The ways in which you create, manage and deploy content are evolving at high speed; one of the companies at the forefront of this movement is open source darling Strapi (1M downloads on npm, 25K stars on GitHub, 400+ contributors, 13K commits etc).

The company has just raised a solid $10M round from Index Ventures and a number of notable angels (Augusto Marietti and Marco Palladino, CEO and CTO of Kong; David Cramer, CTO of Sentry; Florian Douetteau, CEO of Dataiku) on the back of strong traction for its headless Content and API management platform.

STRAPI is part of a cohort of new companies spearheading the development of new web technologies that seeks to fully decouple client and server loosely called the JAMstack (JS, API’s and Markup) designed to deliver better performance (no backend queries), higher security (microservices APIs instead of server-side processes), lower cost of scaling (leveraging CDNs), and a better developer experience (loose coupling and separation of controls). …


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Clubhouse blew up within VC circles a few weeks ago. Invite-only and with reportedly only 5,000 users, it is already being hyped as the next Twitter or Snapchat.

On trend and on theme, Clubhouse leverages the last unused social channel (voice) at a time when people are tired of seeing each other on Zoom videos and want a bit of spontaneity, serendipity and joy in their lives. It’s not a new paradigm either, as the likes of Discord, Snap and Houseparty have paved the way; you know how we VCs love our analogs ;-)

As Alex Konrad’s scoop hits twitter, we discover that the first wave of the hype plan has worked, as Andreessen Horowitz leads a $100M pre-money round with (shock, horror) $2M in secondary (just like Facebook). Well done, now it’s Time to Build


Photo by Alistair MacRobert on Unsplash

Yesterday I asked a simple question on Twitter: “if you could make the “venture capital product” a better experience for founders — what would you change?” Boy, was I in for a treat.

Bryan Birsic’s comment gave me a clue” “I think I need a whiskey for this one ;)”. Some folks called that question the “elephant in the room”; in any event, a useful health check on how founders are feeling and what they want. Great summary from Del Johnson below, but the nuggets are in the details and the colour. I’ve hopefully preserved the “raw energy” of the thread. …


The economic crisis could mean a resurgence of convoluted term sheets that leave founders with nothing

A close up of a fish with a one hundred dollar bill in its teeth
A close up of a fish with a one hundred dollar bill in its teeth
Photo: Sirer/iStock/Getty Images Plus

I hate complicated terms in venture investments. Value is created by backing exceptional companies that return your fund, not by wordsmithing aggressive legal agreements. In the last decade, we’ve seen cleaner and simpler terms become the norm, which has been great for everyone involved and has overall created more alignment between entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

But founders beware: Veteran venture capitalists like myself remember vividly the days of wiping out entire cap tables and leaving founders with nothing.

We’re entering a new ice age, and I’m hearing that paring knives are being sharpened and old weapons might get taken out of storage. I’m hoping I’m wrong and VCs will keep their term sheets clean, but in case they don’t, here’s a detailed look at the arsenal that these barbarian investors can draw from. …


Your staff members are working from home and you’re adapting to running your business in distributed mode. You need new leaders around you like never before. Here’s some thoughts on how you can enable that.

Most of your startup team members will fall into the camp of individual contributors, especially in young companies where you hired, typically, young people against specific tasks and goals.

Creating a network of leaders to help you scale your business is one of the most efficient way for you to build a strong and sustainable fabric and leverage your powers 100X over.

You can create the conditions under which this happens, and nurture your best talent into leadership. I’m not talking about only your VPs and leadership team, but about everyone in your company. …


Entrepreneurs would be forgiven to be confused by the mixed messages they are getting right from the venture world, with emphatic declarations of “we are open for business” combined with fast evaporating meeting schedules.

The answer of course is, it depends.

Any VC with a fresh pool of capital will be looking to invest right now.

Northzone, Dawn, Index Ventures, Accel are not going to stop writing checks. Great companies are built in tough times, and valuations will be attractive. Keep fundraising.

Some funds are not open for business, either because they are taking time to process the new information, because they are assessing how much support their existing founders will need, or because their own investors are asking them to slow down, or all three. These funds would do well to be clear about their current position with founders for whom time is the most precious commodity after cash. …


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At the George Nakashima Studio.

A look at our purpose in life and the values we want to live by.

Recently I dropped a post about the need for startups to invest more in their brands. VCs as usual would do well to heed their own advice, so I wanted to share the process we’ve been through with Stride. This first post focuses on brand foundations; the next will cover brand development.

Stride — what’s in a name?

Rythm & endurance. When you think through brand, it’s useful to go back to your roots and revisit your origin story.

From the outset, I had some fairly clear ideas on what I wanted a fund to look like: small, nimble, engaged, real, fun. A small band of partners who brought very different things to the party but shared a deep appreciation for founders and the process of company building. …


When you start a company, life’s hard but it’s also, in some ways, easy. Small teams running hard to get a product to market, seamless communications, real-time feedback loops.

As companies grow, complexity increases. As you hire more people, you’re changing the DNA of your company in subtle ways as you add viewpoints and experiences. You might also recruit a big cohort from a single company, as often happens when employees follow an influential leader, and it may feel like a wholesale infusion of a foreign culture being thrown upon you.

The distance inevitably grows between the team members now busy designing, building and selling the product and the founders who started it all and often hold the original vision and soul of the company, its true north. …


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Photo by Will Suddreth on Unsplash

If life is a beautiful arc of experiences, from birth through death, most of us seem to spend most of it stumbling forward, trying to make sense of the beautiful gift we were given. Meanwhile the years rush past us in a seemingly endless stream of new experiences, peppered with accomplishments and setbacks, moments of joy and moments of sadness, elation and heartbreak.

It’s hard to slow down and frankly I spent most of my adult life sleep walking through the wonder. But somewhere along that journey meaning emerged and the beginnings of what could be wisdom or at least the capacity to experience the every day with wonder and curiosity. …


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Photo by KEEM IBARRA on Unsplash

Ah! Online travel! The most penetrated e-commerce segment, yet still so full of opportunities. So innovative and yet so broken.

I think of some of the massive game changers in recent years and how much road has already been covered. From the early days of Expedia and its wizard packaging skills to Google’s landmark acquisition of ITA to (of course) the rise of Airbnb. The list is endless. Flights are where most of the visible progress has been made; I mean, you can actually book a flight online, especially with direct airline connectivity going mainstream. …

About

Fred Destin

Helping startups grow with money and mentoring to the sounds of Crystal Castles

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