Category Archives: instagram

Verified Expert Growth Marketing Agency: Bell Curve

Bell Curve founder Julian Shapiro describes his team as talented growth marketers who have a long tail expertise of various channels and who aren’t afraid to play part-time therapists. As an agency, they’re comfortable grounding founder expectations by explaining “No, virality isn’t a dependable growth strategy,” but “Hey, we can come up with a better strategy together.” Bell Curve, the agency, also runs Demand Curve, a remote growth marketing training program that teaches students (and marketing professionals) the ins and outs of performance marketing. For a glimpse […]

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Africa Roundup: Jumia’s post-IPO earnings, Gokada’s $5.3M raise, Facebook’s fake-news purge, Joe Montana’s fintech investment

Jumia held its first post-IPO earnings call and weathered a short-sell assault in May, with Wall Street showing confidence in the Pan-African e-commerce company. On the numbers, key takeaways were that Jumia’s Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) — the total amount of goods sold over the period — grew by 58% to €240 million. Marketplace revenue grew 102% to €16 million, and gross profits as a percentage of GMV grew by 6.5% in Q1 2019. Overall, Jumia’s operating losses for the period widened to €45.4 million from €34.3, […]

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Fitness startup Mirror nears $300M valuation with fresh funding

Today, Peloton is a bonafide success. The company, which sells $2,245 internet-connected exercise bikes, boasts a $4 billion valuation and a cult following. That hasn’t always been the case. For years, Peloton battled for venture capital investment and struggled to attract buyers. Now that it’s proven the market for tech-enabled home exercise equipment and affiliated subscription products, a whole bunch of startups are chasing down the same customer segment. Mirror, a New York-based company that sells $1,495 full-length mirrors that double as interactive home gyms, is closing […]

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Meet Projector, collaborative design software for the Instagram age

Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures bonded with Trevor O’Brien in prison. The pair, Suster was quick to clarify, were on site at a correctional facility in 2017 to teach inmates about entrepreneurship as part of a workshop hosted by Defy Ventures, a nonprofit organization focused on addressing the issue of mass incarceration. They hit it off, sharing perspectives on life and work, Suster recounted to TechCrunch. So when O’Brien, a former director of product management at Twitter, mentioned he was in the early days of building a […]

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Instagram’s IGTV copies TikTok’s AI, Snapchat’s design

Instagram conquered Stories, but it’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’s clips. Snapchat Discover’s 2 x infinity grid has grown into a canvas for multi-media magazines, themed video collections and premium mobile TV shows. Instagram’s IGTV…feels like a flop in comparison. Launched a year ago, it’s full of crudely cropped and imported viral trash from around the web. The long-form video hub that lives inside both a […]

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Mailchimp’s Ben Chestnut on bootstrapping a startup to $700M in revenue

The well-known tech startup routine of coming up with an idea, raising money from VCs in increasing rounds as valuations continue to rise and then eventually going public or getting acquired has been around for as long as the myth of Silicon Valley itself. But the evolution of Mailchimp — a notable, bootstrapped outlier out of Atlanta, Ga. that provides email and other marketing services to small businesses — tells a very different story of tech startup success. As the company closes in on $700 million in […]

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Where top VCs are investing in media, entertainment & gaming

Most of the strategy discussions and news coverage in the media and entertainment industry is concerned with the unfolding corporate mega-mergers and the political implications of social media platforms. These are important conversations, but they’re largely a story of twentieth-century media (and broader society) finally responding to the dominance Web 2.0 companies have achieved. To entrepreneurs and VCs, the more pressing focus is on what the next generation of companies to transform entertainment will look like. Like other sectors, the underlying force is advances in artificial intelligence […]

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How-to video maker Jumprope launches to leapfrog YouTube

Sick of pausing and rewinding YouTube tutorials to replay that tricky part? Jumprope is a new instructional social network offering a powerful how-to video slideshow creation tool. Jumprope helps people make step-by-step guides to cooking, beauty, crafts, parenting and more using voice-overed looping GIFs for each phase. And creators can export their whole lesson for sharing on Instagram, YouTube, or wherever. Jumprope officially launches its iOS app today with plenty of how-tos for making chocolate chip bars, Easter eggs, flower boxes, or fierce eyebrows. “By switching from […]

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Snap is channeling Asia’s messaging giants with its move into gaming

Snap is taking a leaf out of the Asian messaging app playbook as its social messaging service enters a new era. The company unveiled a series of new strategies that are aimed at breathing fresh life into the service that has been ruthlessly cloned by Facebook across Instagram, WhatsApp and even its primary social network. The result? Snap has consistently lost users since going public in 2017. It managed to stop the rot with a flat Q4, but resting on its laurels isn’t going to bring back […]

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Glossier triples valuation, enters unicorn club with $100M round

Glossier, known for its flagship line of barely there beauty products, has landed a $100 million Series D led by Sequoia Capital. The round values Emily Weiss’ business at a whopping $1.2 billion, fully cementing the company as a startup “unicorn” and tripling the valuation it garnered with a $52 million Series C in 2018. News of the round was first reported by The Wall Street Journal and later confirmed by Glossier. “We are building an entirely new kind of beauty company: one that owns the distribution […]

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