THE WRAP 21 AUGUST – OUR WEEKLY ROUND-UP OF FUNDING NEWS
Hi and welcome to The Wrap, a quick look at the week that was…
Christine Yu, our Investor-in-Residence this month had some great advice around VUCA – an acronym for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. We all know that staying mental resilient during this time is a priority.
There’s a great infographic which I’ll link to in our newsroom showing the characteristics of each area and the approach you should take. For example, Volatility. An unexpected challenge of unknown duration e.g. when prices fluctuate after a natural disaster. So, to prepare in advance, stockpile inventory or overbuy on talent. Obviously these come with a price tag so that has to be factored into your financial planning but what I like here is the preparedness and that helps with mental resilience.
In funding news just announced recently…
Three unlikely receivers of capital. First, online travel agency Traveloka based in Jakarta said it has raised $250 million in fresh funding.
Traveloka is an online travel agency for customers in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam. But it has more recently gotten into providing other services, such as credit cards.
Second funding deal was for online travel agency MyRealTrip based in Seoul. They’ve raised $36 million.
And outdoor gear rental company, Arrive Outdoors, has raised $4.7 million in seed funding.
The California-based company lets travelers rent gear. It ships it to them and the consumer then ships it back when done. Equipment includes hiking and backpacking apparel, camping tents, and skis. Why didn’t someone think of this earlier?
My story of the week….
Comes from an interview with Hong Kong entrepreneur, Angie Ho Pang. She’s one of 16 contributors to the soon-to-be-released book, She Rises for Tomorrow. It features female founders from around the world who’ve left their corporate roles to start their own business. She has a really personalised approach to branding and that’s made for deep engagement with her clients and their audience.
She had so much great business advice as well as how to present your brand story:
- Be connectable/approachable – your brand story should evoke curiosity and make people feel you are trustworthy
- Include client success stories, they are your best brand ambassadors
- Take followers behind the scenes, let them see how you work, particularly with other clients. Abandon the selfies.
- Put up your story, your personal story. People want to know about the founder and why they keep investing their time in this business.
My tip of the week…
Another piece from Twitter this time from Scott Gorlick, one of the early starters at Uber. He talks about how Uber grew so quickly.
- We cold called – got everyone who drives a car for a living to join the fleet think limo and taxi drivers.
- Simple pitch – Uber is a great way to fill your downtime and make extra money.
- They removed friction – made it easy to get started by providing phone and accessories
- They guaranteed driver earnings – by offering drivers an hourly rate even when Uber wasn’t busy.
- We went where drivers were waiting like airports – Uber jobs filled in the wait time
- Referrals were super effective
- They unlocked new supply – ordinary people could use their cars and become UberX drivers
- Used a mix of paid and free channels to recruit
- They never stopped optimizing the funnel – so early on, a change that made a 20-30% conversion improvement was common. At scale, a change in the driver sign up flow that made a 3% improvement was incredible. Lesson? Little things can make a big difference.
They certainly can.
Coming up next week….
Our Founder Institute Next Chapter Raise Fellow is being announced.
Our inaugural Raise Role Model, Fei Yao talks all about the transition from an offline to online back to offline business plus plenty more.
Until then, have a great weekend and see you next time on The Wrap.