When The Honest Company launched its IPO in May, it was the culmination of more than a decade-long journey for Jessica Alba. Like a lot of founders, she started her company as a personal mission — how to source sustainable, healthy baby, personal, and home care products — and turned it into a thriving enterprise.

Jessica could have taken the easy route and lent her name and fame to someone else’s products. But she chose the more difficult path, that of the entrepreneur. She knew that her vision of the company was something only she could fully realize. …

Jessica Alba (Founder, Chair of the Board, and Chief Creative Officer), The Honest Company

Congratulations to The Honest Company on its Initial Public Offering

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.

We first met Founder Jessica Alba in 2011, but she had been thinking about building a clean products company for some time. After her first child…

Pictured: Brigit Co-founders Zuben Mathews (L) and Hamel Kothari (R).

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. …

FCF Owners — they all bring their own style and vision to the table but they can’t build their team without you.

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.

Most marketplaces and exchanges (eg: eBay, NYSX, Etsy, Uber) show network effects that lead to a small number of marketplaces/trading venues with the most liquidity. Of course, Crypto has…

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:

  • A renter working 40 hours a week and earning minimum wage can afford a two-bedroom apartment in zero counties nationwide.
  • Nearly half of renters are spending 30%+ of their income on rent.
  • Rent prices have outpaced wage growth by 26x over the last 20 years.

The root of this crisis boils down to

Announcing Lightspeed’s Investment in Solve.

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.

Pictured left to right: Anoushka Vaswani, James Ephrati, David Baga, Mercedes Bent, and Rytis Vitkauskas.

When we’re not investing, we’re obsessing over hiring.

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…

Jeremy Liew

overcompensating for a geeky youth

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