Discover more from Accelerated
🚀 What app averages 30 opens per day?
Plus, retail investors can now get access to IPO allocations!
Crunchbase has crunched the numbers on state-by-state VC funding in 2020! The top three (California, Boston, and New York) continue to dominate, attracting 73% of venture dollars last year. Texas comes in at #4, and Washington rounds out the top 5.
However, other regions are starting to see significant inflows - 14 states saw $1.5B+ in venture funding in 2020, up from 10 in 2019 and just 6 in 2016.
Michigan saw the most significant growth, with an 885% increase in $ invested between 2016 and 2020. While the state has historically been known for life sciences startups, sneaker marketplace StockX (valued at $3.8B in April) and enterprise software company Duo Security (acquired for $2.4B in 2018) are two recent standouts.
📉 Crypto market crashes. It was a bumpy week in crypto, with an estimated $1 trillion crash that some called “Bitcoin’s Black Wednesday.” Elon Musk’s tweets last week were a contributing factor, though prices rose on Friday after he said that “on balance,” he supports crypto. The Chinese government also announced a harder line on crypto, starting with tightening restrictions on financial institutions that provide crypto services. China reportedly accounts for 75% of bitcoin mining.
📷 Snap revives Spectacles. Snap’s annual Partner Summit showed that the app continues to dominate among Gen Z. The company reached 500M MAUs, with 75% of 13-34 year-olds using the app - these users open Snapchat an average of 30x per day! Among a raft of new announcements, Snap is giving its smart glasses, Spectacles, another try. The fourth generation of Spectacles offer an immersive AR experience, but will only be available to a small group of AR effects creators to start with.
⌨️ Google I/O developer updates. Google held its own conference this week, focused on the company’s developer ecosystem. The highlights? Android is getting a new look (and a new privacy dashboard) with Android 12, which rolled out in beta this week. For WebMD frequent flyers (🙋♀️), the company is also launching an AI-powered web tool for users to upload pictures of dermatological conditions & get a suggested diagnosis. Check out The Verge’s recap of all the notable announcements here.
🤑 Robinhood democratizes IPO allocations. Rumors emerged in March that Robinhood was building a product for retail investors to get access to IPOs before public trading (a privilege typically reserved for institutional investors and HNWIs). The company confirmed it this week, announcing IPO Access, which will roll out in the next few weeks. The first IPO Access company is FIGS, a medical apparel startup that is expected to debut in late May - check out our thoughts on the company here.
👋 ByteDance announces succession. ByteDance’s co-founder/CEO, Zhang Yiming, will pass the reins to co-founder Liang Rubo by the end of 2021. ByteDance is best known as TikTok’s parent company, but also owns news app Toutiao (260M MAUs). Zhang will focus on longer-term initiatives, including “strategy, corporate culture, and social responsibility.” Zhang is one of several major Chinese tech leaders to step down this year, following Ant Group’s Simon Hu and Pinduoduo’s Colin Huang.
This week brought the most surprising collab we’ve seen in a while - dating apps and the U.S. government! The White House’s COVID-19 Response Team announced that Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, and others would offer perks (such as a free super like, or boost) for users that confirm they are vaccinated.
Users are already reporting their vaccination status on dating apps for clout - OkCupid said users with “vaccinated” on their profile get 15% more matches. Some apps will reportedly also add a filter to see only other vaccinated users, as well as info to help users find nearby vaccination sites.
what we’re following 👀
Are you a VC? We’re matching investors with Stanford GSB startups - sign up here.
After a four year hiatus, Twitter is finally re-opening its process to get verified.
Forerunner’s Brian O’Malley shares advice on breaking into VC.
A deep dive on the market for trading fractional shares of sneakers.
Oatly went public this week and is now trading at a $13B market cap.
Tech Twitter was abuzz after Shein overtook Amazon as the most downloaded shopping app in the U.S. If you’ve spent time on TikTok or follow any teen girls on Instagram, you’ve probably heard of Shein. If you haven’t (or even if you have!), you should read this deep dive from Packy McCormick and Matthew Brennan.
Shein is a China-based retailer that sells fast fashion at incredibly affordable prices. Think H&M, but even less expensive and more trendy. Shopping at Shein has always been somewhat of an adventure, as you never quite know when your packages will arrive and what you’re going to get. However, the company’s core audience (primarily young women) keep coming back - Shein consistently churns out inexpensive dupes of trending items, and the prices are unbeatable.
TikTok has been a boon for Shein, thanks to shopping hauls and OOTD videos. Videos tagged #Shein have 8.1B views, compared to 3.2B for Zara and 1.5B for #BrandyMelville. One of the most popular TikTok trends involves a friend group listing where their outfits are from (see above). It’s almost impossible to get through one of these videos without hearing a Shein shoutout, often alongside luxury brands.
We’ve started to see more backlash against Shein recently, with TikTok users speaking out about the “toxic” culture of fast fashion and its impact on the environment. Among Gen Zers, it’s become increasingly popular to shop at thrift stores for reasons beyond affordability (e.g. sustainability, uniqueness). Gen Z’s arguably biggest star of the moment, Olivia Rodrigo, frequently mentions her love of thrifting and recycling clothes among friends - her merch page emphasizes the low carbon footprint of items.
As you’d expect on the Internet, there’s been backlash against the backlash. Some teens argue that clothing from more sustainable brands is out of their price range, and that they don’t have the time to thrift. We’re bullish on companies that make ethical consumption more accessible - if you see anything interesting here, tweet us!
🚨 If you’re a female founder in an MBA program, apply to Galvanizer! Galvanizer is a Stanford-founded virtual community for entrepreneurs, and is running a seven-week program this summer. Read more about Galvanizer here, and apply here.
Bundle - Full Stack Engineer (Remote, SF)
First Round Capital - Talent Analyst (Remote, SF)
Coinbase - Biz Ops Associate (Remote, SF)
Divvy Homes - Biz Ops (SF)
NerdWallet - Growth Analyst (SF)
Carta - Strategic Finance Associate (SF)
a16z - Bio & Healthcare Deal Analyst (SF)*
B Capital Group - Pre-MBA Associate (LA)
SIMULATE - Expansion Strategist (NYC)
Daylight - Associate Product Manager (NYC)
Datadog - Financial Analyst (NYC)
Good Dog - Junior Graphic Designer (NYC)
Goldman Sachs - Digital Assets Associate (NYC)*
*Requires 3+ years of experience.
Drift - Sales Dev Intern (Remote)
SoFi - Product Marketing Manager Intern (SF)
Memebox - Social Media Marketing Intern (SF)
Alchemy - Go-to-Market Intern (SF)
Ironclad - CX Associate Intern (SF)
FaZe Clan - Business Strategy Intern (LA)
Wheel - MBA Biz Ops Intern (Austin)
BCG Digital Ventures - MBA Venture Architect Intern (NYC)
Talkspace - MBA Corporate Strategy Intern (NYC)
M13 - Investment Relations Intern (NYC)
Monday.com - Social Impact Coordinator Intern (NYC)
WTHN - Social Media and Marketing Intern (NYC)
puppy of the week 🐶
Meet Remington, a 2.5-year-old English Springer Spaniel who lives in Manhattan.
He enjoys going swimming, going on field trips in NYC and beyond, and scooping up crumbs whenever he can.
Follow him on Instagram @springyremi!
Hi! 👋 We’re Justine and Olivia Moore, identical twins and consumer investors. Thanks for reading Accelerated. We’d love your feedback - feel free to tweet us @venturetwins or email us at email@example.com.