Startup Robinhood, a No-Fee Stock-Trading App — Now is Worth $1.3 Billion


The founders of Robinhood, a no-fee stock-trading app, were initially rejected by 75 venture capitalists — now their startup is worth $1.3 billion

Vlad Tenev, the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Robinhood. Robinhood is an app built around one promise: no-fee stock trading.

The app itself is stylish and simple, a big part of why it won an Apple Design Award. It makes stock trading cheap, intuitive, and mobile.

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Robinhood launched in December 2014 and quickly became a favorite among younger people looking to invest without paying $7 per trade. Since its launch, Robinhood has amassed hundreds of thousands of users and facilitated over $1 billion in trades, according to TechCrunch.

The app itself is stylish and simple, a big part of why it won an Apple Design Award. It makes stock trading cheap, intuitive, and mobile.

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Startup WeWork Has Raised $760 Million at a $20 Billion Valuation in New Funding Round – Now The Most Valuable Office REIT’s in The World and They Are Still Private


WeWork has raised about $760 million at a $20 billion valuation in new funding round, according to filings with the Delaware Department of State.

WeWork has raised $760 million in a new Series G funding round, which according to sources close to the deal, puts the co-working space company’s valuation now stands at $20 billion, unnamed sources told Forbes, which previously reported the funding round. That would be higher than the $16.9 billion valuation last estimated by CB Insights.  With the latest valuation, WeWork now tops the market caps of office REITs like Boston Properties ($18.25 billion) and Vornado Realty ($17.7 billion).

WeWork, considered a so-called sharing economy start-up, aims to let companies share a working space instead of taking on the overhead of a permanent office. As of the end of 2016, WeWork had 110 locations across the world. The start-up has said it plans to expand in cities like London, Beijing, Paris, and Detroit this year.

CEO Adam Neumann said last month that WeWork is generating $1 billion a year in revenue and will launch an initial public offering at some point, according to Reuters. WeWork members pay an average of $650 a month, Reuters reported.

WeWork one of many unicorns — start-ups valued at $1 billion or more — to eye a public offering as the private market cools from its peak between 2014 and 2016. Venture capital investing is in the midst of a “self-correction” period, according to a new report from the National Venture Capital Association and PitchBook.

“There’s optimism of a strong year ahead for venture-backed IPO activity,” the report said this week.

WeWork has raised about $1.8 billion from investors and venture capital funds since it began operations six years ago.

SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) invested $300 million in WeWork in March, the first of a much larger funding round that could total up to $3 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity. (Reuters)

Two years ago, less than 1 percent of WeWork’s business was generated by Fortune 500-type companies. That figure is now about 30 percent and growing, Neumann said, interpreting that as a sign of a viable business model.

A communal housing model called WeLive, which the company has launched in New York City and Crystal City, Virginia, is 100-percent leased, but Neumann said the are no immediate plans to expand the concept as WeWork tries to perfect the product.

“WeLive is going to be a tremendous success,” he said.

He praised NYSE Group President Tom Farley, who runs the exchange, for his persistence in seeking WeWork’s listing. NYSE Group is owned by Intercontinental Exchange Inc (ICE.N). Neumann, who was quizzed by Farley in front of almost 200 people at the lunch, said his company will conduct an IPO, but did not say when that might occur.

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WeWork, according to documents filed publicly with the Delaware Secretary of State on June 30th, issued 13.2 million new shares of preferred stock at a price of $57.90. This follows a $300 million investment made by Japan’s Softbank in March 2017. (We’re currently trying to confirm the investor of the June round–WeWork declined to comment on the latest investment and current valuation).

Founded by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey in 2010, WeWork has grown from 1,000 members and two locations its first year operation to more than 120,000 customers in 156 offices. Now customers who pay on average $650 a month each, Neumann said. Five to 10 new sites open every month.

Launched in New York, WeWork’s ambitions have since gone global offering offices in 49 cities across 15 countries. With new $20 billion valuation, WeWork now tops the market caps of large REITs like Boston Properties Vornado.

In 2017 it opened new spaces in cities like Beijing, Buenos Aires, Paris, and Sao Paulo. New projects in Mumbai, Bogota, and Melbourne are expected to come online this year. And while its first clients were scrappy start-ups and freelancers, WeWork has moved heavily into the corporate market, leasing offices to companies ranging GM and IBM to Spotify and Salesforce.

The latest funding will fuel further expansion into new territories. And with Softbank on board in a big way, expect an aggressive push into Japan and across Asia.

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The RealReal Company Just Raised $50 Million in VC Funding – led by this Female-Founded Company


Heads up! #Startup #Entrepreneur
Finally, freat news for the RealReal appears to be the real real thing.

Julie Wainwright, founder and CEO of consignment website of the RealReal Company Just Raised $50 Million in VC Funding – led by this Female-Founded Company.

Venture Capital’s Funding Gender Gap Is Actually Getting Worse – What is perhaps more surprising is that things haven’t improved—and have actually worsened—over the past year.

Venture capitalists invested $58.2 billion in companies with all-male founders in 2016. Meanwhile, women received just $1.46 billion in VC money last year, according to data from M&A, private equity, and venture capital database PitchBook. That massive disparity is due both to the differences in the number of deals and the average deal size by gender.

On Tuesday, the consignment company confirmed that it has raised $50 million from private equity firm Great Hill Partners in the biggest round led by a female-founded company this year, according to data from M&A, private equity, and venture capital database PitchBook.
That brings the company’s fundraising total to $173 million, making it one of the most well-capitalized women-run startups; Rent the Runway has received $179 million in funding so far after closing its Series E round last December. The clothing rental company’s $60 million round was the biggest raised by female founders in recent history, according to Forbes.

The RealReal news comes a little over a year after the startup closed its $40 million Series E round, but raising capital didn’t initially come easily to founder and CEO Julie Wainwright. Speaking to Fortune in March, she said she had initially found it difficult to woo investors.
“When you have different businesses that aren’t proven that may appeal more to a female [customer], a female investor is going to be able to evaluate that” better than a male investor could, she said. “I think in general, most VCs are trying to do their jobs, but there are a lot of unconscious biases.”

Wainwright recalled one particular episode when—in a pitch meeting—a male VC put his shoes on the table and told her that he could not see ever wanting to sell them or buy another man’s shoes. Needless to say, he is not a current investor.

TechCrunch reports that The RealReal is on track to sell $500 million through the platform this year and, in another parallel to Rent the Runway, may be opening a series of brick-and-mortar stores this year.

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Want to know where are celebrities and billionaires investing in real estate business?


#Lifesyle #RealEstate #Hotel

Want to know where are celebrities and billionaires investing in real estate business?

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The Nobu Ryokan Collection, a new group of luxury retreats in exotic destinations around the world, created by Larry Ellison teamed up with Robert De Niro and chef Nobu Matsuhisa to open a hotel where rooms start at $1,100 a night.


Guests get preferential reservations at Nobu Malibu, which is located right next door. There’s also a custom Japanese-fusion menu that the hotel’s guests can order to their rooms. Mini bars are stocked with Dean & Deluca products.


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Goldwater Capital just produced one of the first detailed equity research reports on Snap Inc.

This venture firm ” Goldwater Capital ” just produced one of the first detailed equity research reports on Snap Inc.IMG_0089

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Understanding Snapchat – The Next Facebook or Another Twitter?

Breyer Capital and IDG Capital Partners Raise $1b to Invest in Chinese Startups and Scores 17 Exits, 15 Portfolio Firms Cross $1b Valuations in 2016


Heads up! #Entrepreneur #Startup #VC

Breyer Capital and IDG Capital Partners Raise $1b to Invest in Chinese Startups and Scores 17 Exits, 15 Portfolio Firms Cross $1b Valuations in 2016

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Silicon Valley investor Breyer Capital and Chinese venture capital firm IDG Capital Partners have reached final close for their $1 billion funds to invest in startups in China in 2016.
Breyer Capital was founded by Jim Breyer, who had led Accel’s investment into Facebook in 2005. The firm has invested in social media, entertainment, media, digital health, and financial technologies. The new fund III from the IDG Capital Fund will focus on investing in sectors such as technology, media & telecommunications, healthcare, energy, and consumer products, both in China as well as in global companies looking to enter the market.

“I have invested in China with the IDG team for over a decade and have been continually impressed by the caliber, creativity, and drive of Chinese entrepreneurs working across a range of industries. China continues to represent tremendous long-term investment opportunities, particularly in companies applying machine-learning and artificial intelligence,” said Jim Breyer, founder and chief executive officer of Breyer Capital.

IDG Capital started operations in China in 1993 and was the nation’s first technology venture capital and private equity investment firm. It has invested in some of China’s biggest tech companies like Baidu, Tencent Holdings, and Xiaomi. More than 100 of its portfolio companies have gone public or been acquired.

Venture funding in China is still strong relative to rest of Asia, despite slowing down of investments. The country’s startups received a cumulative $40 billion in the first three-quarters of 2015, a record high. But funding started to taper off from Q4 ’15, and the trend has continued in 2016, according to data from CB Insights.

Greater China accounted for the second largest proportion of aggregate deal value, at $17 billion, and was the location of seven of the 10 largest deals in the period, according to a Preqin report.

Ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing raised $4.5 billion in various rounds led by Apple Inc., China Life Insurance, BlackRock and Poly Group. Discount e-commerce startup Meituan-Dianping — formed by the merger of Meituan and Dianping Ltd in October 2015 to form China Internet Plus Holdings Ltd — raised $3.3 billion, the largest venture investment in any Internet startup to date.

China’s government has encouraged the growth of venture capital in the last two years. It has backed funds that raised about $220 billion in 2015, a three-fold increase from the year before.

The VC firm shared these numbers in a WeChat post, without divulging its investment returns. According to a report in Chinese media, including this story in China Money Network, IDG had said that around 36 portfolio companies had raised new funding rounds in 2016. These include artificial intelligence start-up SenseTime, home automation firm Rokid, e-commerce company Mogujie, fashion company Magmode, and online video platform Bilibili.

Among the unicorns IDG has backed are Chinese snack food e-commerce platform Three Squirrels, rollable display developer Royole Corporation, logistics company Best Logistics, and mobile app data tracker App Annie.

The three IPOs were Photo retouch app and social networking firm Meitu and flavored duck neck and leisure snack maker Zhou Hei Ya, who both went public in Hong Kong. Shoe-maker Guangzhou Top Score Shoes had also made its IPO debut on the A-share market.

Legend Pictures, a Hollywood film production house that produced “Inception” and “Pacific Rim”, was touted as one of IDG’s strategic sale exits. It invested $12.26 million in the company and was later acquired by Dalian Wanda Group for $3.5 billion in cash in January 2016.

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How to Get Your Startup Funded by VCs?


Heads up! #Entrepreneur #Startup

A Great Discussion About How VCs Look for Investing In Startup:

The host: Randall Lane, Editor Forbes Magazine

Jim Breyer, the billionaire who gave Facebook its first venture investment, discusses what it takes for young entrepreneurs to get VCs to open their wallets.

Peter Boyce, Co-Founder of the Rough Draft Ventures.

Joshua Kushner, the founder of Thrive Capital.

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This UK Fintech Company Raises £12M in Series D funding led by Taipei Fubon Bank (台北富邦銀行)


London-based fintech company Nutmegannounced that it has raised £12 million in a Series D funding round that was led by Taiwan’s second largest financial services firm – Taipei Fubon Bank, according to Tech City News.

The funding follows Nutmeg’s funding round last month that raised £30 million led by Hong Kong’s financial advice firm Convoy. The current funding round has brought Nutmeg’s total to £42 million.

Nutmeg, an online wealth manager, has currently attracted a total of £71m over the past five years and according to the statements, the funds will be used to boost the company’s innovation, expansion as well as maintaining its growth.

“There is a very significant market opportunity before us, in the UK and beyond, and we are going to capture it. With these new funds, we will continue to invest in product innovations which disrupt the industry and deliver a better deal – and a better experience – for customers. And, we are going to expand into new categories and new territories,” Martin Stead, CEO of Nutmeg, told Tech City News.

For this funding round, Nutmeg is supported as a corporate advisor by Magister Advisors. Also international law company Taylor Wessing played as the legal advisor on the deal.

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Every US Company Worth $1B+ In One Map

The United States is home to 98 unicorn companies that are each valued at $1B+. As of 12/19/2016, nine private US companies are worth over $10B. The three most valuable unicorns in the US are Uber ($68B), Airbnb ($30B), and Palantir Technologies ($20B), and all of them are located in California, the state with by far-and-away the most unicorns. Ten other US states are also home to at least one company worth $1B+. Rounding out the top three are New York and Massachusetts.

US unicorns are worth approximately $657B. Combined, these companies have raised just over $121B.

According to the CB Insights database and the real-time global unicorn tracker, CB Insights visualized the locations of every US-based unicorn in the map below.

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Stripe Founders Patrick Collison and John Collison Are Youngest Irish Billionaires – A Payment Startup Stripe Valued at $9 Billion in New Funding


Heads up! #Entrepreneur #Startup

Stripe Founders Patrick Collison and John Collison Are Youngest Irish Billionaires – A Payment Startup Stripe Valued at $9 Billion in New Funding

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Stripe Inc. is the new standard in online payments, Stripe is the best software platform for running an internet business. They handle billions of dollars every year for forward-thinking businesses around the world. Stripe is introducing new product Roadar as a modern tools to help you beat fraud, fully integrated with your payments.

Stripe Inc., the U.S. payment startup backed by investors include Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, and PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, and Elon Musk, is bringing its service to Singapore to help local startups build online businesses.

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Stripe thinks that building an internet business is a problem rooted in code and design, not finance.  Stripe developer-friendly APIs let their users focus on building great products. Stripe have previously helped start Skype, Lala, Act Blue, Kickoff, Interstate, Auctomatic, Encyclopedia, GazeHawk, and Wesabe.

Stripe Inc. raised new financing that values the startup at about $9 billion, cementing its status as a major player in the crowded digital payments space and heralding a possible initial public offering.

CapitalG, the late-stage investment arm of Alphabet Inc., and venture capital firm General Catalyst Partners led the $150 million round, with participation from existing investors including Sequoia Capital. The San Francisco-based startup was previously valued at $5 billion and has raised more than $450 million to date.

“The company’s valuation is a reflection on its size, scale, potential profitability and an unbounded market size,” General Catalyst managing director Hemant Taneja said, comparing Stripe to Amazon Web Services, Inc.’s cloud-computing business, which pulls in more than $2 billion in quarterly revenue. “If AWS is the stack for computing, Stripe is the stack for commerce.”

Stripe’s soaring value is a bright spot in a startup sector that has seen mostly stagnant or falling valuations this year. India’s top ride-hailing service Ola is seeking new funding at a 40 percent lower valuation. The Bloomberg U.S. Startups Barometer, which measures things like capital raised, deal count and number of exits, has fallen 8.9 percent in the past year. Stripe shows that some startups capable of making money can still attract richer rounds.

Stripe also got revolving credit facility of up to $250 million from JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, and Barclays Plc, according to people familiar with the financing. They asked not to be identified because the transaction is private.

These banks are vying for IPO clients in the tech industry. Given that startups rarely use venture capital financing to pay back debt, the fact that Stripe is borrowing cash suggests lenders believe the company can pay the money back through profits or by raising capital in the public market, said Jay Ritter, professor of finance at the University of Florida.

“Taking on a credit line suggests that the company is possibly raising equity in an IPO in the not too distant future,” he said. “Stripe is obviously big enough to appeal to public market investors and cover the fixed costs of going public and being a publicly traded company.”

Stripe began by making mobile payments tools for developers. At first, the six-year-old company attracted small tech companies in the U.S. It has since become a competitor to digital payments giant PayPal Holdings Inc., winning over larger enterprises including Facebook Inc., Target Corp. and Macy’s Inc. Stripe is now worth twice as much as Square Inc., a mobile payments firm that went public a year ago.

Stripe has users in 110 countries and in recent months it started in Asia. Money from the new round will be used for faster international growth, possible acquisitions, more developer tools and new software to help businesses in different ways, Stripe said.

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With this investment, Alphabet now has stakes in three large tech startups that may go public soon. Earlier this month, its CapitalG unit disclosed an investment in Snap Inc., operator of the Snapchat messaging service. Alphabet also has a stake in car hailing giant Uber Technologies Inc.

Stripe provides software that lets businesses easily accept payments online, from credit cards to bitcoin, Android Pay and Apple Pay. It also provides tools to help with data security, fraud prevention, accounting and billing. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the fundraising.

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