Inside | Real news, curated by real humans
Inside Founders

Inside Founders (Apr 12th, 2019)

1. Uber founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp will respectively have $7 billion and $6 billion stakes in the company after its IPO, based on regulatory paperwork filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday. Those stakes would be based on the company's intended $100 billion valuation when it goes public in May, which is less than the $120 billion some had expected. The founders' shares in the company, however, will not have outsized power. While many high-profile tech IPOs—Lyft and Pinterest among them—are utilizing dual class structures that give founders' shares more voting power, Uber has a one-share, one-vote policy. At least it has since 2017 when it eliminated super-voting rights for Kalanick and other shareholders as part of SoftBank's investment; Softbank's stake will be worth $16 billion. — BLOOMBERG

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

2. More than 70 percent of the $1 billion invested in cybersecurity companies so far this year went to seed and early stage startups. Those companies include Blue Hexagon, co-founded two years ago by engineer and executive Nayeem Islam, which raised $31 million in Series B funding in February and Bishop Fox, which raised $25 million in Series A funding the same month. Ariel Tseitlin, a partner at Scale Venture, which has released a 2019 report on the state of cybersecurity, attributes the ongoing startup activity to the concomitant technological innovation facing the sector, and the "gap in capabilities" that exists in tackling those changes. Keep current with cybersecurity news with David Strom's daily Inside Cybersecurity newsletter. — CRUNCHBASE NEWS

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

3. LumApps co-founder Sébastien Ricard says the company launched its “social intranet” in 2015 in response to customer needs for a platform integrating internal communications across multiple communication tools. LumApps raised $24 million in Series B investments this week, which Ricard says will be used to scale globally and increase product development. LumApps' social intranet platform centralizes communication for employees using tools such as G Suite, Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Sharepoint allowing, Ricard says, more collaborative workplaces; it's used by companies such as Colgate-Palmolive, The Economist and Logitech, among others. A French founder, Ricard says the company had challenges when it began operating in the US in 2016, but has grown to have 150 employees worldwide, with a specific focus in the US. — TECHCRUNCH

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

4. A year after selling their cricket protein bar company Exo, co-founders Gabi Lewis and Greg Sewitz have launched a new venture. Magic Spoon is a direct-to-consumer cereal company the co-founders say is intended to update favorite childhood cereals with more nutritious ingredients. Lewis and Sewitz also say they were interested in the challenge of trying to disrupt the $10 billion cereal industry, which they characterize as lacking innovation. Magic Spoon offers $35 monthly subscriptions for four boxes of cereal in cinnamon, cocoa, fruity and frosted. The grain-free, protein-rich cereal is partially aimed at nostalgic health-conscious millennials like themselves (both founders are 28 years old), as well as parents trying to feed their children healthy breakfasts. — FORBES

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

Flashback Friday

Welcome to Flashback Friday, when we take a look at the recent and distant past in the world of Founders. If you have ideas or tips for this weekly feature, please send them in to founders@inside.com.

Ten years ago this week, it appeared that Skype's co-founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis were trying to buy back their company from eBay. The pair had sold Skype four years prior for what would eventually be $3.1 billion with subsequent bonus payouts. Software writers Zennström and Friis founded Skype in 2003, but their purported 2009 bid to buy it back never manifested. Instead, following resolution of legal disputes with the founders over intellectual property and licensing, eBay sold 70 percent of the company to private investors for $2.75 billion. Microsoft then purchased Skype in 2011 for $8.56 billion. Zennström and Friis also co-founded Joost and Kazaa, both of which are no longer in service. Zennström is currently CEO of Atomico, the European venture capital firm he co-founded with Friis in 2006. The co-founders reportedly had a falling out and parted ways less than amicably in 2012. Friis is co-founder of self-driving robot delivery company Starship Technologies.

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

5. Serial founder Parker Conrad, whose most recent company is the cloud-based HR firm Rippling, says pitch decks are out and pitch memos are in when it comes to raising venture funds. — BUSINESS INSIDER

6. Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin haven't attended any of the company's weekly Friday meetings this year, marking the longest lapse in participation in the company's history. — BUZZFEED NEWS

7. Kansas City entrepreneur Matt DeCoursey says he and his partner founded their “Startup Hustle” podcast partially as therapy to complain about the challenges of founding a startup. — STARTLAND NEWS

8. Philadelphia's StartupPHL has a new grant program for founders from socially or economically disadvantaged backgrounds; The Venture Program is geared at, among other goals, creating economic development outside of the traditional business district and "disrupting generational poverty." — TECHNICAL.LY PHILADELPHIA

9. Nicolas Bartoli and Ron Radu began their careers as software designers before pivoting out of tech to become founders of houseplant startup Léon & George; their advice for pivoting industries includes being ready to make mistakes. — FORBES

10. Follow Friday: @ayahbdeir. An engineer, artist and leader in the open hardware movement, Ayah Bdeir founded littleBits in 2011; the company makes electronic building kits with which children can learn to code and solve complex problems, and partners with Disney, Pearson and thousands of schools. Bdeir is a strong proponent of #womenintech and #girlswhocode, and her Twitter, Medium and Instagram accounts are great resources to keep current with the issues in those areas. Be sure to also check out her TED Talk: "Building blocks that blink, beep and teach."

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

Julia Goldberg is a journalist and author living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She writes regularly about the intersection of technology and culture, and is the executive director of MIX Santa Fe, a networking organization for entrepreneurs. She writes the Inside Founders newsletter and can be found on Twitter @votergirl.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside); Susmita Baral (senior editor at Inside, who runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram); and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

  • Email gray

Subscribe to Inside Founders