Happy Holidays from the Leaps Ahead team. We’ve got some new headlines and facts to share with you as we head into the new year.  And, yes, we are still in denial that 2023 is just under 30 days away, but we were still able to pull together this month’s ‘What You Need to Know To Scale in December’. Enjoy.

Finance Stuff  

While Bootstrapping is officially back (was it ever really gone aside from Silicon Valley?) we thought we would share some “good for those guys” news! That’s right some amazing start-ups that just got some well deserved funding – go forth and conquer!

Berlin’s  Apheris, a platform that creates collaborative data ecosystems, raised a €8.7M seed round led by Octopus Ventures. Apheris enables multiple organizations to pull value from each other’s decentralized data sets.

Hailing from San Francisco, Revero, is an AI digital health startup that raised $5M in seed from A16Z scout, Goodwater Capital, and others. The company has developed a subscription-based, virtual-care platform that combines nutrition, machine learning, and personalized care from clinicians.

Any other fundings worth a shout-out? Let us know in the comments.

The Street Five 

  1. Mariah Carey cannot be the Queen of Christmas (well she can, but she has to share)
  2. Evernote was acquired by Milan-based app developer Bending Spoons – now what?
  3. HR Tech is about to have another record breaking year to the tune of $18B
  4. Warren Buffet makes a rare, but significant investment in tech
  5. Meme lawsuits are on the rise – could you be sued? Check out the latest 

The Rise of Advanced Age Tech

By 2050, the number of people over 60 is expected to reach 2.1 billion- nearly a quarter of the world’s population. Translation – more wealth is in the hands of 65+ year-olds. Many experts refer to this as the Longevity Economy. Net/net in 2020 they predicted that people over 60 would have a global spending power of $20 Trillion. Yes, you read that right or 40% of the US GDP.  Some folks might have dark opinions about post-pandemic numbers – the fact is the longevity economy is real, thriving, and requires a fewer bells and whistles on the UX side. 

The Fall of Twitter

Okay, okay – so we’ve all been following the telenovela known as Twitter and Elon Musk for weeks now. And, like us we are sure you enjoyed some of the posts from unverified, verified accounts.  Our personal favorite is Italian Elon Musk.

But, did you know the biggest deepfake of them all was the verified account claiming to be disgraced Founder and CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried. The scam, a classic giveaway grift,  claimed that SBM would make FTX customers “whole” again.

Even though Musk has developed a new verification system, with hate on the rise targeting world cup players and the LGBTQ community and a massive increase in scams, it’s unlikely Twitter will regain any trust or increase its ad revenue any time soon. 

While many are flocking or testing out Mastodon – its decentralization isn’t exactly a win either. With a “stick with your own kind” mentality, it could possibly further isolate individuals rather than help them find common ground. Not much of a difference you might say with respect to Twitter given the trolls and scams – but it is open – where theoretically the community has a say.

Regardless of where you stand – advertisers won’t risk it and now those with personal brands are also at a crossroads. Can Twitter guarantee its brand safety? And, will Elon find a way to pay off that loan? Probably, he’s Elon.

What you Need to Know to Scale:

If you are looking at VC’s or investors get acquainted with the term Dry Powder. Why is it important and what does it mean?

Dry Powder refers to capital committed to private investment firms that still remain unallocated. In the world of private equity (PE), dry powder is a PE firm’s capital commitment from its limited partners (LPs) not yet considered an active investment.

Why and what does this have to do with scale? Well, think about it – you are looking for investors to extend your runway – so understanding potential investors’ liquidity is critical to understanding if you are a good fit. In this economic climate, it might be a good idea to cast a narrow net.

To read more about how as a founder you need to do what Sarah Guo calls a “hard reset” when it comes to looking at investors.

It’s a Wrap!

Spotify’s Wrapped is around the corner, but this year developer Anshay Shabo’s Instafest went viral first and fast! It’s an incredibly simple concept using user product usage data (taking top artists and songs from Spotify) to create a custom festival lineup for users. Proof that users want to know how they are using your product, and they are willing to push  ‘share-worthy’ content, which creates its own virality both for Instafest and Spotify. 

So why not share with your clients some personalized usage statistics of how they are using (or not using) your product? This is also a great action plan that allows your users to help you scale your product! This Fireside Chat with Aaron Thompson dives into how companies like Spotify do it, and how you can do it!

Must Hear

WSJ’s The Future of Everything is a mind-expanding trip through climate tech, cellular medicine and lab-created meat with little carbon footprint to name a few recent topics.

Plus, because it’s WSJ you get all the articles that round out the podcast giving you the feeling of knowledge, inspiration (with a hint of fear), and the desire to innovate!

Must Read 

It is the end of the year which means it’s hard not to take stock of the last 12 months. And if you are doing some internalizing, we think The Mountain is You is a great book. It’s about getting out of your own way aka – stop self-sabotaging yourself!