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Why In The World Is Andreesen Horowitz Investing In Newsletters?… And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

By July 21, 2019No Comments

(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1— Why Andreesen Horowitz is investing in a newsletter publishing platform.

Substack, a newsletter publishing platform, recently raised $15.3 million in Series A funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz, proving that venture capitalists continue to hold an appetite for email. Using Substack, writers can launch a paid or free subscription newsletter with no upfront fees. Substack makes money by taking a 10% cut of subscription revenue.  Currently Substack has 50,000 paying subscribers across their entire network. (Source: Fortune)

Why this is important for your business:

So why is a well-known VC firm made up of really smart people doing this? It’s because email is still king and people do read newsletters. This should give you confidence that if your business invests in email newsletters and your campaigns are done correctly you too can reap some rewards. And maybe Substack could be a resource.

2 — Comcast taps facial recognition, interactive sports tech for latest startup program.

Comcast NBCUniversal has picked 11 new media and entertainment startups, which include facial recognition and interactive sports tech companies, for its second LIFT Labs Accelerator. During the 13-week program, the startups will work in Philadelphia at Comcast’s headquarters. The companies will work directly with representatives from Comcast divisions, providing them with support and access to Comcast NBC Universal leadership. (Source: Fierce Video)

Why this is important for your business:

The idea behind the program is to help the startups push boundaries in order to produce more competitive and successful businesses, all while learning from some of the most established new entrepreneurs in the technology space. You probably missed the boat this round, but if you think there’s an opportunity you should definitely reach out to the people behind this accelerator. And if you’re not in this type of tech space, there are plenty of other big companies doing the same.

3 — LogMeIn releases Grasshopper Connect for small business.

LogMeIn, Inc. announced this week the release of Grasshopper Connect, a new Unified Communications product for small businesses that brings together all forms of business communication into one, easy-to-use inbox. The application enables small businesses to create a professional identity through a single business phone number from their existing mobile device. (Source: Globe Newswire)

Why this is important for your business:

The unified experience will allow you to focus on work without sifting through multiple communication threads and channels. Some of Grasshopper Connect’s top features include: unified messaging, business contacts, e-mail integration, and a timeline view. If you’re a Grasshopper or LogMeIn customer this type of integration could significantly improve your internal communications and productivity.

4 — The House Passes SBA and small business cyber bills.

On July 15th, The House approved two bills that aim to bolster Small Business Administration (SBA) cybersecurity and assist small businesses combat cyberattacks. The first of the two bills would require the SBA to report to Congress each year with an assessment of its IT, if any SBA equipment was manufactured in China, and information of all cyber threats and incidents that the SBA encountered since the previous report. The Small Business Development Center Cyber Training Act would require small business development center counselors to become certified in cybersecurity in an effort to help small businesses lessen and respond to cyber attacks. The two bills also have companion bills awaiting votes in the Senate. (Source: MeriTalk)

Why this is important for your business:

I’m not thrilled and here’s why.

5 — Built In raises $22 million to connect job seekers with employers.

Built In, a startup helping connect employers with talent pools in cities throughout the U.S., announced this week that it closed a $22 million series C funding round that will aid in the expansion of product development. The company operates geographically targeted web hubs for Austin, Boston, Chicago, Colorado, Los Angeles, New York City, and Seattle, and serve over 1,800 companies and a million registered monthly users combined. Built In hosts recruitment events on behalf of clients searching for qualified candidates and creates custom editorial and video content. Currently, there are 100 people employed by Built In, and the startup plans to double the size of its team over the next year. (Source: Venture Beat)

Why this is important for your business:

Would-be employees can search for jobs, prospective employers, and upcoming events on the city-specific portals. Job-searchers can also compare salaries of jobs, create alerts for postings, and get important information on the companies they are interested in. If – like so many others – you’re looking for skilled people, Built In could be a resource.

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