WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Business Startups Continue at Record Pace (Episode 178)

We’ve reported previously on the Business Beat that the last quarter of 2020 was a really robust one when it comes to business startups in the U.S.

In a new report by the Visual Capitalist, new data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the United States, and the upward trend continues.

In fact, there were 492,133 new business applications filed in January 2021.

Tune in to this morning’s WJR Business Beat to learn more about the rapid increase of startups in the U.S. amid the pandemic:

Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

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Good morning!

We’ve reported previously on the Business Beat that the last quarter of 2020 was a really robust one when it comes to business startups in the United States; something that might be counterintuitive, yet it’s so.

In a new report by the Visual Capitalist, new data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the United States, and the upward trend is not just a modest increase. In fact, there were 492,133 new business applications filed in January 2021. The streak continues: that’s an increase of over 73% in business application filings year-over-year.

A closer look at the growth and new business applications filed in January 2021 over December 2020, the previous month, region by region reveals the following:

The Midwest led the way in filings of new business applications, up 48%. Prior to the pandemic, new business startups were actually on the decline, but in times of crisis, as we have said previously on the Business Beat, there is often opportunity.

And people have become wildly innovative during COVID-19.

Why?

Well, many believe that the loss of jobs and loss of income has driven people to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors, to either supplement income or in the pursuit of a new primary source of income entirely.

The Visual Capitalist report also provides insight into what types of businesses are trending. This is interesting: new business startups in retail trade lead the way at 101,000 new applications in January. And of those, most are online retailers.

Professional services follows as the next most popular, then it’s construction, transportation and warehousing.

So, look, if you were thinking about starting a business and wondering if now’s a good time, well many feel that this is one of the best times in years to start a new business. So, get in on the action and start it up!

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.  

The post WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Business Startups Continue at Record Pace (Episode 178) appeared first on StartupNation.

StartupNation

[OurCrowd in Forbes] Regardless Of Covid-19, Startups Continue To Hire

Jerusalem-based venture investing platform OurCrowd today released the first installment of the quarterly OurCrowd Jobs Index showing that the number of open positions listed by OurCrowd’s portfolio companies rose from 350 in June 2020 to 912 in December 2020. The startups surveyed by OurCrowd predict that job growth would continue through 2021 and they expect to maintain a mix of in-person and remote working.

Read more here.

The post [OurCrowd in Forbes] Regardless Of Covid-19, Startups Continue To Hire appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

[OurCrowd in The Times of ISrael] OurCrowd startup survey shows hybrid office/remote work model set to continue

Even as coronavirus vaccinations are being rolled out, only 14.3% of OurCrowd’s portfolio companies see employees working solely in the workplace by July 1.

Read more here.

The post [OurCrowd in The Times of ISrael] OurCrowd startup survey shows hybrid office/remote work model set to continue appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

On-demand laundry platform Laundryheap raises €2.8 million to continue international expansion

Laundryheap, one of the world’s fastest growing on-demand laundry and dry cleaning platforms, has today announced an approx. €2.8 million Series A round led by Sova VC. The round was joined by the SidebySide Partnership.  Founded in the UK in 2014, Laundryheap offers door-to-door laundry and dry-cleaning services to consumer and business customers, including major brands,…

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The post On-demand laundry platform Laundryheap raises €2.8 million to continue international expansion first appeared on EU-Startups.

EU-Startups

The Emergency Hospital Beds Market To Continue With Its Monetization At A CAGR Of 4.4% – Murphy’s Hockey Law – Murphy’s Hockey Law

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LA County Restaurants Prepare For Outdoor Dining As Vaccination Efforts Continue – Yahoo News

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Fast raises $102M as the online checkout wars continue to attract huge investment

This morning Fast, a startup that provides online checkout and identity products, announced that it has closed a $ 102 million Series B. The new funding event was led by Stripe, a previous investor in Fast.

Stripe, an online payments giant, also led Fast’s Series A last year, a deal worth $ 20 million. Fast has raised $ 124 million to date, it said in a release.

TechCrunch reached out to Fast for comment regarding its growth pace. The company shared that gross merchandise volume (GMV) processed by its checkout service has “more than tripled each month,” adding that it expects that “trend to continue and increase.” The growth pace is hard to rate as we lack a base from which to scale, but we do now have an expectation for future GMV progress from Fast that we can use as a measuring stick.

Fast’s outsized Series B comes after a number of rival online checkout providers have also raised large rounds.

In late December Bolt, which provides online checkout, identity, and payments services raised a $ 75 million extension to its Series C round. The company also shared a number of growth metrics, allowing TechCrunch to get a handle on its current size, and expectations for future performance.

Then in mid-January Checkout.com raised $ 450 million at a $ 15 billion valuation. TechCrunch wrote at the time that “Checkout.com wants to build a one-stop shop for all things related to payments, such as accepting transactions, processing them and detecting fraud.” So, similar to Bolt and in competition with elements of what Fast offers.

Finally, Rapyd announced that it raised $ 300 million at a $ 2.5 billion valuation one day later. Rapyd provides fintech services via an API, TechCrunch noted, but as it does support global ecommerce payments and sells anti-fraud tech, it seems to fit inside this group.

Tack on Fast’s new Series B and inside the last month or so we’ve seen $ 927 million — at least — flow into startups with overlapping ecommerce infrastructure market targets. That’s just under $ 26 million a day since the Bolt round, an enormous amount of capital in a short period of time.

How are the companies all raising in such rapid-fire fashion? The most obvious answer to the question is that ecommerce is so big, and so critical to the global economy, that improving the experience of vending goods online for both sellers and buyers is a problem space with room for many players. That so many startups in the race to solve online commerce have each raised implies that they are all, so far, enjoying strong growth rates; and that implies a gigantic market into which they all hope to grow.

And it’s hard to argue in the wake of COVID-19 boosting ecommerce, and generally accelerating the digitization of the global economy, that such technologies will be constrained by market size anytime soon.

Startups – TechCrunch

Wolt closes $530M round to continue expanding beyond restaurant delivery

Wolt, the Helsinki-based online ordering and delivery company that initially focused on restaurants but has since expanded to other verticals, has raised $ 530 million in new funding. The round was led by Iconiq Growth, with participation from Tiger Global, DST, KKR, Prosus, EQT Growth and Coatue.

Previous backers 83North, Highland Europe, Goldman Sachs Growth Equity, EQT Ventures and Vintage Investment Partners also followed on. The new round takes the total amount of financing Wolt has raised to $ 856 million. Wolt declined to disclose the company’s latest valuation, although we know from the previous D round that the company is one of Europe’s so-called unicorns.

“We operate in an extremely competitive and well-funded industry, and this round allows us to have a long-term mindset when it comes to doubling down on our different markets,” says co-founder and CEO Miki Kuusi in a statement. “Despite the turbulence of 2020, we’ve remained focused on growth, tripling our revenue to a preliminary $ 330 against a net loss of just $ 38 million. Compared to the $ 670 million in new capital that we’ve raised during this year, this puts us into a strong position for investing in our people, technology, and markets when thinking about the next few years ahead”.

Since launching with 10 restaurants in its home city in 2015, five years on Wolt has expanded to 23 countries and 120 cities, mostly in Europe but also including Japan and Israel. More recently, like others in the restaurant delivery space, Wolt has expanded beyond restaurants and takeout food into the grocery and retail sectors. This, says the company, sees it offer anything from cosmetics to pet food and pharmaceuticals on its platform.

“This was mostly a primary raise,” Kuusi tells me when I ask if the new round includes secondary funding (i.e. shareholders that exited to new investors). “We’re not looking to disclose the valuation at this time, but we’ve previously shared that the Series D round that we raised in early 2020 valued that company at above €1 billion,” he adds.

Kuusi says that the latest funding round is based on the belief that local services in the offline world will gradually be brought online by players “that can execute and maintain a great customer experience”. “We started with an exclusive focus on the restaurant, as it’s the biggest local service with an underlying high-frequency use case,” he says. “We quickly learnt that the magical product market fit for bringing the restaurant online was to offer a quick and predictable delivery experience from restaurants that didn’t use to be available for delivery. We do this by handling the complexity of the delivery on the restaurant’s behalf”.

However, this was especially difficult to do efficiently and sustainably in small and difficult home market in the Nordics. To solve this, Wolt needed to build an “optimization-heavy logistics setup for last-mile delivery” that Kuusi says lets the service operate even in “very small cities with low income disparity, limited population density and high labor costs”.

“This means that we can operate efficiently even with relatively low order volumes, enabling us to grow and expand rapidly with much less financing than some of the other players in the market. We simply had no other choice than to do it this way was we came from such a difficult home market”.

On this foundation, Wolt is expanding into other ordering and local delivery verticals, aiming to be what Kuusi dubs as “the everything app” of goods and services. “Today, Wolt is much more than a restaurant delivery service, you can order groceries, electronics, flowers, clothes and many other things on our platform,” he explains. “We believe that the future of how people buy Nike shoes is a few taps on Wolt and some 30 minutes later you get any pair of shoes brought to your door. This is what we strive to make into a reality with our team at Wolt”. (I’m an Adidas guy myself, steadfastly European.)

Asked what he thinks about all the money being pumped into the dark convenience store model, Kuusi says Wolt is investing into its own dark store operation called Wolt Market. “It’s not surprising to also see a growing amount of financing going into this sector,” he admits. “We’re huge believers in a hybrid model where there will be both offline/online retailers as well as focused online retailers in the mix. Obviously the latter category is only getting started, and we should see a massive amount of growth for the coming years ahead”.

Startups – TechCrunch

The Trump administration countered Chinese investment in African tech. Will Biden continue? – TechCabal

The Trump administration countered Chinese investment in African tech. Will Biden continue?  TechCabal
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News