Category Archives: finance

Acquisitions, more than IPOs, will create Africa’s early startup successes

Africa has made its global IPO debut. Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia—a $1 billion-valued company—began trading live on the NYSE last week. The stock offering made Jumia the first upstart operating in Africa to list on a major global exchange. This raises expectations for unicorns and IPOs to create the continent’s first wave of startup moguls. But unlike other markets, big public listings and nine-figure valuations could remain rare in Africa. The rise of venture arms and startup acquisitions will factor more prominently than IPOs in creating Africa’s […]

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Startups Weekly: Zoom CEO says its stock price is ‘too high’

When Zoom hit the public markets Thursday, its IPO pop, a whopping 81 percent, floored everyone, including its own chief executive officer, Eric Yuan. Yuan became a billionaire this week when his video conferencing business went public. He told Bloomberg that he actually wished his stock hadn’t soared quite so high. I’m guessing his modesty and laser focus attracted Wall Street to his stock; well, that, and the fact that his business is actually profitable. He is, this week proved, not your average tech CEO. I chatted […]

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Index Ventures, Stripe back bookkeeping service Pilot with $40M

Five years after Dropbox acquired their startup Zulip, Waseem Daher, Jeff Arnold and Jessica McKellar have gained traction for their third business together: Pilot. Pilot helps startups and small businesses manage their back office. Chief executive officer Daher admits it may seem a little boring, but the market opportunity is undeniably huge. To tackle the market, Pilot is today announcing a $40 million Series B led by Index Ventures with participation from Stripe, the online payment processing system. The round values Pilot, which has raised about $60 […]

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Working backwards to uncover key success factors

Ed Byrne Contributor Share on Twitter Ed Byrne is an entrepreneur, investor and co-founder of Scaleworks. More posts by this contributor Netflix is still too cheap Don’t fear the big company ‘kill zones’ If you’re a SaaS business,  you’re likely overwhelmed with data and an ever-growing list of acronyms that purport to unlock secret keys to your success. But like most things,  tracking with you do has very little impact on what you actually do. It’s really important to find one, or a very small number, of […]

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The different playbooks of D2C brands

Ashwin Ramasamy Contributor Ashwin Ramasamy is the cofounder of PipeCandy that provides algorithm-generated insights and predictions about eCommerce and D2C companies. His company helps investors, banks, tech firms and governments understand the global eCommerce landscape. @Ashwinizer More posts by this contributor Waiting for the right professional network It’s the end of “euphoric times” for custom app developers Over the past half a decade, the tidal wave of niche brands delivering new kinds of products to consumers and doing so online has changed the retail and CPG landscapes […]

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Zoom, the profitable tech unicorn, prices IPO above range

Zoom, a relatively under-the-radar tech unicorn, has defied expectations with its initial public offering. The video conferencing business priced its IPO above its planned range on Wednesday, confirming plans to sell shares of its Nasdaq stock, titled “ZM,” at $36 apiece, CNBC reports. The company initially planned to price its shares at between $28 and $32 per share, but following big demand for a piece of a profitable tech business, Zoom increased expectations, announcing plans to sell shares at between $33 and $35 apiece. The offering gives […]

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Brex, the credit card for startups, raises $100M debt round

Brex, widely known for its billboards littered across San Francisco, has secured a $100 million debt financing from Barclays Investment Bank . The company, which provides a corporate credit card designed specifically for startups, has previously raised $215 million in equity funding at a $1.1 billion valuation in the less than two years since it graduated from the Y Combinator startup accelerator. Debt, Brex chief executive officer Henrique Dubugras tells TechCrunch, will power the company’s next phase of growth, which includes the launch of a credit card […]

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YC alum Keeper raises $1.6M to help gig workers pay taxes

Every year around this time, Uber drivers, Wag dog walkers, Bird scooter chargers, social media influencers and other gig economy workers face the unsightly challenge of paying their taxes. Companies like Uber and Lyft classify their drivers as independent contractors, which means you aren’t given any benefits and the company doesn’t withhold any of your taxes. This puts gig workers in a tough position come tax day, especially if they aren’t prepared to shell out big sums to the IRS. Keeper, a startup that’s just graduated from […]

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Startups Weekly: Lessons from a failed founder

I sat down with Menlo Ventures partner Shawn Carolan this week to talk about his early investment in Uber. Menlo, if you remember, led Uber’s Series B and has made a hefty sum over the year selling shares in the ride-hailing company. I’ll have more on that later; for now, I want to share some of the insights Carolan had on his experience ditching venture capital to become a founder. Around when Menlo made its first investment in Uber, Carolan began taking a step back from the […]

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Data tells us that investors love a good story

Russ Heddleston Contributor Share on Twitter Russ is the cofounder and CEO of DocSend. He was previously a product manager at Facebook, where he arrived via the acquisition of his startup Pursuit.com, and has held roles at Dropbox, Greystripe, and Trulia. Follow him here: @rheddleston and @docsend More posts by this contributor Pitching your product will kill your fundraising Hundreds of billions of dollars in venture capital went into tech startups last year, topping off huge growth this decade. Here at DocSend, we’re seeing the downstream effects […]

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