FoundersGrid Weekly News Round Up, 23rd February 2019

This year, two Asian startups top FastCompany’s rankings of the most innovative startups in the world. The news is illustrative of the continued rise of “super-apps” not just in Asia, but also around the world.

Notion has VCs knocking on its doors to invest this year – but it’s not interested
Notion is building the future of workplace collaboration software, fusing elements of Slack, Google Docs, and others into one easy-to-use platform. Despite massive interest from VCs, Notion is opting to grow the business as fast as possible with a tiny team.After studying 100 mentor-mentee matches, here’s what makes mentorship work
Having a great mentor is a critical piece of every founder’s toolkit. This study of more than a hundred mentor-mentee pairings singles out alignment with professional goals and undivided focus as the key ingredients to a successful relationship.

Startups Meituan and Grab are the world’s most innovative companies this year
This year, two Asian startups top FastCompany’s rankings of the most innovative startups in the world. The news is illustrative of the continued rise of “super-apps” not just in Asia, but also around the world.

How to build your very own simple UX lab anywhere in the world
Having a UX lab is critical to every product development cycle, and this is especially true for startups. This is a great guide on how to build your own UX lab, from purchasing equipment to setting up interviews with UX testers.

Guy Kawasaki on embracing the startup mindset as a founder
Guy was the first head product evangelist at Apple, and he attributes much of his success to having a startup mindset from day one. In this piece, he illustrates his thought process, and why it’s important to think like an owner at every step.

Here’s the ultimate guide to building a YC startup
This 54-page guide from Charles Wong is a massive deep-dive into building a YC startup, and it’s completely free. The guide covers everything from building an MVP to which metrics to focus on for rapid growth.

How Groove attracted top talent to its early-stage bootstrapped startup
Despite having a little track record to speak of, the founders at Groove managed to recruit top talent from the likes of Tesla and Airbnb for their startup. In this piece, Groove outlines how they showcased their personality and remote-first approach to reel in the best talent.

Inside the growing silent extinction of IoT startups
IoT devices aren’t going away anytime soon, but there might be more startups going out of business than some realize. This is primarily a function of most IoT technology not being ready for prime-time and launching too early.

The soothing promise of the “artisanal internet”, and why it matters for founders
More founders than ever are opting to build their own platforms rather than selling out to Big Tech companies, and this trend is resulting in companies increasingly leveraging business models that don’t rely solely on advertising to generate profits.

SaaS companies are hitting their ARR milestones faster than ever
This report analyzes the performance of more than 1,000 SaaS companies and reveals how fast startups are hitting their ARR milestones. For founders, this provides a useful reference to benchmark future revenue performance against.


  • Loom is raising $11M in Series A for its video recording platform.  Link
  • New research shows what happens to your brain off of Facebook.  Link
  • Lalamove has hauled in $300M in funding from Sequoia and Hillhouse.  Link
  • AI startup ViSenze has just raised $20M in funding while tripling revenue.  Link
  • Here are dozens of awesome software discounts you can use for your startup. Link
  • Apple is acquiring AI voice chat platform PullString.  Link
  • Electric truck startup Rivian is getting some serious funding from Amazon.  Link
  • Y Combinator’s latest batch of startups is too big for one Demo Day stage.  Link
  • Keith Rabois is reportedly leaving Khosla Ventures for Founders Fund.  Link
  • Softbank is leading a $1B round of funding for logistics startup Flexport.  Link

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