Startups rarely have a straightforward path. We often talk about funding missionaries, not mercenaries. In order to find success, it’s crucial to have a belief in a better future, not just for the company, but for customers and the world. The Honest Company is the embodiment of a mission-driven company that has zigged and zagged and like the butterfly in their logo, flutters ever upward. Today’s Nasdaq Stock Market IPO is proof of that.
Income inequality is at all-time highs in the US, and it is increasingly tough to be on the wrong end of that spectrum. About half of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, and are one lost paycheck away from financial hardship. Since we don’t teach budgeting in schools, and saving is dependent on income, millions of Americans can’t come up with even $400 for an emergency.
With increased unpredictability of income, unexpected expenses, and the pressures of the CoVid recession, many Americans without access to fair financial products are finding their bank balances dip below zero. And if that happens to you…
Today Affirm is going public. It’s the next step in the company’s journey, and the culmination of many years of hard work. It’s also an exciting day for us at Lightspeed, having co-led their first institutional round of financing back in 2013.
From the beginning, Max has been clear in his desire to build a financial institution that succeeded only when consumers and merchants succeeded, or as Affirm’s mission statement says, “to build honest financial products that improve lives”.
That meant not charging late fees or penalty interest rates. …
Americans love to watch football. The TV show with the highest ratings of the season is Sunday night football. Second highest is Thursday night football. Third highest is … you guessed it, Monday night football.
Lightspeed has been investing in the crypto ecosystem since 2014, when we led the first venture round in Blockchain.com. Crypto opportunities since then have largely fallen into two buckets: Crypto money (trading, speculating, remittance, store of value, medium of exchange, payments) and Crypto tech (applications of distributed ledgers). Most of the value in the ecosystem so far has been in Crypto money with the enormous promise of Crypto tech still developing.
Who can forget the “Rent Is Too Damn High” memes of the 2010s? What started as a political party became part of pop culture through SNL and TMZ when the straightforward message struck a national chord.
Unfortunately, the affordable housing crisis has only gotten worse since then:
The root of this crisis boils down to…
Three of the ten most downloaded podcasts are true crime; Serial, Dr. Death and S-town. Four of the ten longest running scripted TV shows are too; Law and Order, Law and Order: SVU, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and NCIS. The second most popular genre of books is Mystery/Crime. (Number one is romance/erotica in case you were curious.)
None of this is an accident. Women love the true crime genre.
At Lightspeed, we know our ability to help founders build enduring businesses is directly related to the strength of our team. As we grow the scope of our investments across geography, sector and stage, we need to also grow our team.
In order to better serve entrepreneurs, we’ve welcomed new members and diverse thinkers to our consumer, enterprise and growth investing teams, as well as our operations team. Today, we’ve added five more exceptional team members to the Lightspeed family: David Baga, Mercedes Bent, James Ephrati, Anoushka Vaswani, and Rytis Vitkauskas.
Adding new team members is about so much more…
Most new brands today will choose to launch online. Online, it’s easier to test and iterate to find the sweet spot in each of the 5 Ps: product, pricing, positioning, place and promotion.
In the past when new, scaleable customer acquisition channels emerged (whether the portal deals of the mid ‘90s, paid search in the early ‘00s or Facebook in the 2010 period) startups stole a beat from slower moving incumbents and built brands through paid marketing on the new channels. But even though Snap, Pinterest, and Amazon have grown, the digital advertising market has been a duopoly for the…
Bird recently announced a new form factor for micromobility, the Bird Cruiser. It’s a cross between an electric scooter, a bicycle and a moped.
It looks remarkably similar to the Wheels “electric bike” cruisers. When Wheels launched their whole value proposition was based around their superior hardware, which promised better comfort, safety and durability than electric scooters.
overcompensating for a geeky youth