FoundersGrid Weekly News Round Up, 29th December 2018

Evan Spiegel’s leadership style made Snapchat a success – until users fled
Snapchat was once seen as a serious competitor to Facebook, but an ill-advised redesign ordered by CEO Evan Spiegel has left the startup bleeding its user base and in a state of strategic disarray. Here’s how it happened.

Check out Andrew Chen’s ultimate startup essay collection for this year
This collection of essays from VC Andrew Chen is the best roundup of startup content this year – ranging from pieces on key growth metrics to why A/B tests aren’t always as useful as they look, there are a ton of great insights here.

3.5 notes from Homebrew’s most substantial venture exit to date
After exiting BuildingConnected in a $275M acquisition by AutoDesk, VC Hunter Walk took some time off to outline his team’s approach to venture investing, and his key learnings from the entire funding process.

What does it take to raise capital in SaaS these days, after all?
This is a solid overview of the key ingredients for successfully raising funding as a SaaS business, including what kind of growth metrics investors generally look for at each stage of investing – from seed stage to Series A, and beyond.

Remembering the startups we lost in 2018
Despite another record year of startup activity, many startups also went bankrupt or got shut down by regulators. From Theranos to Airware, there were plenty of startup failures to go around – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

WeWork’s newest challenger is a billion-dollar high rise for tech startups and Facebook
Company is looking to pioneer the next generation of office space, moving on from co-working spaces to create truly mixed-use buildings that house VCs, entrepreneurs, and large corporations all in one place.

20 years of data, and 10 key conclusions from a startup veteran
In this piece, Kim Larsen shares his ten biggest lessons taken from a two-decade-long career in tech. There’s some great insight here on hiring high-quality talent, as well as why clear processes are so important to every business.

These 5 startups are worth watching in 2019
This is a great recap of the five most innovative startups to watch next year – from Chinese social media juggernaut TikTok to satellite imagery startup Planet, there are a lot of incredible innovations coming down the pipeline for next year.

Here’s why your startup shouldn’t rush to $1M in annual revenue
Many startups view $1M in ARR as a magical number to strive for, but it’s often misleading. According to the data, having a million dollars in ARR doesn’t guarantee product-market fit, nor does it ensure a product gains traction in the market.

Here’s how Austin is transforming into a true startup powerhouse
After decades of being billed as the “Silicon Hills”, Austin is finally living up to its name. It’s now home to more startups than ever, and tech giants like Apple (and even the US Army’s Futures Command) are announcing record expansions in the city.


  • This Bill Gates-backed startup is learning how to print new DNA.  Link
  • Here are all the big-name startups getting ready to IPO in 2019.  Link
  • Chat startup Discord has just topped a $2B valuation.  Link
  • Check out Hexa, the six-legged robotics platform.  Link
  • Hyperloop startup Arrivo is shutting down.  Link
  • Carta has just landed more than $80M in funding at an $800M valuation.  Link
  • Star Citizen has taken on $50M of investment at a half billion dollar valuation.  Link
  • The state of California is allowing Zoox to offer self-driving rides.  Link
  • China’s startup bubble is finally starting to run aground.  Link


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