Oct 31, 2018 On Our Blog

Private Jets, Smart Pill Bottles, Blockchain, & More: Meet the Startups of Batch 24

Batch 24 has officially kicked off in San Francisco, and we’re so excited to welcome these new companies into our 500 family. From personal jets to AR glasses to period underwear, the collection of companies we’ve invested in this batch are as unique and innovative as the founders that built them. By the numbers: This batch has 21 companies. 40% of Batch 24 companies have a female founder. 50% have a Black, Mixed, or Latinx founder. 31% have a company based outside of the US. The Batch 24 companies are headquartered amongst 8 countries: Chile, France, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Singapore, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States. Out of the Batch 24 companies, 27% of will be on our blockchain track, 18% …


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Oct 18, 2018 On Our Blog

Why 500 Startups is betting on Miami, and so should you

I am a Mexican who grew up in the “small” town of Guadalajara, Mexico (6M people, but feels small compared to Mexico City’s 20M+ population). I’ve had the privilege of studying and working in the LATAM, European and US markets, and calling world-class metropolises like Mexico City, Paris and New York my home. In 2016, following my heart, I reluctantly moved to Miami. Today, against all my expectations, I have fallen in love with this region and am ready to bet on its growth. And so is 500 Startups. Curious? Skeptical? Stay with me. As I wrote on the 500 Startups blog last March announcing the launch of 500 Startups Miami, this city and the larger Florida region is heating …


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Sep 17, 2018 On Our Blog

PreMoney 2018: Meet Garry Tan, the Former YC Partner Forging his own Path

If you don’t know who Garry Tan is yet, you will soon—the investor was just name dropped on Forbes’ 2018 Midas Brink List of Venture Capital’s biggest up-and-comers. He’s making big waves in the investment world and we’re thrilled to have him lined up to speak at our PreMoney Investor Conference on October 2nd. Tan was previously a partner at Y-Combinator and is now the cofounder of Initialized Capital, an early-stage seed fund he started with Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian. Initialized Capital was the earliest investor in trailblazers like Coinbase and Instacart, so Tan knows a thing or two about spotting the “it factor” in young companies. Not Your Average VC While many big investors come from a more buttoned-up business world, Tan boasts an impressive …


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Sep 12, 2018 On Our Blog

Ann Miura-Ko: Raising the Bar for Women VCs Headlining PreMoney 2018

The pioneer in female-forward investing is one of the keynote speakers at our upcoming PreMoney Investor Conference on October 2nd, and she’s someone we’re certain you won’t want to miss. Miura-Ko has a PhD from Stanford, a Bachelor’s from Yale, and this year she was on the cover of Forbes—but those are only a small handful of the notable credentials that make her one of the most admirable investors in the game. She’s got a keen ability to spot a unicorn in its early stages, she was an early investor in Lyft, and she has a solid spot on Forbes 2018 Midas List—a roundup of the top 100 venture capitalists in the world. The Most Powerful Woman in Startups Back in …


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Jul 27, 2018 On Our Blog

Investor Spotlight:
Tanya Soman

Tanya Soman is a native New Yorker and the youngest female to make Venture Partner at 500 Startups. She started working hands-on with companies in 2014 by coaching them through the Seed Accelerator Program and now invests in consumer companies, including a specialty track within the program that focuses on the retail, beauty, and fashion verticals. Tanya is passionate about bridging the gap between international founders and Silicon Valley, which is why she speaks at events globally on fundraising from The Valley, nailing your company pitch, fundraising strategy and recruits around the world looking for the best deals. Tanya graduated in three years with a BS in business management from Babson College, a school specializing entirely in entrepreneurship. She enjoys …


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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 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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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 …


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