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The latest news on Startups from Business Insider

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    parking lot

    Parkopedia, a London tech firm that helps people find parking spaces, immediately caught the eye of several investors last year after it signed a potentially-lucrative deal with Apple.

    Eugene Tsyrklevich, the CEO and founder and 10-year-old Parkopedia, told Business Insider during an interview at his company's office near London Bridge that several larger firms have also tried to buy Parkopedia.

    "The more successful you become, the less money you need, and the more opportunities you have," he said.

    Tsyrklevich refused to disclose Parkopedia's revenue numbers or how much the deal with Apple was worth but he did say his company has grown "50-100% year-on-year for a number of years," adding that he now employs 60 people worldwide.

    "We've had VCs and others reach out to us," Tsyrklevich explained, adding that the investors apparently say: "'Hey, I saw your new deal with Apple, let's talk.'"

    Parkopedia receives something like half a billion data points every single day on movements of drivers around the cities around the globe, according to Tsyrklevich. "We crunch that in the cloud on AWS [Amazon Web Services] to figure out what does it mean for parking availability. Then you as a driver, you say this is where I’m going, and we say there is a space or there is not a space."

    Last July, Parkopedia provided Apple with access to its database of more than 40 million parking services worldwide. Apple has embedded the data in the database into its Apple Maps platform, which is used by millions of people.

    "Apple licenses our data globally," explained Tsyrklevich. "We have a service that works in 6,000 cities and 75 countries around the world. When you search for parking on Apple Maps, you will get back information for parking from Parkopedia. So where it is and how you can pay and height restrictions and so on. So that relationship is relatively new and the first release was just rolling out the basic [features]."

    apple mapsTsyrklevich said that Apple could eventually use Parkopedia's technology to help Apple Maps users to reserve a parking space before they arrive, as opposed to just seeing whether it's free or not.

    "Things can take a bit longer working with a larger corporate," said Tsyrklevich. "So there is no set date as to when it can go live."

    Tsyrklevich added: "Whenever you work with Apple, everything comes down to UX, and if anything needs to change on the UX side then that’s it, that’s going to take a long time.

    "And they are internally as intense about design as they are on the outside. They’re very, very conscious of it. They really think it through. So I don't think there’s a fixed deadline. And the other thing to understand is that they don’t tell us anything anyway. They did not tell us when our own feature was going launch."

    Apple did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The one mistake everyone makes when trying to clear space on their iPhone


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    Lucid Air

    We have driven, reported on, road-tripped, and talked about our fair share of electric and hybrid vehicles at Business Insider. These are exciting times for a technology that was born more than 100 years ago, but only started to gain steam in the last 20 years with the Toyota Prius.

    Electric-vehicle sales in the US jumped by 37% in 2016, according to Forbes. There are now more than 30 battery-powered and plug-in hybrid vehicles on the market in the US right now.

    That growth has spurred a whole new class of EVs from investor-funded startups. Though many of these companies poach engineering and design talent from big-name automakers, the new companies themselves have never mass-produced a car before. It might be a stretch to call it an automotive renaissance, but it looks that way.

    Still, one thing remains the same — it is incredibly difficult to start a car company. Tesla CEO Elon Musk probably knows this better than anyone. Tesla is the first American automaker to go public since Ford Motor Company in 1956, but it took Tesla and its stakeholders nearly two decades and many hundreds of millions of dollars to get there.

    Lucid Air

    And as we have learned recently from the embattled electric-car startup, Faraday Future, the business of designing and building cars can easily lose traction if just enough things go wrong.

    Nevertheless, a handful of electric-car startups in California are undeterred, and they are vying to bring the next mass-produced luxury electric vehicle to market.

    Lucid Motors is one of those companies. Founded in 2007 under its former name, Atieva, the Menlo Park-based company began developing its first electric vehicle in 2014.

    The car, called Lucid Air, debuted last year as a 1,000-horsepower electric luxury sedan that Lucid said would rival Tesla's highly successful Model S.

    Lucid has 300 employees and is backed by Venrock — the same venture capital firm that led Apple's Series A round in 1978. Lucid also counts China's Beijing Automotive Industry Holding and Japan's Mitsui as investors. Interestingly, Jia Yueting, Faraday Future's only publicly known backer, is also an investor in Lucid.

    A company spokesman told Business Insider Lucid has raised several hundred million dollars to date. The spokesman declined to give specific dollar figures. Lucid has a Series D round in the works.

    The Lucid Air will be the first vehicle out of the company's stable when it goes into production in early 2019, the company said. Lucid invited Business Insider to check out a nearly finished representation of the car at its headquarters in Menlo Park. Here's how it went.

    SEE ALSO: How Tesla emerged from the brink of bankruptcy to become America's coolest car company

    DON'T MISS: 9 crazy concept cars already unveiled in 2017

    The Lucid Air is almost surreal when seen outside in natural light. It's not a complete stretch to say it looks like a road-bound spacecraft.



    Everything from the windshield forward evokes a nearly seamless appearance. It has a quietly commanding presence.



    Quiet because it's electric, of course. The Air will have either a 100 kWh battery capable of about 315 miles of range, or an optional 130 kWh battery that could offer 400 miles of range on a full charge.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    selfie Sudan Africa iPhone

    Apple's latest reported acquisition could allow you to unlock your iPhone with a selfie.

    According to Hebrew-language site Calcalist, the Californian technology company has acquired RealFace — an Israeli startup that builds facial recognition technology.

    RealFace's website is not currently online, but videos show off its product in action. It builds tech that aims to replace passwords or logins using facial recognition — letting you unlock your phone or an app with nothing but your face.

    Apple reportedly paid "several million dollars" for the company. Apple did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

    The Times of Israel reports that RealFace had "up to" 10 employees, and had previously raised $1 million (£800,000) in venture capital funding. It launched in 2014.

    This isn't the first time Apple has indicated interest in companies that tie together artificial intelligence and facial recognition tech. In January 2016, the news broke that it had acquired Emotient, a company that builds tech that scans people's faces to read their emotions.

    Apple has also explored using selfies and facial recognition to unlock your iPhone before. Back in 2015, it was granted a patent for "locking and unlocking a mobile device using facial recognition"— but the feature has yet to make its way into a finished Apple product. rumours swirling that the company is planning to introduce "some form of facial/gesture recognition" in the next iPhone.

    Here's a video showing off RealFace's tech in action:

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: People are boycotting Budweiser because of this immigration-themed Super Bowl ad


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    startup photo pexels

    More than 50% of people polled in a survey of 1,500 people in the UK think they'd be better off launching a business in a different country, according to a study published on Tuesday.

    The UK Entrepreneurship Barometer study, carried out by venture capital firm Idinvest, found that just 44% of respondents consider the UK the best country to launch a startup.

    Other countries that appeal to Brits include Germany, which was ranked as the most desirable country to launch a business after the UK, followed by Sweden, Switzerland, and France.

    German politicians have been trying to tempt UK startups to cities like Berlin following the Brexit vote on June 23 and several companies have already left London's Tech City, according to The Financial Times

    "While some future entrepreneurs will be considering their options in light of Brexit, the majority continue to see themselves as future business owners and start-up founders," said Christophe Bavière, CEO and Benoist Grossmann, managing partner at Idinvest Partners.

    Despite concerns around Brexit, 57% of respondents said they were optimistic about the UK's economic performance over the next year.

    The study also found that more than half of Brits are keen to start their own company at some point and that two out of every 10 Brits will be an entrepreneurs of some sort by 2018.

    "These findings clearly demonstrate the strong entrepreneurial drive at the heart of the nation and the belief that the UK continues to provide a supportive social and economic environment to foster this talent — a view that we continue to support," said Bavière.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Apple was supposed to move into its new $5 billion campus in January — here's what it looks like right now


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    Woman Cell Phone Angry

    Next time you tweet about being cold in the office, it's not a stretch that a sweater will be hand-delivered to you shortly thereafter. 

    Social analytics company SocialRank has spent the last few years helping brands and celebrities alike find their most valuable Twitter followers, whether it's ranked by number of followers or by people who engaged the most in their tweets. 

    It's helpful information if you're looking to find people who are already following you on Twitter, but companies want to know more than just who are their existing fans — they want to know people who might be fans of theirs in the future.

    That's why the company is company is expanding into a new service, called "SocialRank Realtime."

    SocialRank cofounder Alex Taub explains it like this: Imagine you're in an airport and stuck after flight delays. Lots of people might tweet angrily at airlines to make it right, but there's opportunities for more than just the airlines tagged in the tweets. A coffee company or souvenir store could offer furious customers a coupon to visit their store in the airport to pass time in the delay. 

    "It’s a little bit of a listening tool with customer service and customer care," Taub said. 

    Brands are already latching onto the idea of being the brand that solves customers' problems in a way that's better than just showing someone an ad. On the SocialRank dashboard, companies and brands have options like automatically dispatching an UberRush or sending a Postmate to the Twitter user's location to solve their problems, whether it's a sweater needed for a chilly office or a cup of coffee for a jet-lagged traveler.

    "Every brand and agency is telling us we want to create these moments," Taub said. 

    Social Rank realtimeClothing brands Juicy Couture and Aeropostale have signed on as some of the first users as RealTime launches on Wednesday. Magic Mike Live Las Vegas will also be using SocialRank to find fans quickly and be able to target them directly, said Brian Schopfel, Head of Digital at Free Association, who is running strategy for the show.

    "Using big data as more than a way to generate statistics is intriguing. Our team is able to hyper target current / potential fans using Social Rank Realtime and create a real relationship with them," Schopfel wrote in an email to Business Insider. "That's very important to us and truly embodies the spirit of the show."

    SEE ALSO: Why this startup built a grocery store filled with fake lobsters and bananas in the middle of its office

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Merriam-Webster can’t stop trolling the Trump administration on Twitter


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    Three buildings in the Canary Wharf financial district of London May 7, 2008. Number one Canada Square, the HSBC building and the Citigroup building.

    • The club had a high-end restaurant with a famous chef
    • It was used by around 200 members 
    • Level39's new CEO said it wasn't needed

    An exclusive £3,000-a-year members club for tech executives in Canary Wharf's tallest tower has been shut down.

    ClubLounge39, situated on the 39th floor of the One Canada Square skyscraper, was opened in 2014 and operated by startup space provider Level39, which is part of the Canary Wharf Group.

    Ben Brabyn, who took over as the head of Level39 a year ago, told Business Insider on Thursday: "My view of the club lounge is this is magnificent but this is not what we need." When Brabyn was asked if it still exists, he said: "No, it doesn't."

    The lounge featured one of the UK's highest restaurants (complete with its own celebrity chef, Tom Sellers), one-off pieces of artwork, and several breakout rooms for those who required an extra degree of privacy. At its peak, it had approximately 200 members including chief technology officers (CTOs) and chief information officers (CIOs) from some of the world's biggest banks, Brabyn said — many of which have their UK headquarters in the East London business district.

    The lounge — opened by Brabyn's predecessor, Eric Van Der Kleij, in July 2014 — was designed to be a premium BA airline lounge-type space where tech execs and investors could do deals with the founders of startups based in Level39's coworking space, which is now home to 200 companies.

    "As we approach our fourth anniversary, we are investing in new facilities and greater capacity, responding to increased demand from our members," said Brabyn. "Space that provides freedom to exchange ideas, experiences, and commercial opportunities is what drives the success of Level39's community and this expansion will consolidate our position as the best place in London to connect with world-class customers, talent, and infrastructure."

    At launch, membership prices for ClubLounge39 were as high as £3,000 a year. However, members who agreed to provide mentoring to Level39 residents received a discount that saw them pay £1,000 a year. Commenting on the reduced membership fee of ClubLounge39 in 2014, Claire Cockerton, former deputy head of Level39, told Techworld: "A thousand quid a year is quite a reasonable price point for an exclusive club lounge. It goes beyond the fine dining to offer you some good business opportunities."

    Ben Brabyn

    A place to talk about 'what if' and 'blue sky' scenarios

    Speaking at the time of the launch, David Murray-Hundley, one of ClubLounge39's first members and a cofounder of Commerce One, which reached a market value of $22 billion (£18 billion), said: "I signed up for ClubLounge39 as the technology world has never really had a members club. There isn’t a place where you can get on with some serious work and not just hang out and talk about 'what if' and 'blue sky' scenarios all day.

    "For someone who lives outside of London, ClubLounge39 is a good place to motivate myself in an otherwise chaotic city. I’ve not yet held a meeting in the Club where my guests have not been impressed by the view, food, wine and staff. When the environment is combined with a community of members who are actually getting results, it makes for a pretty special set up."

    Level39 dropped the membership prices of ClubLounge39 on multiple occasions (they were £300 when Brabyn took over last February) before it was eventually shut in December 2016. One ClubLounge39 member, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Business Insider on Thursday that they have never paid for their membership but said that several members paid £2,000.

    Eric Van Der KleijMembership prices at Level39 vary, but they're on the upper spectrum of startup space fees, with prices going from £325 a month for a hot desk to £650 a month per desk in a fixed office. One startup recently left Level39 because they were unhappy paying over £7,000 a month for a 10-man office, a source with knowledge of Level39 told Business Insider.

    Brabyn said that when he took over, he asked "very, very, senior decision makers" from large technology firms how the ClubLounge39 space should be used. "People said 'this is great, this is lovely'. But we don't need this. This doesn't enable us to do something that we couldn’t do at higher volumes. Our job is to drive high quality encounters at maximum velocity."

    ClubLounge39 is being transformed 

    ClubLounge39 is in the process of being transformed into a mixed use space. When construction work finishes in two weeks, it will be used to support events that take place in Level39's main gathering space.

    "The ClubLounge space can be used to support our events," said Brabyn. "It can be used as overflow space for the big refectory area and it can also be used for hot desking."

    After learning of the news, Van Der Kleij said: "The Club Lounge was a special thing and it's wonderful recalling the deals that were struck there and I am sure there will be many more in the new space."

    At the time of the closure, Level39 sent an email to ClubLounge39 members with the subject line "The New Look ClubLounge39."ClubLounge39 email

    One ClubLounge39 member told Business Insider: "They said they were 'revamping it' but I get the feeling that's not the case."

    They added: "I have never paid for membership but I know a lot of people did and I cannot imagine they are massively happy. I probably used it once a month. Other people used it daily. To be honest I think the original concept was good that Eric wanted but it never came through. To be honest that's sort of true of L39 in general.

    "To be honest the real issue here is what Eric and some others that seemed to use L39 very well in terms of 'own projects' and political movements. I think its the reason Eric was suddenly gone and so were a few of the others."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Everything we know about the next iPhone — including a possible $1,000 price tag


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    Bryan Goldberg, Bustle Founder

    Bryan Goldberg, 33, is the founder of Bustle, a digital-media startup with 55 million monthly readers that covers everything from politics to "The Bachelor." Its latest valuation puts it on par with Goldberg's last startup, Bleacher Report, which sold for about $200 million to Turner Broadcasting.

    In his 20s, Goldberg cofounded Bleacher Report, a sports website, with three middle-school friends. After the sale to Turner, Goldberg did what successful 20-somethings should do to celebrate: He and his cofounders went to party in Las Vegas, and they paid for each of their 160 employees to join them.

    "As we know, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas," Goldberg told Business Insider on the podcast "Success! How I Did It.""But I would say that on a scale of 1 to 10 — like, OMFG — it's probably a 10. I don’t know what an 11 would look like. I'm not going into it, except to say we all came back alive."

    Though Goldberg wouldn't reveal what happened in Vegas, he did share the tips and tricks he’s used to become a successful businessman.

    The podcast explores:

    • How four middle-school friends came up with a startup idea over beers.
    • How a $200 million startup acquisition actually goes down.
    • An "OMFG" party in Las Vegas after the acquisition, in which Bleacher Report's founders paid out of pocket for all 160 employees to join them.
    • How playing "Magic the Gathering" made Goldberg a good media CEO.
    • What to expect in media over the next few years — lots of acquisitions and billion-dollar exits.
    • Why Bryan tortures friends with videos of him weightlifting Facebook.

    The "Success! How I Did It" podcast interviews inspiring people about the career paths that took them to the top of their industries. You can listen to the episode with Bryan Goldberg below and subscribe to the podcast on Acast or iTunes.

    You can also check out another episode of "Success! How I Did It": "Tinder cofounder on what it's really like to build a $3 billion business in your 20s."

    The following podcast and transcript of the interview have been edited for clarity and length.

    Alyson Shontell: Bryan, you've been a founder for a decade now.

    Bryan Goldberg: Yes, over a decade, which is a long time. In the case of digital media specifically, it's really for most of digital media's existence, so I can say this one thing I was early in, and it has changed a lot and it's continuing to change even more.

    As long as I'm in the game here, there's more to learn and more to build and more to do.

    Shontell: For people who don't know, what is Bustle and where is it now?

    Goldberg: Bustle is not only the largest media property in the United States aimed at young women, it's also a platform for young women. In January, we had 55 million monthly unique visitors coming to read our content in news and entertainment, lifestyle, fashion, and beauty.

    Shontell: Is that traffic partly from the Trump bump or was it "The Bachelor" bump?

    Goldberg: Both. In January, we had many millions of people coming to the site for both of those topics. I'd say those were the two biggest draws. That dichotomy between really smart, insightful content about news and politics as well as some of the best "Bachelor" coverage you're ever going to find, is symbolic of who we are, as a site that is really proud of our coverage of what in the past has been viewed as very different types of topics that appeal to, often, the same young woman.

    How 4 middle-school friends started a company over beers

    bleacher report foundersShontell: I want to get into all of that, and how the media industry has changed in your decade since you joined it. But first, let's go back to 2007, to those early days when you and your buddies from middle school decided to start a company. You'd never founded anything before, right?

    Goldberg: Yep, and I'm going to take it back even further, to 2005, because we launched Bleacher in earnest in 2007, but the story begins in 2005, right when we graduated from college.

    So, 2005: My cofounders and I had just graduated from college and we were all very above average. None of us were remarkable. None of us had gone to Ivy League schools. We had all applied to Ivy League schools; we did not get in.

    None of us were remarkable. None of us had gone to Ivy League schools. We had all applied to Ivy League schools; we did not get in.

    Back in 2005, if you wanted to go into business, broadly speaking, the game plan was simple. Go to a good college, and then you have two choices: investment banking, with Goldman Sachs being where you wanted to be, or Lehman Brothers, or management consulting, in which Mackenzie or Bain or BCG was the dream.

    I started going down the path of management consulting. The plan was to get an MBA, and for most people like me or my cofounders, the first decade of your career — banking, consulting, business school, then back into banking and consulting — was really prescribed.

    Shortly after college, we had this idea to start a "dot-com." That's what we said in those days. I wanted to launch a website, a dot-com, around sports. People thought this was so stupid. They basically said this was yesterday's dream. "This is so nostalgic of you to go think you can start a website in the year 2005." The dot-com disaster was four or five years gone and banking was so hot.

    These same people seven years later, by the way, who graduated from Harvard Business School, were quitting their jobs at Goldman to go start a startup. By 2012, it wasn't too late to start a company but a lot more crowded.

    Those few years after 9/11, and before Lehman Brothers collapsed, really were this dead period. There were no venture-capital firms throwing out money.

    dave nemetz bleacher report inverse

    Shontell: That was the year after Facebook launched, so there was some stuff brewing. But you're right, it was kind of dead.

    Goldberg: You know what's funny is, if you were to say 2005, 2006, what was the company that got people excited? You think it's Facebook and you think about the Google IPO. The one that actually got people excited was Digg.

    In 2006, there was this picture of Kevin Rose on the cover of Business Week. What's memorable is Kevin Rose on the cover giving a thumbs-up and how this kid made $60 million in 18 months.

    Really, for people starting companies in that time period, that was sort of the "Oh, my God." We knew that Facebook was going to be huge. We knew that was once in a decade. Lightning in a bottle.

    We knew Google was the same thing a decade earlier, but the thing that was just like, "Hey, you can go do this"— regular guys can go launch a cool Web 2.0 idea — was definitely Digg, around 2005, 2006.

    That's what really made us say to ourselves, "Oh, my God, we have this great idea, let's go get this off the ground. We have this business plan and this dream."

    Kevin Rose BusinessweekShontell: I love that you had a business plan. That feels like a rookie Silicon Valley startup move.

    Goldberg: It was sketched based on the business plans I had learned about. I had taken competitive strategy in college, a sort of pre-MBA course for what was supposed to be a very pre-MBA life. We had a four- or five-page business plan with competitive advantage and differentiation.

    I give all the credit in the world to those who pivot, but Bleacher Report's game plan ... if you found that business plan from 2005, 2006, which we cannot find — my mom might have it, so I'll have to ask. But if you ever found it, you would look at Bleacher Report today in 2017 and say, "You know what? It's not identical but it's pretty damn close." The same thing for Bustle.

    Our founding story is a lot like everyone else's. A group of guys got together with this cool idea. We wanted to go do it. We talked about it over beers, and 99.99% of the time people sober up the next day, forget about it, and then years later at a birthday or bachelor party they go, "Hey, remember that idea we had that we never did?" That was Bleacher Report, except we actually did it.

    We talked about it over beers, and 99.99% of the time people sober up the next day, forget about it, and then years later go, 'Hey, remember that idea we had that we never did?' That was Bleacher Report, except we actually did it.

    Shontell: You're a first-time founder. All of you stumble into media after this drinks meeting that you then sober up and decide to do. How are you welcomed into the startup community? You didn't go to Ivies, you have no experience, and VC's weren't really investing.

    Goldberg: Back in San Francisco around 2007, 2008, it was a pretty small community. People remember it very romantically — "Oh, there weren't a lot of people, but every idea had a chance. You could be having drinks with the Airbnb guys and drinks with the Twitter guys." Some of that was true, but we weren't hanging out with them.

    Between 2007 and 2011, you couldn't go raise money as a media company because no media company had ever been sold for anything valuable.

    You had to say, "This is about tech." You always have to begin every VC pitch by saying, "Oh, we're not a media company. This isn't about advertising. This is about technology." Which was complete bulls---. But you know what? It got the job done, and you have to live one day at a time.

    Technology is important to media. It still is, but it wasn't until about 2010 that we looked in the mirror and said, "Hey, wait a minute. This is a media company. We are a media company."

    Then, when Huffington Post was purchased for hundreds of millions of dollars, we got to be a lot more out about it and say, "Hey, we are a media company. We're building this."

    Shontell: You were four cofounders. How did you all split up the business, how did you start growing it, and when did you know that you had something on your hands?

    Goldberg: It took years until we all had a "role." We were all critical.

    People say to me, "Which cofounder was the most important?" I say to them: "Asking me which cofounder was the most important is as pointless as asking me, 'Would you rather live without a heart or lungs?'" You're dead either way. Without my cofounders, this wouldn't have happened.

    We're all similar guys. We all did different things in the beginning. I was the head of tech. I got the website up. I managed the engineers, which, in hindsight, is preposterous, because I can't write a line of code. But I was the geekiest. I was, in a very superficial way, the geekiest.

    Dave Finocchio

    Shontell: Did you have a "Star Wars" poster and they were like, "You are the geekiest"?

    Goldberg: Exactly. It was literally like that. I played video games growing up. I was the first one to get an iPod and the first one to get even a pre-iPod MP3 player, so I was the geekiest. We eventually hired a real CTO, but I, for the first year and a half, got the website up and did so competently.

    Ultimately, after a couple of years of doing the technology stuff, I started focusing on advertising. Again, we talk about "Why was I the one who became the advertising cofounder?"

    Part of it was, I was the single one for a lot of that time, in 2010, 2011, 2012, so I could fly to New York every other weekend and babysit our very smart, very successful 20-something-year-old advertising team. Then we hired a big-name head of sales. I changed hats a lot, probably more than the other guys.

    We all did different things throughout the history of the company, and I think that's one of the reasons why we've all been able to continue doing big things in media — we all saw all the parts. Media companies are complicated. They are among the most complex companies you can run.

    Media companies are complicated. They are among the most complex companies you can run.

    You've got a creative side, the sales side, and the technology piece, so you're thinking with all three sections of your brain.

    Shontell: You got a lot of criticism as you were growing. People thought it was aggregation. They thought you had contributors you weren't paying well. So this was pretty new stuff, especially in sports. How did you deal with all the negativity, and how did you decide what to listen to and what not to?

    Goldberg: First of all, we have very thick skin. You cannot be in media without having incredibly thick skin. That's just the rule. Don't go into banking if you can't work a lot of hours, don't go into medicine if you can't stand the sight of blood, and do not go into media if you do not have very thick skin.

    Don't go into banking if you can't work a lot of hours, don't go into medicine if you can't stand the sight of blood, and do not go into media if you do not have very thick skin.

    The fact that people found us in a distributed way — through message boards and search — versus going to www.bleacherreport.com, really irked the establishment.

    The term "distributed content" had not yet existed. I give BuzzFeed a lot of credit for putting terminology to some of these concepts, but Bleacher Report was doing it really early on and we got attacked relentlessly for it.

    If you were to look at the game plan of what is digital media in the year 2017, no one gets more credit than us for advancing that game plan, making that game plan work. We're proud of it, but the attacks were relentless and in hindsight undeserved. I guess you can look back, and there's never such a thing as I told you so, but we feel good about it.

    How Turner bought Bleacher Report for $200 million

    Shontell: Let's talk about that "I told you so" moment. You ended up getting acquired for a very hefty sum, about $200 million. You were the second-largest media acquisition after Huffington Post at the time. How does an acquisition like that come about?

    Goldberg: I want to make a point here because I think it's really salient now for young founders. Midway through our story, in late 2010, we hired a grown-up CEO, which really was the model until Mark Zuckerberg was such a genius.

    His name was Brian Grey. He had run Yahoo Sports and Fox Sports and he lived in San Francisco, which was unusual for a media person. He became available and we said, "Hey, we need this guy to be our CEO because he's a grown-up" and our investors had been pressuring us. We didn't have a CEO. We had run it as a three-headed monster for years and years. We were in our mid-20s and people were starting to say to us, "Hey, this thing's really big. You've got 70 employees. You're making real money. You're selling to top brands. You guys should have a real grown-up CEO."

    We were very mature about that. The reason I want to highlight this is because so many young founders feel it is just unthinkable. "How dare you make us hire a boss!"

    Shontell: I think they see that Mark Zuckerberg never did that and he was fine.

    Goldberg: And he's the model now, but guess what? Prior to that the model was Eric Schmidt and Google — Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and then the grown-up [Schmidt] who came in. Larry and Sergey were Ph.D.s from Stanford, they were in their 30s, and they still hired a grown-up CEO. They made billions of dollars and had nothing to regret.

    Frankly, I think Mark Zuckerberg is the exception. Some of these companies should have grown-up CEOs. I think hiring one did help us both grow, and it helped us sell the company, because would a big corporation in New York, like Time Warner, have bought Bleacher Report from three guys in their 20s? Maybe, probably, but certainly not for sure. Brian Grey did make the company better. He brought a lot of experience, and was central to negotiating.

    Shontell: But how did Turner find you guys? What was the first conversation? Wasn't it an eight-month process?

    Goldberg: These negotiations take a long time and we had an investment banker, RBC Capital, on the deal.

    Shontell: Were you trying to sell yourselves?

    Goldberg: They had leaned in. We tried to run a process of getting others interested. There was interest, but it was very clear there was one buyer who frickin' wanted to own this thing. The banks did what they did. They got us in conversations with — I'm not going say who — but other big sports-media companies.

    Shontell: Enough time has passed — you can say!

    Goldberg: I'm not going to say anything definitive. Did ESPN kick the tires? Did CBS, NBC kick the tires? There was tire-kicking going on. Maybe now they're kicking themselves because they should have done the deal, though I don't think Disney has much to lose sleep over these days. They're doing terrific.

    People kicked it around, but this was a case where there was one buyer who needed us. It was about five months of banter until we could get to a price.

    We let the bankers and Brian Grey handle all of the negotiation on price. And look, you should have bankers on any M&A deal. People say don't. You absolutely should have a banker. It's not the first time they've negotiated.

    I know that's the sexy part. For me, the sexy part was saying, "OK, this thing is going to sell in two or three months. This deal is probably going to happen. It makes sense. When it's done, I'm going to have money. I'm going to be 30 years old and I need to figure out what I'm doing with the rest of my life." Which is actually a scary position to be in.

    Making a little bit of money doesn't mean that the next 60 years of your life are just sitting on a beach. That's not who I am, so I had to figure out, what the hell's my game plan here?

    Making a little bit of money doesn't mean that the next 60 years of your life are just sitting on a beach. That's not who I am, so I had to figure out, what the hell's my game plan here?

    What do I do next, being 30 years old, having some money, and knowing that I'm not going to be hanging around Bleacher Report for the next 50 years?

    Shontell: Why didn't you want to hang around?

    Goldberg: I had one more thing left to do. I think you know when you have one more startup left in you. Bleacher Report was an amazing experience. The cofounder experience was critical. It wouldn't have happened without them.

    But I wanted to go do my own show, and I had one market I wanted to try out. I wanted to test what I could do on my own. I think that's very natural after seven years with a band. You want to go solo.

    I didn't want to go start five more media companies. I'd been saying pretty openly that I don't think I'm going to start another media company after this.

    Las Vegas

    Celebrating in 'OMFG' Vegas style

    Shontell: Before we go into that, you all sold the company, and you and your cofounders went to Vegas. Tell me about the trip.

    Goldberg: Under no circumstances will I talk about the Vegas trip.

    Shontell: Oh, come on! You were young and dumb then. It doesn't matter.

    Goldberg: I cannot believe we did that.

    Shontell: Why? That's what everyone should do when they sell, right?

    Goldberg: No, it's not what you should do!

    Shontell: Who all went to Vegas?

    Goldberg: The whole company.

    Shontell: The entire company, all of Bleacher Report?

    Goldberg: The entire company.

    Shontell: Did you pay for them all?

    Goldberg: We did. The founders paid for it. We had sold the company. We had made money, and we said, "Let's each chip in like X-thousand dollars and fly the company to Vegas."

    Shontell: How many people was it at that point?

    Goldberg: At that point it was like 160 people, 170 people. The CEO, Brian Grey, very wisely didn't go. I think one of the fun things about having a CEO when you're in your 20s running a company is he can be the grown-up and he can look the other way. He was like, "I'm not going anywhere near this. You pay for it out of pocket. You do it on the weekend. This is not a Bleacher Report event."

    It was so early after the sale that I think Turner hadn't really put their arms around us, so we had this very narrow window for the founders to pay out of pocket to do a noncompany event on the weekend to go to Vegas.

    As we know, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but I would say that on a scale of 1 to 10 — like, OMFG — it's probably a 10. I don't know what an 11 would look like. I'm not going into it, except to say we all came back alive.

    As we know, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but I would say on a scale of 1 to 10 — like OMFG — it's probably a 10.

    Shontell: What does a 10 look like?

    Goldberg: You want to know what a 10 looks like? It looks like all the things you think about in a rock-star moment. It helped build the team. It was not forgotten, and that sort of behavior never again happened, and will never happen again.

    Shontell: There's not going to be some Bustle Cancun trip when you sell?

    Goldberg: If we sell Bustle, and I hate to say it — and my team at Bustle is going to hear this podcast and say, "Well, wait a minute. Bleacher Report got to do a Vegas trip — why don't we?"— and I'm going to say, "You know what, because I was young then and I'm old now, and old, boring, stodgy Bryan in his mid-30s is not going to do a trip to Vegas because it's just not the right thing to do."

    I'm beet red right now — thank God this is a podcast. Because you just can't do those sorts of things. Not in the year 2017, 2018, 2019, whatever it turns out to be.

    Shontell: Not with social media there to capture it all.

    Goldberg: Exactly. I mean, Twitter existed but things were different back then.

    How to launch a second media company and scale it to 55 million readers

    Shontell: OK, so old, stodgy Bryan has now founded Bustle. You bring 55 million readers to your site, which is pretty incredible, because now everything seems to be distributed. People are reading Facebook as their homepage rather than going to most homepages of publishers.

    What have you learned from Bleacher to apply at Bustle, and how was this launch easier than the first?

    Goldberg: Every company is tough and every day is tough in media. It's a lot easier the second time. The core structure, the core game plan of Bustle, has similarities with Bleacher Report, like distributed content.

    I was scared when we started Bustle. Not just because I was doing it alone. Not just because there was a lot of pressure to raise all this money. But because sports is very easy to create a taxonomy, to know what you're going to write about.

    For Bleacher, there are four or five mainstream sports and 30-something teams. You know you're going to cover football. You know you're going to cover baseball. You know you're going to write about a certain player. When going into this new world with Bustle, it wasn't so clearly painted for me. What was even tougher was I'm not in my demographic.

    The only way I could think to do it was hire six or seven early editors who are very different from each other, coming from different publications, and listening a lot. Then ultimately bringing in writers and saying to the writers, what's important to you? What matters to you?

    There were certain things we knew we were going to cover, like popular television. I knew we were going cover the news and an election. But there were whole worlds that hadn't occurred to me. Topics like body positivity, which is really big for us. And tattoos. It never occurred to me that tattoo inspiration was a big thing for teenage girls and young women, but it's huge for us.

    Shontell: But you did have a plan, at least from a distribution standpoint, right? You knew how much traffic you could maybe get from Google versus Pinterest. How did you map that out?

    Goldberg: Anyone who tells you they're getting most of their traffic from anything other than search or social, they're being dishonest or they have a very small audience. You can build a couple million loyal, type-in-URL, direct visitors. That's possible over years, but this is the distributed era, so search and social.

    We're very fortunate in women's media that you can get Facebook traffic and you can get Pinterest traffic. Bleacher Report is never going to get Pinterest traffic. Twitter, in my opinion, has not been a great platform for audience building, really since its inception.

    What's been a big challenge but very rewarding for Bustle versus Bleacher Report is evergreen and long-tail search traffic. This idea that you can write great content on Bustle and two years later it's still useful. Example: We might be the top result for how to mix curly hair and bangs.

    There are some women with curly hair who would like to have bangs, and they'd like celebrity inspiration so they can get ideas of how to make it work. It had never occurred to me that a person with curly hair may not think that bangs fall properly on their forehead. So we create the best article ever on that topic and it's still useful one year later, two years later, three years later.

    That is not the case in sports. Sports content has a shelf life of six days, at most. If it's Monday and you're making football predictions for Sunday, you will get six days of juice out of that. It's useless after. If you look at Bleacher Report's traffic, they get a lot of traffic but only a small percentage is to stories that were written years ago.

    Shontell: Let's talk about your launch, because it was sort of infamous. I know you've talked about it a lot, but there was a PR debacle. You said, "I'm Bryan Goldberg. I'm going to start the first women's site ever," to which every other woman in media was like, "What the hell, Bryan?!" Talk about that.

    bustle launch article pando

    Goldberg: Broadly speaking, in media, you do want to make noise. You do want to be noticed. You do want to be loud. You do want to be provocative. But you want to keep it under control and you don't want to piss people off. I don't believe that all attention, all press, is good press.

    If everyone's yelling at you and throwing rocks at you, then you've gone too far. You look at the launch, basically I was very loud and I was a man being very loud.

    I said, "Hey, this is going to be a feminist website. We're going to talk about fashion and beauty. We're also going to talk about what's going on in Syria, with no apologies about it."

    The tone — I didn't know a lot of thought leaders in women's media at the time. I was an unfamiliar face, certainly the wrong face, so sort of this dude, this young, white male who's made money, talking about rocking the world and changing the world, and talking about women's media. It wasn't a great image and wasn't a great look.

    In hindsight, I would've handled it differently and didn't really want to piss people off. It came from a very sincere place. I really was excited about going to market, raising all this money and launching a feminist publication. That excitement came from the right place, but it pissed everyone off.

    My general advice is look, be loud, make a lot of noise. In media you have to be noticed. But there are different ways to do it. The great story, though, in the end is I'm now friends with a lot of the people who were my initial critics, so it was a great way to meet people. It's not how you should always meet people, but it's one way to meet people.

    Shontell: One other thing that I thought was notable was you did get this money from the sale of Bleacher Report, and yet you decided to raise a big round for Bustle. Why not fund it yourself?

    Goldberg: I put a lot of money into Bustle. I made a good amount of money on Bleacher Report, but it wasn't what you might picture. I owned a very small, single-digit percentage of the company when we sold it for $200 million.

    Shontell: Well, there were four founders and you all raised tens of millions of dollars.

    Goldberg: During recessions. I owned a very small slice by the end ... I owned a few percent of the company, we sold it, and so I made money, and I put several hundred thousand dollars of my money, and my family's as well, in to start these companies.

    In my opinion, you do need to raise at least $20 million to $30 million. Usually you can't raise that on day one, so you have to go raise $5 million or $6 million, and then prove that you know what you're doing and get some traction. Then VCs will follow with a series B or series C check and get you to $20 million to $30 million.

    Media companies require scale. Bustle has "only" raised $37 million. That's nothing compared to our peers at BuzzFeed, Vox, or Refinery 29, who have raised hundreds of millions of dollars. So, I knew that when we raised $6-plus-million in the beginning that that was only the first step, and that we'd have to raise tens of millions more just to have a seat at the table.

    Between myself and my family members, we put in close to $1 million. That's a lot of money for me, that's a lot of money for my family. We're not that rich here. It was a lot. It was a big bet, and a pretty gutsy bet. I think that's one of the reasons investors got excited is because I said, "Look, I'm putting a big percentage of my net worth into this company because I believe in it," and nothing will bring investors to the table faster than when you put your own money into something.

    Frankly, if you don't it's a red flag.

    Bustle office

    'Magic the Gathering' can make you a good media CEO

    Shontell: This is your first time as CEO. What have you learned?

    Goldberg: First of all, it's a lot of fun. It's a different capacity than being the founder.

    Being a media CEO is a very specific type of CEO. There are a lot of media CEOs who are unsuccessful and very few who are successful. If you want to know how to be a successful media CEO, I will tell you right now.

    This framework works every time:

    The job of a media CEO is to balance three power bases: your editorial power base, your sales and marketing power base, and your tech and operations power base. If you ever let one of those three gain hegemony over the other, your company will fail. Think of it as a three-legged stool. If one leg gets too long, you will fall off the stool and you will crack your head open.

    If you look at most digital-media companies, the CEO came out of one of those three camps. In some media companies it was founded by a techie person and they think that data and AB testing and headline manipulation is the key to success, and they want to see the data, data, data. The editors are saying, "You know, this isn't just about data." The sales team's saying, "Hey, there's a lot of art and science to this."

    I've seen a lot of media companies that are too techie and they fail for that reason.

    Shontell: I think you need to have a creative person at the helm and someone who's analytical.

    Goldberg: Exactly. And look, I love to write. I'm not a creative type; I don't think anyone looks at me and goes, "Oh, Bryan's an artist," but I do love to write. The one thing I know I will do one day long down the road is I'm going to be a writer again, because I love it.

    But I'm also an economics major. I love data. I'm very business-oriented. I'm very comfortable in financial conversations, but I'm also very at home with editors, talking about writing, editorial, and like I said, there's a geek part of me.

    For example, play "Magic the Gathering." Every month at Bustle I host "Magic the Gathering" night —

    Shontell: Wait, what's that?

    Goldberg: You don't know what "Magic the Gathering" is?

    Shontell: No.

    Goldberg: If there were a studio audience they'd all be laughing, like, "You don't know what 'Magic the Gathering' is?" It is ostensibly the nerdiest thing. It's like a wizardry card game where you have ogres and goblins and vampires and they're battling it out.

    Shontell: You play this at Bustle?

    Goldberg: I play it at my house and all Bustlers are invited to come play it with me. It's like the nerdiest thing ever. It's so nerdy that I've played it all my life, but when I was in high school I had to stop playing it because I was just embarrassed, because I was a high-schooler and I cared what people thought.

    I still play the game now. I'm very open about it, but truly, it's like the geekiest thing ever, and I love it and I'm proud of it. I go to tournaments. I don't win — I'm not good at it. To be good at this game you've got to play it more than I play it. This is a whole separate conversation, but I do nerdy, geeky things, and I'm not afraid to go party at a club until five in the morning and then the next day over lunch play "Magic the Gathering." I'd like to think I'm multitasking.

    Shontell: You're at clubs till 5? You told me that it's old, stodgy Bryan now.

    Goldberg: Well, yes, but old, stodgy Bryan in New York City. That's different than being old, stodgy Bryan in San Francisco, where one goes to bed at 11 and wakes up and hikes.

    On the media industry

    Bryan Goldberg interview Bustle Bleacher Report

    Shontell: I will save you from yourself and switch the topic. It's important to cover what the media industry is doing right now. You've had 10 years of looking at it and being deep in the weeds, and you're an ad guy at heart. So what trends are you seeing in advertising right now?

    It seems like everyone was thinking, when BuzzFeed was raising $200 million and Vox was raising $200 million, that TV dollars were open to them, but now it seems like all of the ad money that's flowing to digital is really going to Google and Facebook, and publishers aren't getting the cuts that they had thought about. What are you seeing?

    Goldberg: So I'm going to give you a couple of high-level theses that I believe are correct and I have high conviction about. Conviction No. 1 is, dollars are not leaving TV anytime soon. The dollars are just too big to move. You can't pull deals that measure in the hundreds of millions of dollars out of TV so quickly. Media takes time, because we're talking about hundreds of billions of dollars in play here, and those are very cumbersome amounts to move around. The dollars are going to stay in TV a long time.

    It's still king. It's an aging king, but it's still king. Thesis No. 2: Yes, Google and Facebook are going to get a lot of the digital dollars. Maybe it's half, maybe it's two-thirds, maybe it's three-quarters. But that duopoly — it's called a duopoly, but be careful using the term duopoly, because there are a lot of very powerful interests who have a lot reason to make sure that Google and Facebook don't get a true duopoly.

    If you go talk to the CMOs who are spending billions of dollars, they have a true, strategic, existential threat in the idea of a duopoly.

    If you are a major CPG company, or a major auto company, and you let your media supplier be only two companies, you are putting yourself in an extremely dangerous position. So the marketing people, who are sitting on hundreds of billions of dollars of marketing and who are going to spend $80, $90, $100 billion on digital spend in the future, they realize that Google and Facebook are terrific avenues for advertising, and they are two of the most efficient, data-driven, outstanding places to spend your marketing money, no doubt about it. But they're not going to let them get a complete hegemony because that would be a true danger.

    Then they would be at risk of losing pricing control, so Facebook and Google are going to get a lot of money, but the traditional media companies, the publishers, are still going to have many billions of dollars at play. What I think we're going to have to see is more consolidation. I don't think that your buddy's blog is going to get a piece of that 30 billion. If Google and Facebook are not getting $30 billion of those digital ad dollars, your friend's blog with 300,000 readers, they're not going to make a play.

    You look at telecom, and there are only two dominant players. You look at a lot of industries, you know, airlines, there are only three players right now. Do I think there will be a day, three, four years from now, where there are literally like three media companies, perhaps subsidiaries of giant telcos? Probably, and everything's going to roll through it, and they will have power.

    Shontell: So if you're a media company right now, what do you do before that three- to four-year period when all the consolidation happens? How do you keep surviving?

    Goldberg: You just keep growing and you keep doing your thing. You just keep getting better. As long as the big media companies, the traditional players, are not getting better at digital — and they're not. In some cases they're doing absolutely nothing as long as they're not improving ... The Bustles and the Voxes and the BuzzFeeds, we're getting much better at what we do. Bustle today versus a year ago, you can't even compare.

    I think some of the others would say the same thing. We're all getting much better at what we do. We're all getting, in the eyes of big players, more legitimate. We're growing our revenues. Think about how much flak BuzzFeed has taken on their revenue growth — and their revenue growth is really great. People are like, "Oh, my God, they didn't triple revenue this year from $130 million to $400 million?" You can't triple revenue every year.

    Bustle tripled revenue last year. We tripled revenue. I'm telling you, we're not tripling revenue every year for the next three years.

    Shontell: You did $30 million last year?

    Goldberg: We did close to $10 million the year before and we did close to $30 million last year. It's almost all direct sales.

    Shontell: That's unusual because a lot of people are trying subscriptions, which I haven't seen you try. Everyone's trying to dive into video, which you guys aren't doing much of.

    Goldberg: I should probably be talking about it more, because I think part of video is how much do you talk about it. What I will say is yes, direct ad sales is still the model, so when I hear Medium say, "We're going to figure something else out," I'm like, give me a break, Medium. I'm not a fan of that particular company's moves and the announcement that Evan Williams made, because he basically retreated from advertising and said, "This is BS." No, advertising is a $200 billion industry — you just gotta be good at it and you gotta offer something to your clients and offer something to your readers.

    Subscription can make you money. There are, like, three publishers who I think can make real money: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Yorker, and maybe a couple others here and there — Vogue. Even for them advertising is critical. If New York Times has a terrible year in advertising, it's really going to hurt them.

    Advertising's a great industry. Anyone who's like, "Oh, stay away from advertising." That's complete BS. That's just people who don't know what they're talking about, frankly. It's a huge market. Companies like Vox or BuzzFeed should be looking to grow their revenue significantly. No, we're not going triple it every year, that's not reasonable, but it will grow significantly. It will grow linearly.

    Shontell: If a founder came up to you and they were like, "Bryan, I want to start a media company right now." Would you recommend it?

    Goldberg: It's hard to start now. It's hard to start now because of scale. That's the biggest impediment. If you didn't start a few years ago, you're not at scale today; if you're not at scale today, it's harder to be in some of these advertising conversations, because at Bustle we can go to an advertiser and say, "Here's what a million-dollar deal with Bustle looks like." If you're an advertiser, a CPG advertiser, you don't want to write $50,000 advertising checks.

    Shontell: How do you get scale?

    Goldberg: You need a lot of money up front.

    Shontell: Because you're buying traffic?

    Goldberg: No, well, you're buying a lot of salaries. You're hiring a lot of people. I was just walking around Business Insider's newsroom and — I don't know — it looked like there were a hundred people in the room. You draw big audiences; you do have to create a lot of content. No one wants to admit you have to create a lot of content, but look, how much content does Time Inc. put out every day? Hundreds of stories a day. It's across dozens of properties, but Time Inc., in their giant office downtown, is doing hundreds of stories a day.

    You need scale, and the scale begins with, like, the scale of a newsroom with 50, 60, 100 people in it, or more. A thousand people, in the case of The Journal and The New York Times. If you're going to go higher, a hundred employees, you need millions and millions of dollars, because you're going to burn a lot of cash, and I burned a lot of cash in the beginning of Bustle. Now we're making good money, but when I was burning a lot of cash in the beginning my investors were scared.

    They felt like we were driving full speed toward a cliff. We burned an eight-figure amount of money in 2015, and we burned very little and much less in 2016. We're not going to burn anything in 2017, hoping to have a good profit line, but those first years where you burn cash before you can recover and grow your sales, those are painful years. That's a scary PNL.

    If you're a CEO and you've got to go to investors and say, "Guess what! We're going to burn $12 million next year, but I promise you revenue is coming later"— that's a scary statement to make. And I'm very lucky. I have very supportive investors who understand media, and so they were with me on the ride, and we're driving 80 miles an hour toward a cliff, and they're totally cool with it and get a little nervous, but I'm like, "Don't worry. The revenue is going to come in a year."

    You gotta have people that do that, and unfortunately if you're a first-time founder in media, knowing how to do that, knowing how to drive 80 miles an hour toward a cliff, when to throw on the brakes, when to speed up, how to jump over that cliff and land on the other side — very hard to do if you haven't done it before. You'll probably screw it up.

    That's the hesitation for young founders going into media. I hate to be the guy who's like, "Oh, I got in the door but now it's closed," but it is a different world, because when I and my cofounders started in 2005, it was a new world and there was no one to say, "I've done this before." It really was sort of fresh powder. It's not anymore, and so I do mentor and invest and support a lot of young, really talented media founders, and I give them all this important advice I can give them, and some of them are going to make it.

    Shontell: OK, so there is some positivity out there, but it's getting harder. That's the bottom line.

    Goldberg: It's getting harder. There'll be fewer winners, but the ones who win are going to win big. I mean, there are not a lot of venture-backed sectors where there are going to be many, many multibillion-dollar exits.

    Shontell: You think that's the case here in media?

    Goldberg: Yes, yes. They are perfect growth-stage investments. There's a reason why firms like Fidelity have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into these media bets. It's because they're going to make a great return, but they're only pouring money into a select few because there are going to be a half-dozen winners. There are not going to be 30 or 40 winners. But there will be multibillion-dollar exits.

    On torturing friends with weightlifting videos

    Shontell: How much can you lift these days? I see your Facebook and Instagram videos all the time with you and your trainer.

    Goldberg: People say to me, "Don't write editorial, don't write politics on Facebook, because no one wants to hear what you have to say." So it's like, great, you know what? You'll get weightlifting videos.

    Shontell: Yes, you have a lot of them.

    Goldberg: The text messages I get from my closest friends, the people I should be listening to, say, "Bryan, don't you ever upload another weightlifting video or I will unfollow you and never talk to you again."

    I'm like, "Well, guess what! That is the one thing you can do to make me upload more weightlifting videos!"

    At some point last year I said, I want to be able to bench press a lot. There's no particular reason; I just want to be able to do it, so I've been working out three times a week.

    For anyone who's a sports fan, if you're a fan of the NFL and how things work in the NFL, it's not about how much you can bench press; it's how many repetitions of 225 pounds you can do. You know what the combine is, the NFL combine, where the college players kind of show off their strength and ability to the pros? The great test in the NFL combine is, how many times can you lift 225 pounds? In a bench press, that's two plates on each side of the bell.

    I think the record in the NFL is like 30-something. If you can do 10, even in the NFL at certain positions, 10 means you're in the conversation. I can almost do 10. I will never get to 20. I will probably never get to 15, but my goal before I'm done is to be able to do 14 repetitions of 225.

    If I can do it, it will be filmed. It will be streamed on Facebook Live. You can all watch it.

    Shontell: Just what I want to see.

    Goldberg: Every few weeks I really go for it and I'm like, "This is going to be the day." I set up the little Facebook Live and I try to do it, and that's when I always fail. And once I can do 14 reps of 225 you will never see it again. Then I'll gain all the weight back.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: HENRY BLODGET: This is where digital media is headed next


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    Bryan Goldberg Bustle Bleacher Report founder

    If you're in your twenties, and you sell your company for more than $200 million, what do you do to celebrate?

    For the three cofounders of Bleacher Report, the answer was a trip to Las Vegas. But they didn't just buy their own way. They also paid for all of their 160 employees to join them in Vegas.

    In an interview for Business Insider's podcast, "Success! How I Did It," Bleacher Report cofounder Bryan Goldberg revealed a lot of business tips and tricks. But he also discussed how the Las Vegas trip happened. His team had just sold Bleacher Report to Turner Media for about $200 million, and Turner hadn't fully "wrapped its arms" around Bleacher Report yet, so there was a short window of opportunity to plan an epic trip.

    Goldberg wouldn't reveal many details, except to say that they all managed to come back alive. He says he won't be doing that again if his new startup, Bustle, gets acquired, because he is now "old, stodgy Bryan" and it "isn't the right thing to do."

    But it sure sounded like fun!

    Here's the exchange:

    Alyson Shontell: You sold Bleacher Report and you and your cofounders went to Vegas. Tell me about the trip.

    Bryan Goldberg: Under no circumstances will I talk about the Vegas trip.

    Shontell: Oh, come on! You were young and dumb then. It doesn't matter.

    Goldberg: I cannot believe we did that.

    Shontell: Why? That's what everyone should do when they sell, right?

    Goldberg: No, it's not what you should do!

    Shontell: Who all went to Vegas?

    Goldberg: The whole company.

    Shontell: The entire company, all of Bleacher Report?

    Goldberg: The entire company.

    Shontell: Did you pay for them all?

    Goldberg: We did. The founders paid for it. We had sold the company. We had made money, and we said, "Let's each chip in like X-thousand dollars and fly the company to Vegas."

    Shontell: How many people was it at that point?

    Goldberg: At that point it was like 160 people, 170 people. The CEO, Brian Grey, very wisely didn't go. I think one of the fun things about having a CEO when you're in your 20s running a company is he can be the grown-up and he can look the other way. He was like, "I'm not going anywhere near this. You pay for it out of pocket. You do it on the weekend. This is not a Bleacher Report event."

    It was so early after the sale that I think Turner hadn't really put their arms around us, so we had this very narrow window for the founders to pay out of pocket to do a noncompany event on the weekend to go to Vegas.

    As we know, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but I would say that on a scale of 1 to 10 — like, OMFG — it's probably a 10. I don't know what an 11 would look like. I'm not going into it, except to say we all came back alive.

    As we know, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but I would say on a scale of 1 to 10 — like OMFG — it's probably a 10.

    Shontell: What does a 10 look like?

    Goldberg: You want to know what a 10 looks like? It looks like all the things you think about in a rock-star moment. It helped build the team. It was not forgotten, and that sort of behavior never again happened, and will never happen again.

    Shontell: There's not going to be some Bustle Cancun trip when you sell?

    Goldberg: If we sell Bustle, and I hate to say it — and my team at Bustle is going to hear this podcast and say, "Well, wait a minute. Bleacher Report got to do a Vegas trip — why don't we?"— and I'm going to say, "You know what, because I was young then and I'm old now, and old, boring, stodgy Bryan in his mid-30s is not going to do a trip to Vegas because it's just not the right thing to do."

    I'm beet red right now — thank God this is a podcast. Because you just can't do those sorts of things. Not in the year 2017, 2018, 2019, whatever it turns out to be.

    Shontell: Not with social media there to capture it all.

    Goldberg: Exactly. I mean, Twitter existed but things were different back then.

    To listen to the full podcast and learn how Goldberg built a $200 million business, plus get his thoughts on where the media industry is heading, check out the episode below:

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    business meeting creative work

    At 39, Chris Guillebeau says he's never held down a "real" job.

    That's because the New York Times bestselling author has worked for himself in various capacities for the last 20 years, most recently as an international speaker, blogger, podcast host, and workshop instructor.

    Autonomy is important to Guillebeau, and he believes it's something everyone can achieve during their career, whether you quit the 9-to-5 grind to launch a startup or dedicate some free time to build a side hustle.

    No matter the venture, he told Business Insider, "people always have fear about risk," mainly if they're sinking money into it. Ultimately, he says, there's one way to ensure you won't waste time or money: Keep the cost of failure low.

    In other words, you can achieve success without high stakes.

    "If the cost of failure is low and you try something that doesn't work out, is it really a failure? Or is it more like, 'Oh I just did that and now I'll try something else and learn from that process and I'll go onto something different,'" he said.

    "I wrote a book called 'The $100 Startup,' and the whole thesis of that book is that entrepreneurship doesn't need to be risky and you shouldn't actually beg for money or put everything on your credit card or go for investors," he explained. "You should figure out how you can start something without spending a lot of money."

    In researching the 2012 bestseller, Guillebeau sourced 1,500 business owners earning a baseline profit of $50,000 a year, where the initial investment was $1,000 or less. In many cases, it was less than $100. From there, he chose 50 of the most compelling stories to analyze and he crafted a guide to starting a lucrative business on the cheap. The book reveals that it's as simple as using your expertise or passion to create a product or service that people are willing to pay for — and the profits will follow.

    Guillebeau now focuses on side hustles and coaching others on how to generate extra income without quitting their day job. He says there's even more opportunity under these circumstances to embrace risk and be willing to experiment.

    SEE ALSO: A 39-year-old who's been self-employed for 20 years reveals his strategy for staying productive while traveling the world

    DON'T MISS: A lifelong entrepreneur explains why it's so important to start a project that earns money outside your day job

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    Gerard Grech, Tech City UK CEO

    Tech City UK has been given permission to issue 50 more visas for technology workers each year, The Daily Telegraph reports.

    The government-funded agency can now endorse 250 skilled technology workers from outside the EU annually under the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa, up from 200 last year.

    Many startups struggle to find people in the UK or Europe with the skills they need. Last March, a survey from Silicon Valley Bank found that 57% of UK tech execs see access to talent as their most important public policy issue.

    Tech City UK is one of several organisations that the Home Office has given endorsement powers to. Others include Arts Council England, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, and the Royal Society. Once a visa applicant has been endorsed, they must then been approved by the Home Office.

    Tech City UK initially struggled to get overseas tech workers to apply for the so-called "Tech Nation" visa so it relaxed the rules somewhat. Now it is struggling to deal with the demand, according to The Telegraph.

    The Home Office has granted over 170 visas to tech workers for the current financial year, which ends on April 6, and Tech City UK was concerned the quota of 200 will be hit in the coming weeks.

    "We are delighted that the Home Office has been able to respond to concerns over how the UK would continue to attract the skills its tech sector needs by allowing Tech City UK to endorse more visas to exceptionally talented individuals," Grech told The Telegraph.

    "The UK must demonstrate that it is open for business to the brightest and best around the world."

    Grech reportedly plans to ask the Home Office to expand its visa allocation again for the next fiscal year.

    Two non-EU citizens that have been endorsed by Tech City UK for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa are Nigerian Antonia Anni, an entrepreneur with her own business who also works as a community manager for Codecademy, and Armenian David Zokhrabyan, the CEO and cofounder of ArtHome.London.

    Zokhrabyan told Business Insider last January: "I put a lot of effort in preparing the case and did it all by myself. You need to have two strong recommendation letters from industry leaders and a lot of documents in support of your claim to be an exceptional talent."

    Technology workers from outside the EU can also enter the UK under the Tier 2 visa. There are 20,700 visas available a year to employers who want to recruit a non-EU skilled worker. Professionals from other industries, including medicine and accountancy, can also apply.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Softbank pepper robot

    Singularity — the point when machine intelligence surpasses our own and goes on to improve itself at an exponential rate — will happen by 2047, according to Masayoshi Son, the Japanese tech mogul leading SoftBank.

    Son was speaking on Monday at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona, Spain.

    He said: "I totally believe this concept. In next 30 years this will become a reality."

    Son went on to say that our world will fundamentally change as a result of so-called superintelligences that will be able to learn and think for themselves, TechCrunch reports.

    "There will be many kinds," said Son, whose company spent $32 billion (£26 billion) acquiring UK chip designer ARM last year. "Flying, swimming, big, micro, run, two legs, four legs, 100 legs."

    Son added that he expects one computer chip to have the equivalent of a 10,000 IQ within the next 30 years, Bloomberg reported.

    Japan's second richest man went on to highlight how SoftBank plans to invest in the next generation of technology companies that are developing AI with a new $100 billion (£80 billion) tech fund, which was ;announced last October and is called the SoftBank Vision Fund. Apple and Qualcomm have contributed to the fund, as has the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia.

    "I truly believe it's coming, that's why I'm in a hurry – to aggregate the cash, to invest," said Son. "It will be so much more capable than us — what will be our job? What will be our life? We have to ask philosophical questions. Is it good or bad?"

    Son added: "I think this superintelligence is going to be our partner. If we misuse it it's a risk. If we use it in good spirits it will be our partner for a better life. So the future can be better predicted, people will live healthier, and so on."

    Son is not the only person who thinks superintelligent machines will become a reality. A panel of AI leaders including Elon Musk, the founder of PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX, and Demis Hassabis, the cofounder and CEO of Google DeepMind, agreed that superintelligence is likely to be developed in the coming decades.

    The panel, which took place in January at the Future of Life Institute, had varying opinions about the exact time frame and the potential risks that could come about through such a breakthrough, while Hassabis voiced concerns about whether tech companies will work together in the lead up to the intelligence explosion he anticipates.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Trump’s executive orders are being turned into hilarious memes


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    Karen Bradley MP

    The UK government has outlined how it plans to support the UK tech industry post-Brexit.

    The Department for Media, Culture, and Sport published its Digital Strategy document on Wednesday as the UK prepares to exit the European Union.

    The document includes plans to skill up 4 million people by 2020 with help from Google, Lloyds, and Barclays.

    It also details how the government plans to create five international tech hubs in emerging markets. The tech hubs, based on the already established UK-Israel Tech Hub, are designed to help UK firms to expand into other geographies and form partnerships with local companies.

    The Digital Strategy also includes:

    • a competition to encourage companies to build products financial technology (fintech) products
    • plans to create a forum for the government to engage with the tech community
    • confirmation of a £1 billion programme to improve internet connectivity across the UK

    The document also confirmed that the UK government will pump £17.3 million into AI and robotics research and conduct a review into the fast-growing field, as Business Insider reported on Monday.

    In terms of industry support, Google has pledged to run a skills programme in coastal towns across the UK this summer.

    Ronan Harris, Google Managing Director UK & Ireland, said in a statement: "Everyone deserves access to the tools and opportunities the web has to offer and that is why we welcome the Government's timely Digital Strategy which ensures the benefits of the digital economy are spread across the country."

    Elsewhere, Lloyds Banking Group said it will give face-to-face digital skills training to 2.5 million individuals, small and medium businesses and charities by 2020. Barclays also announced a number of support plays, saying it will provide 1 million people with general digital skills and cyber awareness in 2017 and teach basic coding to 45,000 children.

    But the Digital Strategy document has been criticised for not offering enough.

    Martin Leuw, who runs Growth4Good, a company investing in social businesses, said: "It’s great to see large companies getting involved in teaching digital skills to millions of individuals and businesses, but the reality is much more needs to be done now. The biggest challenge facing UK businesses at the moment is finding and hiring talented workers — a task that will be made immeasurably more challenging post-Brexit."

    Eze Vidra, chief innovation officer at London startup Antidote and a former investor at Google Ventures, said on Twitter that "the recommendations seem like a drop in the sea compared to the damage of Brexit."

    Chris Bates, technology partner at law firm Ashurst, added "questions remain over whether the strategy goes far enough – particularly in terms of the government's financial commitment – to enable Britain to retain its status as a global technology hub.

    "The government's pledge of £17.3 million seems a fairly modest amount which, on its own, is unlikely to bring the UK to the leading edge of AI development."

    Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Karen Bradley, said in a statement:

    "The UK’s world-leading digital sectors are a major driver of growth and productivity, and we are determined to protect and strengthen them.

    "This Digital Strategy sets a path to make Britain the best place to start and grow a digital business, trial a new technology, or undertake advanced research as part of the Government’s plan to build a modern, dynamic and global trading nation.

    "To do that, we will work closely with businesses and others to make sure the benefits and opportunities are spread across the country so nobody is left behind.

    "There should be no digital divide - every individual and every business should have the skills and confidence to make the most of digital technology and have easy access to high-quality internet wherever they live, work, travel or learn."

    Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech City UK, added in a statement:

    "The UK's tech sector is rapidly becoming a global force to reckon with, but we must ensure that we stay ahead by continuing to provide a supportive environment for British start-ups and digital companies to grow in, especially since other countries are trying to take advantage of our departure from the European Union."

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Axelle Lemaire France digital minister

    France's digital minister Axelle Lemaire is on a mission to make the country more appealing to startups, introducing the "French Tech Visa" for foreign entrepreneurs and talking up Station F, Paris' soon-to-open startup hub.

    All that good work is at risk if far-right politician Marine Le Pen wins France's upcoming presidential election, which will kick off on April 23.

    Le Pen is anti-EU, anti-immigration, and anti-globalisation, all of which runs contrary to the way tech companies and startups thrive.

    In an interview with Business Insider, Lemaire said:

    "I am concerned, this is what is at stake in the next presidential election. In a way, the choice that will have to be made by the French people is similar to the one that was presented to the American people. So I'm concerned because I think that in the end, the people supporting Marine Le Pen might be misled. Because open borders, without being naïve, and free trade have shown that they are bringing improvement to people's lives. What we have to fight against is inequalities — and it is true they've been growing as well."

    She added that this message, coming from someone who is a qualified lawyer and friendly to the tech industry, may come across as "elitist."

    "This is not what I am, but the challenge is to succeed in passing the message on."

    Far-right leader presidential candidate Marine Le Pen gestures as she speaks during a conference in Lyon, France, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. Britain's decision to leave the European Union and the election of U.S. President Donald Trump have given the French a

    Lemaire was in London to promote the first UK-France Data Summit, born of the entente-cordiale with her UK counterpart, Matt Hancock. Other prospective cross-Channel projects include examining ethics in technology, and an open banking standards initiative.

    Lemaire is keen to collaborate, rather than talk about the competition between London and Paris to attract the best tech talent. But she said French startups in the UK were "worried" by the populist politics developing in the UK after the Brexit vote.

    A poll of around 300 people from French Tech London found that 54% had been impacted by Brexit in some way. Despite that, few have solid plans to quit — fewer than one in four have made arrangements to leave.

    "People are worried, but many of them would like to remain in Britain because a large proportion want to acquire British nationality," said Lemaire. " I don't think it's worth entering into a fight between Paris and London."

    brexit bus nhs

    When it comes to Le Pen, Lemaire said she had "never been so worried" since starting out in politics, a move she attributes to Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine's extreme right father. "When I saw the image of Jean-Marie Le Pen on my TV screen in 2002, I thought I must do something," Lemaire said.

    One reason for promoting the data conference, she said, was to highlight the importance of data in policy making. She linked hospital closures and the NHS staffing crisis to Brexit, saying: "This to me is an example of how important it is to base political arguments on facts. Of course, facts and evidence can be debated, but showing evidence in the first place is important. This whole alternative facts [idea] being put forward ... scares me."

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    David Brown Ve Interactive

    The founder of marketing technology company Ve Interactive, David Brown, has stepped down as CEO after failing to make payroll on time.

    Brown will take the role of "technology adviser" with the London-based startup.

    Martin Tonnesen, currently CEO of VC firm Aston Ventures, will take over Brown's job.

    Ve Interactive is an ad tech company that works with businesses including retailers, universities, and publishers to boost online conversion rates. It was founded in 2009.

    The company confirmed the executive changes in a statement after The Financial Times reported Brown's resignation on Friday. The newspaper also reported the company had paid its employees late in December, January, and February. The company reportedly employs more than 1,000 people and is valued at £1.5 billion. 

    Aston Ventures is leading a consortium of investors in a new funding round for Ve Interactive. A spokesman declined to give an amount, saying it wasn't a "fixed figure."

    For now, the startup has received an immediate cash injection and the consortium plans to raise a "significant sum" in the coming weeks. The group includes existing Ve Interactive investor Mark Pearson and a number of unnamed shareholders.

    Brown said: "I'm immensely proud of what we have achieved at Ve over the last seven years, and I have a lot of confidence in the incoming team. I am looking forward to focusing on the product and technology vision after handing over the CEO reins to Morten. As part of my new advisory position, I will be cooperating in the transition over the coming weeks."

    Stuart Chambers, former chairman of ARM, will also be involved in the transition process. Chambers was due to join Ve Interactive as chairman but has reportedly delayed joining the company.

    The startup has reportedly failed to hit its own ambitious revenue and profit targets.

    Outwardly, its investors are bullish. Commenting on the executive changes, Aston Ventures founding partner Douglas Barrowman described Ve Interactive as a "flagship technology startup" in the UK.

    He added: "Backed by us and under the leadership of Morten, a gifted operator with experience of working in a multi-billion dollar NASDAQ-listed technology company we believe Ve will enter the UK’s tech Hall of Fame."

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Jay Z

    Jay Z's entertainment company is adding startup investing to its repertoire. 

    Roc Nation, which Jay Z founded along with Jay Brown in 2008, is launching a "startup platform" called Arrive to invest in early-stage startups and help those companies build their brands. 

    New York-based venture capital firm Primary Venture Partners will be serving as a venture advisor to the fund and GlassBridge Asset Management will be providing "institutional and operational support."

    There's no word yet on the size of the fund. 

    The news that Jay Z — whose real name is Shawn Carter — and Brown were planning to launch a venture fund was originally reported by Axios' Dan Primack last month.

    With Arrive, Roc Nation plans to offer a slew of startup services beyond capital investments, and there are further plans to launch a later-stage fund in the future. Roc Nation also plans to expand its "social impact investing" later this year. 

    Carter has been investing in tech startups since at least 2012. Both Carter and Brown invested in Uber's Series B, according to Axios, and Carter has invested in three other startups: the high-tech-luggage maker Away, the nail-parlor company Julep, and the private-jet startup JetSmarter.

    Carter is also the co-owner of the music-streaming service Tidal.

    SEE ALSO: An 'Uber for private jets' startup just raised $20 million from Jay Z and the Saudi Royal Family

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    Job Today

    Job Today, a Luxembourg startup with an app that aims to help people find casual jobs quickly and easily, is launching in Germany after investors pumped $35 million (£29 million) into the company.

    The startup, which already operates in London and Spain, is essentially a jobs marketplace. It helps employers — predominantly in retail, construction, and hospitality — to find staff and prospective employees to find jobs.

    The app pay prove to be particular popular in Berlin, where one in 10 people were unemployed in January 2016, according to the European Commission.

    Job Today claims to have attracted 200,000 employers and processed 35 million job applications since it launched in May 2015. Corporations using the app to find staff include McDonald's, EAT, Pizza Express, Holiday Inn, and Benefit Cosmetics.

    "Finding a job is a vital necessity for millions of youths and [the] general population all across Europe," said Polina Montano, COO of Job Today, in a statement. "It's about time we leverage technology to solve a very human problem."

    "We're disrupting a $270 billion (£220 billion) global blue collar recruitment market, most of which is still offline, and the incumbents simply cannot respond quickly enough."

    According to a survey touted by Job Today and conducted by jobs listing sites Madgex and JobBoardDoctor, 57% of Germans currently rely on newspaper ads as their primary method for finding jobs.

    Job Today

    Job Today, which eventually plans to launch in the US, believes that finding jobs via newspaper ads is an "archaic" process. In a press release, the company said: "We look at our phones up to 80 times a day while the readership of newspapers has been been falling for the last 15 years."

    Investors in the latest round include broadcaster RTL Germany and equity fund German Media Pool. The startup's total funding to date now stands at over $65 million (£53 million).

    RTL Group owns stakes in TV channels and radio stations in Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Spain, Hungary, Croatia, and South East Asia. The new partnership with RTL Germany builds on an earlier investment in Job Today by Atresmedia in Spain, also part of RTL Group.

    Other investors in Job Today include VC firms Accel Partners and Mangrove Capital Partners, as well as Channel 4's Commercial Growth Fund.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    SwapBots cofounder

    The North of England hasn't traditionally been considered a technology hub in the same way that cities like London and Cambridge have. 

    But that doesn't mean there's nothing going on there. 

    The region, which encompasses cities like Liverpool, Manchester, and Newcastle, is home to an increasing number of technology companies, according to government quango Tech City UK. Many of the startups are relatively small compared to those in the capital but there are several tech giants with offices scattered across the North as well. 

    Here's 15 of the coolest tech firms in the North of England:

     

    15. Kontainers

    Kontainers' platform lets companies book shipping containers through an online platform. It allows businesses to book freight door-to-door. That means a company could book a delivery from, say, a Chinese factory to a UK warehouse. 

    Location: Newcastle 

    Founded: 2014

    Funding: $3.49 million (£2.87 million)

    Number of staff: 



    14. Cronofy

    Founded by entrepreneurs Garry Shutler and Adam Bird, Cronofy has developed an application programming interface (API) that developers can use to create two-way calendar integrations between their apps and Google Calendar, Apple iCal, and Microsoft Exchange.

    Location: Nottingham

    Founded: 2013

    Funding: $1.7 million (£1.4 million)

    Number of staff: 9



    13. Reason Digital

    Working with charities in the UK, Reason Digital uses digital technologies to tackle issues such as poverty, inequality, and a range of diseases that define our times, including dementia, HIV/AIDS, cancer and diabetes.

    "We don't need to apologise to our team for having to work on unfulfilling projects for apps so people sign up for spam or gamble their savings away — seeing the difference our projects are making is reward enough," a Reason Digital spokesperson told Business Insider. 

    Location: Manchester

    Founded: 2008

    Funding: Undisclosed

    Number of staff: 40



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    unnamed 2As part of an ongoing series, Insider Picks features products or stores poised for big things. The subject of this spotlight is a direct-to-consumer fine jewelry company called Mejuri.

    Most women associate getting fine jewelry with special occasions, like anniversaries, engagements, and birthdays.

    But that doesn't have to, and frankly shouldn't, be the case if you ask Noura Sakkijha and Justine Lançon, the cofounders of Mejuri, a Toronto-based jewelry startup.

    Sakkijha and Lançon launched Mejuri in early 2015 with the idea that women don't need to wait for someone else to give them fine jewelry; instead, they wanted to put the purchasing power in the hands of women, giving them the opportunity to buy contemporary, fine jewelry for accessible prices.

    "We wanted to create a class of jewelry for women who shop for themselves the way they shop for their shoes and bags," Sakkijha told Business Insider. "Women don’t want to spend their whole paychecks on high-quality jewelry; they want to have a choice to buy high-quality, non-overpriced jewelry for their day-to-day lives. And we are giving them that choice."

    Women currently account for 89% of the company's transactions. As a woman, I totally get why it's resonating with this demographic so well.

    The jewelry market looks crowded, but if you pay close attention, it’s mostly divided into very classic and expensive fine jewelry or affordable costume jewelry that won’t last. Women want something in the middle, and Mejuri fills the gap with its delicate collection of rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, which retails for as low as $25 for a solid gold stud to as high as $325 for a solid gold evil eye necklace

    To that end, Sakkijha and Lançon told me Mejuri has already exceeded over 1 million dollars in year two of operation and reports 20-30% of monthly transactions are from repeat customers. "We've established a great level of loyalty with customers in a product category that is perceived as a non-frequent purchase," said Lançon.

    The company's direct-to-consumer business model, which allows it to keep price markups low, and its commitment to customer service are largely to credit. Since launching, Mejuri has relied heavily on customer feedback to improve its jewelry. 

    "We involve our customers in product feedback, since this helps in the evolution of our quality and choosing what we introduce to the market," Sakkijha and Lançon told me. "We also give them the ability to reach out to us via email and text, and will be integrating more and more technology to speed up our response times. We’re really driven to provide a luxury experience to every single customer."

    9k=

    After getting to wear a few pieces from Mejuri's current fine jewelry collection for a few weeks, I'd recommend the company as one of the best places to buy fine jewelry online. Not only is Mejuri constantly putting new pieces into production (it's established a lean and quick supply chain that allows it to get products from concept to store in 3-4 weeks), its message, high quality, and transparent prices are all things I can get behind. 

    The company sent me a pair of hoop earrings ($125), choker-style necklace ($255), and ring ($170) so I could get a sense of the jewelry's overall quality, and each piece feels and looks a lot nicer than its price suggests. They're my new everyday go-tos, and I'm already eyeing a couple other pieces I want to eventually buy for myself.

    Mejuri is smart addition to the jewelry market and one that's going to be great for customers, be they women who are shopping for themselves, or people who are looking to find great gifts for the women they love that don't put a huge dent in their wallets.

    Have a closer look at some of my favorite jewelry from Mejuri below: 

    DON'T MISS: This is the work bag professional women everywhere have been looking for

    SEE ALSO: I just discovered my hands-down favorite pair of skinny jeans — and you're going to want a pair, too

    READ THIS: This Brooklyn shop makes jewelry you'll want to wear every day

    Wearing a choker with another slightly longer necklace is a subtle way to step up your jewelry game. 

    Spheres Choker, $255 Diamond Necklace, $290



    These elegant threader earrings don't have backs to them, so you can adjust where and how they fall.

    Grace Threader Earrings, $170 



    Stacking a few dainty rings together adds some extra sparkle to your outfit and looks cool. Feel free to mix metals, too — yellow, rose, and white gold all play well together. 

    Diamonds Line Ring White Gold, $200 | Solo Diamond Ring, $175 | Beaded Ring White Gold, $73 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    stefan krause

    Faraday Future, the struggling tech startup that seeks to build autonomous, electric vehicles is bringing on a Deutsche Bank and BMW veteran to, among other things, help the company sort out its finances.

    Faraday announced Stefan Krause's hiring in a press release this week.

    Krause will serve as global chief financial officer for Faraday Future, taking charge of the company's corporate finance division and handling investor relations and capital management — areas in which Faraday has struggled in the last year.

    The Southern California-based upstart has been plagued with executive departures and dwindling bank accounts in recent months, according to several current and former employees previously interviewed by Business Insider. The turmoil led to lots of bad press for Faraday ahead of its appearance at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

    The event unfolded under the shadow of multimillion dollar lawsuits from some of Faraday's suppliers and led to an embarrassing moment for company honchos who were showcasing their first vehicle, the FF91.

    Current and former employees told Busines Insider at the time that Faraday's finances were on the brink."If CES doesn’t bring in fresh investors, it’s over between February and May," one source close to the company said.

    Jia Yueting, Faraday's only publicly known investor, is a tech billionaire who heads the Chinese electronics company LeEco. Jia has spoken of his own money problems as recently as November.

    Some former employees have attributed portions of Faraday's money troubles to the company's previous chief financial officer, Chaoying Deng. Chaoying remains at Faraday as the director of finance. She was the company's first CEO of record and also acted as the company's president and treasurer for a time. Sources close to the company suggested to Business Insider previously that Faraday's books fell into disarray under her leadership.

    Faraday Future

    A Faraday Future spokesperson told Business Insider on Friday that Chaoying would now report to Krause.

    Krause was once a target of a tax-evasion investigation in the early 2010s. He was one of several Deutsche Bank executives who came under scrutiny amid allegations involving people suspected of trying to avoid sales tax on the trading of carbon tax certificates, The New York Times reported in 2012.

    Law-enforcement officials raided Deutsche Bank offices during the inquiry. Krause and other executives who were being investigated at the time denied any wrongdoing.

    Faraday Future touted Krause's background in corporate fundraising. He is credited with helping raise $22 billion in capital during his time at Deutsche Bank between 2008 and 2015.

    Fundraising is an important next-step for Faraday Future as it tries to court new sources of cash to fund its many initiatives. Faraday's stalled factory project awaits a restart in North Las Vegas, Nevada, the FF91 needs to be readied for production, and, importantly, Faraday's bills need to be paid.

    SEE ALSO: Faraday Future, once seen as a 'Tesla-killer,' is said to be in shambles as cash runs low and executives flee

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    More Americans are working remotely than ever before. With a little help from a new tourism startup, some of these digital nomads are waking up in private villas in Bali, snacking on fruits from the local market, and bathing in outdoor showers before starting the workday.

    Unsettled, founded in 2016, curates 30-day co-working retreats around the world for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and people transitioning between careers. The company promises a productive work environment set in paradise, where participants can break from their routine, find new perspectives, and form authentic professional relationships.

    We spoke with Michael Youngblood, a serial entrepreneur and cofounder of Unsettled, on why co-working travel experiences offer something that traditional co-working spaces can't.

    SEE ALSO: Millennials are paying thousands of dollars a month for maid service and instant friends in modern 'hacker houses'

    A "co-working retreat" sounds like a vacation made by millennials for millennials — like the grown-up version of study abroad. But that's not the intention, Youngblood says.



    Unsettled was built on the belief that the best experiences are the ones you are a full participant in. "You have to collaborate, you have to create. You have to connect with people. You have to contribute," Youngblood says.



    He says these "Four C's"— which he co-opted from an old professor — help people become more fulfilled in all aspects of life, from spirituality to professional development.

    In 2013, Youngblood was living in Washington, DC, running his own creative agency. "My biggest and only client was MIT, so I was doing work for them. But I had never stepped foot on the campus before," Youngblood says. He started to feel isolated without an office to work in.

    Around that time, he put feelers out through social media to see if any friends wanted to take an extended trip where they would work and adventure on the weekends in Bali, an Indonesian island known for its forested volcanic mountains, beaches, and coral reefs. He expected five or six friends to join in. Instead, 42 friends and friends of friends agreed to go.

    It was an "ah ha" moment for Youngblood. "I wasn't making money off it, but at the same time, I was like, '$82,000 in revenue for an idea I came up with two weeks ago?'"



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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