Investing in tech startups is a great way to make money. You can invest in a tech startup through a VC firm. But there are more than a few things to consider before you invest your hard-earned money. Here are some tips that can help you get started.
One of the most successful and well-established carpooling platforms in Europe is BlaBlaCar. It started 15 years ago. The company is still a strong revenue generator.
In August 2013, BlaBlaCar announced a $100 million mega-round, led by Insight Venture Partners with a significant syndicate of business angels. The new round values the company at more than $1 billion.
Insight also led a $40 million series B round for the company. Instructure, a mobility startup, raised a similarly-sized round earlier this year.
In addition to its core business of city-to-city carpooling, BlaBlaCar has launched several new services over the past two years. These include an online bus ticketing platform with Busfor and a European e-scooter service called Voi.
Despite its success, the company still faces some key performance indicators in Europe. As a result, it is looking to make some changes. Specifically, it wants to build a multimodal app that can take users from A to B, and then find the best way to get to the next stop. It also wants to optimize its ride-sharing for long-distance trips.
BlaBlaCar has also been experimenting with scooter sharing. This is in addition to its ongoing efforts to expand into the US. A new product, BlaBlaRide, could be the solution to the last mile problem.
Investing in tech startups
Insight Partners, a New York based private equity firm, has closed the largest fundraise in history. The new 61m series is estimated to be worth $7 billion when it opens in November. Considering the current state of the economy, the VC money will be spent in a targeted fashion.
The main purpose of this fund is to help scale-ups and startups. Insight’s portfolio includes Shopify, Twitter and Octopus Deploy, among others. The company also has a hefty list of existing investors. Some of these include DFJ Gotham Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Nikesh Arora. However, the most important part of this fund is its investment in Thunes, a global startup specializing in real estate listings management.
Thunes has expanded its team from 70 to 160 people in the past half year. It also has hired engineers in the United Kingdom and China. Now, it plans to expand to North America and Europe with the help of Insight Capital. The new fund will also support the expansion of its engineering and sales teams. Insight will help Thunes decide what services to offer its customers.
The fund also snagged two new funds from other traditional venture investors. 645 Ventures has secured $347 million in funding commitments since it acquired Efficient Capital Labs in late 2015. This round is the company’s second. The firm has also invested in other startups including RentSpree and mmhmm.
Investing in VC firms
There’s no question that this year has been one of the most exciting in the tech industry. Between a record number of high-profile startups raising millions of dollars, and Insight Partners’ record-breaking fundraise of $20 billion, there’s no shortage of action. Here’s a quick look at some of the highlights.
The first on our list is ClassPass, a platform for taking fitness classes. The app lets users take a variety of classes at boutique fitness studios for a low monthly fee. Its popularity has grown to the point that its valuation is $400 million.
Another is Andela, which aims to train students to find jobs at major companies. It focuses on African companies and also places its students in internships at startups. It has raised $10 million in a series A round and recently landed funding from Thomvest Ventures and Victory Park Capital.
Andela plans to build a new model for staffing. The startup finds the best students in Africa, and then places them in positions at other companies. It also wants to encourage positive social change through its journalism, which is backed by the likes of Gary Vaynerchuck, Evan Beard, and Kendall Dabaghi.
The next startup is Troops, a mobile-software company that gives professionals an artificial intelligence-powered assistant. Its iOS app launched in December 2013, and it added the ability to send documents securely in August.