December 20th | #55

The best stuff of 2019 and a personal reflection

Hey there,

This is my first end-of-year review, and the last Seedtable of the year – and the decade. Next week I’m going to be enjoying family in Argentina while working on something very cool for y’all. 

But before I dive into it, let me ask you something – what's the one thing you'd like me to do more of in 2019? 

Let's do it. 

The best emails of 2019

General topics Startup hubs Industry deep-dives Policy and politics

The best books of 2019

These recommendations come from me and from other readers like you.

What was good and what could've been better

Seedtable started in late 2018 as a small side project. I was in Argentina and wanted to reconnect with the European tech scene. A few friends were kind enough to subscribe and provide some early feedback.

In early 2019 I wrote the Spotify piece, my first original take. For some reason, it (sort-of) blew up. At least on a small scale. From there, I was hooked and it was off to the races.

I kept writing, worked on the Breakut List and a bunch of rankings and kept griding. Seedtable has over 9,000 subscribers, and healthy open rate and 50,000 monthly visits to the website. 

It goes without saying that 2019 was a fantastic year for me and for this newsletter.

I met (and even worked with) dozens of readers. Had wonderful conversations and some heated debates. I dove deep into different industries, analyzed the intersection of tech, regulation and politics, and even looked at world power dynamics and China. Even got my name out there. But most importantly, I was s able to share my thoughts on it.

Look... my thoughts aren't GREAT. I'm often wrong. I'm often an idiot. I like to think we all are. But I'm honest, transparent and unbiased. I hope you appreciate that. 

That said, not everything smells like roses. To be frank, I wish I would've spent even more time on Seedtable. 

Every decision comes with trade-offs. Sometime in Q3, Seedtable became one of those trade-offs. At first, it was an unconscious decision. Then I was just too tired to put real time into it. Finally, I lost the momentum. I kept writing, but the quality of the pieces significantly dropped off. 

My #1 learning this year is that that should NEVER happen again. If I ever lose motivation, you'll be the first to know because I will stop writing. But I will never waste your time with subpar writing again.

See you in 2020. Stay tuned. 

On-demand delivery startup Glovo raises €150m and becomes Spain’s second unicorn

The Spanish competitor to Uber Eats and Deliveroo claims it will do what its rivals seem unable or unwilling to do: hit profitability in 2021.

Uber’s ride-hailing business hit with ban in Germany

Another legal blow for Uber  in Europe: A regional court in Frankfurt has banned the company from sending ride-hailing requests to rental car companies via its app — with the court finding multiple competition violations.

Airbnb is a platform not an estate agent, says Europe’s top court

Airbnb  will be breathing a sigh of relief today: Europe’s top court has judged it to be an online platform, which merely connects people looking for short-term accommodation, rather than a full-blown estate agent.

Twitch sued for £2.1bn over Premier League by Russian firm
Russia's third-largest internet company is suing streaming service Twitch for 180bn roubles (£2.1bn) over pirate broadcasts of English Premier League games.

The next silicon valley won’t be in the US

An interesting look into how the next silicon valley will be on a secondary European tech hub. 

Forget swiping. Your next date will be based on your genes

Expect to see new genetic models and personality testing enter the online dating sphere, leading to a new definition of love for some – and rejection for others.

“Paris will be the most vibrant tech scene of Europe”
Fast interview with Xavier Niel, French tech billionaire. He has a vested interest, but I tend to agree with him on this.

Finland is winning the war on fake news
A fascinating read on how Finland is (allegedly) working on a blueprint to win the war on fake news.
  • Helsinki’s Speechly raises €2M seed for its ‘natural language understanding’ API
  • Odoo grabs $90M to sell more SMEs on its business app suite
  • Basel-based Cellestia snaps up over €18 million Series B, to target cancer at gene transcription level
  • Rebank raises $2.8M to build a better banking experience for high-growth companies
  • Munich-based Mylivn raises €5.5 million and launches social network for next-Gen content creators
  • Tallinn-based Clanbeat snaps up over €1 million to develop personalised learning tool for schools and workplaces
  • Gloat gathers $25 million to help enterprise develop internal talent and build “future-proof workforces”

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