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.

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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 of being a generalist. …


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 group of billion-dollar consumer companies: vertical social networks. Ten years ago, it seemed impossible for a gaming-only network to be worth a billion dollars — now, we have two! …


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, whether they’ve made any changes to their portfolios, and how the crisis has impacted their outlook on the markets. We surveyed 130 Accelerated readers (college students & recent grads) — 65% were Gen Z’ers, and 35% were millennials — about their experience over the past few weeks. …


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 $357M in revenue, and is only growing 20% YoY. …


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!

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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.

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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 and Snapchat, and the company’s privacy scandals are just a few. …


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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 video (DollarShaveClub’s famous effort has 26 million views on YouTube), but many businesses are now using video for more everyday tasks. …


International expansion, ad attribution and celebrity shows

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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 year, and already acquired content studio Gimlet, tech platform Anchor, and true crime network Parcast for a combined $400 million. In the past week, Google added playable podcasts to search results, Spotify released an analytics dashboard for podcasters and Pandora launched a tool for podcasters to submit their shows. …


This month marked the 10th annual VidCon, a digital content conference in Anaheim. VidCon caters to online creators, their fans and the brand marketers and entertainment companies that want to leverage their influence. The conference drew 75,000+ attendees last year (we’d guess it was even bigger this year!), with teens and tweens flying in from around the globe to meet their favorite online stars.

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VidCon 2019 featured a rainbow slide, a terrifying snow cone/ice cream/cotton candy concoction called “The Unicorn” and a giant Invisalign-branded gum and candy dispenser.

This was our second year at VidCon (read our recap of VidCon 2018 here). We’ve found there’s nothing quite like it if you want to understand teen culture, influencer marketing and the future of social platforms, and are excited to share five of our key takeaways from the event. …


This week, we’re excited to feature Matt Miller and Zach Winn, investment analysts at JetBlue Technology Ventures (JTV).

JTV, the venture arm of JetBlue, incubates and invests in early stage startups at the intersection of tech and travel. JTV’s portfolio includes a range of companies aiming to improve the travel experience — from Miles (a loyalty program for ground transportation) to Betterez (next-gen reservation and ticketing) and Joby Aviation (electric aircraft manufacturer).

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Before joining JTV, Matt graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in Finance, and interned at Ellation, Centaur Partners, and Oracle.

Zach graduated with a B.S. in Finance from Miami University. He worked at Deloitte for two years as a business analyst after graduation, and interned at Priceline and JetBlue Airways. …

About

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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