Jan 9, 2017 On Our Blog

Are there ghosts in your convertible notes?

Guest blogger – Adam Sterling is the executive director of the Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy, co-founder of Startup@BerkeleyLaw, and a former venture capital and startup attorney. Are you investing in convertible notes or securities? Do you know what a phantom liquidation preference is? Did you know it could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars? Let’s illustrate how with a simple example… Sally purchases a convertible note with a valuation cap of $5 million in Tuber Corporation for $100,000. Six months later, Tuber closes its Series A with a pre-money valuation of $10 million, selling new shares at $1/share. Thanks to its valuation cap, Sally’s convertible note converts at $0.50/share and she receives 200,000 shares of Series …


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Dec 21, 2016 Official Announcement

Turbo Charging Growth: 500 Partners with GM

After 19 batches since 2010, we’ve seen our companies experience the impact of strong mentorship. Today, 500 Startups, is announcing a Seed Program collaboration between General Motors and 500 focused right here in Silicon Valley as an effort to continually evolve and heighten our programs. Our first corporate partner track aligns with GM’s vision to be innovative, autonomous, connected, electrified, and to create solutions that truly change the value and sustainability of transportation to enhance customers’ lives. This partnership with GM will provide important resources developed to give access and knowledge transfer to one of the largest global automotive companies in the world. When is this happening? Starting January 23rd, we will open the first class as part of Batch …


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Nov 28, 2016 On Our Blog

WMD ’16: Post-Conference Q&A with Casey Winters

Guest blogger – Casey Winters, Growth Advisor to Pocket, Airbnb, Darby Smart; Former Growth Lead at Pinterest & GrubHub The below article is comprised of audience questions asked to Casey Winters during his presentation at Weapons of Mass Distribution 2016. Casey took the time to answer the questions in detail post-conference.   How do you personalize emails across all the metrics you recommended if you don’t have an in-house email data tool like Pinterest does? At GrubHub, we organized our user data into a weekly FTP upload to ExactTarget (now Salesforce Marketing Cloud) and built a complicated workflow inside of ExactTarget (you can do the same in Responsys). You can use their APIs too, but I don’t remember them being very good. What …


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Nov 22, 2016 On Our Blog

WMD ’16: Post-Conference Q&A with Brian Balfour

Guest blogger – Brian Balfour, Founder & CEO, Reforge The below article is comprised of audience questions asked to Brian Balfour during his presentation at Weapons of Mass Distribution 2016. Brian took the time to answer the questions in detail post-conference.   “How do you determine your platform?” One of the most powerful things I’ve done in my career is to build my blog. The blog acts as a platform for me to distribute my work, thoughts, and creations. The reason having this is so powerful today is because I believe we are moving towards a world where credentials matter far less, and it is more about your actual work/output. My blog is the way I do that but with …


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Nov 18, 2016 On Our Blog

#AnotherOne: 500 Startups Announces Batch 19 🔑

It’s that time again! Announcing our latest Mountain View cohort, Batch 19, with 44 companies.   Earlier this year, we experimented with vertical tracks to be able to provide greater value to companies, in particular, categories of interest.  These tracks have allowed companies to receive additional categorical mentoring and networking opportunities.  This year at 500 Startups, we’ve held specialized tracks in Health, Fintech, B2B, and Fashion & Beauty.  In Batch 19, we are, again, running tracks in B2B led by Robert Neivert and Fashion & Beauty led by Tanya Soman.  #MajorKey 500 Startups has always invested in a lot of B2B companies — in fact, many of our top performing companies in our portfolio, such as Intercom and Talkdesk are …


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Nov 18, 2016 On Our Blog

The Artist Formerly Known As Accelerator

When Christine and I started 500 Startups six years ago, we knew we wanted to run an investment program for startups that emphasized community and education. We had long been inspired by other earlier programs such as YCombinator, TechStars, and SeedCamp. However, we had a new approach and perspective, and wanted to create our own VC firm + accelerator with a decidedly different vibe and experience.   All these programs, including the 500 accelerator, share several key concepts: Provide a modest amount of investment capital to a group of startups Startups work in shared physical space (note: YC de-emphasizes this) Connect them with a community of experienced founders and mentors Help companies “accelerate” their progress in a short amount of …


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Nov 14, 2016 On Our Blog

Venture Capital Unlocked: Deal Camp Yields 100% Satisfaction

Our inaugural class of Venture Capital Unlocked: Deal Camp ran from October 17- 21, 2016. With a NPS score of 100, we’re happy to tout our success. For those who missed it, don’t worry, we’ll be running the course again February 7-10, 2017. Created in collaboration with UC Berkeley’s Center for Law, Business and the Economy, Deal Camp was laser-focused on investment practices related to the most important element of venture capital investing: closing the deal. Deal Camp focused on industry best practices for deal term negotiation, term sheet creation, and capitalization table modeling in early stage investing. Between Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, 500 Startups’ San Francisco office, and Commerce Venture’s office, participants perfected their knowledge of debt and equity venture capital …


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Oct 17, 2016 Official Announcement

500 Startups Announces 18 New Investments in Latin America

Today we are announcing our newest LatAm Accelerator Batch, a program based in Mexico City which focuses on startups in LatAm and Spanish speaking regions. This is our 6th LatAm batch and we’ve invested in 91 companies to date through the program. Alongside this news, we’ve also opened a new LatAm HQ in Mexico City with an expanded team! After receiving over 408 applications for the current LatAm program, and conducting over 100 founder interviews, 500 Startups chose 18 high potential teams to participate in the program. Each company receives $65K in investment, and joins for 4 months of working side-by-side with support from 500’s team and global family of mentors. Among the 18 startups in Batch 6, there are …


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Oct 7, 2016 On Our Blog

500 Startups Brings Distro Dojo to Berlin!

For the first time ever, 500 Startups is running its highly selective “Distro Dojo” growth hacking program in Berlin. The three-month intensive growth marketing program for Pre-Series-A companies started in September with six startups. The program is hosted at hub:raum with sponsorship from Deutsche Telekom. The program will focus on: Teaching a scientific growth process Creating a marketing experiment pipeline Testing and adding emerging channels Making the right hires for your growth team Talks from 500 Partners and industry experts “We see a lot of impressive startups in Berlin, so we’re expanding our local presence by launching our Distro Dojo program here, following on the program’s warm reception this past year in London,” said Matt Lerner, Head of 500 Startups …


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Oct 4, 2016 Official Announcement

500 Startups Doubles Down on Durians: New $50M Fund II for Southeast Asia

Currently, 1/4 of our Southeast Asia portfolio companies have raised > $2 Billion US dollars for further growth, and none of them have shut down. Our thesis being that some of these companies will grow to be Southeast Asia’s next generation of startup success stories. The return of the King (of fruits) Our second fund, 500 Durians II, builds on this momentum. We target to raise a $50M* fund to invest $50K to $150K in ~200 more seed stage companies. Historically, we’ve primarily invested alongside other seed stage and angel investors that we’ve grown to trust and respect and will continue to do that. The $50M fund will also allow us to follow-on with up to $500K of additional capital in …


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