Oscar Health’s initial IPO price is so high, it makes me want to swear

Amidst all the hype that Lemonade (IPO), Root (IPO), Metromile (SPAC-led debut) and other insurtech players have generated in the last year, it’s been easy to forget about Oscar Health. But now that the company founded in 2012 is approaching the public markets, one of the early tech-themed insurance companies is catching up on the attention front.

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So this morning we’re digging into Oscar Health’s first IPO pricing interval, hoping to understand how the market is valuing its unprofitable health-insurance enterprise.

Recall that Oscar Health was valued at around $ 3.2 billion in March of 2018. That datapoint, via PitchBook, is dated. Oscar Health raised hundreds of millions since (per several venture-capital tracking databases, including Crunchbase) but we lack a final private valuation for the company.

Regardless, with Oscar Health now targeting a $ 32 to $ 34 per-share IPO range, we can get our hands dirty.

Let’s get some valuation numbers and then decide if Oscar Health feels cheap or expensive at that price.

Billion-dollar IPO

Oscar Health is looking to reap as much as $ 1.21 billion in its IPO, a huge sum. The company is selling 30,350,920 shares, with 4,650,000 additional shares reserved for its underwriters. Existing shareholders are selling another 649,080 shares.

This means that after the IPO, Oscar Health will have 197,037,445 Class A and B shares in circulation, or 201,687,445 after counting shares reserved for its underwriters.

Using the company’s $ 32 to $ 34 per-share range, we can calculate a valuation minimum of $ 6.31 billion for the company (lower share count, low-end of price range) and $ 6.86 billion (higher share count, high-end of price range). That’s the company’s simple IPO valuation.

Oscar Health may also sell up to $ 375 million of its shares at its IPO price to three different funds. The company advises that the “indication of interest is not a binding agreement or commitment to purchase,” so we can ignore it for now.

Startups – TechCrunch

Want to win over European investors? Remember these 9 tips


Ten years ago, I was a network engineer at Vodafone dreaming about my future. Today, I am the proud co-founder and CEO of Preply, a global marketplace for online language learning that connects 40,000 tutors teaching over 50 languages to over 100,000 students every month.

A lot can happen in ten years.

As a company, we can credit our success to many factors: an incredible team, a great product and many hours of hard work. But we wouldn’t be where we are today without capital. Preply raised $ 1.3M (nearly €1.16M) in 2016; $ 4M (€3.30M) in 2018; and $ 10M (approx €8.26M) in 2020. Our investors are just as diverse as the languages we teach on our platform, ranging from Polish and German to British and French.

I’ve learned a lot along the way. Today, I’m sharing nine things every entrepreneur should know, do and think about as they begin the exciting-yet-stressful fundraising process.

Toughen Up

Fundraising isn’t for the weak of heart. You need thick skin, no questions asked. Your company will be under a microscope and picked apart from every angle. And most of the time, the answer you get is “No.” Sure, it stings. Yes, you should think about why an investor decided to pass. But you cannot let rejection stand in your way or distract you from your ultimate goal. When you’re no longer afraid of being turned down, your mind will be clear, focused and most importantly, positive. This will help you keep going, which is the only option if you want to succeed. Finally, sometimes the word “no” can actually mean “maybe” down the line when the timing is right. Don’t burn bridges or swear off ever reaching out again.

Don’t Be Defensive

You can’t have a meeting with an investor without facing a barrage of questions. It’s critical that you reframe your perspective on questions — tough questions — and think of them as a gift. You are most likely meeting with smart, seasoned professionals who talk to different companies day-in and day-out. Take every single question as an opportunity to learn, gain a fresh perspective and view your business in a new light. Maybe you’ll take it a step further and make a life-changing adjustment to your business that will pay off in the end. No matter what comes out of it, you should write all of these questions down in one document, which you can then turn into a super useful Q&A to share with future investors. This, my friend, is an asset. Trust me.

Remember: You’re Not That Special

Sure, once in a while you get such an innovative service or one-of-a-kind product…but that’s rare. Most of the time, a company is building upon something that exists but is improving how it works. Not to mention, there are more startups than ever before. The market is flooded with entrepreneurs with big dreams. So why is your idea special? It sounds harsh but you must give this serious consideration. You can prepare all the presentations, financial plans and SWOT analyses in the world. But they don’t mean anything if you haven’t crafted a succinct statement about why they should invest in you. This must be articulated in a brief-but-brilliant way. Can you explain why your business is different in one sentence?

What’s Your Story?

So much of the fundraising process is focused on the financials. Fund + raising, that makes sense! But what really moves the needle is good, old fashioned storytelling. This is particularly important during the seed round, when there are no numbers to share. You don’t have any meaningful data yet, so it’s really about the product and early customers. When you’re raising on Series A/B/C, it’s mostly about data, your cohorts, your retention, your growth rate, etc, and how you look against competitors. Whether you’re raising $ 1,000 or $ 1,000,000, you need to craft a compelling narrative that demonstrates your company’s value and brings it to life. For example, do you have any anecdotes about how your product has changed someone’s life?

Location Matters

Geography is a very important factor for many investors, even though we are in a remote, 24/7 digital world. Let’s say you want to raise from German investors. In my experience, you have a better chance of raising those funds if your company has a presence in Germany. Conversely, we have heard from many US investors — especially those in Silicon Valley — that it would be difficult to work with us since Preply is not in San Francisco. It makes sense: their core network is there. Think carefully about where you want to be headquartered. And then start thinking about secondary offices: are they in cities that have a strong startup scene? Does that city have a developed ecosystem? Preply opened its second office in Barcelona because we knew that if we wanted to attract top talent, we had to be in a desirable location.

Don’t Play Hard to Get

The moment has come: you finally have a term sheet from a potential partner. You’ve discussed the opportunity together and now it’s formally been sent over. You need to make your move. But if you take more than two weeks to answer, chances are you’ve already soured the relationship. When you’re slow in responding, you’re signalling that you’re second-guessing bringing this investor on board and you’re still seeking out other alternatives. You’ve come this far, so don’t blow it.

Warm is Better Than Cold

Let’s face it: funds are busy. They receive endless emails and phone calls. So how do you get through? A warm introduction from a credible source. This is why networking is so critical. Let’s say you have an industry peer who has a substantial relationship to a fund you have your eye on. Your chances of getting a reply are 10x better if that person makes an introduction, rather than if you just cold-called yourself. At the end of the day, fundraising is about building and leveraging solid relationships.

Find the Sweet Spot

Be very conscious of how much money you’re asking for, from the get-go. Research the fund and look at past investments they’ve made. Personally, I always start raising smaller amounts. Why? Because you could get a “No” from someone who would actually say “Yes” to a lower figure. Start small, build interest and when there’s enough of it on the table, you can start increasing the round and get back to the valuation question.

Don’t Name Drop

Did your parents ever tell you not to gossip? In the startup world, keep your fundraising activities to yourself. Don’t talk about other investors with the investor who’s right in front of you. It’s poor form. The moment you expose who you are talking to, there may be unexpected situations and dynamics happening behind-the-scenes that you’re not privy to. Own your conversations; keep them private; and most importantly, do not mix them up.

In the end, fundraising isn’t only about raising funds. It’s about learning from the entire process: preparing your data, crafting your story and answering tough questions. After all, is said and done, your business strategy will be stronger than ever, and you’ll be even more capable of leading your company to success.

Startups – Silicon Canals

‘I don’t want to be a unicorn’: Black founders struggle to raise venture capital – Saanich News

‘I don’t want to be a unicorn’: Black founders struggle to raise venture capital  Saanich News
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

‘I don’t want to be a unicorn’: Black founders struggle to raise venture capital – The Battlefords News-Optimist

‘I don’t want to be a unicorn’: Black founders struggle to raise venture capital  The Battlefords News-Optimist
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

Do most startups want to be acquired?

I just had a random question, I'm not too well-versed in the whole startup scene.

Do the majority of startups aim to be acquired by a bigger company or is their aim more to grow independently and attempt to become bigger companies by themselves.

It seems that most startups prefer to be acquired and if this is true, why do most prefer the acquisition route over their own independent route.

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

‘I don’t want to be a unicorn’: Black founders struggle to raise venture capital – Pique Newsmagazine

‘I don’t want to be a unicorn’: Black founders struggle to raise venture capital  Pique Newsmagazine
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

‘I don’t want to be a unicorn’: Black founders struggle to raise venture capital – Yorkton This Week

‘I don’t want to be a unicorn’: Black founders struggle to raise venture capital  Yorkton This Week
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

‘I don’t want to be a unicorn’: Black founders struggle to raise venture capital – Kamsack Times

‘I don’t want to be a unicorn’: Black founders struggle to raise venture capital  Kamsack Times
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

Got a startup? Remember these 4 rules if you want your startup to succeed

Hello everyone, me again. This week I wanted to share with you the 4 rules that I applied to my startup in order to get to where it is today.

Having a startup has never been easier.

Even if you don’t have any business experience, you have tons of accelerators that can support your plan and mentor you. You don’t have to be an expert in design, marketing, or creating websites – you can do it all online. And finally, if your idea is good, you don’t even have to worry about the money.

This could be all you would need to start up a company – if we lived in a perfect world. But, we don’t.

So, at the same time, having a startup has never been harder.

Yes, there are tons of accelerators and investors, but there are even more startups that want to succeed. You would be lucky even if you got to pitch in front of an investor.

Next, if you’re having an idea, chances are, a lot of other people have the exact same idea. In the sea of startups, it’s pretty hard to prove why is it that your startup is the best.

So yes, having a startup is pretty hard these days. Even the smallest details make a difference. Having a good idea isn’t enough anymore, because anyone can have tons of ideas. It’s the work after that matters.

Here is how to make a difference.

  • Make sure you create a strong business plan

According to entrepreneur Steve Blank, a startup is a temporary organization made to search for a scalable and repeatable business model. This means that if you don’t have a complete and detailed business plan, your business is most likely doomed.

With your business plan, you basically write what your company does, what are the future plans, and how you’re planning to get there. It should contain the next few years of your business strategy.

This is your “business bible” – the book you’ll always come back to, to solve any doubts regarding your business decisions.

The "business bible" shows how your startup is going to generate revenue and profit. There’s no point in having a company if you don’t have a plan to monetize, it's that simple.

  • Network as much as u can

Networking is the core of every successful career and essential activity for every startup CEO. Your company is probably young and unknown, so every new contact can contribute to spreading the word.

There’s no point in leading a company if you don’t have a network of people from the industry.

[Guide] LinkedIn is probably the most common way to do it. Follow people from your industry, engage with them, and share details about your product. Invite them to give you critics and opinions that will help you lead the business and improve your product.

Networking is also useful for meeting great talent. Once your company starts growing, you’ll be in need of great talent that will accelerate your growth and maintain a high level of work. Networking events are great places to meet young people who are full of energy and passionate about the industry.

  • Don't quit after the first failure

Having a startup means taking risks. And taking risks means being prepared to fail. And you’ll fail many times before you finally find the right recipe for success. What’s important is to believe in your product and don’t quit after the first obstacle.

[Case] In the beginning, Instagram was nothing like what it is today. It wasn’t even called Instagram, it was called Burbn. Burbn was an app where people could check-in where they were at. However, Foursquare, an app that was doing pretty much the same thing, was pretty popular at the time, so the founders realized this product wasn’t going to work. That’s when they saw that people liked Burbn’s photo-sharing option, so they decided to focus on it, which was the real idea for success.

  • Co-create

You might think your product idea is great, but you’re not your customer.

Your customers might have different needs than yours. To find out what are their needs, use co-creation. Co-creation is a model that allows companies to engage with their customers in order to create a product that will meet their needs.

[Guide] You could use crowdsourcing techniques, like hackathons and marathons to collect fresh ideas, or design thinking – a method that solves complex problems by understanding human needs. Using co-creation will result in reduced costs, better market insights, and better product design.

So leading a startup is hard. There’s no way you can skip all the sleepless nights and hard work that will take you where you want to be. The only way to get there faster is to set more realistic goals for growth.

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