Startup Roundup April 13, 2016

Lady Gaga’s Start-Up Meets an Untimely End | Vanity Fair

Just when things were starting to look up in Silicon Valley with the announcement of2016’s first tech I.P.O., another start-up has met its demise. Backplane, the Lady Gaga–backed and promoted start-up that let individuals make niche-based communities of “like-minded people to connect across their shared interests,” is no more. TechCrunch reports that Backplane has burned through the $19 million it had raised since it was founded five years ago, folded, and sold its assets. A group of old and new investors will now try to re-start Backplane. 

For Indian Start-Ups, Tenacity Beats High Tech – The New York Times

On a hot afternoon in a two-story house here, as dogs barked and auto-rickshaws sputtered outside, a venture capitalist grilled three entrepreneurs.

Their start-up, DriveU, provides on-demand drivers for people with cars, differing from Uber or Olacabs, an Indian variant, which offer on-demand taxi services. The three parried questions about the business in a cramped conference room with doors and shutters painted in DriveU’s company colors — shamrock green. 

Greek-American business guru helps startups back in the homeland | Community |

She was still a postgraduate student at MIT studying mechanical engineering when she and a group of fellow students founded one of the first 3D printing companies in the world back in 1994. Z Corp went on to generate turnover of $30 million before joining the Contex Holding A/S group of companies in 2005. Ever since, Marina Hatsopoulos has acted as an angel investor in several tech firms and sat on the boards of dozens of listed companies and startups. 

Startups abandon Tech City as commercial rents soar | Media Network | The Guardian

I’m not anti-London but it’s just not feasible for us,” says Matthew Twist, founder of Experiently, an online accountancy marketplace based in Liss, Hampshire.

Founded in early 2015, the company was briefly based in Shoreditch before being invited on to an accelerator programme in Newcastle. The decision not to move back to Tech City in September was a no-brainer, given the costs of office space.

“The thought of paying £3,000 a [month for an office] – that’s a hire for us,” says Twist. “When I come to raise another round of investment they’ll look at the burn and they’ll look at how much revenue we’re making and that will heavily impact how much my company is valued at and how much money we can therefore raise.” 

Accel raises $500m fund to back European tech start-ups —

Accel Partners, one of Europe’s largest venture capital firms, has raised a new $500m fund dedicated to investing in the continent’s digital start-ups, as it continues to huntfor technology champions that can challenge the global might of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies.

The firm said on Tuesday it had raised its fifth fund dedicated towards fledgling European and Israeli tech groups.

In total, Accel Partners has raised $2.5bn for European start-ups since it began investing in the region about 15 years ago. Globally, it has raised $11bn to make investments since it was founded in 1983. 

How an internship at a startup infused confidence in an introvert

During my winter holidays,  I interned at a startupin Delhi. While I wanted to learn more about finance,the options on internship portals did not excite me. Finally, I applied for internship at healthcare startup Babygogo,which was looking for a marketing person.

I am an introvertand a good listener. I love reading about finance and politics…. but marketing? It was not something that interested me at all. But I was open to doing new things. 

13 hottest wearable startups to look out for

Wearable tech is in rude health and it’s thanks not only to the likes of heavyweights like Apple, Samsung and Google but also to the numerous startups sprouting up through Indiegogo and Kickstarter campaigns.  

How Sabre supports startups « Sabre

The Sabre Dev Studio is open to you as a startup if you want to integrate travel components into your applications. You can use the open developer platform, which includes more than 100 application programming interfaces (APIs), to access the kinds of tools and services that bigger industry players leverage. Travel startups have used these resources to build a way to check flight availability through an app, for instance. 


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