Apr 7, 2016 On Our Blog

500 Falcons: A Path To The Oasis For MENA’s Thirsty Startups

In December 2015, 500 Startups unveiled 500 Falcons, a regional micro-fund that covers the MENA region (Middle East + North Africa). Even before launching the fund, which has a target size of $30 million, 500 Startups has made “about 30 deals,” said Hasan Haider, 500’s MENA venture partner. As in other emerging ecosystems, few investors in the region have experience with startups, but through engagement and networking, Haider’s working to cultivate a deeper bench of VCs and angels. “One of the things we’re doing with any LPs in the fund is actively looking to syndicate and co-invest with them,” said Haider. “By showing them some deal flow and giving them access to good deals that we’re investing in, we’re hoping that will …

Apr 4, 2016 On Our Blog

Rethinking The Accelerator: What You’ll Achieve At 500 Startups

Before Avanoo arrived at 500, they were making about $2,000 a month selling self-help videos. But after a spell of stardom on Reddit, their social marketing channels had pretty much dried up. As cofounder Daniel Jacobs put it, “you can only do so many #1 posts before the Reddit people want to throw pitchforks at you.” They had a plan to move from consumer to B2B and pivot from self-help into ongoing employee education for large corporations, but they were having trouble starting conversations with the execs they needed to reach. That’s when Jacobs and his cofounder got accepted to Batch 12. Less than six months later, Avanoo was an enterprise company worth $15M. Avanoo’s success wasn’t about changing anything …

Apr 1, 2016 On Our Blog

500 Startups Announces $500M WinterFund™ to Invest in Broken Unicorns

EDITOR’S WARNING: this was an April Fool’s joke… if you actually believed this was a real story, we have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale we’d love to show you… Today, 500 Startups announces WinterFund, a new investment vehicle focused on the fastest-growing sector of the tech industry — namely, billion-dollar startups recently marked down by Fidelity and other wannabe-kingmaker mutual funds. The $500M WinterFund plans to make over 100 investments in down-sized Unicorns who have failed to raise at previous nosebleed valuations, yet still have a fleeting chance at sitting atop the Iron Throne of Tech. 500 startups is also announcing a strategic partnership with the city of Fresno, California. We plan to relocate “chilly” WinterFund portfolio companies to …