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Inside Founders (Aug 2nd, 2019)

1. Food delivery startup DoorDash announced yesterday it is purchasing competitor Caviar for $410 million in cash and stocks. DoorDash Chief Executive Tony Xu says Caviar's roster—the company primarily delivers from high-end restaurants in 15 urban areas—will supplement DoorDash's chain-restaurant suburban offerings. Payments processing company Square owns Caviar, one of several food-delivery services competing in the space: Postmates, DoorDash, GrubHub and Uber Eats, among them. Xu described the food-delivery sector as "early days in a market that’s highly dynamic." DoorDash currently has a $12.6 billion valuation, following its most recent $600 million fundraising round in May. — THE NEW YORK TIMES

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2. Publisher Holloway launched a series of guides for startup founders this week, funded with $4.6 million from The New York Times and venture capitalists. One currently available title, Raising Venture Capital, has 15 indepth sections, covering the general VC landscape, financing, term sheets, sourcing and pitching. Its next guide will cover technical hiring and recruiting. Holloway co-founder and Chief Executive Andy Sparks says the guides are not intended solely for New York and Silicon Valley founders, but "...for people in cities like Columbus and Atlanta where startup communities are growing, but knowledge is harder to come by.” The VC guide is priced at $100, which includes all future updates to the current edition, currently weighing in at 340 pages. — TECHCRUNCH

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3. Follow Friday: Alison Mountford: @endsandstems

Alison Mountford started thinking about food waste when she scaled her personal chef business into a commercial commissary kitchen. Ten years later, she sold her business and started working for a food-tech delivery company, where the magnitude of the food waste problem really set in. She began posting about food waste on Instagram and, by mid 2016, was prepared to channel her passion into a new business: Ends+Stems, a meal-plan delivery service with interactive features that allow users to see the environmental impact of their food choices. Mountford has written about how she started a tech business without tech skills by using Instagram to find product market fit. Follow her on Twitter for food waste news, recipes and thoughts on female founders and chef entrepreneurism. Check out Ends + Stems on Instagram for a steady diet of food porn. 

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4. PowerPlant Ventures closed a $165 million second and oversubscribed fund geared at plant-based technology companies this week. The equity firm plans to lead and co-lead Series A and B rounds in the neighborhood of $4 million to $8 million for "businesses that are more plant-centric, and advancing more of a plant-centric world," according to partner Dan Gluck, also the co-founder of Health Warrior. The second fund already has backed Vive Organic, a wellness shots startup, and plant-based company Your Super. PowerPlant's first $42 million fund invested in startups such as Thrive Market and Veggie Grill, as well as the newly public Beyond Meat. — CRUNCHBASE

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5. Federal Trade Commission investigators are reaching out to founders of startups acquired by Facebook—approximately 90 companies over the last 15 years—as part of its anti-trust investigation into whether the company has stifled innovation and competition. — WALL STREET JOURNAL

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6. Female founders, along with other sex-tech and wellness company supporters, protested Wednesday at Facebook's New York office regarding rules that bar ads promoting certain types of products, such as vibrators. — CNET

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7. When it comes to launching a startup and innovating, "perfection is the enemy of profit," says Rachel Kuhr, founder of San Francisco-based Productable, and one of five female tech company founder panelists sharing advice at the Women in Tech Tell All event this week in Dallas. — DALLAS INNOVATES

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8. Fashion tech company founders have extra challenges in raising venture capital, says entrepreneur Lisa Morales-Hellebo, founder of New York Fashion Tech Lab, in part because "venture capitalists don’t invest in things they don’t know, care about, or have expertise in." Morales-Hellebo also is co-founder and general partner of REFASHIOND Ventures, which invests in early-stage startups "refashioning" global supply chains. — FASHNERD

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9. Before founding Ben & Jerry's in 1978, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield learned how to make ice-cream through a $5 Penn State correspondence course, and learned how to run a business by reading Small Business Administration brochures sold for 20 cents each at the post office. — THE WASHINGTON POST

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10. The millennial-focused Detroit-based direct-to-consumer plant retailer Bloomscape, launched for a second time in March 2018 by founder and horticulturist Justin Mast, announced yesterday a $7.5 million Series A funding round, backed by founders from Away, Allbirds and Warby Parker, among others. — FORBES

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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.

Editor: David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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