Dalelorenzo's GDI Blog
12Jun/210

More funding flows into Pipe, as buzzy fintech raises $250M at a $2B valuation

At the end of March, TechCrunch reported that buzzy startup Pipe -- which aims to be the" Nasdaq for income" -- had raised $ 150 million in a round for financing that values the fintech at$ 2 billion.

Well, that consider has closed and in the end, Miami-based Pipe confirms that it has actually grew $250 million at a$ 2 billion valuation in a round that was “massively oversubscribed, ” according to co-founder and co-CEO Harry Hurst.

“We had originally apportioned $150 million for the round, but capped it at $250 million although we could have raised significantly more, ” he told TechCrunch.

As we previously reported, Baltimore, Maryland-based Greenspring Associates passed the round, which included participants of brand-new investors Morgan Stanley’s Counterpoint Global, CreditEase FinTech Investment Fund, Fin VC, 3L and Japan’s SBI Investment. Existing supports such as Next4 7, Marc Benioff, Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six, MaC Ventures and Republic likewise threw money in the latest financing.

The investment to be carried out 2 1/2 months after Pipe raised $ 50 million in “strategic equity funding” from a batch of high-profile investors such as Siemens’ Next4 7 and Jim Pallotta’s Raptor Group, Shopify, Slack, HubSpot, Okta and Social Capital’s Chamath Palihapitiya. With this latest round, Pipe has now raised about $ 316 million in total asset. The new funding was raised at" a significant strengthened in in valuation" from the company's last raise.

Pipe, which aims to be the' Nasdaq for income ,' heightens more money at a$ 2B valuation

As a reporter who first reported Pipe when they elevated$ 6 million in grain fund back in late February 2020, it’s been fascinating to watch the company’s rise. In fact, Pipe claims that its ability to achieve a$ 2 billion valuation in simply under a year since its public propel in June of last year prepares it the fastest fintech to reach this valuation in history. While I can’t substantiate that claim, I can say that its expansion has indeed been speedy and impressive.

Hurst, Josh Mangel and Zain Allarakhia founded Pipe in September 2019 with the field missions of paying SaaS companionships a highway to get their revenue upfront, by pairing them with investors on a marketplace that monies a discounted pace for the annual ethic of those contracts.( Pipe describes its buy-side participates as “a vetted group of financial institutions and banks.”)

The goal of the stage is to offer business with repetition revenue streams access to capital so they don’t diluted their ownership by accepting external capital or get was necessary to take out loans.

More than 4,000 corporations have signed up on the Pipe trading platform because it public opening in June 2020, with simply over 1,000 of those signing up since its March develop, according to Hurst. Tradable annual recur income( ARR) on the Pipe platform is in excess of$ 1 billion and trending toward$ 2 billion, with tens of millions of dollars currently being traded every month. When I previous talked to the company in March, it had reported hundreds of millions of dollars traded in all of the first quarter.

“Growth has been insane, ” Hurst told TechCrunch. “This speaks to why we managed to raise at such a high valuation and lure so much investor interest.”

Image Credits: Pipe

Over time, Pipe’s platform has advanced to offer non-dilutive capital to non-SaaS companionships as well. In fact, 25% of its customers are currently non-SaaS, according to Hurst -- a number he expects to climb to over 50% by year’s end.

Examples of the types of businesses now use Pipe’s platform include quality management business, direct-to-consumer corporations with subscription commodities, insurance brokerages, online pharmacies and even sports/ entertainment-related arrangements, Hurst said. Even VC houses are users.

This Pipe-ing sizzling startup simply collected $50 M to be the' Nasdaq for receipt '

“Any business with exceedingly predictable revenue streams is ripe for trading on our pulpit, ” Hurst emphasizes. “We have opened the most crucial untapped resource class in the world.”

He emphasizes that what Pipe is offering is not debt or a loan.

“Other companionships in this space are dealing in lends and they're actually conjuring pay and uttering corporations fund -- like reselling obligation, ” Hurst said. “This is what differentiates us so massively.”

Pipe’s platform determines a customer’s key metrics by integrating with its accounting, fee processing and banking institutions. It then instant rates the performance of the business and certifies them for a trading restraint. Trading restraints currently array from $50,000 for smaller early-stage and bootstrapped companies to over $100 million for late-stage and publicly listed companies, although there is no cap on how large a trading limit can be.

Pipe has no cost of capital. Institutional investors vie against each other for agreements on its scaffold. In return, Pipe accusations both parties on the two sides of the event a determined trading cost of up to 1 %, depending on the loudnes.

The startup has been operating with a lean and planned programme and has a current headcount of 34. Pipe plans to use its recent fund in part to doubled that amount by year’s end.

“We haven't actually spent a penny of our prior financing, ” Hurst told TechCrunch. “But we're seeing big is asking for the product globally, and across so many different verticals, so we're going to use this asset to not only secure the future of business apparently but to continue to invest into growing all of these various horizontals and kick off our global expansion.”

Image Credits: Pipe co-founder and co-CEO Harry Hurst/ Pipe

Ashton Newhall, organizing general collaborator of Greenspring Associates, described Pipe as" one of the fastest-growing firms" his firm has seen.

The startup, he lent, is" addressing a large TAM( total addressable market) with the potential to fundamentally shift the financial services scenery ."

In special, Greenspring was drawn to Pipe's alternative financing model.

" While there are many companies that work specific niches with traditional lending concoctions, Pipe isn’t a lender ," Newhall told TechCrunch." Very, it’s a trading pulpit and is not actually grow any fund to give to purchasers. Instead, Pipe connects purchasers immediately with institutional investors to get the best possible pricing to trade their actual contracts in lieu of taking a loan ."

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12Apr/210

Lately (Social Media Platform Software Using AI) | with Founder & CEO, Kate Bradley Chernis

Founder Stories by TeamWave, are a series of interviews of founders of small businesses and other thought leaders who share their practical insights from their journey of entrepreneurship. Here they talk about how they scaled up their company, what challenges they faced during their initial years, marketing strategies that worked to scale up their small business and much more.

These success stories are dedicated to all the entrepreneurs, small business owners and startups, to show them a glimpse of what it takes to survive in this competitive business ecosystem.

Plug: TeamWave is an all-in-one, small business productivity platform. Manage your sales, contacts, projects & people in one place for just $39 /Month

In this episode our guest is, Kate Bradley Chernis, who is the CEO and Founder of Lately


Interview with Kate Bradley Chernis (Founder, Lately)

Transcript of the Interview with Kate Bradley Chernis (Founder, Lately)

Reshmi: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Founder Stories by TeamWave. This episode is being shot on Women’s day and coincidentally, we have a superwoman as our guest, Kate Bradley Chernis. She’s the CEO and founder of Lately.ai. Lately is a social media platform that creates content for you with the power of AI. So thanks a lot for joining us, Kate.

Kate: Thank you so much, Reshmi. It’s so great to see you!

Reshmi: My first question would be, we would love to hear from the founder herself, what is lately and how did you come up with this beautiful idea?

Kate: Yeah. So thank you. So, Lately uses artificial intelligence to actually create social media posts for you. And it does that in a couple of ways. Number one, you connect your social channels to lately and you give us access to your analytics and we study them and we start to learn literally what text your customers or your target audience will respond to. We’re looking at the highest engaging post, right?

We build a writing model based on that. And then anything you feed us like a video like this, or a podcast, or any kind of long form text, like a blog or a newsletter. We will take that writing model look for the best quotes that we say, for example, and automize that long form content into like hundreds of social posts. So for example, this video, you push a button Lately’s brain works on it and we’ll give you like 40 to a hundred mini video clips of like the coolest one-liners that you and I say today. Yeah.

Reshmi: Yeah. That’s great. That’s so cool. Because we write so many blogs and we have to literally sit at it for hours and hours and work on it.

Kate: Yes. Right. And then what happens with it? Right. Nothing. So like that’s the worst thing is you work for hours and hours and then maybe you write a couple of social posts for most people, it’s just the headline and the headline usually isn’t very interesting. It’s the content inside that is. So we think of it like a movie trailer. Right. So when you watch a movie trailer, it’s a teaser of what the big story is, you know? So it’s the same idea. Yeah.

Reshmi: And how did you come up with this idea?

Kate: So it’s a bit of a long one. And I didn’t really come up with it, you know, it’s, it’s, I don’t know if this happens in your life Reshmi, but I find that I need catalysts. I need other people to see I dunno how to say this without sounding like a jerk, but to see the greatness, you know, I don’t even realize it. Right. So for example, when I started lately, I, I, so I used to be a rock and roll DJ. My last gig was broadcasting to 20 million listeners a day, XM satellite radio. So it was a wild life, as you might imagine. One of the things I learned in radio was how to make listeners into fans. And that’s a big difference because fans evangelize you, right.

Same with customers, you know? So you get so much more out of the bang for your buck. And part of the way you do that in radio is the same way you do it in marketing and sales, which is that using that authentic connection pulling back the black curtain a little bit, giving people a peek, right? So to speak and other techniques as well.

And one of the things that we were doing was we were presenting new music at the time in a way where it was supported by older familiar music. And it’s a real art form to do this, but it really touches on the neuroscience of music. So get this, this is crazy. So when you listen to music, your brain has to access every single song you’ve ever heard before to index that new song in it, in the right place, in your mind.

Right. And when that happens, all this nostalgic it’s pulled forward. So you feel very emotional around the music cause your brain is looking for the familiar touch points of the new thing to connect with. Right? And so marketing and sales is the same way. Writing is the same way when I’m writing something, I’m looking to figure out how can I put something new in a context in your mind where you’re going to feel comfortable enough to trust me right.

And buy my thing. Yep. So that influences actually our AI right now, which is why it gets people such a high engagement. But the, how I got there from radio from radio is kind of crazy. So I was I was sexually harassed in radio, you know, it’s part of the culture boys club. And I didn’t even know that was wrong. Reshmi, like, cause it was so normal.

I even participated in it because it was just the deal, you know? But what I did know was that I wasn’t getting the credit for my ideas and the things I was doing well, and that really bothered me. And it was in a hostile work environment, which also I didn’t, I didn’t even know that were, we didn’t have this language then, you know, I’m, I’m 47 and this was in 2004, so a while ago and my body started reacting.

So I, I had all these illnesses. I had this huge rash on my torso that no one could explain. And I had torn ligament in my ankle and kept reinjuring it. So I was like on crutches for almost a couple of years. And my hands developed epicondylitis and tendonitis, which is inoperable pain and I couldn’t type anymore.

So I couldn’t do what you can do every day. And I still can’t actually without great pain. So I had to had to learn something new and I was really scared. And I, I learned about Dragon Naturally Speaking, which is voice activated software. So that’s why I wear this microphone all day long, right. My computer. Oh yeah. And I can’t even touch my phone without a stylist cause it hurts the lunch.

So I, I found this woman who knew how to use this voice-activated software to train me because I didn’t have any money because there’s no money in radio. And so I paid her in CDs because I had mountains of CDs, you know, from work and she was a fan. And then I ended up moving from XM and, and nobody, they didn’t think anything was wrong with me. So there was all this discrimination cause I looked normal, you know, I had hands obviously and I moved to another music related company and the same thing, there was no understanding what was wrong with me.

And I was very, very terrified and I, wasn’t a very nice person Reshmi. I, I was just toxic. Like I hated my job and I hated my life and I, I didn’t know how to change it. Right. And my dad one day was really sick of me crying all the time. So he very lovingly shook me by the shoulders and said, you can’t work for other people. And there’s no shame in that. Right. Which, so the reason that affected me so greatly, it was because I obviously, it didn’t occur to me.

I could work for myself. I was like, Oh wow, that’s great. And then, but the other thing that he keyed in on was the shame. So most women that I know, since it’s international women’s day, they take it all upon themselves. Our first, I don’t know if this happens to you, but our first reaction is to think, okay, what did I do wrong?And to run through all the reasons, all the self-doubt, all the criticism, right. That’s what we do. And that’s what I had done. I was, I did feel shame. I thought I was messing this up. Right. But I wasn’t messing this up. I, I was doing everything in my power to try to make myself feel better or get better. And no one was helping me, you know? So my boyfriend who’s now my husband at the time he, he heard my dad and he went and got me a start-up book. It’s called the Art of The Start by Guy Kawasaki. Yeah. Yeah. You know that one. Yeah.

Yeah. So I was reading it and Guy says like, it’s right in the first or second chapter, he says, don’t make a plan just get started. Right. Yeah. And so I, I got the, I got the gist, so I just stopped reading the book because I was like, okay, let’s do this now. And I went to lunch the next day. This is a super confluence of, of magical things. I went to lunch with a couple of guys who, I didn’t know. And they were hand delivering a product that they could have mailed to me for work.

But they were fans of mine from XM. There were radio fans. They knew my show. Yeah. And I went to lunch with them and it turns out that they were angel investors that just happened to also be angel investors. And they were like, we love you. Let’s start a company. Here’s 50,000 bucks. Right. So they gave me $50,000 to start my first company. And it was kind of kismet. And, and I remember David, my, my now husband, he was like, “I Just gave you that book.

From there. I told you as long story. Right. So from there we were marketing that company. And as I was doing that, somebody else came along and said, Hey, you know, you’re really good at marketing. Could you consult this project? I’m working on, we’ll pay you a lot more money and you don’t have to listen to music anymore.

And I was like, great, because that was exhausting. The world, the universe was trying to tell me to let go of this other identity, but I wasn’t quite there yet Reshmi, you know, and I needed this, this nudge. And so, cause I was scared to lose my identity, Kate, the DJ, you know, the Kate, the music person. So I went and decided to say, okay, I’m going to stop the music thing and do this other thing. And that was the Walmart project.

So suddenly I’m consulting the largest retailer in the world. And I saw that they were, they were doing this really good cause it was trying, they were trying to help people who are poor, educate them through financial empowerment courses and then also tax. So for me, and you just think about this, like if you make, if you make $10,000 a year and you’re going to get a $2,000 tax credit, that’s life changing.

Yeah. So it was Walmart and all of their franchises and bank of America and all of their franchises and United way worldwide and all of their franchises and the National Disability Institute and the IRS. So like a lot of huge players and a lot of small players, everyone wanted this good cost together. And I thought, what a mess.

And so I went home and built a spreadsheet and to organize us really, and to uncover some of the things that you and so many people, you know, are starting to be really aware of, which is marketers are generally not very good at writing. They don’t like writing. They hire out consultants to write for them. People in general are bad at writing. And consistency is hard. Like all those little nuances that you start to become an expert on is not it’s not, not normal. It’s not natural for other people, you know, it’s hard. And so my spreadsheet system that I created took care of a lot of this and it got us 130% ROI year over year for three years.

Yeah. So that was amazing. And so remember Reshmi, how we talked about that we first, someone else needed to see. Yeah. So, someone introduced me to Steve who’s one of my co-founders now. And Steve had said to me then, Hey, your spreadsheets are amazing because by then I had an agency and I was using the system for a lot of clients.

He was like, let’s just automate them and turn them into software and we’ll build wire frames and you need, we need $25,000. And he was just speaking this language that I’d never heard those words before. Right. I didn’t know what it meant. And I was like, first of all, I’ve been like eating Ramen noodles for 30 years to save up this $25,000 that I have to buy my first house, you know? I was like, so you’re crazy who just drops $25,000.

Then I was like, don’t touch my spreadsheets. I mean, they’re awesome. What are you crazy? And then I didn’t know what a wireframe is. Right. So for folks who may not know a wire frame is kind of like a blueprint of a website. So it can give someone a visual idea of like how it could all work together. You know? So Steve took that money out of his own pocket and hired Jason, who he’s been working with for a long time and is now one of my other co-founders.

And they came over and they showed me the wire frames to Lately. And it looks a lot like what it looks like now. I was a lot nicer to them after that, because I got, I got it. I saw what they wanted. They were, they wanted to automate this process for everybody. Right? Yeah. So that’s how.

Reshmi: That was very inspiring actually. Every part that you said, I think, especially the female entrepreneurs or the people who work as female employees, they would be very they would be able to relate to that part. The initial part that you said about harassment or about, you know, about the bias in the industry. So many people would be able to relate to that, and it was very inspiring how you fought it out, how you came out of it, how you tried to change yourself and then the journey that you have reached till here. So I just loved it.

Kate: Thank You, and you know, the important thing to me there too, is that other people had to help me. Right. So my dad and Steve, and my aunt is the one who put me on the Walmart account. These three people saw something I didn’t see. Right. Which we all need that. And I was willing to listen. That’s the other thing is like, it just happened to be that I was in the right place to take the information and move forward with it. Right. So it’s part luck. And then part, you know, the willingness to, to change the channel.

Reshmi: Exactly. Yeah. How did you find the product market fit? Like, okay. Did you find the customers first and then decide on the product? Or did you first make the product and show them the demo?

Kate: We, so it was hard because we, we struggled Reshmi. We, we didn’t even know how to build this product out because it was too big. So I had inside my spreadsheet system, there were about, I would say two dozen worksheets, and we were trying to build a feature for each worksheet and then how’s it right under, under the, the whole platform. And the top hard part was we didn’t, we didn’t know where to start because marketing isn’t a linear event.

Right. It’s, it’s more, not everybody starts at the same place. And so it was hard. How do you, like say do this through this or this? And so we had an idea with one feature that we thought was going to be the way to go. So we spent a little while working on that and spend all the money we’d raised actually. And my, at the time, my CTO, my chief technical officer, it turns out that he was an alcoholic loser and was not doing any work for me and wasting all my money.

And that was really painful to understand. But also because I didn’t even know, I didn’t know what Github was. I didn’t understand code. I couldn’t even uncover that that’s what was happening. Cause I had zero visibility. Right. So we hired another CTO to come in and help us. And we started to have a little bit more of a visual. We kept, we kept with the idea, like, let’s look at each worksheet as a feature and see which one is the most interesting.

And so finally we built a skeleton and we, we we’ve had fake customers. We like basically twisted the arms of people. We knew to give us 20 bucks a month and say that they were our customers and kind of give us some feedback, you know? And it, it wasn’t really working because what we were selling was organization. We thought that was the thing that I had done for Walmart.

But really the thing that I had done was like unify the content and show them a way to automize it. But I didn’t even know it then, but the customers kept coming back to this one feature. It was the one that everyone was the most excited about. So it took us a couple of years to really understand this. And then we flipped Lately.

We didn’t even know, we didn’t know it was called AI by the way, that wasn’t even what we were had no understanding here, but it was just listening to it, to all of our customers and watching what they were doing. And we started to have real customers, which is good. And we found that the lower payment was making them churn because they weren’t taking it seriously. They weren’t, they didn’t understand that there had to be some time invested because people hate marketing so much.

They really want to push a button and walk away and you can’t, you have to be, you know, like, you know, I have, I just was using my electronic toothbrush. Right. It’s it does the brushing for me, but I still have to hold it in my mouth. Right. You know? So as we started raising the price, we saw the customers staying longer and getting the value more and using that automizing feature. That was the big one.

Okay. And then we also learned that we were selling ourselves short. So we, we focused on that one feature and thought, okay, let’s just highlight this. But then we realized that because people thought we were just a tool and not a platform, that there was a ceiling to how much they would pay. They didn’t realize all the power we’d really give it them. So we need to, again, revisit how we communicated everything and then change the pricing to reflect a more a platform and not just a tool, you know?

And then we, we got the AI. So we, we cottoned onto that. And then the kicker though, was the video clips. Right. So, so forever you could take any blog or a chapter of a book or newsletter or anything like that, paste it into Lately, push a button. And we would give you like 50 social posts. Right. but one of our customers and, and me, I, I would do a video like this and I would give it to an intern and say like, Hey, can you go through and find like all the cool bits and then chop it up, you know? And no one would do it for me. And I was like, this is crazy. So my, my team decided to sit down and figure it out one day. And as soon as we could do the video clips, that changed everything.

Because you, you guys just all heard me take forever to tell you what Lately, does. I’m not good at it. And it’s very hard to describe. Now I don’t have to, I can literally show you Gary Vee you know, Gary Vaynerchuk, Gary Vee at that this was a year ago when we made this video clip feature, he saw it, he built an entire Twitter channel. It’s called Gary Vee TV, it’s fueled only by Lately and nothing else. And it gets him a 12000% increase in engagement. Yeah.

So now I just show people, Gary Vee’s channel and they go, Oh, right. So, so that changed for us. And so to answer your question in the sorry for taking so long, but like, it wasn’t a straight path and it still isn’t, you know, we’re still that, people always tell you to listen to your customers and you think, yeah, of course I am, but you, you don’t understand, like it’s not just listening, but you’re looking for, I’m looking for patterns.

This is the best. One of the best tips anybody ever gave me is negative or positive. You want to look for the patterns in the time, how long it takes someone to be a customer, what they use, how long it takes them to churn, how long it takes them to ask X questions. You know, you’re looking at the budget and all those patterns, like patterns are just the key to unlocking everything. Right. You know? But yeah, it’s it’s not a straight line.

Reshmi: Yeah. Yeah. I actually just loved that part that you said means it is listening is not bad, but we should understand the different patterns, like what they say, or we should yeah. We should read between the lines basically.

Kate: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And that’s a lot of people don’t don’t have that skill. Right. And, and sometimes I don’t, I need my team to see it for me because it’s not, you know, they know more than I do collectively. Right. Thank God

Reshmi: From your answer. Yeah. Well, I would love to hear more about the association between the Lately and Gary Vee team, because yes. All the marketers are a huge fan of Gary Vee obviously. Yes.

Kate: So great. I mean, you know, so we met him actually. So let’s see, we met him in 2019. There was he does a course called 4 Ds and you go for, you go for a day and you get, like, I think there are seven or eight different courses with his marketing team. And then Gary spends like an hour also, with everyone in the room. And there’s usually like seven, 10 or 12 people. So I went because I wanted to make the sale. We had seen Oh, I forgot to tell you this part, this is important. So Gary put on LinkedIn one day, Hey, if there was only an AI tool that would turn all of my long-form content into like 40 social posts with a click of a button. And we were like, that’s lately.

So we called and we emailed every customer. We had any person we knew to. I commented on that. And we had everybody liked my comment and comment on my comment to help push it up right. In the thread. And so we made a lot of noise. So team Gary V he’s got a whole team of people who run a lot of his stuff. They saw it and we got, we got them in a trial. So we made them a customers and they were in a trial.

And so I went to 4 Ds because I wanted to close the deal, you know? Yeah. And the guy who was trialing for us, the head of it was on vacation that week, you know, unfortunately, but his, the other team was there. So I, I left the room all day long because I didn’t need marketing consulting, you know?

And so I kept, I went out to find all the people who were using Lately and talk to them and get to know them and yada yada. So at the end of the day, then Gary comes in for like an hour and he starts talking to everybody and they all have these questions and I’m like, Reshmi. I was like, Oh my God, I don’t have any questions.

I’m like, because I wasn’t prepared for this. You know? So I’m trying to come up with some questions and, and then Gary goes around the room and he asks you, he’s so nice. He’s got so much integrity. And he asks everybody what they do and who they are, etc. So I said, you know, we are automating social media writing. And he was like, Oh, we would never use that. We don’t do any automation. That’s social. Right. I was like, but your team is using us right now.

And he was like, what? So then he called in the people that I had spent the day talking to, and he was like, are you using Lately? And they were like, yeah, we love it. You know, etc. And you know, Gary reached me, right. So he he recorded this whole thing cause he uses it for content later and he left all of it in which he didn’t have to do, you know, which was really cool. So that was awesome.

And so we were already in his mist, but like he forgot about us cause he’s not using Lately. His team was using it, you know? And they were about to churn. We were about to lose them as a customer because Gary doesn’t need an automated army. He has a human army, you know, he doesn’t really need lately, but the video cut feature was key.

So as soon as we released that, we called up the team and say, Hey guys, and Jim Thompson, who was our, our man inside there made that Twitter channel and literally just walked up to Gary and showed him his phone with the Twitter channel. And Gary said, Oh my God, who is that? I want to meet them on Monday. And, and so we did, so he’s become an advisor to us. You know, really one other thing that he said to me which hopefully people will find this useful is they had, they had talked about how their own marketing, they were doing a new thing that they had stopped doing cold calls and cold emails. And I was like really interested in that because I hate cold calls and cold emails.

Reshmi: Yeah, exactly. It’s like, sometimes we think, okay, why did I get this call? Why did I get this email?

Kate: Yeah. It’s like, so how do that? And so I was interested in that and I was like, you know, what can we do this? Cause he said that what they did instead was they looked at everyone who was liking and commenting on their social media. And they decided that they were going to be warm leads and they would qualify the right people from there. And I was like, Oh my God, we can do this. So we only use Lately to market Lately. Nothing else. I’m going to ask you for the file of this recording. I’m going to run it through the brain. Hopefully, you say yes.

Yeah. I run it through Lately. We’ll transcribe all the text and then it’ll look for the best video clips of the things you and I say and give me social posts. Right. And so I only use that for our marketing, nothing else. And we, since we started doing this, we have a 98% conversion rate. Yeah. Because we’re doing what Gary said, first of all, the AI is doing its job. It’s finding the stuff we know people are going to respond to. And then we watch people who like, and comment or share our content. They’re considered warm. We, we further qualify them with like a checklist and then get them into a DM and get them into the demo and close them. Right. So cool.

Reshmi: I would love to know more about Lately the two best features about lately that you want to talk about. Obviously there would be many, but yeah. I would love to hear two best features.

Kate: I think. So I’ll tell you a functional one and then more of an aesthetic one if that’s okay. And thank you for asking. Functional one is the word clouds. So we’re literally looking at the DNA of what you say. So we break down your sentences into the words, you know, which words make up the sentences that your customers are resharing the most or commenting on.

And so you can look at the word clouds anytime, but most of our customers come in and they look at them first because the word clouds literally are a live antenna of what people want you to talk about. Right? Yeah. And people will actually reverse engineer Lately in this way. So, and you can cure it, the word clouds, by the way. So if the word “like” comes up, you can be like, no, that’s a noise word, AI ignore.

Or if the word marketing comes up, you can say, Oh yeah, pay attention to that. Right. So there’s the human involvement. And then, we had a customer Treadwell. Actually. He took his blog. He ran it through Lately. And the social posts that came out, he thought that were terrible. So he went to his word, clouds, readjusted, and rewrote his blog based on what was there and then ran it back through Lately and everything came out good.

Okay. Interesting. Right. So yeah. Number two, related to that is the human element. So we know as you know, that you can’t remove humans from the equation when it comes to sales and marketing, because it’s part of the magic, right? And so Lately’s job is to, to start to get you three quarters of the way there to start you at third base, staaart you at third base.

Like that takes a lot of work to get there. Right. But then the human’s job is to come in and give it that little extra nudge along. So for example, once you get like a hundred social posts from lately, you have the option to go in and edit all of them. And we recommend you do because even the AI even learns from what you delete, it’s paying attention to what you say, what you delete and what you edit and how you edit it. Right.

And giving that helping you, helping it, learn your voice, learn your, you know, that, that extra spark there. And that’s something I think people either love or they hate, right? So some people are like, Oh, I have to do work. Yes, yes. You have to do work, you know, or then there’s other people who obviously totally get it. And those, those are our customers, but yeah, great.

Reshmi: Well, yeah after the video’s done, we have to edit it. There would be some parts which we want to share. So basically I sometimes think like if we could easily just cut it into the best parts we could cut, cut those out. So it’s great.

Kate: Yeah. It’s like I mean my assignment small, so there’s a friend well, because I met him online, I was like, Oh, this is like having like a team of five other people do this work for you. And you’re like, yeah. You know, exactly. Cause it takes a long time to go back and watch something and cut it all up.

Reshmi: Now we are almost at the end of the interview. So I had two just fun questions to just know which is one other book you would like to recommend to the entrepreneurs.

Kate: Oh, the best one I love is called PITCH ANYTHING. And it’s kind of a, it’s kind of a like bravado male bravado book a little bit, but don’t let that freak you out. It’s about the psychology of sales and how manipulative it is, which it is. And there’s great tricks that you can, I mean, you, I feel like the thing that took me a long time to learn Reshmiwas to know what my objective is and to be unashamed about that objective sales and to go in and just get it and to learn how to work a room, right.

How to work an audience, which I already knew that from radio, but I didn’t realize I had to apply it to every meeting with investors or customers or et cetera. Right. So even in this moment, you are you right now, but you’re you the host, which is a little bit different than you, the sister or you the daughter, or if you’re married you, the wife, right.

Like girlfriend or whatever it is. And so being able to put on that persona in the moment and be very clear on how to get it is what this book is about. And it shows you some sneaky tricks, which I’m okay with sneaky. I don’t think there was anything wrong with it’s already, they’re doing it to you. So you might as well go to the gunfight with a gun and not a knife. Right? Yeah. You know, so anyways, that’s why I liked that one a lot. Cause it’s kind of Sharky which I didn’t have that skill.

Or I did, but I didn’t know. I didn’t know to apply it to that room, especially sorry to go on about this, but especially as a woman because men, not all men, of course, but like, I’ll give you an example. So here’s something that a lot of guys like to do in a, in a, in a meeting is they’ll they like to sit back and do this right now.

Right. And that’s a form of offense, you know, I’m big and I’m sitting back and this is my power stance, you know? And it also says, I am not interested in you. I’m just, I’m on California at a time right now, or, you know what I mean? But like when you can recognize those things and either learn how to mirror them or one-up people with them, cause it’s out there, you need, you need that skill set, you know?

Reshmi: Yeah. Yeah. I agree because I’m not that good at sales, but yes. I’ve read in books. We need to have that skill to be a good salesperson. Yeah. Yeah.

Kate: And it is as simple as thinking, like I learned this from that book as well. You don’t think, you know? Right. So think, think, I think undercuts what you’re saying before it even comes out of your mouth. Right. So like, I think you’ll be happy with this product is like so weak and, and that’s again, like women don’t really think about that so much. So like I tried to remove words like need, probably, maybe just see all those. Yeah. Yeah.

Reshmi: Okay. I think I have to add that book to my reading list.

Kate: Yeah. Yeah. It’s a, it’s a good one. It’s it’s full of bravado. So just FYI, but you know, there’s nothing we can’t, we, we can, you can always take it and twist the metaphor for your own purpose, right? Yeah.

Reshmi: And the one productivity app that you use, if you use any

Kate: Oh, you know, I mean, I use sticky notes for everything. I know this is not an app, but like, like they’re all over the place, you know, like that’s my favorite and the reason, you know, why it’s because I have so much software in my face and I have, I have a Asana, I have Microsoft and all the notes I have to myself and all that. But like, I, these are the things I try to put down, like my top three things I’m going to do every day and then actually cross them off. And you know how hard it is just to do three things.

Reshmi: I understand. It’s.

Kate: Yeah. Right. And I also, I like that you can move them because like some days I’ll be like, Oh, I didn’t do this. And then I go stick it on my, like my makeup mirror, you know, in the other room. So then I’m like staring me in the face.

Reshmi: So that’s the end, sadly, Kate. I loved talking to you, but that’s the end of the interview. Do you have some advice or some special message that you want to give to the audience?

Kate: Yeah. I think the most important thing is to really listen to your gut. Your gut is so powerful and I find women, especially, we always forget to listen, you know, and then it it’ll do things like incapacitate, you like, in my case, you know, it’ll make you sick or whatever it is. And, and that, that sucker is really intelligent. It really is trying to like lead you in the right direction. And so when you’re listening, incredibly powerful things can happen. But when you’re not listening, you know, it’ll, it’ll shut you down. Right.

Reshmi: Okay. Thanks a lot, Kate. It was great talking to you. Thank you.

**In case you are a founder of a small business and want to be featured on our Founder Stories, or if you want to recommend someone for our Founder Stories series, you can connect here.

The post Lately (Social Media Platform Software Using AI) | with Founder & CEO, Kate Bradley Chernis appeared first on TeamWave - CRM, Project Management & HR Software.

Read more: blog.teamwave.com

16Mar/210

Razorpay looks at $2 billion valuation

Mumbai: Fintech startup Razorpay is in talks with its existing investor Singapore's sovereign investment funds GIC and others to raise $150 -2 00 million in a financing round that could see its valuation roughly double to$ 2 billion in less than six months, three parties privy to the matter told The Economic Times. That would be one of the fastest increases in valuation for an Indian startup, signalling the rising investor interest in digital payments and the overall financial services sector, which is increasingly moving online.“There could be other new investors likewise looking to come in, but Razorpay’s existing investors such as Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital will likely participate along with GIC, ” said a person privy to the deal details.The sharp increase in valuation is due in large part to the uptick in digital business in recent months as the Covid-1 9 crisis has propagandized businesses--small and large--to adopt online fees as policy options, manufacture experts said.“The investor sentiment is favourable for fintech houses as they can command strong valuations due to a big push towards digital remittances and financial services in India, ” another person in know of the development said.The Bengaluru-based startup entered the sought-after unicorn club in October, where reference is caused $100 million at a its evaluation of precisely over$ 1 billion, in a round led by GIC and venture capital firm Sequoia Capital. The round too watched participation of existing investors Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global, Y-Combinator and Matrix Partners.Razorpay and GIC didn’t immediately is submitted in response to queries emailed by ET on the potential fundraise. 8120056 9Expansion of Pays PlatformThe pays "providers " assists jobs automate collectings through its gateway busines, while also helping small businesses oversee coin spurt. It partners with large-scale online sellers, such as Swiggy, Zomato and Ola, while also providing remittances services to over five million small-minded merchants.People aware of the making in the company said that Razorpay could use the fresh asset to expand its fees platform, seeing further rise in 2021 amid a marked shift towards cashless fees. “Another area where the firm would look to strengthen its technology would be in the areas of fraud analytics and security boasts on its pulpit, ” the person said.Founded by Harshil Mathur and Shashank Kumar, Razorpay also guides a neo-banking platform RazorpayX, which assists merchants loped chequing account and access recognition from marriage banks. As of January, RazorpayX was treating credits worth Rs 250 crore each month.Mathur had told ET that the conglomerate has ambitions to scale its credit disbursement to Rs 500 crore each month by the second half of monetary 2022. The company expects RazorpayX and Razorpay Capital, its lending horizontal, to contribute 35% of its all revenues, Mathur had said.The fintech startup has raised $206.5 million in four investment rounds since its inception in 2014. Prior to the opening of the $ 100 million round in 2020, the house had raised $75 million in series C funding in 2019 led by Ribbit Capital and Tiger Global.Razorpay recently captivated further consideration of the Enforcement Directorate owing to a proliferation of unauthorised Chinese lend apps squandering its gateway to accept payments from its borrowers.ET in January had reported that a significant number of unauthorised lend apps signalled by investigative authorities were exercising the services offered of Razorpay at the time along with other remittance gateways. The busines took down several hundreds of such merchants from its pulpit, it said in a statement to ET .* An earlier edition of the storey said the Reserve Bank of India has scrutinised Razorpay and that 95% of unauthorised lend apps were consuming their services. The companionship has refuted the information collected. We have, therefore, formed changes to the story to reflect this, as these items couldn't be verified separately, immediately.

Read more: economictimes.indiatimes.com

15Mar/210

The tide seems to be turning on ‘Work from Goa’ trend

Mumbai: "The exodus has finally begun", a regional real estate agent told Devika Sarin recently.Sarin, the co-founder of a emporium bed and breakfast and co-working space in Goa - Curioso Studio and Suites, knew immediately what the agent was referring to.Big-city dwellers, primarily from the startup and tech society, "whos had"- amid a furiou Covid-1 9 pandemic - moved to the coastal paradise in the middle of last year to soak in its coasts, weather, natural environment, and more importantly, for its short flight distance from hubs like Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai, were going back. During the pandemic, reversal migration developed as one of the biggest trends in the startup and tech society in the United States, where pre-eminent benefactors, venture capitalists and big companies like Tesla moved basi from the San Francisco Bay Area to countries like Texas and cities like Miami.India, too, looked a similar trend, where a multitude of startup staff went back to their hometowns, while others relocated to Goa.Since June, 90% of the tenants at Curioso had comprised “fintech boys” as opposed to the usual mix of creative and motif professionals. The exodus “in” had also spiked realty premiums by 20% -3 0 %. However , now they were reverting to tier-1 municipal homes in Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru as many offices moved to reopen starting March. Fun and franticOver the last five months, the cofounder of co-working cavities adventurer 91 Springboard, Pranay Gupta( too based in Goa ), received one query every week from benefactors keen to have a remote working set up in the coastal state, compared to one a few months before the pandemic. 8123966 0Tech Twitter had been abuzz with the community’s reverse migration to Goa of late with babble around turning it into the Miami of India’s startup world. In fact, cafes in North Goa resounded with “Koramangala talks”- as Raj Kunkolienkar, a Goan and cofounder of startup MBA school Stoa said, referring to chatter around funding bulletin at the startup central in Bengaluru. Yet, the promotion around any reversal migration posed its own set of challenges.Talent buy, internet connectivity, mobility, among other things that make it hard for parties to sustain the alter, were ultimately reducing it to a short-lived fad. Are parties should be going to Bangalore ?-- ankit (@ ankitkr0) 16143198510 00 Professionals to say 30% of those from the tech circle who moved to Goa during the pandemic may consider staying back for long. It could imply that they were choosing a better quality of life over better profession potentials, they supplemented. With Covid-1 9 virus outbreak normalising remote task, countless tech professionals were able to put into motion their dream of having a life in Goa, away from the traffic and pollution of a large metropolis. “But the enthusiasm seems to be wearing off now, ” Sarin of Curioso said. While working on a beach resonates seducing, Goa is still not there in terms of infrastructure for a startup hub to flourish even though the regime government is driving initiatives to change that. Ride hailing services providers Ola and Uber are restricted there, merely state-run cab facility GoaMiles wreaks. Internet connectivity is patchy at best. Millenials’ paradiseThe move is easier for unmarried millennials who are not restrained down by familial responsibilities.“For the next year or so, it renders us the option to optimise for quality of life of canadians, ” said Rishi Raj Rahul, founder of upskilling platform Aviate. The 33 -year-old moved to Goa in July while most of his team representatives are still in Bengaluru. It may also be feasible for benefactors racing small teams to operate out of Goa, “but hiring major endowment becomes the major issues if you want to scale up as families with dual-income may struggle to shift to Goa, ” said Akhil Singh, cofounder of ed-tech startup Questt.Singh moved to Goa in November 2018 but is currently thinking of shifting base to Bengaluru as his firm scales up. Naman Shrivastava, 28, cofounder of Global Governance Initiative, a think-tank that works with the United Commonwealth in Boston, came home to Delhi during the pandemic but soon moved to Goa to escape the extreme weather. Even his move is temporary, though, as he is planning to explore the possibility of remote use from Madhya Pradesh next. “Goa is not a good place to stay between April and May because of the hot weather, ” he said. Bhagyashree Pancholy, a remote run and principle consultant, said work-from-home in the same city has encountered following among Indian tech companies and other corporates but remote working or slog from' anywhere’ is still a reverie perception that is not feasible in the Indian construct. The surge of technology workers who invest three-to-six months in the state has helped eradicate the illusion that Goa is just a neighbourhood to party. “People know that it is possible to work from here, more , now, ” says Singh of Questt, adding that to sustain the trend, one needs a startup success story out of here. Those buoyant on Goa feel that logistics firm Delhivery, which changed cornerstone to Goa from Gurugram sometime before the pandemic, will be that story. “The only problem I had during my six-month stay in Goa was that during some podcast preserves, I was told to mute myself as there were a lot of birds chirping in the background, ” said Saransh D, 30, a startup business development professional who recently returned to hometown Delhi for some unavoidable drudgery. He is contemplating cultivating remotely from Rishikesh next.At present, Goa seems like it was just the first wish for those from the startup world who could afford to be digital nomads. 8123999 6The flow of tech geeks into the state did keep the economy afloat in the is a lack of international tourism, said Shruti Chaturvedi, founder of media company Chaaipani, who moved to Goa from Mumbai two years ago.“But now they’re moving back to the cities they came from while they have inflated tolls in so many lists for the locals, ” she said, adding that when the reverse migration happens for real, parties would start making back to the state -- by generating employment for starters -- instead of just applying its resources. Noah Martins, a Goan and a student at BITS Pilani’s Goa campus, hoped parties is in compliance with the state’s culture. “I hope they won’t do here the things they’re mindful of not "doin " their big cities as well.”Ilustrations by Rahul Awasthi

Read more: economictimes.indiatimes.com