5 startup scandals,e-commerce investors' round up, why Israeli tech is on top, launch your MVP faster, and a wild tweetstorm
Hi there, 👋 Over the weekend, we discovered a slightly different twist on sports card collecting. Dibbs has just come out of Beta with their 24-7, real-time marketplace for sports cards. They leverage blockchain technology to make card collecting and trading more accessible by fractionalizing cards. As far as we know, this is a first. If you own or invest in e-commerce sites we've put together a quick roundup of all the recent news, stats and movements in this space. Plus, you'll see:
5 startup scandals - investor beware
How to get your MVP to market faster
Why Israeli tech is on top
And, a wild tweetstorm from the co-founder of Dogecoin. If that's not enough, would you invest $289,500 in a hotdog stand? See what we're talking about in the snippets. P.S. Please support our sponsors! One has a useful free tool and the other has extended their special offer for our readers. P.P.S. Just joined us? Hit reply and tell us if you'd like a selection of our best stories - since you're new and you missed them...
What Sets Israeli Entrepreneurs Apart?
Israel is the world leader for startups per capita. They also have the highest number of unicorns per capita. Israel has only 9 million people and yet their tech companies are attracting record investment and growing at impressive speed. Is there a secret sauce? Oded Agam connects investors with Israeli high-tech innovation. Agam states that: ….it’s all about the people and the location. Innovation and entrepreneurship are a necessity. There’s no other way. You must innovate and create to survive." In his Forbes post, Agam explores the qualities and characteristics that set Israeli entrepreneurs apart, and how other startup founders and leaders around the world can learn from them. We particularly enjoyed his thoughts on prioritizing diversity and taking risks to overcome obstacles. See what you could learn from Israel's startups. Just in: Israeli tech is showing no signs of slowing down, displaying a sharp upsurge in capital raising in the second quarter of 2021, according to data published by the IVC Research Center and the law firm Meitar.
Get to Market Faster
Want to get your minimum viable product (MVP) to the market faster? Then you need to set the right goals. It doesn't matter what your product is; if you spend time & money building the wrong thing and exceed your budget, you risk running out of resources - and opportunity. Although this article was written for SaaS founders, you can apply these principles to any MVP. The author clearly and succinctly covers 5 goals to keep in mind for your MVP, including:
Setting small goals that align with the bigger picture. Shipping a smaller MVP doesn’t mean you need to give up on your vision. It only means making the first iteration smaller.
An MVP is for learning rather than generating revenue. There is a big gap between launching the first version of a product and making it valuable enough to get paid users.
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The E-commerce Investors' Roundup
Over the past few days, we stumbled across a range of news and stories of interest to e-commerce site owners, investors and operators. Here are the best:
1. Selling a 7-8 Figure Amazon FBA Business on Empire Flippers
As well as noting all the brokerage statistics and sales metrics, this article provides some clarity on what to expect when selling your Amazon FBA business. "It takes just 20 days on average for sellers to get an offer that they accept."
2. Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) Brands Are Rattling the Market
Private labels are at the fore of accelerating global economies and disrupting markets. If you're a business with innovative and affordable products and ideas, then you can take on the big brands and carve a niche market for yourself.
3. Amazon Sellers Are a Hot Commodity
Acquco is another startup that’s acquiring Amazon sellers. The company is competing with heavily-funded start-ups like Thrasio, Perch and Heyday in this emerging market. At the Prosper Show last week, Acquco tried an unusual tactic to acquire top independent Amazon sellers. Competition to acquire these Amazon sellers has gotten so fierce that Acquco is giving away a Tesla Model Y to anyone who refers a seller that the company ends up buying. You can take the cash if you prefer. The tax is your problem.
4. Cash Infusion
Unybrands is the latest e-commerce aggregator to pick up a significant investment, this time closing $300 million in growth capital from Crayhill Capital Management. The Miami-based company created a platform for e-commerce businesses looking to scale their operations on and off Amazon. Get this: they were founded in 2020!
5. It's Getting Warm in Here
Foundry, a platform that supports and acquires online brands, launched last Monday with $100 million in capital from LightBay Capital and Monogram Capital Partners, the company announced. “Our aim with Foundry is simple -- we want to transform the lives of founders with a pledge to unlock the massive potential of their brands so they can achieve life-changing exits and build multiple legacies,” said Helen Vaid, CEO of Foundry.
Random Tweet (storm)
Woof! Though he's kept quiet for much of Dogecoin’s meteoric rise over the past year, the coin's cofounder Jackson Palmer broke his silence to rail against cryptocurrencies in a wild tweetstorm last week. It offers a rare glimpse into his long and fraught history with the nascent space that's grown nearly 300-fold since he abandoned it.
If an investor tells you that they've never been ripped off - then they're probably lying. Even the smartest investors get sucked in by fast talkers, founders funneling funds to shell companies, and those perpetuating false information. Peter Thiel is a prime example. He was duped out of $90M by Hampton Creek CEO Josh Tetrick, who had used an illegal strategy to boost sales. A scam concocted by Adam Rogas is strangely ironic. Shopify and Magento entered into partnerships with Rogas who founded a fraud prevention platform. Unfortunately, Rogas took fraud so seriously that he indulged in it himself. In his article for the Entrepreneurs Handbook, Ash Jurberg covers 5 Startup Scandals that provide a lesson for entrepreneurs and investors alike. As always, it is a case of investor beware.
💲 The Start of Your Business is the Day You Sell Your Business
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✅ Snippets to Send You on Your Way
🔷 Women in AI: There are many different ways in which AI is changing the world. Last Friday, VentureBeat announced the winners of the Women in AI Awards who were selected from over 100 international nominations. 🔷 Investing in gold: Gold has always performed well as a hedge against inflation. If you want 3 more reasons to invest in gold, they're right here. We recommend buying actual gold. The stuff you can hold in your hand as opposed to options on gold futures or ETFs. N.B.This is definitely not investment advice. We just like shiny objects. Do your homework. 🔷 A $289,500 hotdog stand: A fascinating article on the insanely expensive business model of New York City hotdog vendors. There are rules. Our new rule: Smile when you give the vendor a measly 2 bucks for your dog. 🔷 More crazy records: Crunchbase tallied the numbers for North American startup investment in the first half of this year. Investors wrote checks worth $155 billion, minted 161 new unicorns, and watched five of their most valuable portfolio companies go public at a collective valuation of $190 billion. 🔷 When you're stuck with meme stocks: Here are the components of a strategy to get rid of a problem stock and prevent feelings of failure. 🔷 A crypto crash game plan: "Crypto is going down, in the short-to-medium term that is; in the long term it is going up a long way." At least that's what Clem Chambers believes. Here is his model and illustration of the three boom, bubble and bust cycles of bitcoin. 🔷 Consider the angles: Finding startup capital or an investor continues to challenge most entrepreneurs. While using your home equity to fund your startup might look attractive, read this before you take the plunge.
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