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Matthew O'Riordan

Matthew O'Riordan

1 year ago

Trends in SaaS Funding from 2016 to 2022

More on Entrepreneurship/Creators

Bastian Hasslinger

Bastian Hasslinger

1 year ago

Before 2021, most startups had excessive valuations. It is currently causing issues.

Higher startup valuations are often favorable for all parties. High valuations show a business's potential. New customers and talent are attracted. They earn respect.

Everyone benefits if a company's valuation rises.

Founders and investors have always been incentivized to overestimate a company's value.

Post-money valuations were inflated by 2021 market expectations and the valuation model's mechanisms.

Founders must understand both levers to handle a normalizing market.

2021, the year of miracles

2021 must've seemed miraculous to entrepreneurs, employees, and VCs. Valuations rose, and funding resumed after the first Covid-19 epidemic caution.

In 2021, VC investments increased from $335B to $643B. 518 new worldwide unicorns vs. 134 in 2020; 951 US IPOs vs. 431.

Things can change quickly, as 2020-21 showed.

Rising interest rates, geopolitical developments, and normalizing technology conditions drive down share prices and tech company market caps in 2022. Zoom, the poster-child of early lockdown success, is down 37% since 1st Jan.

Once-inflated valuations can become a problem in a normalizing market, especially for founders, employees, and early investors.

the reason why startups are always overvalued

To see why inflated valuations are a problem, consider one of its causes.

Private company values only fluctuate following a new investment round, unlike publicly-traded corporations. The startup's new value is calculated simply:

(Latest round share price) x (total number of company shares)

This is the industry standard Post-Money Valuation model.

Let’s illustrate how it works with an example. If a VC invests $10M for 1M shares (at $10/share), and the company has 10M shares after the round, its Post-Money Valuation is $100M (10/share x 10M shares).

This approach might seem like the most natural way to assess a business, but the model often unintentionally overstates the underlying value of the company even if the share price paid by the investor is fair. All shares aren't equal.

New investors in a corporation will always try to minimize their downside risk, or the amount they lose if things go wrong. New investors will try to negotiate better terms and pay a premium.

How the value of a struggling SpaceX increased

SpaceX's 2008 Series D is an example. Despite the financial crisis and unsuccessful rocket launches, the company's Post-Money Valuation was 36% higher after the investment round. Why?

Series D SpaceX shares were protected. In case of liquidation, Series D investors were guaranteed a 2x return before other shareholders.

Due to downside protection, investors were willing to pay a higher price for this new share class.

The Post-Money Valuation model overpriced SpaceX because it viewed all the shares as equal (they weren't).

Why entrepreneurs, workers, and early investors stand to lose the most

Post-Money Valuation is an effective and sufficient method for assessing a startup's valuation, despite not taking share class disparities into consideration.

In a robust market, where the firm valuation will certainly expand with the next fundraising round or exit, the inflated value is of little significance.

Fairness endures. If a corporation leaves at a greater valuation, each stakeholder will receive a proportional distribution. (i.e., 5% of a $100M corporation yields $5M).

SpaceX's inherent overvaluation was never a problem. Had it been sold for less than its Post-Money Valuation, some shareholders, including founders, staff, and early investors, would have seen their ownership drop.

The unforgiving world of 2022

In 2022, founders, employees, and investors who benefited from inflated values will face below-valuation exits and down-rounds.

For them, 2021 will be a curse, not a blessing.

Some tech giants are worried. Klarna's valuation fell from $45B (Oct 21) to $30B (Jun 22), Canvas from $40B to $27B, and GoPuffs from $17B to $8.3B.

Shazam and Blue Apron have to exit or IPO at a cheaper price. Premium share classes are protected, while others receive less. The same goes for bankrupts.

Those who continue at lower valuations will lose reputation and talent. When their value declines by half, generous employee stock options become less enticing, and their ability to return anything is questioned.

What can we infer about the present situation?

Such techniques to enhance your company's value or stop a normalizing market are fiction.

The current situation is a painful reminder for entrepreneurs and a crucial lesson for future firms.

The devastating market fall of the previous six months has taught us one thing:

  1. Keep in mind that any valuation is speculative. Money Post A startup's valuation is a highly simplified approximation of its true value, particularly in the early phases when it lacks significant income or a cutting-edge product. It is merely a projection of the future and a hypothetical meter. Until it is achieved by an exit, a valuation is nothing more than a number on paper.

  2. Assume the value of your company is lower than it was in the past. Your previous valuation might not be accurate now due to substantial changes in the startup financing markets. There is little reason to think that your company's value will remain the same given the 50%+ decline in many newly listed IT companies. Recognize how the market situation is changing and use caution.

  3. Recognize the importance of the stake you hold. Each share class has a unique value that varies. Know the sort of share class you own and how additional contractual provisions affect the market value of your security. Frameworks have been provided by Metrick and Yasuda (Yale & UC) and Gornall and Strebulaev (Stanford) for comprehending the terms that affect investors' cash-flow rights upon withdrawal. As a result, you will be able to more accurately evaluate your firm and determine the worth of each share class.

  4. Be wary of approving excessively protective share terms.
    The trade-offs should be considered while negotiating subsequent rounds. Accepting punitive contractual terms could first seem like a smart option in order to uphold your inflated worth, but you should proceed with caution. Such provisions ALWAYS result in misaligned shareholders, with common shareholders (such as you and your staff) at the bottom of the list.

Woo

Woo

1 year ago

How To Launch A Business Without Any Risk

> Say Hello To The Lean-Hedge Model

People think starting a business requires significant debt and investment. Like Shark Tank, you need a world-changing idea. I'm not saying to avoid investors or brilliant ideas.

Investing is essential to build a genuinely profitable company. Think Apple or Starbucks.

Entrepreneurship is risky because many people go bankrupt from debt. As starters, we shouldn't do it. Instead, use lean-hedge.

Simply defined, you construct a cash-flow business to hedge against long-term investment-heavy business expenses.

What the “fx!$rench-toast” is the lean-hedge model?

When you start a business, your money should move down, down, down, then up when it becomes profitable.

Example: Starbucks

Many people don't survive the business's initial losses and debt. What if, we created a cash-flow business BEFORE we started our Starbucks to hedge against its initial expenses?

Cash Flow business hedges against

Lean-hedge has two sections. Start a cash-flow business. A cash-flow business takes minimal investment and usually involves sweat and time.

Let’s take a look at some examples:

A Translation company

Personal portfolio website (you make a site then you do cold e-mail marketing)

FREELANCE (UpWork, Fiverr).

Educational business.

Infomarketing. (You design a knowledge-based product. You sell the info).

Online fitness/diet/health coaching ($50-$300/month, calls, training plan)

Amazon e-book publishing. (Medium writers do this)

YouTube, cash-flow channel

A web development agency (I'm a dev, but if you're not, a graphic design agency, etc.) (Sell your time.)

Digital Marketing

Online paralegal (A million lawyers work in the U.S).

Some dropshipping (Organic Tik Tok dropshipping, where you create content to drive traffic to your shopify store instead of spend money on ads).

(Disclaimer: My first two cash-flow enterprises, which were language teaching, failed terribly. My translation firm is now booming because B2B e-mail marketing is easy.)

Crossover occurs. Your long-term business starts earning more money than your cash flow business.

My cash-flow business (freelancing, translation) makes $7k+/month.

I’ve decided to start a slightly more investment-heavy digital marketing agency

Here are the anticipated business's time- and money-intensive investments:

  1. ($$$) Top Front-End designer's Figma/UI-UX design (in negotiation)

  2. (Time): A little copywriting (I will do this myself)

  3. ($$) Creating an animated webpage with HTML (in negotiation)

  4. Backend Development (Duration) (I'll carry out this myself using Laravel.)

  5. Logo Design ($$)

  6. Logo Intro Video for $

  7. Video Intro (I’ll edit this myself with Premiere Pro)

etc.

Then evaluate product, place, price, and promotion. Consider promotion and pricing.

The lean-hedge model's point is:

Don't gamble. Avoid debt. First create a cash-flow project, then grow it steadily.

Check read my previous posts on “Nightmare Mode” (which teaches you how to make work as interesting as video games) and Why most people can't escape a 9-5 to learn how to develop a cash-flow business.

Alana Rister, Ph.D.

Alana Rister, Ph.D.

1 year ago

Don't rely on lessons you learned with a small audience.

My growth-killing mistake

Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

When you initially start developing your audience, you need guidance.

What does my audience like? What do they not like? How can I grow more?

When I started writing two years ago, I inquired daily. Taking cues from your audience to develop more valuable content is a good concept, but it's simple to let them destroy your growth.

A small audience doesn't represent the full picture.

When I had fewer than 100 YouTube subscribers, I tried several video styles and topics. I looked to my audience for what to preserve and what to change.

If my views, click-through rate, or average view % dropped, that topic or style was awful. Avoiding that style helped me grow.

Vlogs, talking head videos on writing, and long-form tutorials didn't fare well.

Since I was small, I've limited the types of films I make. I have decided to make my own videos.

Surprisingly, the videos I avoided making meet or exceed my views, CTR, and audience retention.

Recent Video Stats from YouTube studio — Provided by Author

A limited audience can't tell you what your tribe wants. Therefore, limiting your innovation will prohibit you from reaching the right audience. Finding them may take longer.

Large Creators Experience The Same Issue

In the last two years, I've heard Vanessa Lau and Cathrin Manning say they felt pigeonholed into generating videos they didn't want to do.

Why does this happen over and over again?

Once you have a popular piece of content, your audience will grow. So when you publish inconsistent material, fewer of your new audience will view it. You interpret the drop in views as a sign that your audience doesn't want the content, so you stop making it.

Repeat this procedure a few times, and you'll create stuff you're not passionate about because you're frightened to publish it.

How to Manage Your Creativity and Audience Development

I'm not recommending you generate random content.

Instead of feeling trapped by your audience, you can cultivate a diverse audience.

Create quality material on a range of topics and styles as you improve. Be creative until you get 100 followers. Look for comments on how to improve your article.

If you observe trends in the types of content that expand your audience, focus 50-75% of your material on those trends. Allow yourself to develop 25% non-performing material.

This method can help you expand your audience faster with your primary trends and like all your stuff. Slowly, people will find 25% of your material, which will boost its performance.

How to Expand Your Audience Without Having More Limited Content

Follow these techniques to build your audience without feeling confined.

  • Don't think that you need restrict yourself to what your limited audience prefers.

  • Don't let the poor performance of your desired material demotivate you.

  • You shouldn't restrict the type of content you publish or the themes you cover when you have less than 100 followers.

  • When your audience expands, save 25% of your content for your personal interests, regardless of how well it does.

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Sam Hickmann

Sam Hickmann

2 years ago

A quick guide to formatting your text on INTΞGRITY

[06/20/2022 update] We have now implemented a powerful text editor, but you can still use markdown.

Markdown:

Headers

SYNTAX:

# This is a heading 1
## This is a heading 2
### This is a heading 3 
#### This is a heading 4

RESULT:

This is a heading 1

This is a heading 2

This is a heading 3

This is a heading 4

Emphasis

SYNTAX:

**This text will be bold**
~~Strikethrough~~
*You **can** combine them*

RESULT:

This text will be italic
This text will be bold
You can combine them

Images

SYNTAX:

![Engelbart](https://history-computer.com/ModernComputer/Basis/images/Engelbart.jpg)

RESULT:

Videos

SYNTAX:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KXGZAEWzn0

RESULT:

Links

SYNTAX:

[Int3grity website](https://www.int3grity.com)

RESULT:

Int3grity website

Tweets

SYNTAX:

https://twitter.com/samhickmann/status/1503800505864130561

RESULT:

Blockquotes

SYNTAX:

> Human beings face ever more complex and urgent problems, and their effectiveness in dealing with these problems is a matter that is critical to the stability and continued progress of society. \- Doug Engelbart, 1961

RESULT:

Human beings face ever more complex and urgent problems, and their effectiveness in dealing with these problems is a matter that is critical to the stability and continued progress of society. - Doug Engelbart, 1961

Inline code

SYNTAX:

Text inside `backticks` on a line will be formatted like code.

RESULT:

Text inside backticks on a line will be formatted like code.

Code blocks

SYNTAX:

'''js
function fancyAlert(arg) {
if(arg) {
$.facebox({div:'#foo'})
}
}
'''

RESULT:

function fancyAlert(arg) {
  if(arg) {
    $.facebox({div:'#foo'})
  }
}

Maths

We support LaTex to typeset math. We recommend reading the full documentation on the official website

SYNTAX:

$$[x^n+y^n=z^n]$$

RESULT:

[x^n+y^n=z^n]

Tables

SYNTAX:

| header a | header b |
| ---- | ---- |
| row 1 col 1 | row 1 col 2 |

RESULT:

header aheader bheader c
row 1 col 1row 1 col 2row 1 col 3
VIP Graphics

VIP Graphics

1 year ago

Leaked pitch deck for Metas' new influencer-focused live-streaming service

As part of Meta's endeavor to establish an interactive live-streaming platform, the company is testing with influencers.

The NPE (new product experimentation team) has been testing Super since late 2020.

Super by Meta leaked pitch deck: Facebook’s new livestreaming platform for influencers & sponsors

Bloomberg defined Super as a Cameo-inspired FaceTime-like gadget in 2020. The tool has evolved into a Twitch-like live streaming application.

Less than 100 creators have utilized Super: Creators can request access on Meta's website. Super isn't an Instagram, Facebook, or Meta extension.

“It’s a standalone project,” the spokesperson said about Super. “Right now, it’s web only. They have been testing it very quietly for about two years. The end goal [of NPE projects] is ultimately creating the next standalone project that could be part of the Meta family of products.” The spokesperson said the outreach this week was part of a drive to get more creators to test Super.

A 2021 pitch deck from Super reveals the inner workings of Meta.

The deck gathered feedback on possible sponsorship models, with mockups of brand deals & features. Meta reportedly paid creators $200 to $3,000 to test Super for 30 minutes.

Meta's pitch deck for Super live streaming was leaked.

What were the slides in the pitch deck for Metas Super?

Embed not supported: see full deck & article here →

View examples of Meta's pitch deck for Super:

Product Slides, first

Super by Meta leaked pitch deck — Product Slide: Facebook’s new livestreaming platform for influencers & sponsors

The pitch deck begins with Super's mission:

Super is a Facebook-incubated platform which helps content creators connect with their fans digitally, and for super fans to meet and support their favorite creators. In the spirit of Late Night talk shows, we feature creators (“Superstars”), who are guests at a live, hosted conversation moderated by a Host.

This slide (and most of the deck) is text-heavy, with few icons, bullets, and illustrations to break up the content. Super's online app status (which requires no download or installation) might be used as a callout (rather than paragraph-form).

Super by Meta leaked pitch deck — Product Slide: Facebook’s new livestreaming platform for influencers & sponsors

Meta's Super platform focuses on brand sponsorships and native placements, as shown in the slide above.

One of our theses is the idea that creators should benefit monetarily from their Super experiences, and we believe that offering a menu of different monetization strategies will enable the right experience for each creator. Our current focus is exploring sponsorship opportunities for creators, to better understand what types of sponsor placements will facilitate the best experience for all Super customers (viewers, creators, and advertisers).

Colorful mockups help bring Metas vision for Super to life.

2. Slide Features

Super's pitch deck focuses on the platform's features. The deck covers pre-show, pre-roll, and post-event for a Sponsored Experience.

  • Pre-show: active 30 minutes before the show's start

  • Pre-roll: Play a 15-minute commercial for the sponsor before the event (auto-plays once)

  • Meet and Greet: This event can have a branding, such as Meet & Greet presented by [Snickers]

  • Super Selfies: Makers and followers get a digital souvenir to post on social media.

  • Post-Event: Possibility to draw viewers' attention to sponsored content/links during the after-show

Almost every screen displays the Sponsor logo, link, and/or branded background. Viewers can watch sponsor video while waiting for the event to start.

Slide 3: Business Model

Meta's presentation for Super is incomplete without numbers. Super's first slide outlines the creator, sponsor, and Super's obligations. Super does not charge creators any fees or commissions on sponsorship earnings.

Super by Meta leaked pitch deck — Pricing Slide: Facebook’s new livestreaming platform for influencers & sponsors

How to make a great pitch deck

We hope you can use the Super pitch deck to improve your business. Bestpitchdeck.com/super-meta is a bookmarkable link.

You can also use one of our expert-designed templates to generate a pitch deck.

Our team has helped close $100M+ in agreements and funding for premier companies and VC firms. Use our presentation templates, one-pagers, or financial models to launch your pitch.

Every pitch must be audience-specific. Our team has prepared pitch decks for various sectors and fundraising phases.

Software Pitch Deck & SaaS Investor Presentation Template by VIP.graphics

Pitch Deck Software VIP.graphics produced a popular SaaS & Software Pitch Deck based on decks that closed millions in transactions & investments for orgs of all sizes, from high-growth startups to Fortune 100 enterprises. This easy-to-customize PowerPoint template includes ready-made features and key slides for your software firm.

Accelerator Pitch Deck The Accelerator Pitch Deck template is for early-stage founders seeking funding from pitch contests, accelerators, incubators, angels, or VC companies. Winning a pitch contest or getting into a top accelerator demands a strategic investor pitch.

Pitch Deck Template Series Startup and founder pitch deck template: Workable, smart slides. This pitch deck template is for companies, entrepreneurs, and founders raising seed or Series A finance.

M&A Pitch Deck Perfect Pitch Deck is a template for later-stage enterprises engaging more sophisticated conversations like M&A, late-stage investment (Series C+), or partnerships & funding. Our team prepared this presentation to help creators confidently pitch to investment banks, PE firms, and hedge funds (and vice versa).

Browse our growing variety of industry-specific pitch decks.

James Howell

James Howell

2 years ago

Which Metaverse Is Better, Decentraland or Sandbox?

The metaverse is the most commonly used term in current technology discussions. While the entire tech ecosystem awaits the metaverse's full arrival, defining it is difficult. Imagine the internet in the '80s! The metaverse is a three-dimensional virtual world where users can interact with digital solutions and each other as digital avatars.
The metaverse is a three-dimensional virtual world where users can interact with digital solutions and each other as digital avatars.

Among the metaverse hype, the Decentraland vs Sandbox debate has gained traction. Both are decentralized metaverse platforms with no central authority. So, what's the difference and which is better? Let us examine the distinctions between Decentraland and Sandbox.

2 Popular Metaverse Platforms Explained

The first step in comparing sandbox and Decentraland is to outline the definitions. Anyone keeping up with the metaverse news has heard of the two current leaders. Both have many similarities, but also many differences. Let us start with defining both platforms to see if there is a winner.

Decentraland

Decentraland, a fully immersive and engaging 3D metaverse, launched in 2017. It allows players to buy land while exploring the vast virtual universe. Decentraland offers a wide range of activities for its visitors, including games, casinos, galleries, and concerts. It is currently the longest-running metaverse project.

Decentraland began with a $24 million ICO and went public in 2020. The platform's virtual real estate parcels allow users to create a variety of experiences. MANA and LAND are two distinct tokens associated with Decentraland. MANA is the platform's native ERC-20 token, and users can burn MANA to get LAND, which is ERC-721 compliant. The MANA coin can be used to buy avatars, wearables, products, and names on Decentraland.

Sandbox

Sandbox, the next major player, began as a blockchain-based virtual world in 2011 and migrated to a 3D gaming platform in 2017. The virtual world allows users to create, play, own, and monetize their virtual experiences. Sandbox aims to empower artists, creators, and players in the blockchain community to customize the platform. Sandbox gives the ideal means for unleashing creativity in the development of the modern gaming ecosystem.

The project combines NFTs and DAOs to empower a growing community of gamers. A new play-to-earn model helps users grow as gamers and creators. The platform offers a utility token, SAND, which is required for all transactions.

What are the key points from both metaverse definitions to compare Decentraland vs sandbox?

It is ideal for individuals, businesses, and creators seeking new artistic, entertainment, and business opportunities. It is one of the rapidly growing Decentralized Autonomous Organization projects. Holders of MANA tokens also control the Decentraland domain.

Sandbox, on the other hand, is a blockchain-based virtual world that runs on the native token SAND. On the platform, users can create, sell, and buy digital assets and experiences, enabling blockchain-based gaming. Sandbox focuses on user-generated content and building an ecosystem of developers.

Sandbox vs. Decentraland

If you try to find what is better Sandbox or Decentraland, then you might struggle with only the basic definitions. Both are metaverse platforms offering immersive 3D experiences. Users can freely create, buy, sell, and trade digital assets. However, both have significant differences, especially in MANA vs SAND.

For starters, MANA has a market cap of $5,736,097,349 versus $4,528,715,461, giving Decentraland an advantage.
The MANA vs SAND pricing comparison is also noteworthy. A SAND is currently worth $3664, while a MANA is worth $2452.

The value of the native tokens and the market capitalization of the two metaverse platforms are not enough to make a choice. Let us compare Sandbox vs Decentraland based on the following factors.

Workstyle

The way Decentraland and Sandbox work is one of the main comparisons. From a distance, they both appear to work the same way. But there's a lot more to learn about both platforms' workings. Decentraland has 90,601 digital parcels of land.

Individual parcels of virtual real estate or estates with multiple parcels of land are assembled. It also has districts with similar themes and plazas, which are non-tradeable parcels owned by the community. It has three token types: MANA, LAND, and WEAR.

Sandbox has 166,464 plots of virtual land that can be grouped into estates. Estates are owned by one person, while districts are owned by two or more people. The Sandbox metaverse has four token types: SAND, GAMES, LAND, and ASSETS.

Age

The maturity of metaverse projects is also a factor in the debate. Decentraland is clearly the winner in terms of maturity. It was the first solution to create a 3D blockchain metaverse. Decentraland made the first working proof of concept public. However, Sandbox has only made an Alpha version available to the public.

Backing

The MANA vs SAND comparison would also include support for both platforms. Digital Currency Group, FBG Capital, and CoinFund are all supporters of Decentraland. It has also partnered with Polygon, the South Korean government, Cyberpunk, and Samsung.

SoftBank, a Japanese multinational conglomerate focused on investment management, is another major backer. Sandbox has the backing of one of the world's largest investment firms, as well as Slack and Uber.

Compatibility

Wallet compatibility is an important factor in comparing the two metaverse platforms. Decentraland currently has a competitive advantage. How? Both projects' marketplaces accept ERC-20 wallets. However, Decentraland has recently improved by bridging with Walletconnect. So it can let Polygon users join Decentraland.

Scalability

Because Sandbox and Decentraland use the Ethereum blockchain, scalability is an issue. Both platforms' scalability is constrained by volatile tokens and high gas fees. So, scalability issues can hinder large-scale adoption of both metaverse platforms.

Buying Land

Decentraland vs Sandbox comparisons often include virtual real estate. However, the ability to buy virtual land on both platforms defines the user experience and differentiates them. In this case, Sandbox offers better options for users to buy virtual land by combining OpenSea and Sandbox. In fact, Decentraland users can only buy from the MANA marketplace.

Innovation

The rate of development distinguishes Sandbox and Decentraland. Both platforms have been developing rapidly new features. However, Sandbox wins by adopting Polygon NFT layer 2 solutions, which consume almost 100 times less energy than Ethereum.

Collaborations

The platforms' collaborations are the key to determining "which is better Sandbox or Decentraland." Adoption of metaverse platforms like the two in question can be boosted by association with reputable brands. Among the partners are Atari, Cyberpunk, and Polygon. Rather, Sandbox has partnered with well-known brands like OpenSea, CryptoKitties, The Walking Dead, Snoop Dogg, and others.

Platform Adaptivity

Another key feature that distinguishes Sandbox and Decentraland is the ease of use. Sandbox clearly wins in terms of platform access. It allows easy access via social media, email, or a Metamask wallet. However, Decentraland requires a wallet connection.

Prospects

The future development plans also play a big role in defining Sandbox vs Decentraland. Sandbox's future development plans include bringing the platform to mobile devices. This includes consoles like PlayStation and Xbox. By the end of 2023, the platform expects to have around 5000 games.

Decentraland, on the other hand, has no set plan. In fact, the team defines the decisions that appear to have value. They plan to add celebrities, creators, and brands soon, along with NFT ads and drops.

Final Words

The comparison of Decentraland vs Sandbox provides a balanced view of both platforms. You can see how difficult it is to determine which decentralized metaverse is better now. Sandbox is still in Alpha, whereas Decentraland has a working proof of concept.

Sandbox, on the other hand, has better graphics and is backed by some big names. But both have a long way to go in the larger decentralized metaverse.