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Beware mega-unicorn paper valuations

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. There‘s a famous old post going around Twitter this week by entrepreneur and developer David Heinemeier Hansson (@DHH). DHH is a critic of certain elements of the startup world, especially wild valuations. This entry from []

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The Webby Awards polish up their gallery of internet history

The winners of the Webby Awards were announced earlier this week, and anyone visiting the Webby website to browse the winning work might have noticed that it‘s gotten a fresh look. The awards‘ executive director Claire Graves told me that while the existing gallery was already a source of inspiration for anyone who wants to []

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Create a 90-day timeline after fundraising to strengthen investor-founder ties

Your first 90 days will ideally set the foundation for a rich and productive partnership between you and your investors.

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What airport security looks like if you fly during the pandemic

As segments of the country begin the process of reopening, many antsy Americans are no doubt itching to travel during the Memorial Day weekend. With the holiday fast approaching the TSA is outlining new security measures for those flying during the pandemic. Some have already been in place amid limited flight schedules and for the []

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Ecwid raises 42M from Morgan Stanley and PeakSpan

In the same week that Facebook announced a redoubled effort to make a bigger mark in e-commerce, one of its long-time partners has closed a large round of funding. Ecwid, the startup that sells e-commerce tools directly and via third parties like Square and Wix, letting businesses build e-commerce experiences on their own websites and []

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11 VCs share their thoughts on enterprise startup trends and opportunities

Compared to other tech firms, enterprise companies have held up well during the pandemic. If anything, the problems enterprises were facing prior to the economic downturn have become even more pronounced; if you were thinking about moving to the cloud or just dabbling in it, you‘re probably accelerating that motion. If you were trying to []

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With an ex-Uber exec as its new CEO, digital mental health service Mindstrong raises 100 million

Daniel Graf has had a long career in the tech industry. From founding his own startup in the mid-2000s to working at Google, then Twitter, and finally Uber, the tech business has made him extremely wealthy. But after leaving Uber, he wasn‘t necessarily interested in working at another business At least, not until he spent []

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Facebook rolls out feature to help women in India easily lock their accounts

Facebook has rolled out a new safety feature in India that will enable users to easily lock their account so that people they are not friends with on the platform cannot view their posts and zoom into and download their profile picture and cover photo. The feature is especially aimed at women to give them []

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Facebook introduces new Messenger safeguard aimed at combating scams and fake friends

Facebook this morning announced a new feature for Messenger designed to cut down on malicious parties looking to scam users. The company scans accounts for suspicious activity, leveraging machine learning to pick up anomalies like accounts sending a large number of requests in a short time span or numerous message requests to users under 18. []

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Spruce is eliminating the drudgery of real estate, and has 29M more from Scale to make sales easy

Real estate is one of those classic industries we always talk about in Silicon Valley: multi-trillion dollars in scale in terms of assets and transaction volume, but still relying on good ole‘ pen and paper to get anything actually done. A huge number of companies have launched to digitize all aspects of real estate, from []

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RapidAPI raises 25M more to expand its API marketplace

Less than a year after raising 25M led by Microsoft for its take on building API marketplaces, RapidAPI has rapidly followed that up with another infusion of capital as it reaches 20,000 APIs tracked, integrated, and used across its marketplace by millions of developers. Today the startup is announcing that it raised another 25 million []

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6 CISOs share their game plans for a post-pandemic world

CISOs have shifted their roles quickly and dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, but many have had to fight fires they never expected.

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How I Podcast: Articles of Interest‘s Avery Trufelman

The beauty of podcasting is that anyone can do it. It‘s a rare medium that‘s nearly as easy to make as it is to consume. And as such, no two people do it exactly the same way. There are a wealth of hardware and software solutions open to potential podcasters, so setups run the gamut []

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Indianapolis‘ venture studio High Alpha launches new business bringing studio model to corporations

The Indianapolis-based venture studio High Alpha has created a new business line called High Alpha Innovations to bring its startup spinup approach to big business. So far the firm has managed to sign on clients like the financial services firm, Silicon Valley Bank, the industrial manufacturer, Cummins, and the security hardware and services company, Allegion. []

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Chief, the leadership network for women, raises 15 million in funding

Chief, the social network dedicated exclusively to women in professional leadership positions, announced today that it has 15 million in funding from its existing investors, including General Catalyst, Inspired Capital, GGV Capital, Primary Venture Partners, Flybridge Capital and BoxGroup. The startup is a highly-vetted network of women who are leaders in their business, either managing []

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Aspiration, the LA-based fintech focused on conscious consumerism, raises 135 million

When former Bill Clinton speechwriter and political wunderkind Andrei Cherny launched Aspiration four years ago, the upstart fintech startup was one of Los Angeles‘ early entrants into a financial services market dominated by players from Europe and the financial capital of the U.S. in New York City. Fast forward four years and the big New []

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Couchbase raises 105M Series G funding round

Couchbase. the Santa Clara-based company behind the eponymous NoSQL cloud database service, today announced that it has raised a 105 million all-equity Series G round to expand product development and global go-to-market capabilities. The oversubscribed round was led by GPI Capital, with participation from existing investors Accel, Sorenson Capital, North Bridge Venture Partners, Glynn Capital, []

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Salesforce Commerce Cloud releases four quick-start pandemic business packs

As we move deeper into the pandemic, it‘s clear that the way we conduct business is changing, maybe forever. That means that business has to change too and fast. But if you‘ve never conducted business digitally or only nominally, how do you suddenly transform on the fly? Salesforce Commerce Cloud CEO Mike Micucci says []

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On-demand storage startup MakeSpace picks up another 55M

Sheltering-in-place and working from home curing COVID-19 has driven many of us to reorganize and de-clutter our living environments, and today one of the startups that is capitalizing on that trend is announcing a large round of funding to continue its growth. MakeSpace, an on-demand storage company that makes it easy to order, store and []

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On-demand storage startup MakeSpace picks up another 45M

Sheltering-in-place and working from home curing COVID-19 has driven many of us to reorganize and de-clutter our living environments, and today one of the startups that is capitalizing on that trend is announcing a large round of funding to continue its growth. MakeSpace, an on-demand storage company that makes it easy to order, store and []

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Why don‘t more VCs care about good tech (yet)?

How long are investors going to ignore the growing consumer appetite for responsible and impactful businesses?

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This UX specialist opened 12 UK bank accounts and ‘logged everything‘

I‘ve got a really high attention to detail, which might sound great, but it‘s possibly a curse because I can‘t help but spot problems with everything around me, says Peter Ramsey . He‘s the founder of Built for Mars, a U.K.-based UX advisory, and he has spent the last three months documenting and analyzing the []

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Amazon launches food delivery service in India

Amazon is joining India‘s online food delivery market just as top local players Swiggy and Zomato reduce their workforces to steer through the coronavirus pandemic. The e-commerce giant, which has invested more than 6.5 billion in India, today launched its food delivery service, called Amazon Food, in select parts of Bangalore. The company had originally []

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Automattic pumps 4.6M into New Vector to help grow Matrix, an open, decentralized comms ecosystem

Automattic, the open source force behind WordPress .com, WooCommerce, Longreads, Simplenote and Tumblr, has made a 4.6M strategic investment into New Vector the creators of an open, decentralized communications standard calledMatrix. They also develop a Slack rival (Riot) which runs on Matrix. The investment by Automattic, which is at a higher valuation than the []

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