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Pineapple on pizza?
NY bagels or LA avocado toast?
We’ve all got preferences. We want to know yours. (Not your favorite pizza topping, though the right answer is mushroom.)
We have some exciting initiatives in the works, and want to make sure we give the people (you) what they want. We’ve got a short, three-minute survey we’d love for you to fill out. (We’re asking for your birthday, too, and may have some special surprises in the works )
Latest in Crypto: Stablecoins and Visa’s blockchain adoption
What’s the problem with crypto? No one wants to spend it. If someone bought you a beer in bitcoin in the early days, you could buy a (very nice) car with that money now. In an effort to make a less volatile cryptocurrency, stablecoins have become a popular alternative. They let buyers keep their money in the DeFi (decentralized finance) network, without the fluctuations. (Although, nothing is guaranteed.)
“Traditional” stablecoins peg their value to another stable currency, like USD. Popular stablecoin, USDC is 1 for 1 with the US dollar. A lot of newer stablecoins are algorithmic, and aren’t pegged to any national currencies, but that’s a rabbit hole for another day.
Why use stablecoins at all? Great question. They’re an easy and (mostly) risk free way for people to get into crypto without the volatility. Some companies let people create bank accounts and earn up to 9% interest on stablecoin assets like USDC. The downside—they don’t have FDIC insurance.
This has had a global impact. For example, in Africa, where there are less secure banking institutions, national currencies can be inflation-prone, and cross-border transfers are a facet of everyday life, more and more people have been willing to take the risk and adopt the technology sooner. Internet access and a cheap smartphone enable participation in a banking ecosystem that is independent of money-printing central banks and shaky institutions.
Another big leap for DeFi was VISA’s adoption of USDC in settling transactions. In the future, that will mean that USDC holders will be able to spend their USDC using something like a Visa credit or debit card. We’re in the beginning stages of spending digital assets at the supermarket. Get ready to tell your grandkids.
Live Deals on Republic:
This week we’re highlighting some of the newest deals on the platform:
• For the gamers. Moonray is a state-of-the-art, surreal Action-RPG video game for PC and Next-Gen consoles. “Explore a beautiful and deadly landscape on a quest to recover the sacred element and regain control of the planet It-Ao.” They plan to launch to 90M monthly active users on Steam in Summer ’22. Minimum investment of $500.
• The speaker re-invented. Resonado Labs engineered FCS (Flat Core Speaker) technology without compromising on sound performance. They have over $200k in revenue to date, $6M in their deal pipeline, and internal projections of $2M in revenue for 2021. They’ve raised $2.2M in funding to date from 500 Startups, Notre Dame’s IDEA Center, and others. Minimum investment of $150.
• Not your average drone. Ascent AeroSystems is a unique drone platform designed for real-world conditions. Their drones feature a simple cylindrical configuration that reduces the airframe structure to an absolute minimum, and are made in the USA. With $2.5M in revenue in 2020, they’re now shipping their third-generation system. Minimum investment of $100.
• Green mobility solutions. Strom Motors is a smart, urban mobility solution with future-ready technology. Their 3-wheel design makes them more affordable and efficient than the competition. They secured $10M in pre-order interest just 20 days after launch and have regulatory approval in India and EU. Minimum investment of $150.
• Combating unconscious bias. Plain Sight is a networking app on a mission to provide access to social capital and combat unconscious bias. Recently featured as Apple’s App of the Day, they’ve seen a 250% user base increase since July. They’ve raised $1M from diverse investors like Dan Gilbert, Jason White, and more. Minimum investment of $100.
• Turning paper into soil. Pittmoss is a top performing upcycled soil made from organic, recycled paper. They have $900k in revenue to date, selling across 150+ stores, and have raised $4.45M in funding. They were on Shark Tank and made a deal with Mark Cuban. Minimum investment of $100.
• Save the planet, smell good. Myro is refillable, plant-powered body care that’s reducing plastic waste by up to 50%. They had $8M+ in revenue while eliminating 16.5 tons of plastic in 2 years and raised $10M+ from Serena Williams, Carmelo Anthony, and Obvious Ventures. Minimum investment of $100.
- Investing Masterclass— back by popular demand. Learn how to evaluate investment opportunities from top angel investors and legendary VCs. Your mentors will include Randi Zuckerberg, Alexandra Ludlin of Insight Partners, Geri Kirilova of Laconia Ventures, Mecedes Bent of Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Anita Rehman of GSV Asset Management. They’ll teach you how to set an investment thesis, assess a startup’s financials, conduct due diligence, and understand deal terms.April 9 — May 7, starting at 2:00 EDT. RSVP here!
- Cere Network AMA recording— last Friday, our own Shrina Kurani hosted an AMA with the founding team of Cere Network. Fred, Kenzi, and Martijn answered questions about their technology, their product and their vision. We even found out what CERE stands for! Check out the recording on our blog.
- Linen: Bloomberghighlighted Linen among other notable players allowing consumers to earn high yields on their money.
- Sentry AI: Sci-fi movies got it all wrong! Ethical AI actually improves privacy and security. Listen to LeadingCities podcastfeaturing Sentry AI.
- UpChoose: Super excited to welcome Randi Zuckerbergas an investor in UpChoose! As a mom of three, she believes UpChoose is the way to go!
- Digibuild: DigiBuild partners with large insurance provider CR Solutionsto implement blockchain into their construction risk management products.
- Predictiv: One month since we launched our solution and already 200+ hospitals and 3,300 physiciansin 9 countries have signed with Predictiv.
- Cannabox: Cannabox saw an 84% YOYrevenue growth from 2019 to 2020.
- Upright: Accepted into Yale’s Tsai CITY Summer Accelerator! Fellowship includes $15K grant to advance venture.
- Obi: Obi, the leading ridehail and taxi aggregator has a new groundbreaking partnership with Curb, America’s largest on-demand taxi app.
- Stoji: We have closed our biggest Wholesale deal in our company’s history worth over $1.6M!
- Aether Beauty:We won Beauty Innovation Award for Highlighter of the Year!
- Clocr: Clocr was selected out of hundreds of startups to pitch at TechCrunchEarly Stage Pitch-Off.
- Illumnus: Illumnus gets ready for hyper-growth; launches OneLXP product with self-onboarding for schools
- Nickelytics: Nickelytics surpasses $30K MRRand adds Former Google, Amazon, and LinkedIn tech leader Shama Keskar as CTO and Co-Founder.