How a private beta can skew your metrics — and how to respond to investors’ questions about it!

We’re officially living in the Golden Age of TestFlight. It happens like clockwork — a buzzy new social app emerges in closed beta, and early users post screenshots on Twitter to generate FOMO. VCs clamor to score invites, and may even send in term sheets before the product publicly launches.

Don’t get us wrong — we love TestFlight! It’s invaluable to get real users on your app to find bugs, provide feedback, and hone in on killer features (or UI issues) before the scrutiny of a public launch. However, we caution founders not to over-index on TestFlight data when making…


A deep dive into the next wave in consumer fintech — P2P marketplaces for previously private assets

The past decade has been a transformational one in financial services. The days of visiting a physical bank to open an account or apply for a loan are behind us — we now expect to do everything via website or app. The landscape of consumer-facing brands has also changed rapidly, with startups like Chime and Robinhood taking meaningful market share from incumbents.

This evolution has been particularly noticeable in investing. Retail investors are more empowered than ever, as we’ve seen in the past few weeks with GameStop, Bitcoin, and Dogecoin. …


This week, we had the opportunity to talk with Deevy Bhimani, a senior at UC Berkeley. Deevy spent this summer interning at Roblox, and last summer he worked at Loom (before the company raised its Series B from Sequoia).

During his time at Berkeley, Deevy has interned for several other startups, including Strivr and Kittyhawk.io. He is also a director at Cal Hacks, the world’s largest collegiate hackathon, and was an ambassador for Lightspeed.

We talked to Deevy about how he finds and vets startups, his tips for getting involved in tech & VC as a student, and the value…


It’s been hard for new consumer social companies to get traction in the last five years, and even harder to hold on to early hype. The existing “giants” (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter) eat up most users’ screen time and cell data, and their network effects make it tough to justify posting content elsewhere. The only recent “breakout” with lasting traction was TikTok, which built off Musical.ly’s user base and is still spending billions on marketing.

This might seem like a death sentence for new consumer apps. However, we believe that today’s environment is an ideal launching ground for the next…


Data from 130 young investors shows many are doubling down

For Gen Z and young millennial investors, the past few months have been a whole new world. Most were teens or pre-teens during the last recession, and are now facing volatility that’s challenging even for professional investors. The Dow Jones had its largest single-day drop in history in mid-March, and both the Dow and the S&P 500 had their worst first-quarter performances ever. Last week, the S&P had its largest weekly gain since 1974, but there’s significant skepticism about whether this recovery will continue.

We were curious about how many millennials and Gen Zers were investing before the coronavirus hit…


Believe it or not, Casper will be the first IPO of the VC-backed D2C brand era — prior exits in the space (e.g. Harry’s, Bonobos, Dollar Shave Club) have been acquisitions. There’s a number of private D2C unicorns, including Allbirds, Away, Glossier, and Kendra Scott, that aren’t far behind Casper, and this IPO could have significant implications for their eventual exits.

Casper’s S-1, which was released last Friday, paints a fascinating picture of how these brands hope to be valued by the public markets. There’s a lot not to like — Casper raised $340M in equity funding to get to…


This post was originally published in our weekly newsletter, Accelerated. Check it out if you are interested in more content from us!

We both read a lot this year — Olivia read 125 books and Justine read 96 — and we’re excited to share our favorites.

There’s already great lists with the top tech & VC books, so we won’t rehash those (shoutout to Bad Blood and Super Pumped, which we loved!). Instead, we’re featuring books you may not have heard of, on topics ranging from the opioid epidemic to hostage negotiations. Most of them were published post-2017, so they’re still relatively new.

We’d love to hear about your favorite books this year. We started a Twitter thread with this list — please weigh in with your recommendations!


A look at recent usage trends, and how the company is trying to stay relevant for the next generation of consumers

The writing is on the wall for Facebook — the platform is losing market share, fast, among young users. Edison Research’s Infinite Dial study from early 2019 showed that 62% of U.S. 12–34 year-olds are Facebook users, down from 67% in 2018 and 79% in 2017. This decrease is particularly notable as 35–54 and 55+ age group usage has been constant or even increased.

There are many theories behind Facebook’s fall from grace among millennials and Gen Zers — an influx of older users that change the dynamics of the platform, competition from more mobile and visual-friendly platforms like Instagram…


It’s literally this easy to get started creating content on Kapwing!

The rise of online video over the last ten years has been staggering. The average American spends almost 80 minutes each day watching video on a device other than TV, and the most sought-after career for U.S. 8-to-12 year-olds is “vlogger/YouTuber.” As of 2017, more than 17 million Americans made money from online content creation.

Unsurprisingly, video has also become a crucial means of communication and storytelling for businesses. Almost 90% of business marketers now use online video, often in ways that are much more creative and exciting than the traditional ad. We’ve all seen the power of a viral…


International expansion, ad attribution and celebrity shows

This year has been a breakout one for podcasting. According to Edison Research’s Infinite Dial report, more than half of Americans have now listened to a podcast, and an estimated 32% listen monthly (up from 26% last year). This is the largest yearly increase since this data started being tracked in 2008. Podcast creation also continues to grow, with more than 700,000 podcasts and 29 million podcast episodes, up 27% from last year.

Thanks to this growing listener base, big companies are finally starting to pay attention to the space — Spotify plans to spend $500 million on acquisitions this…

Justine and Olivia Moore

Venture investors at CRV. Stanford ’16. Subscribe to Accelerated for weekly tech news, jobs, and internships: https://accelerated.carrd.co/

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