Healthcare Startups Raised $111.4bn in Total Funding, a 34% Jump Year-on-Year – Investors King Ltd

Healthcare Startups Raised $ 111.4bn in Total Funding, a 34% Jump Year-on-Year  Investors King Ltd
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

With $100M in funding, Playco is already a mobile gaming unicorn

Playco is a new mobile gaming startup created by Game Closure co-founder Michael Carter and Zynga co-founder Justin Waldron, as well as game producers Takeshi Otsuka and Teddy Cross.

Although the Tokyo-headquartered company is only announcing its existence today, it’s already a unicorn — it says it’s raised $ 100 million in Series A funding, at a valuation “just north of $ 1 billion.”

The round was led by Josh Buckley and Sequoia Capital, with participation from Sozo Ventures, Raymond Tonsing’s Caffeinated Capital, Keisuke Honda’s KSK Angel Fund, Taizo Son’s Mistletoe Singapore, Digital Garage, Will Smith’s Dreamers, Makers Fund and others.

Carter (Playco’s CEO) said the startup will be revealing its first games later this year. For now, he wants to talk about Playco’s vision: It’s trying to address the fact that “it’s very difficult to get two people into a single game in the App Store.” After all, downloading an app is a pretty big hurdle, especially compared to the early days of web and social gaming, when all you needed was a link.

“We’re going to bring that back,” Carter said — with Playco’s titles, sharing and playing a mobile game with your friend should be as simple as texting or calling them. “All it really takes is a hyperlink.”

He pointed to a number of technologies that can enable this “instant play” experience on mobile, including cloud gaming, HTML5 and platform-specific tools like Apple’s new App Clips. He claimed the team is “very good at this cutting edge technology” — and the company has created its own game engine — but he said technology is not the sole focus: “That’s just table stakes.”

Waldron (Playco’s president) argued that this represents the next big platform shift in gaming, and it will require “reinventing a lot of the most popular genres today” while also creating entirely new genres, in the same way that social gaming enabled new types of games.

“If you think about FarmVille, there were no farm games being advertised being in local console games store,” Waldron said. “They don’t market well; if you put up a poster for a farm game, no one wants to play.” But if your friends invite you by sending you some digital crops, then you absolutely want to play.

Carter added that enabling instant play also means that the games themselves have to be fairly straightforward, at least at first glance.

“Ultimately, as we build up the portfolio, we think about what makes the game accessible to anyone on the planet, any ethnicity, any language,” he said. “And the answer is: It has to be broadly appealing. That doesn’t mean we can’t build into it relatively interesting and deep features, but the initial impression has to be the right sort of experience that people can easily relate to.”

Carter also acknowledged that it’s unusual for a startup to raise so much money in its Series A (“It’s not your typical company, and it’s not your typical Series A”), but he said that being more ambitious with fundraising allowed Playco to quickly grow the team to 75 people.

“Bringing talented people together is the most important thing, and [thanks to the funding,] we haven’t had to make any really hard decisions,” he said.

As for how its games will make money, Waldron suggested that Playco will borrow from (but also potentially evolve) many of the existing business models in gaming.

“We don’t need to reinvent the wheel,” he said. “There’s going to be amazing things we can learn from my last company — we ended up inventing a lot of the ways these games are monetizing today … But these new technologies available today create new opportunities. The world has changed a lot since then, and I don’t think everything has caught up.”

Startups – TechCrunch

An American startup that is 90% similar to mine just emerged this year, due to lack of funding in a third world country, I couldn’t get to market earlier

Some important things you need to know first:

– I had a 4 year head-start

– I launched twice

– I have applied to a lot of accelerators, including Y-combinator which I applied thrice. I have also reached out to potential investors and prominent leaders in my project's industry to no avail

– I'm not claiming they stole my idea, this is not a complaint but an open discussion on what I could do next

– My location is part of the problem partially, just at the wrong place at the wrong time

– I'm uncomfortable revealing the industry I'm working in at the moment so I won't name the startups

I started working on a project 4 years ago and built an MVP for it, my years were spent looking for co-founders, a team, and most importantly, investors. I got non of them, it was either promises that went nowhere or no replies at all. As a single founder, I knew it would be hard to bring someone on board with the situation in our country, the idea excited them but not enough for them to put in the hard work or money.

You must be wondering, maybe it was a terrible idea? My spirit was broken multiple times but I knew it had value. You may also think I should've looked for the first users since I built it already. Well it isn't that easy, the project's particular industry requires a workforce behind it, think of it as Uber if it launched without on-boarding drivers or with no drivers at all.

I don't know how to say this without sounding like a pompous douchebag but I blame my country or people whichever way you put it for one reason, the lack of vision. The people I met almost always said the same thing, "We aren't ready for that", "This is complicated" etc.. I take part in the blame because I believe I didn't explain it well or sell it good enough. I noticed my shortcomings and worked on it. Years of iteration (for 1 user, me) currently gives me hope in beating this competition that doesn't even know I exist. I believe I have gained experience by studying the idea, doing surveys, iterating, and by launching twice, both times giving me promising metrics but not being able to sustain it due to the reasons I stated above, a team.

This year I just found a way to launch without any help, self-funded and community-driven, and then I see it, there it was on Product Hunt, by 2 founders. The feedback was amazing, for me I took them all personally without question, I was actually happy because this is something I really wanted to exist, and here it is, backed by investors and funded with 7 figures. This also validated my idea in a way and I couldn't be more happier for them.

If I had a lawyer, I know they would stop me from doing what I'd do next, but I still went with it. I emailed them to congratulate them and imply that I had something similar and would love to share my findings/research, they actually have a position open for a Lead who they'd love to have to bring in their ideas. I requested for a shot at that position too. It was in Silicon Valley so maybe this COVID situation would let me be considered for remote work too. That's what I told my self, that's what I did.

It's been over 3 weeks now and both founders haven't replied, I have mail tracking so just one of them opened my email.

I didn't disclose my findings or links nor did I tell them to lawyer up, I offered help and a consideration for a position which I believe I could do good in. I explained in the email that I understand there might be legal issues but I'm happy to cooperate.

Some questions you might ask:

– Is the idea behind the product that common?

No, almost everyone in the industry misses it, I don't think it's worthless either, just that the current model is working well and I believe it shouldn't be that way. I'm a strong believer at this as a user, the other startup's vision is also the same, they believe there is a standard to set and they did it.

– Why don't you just launch this last version?

That's why I'm here, I'm afraid am being delusional and just need a few voices of reasoning

– Is there a patent on it

Mine? no. Theirs? I don't think there is, I searched for it on U.S patent databases and I don't think it's could be deemed as intellectual property in the first place, I could be ignorant about this I really haven't sought legal counselling

Please do ask questions, I'd love to answer.

TLDR: My startup failed after 2 launches and another one with resources and workforce that I don't have just launched right before I wanted to launch a third, final time

Edit: The other startup is behind a paywall and only limited to the iPhone, mine is free to the users and has a model similar to reddit gold where the content is free but you could still support it. It is also available across all platforms

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Most Nigerian startups have experienced Covid-related funding challenges – Endeavor – Ventures Africa

Most Nigerian startups have experienced Covid-related funding challenges – Endeavor  Ventures Africa
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Angel Funding Booming in Michigan Despite Pandemic (Episode 117)

Despite the chaos of the pandemic, deal flow has remained fairly steady for existing angel groups in the area, with several new funds emerging, too. Angel funding is funding provided by wealthy individuals into a company directly, as opposed to funding coming from institutional investors.

In 2019, there were 1,322 individuals who invested a combined $ 73.6 million in 106 early stage tech startups here in the region, as Crain’s Detroit Business reported in May. Combined the funds are roughly on pace to do the same level of deals and investment in 2020 as they did last year.

Tune in to this morning’s WJR Business Beat to hear more on the state of angel funding in Michigan:


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For more on the funds Jeff mentioned in this segment, please visit:

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.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at editor@startupnation.com and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

WJR Business Beat Transcript

Good morning, Paul.

Having a vibrant startup ecosystem in a region requires several key ingredients. You have to have exciting innovations and creative thinking. You have to have great people to lead these startups and you have to have funding to catalyze the nascent company and ignite its growth.

And speaking of funding, angel funding in particular is critical because it’s the type of funding commonly used in the earliest funding rounds, without which you never get to the later growth stages and to venture capital investing into the company.

For those who may not know, angel funding is funding provided by wealthy individuals into a company directly, as opposed to funding coming from institutional investors.

As many of you may know, I lead a startup studio in Birmingham, which depends on funding from angels. And I have to admit, when we saw angel funding activity pause during the first few months of the pandemic, I was really concerned. But amazingly, we are now seeing angel funding re-emerging and doing so with a strong appetite to do deals.

To put the importance of angel funding in context, in 2019, there were 1,322 individuals who invested a combined $ 73.6 million in 106 early stage tech startups here in the region, as Crain’s Detroit Business reported in May. Recently the emergence of two new funds in the region comes as deal flow has remained fairly steady for existing angel groups, such as the Birmingham Angels, the Michigan Angel Fund and the Michigan Capital Network, which operates a variety of venture funds and angel groups around the state.

As reported in this week’s Crain’s, first, we’re seeing new angel groups forming in the state with recent announcements of the launch of the Arch Angel Fund, consisting of members from the Farmington Hills-based Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce. And that fund will be led by Martin Manna and the launch of the Detroit-based Commune Angels, a group funded by five Black professionals who seek to be the largest angel group in the state within the coming year or so said, Terrence Reeves, one of the Commune Angels co-founders.

Skip Simms, senior vice president and Ann Arbor Spark and managing partner of the Michigan Angel Funds, says having a wide variety of groups to pitch allows founders to have “more shots on goal” as Skip put it to their quest in finding funding.

He continued by saying, “I think angel groups are working more closely than ever in terms of sharing deal flow because one thing that hasn’t changed and probably won’t is the need to syndicate,” Simm said.

An entrepreneur isn’t going to get a hundred percent of their funding from just one of these groups, rather, they’ll get it from a variety of groups.

Crain’s further reports that Birmingham Angels has grown to a membership of between 15 and 20 members, as David Weaver, one of the co-managers of the group reports, and Tim Parker, president of the Grand Rapids-based Michigan Capital Network reports good activity from his group, as well.

Combined the funds are roughly on pace to do the same level of deals and investment as they did in 2019. Last year, Parker’s Venture Funds invested $ 1.1 million, while Angel Funds did $ 2.8 million, he said. This year, so far, VC investment has reached $ 1.8 million while angel investments stand at $ 1.3 million, Parker told Crain’s.

So, new groups being formed, investments being made at a pace that is relatively on par with last year’s investment pace. This is all really good news. So, if you’re a startup company looking to get angel funding to get your company off the ground, chin up! Money is flowing again. Now get out there and get your startup a piece of the action.

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.

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