11 months ago I posted asking “What is the reason no one is competing with UpWork?”. Today we are announcing our Series A!

Reposting a redacted version because previous post got removed for mentioning product identifying details.

11 months ago I posted on r/startups asking What is the reason no one is competing with UpWork?.

It has been a crazy year since!

I've moved to SF.

I met my co-founder during COVID.

When we realized that our goals were aligned we've committed to building this together.

From there on we'd meet every morning, share breakfast, brainstorm on the whiteboard (very old school I know), work together, & take long walks way past sunset.

Our friendship grew stronger and so did our conviction about the size of the opportunity.

And once we realized how big this thing could be, we started recruiting our engineers, designers, community team, … all around the idea of giving everyone the freedom and opportunity to work independently.

We've hired a ton of extraordinarily talented & caring people. We've raised our pre-seed, seed and series A. We've are building an amazing product using an amazing technology stack.

[redacted]

Today I am the happiest I've ever been, working with the greatest team in the world, solving a problem I deeply care about. We just had our (mostly remote) launch party, and I just wanted to share this excitement with r/startups and encourage everyone to never give up if you are truly convinced about something. 😊

submitted by /u/gajus0
[link] [comments]
Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

11 months ago I posted asking “What is the reason no one is competing with UpWork?”. Today we are announcing our Series A!

11 months ago I posted on /r/startups asking What is the reason no one is competing with UpWork?.

It has been a crazy year since!

I've moved to SF.

I met my co-founder during COVID.

When we realized that our goals were aligned we've committed to building this together.

From there on we'd meet every morning, share breakfast, brainstorm on the whiteboard (very old school I know), work together, & take long walks way past sunset.

Our friendship grew stronger and so did our conviction about the size of the opportunity.

And once we realized how big this thing could be, we started recruiting our engineers, designers, community team, … all around the idea of giving everyone the freedom and opportunity to work independently.

We've hired a ton of extraordinarily talented & caring people. We've raised our pre-seed, seed and series A. We've are building an amazing product using an amazing technology stack.

Our platform is called Contra, and today we are sharing the first preview on ProductHunt. With today’s release, we are giving people the tools to describe their proudest career moments, publicly thank the people with whom they’ve worked with, and begin accepting inquiries for future opportunities.

This is the first Contra drop of many that will shape the new prfessional ntwork for your independent journey. A zero commission alternative to the existing freelancing platforms.

Today I am the happiest I've ever been, working with the greatest team in the world, solving a problem I deeply care about. We just had our (mostly remote) launch party, and I just wanted to share this excitement with /r/startups and encourage everyone to never give up if you are truly convinced about something. 😊

submitted by /u/gajus0
[link] [comments]
Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Asian blockchain, fintech startups competing to win up to $200k in investments – Bankless Times

Asian blockchain, fintech startups competing to win up to $ 200k in investments  Bankless Times
“startups when:1d” – Google News

The Brief: Competing on impact in public equities, solar energy efficiency and access, Black venture capitalists, survey deadline – ImpactAlpha

The Brief: Competing on impact in public equities, solar energy efficiency and access, Black venture capitalists, survey deadline  ImpactAlpha
“sweden startups when:7d” – Google News

Four TU/e startups competing to become ‘Best academic start-up in Netherlands’ – Mirage News

Four TU/e startups competing to become ‘Best academic start-up in Netherlands’  Mirage News
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Competing with both Perfect Day and Beyond Meat, Chile’s NotCo raises $85 million to expand to the US

NotCo, the Chilean food technology company making plant-based milk and meat replacements, has confirmed the close of a new $ 85 million round of funding to take the company’s products into the U.S. market.

The announcement confirms earlier reporting from TechCrunch that the company had raised new capital, but according to people with knowledge of the investment, the valuation for the company is roughly $ 300 million, and not the $ 250 million TechCrunch previously reported.

The funding came from new investors, including the consumer-focused private equity firm L Catterton Partners, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone’s Future Positive investment firm and the giant venture capital firm General Catalyst. Previous investors Kaszek Ventures, The Craftory, Bezos Expeditions (the personal investment firm for Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos), Endeavor Catalyst, IndieBio, Humbolt Capital and Maya Capital all followed on in this round.

NotCo makes a hamburger substitute that’s currently being marketed at Burger King and Papa John’s restaurants in Chile as part of its NotBurger and NotMeat brands, and it has a line of dairy products including NotIceCream, NotMayo and NotMilk.

Both markets are not small, with milk alone being a multi-billion-dollar category that NotCo chief executive Matias Muchnick believes his company can dominate in both Latin America and the US. That trajectory will put it on a collision course with well-funded competitors like Perfect Day, which raised $ 300 million in financing earlier this year and launched a new consumer brand subsidiary, the Urgent Company, for products made with its milk substitutes.

For longtime investors in the company, like Kaszek Ventures managing partner Nicolas Szekasy, the new financing for NotCo validates his firm’s early faith that a company from Santiago, Chile could compete in some of the world’s largest consumer markets.

“We continue to actively support the company since its early days with a strong conviction of the potential that NotCo has to be the leading global player in the food-tech space. In this uncertain time, consumers have amplified their appetite for the plant-based world,” said Szekasy in a statement. “In parallel, COVID has allowed us to see that meat production is not only environmentally harmful and inefficient, but also that its supply chain is fragile. So we are happy to witness an inflection point where plant-based products are becoming an increasing proportion of a new normal, once they can actually taste amazing like we see NotCo crafting.”

Joining the company to help with its international expansion plans are a clutch of seasoned executives from large multi-national food brands. Flavia Buchmann, a former executive at Coca-Cola overseeing the company’s Sprite brand, has been tapped as the company’s new chief marketing officer. Former Danone executives Luis Silva and Catriel Giuliano are taking the reins as heads of global business development and research and development, respectively. And Jose Menendez a former banker at Jeffries and executive at Tapad, is now NotCo’s global chief operating officer.

A flood of venture capital dollars have come into the food space since NotCo first burst on the scene, and many of these deals are operating at the intersection of novel biomanufacturing technologies and food science. But NotCo’s take on food tech is more akin to Beyond Meat than Impossible Foods or Perfect Day.

The company isn’t making biologically engineered foods, it’s taking its taxonomy of existing foods and determining which combinations of plant ingredients will most closely mimic all aspects of the animal products they’re replacing.

So a closer analogy would be companies like Just or the newly funded Climax Foods. Muchnick said the difference is in where these companies are spending their time. Instead of focusing on a protein that can act as one replacement for casein or the carbohydrate lactose, NotCo is trying to replicate the whole product — the entire sensorial panel of a particular food.

“Flavors, taste, smell, color and the interaction between all of them and the molecular components in food,” said Muchnick. “It’s not just the concept of how limited we are to replicating products and how limited to using AI to address other challenges in the food industry.”

For Muchnick, the biggest opportunity for NotCo is dairy. While the company has plans to introduce a number of new products, including a chicken replacement, to complement its line of NotBurger and NotMeat products, it’s really the dairy business where the company wants to land and expand.

It’s looking to cut a deal with a large quick-service restaurant, along with deals for an online channel and a direct to consumer play.

As it grows, consumers can expect to see the company’s brands recede into the background as Muchnick looks to focus on supplying products to other vendors.

“We partnered upstream and downstream,” Muchnick said. The company works with suppliers, including Ingredion, ADM and Cargill and downstream has product partners that will incorporate its milk substitute into other products.

What we want is to be the catalyst of change with many other companies. Why don’t we become the enabler. We’re becoming the Intel inside of other products.”

At that scale, the company would be a prime candidate for public investors, and if Muchnick has his way the company will get there. “We are aiming to have a $ 300 million company by 2024 with 70% of that business in the U.S.,” he said. 

Startups – TechCrunch

Negotiating offer to jump ship for a competing startup

I currently lead operations (customer success, support and renewals) for a small enterprise software company. My current employer has 25 FTEs and generates $ 7 million in annual revenue. I report directly to the CEO, who is the sole decision-maker as this is a bootstrapped company.

My current boss is a micromanager and has made some ethically questionable decisions, so when a larger competitor reached out, I was curious what they had to offer. For context, the competitor is VC funded and has approximately 150 employees and $ 25 million in ARR. I quickly learned that I am underpaid and overworked for this niche market, as the employee to revenue ratio indicates.

Next week I’ll be receiving an offer from the competitor. This will only be for an individual contributor role (think: technical solution manager) but offers a higher base salary and better benefits. The challenge is I believe the competitor is likely to lowball me (relative the position’s range), despite moving quickly on my candidacy and having very positive feedback throughout.

During this process, I’ve been discussing two different roles at the same level with one offering higher total compensation due to commissions. They’re now trying to say that they want all new hires to start in the lower paid role. I’m not thrilled about this, and the recruiter threw out some salary numbers at the lower end of the range ($ 125-135k). As I have experience in this specific niche and would be taking a cut in seniority to work for them, I believe I should be an exception to start in the higher paid role and receive the higher end of the salary range ($ 150k+).

I am very likely to receive a counteroffer from my current boss, as my role is business critical and we’re understaffed as it is. In terms of the comparison between the competitor and my current employer:

*Overall compensation: Likely competitor as my current compensation is ~ 25% bonus, which is variable from quarter to quarter and heavily taxed
*Benefits: Competitor *Title: Current Employer *Influence: Current Employer *Market share: Competitor *Leadership: Competitor *Team: Likely current employer because I’m the hiring manager *Equity: Not a significant factor *Location: Not significant *Travel requirements: Similar *Workload: Position with the competitor would be significantly less work *Signing bonus: Unlikely

How should I approach this? My current employer is less than ideal, but I already have a better title and more influence than I would have at the competitor. I would also need both a promotion (think: VP of Operations) and raise to stay but have a good chance of getting both. (I received a promotion and raise early this year, but both were underwhelming.)

I know I need to ask for a few days to think about the offer and then come back with a counter. How should I approach this with my current employer? If the initial offer is decent, I’m thinking I skip straight to submitting my resignation to get a strong counter while I’m still negotiating the competitor’s offer. (My boss tends to only offer significant incentives when forced.) Thoughts?

Notes: I’m borderline FIRE (financially independent/retire early) but would like to work another 10+ years in tech before pursuing lower paying work that I enjoy more. While I have options aside from these two employers, finding a comparable position outside of this niche would be more difficult.

TL/DR: Receiving an offer from a stronger competitor in the market and will need to negotiate. Also hoping to get a counter from my current employer. Need to get the last, best and final from both quickly in order to make a decision.

submitted by /u/o_my_dog
[link] [comments]
Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Innovators for Children – The grand finale: 10 startups competing for the 100.000-euro prize – Business Review

Innovators for Children – The grand finale: 10 startups competing for the 100.000-euro prize  Business Review
“startups when:1d” – Google News