Startup Roundup February 26, 2016

Four Steps To Distinctive Advantage For Startups – Forbes

Most startups enter established industries with well-known incumbent companies. Successful startups find a way to offer customers significant new value, allowing them to break in to and conquer industries with long-established brands. For example, Door Dash has become a $700 million meal delivery service in an industry brimming with incumbents. The company is focused on scaling a lower-priced delivery model than competitors. Developing a distinctive advantage within a competitive industry can be daunting, and scaling it can be an even greater challenge. 

Second batch of startups graduate from PayPal’s Start Tank – The Economic Times

Online payment major PayPal today announced the graduation of the second batch of startups from its incubation centre Start Tank. The batch comprising of user engagement startup Konotor and HR focused startup PiQube were incubated since November 2014.

Set up in Chennai two years ago, Start Tank incubates early stage startups to enable them to drive innovation in the industry. 

A new website is tracking startups’ falling valuations – Quartz

FuckedCompany colorfully chronicled the collapse and failure of the first dot-com boom. Now a tool called Downround Tracker launched today by research firm CB Insights is providing running detail on the current round of failures and disappointments among internet startups.
It remains to be seen whether Downround Tracker catalyzes schadenfreude around Silicon Valley stumbles like FuckedCompany did—it’s more like an online spreadsheet than the gossipy chat site run by internet bad boy Philip Kaplan that was FuckedCompany. (FuckedCompany shut down in 2007, but you can see an archived page from Sept. 2001 here, and a directory of archived pages here.) 

Cloud Startup ThousandEyes Raised A $35 Million Funding Round – Fortune

There’s money to be had in ensuring that a company’s cloud software actually works.

ThousandEyes, a startup that can detect when cloud software goes down like an app that shows customer information, said on Thursday it that had landed $35 million in new funding. Tenaya Capital led the deal along with new investor GV (formerly Google Ventures), and existing investors including Salesforce Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and Sutter Hill Ventures.

ThousandEyes has received a total of nearly $60 million in funding, said ThousandEyes CEO Mohit Lad. 

Five Funding Facts That Could Impact Your Startup – Forbes

Any startup founder must grapple with a basic question: Where do I get the money to start my business?

Unless you’re a trust fund baby with an endless supply of the stuff, you’ll have to get it from elsewhere.

So… where do you get it?

I’ve started a few businesses. In the process I’ve garnered experience in the development of different funding methods. No matter the method, however, traditional funding in general has some major upsides. It also has some downsides.

With that dual perspective in mind, let me share with you a few of the facts about startup funding today. My goal here is to help you make the very best funding decisions for your startup, whether they be traditional or unconventional.

In either case, funding a startup is a major undertaking. It’s going to influence the entire existence, operation, history, and legacy of the business, so it’s best to do it wisely. 

Entrepreneurs flocking to “Silicon Prairie” in the Midwest for tech startups – CBS News

What’s happening, say Stephanie and Paul Jarrett, is an explosion of startup software companies in the heartland, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann.

“It’s time we bang the drum and let people know there’s something happening over here in Lincoln, Nebraska,” said Stephanie Jarrett.

In 2012, they decided to launch Bulu Box – a monthly service providing samplers of premium health products. But first, they had to leave San Francisco.

“We could just be another startup on the West Coast, another startup in the Valley. Or we could be part of this movement in the Midwest,” Paul said.

Bulu Box now has 100,000 subscribers and did $5 million in sales last year, helped greatly by their community. 

Thoughts On Investing In Chinese Startups From A Big Foreign VC Fund – Forbes

For brave outsiders, China represents an outsized opportunity. It’s a long-term play that requires patience and extreme adaptation and appreciation of the local culture.

According to CB Insights, investments in China fell 29% over Q3 to Q4 2015 from $10.3 Billion to $7.3 Billion. 2016 is projected to see continued economic deceleration.

Despite the trend, some investors are still bullish about China’s future. Trimantium Capital is a new high impact fund that will write $25 -$30 Million checks to fin-tech and health-tech companies in the U.S, Israel and China. The fund has the capacity to write multiple $200 Million checks too.

Trimantium co-chairmen are British Roderick Thomson and Australian entrepreneur Phillip Kingston. Together, they have partnered with China’s wealthiest private individuals and institutions to back big global winners. 

Tax roadblocks for startups should be addressed in Budget 2016 – The Economic Times

For startups, access to capital is important and to encourage more investments in the sector, it is important to incentivize investors (angel or institutional). Some of the things the Government can do for investors and the startup community this Budget are:

Capital Gains – There should be no capital gains tax differentiation between private and public companies. 

UPS Invested In This Same-Day Delivery Startup – Fortune

United Parcel Service has delivered a box full of cash to a startup that could one day be a competitor.

Same-day-delivery startup Deliv announced on Wednesday that it has raised $28 million in funding led by UPS’ venture-capital arm. Several other venture capital firms including Upfront Ventures and RPM Ventures also participated in the round.

Deliv was founded in 2012 to help local retailers, businesses, and e-commerce companies deliver products to customers on the same day orders come in. The company operates in 100 U.S. cities on behalf of 4,000 partners including major retailers Macy’s M 0.14% and Best Buy BBY 0.65% . 


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