Cohort analysis, YC Demo Day recaps, building your supply chain –

The ongoing fintech revolution continues to level the playing field where startups have historically been dominated by legacy companies.

To compete with retail banks, many newcomers are offering credit and debit cards to customers; Developer-friendly APIs make issuance relatively easy, and tools for managing KYC-like processes are available off the shelf.

To learn more about the low barriers to entry — and the inherent challenges of creating a unique card offering — reporter Ryan Lawler interviewed:

  • Michael Spelfogel, Founder, Cardless
  • Anu Muraleedharan, COO, Expensify
  • Peter Hazlehurst, Founder and CEO, Syntera
  • Salman Syed, SVP and GM, North America, Marketa

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We’re off to celebrate America’s Labor Day on Monday, September 6th, but we’ll be back on Tuesday morning with new stories (and a very brief newsletter).

Thanks so much for reading,

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor,
@your hero

6 tips for setting up your startup’s global supply chain

image credit: Suriyapong Thongsawang (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

The barrier to entry for starting hardware startup has dropped; If you can run a successful crowdfunding campaign, you’re probably knowledgeable enough to find a factory overseas that can make your widget as you imagine.

But global supply chains are fragile: no one expected an off-course container ship to block the Suez Canal for six days. Due to the pandemic, importers today are paying about $18,000 for shipping containers from China, which cost $3,300 a year ago.

After spinning up supply chains on three continents, Lightboxer CEO Jeff Morin wrote a guide to extra crunch for hardware founders.

“If you are clear about the challenges and apply some rigor and forethought to the process, the end result can be difficult to match,” Morin says.

Our Favorite Startups from YC’s Summer 21 Demo Day, Part 1

Y Combinator's Summer 21 Demo Days, Part 1

image credit: Bryce Durbin /

Twice every year, we turn our attention to the latest in Y Combinator’s class of aspiring startups as they make their public debuts.

For YC Summer 2021 Demo Day, the accelerator’s fourth virtual gathering, Natasha Mascarenhas, Alex Wilhelm, Devin Koldaway, Lukas Matney and Greg Kumperk picked 14 favorites from day one of one of the world’s top pitch competitions.

Virtual event startups have high hopes after the pandemic

image credit: Yuichiro Chino/Getty Images

Virtual events were thought by some before the pandemic struck, but this format has served a unique and important need for organizations large and small since the beginning of 2020. ?

To find out, we caught up with the sector’s top executives and investors to learn about the big trends they’re seeing – a sequel to a survey conducted in March 2020.

We surveyed:

  • Xiaoin Kuo, Founder and CEO, Run the World
  • Rosie Roca, Chief Customer Officer, Hoppin’
  • Hemant Mohapatra, Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners India
  • Paul Murphy, former investor in Hoppin’ with Northzone (currently co-founder of Catch)

Tracking startup focus in the latest Y Combinator cohort

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

Alex Wilhelm and Anna Heim covered the summer cohort’s coverage from Y Combinator’s Demo Day, evaluating how the group fared compared to their expectations.

They were surprised by the number of startups focusing on no-end low-code software, and were pleased by the unexpected amount of new companies focusing on the space.

Considering delivery-focused startups, including dark stores and kitchens, “it seems pertinent to note that certain categories of startup activity exceed our expectations in terms of popularity.”

Fewer pop ups than expected? Crypto and Insurtech.

Read on for the full list of startups the exchange is eyeing.

Use cohort analysis to foster better startup growth

image credit: erhui1979 / Getty Images

Cohort analysis is what it sounds like: evaluating your startup’s customers by grouping them into “groups” and observing their behavior over time.

In a guest column, Jonathan Metric, Chief Development Officer at Sea & Portage Ventures, offers a detailed example explaining the value of this type of analysis.

questions? Join us for a Twitter space chat with Metric on Tuesday, September 7th at 3 p.m. PDT/6 p.m. EDT. For details and reminders, Follow @ on Twitter.

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