going down at the Fira Gran Via exhibition center in Barcelona, Spain this week and TechCrunch is <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/09/google-cloud-next-live-stream-livestream-watch-its-always-cloudy-in-california/">on the scene</a> covering all the latest announcements.</p> <p>The KubeCon/CloudNativeCon conference is the world&#8217;s largest gathering for the topics of <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/kubernetes" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="kubernetes">Kubernetes, <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> DevOps and cloud-native applications. TechCrunch’s <a href="https://twitter.com/fredericl?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">Frederic Lardinois</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/ron_miller">Ron Miller</a> will be on the ground at the event.<strong> Wednesday at 9:00 am PT, </strong>Frederic and Ron will be sharing with <a href="https://techcrunch.com/extracrunch/">Extra Crunch</a> members via a conference call what they saw and what it all means.</p> <p>Tune in to dig into what happened onstage and off and ask Frederic and Ron any and all things Kubernetes, open-source development or dev tools.</p> <p><b><i>To listen to this and all future conference calls, become a member of Extra Crunch. </i></b><a href="http://techcrunch.com/subscribe"><b><i>Learn more and try it for free.</i></b></a></p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/d4rTbj_Dses" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> What's the Best Way to Legally Structure Multiple Businesses? https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/277964 Entrepreneur.com: Starting a Business urn:uuid:13b14261-7d7c-4fb9-a6ba-964ff2d39675 Mon, 20 May 2019 21:55:00 +0200 There are advantages and disadvantages to structuring multiple business, and lots of ways to do it wrong.<div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=zubb0fEz-dI:oNyviKK6tik:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=zubb0fEz-dI:oNyviKK6tik:dnMXMwOfBR0"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=dnMXMwOfBR0" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=zubb0fEz-dI:oNyviKK6tik:F7zBnMyn0Lo"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?i=zubb0fEz-dI:oNyviKK6tik:F7zBnMyn0Lo" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=zubb0fEz-dI:oNyviKK6tik:7Q72WNTAKBA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=7Q72WNTAKBA" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=zubb0fEz-dI:oNyviKK6tik:V_sGLiPBpWU"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?i=zubb0fEz-dI:oNyviKK6tik:V_sGLiPBpWU" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=zubb0fEz-dI:oNyviKK6tik:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=zubb0fEz-dI:oNyviKK6tik:gIN9vFwOqvQ"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?i=zubb0fEz-dI:oNyviKK6tik:gIN9vFwOqvQ" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=zubb0fEz-dI:oNyviKK6tik:TzevzKxY174"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=TzevzKxY174" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/entrepreneur/startingabusiness/~4/zubb0fEz-dI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Instagram’s IGTV copies TikTok’s AI, Snapchat’s design https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/20/igtv-vs-tiktok-vs-snapchat/ TechCrunch » Startups urn:uuid:cb314bdd-e475-f70a-be21-a0627e1fc514 Mon, 20 May 2019 21:49:40 +0200 Instagram conquered Stories, but it&#8217;s losing the battle for the next video formats. TikTok is blowing up with an algorithmically suggested vertical one-at-a-time feed featuring videos of users remixing each other&#8217;s clips. Snapchat Discover&#8217;s 2 x infinity grid has grown into a canvas for multi-media magazines, themed video collections, and premium mobile TV shows. Instagram&#8217;s [&#8230;] <p id="speakable-summary"><a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/instagram" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="instagram">Instagram <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> conquered Stories, but it&#8217;s losing the battle for the next video formats. TikTok is blowing up with an algorithmically suggested vertical one-at-a-time feed featuring videos of users remixing each other&#8217;s clips. Snapchat Discover&#8217;s 2 x infinity grid has grown into a canvas for multi-media magazines, themed video collections, and premium mobile TV shows.</p> <p>Instagram&#8217;s IGTV&#8230;feels like a flop in comparison. <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/20/igtv/">Launched</a> a year ago, it&#8217;s full of crudely cropped &amp; imported viral trash from around the web. The long-form video hub that lives inside both a homescreen button in Instagram as well as a standalone app has failed to host lengthier must-see original vertical content. <a href="https://sensortower.com/">Sensor Tower</a> estimates that the IGTV app has just 4.2 million installs worldwide with just 7,700 new ones per day &#8212; implying less than half a percent of Instagram&#8217;s billion-plus users have downloaded it. IGTV doesn&#8217;t rank on the overall charts and hangs low at #191 on the US &#8211; Photo &amp; Video app charts according to <a href="https://www.appannie.com/apps/ios/app/1394351700/rank-history/?vtype=day&amp;countries=US&amp;view=rank&amp;date=2019-04-21~2019-05-20&amp;device=iphone&amp;legends=2">App Annie</a>.</p> <p><img class="breakout aligncenter wp-image-1830081" src="https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/IGTV-Redesign.png?w=646" alt="" width="900" height="948" srcset="https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/IGTV-Redesign.png 1225w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/IGTV-Redesign.png?resize=142,150 142w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/IGTV-Redesign.png?resize=285,300 285w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/IGTV-Redesign.png?resize=768,809 768w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/IGTV-Redesign.png?resize=646,680 646w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/IGTV-Redesign.png?resize=47,50 47w" sizes="(max-width: 900px) 100vw, 900px" /></p> <p>Now Instagram has quietly overhauled the design of IGTV&#8217;s space inside its main app to crib what&#8217;s working from its two top competitors. The new design showed up in last week&#8217;s <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/16/how-instagram-explore-works/">announcements for Instagram Explore&#8217;s new Shopping and IGTV discovery experiences</a>. At the time, Instagram&#8217;s product lead on Explore Will Ruben told us that with the redesign, &#8220;<span style="font-size: 1.125rem; letter-spacing: -0.1px;">the idea is this is more immersive and helps you to see the breadth of videos in IGTV rather than the horizontal scrolling interface that used to exist&#8221; </span>but the company declined to answer follow-up questions about it.</p> <p><img class="vertical alignright size-large wp-image-1830078" src="https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/IGTVs-Old-Design.png?w=314" alt="" width="314" height="680" srcset="https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/IGTVs-Old-Design.png 1125w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/IGTVs-Old-Design.png?resize=69,150 69w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/IGTVs-Old-Design.png?resize=139,300 139w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/IGTVs-Old-Design.png?resize=768,1663 768w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/IGTVs-Old-Design.png?resize=314,680 314w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/IGTVs-Old-Design.png?resize=23,50 23w" sizes="(max-width: 314px) 100vw, 314px" />IGTV has ditched its category-based navigation system&#8217;s tabs like &#8220;For You&#8221;, &#8220;Following&#8221;, &#8220;Popular&#8221;, and &#8220;Continue Watching&#8221; for just one central feed of algorithmically suggested videos &#8212; much like TikTok. This affords a more lean-back, &#8216;just show me something fun&#8217; experience that relies on Instagram&#8217;s AI to analyze your behavior and recommend content instead of putting the burden of choice on the viewer.</p> <p>IGTV has also ditched its awkward horizontal scrolling design that always kept a clip playing in the top half of the screen. Now you&#8217;ll scroll vertically through a 2 x infinity grid of recommended clips in a what looks just like Snapchat Discover feed. Once you get past a first video that auto-plays up top, you&#8217;ll find a full-screen grid of things to watch. You&#8217;ll only see the horizontal scroller in the standalone IGTV app, or if you tap into an IGTV video, and then tap the Browse button for finding a next clip while the last one plays up top.</p> <p>Instagram seems to be trying to straddle the designs of its two competitors. The problem is that <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/tiktok" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="tiktok">TikTok&#8217;s <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> one-at-a-time feed works great for punchy, short videos that get right to the point. If you&#8217;re bored after 5 second you swipe to the next. IGTV&#8217;s focus on long-form means its videos might start too slowly to grab your attention if they were auto-played full-screen in the feed rather than being chosen by a viewer. But Snapchat makes the most of the two previews per row design IGTV has adopted because professional publishers take the time to make compelling cover thumbnail images promoting their content. IGTV&#8217;s focus on independent creators means fewer have labored to make great cover images, so viewers have to rely on a screenshot and caption.</p> <p><img class="breakout aligncenter wp-image-1830087" src="https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Instagram-IGTV-Vs-Snapchat-Vs-TikTok-1.png?w=680" alt="" width="900" height="651" srcset="https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Instagram-IGTV-Vs-Snapchat-Vs-TikTok-1.png 1803w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Instagram-IGTV-Vs-Snapchat-Vs-TikTok-1.png?resize=150,109 150w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Instagram-IGTV-Vs-Snapchat-Vs-TikTok-1.png?resize=300,217 300w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Instagram-IGTV-Vs-Snapchat-Vs-TikTok-1.png?resize=768,556 768w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Instagram-IGTV-Vs-Snapchat-Vs-TikTok-1.png?resize=680,492 680w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Instagram-IGTV-Vs-Snapchat-Vs-TikTok-1.png?resize=50,36 50w" sizes="(max-width: 900px) 100vw, 900px" /></p> <p>Instagram is prototyping a number of other features to boost engagement across its app, as discovered by reverse engineering specialist and frequent TechCrunch tipster <a href="https://wongmjane.com/">Jane Manchun Wong</a>. Those include options to blast a <a href="https://twitter.com/wongmjane/status/1128755393130184704">direct message to all your Close Friends</a> at once but in individual message threads, see a <a href="https://twitter.com/wongmjane/status/1127665221290479616">divider between notifications</a> and likes you have or haven&#8217;t seen, or post a <a href="https://twitter.com/wongmjane/status/1124033469783453696">Chat sticker</a> to Stories that lets friends join a group message thread about that content. And to better compete with TikTok, it may let you <a href="https://twitter.com/wongmjane/status/1127680894905380864">add lyrics stickers</a> to Stories that appear word-by-word in sync with Instagram&#8217;s licensed music soundtrack feature, and <a href="https://twitter.com/wongmjane/status/1126946150135652352">share Music Stories to Facebook</a>. What we haven&#8217;t seen is any cropping tool for IGTV that would help users reformat landscape videos. The vertical-only restriction keeps lots of great content stuck outside IGTV, or letterboxed with black, color-matched backgrounds, or meme-style captions with the video as just a tiny slice in the middle.</p> <p><img class="breakout aligncenter wp-image-1830068" src="https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Instagram-Join-Chat-Sticker-Lyrics-Sticker-Message-Close-Friends.png?w=680" alt="" width="900" height="335" srcset="https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Instagram-Join-Chat-Sticker-Lyrics-Sticker-Message-Close-Friends.png 1772w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Instagram-Join-Chat-Sticker-Lyrics-Sticker-Message-Close-Friends.png?resize=150,56 150w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Instagram-Join-Chat-Sticker-Lyrics-Sticker-Message-Close-Friends.png?resize=300,112 300w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Instagram-Join-Chat-Sticker-Lyrics-Sticker-Message-Close-Friends.png?resize=768,286 768w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Instagram-Join-Chat-Sticker-Lyrics-Sticker-Message-Close-Friends.png?resize=680,253 680w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Instagram-Join-Chat-Sticker-Lyrics-Sticker-Message-Close-Friends.png?resize=50,19 50w" sizes="(max-width: 900px) 100vw, 900px" /></p> <p>When <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/08/25/igtv-views/">I spoke</a> with Instagram co-founder and ex-CEO Kevin Systrom last year a few months after IGTV&#8217;s launch, he told me “It’s a new format. It’s different. We have to wait for people to adopt it and that takes time . . . Everything that is great starts small.”</p> <p>But to grow large, IGTV needs to demonstrate how long-form portrait mode video can give us a deeper look at the nuances of the influencers and topics we care about. The company has rightfully prioritized other<a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/09/instagram-vaccine-hashtags/"> drives like safety</a> and well-being with features that hide bullies and deter overuse. But<a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/08/25/igtv-views/"> my advice from August</a> still stands despite all the ground Instagram has lost in the meantime. &#8220;Concentrate on teaching creators how to find what works on the format and incentivizing them with cash and traffic. Develop some must-see IGTV and stoke a viral blockbuster. Prove the gravity of extended, personality-driven vertical video.&#8221; Until the content is right, it won&#8217;t matter how IGTV surfaces it.</p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/xnpm7Ip58oE" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> In-car commerce startup Cargo extends Uber partnership to Brazil https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/20/in-car-commerce-startup-cargo-extends-uber-partnership-to-brazil/ TechCrunch » Startups urn:uuid:97390391-fbd2-a73c-7e9a-03c1cad18ad2 Mon, 20 May 2019 21:48:57 +0200 Cargo, the startup that brings the convenience store into ride-hailing vehicles, is making its first international expansion through an exclusive partnership with Uber in Brazil. Uber drivers in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro will now be able to sign up for Cargo and potentially earn additional income by selling products to passengers during their [&#8230;] <p id="speakable-summary"><a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/cargo-3" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="cargo-3">Cargo, <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> the startup that brings the convenience store into ride-hailing vehicles, is making its first international expansion through an exclusive partnership with <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/uber" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="uber">Uber <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> in Brazil.</p> <p>Uber drivers in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro will now be able to sign up for Cargo and potentially earn additional income by selling products to passengers during their ride.</p> <p>Cargo, which launched in 2017, provides qualified ridesharing drivers with free boxes filled with the kinds of goods you might find in a convenience store, including snacks and phone chargers. Riders can use Cargo’s mobile web menu on their smartphones (without downloading an app) to buy what they need.</p> <p>The expansion into Brazil includes a relationship with am/pm convenience stores. In Brazil, about 2,500 am/pm stores are operated and located in Ipiranga gas stations. Uber drivers that sign up with Cargo will collect their boxes of products at these stores.</p> <p>The announcement is an extension of a <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/07/19/uber-partners-with-cargo-to-help-drivers-make-money-by-selling-stuff-to-riders/">partnership with Uber</a> that began last July in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Cargo and Uber have added more U.S. cities to the partnership, including Boston, Miami, New York and Washington, D.C.</p> <p>The move will give Cargo access to the more than 600,000 Uber drivers in Brazil. <span style="font-size: 1.125rem; letter-spacing: -0.1px;">It also signals the beginning of what will be a broader global expansion for the company. Some 20,000 U.S. drivers have used the Cargo service. </span></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">In October, Cargo announced it had<a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/27/in-car-commerce-startup-cargo-raises-22-million-led-by-founders-fund/"> raised $22 million in a Series A round</a> led by Founders Fund. The Series A round included additional investment from Aquiline Technology Growth, Coatue Management and a number of high-profile entertainment, gaming and technology executives such as <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/zynga" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" data-type="organization" data-entity="zynga">Zynga </a>founder Mark Pincus, Twitch’s former CSO Colin Carrier, media investor Vivi Nevo, former NBA commissioner David Stern, Def Jam Records CEO Paul Rosenberg, Steve Aoki, Maria Shriver and Patrick and Christina Schwarzenegger.</p> <p>To date, <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2017/07/20/cargo-wants-to-put-a-vending-machine-in-every-uber/?_ga=2.127853197.1666488610.1537802969-2076012395.1531773168">Cargo</a> has raised $30 million in venture funding.</p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/6YjORaVFC7Y" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> 8 Tips to Choose a Perfect Credit Card for Your Needs in UAE https://www.noobpreneur.com/2019/05/21/8-tips-to-choose-a-perfect-credit-card-for-your-needs-in-uae/ Noobpreneur.com urn:uuid:4afb8b8a-f969-d733-297e-051d014b724d Mon, 20 May 2019 21:19:36 +0200 <p>Opting for the best credit card that suits your lifestyle, pay cheque, and aspirations can be a very difficult task. As per the estimates, the UAE has more than 200&#8230; <a href="https://www.noobpreneur.com/2019/05/21/8-tips-to-choose-a-perfect-credit-card-for-your-needs-in-uae/" class="read-more">Read more &#187; </a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.noobpreneur.com/2019/05/21/8-tips-to-choose-a-perfect-credit-card-for-your-needs-in-uae/">8 Tips to Choose a Perfect Credit Card for Your Needs in UAE</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.noobpreneur.com">Noobpreneur.com</a>.</p> How to Use Heading Tags to Get More Search Engine Traffic https://www.quicksprout.com/how-to-use-heading-tags-to-get-more-search-engine-traffic/ Quick Sprout urn:uuid:4b8cab4a-0435-a22e-1b60-4e5ff7c7c238 Mon, 20 May 2019 20:38:17 +0200 I wrote a ton of blog posts. Over the last year alone, I’ve published a minimum of three blogs per week here at Quick Sprout. Some weeks it was even more, at times with multiple posts per day. If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while now, you know that everything I produce is&#160; <a class="more-link" href="https://www.quicksprout.com/how-to-use-heading-tags-to-get-more-search-engine-traffic/">[click to continue...]</a> <p>I wrote a ton of blog posts.</p> <p>Over the last year alone, I’ve published a minimum of three blogs per week here at Quick Sprout. Some weeks it was even more, at times with multiple posts per day.</p> <p>If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while now, you know that everything I produce is long-form content—just like the post you’re currently reading.</p> <p>This means it falls somewhere in the 1.800-3,000+ word range. I’m not writing quick 500-word pieces for the sake of publishing at a high rate.</p> <p>Over the years, I’ve covered lots of in-depth topics about content marketing, <a href="https://www.quicksprout.com/landing-page-optimization/">website optimization</a>, conversions, SEO, and other related subjects. But today I want to share with you a seemingly small and subtle SEO hack that can drastically improve the performance of your content.</p> <p><span id="more-43647"></span></p> <p>I’m referring to heading tags.</p> <p>Some of you might be more familiar with these than others. I’m sure some of you even use them in your posts, whether you realize their SEO value or not.</p> <p>I use heading tags in everything that I publish, including this post that you’re reading right now.</p> <p>In fact, you’ll see them throughout the post as we continue. I’ll make sure to bring attention to them so you know exactly what I’m talking about. So follow along this guide to see how you can improve your content with heading tags.</p> <h3>What is a heading tag?</h3> <p>Before we go any further, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page here. So far in this guide, I’ve used two heading tags:</p> <ul> <li>H1 for the title at the top of the page (How to Use Heading Tags to Get More Search Engine Traffic)</li> <li>H2 for this subsection (What is a heading tag?)</li> </ul> <p>There will be several more used throughout the guide as well.</p> <p>By definition, these are HTML tags that specify headers on a website. Let me break that definition down for you even further.</p> <p>HTML (hypertext markup language) is the language used to create pages on websites. Tags are the code that tells a web browser how the content should be displayed on the page. There are six types of heading tags; H1-H6.</p> <p>Each tag can be ranked from <a href="http://cultofweb.com/blog/heading-tags-seo/">highest to lowest</a> in the order of significance, which is clearly illustrated by the size.</p> <p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-43648" src="https://www.quicksprout.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Heading-Tags.png" alt="Heading Tags" srcset="https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Heading-Tags.png 1254w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Heading-Tags-300x191.png 300w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Heading-Tags-768x490.png 768w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Heading-Tags-1024x653.png 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1254px) 100vw, 1254px" /></p> <p>You can add these tags to your content before you publish your work.</p> <p>Here at Quick Sprout, we use WordPress. But I don’t typically write my blogs directly in that platform. I work in Google Docs, just because I think it’s more user-friendly for writing long-form content.</p> <p>Whether you’re using Docs, Microsoft Word, or another platform to produce content, you’ll be able to find those header options in the menu bar. Here’s what it looks like in Google Docs:</p> <p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-43649" src="https://www.quicksprout.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Google-Docs-Heading-Tags.png" alt="Google Docs Heading Tags" srcset="https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Google-Docs-Heading-Tags.png 458w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Google-Docs-Heading-Tags-157x300.png 157w" sizes="(max-width: 458px) 100vw, 458px" /></p> <p>It’s very straightforward.</p> <p>The options for H4 and higher won’t appear until after you add H3 tags to your content.</p> <p>Here’s what the tags look like if you’re working directly in WordPress.</p> <p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-43651" src="https://www.quicksprout.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Wordpress-Heading-Tags.png" alt="Wordpress Heading Tags" srcset="https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Wordpress-Heading-Tags.png 962w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Wordpress-Heading-Tags-300x147.png 300w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Wordpress-Heading-Tags-768x377.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 962px) 100vw, 962px" /></p> <p>Again, it’s about as straightforward as it gets.</p> <p>You can verify that the headers are applied properly into your content by viewing the source code of a page. In WordPress, just switch from the visual editor to the text editor to see the HTML code.</p> <p>You can also view the source code of any page, even after it’s been published.</p> <p>For example, let’s look at some previously published content here at Quick Sprout. Here is a post I wrote about <a href="https://www.quicksprout.com/the-beginners-guide-to-online-marketing/">online marketing for beginners</a>.</p> <p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-43652" src="https://www.quicksprout.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Heading-Tag-Example.png" alt="Heading Tag Example" srcset="https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Heading-Tag-Example.png 1508w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Heading-Tag-Example-300x230.png 300w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Heading-Tag-Example-768x588.png 768w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Heading-Tag-Example-1024x784.png 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1508px) 100vw, 1508px" /></p> <p>I’ve pointed out the different headers above. I’m sure you’re used to seeing content like this (especially on Quick Sprout).</p> <p>Now, you might look at this and just think the font is larger. All of the main text is written in size 11, the title is size 20, and the subheader is size 16. While this might be the case, it’s not that simple.</p> <p>Changing the size of the font alone doesn’t equate to a heading tag.</p> <p>If you check the source code of the page, you’ll see what I mean.</p> <p>Right click on any web page to see the source code. In fact, you can do it with what you’re reading right now. Then just click “view page source” and it will bring you to the source code. Here’s what that looks like for the Beginners Guide to Online Marketing.</p> <p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-43653" src="https://www.quicksprout.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Heading-Tag-Html-Code.png" alt="Heading Tag Html Code" srcset="https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Heading-Tag-Html-Code.png 1352w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Heading-Tag-Html-Code-300x198.png 300w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Heading-Tag-Html-Code-768x508.png 768w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Heading-Tag-Html-Code-1024x677.png 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1352px) 100vw, 1352px" /></p> <p>Finding those h tags in the source code is like a needle in a haystack. So use “command + f” to your advantage. Then just search for h1, h2, h3, etc…</p> <p>I pointed out the tags to make it obvious.</p> <p>As you can see, H1 tags were used for the title, and an H3 tag was used for the first subheader on the page.</p> <h3>SEO value for heading tags</h3> <p>Now let’s get into how heading tags are connected to SEO. By the way, here’s another heading tag (above) that I used for this subsection.</p> <p>There has been a debate for quite some time amongst SEO experts about how much of an impact heading tags actually have on SEO.</p> <p>You can’t compare their value to things like domain authority or backlinks, but heading tags still play a factor in your search ranking. That’s because they make it easier for search engines to read and interpret your content.</p> <p>If you just have big walls of text without subheaders, it’s going to be difficult for bots to know what your page is about.</p> <p>This can be compared to your overall website architecture as well.</p> <p>Just like your homepage and top-level content have a hierarchy that makes it easy for crawlers to index pages, the heading tags explain the importance of topics on the page.</p> <p>Without headers, you’re relying on search engines to take all of your text at the same face value, which won’t help your search ranking.</p> <p>John Mueller, the senior webmaster trends analyst at Google was <a href="https://quoracreative.com/article/H1-To-H6-HTML-Elements-Best-Practices-For-Titles-And-Headings">quoted saying</a> that Google uses H tags to understand the structure of text on a page.</p> <p>So it’s clear that they provide some SEO value.</p> <p>Furthermore, research from the <a href="https://hookagency.com/blog-length/">Hook Agency</a> shows some of the most important factors of <a href="https://www.quicksprout.com/optimizing-pages-for-seo/">on-page SEO</a>.</p> <p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-43654" src="https://www.quicksprout.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Important-SEO-Factors.png" alt="Important SEO Factors" srcset="https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Important-SEO-Factors.png 1624w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Important-SEO-Factors-300x167.png 300w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Important-SEO-Factors-768x428.png 768w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Important-SEO-Factors-1024x570.png 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1624px) 100vw, 1624px" /></p> <p>Two of the top ten factors are related to your heading tags.</p> <p>I’ve found some really great case studies on the web that back up this claim as well. Here’s one of my favorites conducted by <a href="https://www.searcheccentric.com/casestudies/motor-cars">Search Eccentric</a>.</p> <p>The study is about a company called <a href="https://www.motorcarsltd.com/">Motorcars Ltd</a>.</p> <p>They’ve been in business for over 40 years, but in the digital era, they struggled to rank in search engines for their keywords. After analyzing the website, it was clear that there was plenty that could be improved upon.</p> <p>One of the things that they changed was adding H1 and H2 tags to the site.</p> <p>The purpose of this was to improve the visibility and make the content more SEO friendly; simple, right? Take a look at the results of this tactic.</p> <p>The changes had a huge impact on their search results.</p> <p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-43655" src="https://www.quicksprout.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Ranking-Improvements.png" alt="Ranking Improvements" srcset="https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Ranking-Improvements.png 1270w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Ranking-Improvements-300x108.png 300w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Ranking-Improvements-768x276.png 768w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Ranking-Improvements-1024x368.png 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1270px) 100vw, 1270px" /></p> <p>After the heading tags were added, the company held the <b>top ranking spot </b>for two of their targeted keywords. They held a <b>top three position</b> for five of their top keywords.</p> <p>As you can see from the chart, they <b>jumped hundreds of ranking spots</b>.</p> <p>Now, all of this can’t be attributed to the header tags alone. They also removed dead links and fixed some navigation issues. But the heading tags definitely played a huge role in their success.</p> <h3>How heading tags impact user experience</h3> <p>In addition to the SEO benefits of heading tags, adding these to your site will also help improve the user experience.</p> <p>As a result, you’ll get more traffic to your site, frequent repeat visitors, and people will stay on your site for longer stretches of time. This simultaneously adds more SEO value as well.</p> <p>How can heading tags benefit visitors on your website?</p> <p>For starters, it just makes your content cleaner and more organized. <a href="https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/blogging-statistics-to-boost-your-strategy">43% of people</a> say that they skim blog posts. You need to make your content easy to skim by adding headers.</p> <p>Take this post you’re reading now as an example.</p> <p>Let’s say you already knew what heading tags were before you started reading. You may not think it’s necessary to read the first section. It would be very easy for you to skip over it because the tags are clear.</p> <p>But if I eliminated all heading tags from the post, it would create a large wall of text that is extremely difficult to read. Here’s <a href="https://www.slideshare.net/ronnie8hart0/getting-going-with-blog-post-is-a-snap">an example</a> to show you what I mean.</p> <p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-43656" src="https://www.quicksprout.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/No-Heading-Tag-Example.png" alt="No Heading Tag Example" srcset="https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/No-Heading-Tag-Example.png 922w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/No-Heading-Tag-Example-231x300.png 231w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/No-Heading-Tag-Example-768x998.png 768w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/No-Heading-Tag-Example-788x1024.png 788w" sizes="(max-width: 922px) 100vw, 922px" /></p> <p>This content is not scannable, and it’s just one excerpt of several pages in the same format.</p> <p>Now, let’s look at another example, only this time with heading tags used by <a href="https://conversionxl.com/">Conversion XL</a>.</p> <p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-43657" src="https://www.quicksprout.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Conversion-XL.png" alt="Conversion-XL" srcset="https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Conversion-XL.png 1596w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Conversion-XL-300x199.png 300w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Conversion-XL-768x510.png 768w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Conversion-XL-1024x680.png 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1596px) 100vw, 1596px" /></p> <p>This is much easier to scan, and it’s visually appealing.</p> <p>Now, is it possible to get this same effect just by making the font bigger and bolder? Sure, but why wouldn’t you take advantage of the header tags to get the SEO benefits as well?</p> <p>In case you’re wondering if these are actual heading tags or just larger font, I checked the source code to prove it.</p> <p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-43658" src="https://www.quicksprout.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Conversion-XL-code.png" alt="Conversion-XL code" srcset="https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Conversion-XL-code.png 1792w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Conversion-XL-code-300x157.png 300w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Conversion-XL-code-768x403.png 768w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Conversion-XL-code-1024x537.png 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1792px) 100vw, 1792px" /></p> <p>As you can see, they used H2s and H3s for this part of the post. Although it’s not pictured in this screenshot, an H1 tag was used for the title.</p> <h3>Heading tags best practices</h3> <p>Now that you know why you need to add heading tags on your website, I’ll go through some of the best practices to follow.</p> <p>Each best practice on my list is going to have a heading tag as well. You’ll see what I mean as you continue reading.</p> <h4>Only use one H1 tag per page</h4> <p>H1 tags should be saved for the title.</p> <p>By default, the title of your post should automatically become an H1. But you can view the page source code and the text editor to verify that.</p> <p>If for some reason that’s not the case, you can always add it in yourself.</p> <p>The idea here is that the H1 tag is the most important. Adding more than one will not only be less visually appealing, but it could potentially confuse crawlers when they’re indexing your content.</p> <h4>Use natural keywords in headers</h4> <p>When possible, you’ll always want to have keywords in your headers.</p> <p>However, it’s a common misconception that every heading tag needs to be stuffed with keywords. That’s just not the case.</p> <p>As with all of the content you create, the text needs to be natural and readable. If you can get some keywords in there, that’s great. If not, don’t try to force it.</p> <p>A great resource for finding keywords to put in your headers is Google. Just scroll to the bottom of the page and look for related searches.</p> <p>Let’s say you were writing a blog post about the benefits of yoga. Here’s what those related searches look like.</p> <p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-43659" src="https://www.quicksprout.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Search-Examples.png" alt="Search Examples" srcset="https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Search-Examples.png 1158w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Search-Examples-300x97.png 300w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Search-Examples-768x248.png 768w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Search-Examples-1024x331.png 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1158px) 100vw, 1158px" /></p> <p>These keywords could be potential H2s or H3s of your post.</p> <p>You wouldn’t put “benefits of yoga Wikipedia” in one of your headers, because that’s not natural and doesn’t make sense. But things like yoga benefits for men, benefits of yoga in the morning, or how to maximize yoga benefits would all be appropriate.</p> <h4>Use heading tags generously</h4> <p>Some people will tell you to use heading tags sparingly, but I think that’s another misconception.</p> <p>I’m not saying you should have them every other line, but use them as you see fit. If a post calls for three, then use three. If it calls for 10 or 20, then use 10 or 20.</p> <p>In most cases, the longer a post is, the more heading tags you can use.</p> <p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-43660" src="https://www.quicksprout.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Google-Advice.png" alt="Google Advice" srcset="https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Google-Advice.png 1020w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Google-Advice-300x159.png 300w, https://quicksprout-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Google-Advice-768x407.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1020px) 100vw, 1020px" /></p> <p>Here’s another quote from John Mueller at Google. He says you can use as many heading tags as you want.</p> <p>Again, I’d still stick with just one H1 tag. But for H2, H3 (and so on), use as many as you need.</p> <p>In most cases, I don’t find it necessary to go beyond H3 or H4. SEO aside, I think that’s too complex for the reader. So find other ways to organize your content instead.</p> <p>You could always use bold or italics to emphasize something, as opposed to getting all the way to H6.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>Heading tags are a subtle, yet powerful, SEO hack.</p> <p>In addition to showcasing important content to search engine crawlers, they also make it easier for website visitors to consume content on your page.</p> <p>I highly recommend adding heading tags to your content. 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Canva becomes Meeker&#8217;s first Bond-specific portfolio company.</p> <p>&#8220;<span style="font-weight: 400;">The Canva team are building their platform around three trends – content, community and commerce – that we’ve been observing in some of the world’s fastest growing companies,&#8221; Meeker, an investor in Slack, Airbnb and more, said in a statement. &#8220;With its global user base of more than 15 million monthly active users, Canva is a clear leader providing a platform that empowers users to create compelling, data-rich visuals and gain design fluency through collaboration and feedback.&#8221;</span></p> <p>The news comes mere days after the provider of design and publishing tools <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/17/australias-design-unicorn-canva-picks-up-two-free-image-sharing-services-and-launches-new-photo-product/">acquired</a> the free stock image providers <a href="https://www.pexels.com/">Pexels</a> and<a href="https://pixabay.com/"> Pixabay</a> and launched a new subscription service for its premium image marketplace, Photos Unlimited. The new capital, however, will be used to fuel another new product, <a href="https://about.canva.com/enterprise/">Canva Enterprise</a>, which is tailored for larger brands and businesses seeking <span style="font-weight: 400;">additional brand control and collaboration.</span></p> <p>Founded in 2013, <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/canva" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="canva">Canva <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> counts 15 million users in 190 countries.</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">&#8220;We’ll be using this new funding to further cement Canva as the default tool in every workplace,&#8221; Canva co-founder and chief executive officer Melanie Perkins said in a statement. &#8220;We’ve seen incredible uptake from millions of people all around the world, with organizations of all sizes, from small businesses to Fortune 500s, using Canva every day.&#8221;</span></p> <div class="embed breakout"> <blockquote class="wp-embedded-content" data-secret="ZvMTscrTpR"><p><a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/17/australias-design-unicorn-canva-picks-up-two-free-image-sharing-services-and-launches-new-photo-product/">Australia&#8217;s design unicorn, Canva, picks up two free image-sharing services, and launches new photo product</a></p></blockquote> <p><iframe title="&#8220;Australia&#8217;s design unicorn, Canva, picks up two free image-sharing services, and launches new photo product&#8221; &#8212; TechCrunch" class="wp-embedded-content" sandbox="allow-scripts" security="restricted" style="position: absolute; clip: rect(1px, 1px, 1px, 1px);" src="https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/17/australias-design-unicorn-canva-picks-up-two-free-image-sharing-services-and-launches-new-photo-product/embed/#?secret=ZvMTscrTpR" data-secret="ZvMTscrTpR" width="800" height="450" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></div> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/UVNU_zMKv1A" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> MIT and US Air Force team up to launch AI accelerator https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/20/mit-and-u-s-air-force-team-up-to-launch-ai-accelerator/ TechCrunch » Startups urn:uuid:e9fb8fbb-6b76-0253-b8c5-746de075d1cf Mon, 20 May 2019 17:38:05 +0200 The Pentagon is one of the largest technology customers in the world, purchasing everything from F-35 planes (roughly $90 million each) to cloud services (the JEDI contract was $10 billion). Despite outlaying hundreds of billions of dollars for acquisitions though, the Defense Department has struggled to push nascent technologies from startups through its punishing procurement [&#8230;] <p id="speakable-summary">The Pentagon is one of the largest technology customers in the world, purchasing everything from F-35 planes (roughly $90 million each) to cloud services (<a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/15/why-the-pentagons-10-billion-jedi-deal-has-cloud-companies-going-nuts/">the JEDI contract was $10 billion</a>). Despite outlaying hundreds of billions of dollars for acquisitions though, the Defense Department has struggled to push nascent technologies from startups through its punishing procurement process.</p> <p>The department launched the <a href="https://www.diu.mil">Defense Innovation Unit</a> a few years back as a way to connect startups into the defense world. Now, the military has decided to work even earlier to ensure that the next generation of startups can equip the military with the latest technology.</p> <p>Cambridge, Mass.-based MIT and the U.S. Air Force announced today they are teaming up to launch a new accelerator focused on artificial intelligence applications, with the Air Force committed to investing $15 million into roughly 10 MIT research projects per year. The accelerator will be called the MIT-Air Force AI Accelerator (clearly, the Pentagon hasn’t gotten better at naming things).</p> <p>The accelerator will be housed on campus at MIT’s new computing college, <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/15/mit-announces-new-college-of-computing-with-1-billion-commitment/">which received a $1 billion commitment last year</a>, including $350 million from Stephen A. Schwarzman. The college is expected to officially launch later this fall.</p> <p>This will not be the Air Force’s first foray into accelerators. The service also built out <a href="https://www.techstars.com/programs/air-force-program/">an accelerator with Techstars</a> that is directly targeted at solving the Air Force’s problems. It’s not yet clear whether the Techstars accelerator, which is also based in Boston, is being merged into the MIT accelerator or will remain a separate entity.</p> <p>While MIT has had close relationships with the military going back decades, concerns have increased among some technologists about working on frontier tech like artificial intelligence and drones within a military context, especially an offensive military context. Last year, employees at Google <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/01/google-reportedly-backing-out-of-military-contract-after-public-backlash/">blocked the tech giant</a> from signing a cloud agreement with the Pentagon related to <a href="https://dod.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/1254719/project-maven-to-deploy-computer-algorithms-to-war-zone-by-years-end/">Project Maven</a>, which would have applied AI and “algorithms” to battlefield applications.</p> <p>In the announcement for this accelerator, MIT said that, “In addition to disaster relief and medical readiness, other possible research areas may include data management, maintenance and logistics, vehicle safety, and cyber resiliency.” It also highlighted that it hoped the projects entering the accelerator would be “addressing challenges that are important to both the Air Force and society more broadly.” Whether there are any limits on the types of projects that will be allowed on campus is not clear.</p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/ypr3nRZ1l0o" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Why startups need to be careful about export licenses and the Huawei ban https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/20/why-startups-need-to-be-careful-about-export-licenses-and-the-huawei-ban/ TechCrunch » Startups urn:uuid:57527907-2dd4-1052-8ea1-f5caaff7f32d Mon, 20 May 2019 16:55:37 +0200 America is the land of free trade … precisely until it is not. Through a thicket of laws and regulations, the U.S. government has broad control over what can get exported to whom, particularly in areas with sensitive technology or national security concerns. In general, those restrictions are loose, which is why startups mostly haven’t [&#8230;] <p id="speakable-summary">America is the land of free trade … precisely until it is not. Through a thicket of laws and regulations, the U.S. government has broad control over what can get exported to whom, particularly in areas with sensitive technology or national security concerns. In general, those restrictions are loose, which is why startups mostly haven’t had to think about export laws.</p> <p>That open world is rapidly closing though, and startups could well be the most harmed given that they have limited resources to handle these sorts of bureaucratic processes and the potential large penalty fines.</p> <p><a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/15/trump-declares-national-emergency-to-protect-u-s-networks-from-foreign-espionage/">Last week</a>, President Trump signed <a href="https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/05/17/2019-10538/securing-the-information-and-communications-technology-and-services-supply-chain">an executive order</a> requiring that the Department of Commerce initiate a review of regulations and enforcement practices to ensure that U.S. entities (people and companies) don’t provide “information and communications technology or services” to a “foreign adversary.” That term was read as describing China, although nothing in the order prevents its expansion to cover other countries in the future.</p> <p><div class="extra-crunch-offer-container"></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/H37WueH6-rU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> 3 Things to Look for Before You Hire Your First Employee (60-Second Video) https://www.entrepreneur.com/video/333436 Entrepreneur.com: Starting a Business urn:uuid:91c1ffa7-9d9c-1c73-9789-e8b967b5040e Mon, 20 May 2019 15:30:00 +0200 About to become more than an army of one? Here's what to consider as you make that first hire.<div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=Gxvca9orw6U:z0z1ekRXKbA:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=Gxvca9orw6U:z0z1ekRXKbA:dnMXMwOfBR0"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=dnMXMwOfBR0" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=Gxvca9orw6U:z0z1ekRXKbA:F7zBnMyn0Lo"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?i=Gxvca9orw6U:z0z1ekRXKbA:F7zBnMyn0Lo" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=Gxvca9orw6U:z0z1ekRXKbA:7Q72WNTAKBA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=7Q72WNTAKBA" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=Gxvca9orw6U:z0z1ekRXKbA:V_sGLiPBpWU"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?i=Gxvca9orw6U:z0z1ekRXKbA:V_sGLiPBpWU" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=Gxvca9orw6U:z0z1ekRXKbA:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=Gxvca9orw6U:z0z1ekRXKbA:gIN9vFwOqvQ"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?i=Gxvca9orw6U:z0z1ekRXKbA:gIN9vFwOqvQ" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=Gxvca9orw6U:z0z1ekRXKbA:TzevzKxY174"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=TzevzKxY174" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/entrepreneur/startingabusiness/~4/Gxvca9orw6U" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Identity platform Auth0 raises $103M, pushing its valuation over $1B https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/20/auth0-billion-dollar-unicorn/ TechCrunch » Startups urn:uuid:27c45219-dd7d-8398-55f2-ab6aeafe5f38 Mon, 20 May 2019 15:00:29 +0200 Auth0, a 2013-founded identity and authentication platform, has pushed into unicorn territory with a $1 billion valuation after raising $103 million in its latest Series E round. The round was led by Sapphire Ventures, with participation from K9 Ventures, Telstra Ventures and several others. In all, Auth0 total funding tops $210 million to date. Auth0 [&#8230;] <p id="speakable-summary"><a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/auth0" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="auth0">Auth0, <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> a 2013-founded identity and authentication platform, has pushed into unicorn territory with a $1 billion valuation after raising $103 million in its latest Series E round.</p> <p>The round was led by <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/sapphire-ventures" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="sapphire-ventures">Sapphire Ventures, <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> with participation from K9 Ventures, Telstra Ventures and several others. In all, Auth0 total funding tops $210 million to date.</p> <p>Auth0 — pronounced &#8220;auth-zero&#8221; — provides authentication-as-a-service to its corporate customers — or, to everyone else, a secure login system used to properly authenticate the identity of employees. Anyone working in a medium-to-large business will know the process all too well. Auth0 provides login and authentication systems for a bevy of device types — including Internet of Things devices — in a variety of formats, including single sign-on, multi-factor authentication and passwordless logins.</p> <p>By securing the perimeter to a corporate network, the company says it can prevent data breaches from unauthorized logins and improper access.</p> <p>The company touts more than 7,000 enterprise customers with more than 2.5 billion logins per month. It&#8217;s come a long way since <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2014/09/17/auth0-raises-2-4m-to-help-developers-plug-into-identity-platforms-like-facebook/">its $2.4 million seed round</a> in 2016.</p> <p>Auth0 chief executive Eugenio Pace said its Series E was &#8220;validation&#8221; that the company is doing things right.</p> <p>Clearly it is: It says customer growth and revenue has doubled year-over-year, and its employee numbers have increased by more than half in two years. Its latest Series D funding round that led its international expansion has seen offices also open in Buenos Aires, London and Sydney.</p> <p>Auth0 said the Series E will help support the growth of its five international offices. Pace said he was &#8220;truly grateful&#8221; for his investors&#8217; support.</p> <div class="embed breakout"> <blockquote class="wp-embedded-content" data-secret="trJLiQeq2S"><p><a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/25/cybersecurity-101-guide-two-factor/">Cybersecurity 101: Two-factor authentication can save you from hackers</a></p></blockquote> <p><iframe title="&#8220;Cybersecurity 101: Two-factor authentication can save you from hackers&#8221; &#8212; TechCrunch" class="wp-embedded-content" sandbox="allow-scripts" security="restricted" style="position: absolute; clip: rect(1px, 1px, 1px, 1px);" src="https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/25/cybersecurity-101-guide-two-factor/embed/#?secret=trJLiQeq2S" data-secret="trJLiQeq2S" width="800" height="450" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></div> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/2vSekzK4uSY" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> The Entrepreneur Behind This Million-Dollar Protein Snack Brand Says Patience Is the Key to His Success https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/333846 Entrepreneur.com: Starting a Business urn:uuid:cfff2653-2a5a-c623-57ef-7457ec0c6e4c Mon, 20 May 2019 15:00:00 +0200 Iwon Organics launched in 2016, but its products are already in 5,000 stores.<div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=XerdBe2f42U:-VVK2MhPbgo:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=XerdBe2f42U:-VVK2MhPbgo:dnMXMwOfBR0"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=dnMXMwOfBR0" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=XerdBe2f42U:-VVK2MhPbgo:F7zBnMyn0Lo"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?i=XerdBe2f42U:-VVK2MhPbgo:F7zBnMyn0Lo" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=XerdBe2f42U:-VVK2MhPbgo:7Q72WNTAKBA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=7Q72WNTAKBA" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=XerdBe2f42U:-VVK2MhPbgo:V_sGLiPBpWU"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?i=XerdBe2f42U:-VVK2MhPbgo:V_sGLiPBpWU" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=XerdBe2f42U:-VVK2MhPbgo:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=XerdBe2f42U:-VVK2MhPbgo:gIN9vFwOqvQ"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?i=XerdBe2f42U:-VVK2MhPbgo:gIN9vFwOqvQ" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?a=XerdBe2f42U:-VVK2MhPbgo:TzevzKxY174"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/entrepreneur/startingabusiness?d=TzevzKxY174" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/entrepreneur/startingabusiness/~4/XerdBe2f42U" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Robin picks up $20 million Series B to optimize the office https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/20/robin-picks-up-20-million-series-b-to-optimize-the-office/ TechCrunch » Startups urn:uuid:7baadbad-f887-1217-ce1f-abf1b4d806a7 Mon, 20 May 2019 14:37:24 +0200 Robin Powered, a startup looking to help offices run better, has today announced the close of a $20 million Series B funding. The round was led by Tola Capital, with existing investors Accomplice and FirstMark participating in the round, along with a new strategic Allegion Ventures. Robin started as part of an agency called One [&#8230;] <p id="speakable-summary"><a href="https://robinpowered.com/">Robin Powered</a>, a startup looking to help offices run better, has today announced the close of a $20 million Series B funding. The round was led by Tola Capital, with existing investors Accomplice and FirstMark participating in the round, along with a new strategic Allegion Ventures.</p> <p><a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/getrobin" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="getrobin">Robin <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> started as part of an agency called One Mighty Roar, where Robin Powered cofounder Sam Dunn and his two cofounders built out RFID and beacon tech for clients&#8217; live events. In 2014, they spun out the tech as Robin and tweaked the focus on the modern office.</p> <p>The office stands to be one of the least efficient pieces of any business. As a company grows, or even if it doesn&#8217;t, it&#8217;s particularly difficult to understand the &#8216;inventory&#8217; of the office and how it is used by workers throughout the day.</p> <p>&#8220;Before, if I asked you what you needed out of your next office, you might go around and survey employees or hire an architecture firm,&#8221; said Dunn. &#8220;I heard a story where a manager sent around an intern every Thursday at 3pm to talk to employees about the office, and that was one of two pieces of information handed over to the architecture firm. At the end of the day, it&#8217;s hard to know if there&#8217;s a shortage of meeting rooms, or teleconference-enabled rooms, or collaborative workspaces.&#8221;</p> <p><img src="https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2_robin-upcoming-2019-peek.png?w=680" alt="" width="680" height="383" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-1829784" srcset="https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2_robin-upcoming-2019-peek.png 1920w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2_robin-upcoming-2019-peek.png?resize=150,84 150w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2_robin-upcoming-2019-peek.png?resize=300,169 300w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2_robin-upcoming-2019-peek.png?resize=768,432 768w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2_robin-upcoming-2019-peek.png?resize=680,383 680w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2_robin-upcoming-2019-peek.png?resize=50,28 50w" sizes="(max-width: 680px) 100vw, 680px" /></p> <p>That&#8217;s where Robin comes in. Robin hooks into Google Calendar and Outlook to help employees get a sense of what meeting rooms and activity spaces are available in the office, complete with tablet signage out front. Meetings are the starting point for Robin, but the company can also offer tools for seating charts and office maps, as well as insights. The company wants to offer insights about how the space in this or that office is being used &mdash; what they lack and what they have too much of.</p> <p>Robin charges its clients per room ($300) and per desk ($24 &#8211; $60). The hope is to build out the same technological backbone for clients&#8217; offices as WeWork provides alongside its physical space, giving every business the opportunity to optimize one of their biggest investments: the office itself.</p> <p>Robin has raised a total of $30 million.</p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/cPOIGjGDtgs" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Clinc raises $52m Series B as it marches towards IPO https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/20/clinc-raises-52m-series-b-as-it-marches-towards-ipo/ TechCrunch » Startups urn:uuid:397dc6fa-aef0-d54f-fd66-c3512bcf5190 Mon, 20 May 2019 14:06:44 +0200 Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Clinc is today announcing a $52 million Series B. The company behind the conversational AI platform netted cash from Insight Partners, DFJ Growth, Drive Capital, Hyde Park Venture Partners, and others. This round of financing brings Clinc&#8217;s total amount of funding to $60 million and will help Clinc scale its conversational AI [&#8230;] <p id="speakable-summary">Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Clinc is today announcing a $52 million Series B. The company behind the conversational AI platform netted cash from Insight Partners, DFJ Growth, Drive Capital, Hyde Park Venture Partners, and others.</p> <p>This round of financing brings Clinc&#8217;s total amount of funding to $60 million and will help Clinc scale its conversational AI to new markets. Clinc plans to reach 140 employees by the end of 2019 and intends to move into a new 26,000 square foot office in Ann Arbor, MI. According to Clinc, the company achieved a 300% year-over-year revenue growth and expects to more than triple the business again this year.</p> <p>&#8220;We&#8217;ve had phenomenal growth and built unbelievable momentum in a very short period of time,&#8221; said <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/person/jason-mars" target="_blank" data-type="person" data-entity="jason-mars">Jason Mars, <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> Clinc CEO. &#8220;Now we&#8217;re adding more world class investors to support our growing team as we work to accelerate the pace of innovation and to reshape the conversational AI landscape, one industry at a time.&#8221;</p> <p>Mars explained to TechCrunch that it sought specific investors for this round that could help take the company to its initial public offering. Jeff Lieberman, Insight Partners&#8217; Managing Director, is joining Clinc&#8217;s board of directors and brings significant IPO experience to the boardroom as he previously helped several companies go public including Event, Shutterstock, and Website Pros. With this round, Clinc also adds DFJ&#8217;s Randy Glein to its board of advisors.</p> <p>Mars said this round of financing could be its last before going public. He hopes to take the company straight to an IPO from here and noted that the capital gives the company several years of runway.</p> <p>With this round, Clinc now has investors on both coasts along within the middle of the country where it&#8217;s based.</p> <p>Clinc was founded in Ann Arbor, MI in 2015 and has remained committed to the Midwest city since its launch in 2016. The company currently has offices elsewhere including Europe, Asia, and throughout the States. CEO Mars tells TechCrunch that the short term plan is to keep key management in Ann Arbor, but it&#8217;s plausible that other offices will eventually have more staff.</p> <p>The company&#8217;s conversational AI platform is unique in the industry and has allowed the company to make inroads in different markets. Its deep neural network product can be trained to work in a variety of industries, and Clinc currently works with major banks, automakers, quick-service restaurants, and healthcare companies. The company recently showed off how it could work in video games, too.</p> <p>Clinc showed off its system at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018. Watch his demo <a href="https://techcrunch.com/video/live-demo-with-jason-mars-clinc-disrupt-sf-2018/">here</a>.</p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/2HLqfX1NSxI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Clinc raises $52M Series B as it marches toward IPO https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/20/clinc-raises-52m-series-b-as-it-marches-towards-ipo/ TechCrunch » Startups urn:uuid:0353afa4-301d-71d6-539b-23dac7d9768f Mon, 20 May 2019 14:06:44 +0200 Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Clinc is today announcing a $52 million Series B. The company behind the conversational AI platform netted cash from Insight Partners, DFJ Growth, Drive Capital, Hyde Park Venture Partners and others. This round of financing brings Clinc&#8217;s total amount of funding to $60 million and will help Clinc scale its conversational AI [&#8230;] <p id="speakable-summary">Ann Arbor, Mich.-based <a href="https://clinc.com/">Clinc</a> is today announcing a $52 million Series B. The company behind the conversational AI platform netted cash from Insight Partners, DFJ Growth, Drive Capital, Hyde Park Venture Partners and others.</p> <p>This round of financing brings Clinc&#8217;s total amount of funding to $60 million and will help Clinc scale its conversational AI to new markets. Clinc plans to reach 140 employees by the end of 2019 and intends to move into a new 26,000-square-foot office in Ann Arbor. According to Clinc, the company achieved a 300% year-over-year revenue growth and expects to more than triple the business again this year.</p> <p>&#8220;We&#8217;ve had phenomenal growth and built unbelievable momentum in a very short period of time,&#8221; said <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/person/jason-mars" target="_blank" data-type="person" data-entity="jason-mars">Jason Mars, <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> Clinc CEO. &#8220;Now we&#8217;re adding more world-class investors to support our growing team as we work to accelerate the pace of innovation and to reshape the conversational AI landscape, one industry at a time.&#8221;</p> <p>Mars explained to TechCrunch that it sought specific investors for this round that could help take the company to its initial public offering. Jeff Lieberman, Insight Partners&#8217; managing director, is joining Clinc&#8217;s board of directors and brings significant IPO experience to the boardroom as he previously helped several companies go public, including Event, Shutterstock and Website Pros. With this round, Clinc also adds DFJ&#8217;s Randy Glein to its board of advisors.</p> <p>Mars said this round of financing could be its last before going public. He hopes to take the company straight to an IPO from here and noted that the capital gives the company several years of runway.</p> <p>With this round, Clinc now has investors on both coasts, along with the middle of the country, where it&#8217;s based.</p> <p>Clinc was founded in Ann Arbor in 2015 and has remained committed to the Midwest city since its launch. The company currently has offices elsewhere, including Europe, Asia and throughout the States. CEO Mars tells TechCrunch that the short-term plan is to keep key management in Ann Arbor, but it&#8217;s plausible that other offices will eventually have more staff.</p> <p>The company&#8217;s conversational AI platform is unique in the industry and has allowed the company to make inroads in different markets. Its deep neural network product can be trained to work in a variety of industries, and Clinc currently works with major banks, automakers, quick-service restaurants and healthcare companies. The company recently showed off how it could work in video games, too.</p> <p>Clinc showed off its system at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018. Watch his demo <a href="https://techcrunch.com/video/live-demo-with-jason-mars-clinc-disrupt-sf-2018/">here</a>.</p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/2HLqfX1NSxI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Agtech startup Agrilyst is now Artemis, raises $8M Series A https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/20/agtech-startup-agrilyst-is-now-artemis-raises-8m-series-a/ TechCrunch » Startups urn:uuid:778fa7c8-6130-3ea4-4db7-7666f4d12ae5 Mon, 20 May 2019 14:00:55 +0200 Artemis, the ag-tech startup formerly known as Agrilyst, today announced that it has raised an $8 million Series A funding round. The round was co-led by Astanor Ventures and Talis Capital, with participation from iSelect Fund and New York State&#8217;s Empire State Development Fund. With this, the company, which won our 2015 Disrupt SF Battlefield [&#8230;] <p id="speakable-summary">Artemis, the ag-tech startup formerly known as <a href="https://www.agrilyst.com/">Agrilyst</a>, today announced that it has raised an $8 million Series A funding round. The round was co-led by Astanor Ventures and Talis Capital, with participation from iSelect Fund and New York State&#8217;s Empire State Development Fund. With this, the company, which won our <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2015/09/23/agrilyst-wins-techcrunch-disrupt-sf-2015/">2015 Disrupt SF Battlefield competition</a>, has now raised a total of $11.75 million.</p> <p>When <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/agrilyst-inc" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="agrilyst-inc">Agrilyst <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> launched, the company mostly focused on helping indoor farmers and greenhouse operators manage their operations by gathering data about their crop yields and other metrics. Over the course of the last few years, that mission has expanded quite a bit, though, and today&#8217;s Artemis sees itself as an enterprise Cultivation Management Platform (CMP) that focuses on all aspects of indoor farming, including managing workers and ensuring compliance with food safety and local cannabis regulations, for example.</p> <p>The expanded platform is meant to give these businesses a single view of all of their operations and integrates with existing systems that range from climate control to ERP tools and Point of Sale systems.</p> <p>Compliance is a major part of the expanded platform. &#8220;When you look at enterprise operations, that risk is compounded because it&#8217;s not just that risk across many, many sites and many acres, so in 2018, we switched to almost entirely focusing on those operations and have gained a lot of momentum in that space,&#8221; Kopf said. &#8220;And now we&#8217;re using the funding to expand from mainly focusing on managing that data to help with profitability to using that data to help you with everything from compliance down to the profitability element. We want to limit that exposure to controllable risk.&#8221;</p> <p>With this new focus on compliance, the company also added Dr. Kathleen Merrigan to its board. Merrigan was the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture in the Obama administration and is the first Executive Director of the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems at <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/arizona-state-university" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="arizona-state-university">Arizona State University <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a>. She is also a venture partner at <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/astanor-ventures" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="astanor-ventures">Astanor Ventures <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a>.</p> <p>&#8220;Technology innovation is rapidly transforming the agriculture sector. Artemis’ approach to using data as a catalyst for growth and risk management provides the company a significant advantage with enterprise-level horticulture operations,” said Merrigan.</p> <p>Cannabis, it&#8217;s worth noting, was not something the company really focused on in its early years, but as the company&#8217;s CEO and founder <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/person/allison-kopf" target="_blank" data-type="person" data-entity="allison-kopf">Allison Kopf <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> told me, it now accounts for about half of the company&#8217;s revenue. Only a few years ago, many investors were also uncomfortable investing in a company that was in the cannabis business, but that&#8217;s far less of an issue today.</p> <p>&#8220;When we raised our seed round in 2015, we were pitching to a lot of funds and a lot of funds told us that they had LPs that can&#8217;t invest in cannabis. So if you&#8217;re pitching that you&#8217;re going to eventually be in cannabis, we&#8217;re going to have to step away from the investment, &#8221; Kopf said. &#8220;Now, folks are saying: &#8216;If you&#8217;re not in cannabis, we don&#8217;t want to invest.'&#8221;</p> <p>Today, Artemis&#8217;s clients are worth a collective $5 billion. The company plans to use the</p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/trXoTi497t4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Briefing: European firms say forced tech transfers rising in China https://technode.com/2019/05/20/briefing-european-firms-say-forced-tech-transfers-rising-in-china/ TechNode urn:uuid:ce4c800e-f067-d1de-34dc-eed51a5d83ff Mon, 20 May 2019 13:54:05 +0200 The incidence of reported transfers was as high as 30% in chemical and petroleum industries. Tiny Checks https://www.thisisgoingtobebig.com/blog/2019/5/20/tiny-checks This is going to be BIG... urn:uuid:962701f0-60d0-8035-147a-3f0a2c162950 Mon, 20 May 2019 13:19:59 +0200 <p class="">Not every fundraise is easy and sometimes you wind up having to take a higher quantity of smaller checks than you’d like. On the other hand, some people try and pad the cap table with a bunch of big names or industry vets, even if their check size is small, just to build the network. They have an idealized vision of how easy it’s going to be to utilize everyone once the business gets going. </p><p class="">The reality is that the last thing most founders will have time for is writing up investor updates. They’ve got tons of other things that seem more pressing and the last thing they need is a bunch of scrutiny and questions from people who wrote small checks. Not only that, sending out important information in e-mails to lots of people increases the possibility that confidential information gets out. </p><p class="">Still, I think it’s worthwhile to keep all of your investors in the loop for a lot of non-obvious reasons. Maybe it’s an e-mail or maybe it’s just a quarterly phone call that everyone on the cap table can dial-in to. Whatever it is, here are the benefits of keeping everyone—no matter how small, in the loop:</p><p class="">1) When you don’t hear from a founder, it makes an investor feel unappreciated. </p><p class="">Small investors are people, too—and there’s no upside to having a bunch of your cap table feel negatively in any way about the company. These people all have some expertise and experience, and by never reaching out to them for anything, it can feel like you don’t think they have anything to contribute besides money. No one’s saying you have to throw someone a parade every month for writing a $10k check—but sometimes a little nod of involvement goes a long way, especially given that statistically, most startup outcomes aren’t that great. Maybe one day you’ll be able to write everyone a big check at the end, but until then, taking a “That’s what the money is for!” Madmen approach isn’t a good bed, especially if you ever plan on doing another startup.</p><p class="">2) There’s a Butterfly Effect to not being top of mind and not having info on a company.</p><p class="">Investors talk to other investors, to media and to talent, and it’s great when they can share why they’re excited, in a general sense, about your company—or that they’re excited at all. When you have no information about what’s being accomplished at a company, you’re not got to share anything, and people are going to wonder whether not mentioning you is a signal that things aren’t going well. That’s going to make fundraising and hiring even a tiny nudge harder than it needs to be, and certainly costing you more time than the e-mail update would take.</p><p class="">3) Small investors are more aligned.</p><p class="">The way preference works, small investors who just do early rounds are actually much more aligned with founders than later stage VCs who are looking to pour more in to get a bigger outcome. They may not have as much experience as your larger VCs, but their preference is invaluable if you’re looking for a wide spectrum of feedback. Is it worth going for your Series D or thinking about getting to break-even now? Your seed investors might have a different take and diversity of perspective always makes for better decisions. </p><p class="">4) Sometimes, they can surprise you.</p><p class="">People can have pretty random networks, especially around hiring. By keeping your needs top of mind with regular updates, you might get a lot more out of your early investors than you expected in terms of introductions. Recruiting is one of those things where getting a note that a particular hire has been difficult is much more effective than just posting a job into the ether. </p><p class="">5) You actually might need them.</p><p class="">Setting a precedent for updating your investors should start early—early enough where you might actually need to reach out to them in a pinch. Sometimes, rounds fall apart, and if the last thing they heard was that things were going great, then all of the sudden you’re doing a bridge to make payroll, the likelihood they’re going to be excited to write a check will be pretty small. Even in later rounds, you never know what money they might be connected to and they might be able to hook you up with some random family office that you never heard of to help close a difficult raise. </p><p class="">If nothing else, I also just think it’s a sign of respect. Someone gave you their money (or their investors’ money) and I think besides your hard work, the least you can do for them is just let them know how its doing. They might not have a right to that information based on the legal docs, but it’s just the right thing to do by someone—and it also keeps you in the mindset of being responsible for people’s capital when you’re actually interacting with them. As we’ve seen over the past few years, it wouldn’t hurt our industry to make corporate responsibility a little higher priority. </p> Ikea invests in Livspace, a one-stop platform for interior design based in India https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/20/livspace-ikea/ TechCrunch » Fundings &amp; Exits urn:uuid:f8cb4ff9-6857-f478-0bff-5cc8bdcda839 Mon, 20 May 2019 12:32:29 +0200 Fresh from raising $70 million last year via big names including Goldman Sachs and TPG Growth, Livspace, an India-based startup that offers a one-stop-shop for interior design, has lured yet another marquee investor: Ikea. The startup said today it has taken an undisclosed investment from Ingka Investments, the VC arm of Ikea parent Ingka Group, which [&#8230;] <p id="speakable-summary"><a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/19/livspace-raises-70m/">Fresh from raising $70 million</a> last year via big names including Goldman Sachs and TPG Growth, Livspace, an India-based startup that offers a one-stop-shop for interior design, has lured yet another marquee investor: Ikea.</p> <p>The startup said today it has taken an undisclosed investment from Ingka Investments, the VC arm of Ikea parent Ingka Group, <a href="https://www.ingka.com/what-we-do/ikea-retail/">which operates 90 percent of Ikea&#8217;s retail footprint</a>. Livspace CEO and co-founder Anuj Srivastava declined to provide a figure for the deal, but he told TechCrunch that the stake involved is a minor one while there is no plan to bolt a larger round on to this investment. <a href="https://www.dealstreetasia.com/stories/ikea-livspace-136318/">Deal Street Asia first reported</a> news of the deal.</p> <p>&#8220;There is strong strategic and commercial potential,&#8221; Srivastava, a former Googler who started <a class="crunchbase-link" href="https://crunchbase.com/organization/livspace" target="_blank" data-type="organization" data-entity="livspace">Livspace <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> in 2015, said of the new investor. &#8220;This is an opportunity to create the best possible omnichannel experience for consumers.&#8221;</p> <p>India is a tough place for international retail companies but Ikea has made progress in recent times.</p> <p>The company opened <a href="https://www.ikea.com/in/en/stores/hyderabad/">its first India-based store in Hyderabad</a> last year and, having gained FDI approval to operate retails store, <a href="https://www.ikea.com/in/en/newsroom/expansion-in-india-pub800130d7">it is planning a substantial expansion</a> with <a href="https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/Ikea-set-to-invest-more-than-1.5bn-in-India-and-plans-25-stores">at least 25 new stores</a> in the offing.</p> <p>Livspace, for those unaware of it, runs a service that is aimed at taking the hassle out of interior design. The company&#8217;s platform connects homeowners with designers and the supply chain to go through ideas, chose a plan and implement it. That includes, among other things, 3D virtual renders of a renovation, offline meetings at a Livspace design center and, in some cases, customized furnishings. By bringing all parties together, Livspace claims to offer cost savings to consumers as well as higher rates and more efficient use of time for designers.</p> <p><img class="breakout aligncenter size-full wp-image-1829731" src="https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/livspace.jpg" alt="" width="1024" height="546" srcset="https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/livspace.jpg 1390w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/livspace.jpg?resize=150,80 150w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/livspace.jpg?resize=300,160 300w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/livspace.jpg?resize=768,409 768w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/livspace.jpg?resize=680,363 680w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/livspace.jpg?resize=50,27 50w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <p>That model resonates with Ikea (Ingka), according to Srivastava, who said the company sides began talking following the announcement of Livspace&#8217;s Series C round last September.</p> <p>&#8220;We’ve felt the natural synergy always existed,&#8221; he said. &#8220;This is an extremely strong endorsement of our vision.&#8221;</p> <p>Synergies, indeed, although somewhat frustratingly neither party is saying how they will work together going forward. The obvious suggestion would be that Ikea products become available through Livspace, but Srivastava said the specifics are still to be agreed.</p> <p>Further down the line, though, he admitted that Ikea&#8217;s involvement could fuel an international expansion beyond India. Going overseas is something that the company is openly talked up in the past and, with Ikea&#8217;s global footprint of 367 stores across 30 markets, the investment from Ingka could give Livspace a running start in new markets.</p> <p>That, like the details of the alliance, is something that will come later, however.</p> <p>&#8220;The India business is keeping us really, really busy at this time,&#8221; said Srivastava on that possibility.</p> <p>&#8220;We’re engaged in exploratory activities but there&#8217;s no immediate plan or timeline,&#8221; he added as a tease. A new market launch isn&#8217;t likely until something like 12-18 months down the line, the Livspace CEO said.</p> <p>As for whether this deal might be a precursor to an eventual acquisition, such are the synergies, Srivastava said that possibility isn&#8217;t being entertained.</p> <p>&#8220;There is no such intention as of now,&#8221; he explained. &#8220;We continue to have strong interest from financial investors and continue to operate with the intention to stay independent, there&#8217;s now even more belief in our platform approach.&#8221;</p> <p>&#8220;There is distinctly an investment outlay involved [with] no long term indication of an M&amp;A opportunity,&#8221; he added.</p> <p>The deal is Ikea&#8217;s first in India, but it is not the retail giant&#8217;s dalliance in startups by any means.</p> <p><a href="https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/28/ikea-buys-taskrabbit/">The company previously acquired TaskRabbit in 2017</a> and <a href="https://www.ikea.com/us/en/about_ikea/newsitem/121918-ingka-group-invests-in-traemand-kitchen-services">it bought a 49 percent stake</a> in U.S-based kitchen service company Traemand with a view to a full acquisition last December. Its investment deals have included taking part in <a href="https://memoori.com/aledia-led-attracts-ikea-among-others-31m-series-b-financing/">a $31 million Series B for France-based Aledia LED</a> and participation in <a href="https://nordic9.com/news/matsmart-adds-12m-in-more-funding-and-another-strategic-investor-ikea-news5564434132/">a $12.4 million round for online food retailer Matsmart</a>. The company has also run <a href="https://www.ikea.com/us/en/about_ikea/newsitem/042419-IKEA-releases-potential-of-social-entrepreneurs">social entrepreneurship programs</a>.</p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/fundings-exits/~4/56sd-VhKHsw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Meituan expands aggregated ride-hailing service to 15 additional cities https://technode.com/2019/05/20/meituan-ride-hailing-15-more-cities/ TechNode urn:uuid:1b540e99-7a9d-e0e5-2032-58148112711e Mon, 20 May 2019 12:13:19 +0200 The company launched the service in Nanjing and Shanghai in late April. Dutch blockchain startup that gives ‘invisible’ children digital identities raises €1.2M funding https://siliconcanals.nl/news/startups/dutch-blockchain-startup-that-gives-invisible-children-digital-identities-raises-e1-2m-funding/ Silicon Canals urn:uuid:86e2dde7-41b2-39b2-c269-3570f49f7ccb Mon, 20 May 2019 12:06:05 +0200 <p>The Netherlands-based blockchain startup Tykn, which helps ‘invisible’ refugees to gain a digital identity has recently received an investment of €1.2 million from Dutch IT entrepreneur Johan Mastenbroek. As informed by Tykn, the investment will be mostly directed to scaling up the team and product development. Tykn &#8211; helps the invisible with tech By using [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://siliconcanals.nl/news/startups/dutch-blockchain-startup-that-gives-invisible-children-digital-identities-raises-e1-2m-funding/">Dutch blockchain startup that gives ‘invisible’ children digital identities raises €1.2M funding</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://siliconcanals.nl">Silicon Canals</a>.</p> Briefing: NetEase to launch first official Pokémon mobile game in China https://technode.com/2019/05/20/briefing-netease-to-launch-first-official-pokemon-mobile-game-in-china/ TechNode urn:uuid:d774a9dd-3d2c-5195-0490-1075f2508f73 Mon, 20 May 2019 11:59:02 +0200 The official release date of the game is still unknown. Briefing: Alibaba launching AI-based acne-testing service https://technode.com/2019/05/20/alibaba-ai-beauty/ TechNode urn:uuid:bc62651b-757f-71c7-aad9-cd9eed387280 Mon, 20 May 2019 11:51:41 +0200 Despite a cooling economy, China’s beauty industry is showing no sign of slowing. Meet the 10 hottest and fastest growing SaaS startups in London in 2019 https://siliconcanals.nl/news/meet-the-10-hottest-and-fastest-growing-saas-startups-in-london-in-2019/ Silicon Canals urn:uuid:daf6588c-6389-42e5-dc2e-07035bd3f2fd Mon, 20 May 2019 11:02:42 +0200 <p>Talking about the innovation, it&#8217;s London that&#8217;s dominating Europe not only in the largest financial knowledge but years of cultural innovation as well. This cultural trait has created some of the most exciting tech companies in the world now. With world-class universities and a diverse pool of international talents, it&#8217;s no surprise that London is [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://siliconcanals.nl/news/meet-the-10-hottest-and-fastest-growing-saas-startups-in-london-in-2019/">Meet the 10 hottest and fastest growing SaaS startups in London in 2019</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://siliconcanals.nl">Silicon Canals</a>.</p>