The Midwest Fund launches, brings The Fund’s innovative investment strategy to a fifth market – TechCrunch

The Midwest Fund launches, brings The Fund’s innovative investment strategy to a fifth market  TechCrunch
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

How to acquire initial users / best initial marketing strategy?

Hi all , I am developing a marketplace platform and planning on launching it in a big city for the MVP. I have a few questions .

1: what’s the best route to go about for acquiring initial users ( consumers + producers) 2: are there any tips you could give me for launching the product whether it be a certain community online etc

Thank you!

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

Chinese esports player VSPN closes $60M Series B+ round to boost its international strategy

Esports “total solutions provider” VSPN (Versus Programming Network) has closed a $ 60 million Series B+ funding round, joined by Prospect Avenue Capital (PAC), Guotai Junan International and Nan Fung Group.

VSPN facilitates esports competitions in China, which is a massive industry and has expanded into related areas such as esports venues. It is the principal tournament organizer and broadcaster for a number of top competitions, partnering with more than 70% of China’s esports tournaments.

The “B+” funding round comes only three months after the company raised around $ 100 million in a Series B funding round, led by Tencent Holdings.

This funding round will, among other things, be used to branch out VSPN’s overseas esports services.

Dino Ying, founder and CEO of VSPN, said in a statement: “The esports industry is through its nascent phase and is entering a new era. In this coming year, we at VSPN look forward to showcasing diversified esports products and content… and we are counting the days until the pandemic is over.”

Ming Liao, the co-founder of PAC, commented: “As a one-of-its-kind company in the capital market, VSPN is renowned for its financial management; these credentials will be strong foundations for VSPN’s future development.”

Xuan Zhao, head of Private Equity at Guotai Junan International said: “We at Guotai Junan International are very optimistic of VSPN’s sharp market insight as well as their team’s exceptional business model.”

Meng Gao, managing director at Nan Fung Group’s CEO’s office said: “Nan Fung is honored to be a part of this round of investment for VSPN in strengthening their current business model and promoting the rapid development of emerging services and the esports streaming ecosystem.”

Startups – TechCrunch

Kinyungu Ventures Research calls for changes to cut-and-paste VC strategy in Africa – Nairametrics

Kinyungu Ventures Research calls for changes to cut-and-paste VC strategy in Africa  Nairametrics
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

Me asking about a specific Facebook ad strategy

Hi everyone,

I've been doing music for 11 years. (Producing, engineering, mixing, mastering.. that stuff!)

I helped lots of local/close customers but now i'm recently focusing to be a B2B online service for this specific customer. I'm fairly familiar in creating catchy video ads, but i'm not fairly sure what the best way is to share this through ads.

As most of you know, facebook's best/most used campaign strategies are Brand awareness, Click to website and Conversions.

I would like to know how i fairly can use the best ad strategy for my service.

What i know, been through and got:

  • Facebook Audience insights with a fairly broad audience.
  • Facebook page made
  • Video ad with example included made
  • Website up with (i think) everything important included. Product example, testimonials, about me, contact information. Very straight forward website!
  • Google business is up, no ad up.

Hope someone out there can help! If i miss something or you need more information, let me know!

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

How to DIY Your Public Relations Strategy During COVID-19

You could be building the greatest company in the world, but if no one knows you exist, your efforts won’t be worth much. For this reason, good old-fashioned public relations is a key component in many startup success stories.

However, COVID-19 has impacted nearly every industry, including public relations. The constant COVID-19 news cycle has left significantly less room in the news media for coverage of non-pandemic subjects. This makes it even more challenging than usual to promote your startup through traditional, hard-earned media coverage, and this will likely be the case for the foreseeable future.

Some startups have seen an incredible loss in revenue due to the pandemic, resulting in very little readily available funds for maximizing  public relations efforts. That doesn’t mean, however, that your PR efforts need to be put on hold until the pandemic is over. There are still many ways to promote your company now on a shoestring budget.

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Below are several suggestions for how to develop a DIY public relations strategy and publicize your startup during COVID-19:

Pursue virtual opportunities

Look into virtual events and conferences within your industry. While most of us hope to resume in-person events in 2021, many others have already decided to host their functions virtually in the coming year. A large benefit, to you, in pitching yourself for these virtual opportunities is the ability to participate from your home office – no travel required. Removing the budgetary and time constraints of travel makes it possible (easy, even!) for cash-strapped entrepreneurs to participate in one event in the morning and another, in a completely different geographic location, in the afternoon.

Think about other businesses and organizations that might be developing virtual content and programming as a way of engaging with their audiences. Reach out to those similar companies in your niche that you think could be interested in having you speak virtually with their audiences. Share information with them about the type of virtual program you could offer, and be sure to emphasize your unique value add.

Related: Public Relations Strategies for Small Businesses During COVID-19

Develop a guest posting strategy

An often overlooked, but highly effective, way to promote your startup is to contribute content to media outlets that cater to your target audience. These days, countless outlets welcome contributed content by business leaders and experts in their respective fields.

Start to develop your guest posting strategy by compiling a list of target outlets. Make sure each target on your list accepts outside contributions and then take some time to read carefully through each outlet’s guidelines for submission.

Keep in mind, when going the guest posting route, you won’t be able to submit a self-promotional article about your company. This is a noteworthy differentiator between contributing your own content and having a journalist write a feature about you and your business. Guest posting does, however, enable you to position yourself as a thought leader in your field. Demonstrate your expertise by sharing valuable insights, lessons and advice with the outlet’s audience.

Consider partnerships with micro-influencers

Unlike traditional media, which is largely consumed by COVID-19 coverage, most micro-influencers have continued to produce content about their usual niche topics. Shift some of the focus you might have placed on traditional media outreach over to micro-influencer outreach and pursue opportunities there.

To assess the true reach and impact of a micro-influencer, pay close attention to audience engagement numbers. It might be a red flag, for example, if a micro-influencer has a high follower count on Instagram, but little to no engagement on individual posts.

Most micro-influencers charge a fee in exchange for the content they produce around your brand. For this reason, it’s worth your while to be picky about which who you pitch. You want to be confident that the dollars you spent on this type of coverage will produce a worthwhile return on investment for your company.

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Offer valuable insights to the media about COVID-19

Unfortunately, COVID-19 is here to stay (for now), and the media will continue to cover the virus until it no longer represents a meaningful threat to our lives, our businesses and our overall sense of normalcy.

Thus, if you aim to promote your startup through earned media coverage, think carefully about how you’re uniquely equipped to add to the COVID-19 conversation in a meaningful way.

  • Has your own experience throughout the pandemic given you insights that could benefit other founders or startup teams?
  • Are you in a position to comment authoritatively on the pandemic’s impact on your industry?
  • Did your business make a major pivot due to the pandemic?
  • Does your professional expertise lend itself well to the current climate in some way?

Consider questions like these to determine if (and how) you and your startup fit authentically into the COVID-19 conversation. If you determine that you are in a position to share meaningful insights or guidance, reach out to relevant reporters via email, and offer yourself for interviews.

Key takeaways

Successfully building and growing a startup is a challenging task even during the best of times. Today, under the shadow of COVID-19, the challenges entrepreneurs continue to face can seem downright impossible to overcome. But, by incorporating the suggestions above into your public relations strategy, you’ll find that you can successfully promote (and grow) your young company through the media, even in the midst of a global pandemic.

The post How to DIY Your Public Relations Strategy During COVID-19 appeared first on StartupNation.


UK fintech GoCardless raises €77.5M to fuel open banking strategy; here’s everything you need to know


London-based GoCardless claims to be a leading player in recurring payments. This fintech startup has raised $ 95M (approx €77.5M) in its Series F round of funding.

The round was led by Bain Capital Ventures to fuel open banking strategy, accelerating the delivery of next-generation bank-to-bank payments.

The startup raised this funding after witnessing 46 per cent year-on-year growth, despite the pandemic. It brings the total raised amount to-date to $ 240M (approx €196M).

Use of the raised capital

The raised funds will be used by GoCardless to accelerate its open banking strategy and combine its latest technology with a global bank debit network.

The company claims that, for the first time, merchants will be able to access the best of both worlds for recurring payments:

  • Instant open banking payments will provide visibility and speed
  • Bank debit will maximise cash flow and minimise churn by pulling funds automatically from payers – all at a lower cost than cards

The company will also expand its offering into the e-commerce market to launch a simple and secure way of making bank-to-bank payments as a lower-cost alternative to cards.

About GoCardless

Founded in 2011 by Hiroki Takeuchi, Matt Robinson, and Tom Blomfield, GoCardless is a global payments network and technology platform that claims to take the pain out of getting paid for more than 55,000 businesses globally, including multinational corporations to small businesses.

The company is headquartered in the UK, with additional offices in Australia, France, Germany, and the United States.

Working towards simplifying the recurring payment process

GoCardless caters to businesses of all sizes – from multinational corporations like Docusign to fast-growing SaaS businesses like 8×8, and the rising subscription economy including Brompton Bike Hire and Bridgestone’s MOBOX. 

The company processes more than $ 18B (approx €14.69B) of payments annually across more than 30 countries. In 2020, during the pandemic, the company claims to have a strong performance with an increase in new bookings of 100 per cent.

Additionally, GoCardless has expanded its technology offering with “Success+”, a payments intelligence tool powered by machine learning, to help businesses optimise their retry strategy when payments fail.

Hiroki Takeuchi, CEO, and co-founder of GoCardless, says, “We believe that open banking is set to disrupt the payment landscape by introducing new, simpler, and more secure ways of making bank-to-bank payments that will compete with traditional card networks. Our investment in open banking innovation will create a uniquely valuable payment offering – continuing to provide our customers with the best way to collect recurring payments.”

GoCardless’s Open Banking strategy

Open Banking is designed to open up banking data to provide consumers and businesses with access to better services that can save them time and money.

GoCardless’s investment in its open banking strategy aims to:

  • Provide an end-to-end recurring payment solution for its merchants: first-time payments via bank debit can take on average two to three days to process, prompting merchants to use alternative methods such as cards for the first payment. Instant first payments will offer a lower-cost alternative to cards before the recurring collection continues via bank debit. 
  • Expand into the adjacent e-commerce market: develop a unique bank-to-bank payment method for e-commerce payments made to merchants that customers use on a regular basis. This will provide an alternative to cards that will significantly lower transactions costs for merchants.
  • Enable businesses to collect international payments: provide businesses of all sizes with global access to Open Banking / PSD2 and its equivalents around the world, all delivered into their existing bank accounts in local currency.
  • Provide businesses with a complete open banking payment processing service, including features such as refunds, payment reconciliation and error handling.
  • Open Banking, and its equivalents around the world, are designed to open up banking data to provide consumers and businesses with access to better services that can save them time and money.

Back in September, last year, GoCardless launched a US debit solution. In addition to it, the company also announced the opening of a US headquarters in San Francisco. Almost a month later, the fintech startup partnered with TransferWise to make it easier for businesses to collect recurring payments from overseas.

Startups – Silicon Canals