FoundersGrid Weekly News Round Up 15th December 2018

Here’s how startups spent their funding in 2018 – and what we can learn from it
This deep-dive offers some insightful commentary on the startup funding landscape this year and outlines some great benchmarks that founders can use when calculating potential burn rate for their own startups.

A founder’s guide to understanding investors
One of the biggest challenges every founder faces when looking for funding is understanding the mindset of potential investors. This is a useful overview of the key KPIs investors look for when making a decision to fund a startup, and how they identify upside potential as well.

There’s a simple solution for starting things you’ll never finish
As humans (and particularly as entrepreneurs), we’re predisposed to always think about the next great idea. This often leads us to fall into a trap of starting things we never finish – but luckily, there’s a simple way to avoid that.

Learn more about SEAL, a new structure for raising startup financing
A Shared Earnings Agreement is a new method of raising startup funding. Pioneered by Earnest Capital, the structure allows investors to gain a return on their investment immediately, with the option to purchase equity later on.

This is a great thread on why founder breakups happen – and how to avoid them
Village Global co-founder Erik Torenberg knows that founder breakups usually happen due to a value or skills mismatch, but for potential founders, this risk is easily mitigated by ensuring founder alignment before starting a new venture.

Why did smart suitcase startup Raden go bust?
Raden was once the darling of the “smart luggage” industry, but too much frugality and a slow reaction time to the competitive landscape resulted in it going bankrupt in less than three years.

Thoughts on interviewing with YC as a science-based startup
Y Combinator has been broadening its scope in recent years to include startups beyond just the software space. Science and biotech startups have recently been growing in number, and this piece outlines how the interview process for these companies is slightly different from the traditional YC interview path.

7 lessons learned as the co-founder of a $15M+ SaaS startup
SaaS startup Hotjar managed to reach more than $15M in ARR in just a few years – and founder Marc van Brockdorff attributes this success to the founding team’s fanatical focus on solving their key pain points above all else.

Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian speaks about his biggest money mistake to date
In this extensive interview with MarketWatch, Ohanian shares his thoughts on a number of topics, ranging from why he’s now working on a liquor startup, to what he learned from his most disastrous financial decision to date.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is the first space startup to reach space in a manned rocket
This week, Virgin Galactic successfully completed its first test flight into space using its flagship rocket SpaceShipTwo, which it hopes will eventually ferry paying tourists into orbit and back in a matter of hours.


  • Indoor farming startup Bowery has just raised $90M in funding.  Link
  • Check out Bloomberg’s best business books of 2018.  Link
  • Biotech startup Spring has raised $18M in funding to accelerate its R&D program.  Link
  • Here are Recode’s top ten must-listen tech podcasts this year.  Link
  • Goldman Sachs is extending its $20M investment in GitLab.  Link
  • Tesla competitor Xiaopeng has just launched a $33K SUV.  Link
  • In the elevator with Silicon Valley venture capitalist Connie Chan.  Link
  • This is a great curated list of open startups that are sharing their business metrics publicly.  Link
  • Tokopedia has raised $1.1B from Alibaba and Softbank in its latest investment round.  Link
  • Plaid has just raised a massive $265M round of funding at a $2.65B valuation.  Link


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