BNPL competition heats up, Bowery Farming TC-1, Silicon Valley dreams –

Is Southeast Asia about to reach a turning point for tech startups?

Four hundred million people in the region already use the Internet, but by the end of the year, an estimate shows that Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam have 80% of the population over the age of 15. digital consumer.

“According to Jungle Ventures calculations, the total value of digital companies in this sector is approximately $340 billion today and is projected to grow to $1 trillion by 2025,” says Amit Anand, founding partner.


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E-commerce, fintech and rapid digitization of the region’s SME workforce are some of the factors reshaping the landscape for startups in Southeast Asia, but supply chain technology is also a huge opportunity, says Anand.

“With new deals and intentions to list in the US being announced more frequently, the sector shows no signs of slowing down and the birth of many more unicorns is on the horizon.”

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Bowery Farming TC-1

image credit: Nigel Sussman

Just over a tenth of Americans have jobs in food and agriculture, so it’s easy to see why many of us lack a keen awareness of what we eat or where it comes from.

Our food supply isn’t as safe or predictable as we assumed: Climate change, security recalls, the COVID-19 pandemic, and even immigration policies can directly affect what’s available at the store.

The technological leap that made it possible to feed (most of) the world will not see us through the next century unless we change course.

Plant-based protein has gotten a lot of press, as hardware editor Brian Heiter reports, but vertical farming relying on hardware and robotics has reached a massive scale.

In a four-part series, he explores the origins and operations of Bowery Farming, a profitable startup that has raised nearly $500 million since 2015 to build new technology and facilities that grow leafy greens that are sold in nearly 900 markets. .

Part 1: Bowery farming is making us all look to the future of vertical agriculture

Part 2: Hacking Salads for Taste and Benefits

Part 3: Can LEDs Finally Replace the Sun?

Part 4: The Fight for Your Salad Bowl

Since Big Tech Came to Denver, Investors Can’t Buy Enough Local Startups

image credit: Nigel Sussman (Opens in a new window)

Denver, Colorado is nicknamed the Mile High City, but enthusiastic investors don’t mind thin air.

As Anna Heim and Alex Wilhelm report in today’s edition of The Exchange, “Denver-based startups raised approximately $2.7 billion throughout 2020, according to a recent CB Insights report.”

“The same dataset says startups in the city have raised $3.1 billion by the third quarter of 2021 – more capital in less time.”

Colorado’s central location and quality of life have made Denver and surrounding Boulder attractive hubs for Big Tech firms. Now that remote working has become the norm, remote investment in this area has also increased.

“Denver was ready for a zoom boom, and — venture capital — is reaping the rewards.”

Credit card and payment companies compete for a share of the growing BNPL market

direct listing slice cake

image credit: photo concept (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Giving consumers the ability to defer payment for a product is not a new idea, but now that upstarts like Klarna, Afterpay and Affirm have taken the concept to the next level, legacy credit card companies and payment firms are taking notice. Huh.

Mary Ann Azevedo and Ryan Lawler have identified a “slow rise” in the BNPL space as “a symbiotic relationship between traditional financial institutions, payments upstarts and leading companies.”

Visa announced this week that several companies are using its technology to power point-of-sale BNPL solutions; Last month, its rival introduced MasterCard installments, which was its offering.

“It’s really not surprising that these credit card companies are leading the way when it comes to BNPL,” Ryan and Mary Ann point out. “If anything, it’s surprising they took so long.”

Dear Sophie: Any advice for living your dreams in Silicon Valley?

The lone figure at the entrance to the Maze Hedge with an American flag in the center

image credit: Bryce Durbin /

dear sophie,

After trying to find an H-1B job to immigrate to the United States for several years, I took the position of a senior software engineer with a company in Canada.

I dream of immigrating to Silicon Valley to start my own venture. any advice?

– keen entrepreneur

VC-backed salad chain Sweetgreen is headed to the public markets

A Sweetgreen Inc. Inside the restaurant as an extension of the chain

image credit: Adam Glanzman / Bloomberg / Getty Images / Getty Images

At a previous job, I worked near the Sweetgreen location, stopping once each week to pick up our startup’s lunch orders.

The salads were delicious, but the prices definitely made me appreciate our free lunch policy. Reading Alex Wilhelm’s review of Sweetgreen’s S-1, I remembered something else: Whenever I went, I was usually the only customer waiting for pickup.

Relying heavily on digital orders and office workers, writes Alex, Sweetgreen is “rather unprofitable and on the verge of a rapid march toward profitability.”

At the same time, “the company’s overall business plan appears to be correct on paper.”

How to root out Shadow IT and maximize SaaS investment

yellow peeping on paper texture cartoon style

image credit: miraj c (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

In a modern, mostly remote workplace, unapproved SaaS applications used by individual employees can lead to duplicate subscriptions, wasted IT spend, and a higher risk of data breaches.

How do you chase shadows? According to Eric Christopher, CEO and co-founder of Zylo, just highlight your SaaS portfolio.

“Once all applications in IT use have a line of sight and how they are used, they are positioned to optimize investment,” he says. “Implementing self-service SaaS in your organization is easier than you think.”

Robinhood’s poor quarter reflects business earnings volatility

image credit: Nigel Sussman (Opens in a new window)

Any stock that trades on the growth potential of a company, rather than its current business value, is treading on thin ice.

So when trading platform Robinhood reported worse-than-expected third-quarter revenue and profit, and forecast fourth-quarter revenue below analysts’ expectations, the market reacted.

In a thorough examination of the company’s Q3 results, Alex Wilhelm found that Robinhood’s user base, crypto trading revenue and revenue per user all fell, causing its profitability to be “beating up.”

If competitor Coinbase sees “even a fraction of Robinhood’s slowdown in terms of crypto transaction earnings, it could be a tough quarter,” he says.

How 2 Companies Leverage Organic and Inorganic Growth

A small green plant grows inside a metal gear

image credit: Ivan Bazyk (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Taking a thoughtful, balanced approach to combining organic growth with a booster shot of mergers or acquisitions can unlock sustainable growth, writes Chris Legg, senior managing director, Progress Partners.

He highlights two examples of successful M&A strategies:

  • To expand its offerings by entering entirely new markets, Outside Inc.
  • Trusted Media Brands struck a deal with Zukin Media to diversify its content and grow its advertising base.

Creating a Pitch Deck That Can’t Be Ignored

A wooden model figure drawing a cover of a five-pointed star

image credit: boris sv (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

To find out what the pitch deck should stand out for, managing editor Danny Crichton hosted a panel at Disrupt featuring Peer VC founder MD Mar Hershenson; Mercedes Bent, Partner at Lightspeed and Saba Karim, Head of Global Startup Pipeline at TechStars.

Their chat includes valuable insight into how pitches have evolved over the past year, the thought process of VCs when reading decks, and what founders should focus on if they don’t want to be overlooked.

“Decks are getting better and better in terms of design,” Bent said. “I think more and more people have realized that the visual representation of your deck is just as important as the material and the content in it.

Karim said that originality definitely helps an entrepreneur stand out from the crowd.

The best pitch deck I’ve found in a different format would be from a company that Techstars recently got into – it was actually the podcast version of their pitch deck that had my face on it. I went to Apple Podcasts and it said, “Hey, Saba, here’s my pitch.” that was amazing! But the second or third time it happens, it might not be as impressive as I’ve seen it before.

Allbirds Flotation should help market sort out the value of tech-enabled IPOs

image credit: Nigel Sussman (Opens in a new window)

I’ve always been interested in the origins of the words: We use “belweather” as a word to describe trendsetters, but it originally referred to a sheep with a bell tied around its neck, which Encouraged the rest of the herd to follow.

Similarly, IPO filings offer a glimpse into a company’s inner workings, but they can also provide insight into current market trends.

Tech-enabled footwear maker Allbirds’ IPO filing serves both purposes quite well, reports Alex Wilhelm: The company expects to start at between $12-$14 per share, which is roughly at the upper end of the range. Will be valued at $2 billion — not far from where Rent the Runway debuted in its IPO this week.

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