Batch 24 has officially kicked off in San Francisco, and we’re so excited to welcome these new companies into our 500 family. From personal jets to AR glasses to period underwear, the collection of companies we’ve invested in this batch are as unique and innovative as the founders that built them. By the numbers: This batch has 21 companies. 40% of Batch 24 companies have a female founder. 50% have a Black, Mixed, or Latinx founder. 31% have a company based outside of the US. The Batch 24 companies are headquartered amongst 8 countries: Chile, France, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Singapore, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States. Out of the Batch 24 companies, 27% of will be on our blockchain track, 18% … Read More The post Private Jets, Smart Pill Bottles, Blockchain, & More: Meet the Startups of Batch 24 appeared first on 500 Startups.
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I am a Mexican who grew up in the “small” town of Guadalajara, Mexico (6M people, but feels small compared to Mexico City’s 20M+ population). I’ve had the privilege of studying and working in the LATAM, European and US markets, and calling world-class metropolises like Mexico City, Paris and New York my home. In 2016, following my heart, I reluctantly moved to Miami. Today, against all my expectations, I have fallen in love with this region and am ready to bet on its growth. And so is 500 Startups. Curious? Skeptical? Stay with me. As I wrote on the 500 Startups blog last March announcing the launch of 500 Startups Miami, this city and the larger Florida region is heating … Read More The post Why 500 Startups is betting on Miami, and so should you appeared first on 500 Startups.
Silicon Valley is in the midst of a health craze, and it is being driven by “Eastern” medicine. It’s been a record year for US medical investing, but investors in Beijing and Shanghai are now increasingly leading the largest deals for US life science and biotech companies. In fact, Chinese venture firms have invested more this year into life science and biotech in the US than they have back home, providing financing for over 300 US-based companies, per Pitchbook. That’s the story at Viela Bio, a Maryland-based company exploring treatments for inflammation and autoimmune diseases, which raised a $250 million Series A led by three Chinese firms. Chinese capital’s newfound appetite also flows into the mainland. Business is booming for Chinese medical startups, who are also seeing the strongest year of venture investment ever, with over one hundred companies receiving $4 billion in investment. As Chinese investors continue to shift their strategies towards life science and biotech, China is emphatically positioning itself to be a leader in medical investing with a growing influence on the world’s future major health institutions. Chinese VCs seek healthy returns We like to talk about things we can interact with or be entertained by. And so as nine-figure checks flow in and out of China with stunning regularity, we fixate on the internet giants, the gaming leaders or the latest media platform backed by Tencent or Alibaba. However, if we follow the money, it’s clear that the top venture firms in China have actually been turning their focus towards the country’s deficient health system. A clear leader in China’s strategy shift has been Sequoia Capital China, one of the country’s most heralded venture firms tied to multiple billion-dollar IPOs just this year. Historically, Sequoia didn’t have much interest in the medical sector. Health was one of the firm’s smallest investment categories, and it participated in only three health-related deals from 2015-16, making up just 4% of its total investing activity. Recently, however, life sciences have piqued Sequoia’s fascination, confirms a spokesperson with the firm. Sequoia dove into six health-related deals in 2017 and has already participated in 14 in 2018 so far. The firm…
If you don’t know who Garry Tan is yet, you will soon—the investor was just name dropped on Forbes’ 2018 Midas Brink List of Venture Capital’s biggest up-and-comers. He’s making big waves in the investment world and we’re thrilled to have him lined up to speak at our PreMoney Investor Conference on October 2nd. Tan was previously a partner at Y-Combinator and is now the cofounder of Initialized Capital, an early-stage seed fund he started with Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian. Initialized Capital was the earliest investor in trailblazers like Coinbase and Instacart, so Tan knows a thing or two about spotting the “it factor” in young companies. Not Your Average VC While many big investors come from a more buttoned-up business world, Tan boasts an impressive … Read More The post PreMoney 2018: Meet Garry Tan, the Former YC Partner Forging his own Path appeared first on 500 Startups.
The pioneer in female-forward investing is one of the keynote speakers at our upcoming PreMoney Investor Conference on October 2nd, and she’s someone we’re certain you won’t want to miss. Miura-Ko has a PhD from Stanford, a Bachelor’s from Yale, and this year she was on the cover of Forbes—but those are only a small handful of the notable credentials that make her one of the most admirable investors in the game. She’s got a keen ability to spot a unicorn in its early stages, she was an early investor in Lyft, and she has a solid spot on Forbes 2018 Midas List—a roundup of the top 100 venture capitalists in the world. The Most Powerful Woman in Startups Back in … Read More The post Ann Miura-Ko: Raising the Bar for Women VCs Headlining PreMoney 2018 appeared first on 500 Startups.
One of the hardest things about the fund-raising process for entrepreneurs is that you’re trying to raise money from people who have “asymmetric information.” VC firms see thousands of deals and have a refined sense of how the market is valuing deals because they get price signals across all of these deals. As an entrepreneur it can feel as intimidating as going to buy a car where the dealer knows the price of every make & model of a car and you’re guessing at how much to pay. I thought I’d write a post about how to talk about valuation at a startup and give you some sense of what might be on the mind of the person considering funding you. Of course, unlike cars there is no direct comparison across each startup so these are just some general guidelines to try and even the information field. What was the post money on your last round (and how much capital have you raised)? It’s not uncommon for a VC to ask you how much capital you’ve raised and what the post-money valuation was on your last round. I know that some founders feel uncomfortable with this as though they might somehow be sharing something so confidential that it ultimately hurts you. These are straightforward questions, the answers will have no bearing on your ultimate success and if you want to know the truth most VCs have access to databases like Pitchbook that have all of this information anyways. So why does a VC ask you? In the first place they’re looking for “fit” with their firm. If you’re talking with a typical Seed/A/B round firm they often have ownership targets in the company in which they invest. Since they have limited capital and limited time availability they often try to make concentrated investments across companies in which they have the highest conviction. If a firm typically invests $5 million in its first check and its target is to own 20% or more that means that most if its deals are in the $15–20 million pre-money range. If you’re raising at $40 million pre…
Tanya Soman is a native New Yorker and the youngest female to make Venture Partner at 500 Startups. She started working hands-on with companies in 2014 by coaching them through the Seed Accelerator Program and now invests in consumer companies, including a specialty track within the program that focuses on the retail, beauty, and fashion verticals. Tanya is passionate about bridging the gap between international founders and Silicon Valley, which is why she speaks at events globally on fundraising from The Valley, nailing your company pitch, fundraising strategy and recruits around the world looking for the best deals. Tanya graduated in three years with a BS in business management from Babson College, a school specializing entirely in entrepreneurship. She enjoys … Read More The post Investor Spotlight: Tanya Soman appeared first on 500 Startups.
Rina co-founded and exited from Peak Games (a leading mobile social gaming company) and Hemenkiralik.com (first vacation rental network of Turkey). She is the General Partner of 500 Istanbul, 500’s thematic fund focused on backing exciting startups from Turkey/Turkic region and the diaspora. Starting out as a PE investor, then turned entrepreneur, she has made it full-circle back to the “dark side.” Why did you join 500? I started two companies in Turkey before I became an early stage investor and joined 500. I built my first company when I was 24 years old. Along the way, I met incredible people including a couple of investors who took a huge bet on a young, first-time female entrepreneur from an emerging … Read More The post Investor Spotlight: Rina Onur appeared first on 500 Startups.
Rebecca is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Venture Partner at 500 Startups. In 2011, she launched a health tech startup called CakeHealth as a TechCrunch DISRUPT finalist to help individuals track their healthcare expenses without the paperwork. After exiting CakeHealth in 2015, she joined 500 Startups to lead health tech investments for the accelerator program in San Francisco. Rebecca was an advisor to the Obama administration for health data standards and was also recognized as one of 70 Digital Leaders by the United Nations in 2015. She has been featured in publications like Forbes and Inc. Magazine. Why did you join 500? I first joined the 500 family as a founder in 2011, when 500 Startups invested in my company, CakeHealth. I immediately saw how … Read More The post Investor Spotlight: Rebecca Woodcock appeared first on 500 Startups.
Turkey, once the leading startup ecosystem in the region with its vibrant local market, now seems to lag behind newcomers like Slovenia, Greece, Romania and the UAE. Overlooked and buried under the macro trends, the Turkish ecosystem is in the midst of a transition and about to make a tremendous leap forward. Political challenges and a turbulent local market pushed a new generation of entrepreneurs to pursue their passions globally and create market-independent businesses following a model similar to Israel, Estonia or Sweden. These third wave entrepreneurs are now re-building the ecosystem from the ground up. Early signs of entrepreneurial success and market readiness The first wave of internet entrepreneurs in Turkey started at the end of the 1990s and … Read More The post Turkish Ecosystem: The Rise of Third Wave Entrepreneurs appeared first on 500 Startups.