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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Apr 3, 2018 On Our Blog

500 Closes Strategic Investment with ADFG

500’s mission is an ambitious one. To discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, create successful companies at scale, and build thriving global ecosystems. Over the past eight years, 500 has accomplished a great deal. Today we manage over $400 million in committed capital and have invested in over 2,000 companies across more than 60 countries around the world, as well as mentored and coached thousands of founders through our Seed and Series A Programs. Notable 500 family include Twilio (NYSE: TWLO), SendGrid (NASDAQ: SEND), Credit Karma, Canva, Grab, Carousell, Udemy, and Talkdesk. In the early days, many wondered why we were so bullish on going global and investing outside of Silicon Valley. As the world gets smaller, and …


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Mar 26, 2018 On Our Blog

500 & Huobi Labs Proudly Presents Our Latest Blockchain Track Companies

The 500 Blockchain team and Huobi Labs have selected three blockchain companies to join our blockchain track program. “We have received hundreds of super qualified applications since announcing the 500 Blockchain Track program last month. It’s amazing to see so many talented entrepreneurs out there building blockchain related companies and I’m really excited about the future of the blockchain ecosystem,” said Edith Yeung, partner at 500 Startups. Since this is our first pilot of a blockchain track program, we only had the opportunity to work with a small number of companies. Our goal is to collaborate closely with each startup,  focusing on key areas including: community building, go-to-market strategies, corporate partnerships, and connections with all our mentors from the blockchain …


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Mar 8, 2018 On Our Blog

500’s Commitment to #MovingForward

Today, we have committed to join Cheryl Yeoh Sew Hoy and Andy Coravos in their mission to launch a collective step forward for the VC industry. #MovingForward, which was birthed at a dinner for founders, is an open source directory that pools diversity, inclusion and anti-harassment commitments from VCs. It is especially meaningful that this initiative launches on International Women’s Day – a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. A recent report by the World Economic Forum found gender parity is over 200 years away. While these findings seem overwhelming, we believe that as more people commit to change now, we will move the needle together. We are honored to pledge our commitment to …


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Feb 20, 2018 Official Announcement

Welcome Huobi Labs! Meet 500 Startups’ Blockchain New Friends

Meet Huobi Labs – our new friend for 500 Startups’ Blockchain track. At close to $1 Billion in trading volume per day, Huobi is one of the largest global digital asset exchanges for cryptocurrencies. Founded in 2013, Huobi serves millions of customers from over 130 countries and now has business and operational centers across Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, etc. Huobi Lab is a blockchain incubator under Huobi started in 2017. 500 Startups will be teaming up with Huobi Lab to support our blockchain track and we will leverage Huobi Lab’s extensive global blockchain network. Together, we will provide practical guidance to companies on topics ranging from fundraising strategy, white paper development, go-to-market strategy, community engagement and marketing. “I …


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Nov 22, 2017 Official Announcement

Announcing 500 Startups Latin America Batch Ocho!

It’s been a rigorous last two months searching throughout Latin America for the next batch of startups to join our portfolio. During this time we received applications from over 825 companies, interviewed over 150, and finally selected 12 companies to welcome to the #500strong global family. Today we are  thrilled to announce the latest companies to the 500 Startups Mexico City Seed Program, Batch 8. This new batch consists of founders from all over Latin America; with companies from Argentina (2 companies), Chile (1 company), Colombia (1 company), Mexico (6 companies), and Peru (2 companies). Batch 8 includes a focus on FinTech (4 companies), Logistics (3 companies), SAAS (2 companies), E-commerce (2 companies), and Recruiting. Here’s a full list of …


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Aug 14, 2017 On Our Blog

Looking back at VC Unlocked 2017

After two weeks of intense coursework, six guest lectures, 32 investment thesis presentations, and a mind-boggling amount of coffee, another successful VC Unlocked Program with the Stanford Center for Professional Development is officially a wrap. With over 200 applicants, this was our most competitive application process yet. We’ve covered the amazing diversity and background of the class in a previous post, but suffice to say that we had several contenders for The Most Interesting Woman (and Man) in the World. Now that we’ve had some time to catch up on some sleep (and email), we’ll recap a few of the many highlights from the latest installment of our flagship educational program. Setting the framework “Whether they’re new to angel investing …


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Aug 9, 2017 On Our Blog

Announcing: The First Batch in 500 Startups Data Track

Two weeks ago, the first batch of 500 Startups’ new Data Track kicked off in San Francisco, alongside the twenty-second incarnation of our flagship Seed Program. We selected some of the most innovative startups in big data, machine learning and AI to participate in the intensive 3-month program. Today, we’re excited to share the inaugural cohort, which consists of 7 companies from 7 different countries around the world: Botsociety (Italy) Botsociety is a design tool for previewing, prototyping and testing conversational interfaces. Curio.io (United Kingdom) Curio.io delivers professionally narrated audio of curated articles from leading news publications like The Financial Times and The Guardian. Mobile Forms (Nigeria) Mobile Forms is a platform for local and international businesses to crowdsource reliable …


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Aug 8, 2017 Official Announcement

Announcing 500 Startups Batch 22!

Two weeks ago, the latest incarnation of the 500 Startups Seed Program, Batch 22 (B22), kicked off in sunny San Francisco.  The new cohort consists of 36 innovative startups from 14 countries.  42% of the companies are based outside of the United States, with founders representing Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Nigeria, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. B22 includes a focus on FinTech (9 companies), Data (7 companies), and Digital Health (4 companies), with other startups ranging from facial recognition to supply chain management to the largest global community of motorcycle riders.  14% of companies have a female founder.  31% of founders are Asian, 11% Middle Eastern, 10% LatinX and …


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