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 …


PUBLISHED BY
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 …


PUBLISHED BY
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 …


PUBLISHED BY
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. …


PUBLISHED BY
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 …


PUBLISHED BY
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 …


PUBLISHED BY
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 …


PUBLISHED BY
Mar 20, 2018 On Our Blog

500 Startups joins the Miami heat, and it’s not about the beach or basketball

500 has been investing in the rapidly evolving Miami tech entrepreneurial ecosystem for over 5 years now.  From our successful Geeks On A Plane (GOAP) stop in 2012, to the PreMoney Investor Conference and our Series A Program in 2015: we have witnessed the amazing energy of Miami. Today, we believe the Miami entrepreneurial ecosystem is at an inflection point, with more high-potential founders launching locally than ever before. Further, we believe the city is uniquely poised to become a global hub for entrepreneurship and innovation that will hopefully connect South Florida with Silicon Valley, the East Coast, Latin America, Europe, Africa and beyond! In the words of our CEO, Christine Tsai, “We believe that today more than ever it …


PUBLISHED BY
Mar 12, 2018 On Our Blog

VC Unlocked – Over 100 Deal Campers and Counting

Last week, more than 25 corporate VCs, angels, fund managers, and attorneys joined us for our fourth Deal Camp investor training program with UC Berkeley. Less than two years in, more than 100 corporate investors have now attended the program and joined our #500Strong network, a milestone that we’re proud of. “We’re thrilled to see our group of alumni continue to grow around the world,” said Bedy Yang, managing partner at 500 Startups and a lecturer at Deal Camp. “The goal of our VC Unlocked programs is to empower investors with the toolkit they need to structure, negotiate, and execute early stage investments.” Meet the Class Here’s a quick introduction to the latest group of participants: 50% based internationally, representing …


PUBLISHED BY
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 …


PUBLISHED BY