Venture Capitalists: change your life with Kushim

by Clément Aglietta Imagine how difficult it was for an empire to keep track of the birth rate, the size of harvests or the spoils from a conquest, with no writing system. In this era, certain people were thus given the task of memorizing the empire’s data. If such a person died, a whole swathe of the economic history of the kingdom disappeared. That is why, 5000 years ago, on the banks of the Euphrates, someone invented a simple and efficient way of transmitting data. The man who signed his name to the earliest written record… Read More

Grit, Perseverance, and Happenstance: The Genesis of our Apprenticeship Program

Most of you are not aware that FJ Labs has an apprenticeship program. The program has been fantastic. The apprentices have created extraordinary companies, including AdoreMe and Beepi. They have helped us invest in over 250 startups. It has been extraordinarily beneficial all around. To give you a sense of the genesis of the program, let me take you back to 2010. At that time, I was co-CEO of OLX by day and an angel investor by night. I had already met Jose and we had started our cooperation, but it was… Read More

The Next Evolution: AI-Powered Marketplaces

By Güimar Vaca Sittic and Fabrice Grinda Online marketplaces are fascinating. Matching demand and supply seems mundane, but it takes a lot of work to actually make it happen. As we pointed out before in The Evolution of Marketplaces, marketplaces have evolved dramatically from horizontal listing based models like Craigslist to vertical transactional end-to-end marketplaces like Uber today. Every few years there are technological breakthroughs that allow entrepreneurs to adjust the dynamics of online marketplaces to make them more efficient. Native mobile apps, seamless payments and GPS tracking are just a few of the examples that have improved… Read More

Donald Trump: The Startup Disrupting the GOP Establishment

by Fabrice Grinda and Mike Lloyd Many people have been amazed at the support that Donald Trump has been able to amass since he threw his red “Make America Great Again” hat into the ring to be the next President of the United States of America. It’s been both an entertaining and cringe-worthy spectacle. As distasteful as we may find Donald Trump to be, as entrepreneurs and students of entrepreneurship, it’s insightful to think of the parallels between the ascent of The Donald and that of startups trying to disrupt entrenched incumbents. If you think of… Read More

Macro perspective: The startup party is far from over!

Hang around venture capitalists in Silicon Valley and a clear sense of fear pervades the air. The main topic of conversation these days seems to be of humbled or fallen unicorns. Many are writing down the value of their holdings. This correction is driven by the impact of global macro changes on the late stage funding environment. We are currently observing a debt crisis in emerging markets. We had a first debt crisis in the US when a glut of global savings, much of it from Asia, washed into subprime housing, with disastrous results. In the euro area, thrifty Germans… Read More