‘A gag order for life’ – How nondisclosure agreements silence and control workers in Silicon Valley

NDA excerpt only allowing an employee to state they cannot discuss a matter at hand

Kira isn’t allowed to talk about the business trip she took to Texas in 2019, when she says a male colleague drugged and raped her. She awoke the next morning to find his credit card on the floor of her hotel bathroom, her underwear torn, and her body bruised.

Kira canceled the second leg of her trip and flew home, where she called her boss to describe what happened. Her boss notified human resources, setting off a chain of events that made it impossible for Kira to continue working at the multibillion-dollar tech company where she was a contract manager.

At the end of a contentious legal mediation in the months that followed, Kira signed a settlement agreement that forced her to resign. In exchange for roughly a year’s worth of her salary, Kira is now bound to silence, facing the threat of steep financial penalties if she ever tells her story.

“It angers me to my core,” said Kira, whose NDA stipulates that, in response to questions about the status of her allegations, she can only say “I can’t discuss it” or “I would prefer not to discuss the matter.”

Kira’s experience might be extreme, but the strict nondisclosure terms of the settlement agreement she signed are incredibly common. Every day, thousands of people sign nondisclosure agreements when they start a new job or leave their current one. Most of the time, especially for employees starting a job, the agreements are just one more document in a stack of first-day paperwork.

But the agreements can be far more consequential than many people realize.

Nondisclosure agreements, or NDAs, strike directly at the heart of one of America’s most fundamental individual liberties, limiting what someone can talk about and who they can talk to. Yet even as they’ve spread throughout the corporate world in the span of a few decades, the dizzying scope and legality of the contracts have received relatively little scrutiny.

In Silicon Valley, the culture of secrecy that companies have long justified in the name of protecting innovation has ballooned into sweeping strictures that often prevent employees from discussing everything from embarrassing management mistakes to workplace misconduct and abuse.

To understand how nondisclosure agreements have come to form the backbone of Silicon Valley’s culture of secrecy, Insider reviewed 36 agreements shared by tech workers at companies ranging from Fortune 500 giants like Facebook, Google an Apple, to smaller startups.

The scope and breadth of the agreements stunned academic experts and employment lawyers interviewed for this story. Taken together, they provide one of the most comprehensive reviews to date of these widely used contracts.

You can read our full story if you’re an Insider subscriber:

We reviewed 36 NDAs from major tech companies and discovered how far Silicon Valley’s giants will go to silence and control their employees

Read the original article on Business Insider

Check out 9 pitch decks that fintechs looking to disrupt investing, banking, and credit scores used to raise millions

dollar bills money
Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.

Fintech VC funding hit a fresh quarterly record of $22.8 billion in the first three months of 2021, according to CB Insights data. While mega-rounds helped propel overall funding, new cash was spread across 614 deals.

Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.

Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You’ll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding.


Blockchain for private-markets investing

Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize.
Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize.

Securitize, founded in 2017 by the tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to private-markets investing. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.

Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley’s Tactical Value fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain-technology investment when it coled the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.

Here’s the 11-page pitch deck a blockchain startup looking to revolutionize private-markets investing used to nab $48 million from investors like Morgan Stanley


E-commerce focused business banking

Headshot of Novo cofounders Michael Rangel (CEO) and Tyler McIntyre (CTO)
Michael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.

Business banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can’t get enough.

Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.

Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami.

Here’s the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series A


Blockchain-based credit score tech

John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs.
John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs.

A blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples’ creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.

Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.

Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round. So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.

TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.

Here’s the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnion


Digital banking for freelancers

freelance freelancer remote working remotely typing

Lance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an “active” approach to business banking.

“We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it,” Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider.

Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that’s connected to automated tax withholdings.

In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.

Here’s the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including Barclays


Digital tools for independent financial advisors

Jason Wenk, Altruist
Jason Wenk, founder and CEO of Altruist

Jason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he’s running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals.

The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup’s total funding to just under $67 million.

Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an “all-in-one” platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.

Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry.

Here’s the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and Insight


Payments and operations support

HoneyBook Oz Naama Dror co founders
HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.

While countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.

Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.

Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup’s startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company’s fundraising total to $227 million to date.

Here’s the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger Global


Fraud prevention for lenders and insurers

woman shopping online using laptop

Onboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.

But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that’s where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls “digital body language,” or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It’s built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players.

“The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there’s a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy,” Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.

Founded in 2014, the startup’s pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless.

In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.

Here’s the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers’ digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series A


AI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews

Fakespot CEO
Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot.

Marketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.

That’s where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart.

“There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms,” Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. “Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy.”

Fakespot’s AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.

Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series A


New twists on digital banking

Zach Bruhnke, HMBradley
Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley

Consumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from.

The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model.

“Our thesis going in was that we don’t swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don’t think the customer base that we’re focusing on does either,” Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. “A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis.”

Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.

Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount.

“We’ll pay you more when you save more of what comes in,” Bruhnke said. “We didn’t want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us.”

Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series A

Read the original article on Business Insider

Tech’s $1 billion unicorn startups are ready to party

Hello, and welcome to this week’s edition of the Insider Tech newsletter, where we break down the biggest news in tech, including:

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Note: Newsletters are now coming from our new domain, @insider.com. Also, a friendly reminder to add newsletter@insider.com to your address book.


This week: The hot unicorn summer is here

Once upon a time a startup that attained a $1 billion valuation was a rare feat – rare enough that those that achieved it were called unicorns. Today, unicorns are seemingly everywhere and new ones are being created all the time.

In the second quarter of 2021, there were 136 new unicorns created. That’s more than all the unicorns created in 2020. Is it the pent-up enthusiasm for re-opening? The ongoing result of low interest rates? A sign of trouble ahead? Check out the list of the 136 new unicorns and see if you can discern any pattern.

Unicorn

In other startup and VC news:

Garrett Camp’s VC fund is breaking all the rules with a new accelerator for fledging founders. Here’s how it’s different.

Tech startups can’t hire fast enough. Here are 25 important people to know if you want to land one of those jobs.

Meet Shift5, the 50-person security startup quietly hiring execs away from hot startups like Tanium and Armis and landing millions in military contracts

Money app Revolut’s valuation has jumped 500% to $33 billion after raising $800 million from SoftBank and Tiger Global


Deal Watch…

Here’s a wild deal to ponder: Amazon Web Services buys Salesforce.

Impossible, right? After all, Amazon is currently facing the most intense antitrust scrutiny in its nearly three decades of existence. And the FTC’s new chairwoman, Lina Khan, is an avowed Amazon skeptic (so much so that Amazon is trying to force her to sit out any proceedings involving the company).

But… If Amazon were to spin off its AWS cloud computing business, the latter could potentially acquire Salesforce, some analysts reckon.

Spinoffs and acquisitions are all just hypotheticals of course. Far less speculative is a stronger alliance between AWS and Salesforce, building on their 2016 partnership. That’s because each party provides something the other doesn’t currently have in their product offerings. Together (particularly once Salesforce’s acquisition of Slack closes) they can offer a more well-rounded alternative to their mutual enemy: Microsoft.

Read the full story here:

Why Salesforce and Amazon are becoming each other’s best allies in the battle against Microsoft – and how they could become even closer

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Amazon Web Services CEO Adam Selipsky
(L to R) Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Amazon Web Services CEO Adam Selipsky

In other Big Tech news:

Confessions of Google employees: the company is too big and needs to be broken up

Oracle insiders say a key cloud VP is out after about a year. Here are the details on the big changes at Oracle’s important cloud security business.

Facebook’s chief diversity officer reveals how she’s increasing BIPOC leadership at the tech giant

TikTok’s search algorithm has been auto-suggesting potentially harmful eating disorder content when users type the first few letters of banned keywords


The Big Read

Fort Lauderdale asked Elon Musk to build a commuter train tunnel. So how did it end up with a plan for a $30 million beach tunnel for Teslas instead?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk with a hardhat.JPG
Elon Musk

Insider obtained emails and other documents through freedom of information requests to piece together the makings of a curious deal that raised eyebrows when it was hastily announced this month.

The documents show how starstruck city officials turned to a tech-industry celebrity to solve a difficult problem and – for the moment at least – ended up instead agreeing to buy something they hadn’t been looking for, and may not really need.

Click here to read the full story


Snapshot: Ukraine Crypto Bust!

You might think that shelves crammed with PlayStation consoles belong to an electronics retailer.

According to the Ukraine police however, the picture below is an underground cryptocurrency mining operation.

Metal racks with Sony Playstation consoles in a Ukraine crypto mine
Gaming consoles in Ukraine.

Some 3,800 Sony PlayStations were discovered in the facility, located in a town about three hours outside the capital of Kyiv, along with 5,000 computers, 50 processors and an assortment of notebooks, phones and flash drives.

“Such illegal activity could lead to power surges and left people without electricity,” the Security Service of Ukraine declaimed in a press release announcing the big bust.

For their alleged theft of electricity, water and thermal energy, the crypto miners now face criminal proceedings. And investigations are underway to identify other conspirators.


Quote of the week:

Kelsey Hightower, principle engineer at Google and self-taught developer. His arms are crossed and he's wearing a grey shirt in front of a textured brown background.
Kelsey Hightower, principle engineer at Google and self-taught developer.

“There’s this idea that you need to be passionate about technology to be successful: That’s actually not true. It helps, but it is not a requirement.”

– Google cloud expert Kelsey Hightower, who taught himself computer science and has become one of the most sought-after speakers in the enterprise tech field. According to Hightower, the key is optimizing your skills for the jobs that people are hiring for.


Not necessarily in tech:

We found Jeffrey Epstein’s other little black book from 1997. Search all 349 names in our exclusive database.


Thanks for reading, and if you like this newsletter, tell your friends and colleagues they can sign up here to receive it.

– Alexei

Read the original article on Business Insider

5 pitch decks that legal-tech startups used to raise millions

legal tech lady justice code 4x3
The legal-tech space has raised nearly $1 billion in funding so far this year.

  • Funding for legal-tech is nearing $1 billion for 2021 so far.
  • VC firms, private equity, and even traditional law players are pouring money in.
  • Check out these 5 pitch decks for examples of how legal-tech startup founders sold their vision.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

As law firms and their clients seek to digitize and streamline work, VCs have been opening their wallets to the growing legal-tech space. The total value of deals in the global market to date this year clocks in at at least $974 million – already surpassing the $603 million figure from 2020, according to data from PitchBook.

Private equity firms are also increasingly eyeing legal tech, investing more than $3.6 billion in Q1 of 2021 alone, according to market intelligence platform Bodhala.

Here’s a look at our legal-tech pitch deck collection.


Adrian Camara
Athennian’s CEO and founder, Adrian Camara.

Athennian, which helps law firms and legal departments manage data and workflow around legal entities, raised a $7 million CAD (more than $5.5 million USD) Series A extension in the beginning of March, nearly doubling its initial $8 million Series A round last year.

Athennian’s revenue and headcount more than doubled since the original Series A, according to founder and CEO Adrian Camara. He declined to disclose revenue numbers, but said that the sales and marketing team grew from 35 people in September to around 70 in March.

Launched in 2017, Athennian is used by nearly 200 legal departments and law firms, including Dentons, Fastkind, and Paul Hastings, to automate documents like board minutes, stock certificates, and shareholder consents.

The Series A extension was led by Arthur Ventures. New investors Touchdown Ventures and Clio’s CEO, Jack Newton, also participated in the round, alongside Round13 Capital and other existing investors. To date, Athennian has raised $17 million CAD, or around $14 million USD, in venture capital funding, per Pitchbook.

Here’s the small but mighty pitch deck that nearly doubled legal tech Athennian’s Series A to $12 million.


jerry_1.JPG
Evisort’s CEO and co-founder Jerry Ting.

Contract tech is the frontrunner in the legal tech space, as companies across industries seek to streamline their contract creation, negotiation, and management processes.

Evisort, a contract lifecycle management (CLM) platform, raised $35 million in its Series B announced late February, bringing total funding to $55.5 million. The private equity firm General Atlantic led its latest funding round, with participation from existing investors Amity Ventures, Microsoft’s venture firm M12, and Vertex Ventures.

Founded in 2016, Evisort uses artificial intelligence to help businesses categorize, search, and act on documents.

Its CEO Jerry Ting founded Evisort while he was still attending Harvard Law School. He spent one summer working at Fried Frank, but soon realized that he didn’t want to be a lawyer because he didn’t want to spend excruciating hours manually reading fifty-page contracts. He did, however, recognize how important they are to corporations, and co-founded Evisort as a tool to locate and track valuable information like a contract’s expiration date and obligations like payment dates.

Evisort’s CEO walks through the 11-page pitch deck that the contract software startup used to nab $35 million from investors like General Atlantic – and lays out its path to an IPO


Contractbook_founders_2 min
Niels Brøchner, Jarek Owczarek, and Viktor Heide founded Contractbook to offer a client-centric tool to manage contracts,

Try to imagine the contracts negotiation process, and one might conjure up a scene where a sheaf of papers, tucked discreetly into a manila folder, is shuttled from one law office to the mahogany table of another. With a stroke of a fountain pen, the deal is sealed.

Those old-school methods have long been replaced with the adoption of PDFs, redlined versions of which zip from email inbox to inbox. Now, contracting is undergoing another digital shift that will streamline the process as companies are becoming more comfortable with tech and are seeking greater efficiencies – and investors are taking note.

Contractbook, a Denmark-based contract lifecycle management platform, late last year raised $9.4 million in its Series A investment round, led by venture capital titan Bessemer Venture Partners. In November 2019, Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused venture fund, led Contractbook’s $3.9 million seed round.

Founded in Copenhagen in 2017, Contractbook uses data to automate documents, offering an end-to-end contracts platform for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Niels Brøchner, the company’s CEO and cofounder, said that Contractbook was born out of the notion that existing contract solutions failed to use a document’s data – from names of parties to the folder the document is stored in – to automate the process and drive workflow.

Here’s the 13-page pitch deck that Contractbook, which wants to take on legal tech giants like DocuSign, used to raise $9.4 million from investors like Bessemer Ventures


Kiwi Camara DISCO headshot
Kiwi Camara, CEO and cofounder of Disco.

Cloud-based technology is having its moment, especially in the legal industry.

As attorneys have been propelled to work remotely amid the pandemic, data security and streamlined work processes are top-of-mind for law firms, leading them to adopt cloud technology.

Investors are taking note. Disco, a cloud-based ediscovery platform that uses artificial intelligence to streamline the litigation process, snapped up $60 million in equity financing in October.

Its Series F, led by Georgian Partners and also backed by VC titans like Bessemer Venture Partners and LiveOak Venture Partners, brings total investment to $195 million, valuing the company at $785 million.

Launched in Houston in 2012, Disco offers AI-fueled products geared towards helping lawyers review and analyze vast quantities of documents, allowing them to more efficiently determine which ones are relevant to a case.

The CEO of Disco, a legal tech that sells cloud-based discovery software, walked us through a 20-page pitch deck the startup used to nab $60 million


Dan Broderick BlackBoiler
Dan Broderick, cofounder and CEO of BlackBoiler.

BlackBoiler is an automated contract markup software that’s used by Am Law 25 firms and several Fortune 1000 companies.

The software uses machine learning to automate the process of reviewing and revising documents in “track changes.” This saves attorneys the time they would typically spend marking up contracts that often use standard boilerplate language.

As a pre-execution software used in the negotiation and markup stage of the contracts process, BlackBoiler has carved out a unique space in the $35 billion contracts industry, said Dan Broderick, a lawyer who cofounded the company in 2015 and is now its CEO.

Broderick walked Insider through the pitch deck the company used to attract funding from investors, including DocuSign as well as 10 attorneys that run the gamut from Am Law 50 partners to general counsel at large corporations.

Check out the 14-page pitch deck that contract-editing startup BlackBoiler used to nab $3.2 million from investors including DocuSign

Read the original article on Business Insider

7 pitch decks that fintechs looking to disrupt wealth, banking, and credit scores used to raise millions

dollar bills money
Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.

Fintech VC funding hit a fresh quarterly record of $22.8 billion in the first three months of 2021, according to CB Insights data. While mega-rounds helped propel overall funding, new cash was spread across 614 deals.

Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.

Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You’ll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding.


Blockchain-based credit score tech

John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs.
John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs.

A blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples’ creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.

Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.

Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round. So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.

TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.

Here’s the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnion


Digital banking for freelancers

freelance freelancer remote working remotely typing

Lance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an “active” approach to business banking.

“We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it,” Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider.

Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that’s connected to automated tax withholdings.

In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.

Here’s the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including Barclays


Digital tools for independent financial advisors

Jason Wenk, Altruist
Jason Wenk, founder and CEO of Altruist

Jason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he’s running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals.

The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup’s total funding to just under $67 million.

Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an “all-in-one” platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.

Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry.

Here’s the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and Insight


Payments and operations support

HoneyBook Oz Naama Dror co founders
HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.

While countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.

Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.

Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup’s startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company’s fundraising total to $227 million to date.

Here’s the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger Global


Fraud prevention for lenders and insurers

woman shopping online using laptop

Onboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.

But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that’s where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls “digital body language,” or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It’s built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players.

“The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there’s a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy,” Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.

Founded in 2014, the startup’s pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless.

In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.

Here’s the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers’ digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series A


AI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews

Fakespot CEO
Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot.

Marketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.

That’s where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart.

“There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms,” Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. “Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy.”

Fakespot’s AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.

Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series A


New twists on digital banking

Zach Bruhnke, HMBradley
Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley

Consumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from.

The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model.

“Our thesis going in was that we don’t swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don’t think the customer base that we’re focusing on does either,” Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. “A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis.”

Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.

Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount.

“We’ll pay you more when you save more of what comes in,” Bruhnke said. “We didn’t want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us.”

Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series A

Read the original article on Business Insider

Fintech startups in Europe raised $17 billion in 2021. See 14 of the pitch decks they used to land millions from VCs.

alexander and oliver kent braham
Marshmallow founders Alexander and Oliver Kent Braham raised $30 million earlier this year.

  • Fintech and insurance startups in Europe have raised $17 billion in a record year for investment.
  • Insider has reported extensively on both sectors as investor appetite soared.
  • These pitch decks reveal how 14 different startups pitched their visions and products to investors.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Financial services and insurance startups are the crown jewels of European tech right now.

A host of regulatory and market changes have meant that the sector in Europe has grown rapidly in recent years, bringing in higher round sizes, valuations, and bigger investors than ever. 2021 has already been a record year for the industries with a combined $17 billion being poured in by investors already.

Beyond the initial wave of payments disruptors and challenger banks, a set of nuanced solutions to complex consumer and business issues are emerging across the continent.

Both insurance tech and fintech have seen mega deals this year. Swedish buy now, pay later giant Klarna raised from SoftBank at a $45.6 billion valuation, cementing its status as Europe’s most valuable private company. Similarly, Germany’s Wefox hit a $3 billion valuation after raising the continent’s largest ever insurance tech round at $650 million.

Below are 14 pitch decks from fast-growing European tech startups in the fintech and insurance spaces.

Insurance tech

Jean Charles Samuelian Werve   Voyez Vous (Vinciane Lebrun)  0639
Jean Charles Samuelian Werve, Alan CEO, landed $223 million.

Insurance is having a real moment in Europe. In 2021, European insurance tech startups have already raised more than in the entirety of 2020 with $1.9 billion invested over 52 deals, per Pitchbook. Here are six notable raises from the past 12 months:

Fintech

Adriaan Ken 1
Mollie cofounder Adriaan Mol and CCO Ken Serdons raised $106 million this year.

Fintech has been on a growth tear in Europe for a number of years and has shown few signs of slowing down. Everything from anti-money laundering to cloud infrastructure for banking is covered below with a number of unicorn businesses sharing their secrets to investment success.

Like insurance, fintech funding in 2021 has broken past 2020’s total and has already surpassed 2019 – a record year for the sector in Europe – this year, per Dealroom data. Fintech startups drew €8.6 billion ($10.2 billion) last year but have already topped €12.7 billion in 2021.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Europe’s hottest fintech startups raised $17 billion in 2021. See 14 of the pitch decks they used to land millions from VCs

alexander and oliver kent braham
Marshmallow founders Alexander and Oliver Kent Braham raised $30 million earlier this year.

  • Fintech and insurance startups in Europe have raised $17 billion in a record year for investment.
  • Insider has reported extensively on both sectors as investor appetite soared.
  • These pitch decks reveal how 14 different startups pitched their visions and products to investors.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Financial services and insurance startups are the crown jewels of European tech right now.

A host of regulatory and market changes have meant that the sector in Europe has grown rapidly in recent years, bringing in higher round sizes, valuations, and bigger investors than ever. 2021 has already been a record year for the industries with a combined $17 billion being poured in by investors already.

Beyond the initial wave of payments disruptors and challenger banks, a set of nuanced solutions to complex consumer and business issues are emerging across the continent.

Both insurance tech and fintech have seen mega deals this year. Swedish buy now, pay later giant Klarna raised from SoftBank at a $45.6 billion valuation, cementing its status as Europe’s most valuable private company. Similarly, Germany’s Wefox hit a $3 billion valuation after raising the continent’s largest ever insurance tech round at $650 million.

Below are 14 pitch decks from fast-growing European tech startups in the fintech and insurance spaces.

Insurance tech

Jean Charles Samuelian Werve   Voyez Vous (Vinciane Lebrun)  0639
Jean Charles Samuelian Werve, Alan CEO, landed $223 million.

Insurance is having a real moment in Europe. In 2021, European insurance tech startups have already raised more than in the entirety of 2020 with $1.9 billion invested over 52 deals, per Pitchbook. Here are six notable raises from the past 12 months:

Fintech

Adriaan Ken 1
Mollie cofounder Adriaan Mol and CCO Ken Serdons raised $106 million this year.

Fintech has been on a growth tear in Europe for a number of years and has shown few signs of slowing down. Everything from anti-money laundering to cloud infrastructure for banking is covered below with a number of unicorn businesses sharing their secrets to investment success.

Like insurance, fintech funding in 2021 has broken past 2020’s total and has already surpassed 2019 – a record year for the sector in Europe – this year, per Dealroom data. Fintech startups drew €8.6 billion ($10.2 billion) last year but have already topped €12.7 billion in 2021.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Check out 7 pitch decks that fintechs looking to disrupt wealth, banking, and credit scores used to raise millions

dollar bills money
Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.

Fintech VC funding hit a fresh quarterly record of $22.8 billion in the first three months of 2021, according to CB Insights data. While mega-rounds helped propel overall funding, new cash was spread across 614 deals.

Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.

Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You’ll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding.


Blockchain-based credit score tech

John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs.
John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs.

A blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples’ creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.

Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.

Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round. So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.

TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.

Here’s the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnion


Digital banking for freelancers

freelance freelancer remote working remotely typing

Lance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an “active” approach to business banking.

“We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it,” Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider.

Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that’s connected to automated tax withholdings.

In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.

Here’s the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including Barclays


Digital tools for independent financial advisors

Jason Wenk, Altruist
Jason Wenk, founder and CEO of Altruist

Jason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he’s running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals.

The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup’s total funding to just under $67 million.

Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an “all-in-one” platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.

Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry.

Here’s the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and Insight


Payments and operations support

HoneyBook Oz Naama Dror co founders
HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.

While countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.

Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.

Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup’s startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company’s fundraising total to $227 million to date.

Here’s the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger Global


Fraud prevention for lenders and insurers

woman shopping online using laptop

Onboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.

But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that’s where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls “digital body language,” or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It’s built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players.

“The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there’s a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy,” Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.

Founded in 2014, the startup’s pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless.

In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.

Here’s the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers’ digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series A


AI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews

Fakespot CEO
Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot.

Marketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.

That’s where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart.

“There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms,” Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. “Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy.”

Fakespot’s AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.

Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series A


New twists on digital banking

Zach Bruhnke, HMBradley
Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley

Consumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from.

The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model.

“Our thesis going in was that we don’t swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don’t think the customer base that we’re focusing on does either,” Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. “A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis.”

Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.

Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount.

“We’ll pay you more when you save more of what comes in,” Bruhnke said. “We didn’t want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us.”

Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series A

Read the original article on Business Insider

What it takes to keep up with the digital health boom

Hello,

Welcome to Insider Healthcare. I’m Lydia Ramsey Pflanzer, and this week in healthcare news:

If you’re new to this newsletter, sign up here. Tips, comments? Email me at lramsey@insider.com or tweet @lydiaramsey125. Let’s get to it…


We’ll be off next Monday for the holiday! Hope you all have a great weekend, and we’ll see you again on Tuesday.


A check with the words "paid to the order of digital health" written on it surrounded by dollar signs on a blue background.

Keeping up with the digital health boom

Dealmaking is heating up in healthcare.

Case in point: Ro on Wednesday made its third acquisition in the last year, buying at-home diagnostics startup Kit.

Megan Hernbroth spoke to some of the folks involved in inking digital health deals. They’ve been working overtime amid the boom – pulling all-nighters and working seven days a week.

The boom has led to a new crop of healthcare startups.

With the help of the VC team here at Insider, we pulled together a list of 23 of the most promising healthcare startups of 2021.

Read the full list here>>

Blake Dodge meanwhile has spent the past few weeks searching out the bankers that every digital health company should know.

They shared with her predictions for the future of the industry.

Meet digital health’s go-to bankers>>

12 top bankers break down how tech is driving record deals and the next generation of giants


mental health illness depression anxiety headache migraine therapy

The cost of inequity

Over the last few months, the Insider newsroom has been busy reporting on a series that quantifies the cost of inequity in the US.

The healthcare team contributed some articles:

Find the whole project here>>

How inequity persists in America


Tia Office

What’s fueling women’s-health startups

It’s Patricia Kelly Yeo’s last week with us here on Insider’s healthcare team! In her final few weeks, she went deep on what’s happening in women’s health.

On the heels of Ro’s announced deal to buy Modern Fertility, we started wondering what the future of women’s health looks like: Is it possible to grow a startup focused on something like fertility, or contraception? Or is the fate ultimately to become an acquisition target?

Kelly spoke to experts in the field to understand how women’s-health startups could benefit from all the dealmaking.

Meanwhile, Kindbody last Friday raised $62 million, valuing the fertility clinic startup at $612 million.

That puts Kindbody as one of the top-funded women’s-health startups.

Get the full list here>>

From birth-control delivery to online pregnancy care, here are the 9 highest-funded women’s-health startups


More stories we covered this week:


– Lydia

Read the original article on Business Insider

Silicon Valley is falling in love with ads again and tech CEOs are acting weirdly

Hello, and welcome to this week’s edition of the Insider Tech newsletter, where we break down the biggest news in tech, including:

Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.


This week: Silicon Valley is falling in love with ads … again

Tobias Lütke shopify

The great reopening is here, and with it, the opening of the purse strings for corporate marketing dollars.

That’s good news for tech companies whose business models rely on digital advertising, like Google and Facebook. But there’s a growing number of other tech companies you might not think of as advertising businesses who are looking to get in on the action.

Shopify, the $182 billion Canadian ecommerce powerhouse, is readying a new tool to let merchants tap into its data so they can target ads to potential customers on Facebook and Google, Insider reported.

  • The tool, called Shopify Audiences, could be a first step in a broader push into advertising by Shopify that could ultimately involve selling ads on its own platform.

And Instacart, the grocery delivery startup poised for an IPO, has been quietly building an ad business that Insider’s Tom Dotan reported is on track to generate $1 billion by 2022.

The rush to bolt on advertising business may seem counterintuitive given the well-publicized privacy changes on iPhones that make it tougher for app makers to track users and target ads at them. But those restrictions apply to the data that apps collect by tracking users on iPhones. Platforms with their own audiences can treat their data however they want. In fact, with Apple’s clampdown, the demand for data from the likes of Shopify seems likely to only become more valuable.

If you’re into ads, make sure to sign up for Insider Advertising, the newsletter that brings together our best scoops and reporting on the media and advertising industry.


The summer of tech mogul weirdness

mark zuckerberg facebook

It’s tough to say exactly what’s driving the trend, but the captains of the tech industry have been acting … differently, of late. Maybe it’s the result of 16 months in lockdown, or maybe it’s something in the Silicon Valley water. Whatever the cause, consider these recent incidents:

Who knows what to expect next as the summer heats up.


Snapshot: The $28 million chair

It looks like the kind of thing a sadistic dentist might try to strap you into, but this curious reclining chair and wraparound headrest is actually a coveted seat on Jeff Bezos’ spacecraft – the Blue Origin New Shepard – scheduled for takeoff in T minus 24 days.

blue origin new shepard crew capsule seat

There are six of these seats in the rocket’s capsule, but only four will be filled on the first ride: One for Bezos, one for his brother Mark, and two for a pair of unidentified passengers, one of whom ponied up $28 million for the privilege of the ride.

The seats are positioned next to giant windows so the passengers can relax and enjoy the celestial views. But the ride will be bumpy – the seats are designed to absorb some of the impact as the capsule soars more than 62 miles above sea level, with a force three times stronger than gravity that will pin the passengers to their chairs, and then plummets back down to Earth for a landing in the Texas desert.

One thing missing from the picture is a bucket, which might come in handy since first-time fliers apparently often throw-up during launch or landing.


Quote of the week:

Ashish Toshniwal is the founder and CEO of Y Media Labs, a global digital product and design agency.
Ashish Toshniwal is the founder and CEO of Y Media Labs.

“Almost no company has the resources to combat every social issue, and while making firm stances on social issues is great, creating real change requires diving deeply into a single issue, becoming educated, and taking concrete steps to combat the problem.”

– Ashish Toshniwal, Founder and CEO of Y Media Labs, describing how his company approached the challenge of effectively using its resources to drive social change.


You’re invited: Join us Tuesday at 12 p.m ET for a virtual event presented by PwC, spotlighting the biggest trends CEOs will focus on in the next 12 months. Register here.


Recommended readings:

Amazon pays struggling employees as much as $30,000 to leave and never work at the company again, leaked documents show

Augmented reality is waiting for its 2007 iPhone moment, according to the lead investor in the AR startup bought by Snap for $500 million

Leaked memo: Google is spinning up a new internal group focused on machine learning in a push to make ‘substantial gains’ in AI

We read all 323 pages of 23andMe’s SPAC filing. Here are the 5 biggest obstacles it faces after its public debut.

These 10 AI startups raised the biggest Series A and B rounds of the last 2 years and are poised to boom

Andreessen Horowitz partner Martin Casado says the cost of cloud computing is a $100 billion drag on the biggest software companies, sparking a huge debate across the industry

The head of Toyota’s VC arm has $300 million to spend on startups. Here’s what he’s looking for before he offers terms.


Not necessarily in tech:

Insider investigation reveals officials helped sell access to California public schools to Chinese elite


Thanks for reading, and if you like this newsletter, tell your friends and colleagues they can sign up here to receive it.

– Alexei

Read the original article on Business Insider