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Weekly Update

By Sean Steigerwald - 08/04/2017
Something about Jeff Bezos meme's really gets the people going. Thanks for the fun replies last week, your messages make this all the more fun to write.

This week at Malartu our engineering team absolutely crushed it. We've got some stellar functionality on the way. Our biggest focus over the past few months has been to help users ask better questions of their data, not just view them on a dashboard. I wrote a post about how we're accomplishing this here

Onward.


Good advice


Judging by the comments last week about the Amazon blurb, we heart Bezos.

Warning: the following is quite literally fake news. 

The Onion, one of my favorite reads, posted an article this week titled "My Advice to Anyone Starting a Business is To Remember That Someday I Will Crush You." It's written "by Jeff Bezos" and it is a hilarious read.

Happy Friday. 


That was quick


Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is shutting down its seed-stage investment arm, Edge, two years after it launched, according to Bloomberg. All three partners who ran the $4 million program departed in recent weeks. 

The small fund was an effort to get a grasp on early-stage startups. KPCB is famous for investing in hot startups like Airbnb, Uber, and Spotify but it's generally a late-stage player (once valuations are already high). 

Edge backed 13 companies with an average check size of $125,000.


Reddit hits a triple

Social media platform and news aggregator Reddit (aka the front page of the internet) has closed a $200 million round at a valuation of $1.8 billion, as first reported by Recode. Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia participated in the funding. The new funding triples their previous valuation and marks Reddit's official entry into the unicorn class of 2017.

The new funding is apparently going to be used to improve video efforts, rewrite most of its 10-year-old code, and redesign the interface to look more like a Facebook newsfeed. 

I imagine the redesign will really piss off current Reddit fans since you basically need a compass and Google translate to understand what the hell is going on in there. And that's why they love it. 

Here's a glossary of Reddit terms aka the cipher to get you started.

And if you haven't experienced Reddit for yourself, it's something like this:


We asked for flying cars


I'm pretty sure I've used this headline before, but last time was about hammocks. This time we're actually getting cars. Volocopter, a German developer of autonomous, electric-powered flying taxis, has raised nearly $30 million in new VC funding from investors like Daimler.

This is particularly notable because of participation from Daimler, which adds legitimacy to the market. Volocopter promises demonstrations in Dubai by the end of the year. 


Secondaries near record


Secondary private equity deals are on pace to break records. Transactions are expected to hit $40bn this year as investors seek to free up capital. 

Buying secondary stakes is now widely seen as an attractive means of improving portfolio liquidity. With the core of the market composed of funds that are seven to eight years old, secondaries are typically liquidated in four years. Buying also reduces overall portfolio risk, since funds sold on the secondary market hold assets that can be evaluated, unlike fundraisings. Secondary returns are often more predictable and cluster in the 1.4 to 1.7 times invested capital range.


It's not about the demo


GrowthX cofounder Sean Sheppard dropped some knowledge on the recent edition of The Predictable Revenue Podcast, as Sean's are known to do. 

He talks mostly about how the close-at-all-costs sales mentality creates robotic sales people hell bent on pitching and demoing. What you really need is sales people who act like humans - listening to other humans problems and helping them find a solution. 

According to Sheppard, true engagement begins with simple messaging entirely focused on learning about the business problems they are experiencing, and then sharing how you’ve helped similar people with similar issues.

"...focus on the problem you solve and submit power and control to your prospect. Then, based on what they tell you, don’t just follow your check boxes, operate within the framework of the conversation. That establishes credibility and earns you the right to ask the questions you want to ask.”

If you're not into podcasts, check out the post here.
Malartu is an aggregation and reporting tool for your financial, sales, and performance data. Analyze your progress, calculate KPIs, create reports, share with stakeholders, and execute.

Use Malartu for organizing one business or an entire portfolio of businesses.
Schedule a demo today.
 
THIS WEEK AT MALARTU

What we're doing

With our added functionality for dashboards, we're moving on to the next phase of our roadmap: benchmarking. Our platform was built from the beginning to benchmark KPIs in our system and help users understand not just where they are right now, but where they need to be. 

We're priming this data set with a number of surveys. Reply to this email if you're willing to answer a few questions about your own KPIs in exchange for our aggregate data set - for free. 
 
What we're writing What we're reading


Have a great weekend,

Sean
@spsteige
 
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