Jul 12, 2018 On Our Blog

Edith Yeung’s 2018 China Internet Report

500 Partner Edith Yeung just released her 2018 China Internet Report in partnership with SCMP and Abacus. This 97-page report includes everything you need to know about China’s internet landscape including major trends such as e-Commerce, Content and Media, Social and Messaging, the Sharing Economy, Artificial Intelligence, Smart Devices, Autonomous Cars, Blockchain, FinTech, Education, Gaming and eSports. China Internet Report 2018 [Short Version] from Edith Yeung The full report can be downloaded here. Here are some of our takeaways: The Chinese internet giants want and need to do everything. Whether it’s building, investing, or acquiring, Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent are present across the internet ecosystem. China’s internet empowers the population of smaller cities and rural areas. The number of rural …


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Jul 9, 2018 On Our Blog

Persistence is Key: Advice from a Former 500 Founder

Hey there, My name is Aaron and I’m a Venture Partner here at 500 Startups. I also run the batch application squad, which is why I’m here to tell you… Applications for Batch 24 in San Francisco are now open! I know what you’re thinking: “we’ve been through this.” You’ve applied before, waited patiently, and you were told something along the lines of “Maybe-next-time.” Maybe this made you upset, or sad, or maybe you swore an oath to do whatever it takes to avenge our response. Look, I get it—putting yourself (and your startup) out there over and over again is friggin’ hard and, as always, there are no guarantees. But before you close this page, let me tell you three …


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Jul 9, 2018 On Our Blog

Don’t Bind Your Soul to a Token. Yet.

Over the last few months, I have heard countless conversations with crypto startups talking about “tokenizing” one item or another, from pets to food products. I heard 20 really good ideas, and 100 bad ones. I keep talking about the idea that just because you can do something, does not mean it is a good idea to do it. So I thought I would put together some thoughts on what makes for a good token project, specifically one where non-fungible assets are involved. In theory, any physical objects could be “tokenized” or represented by a token. The challenge is finding the right place to use a token in order to create real value. Not every unique object should be a …


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Jul 3, 2018 On Our Blog

Meet OK Blockchain Capital – 500 Startups’ Newest Corporate Partner in the Blockchain World

In Borderless Blockchain, We Trust.  We are excited to partner with OK Blockchain Capital who shares 500 Startups’ vision in discovering and backing the world’s most talented blockchain entrepreneurs from all over the world. As the strategic partner of OKCoin and OKEX a top global digital asset exchange with over $1 billion in daily trading volume, OK Blockchain Capital is focused on helping blockchain innovators through both direct funding and ecosystem support.  Launched in 2017, OK Blockchain Capital’s current investments include Perlin, Ankr, Merculet, and Vite. Building on OK Group’s experience in blockchain research, vast network, and expertise in building successful blockchain companies, OK Blockchain Capital is devoted to fueling the next generation of innovators. We understand the challenges entrepreneurs …


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Jun 25, 2018 On Our Blog

Investor Spotlight:
Rina Onur

Rina co-founded and exited from Peak Games (a leading mobile social gaming company) and Hemenkiralik.com (first vacation rental network of Turkey). She is the General Partner of 500 Istanbul, 500’s thematic fund focused on backing exciting startups from Turkey/Turkic region and the diaspora. Starting out as a PE investor, then turned entrepreneur, she has made it full-circle back to the “dark side.” Why did you join 500? I started two companies in Turkey before I became an early stage investor and joined 500. I built my first company when I was 24 years old. Along the way, I met incredible people including a couple of investors who took a huge bet on a young, first-time female entrepreneur from an emerging …


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Jun 15, 2018 On Our Blog

Investor Spotlight:
Rebecca Woodcock

Rebecca is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Venture Partner at 500 Startups. In 2011, she launched a health tech startup called CakeHealth as a TechCrunch DISRUPT finalist to help individuals track their healthcare expenses without the paperwork. After exiting CakeHealth in 2015, she joined 500 Startups to lead health tech investments for the accelerator program in San Francisco.  Rebecca was an advisor to the Obama administration for health data standards and was also recognized as one of 70 Digital Leaders by the United Nations in 2015. She has been featured in publications like Forbes and Inc. Magazine. Why did you join 500? I first joined the 500 family as a founder in 2011, when 500 Startups invested in my company, CakeHealth. I immediately saw how …


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Jun 12, 2018 On Our Blog

Turkish Ecosystem: The Rise of Third Wave Entrepreneurs

Turkey, once the leading startup ecosystem in the region with its vibrant local market, now seems to lag behind newcomers like Slovenia, Greece, Romania and the UAE. Overlooked and buried under the macro trends, the Turkish ecosystem is in the midst of a transition and about to make a tremendous leap forward. Political challenges and a turbulent local market pushed a new generation of entrepreneurs to pursue their passions globally and create market-independent businesses following a model similar to Israel, Estonia or Sweden. These third wave entrepreneurs are now re-building the ecosystem from the ground up. Early signs of entrepreneurial success and market readiness The first wave of internet entrepreneurs in Turkey started at the end of the 1990s and …


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Jun 8, 2018 On Our Blog

Arrogance is Killing Blockchain Companies

The deadliest sin for startups is arrogance. Founders often approach us convinced that they have product market fit, sales forecasts for millions in revenue, “hack proof” systems, and simple plans for hiring hundreds of “top 1%” employees, sometimes without any evidence to back it up. A startup’s survival depends on a founder’s ability to stay humble. That means keeping an open mind, asking the right questions, and verifying the answers until the data — not just blind faith — proves out your hypothesis. Don’t be afraid to seek out help, and even to use creative methods to get what you need. Everyone needs help (including us), and the winners in this game have the courage to ask. Over the last seven …


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Jun 4, 2018 On Our Blog

Why we’ve been cutting really large follow-on checks

Photo of Carousell’s founders giving Khailee Ng, Managing Partner of 500 Startups, a T-shirt as VC initiation back in 2013 when 500 Startups invested in Carousell’s first round of financing. 500 has ambitions to be the most global Silicon Valley VC firm and invest in companies at the early stages. However, I wanted to take time to explain the larger-than-usual follow-on checks that we have been cutting. Recently, 500 wrote a $20 million follow-on check into Singapore-based Carousell’s recent $85M Series C. Earlier in the year, we led and filled an entire Series B of $13.3M for one of Japan’s hottest startups, SmartHR. We have historically doubled down on many of our top investments, but not at these check sizes. …


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Apr 16, 2018 On Our Blog

The New Batch On The Block: 500 Startups Batch 23 Companies

500 Startups is excited to announce our latest batch from our flagship Seed Accelerator, this time welcoming not only a new cohort of 17 companies, but also a Blockchain track! Based out of our San Francisco HQ, Batch 23 will feature three tracks: Digital Health (22%), Blockchain (17%) and FinTech (17%). Accompanying these tracks are B2B, B2C, SaaS, and e-commerce companies, ranging from AI-driven legal services to biodegradable pour-over coffee technology. Our global outlook when discovering and backing talented entrepreneurs has again, helped form a diverse cohort. 50% of the companies are based outside of the United States include founders from countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, China, Canada, Egypt, South Korea, and Lebanon. 33% are of Asian …


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