Economical shipping options

A good day to everyone,

I am a student who is wanting to start an ecommerce store for designer A4 sheets. I have dabbled in this field before as well and have seen a decent demand for the product in the US and the UK and am thinking of further expanding the product shipment. However, most of the shipment agencies I have tried contacting are charging a price twice as much as even the sales price of the product. Does anyone know of any economical/affordable shipping companies? Any type of help would be amazing. I am actually going to use the money as funds for my further education and surprise my parents.

Note: I have used sites like shopify and feel confident enough to start my own store.

Thank you so much again guys

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Dear Sophie: Which immigration options are the fastest?

Here’s another edition of “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at technology companies.

“Your questions are vital to the spread of knowledge that allows people all over the world to rise above borders and pursue their dreams,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you’re in people ops, a founder or seeking a job in Silicon Valley, I would love to answer your questions in my next column.”

Extra Crunch members receive access to weekly “Dear Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to purchase a one- or two-year subscription for 50% off.

Dear Sophie:

Help! Our startup needs to hire 50 engineers in artificial intelligence and related fields ASAP. Which visa and green card options are the quickest to get for top immigrant engineers?

 And will Biden’s new immigration bill help us?

— Mesmerized in Menlo Park

Dear Mesmerized,

I’m getting this question quite frequently now as more and more startups with recent funding rounds are looking to quickly expand. In the latest episode of my podcast, I discuss some of the quickest visa categories for startups to consider when they need to add talent quickly.

As always, I suggest consulting with an experienced immigration lawyer who can help you quickly strategize and implement an efficient and cost-effective hiring and immigration plan. An immigration lawyer will also be up to date on any immigration policy changes and plans in the event that the Biden administration’s U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 passes. It was introduced in the House and Senate this month.

That proposed legislation would enable more international talent to come to the U.S. for jobs and clear employment-based visa backlogs, among other things. Given the legislation’s substantial benefits offered to employers, I encourage your startup — and other companies — to let congressional representatives know you support it.

A composite image of immigration law attorney Sophie Alcorn in front of a background with a TechCrunch logo.

Image Credits: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (opens in a new window)

Given that most U.S. embassies and consulates remain at limited capacity for routine visa and green card processing due to the pandemic, it is generally quicker to hire American and international workers who are already in the U.S. Although U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is experiencing substantial delays in processing cases due to the coronavirus, as well as an increase in applications, Premium Processing is currently available for most employment-based petitions. We are still able to support many folks with U.S. visa appointment scheduling at consulates abroad using various national interest strategies.

With all of that in mind, here are the visa categories that offer the quickest way to hire international talent.

H-1B transfers

Hiring individuals by transferring their H-1B to your startup can be completed in a couple of months with premium processing. Premium processing is an optional service that for a fee guarantees USCIS will process the petition within 15 calendar days.

What’s more, H-1B transferees can start working for your startup even before USCIS has issued a receipt notice or made a decision in the case. You just need to make sure that USCIS received the petition, which is why I always recommend sending all packages to USCIS with tracking.

Premium processing can help to get a digital receipt as the paper receipts are often backlogged. I stopped suggesting this route during the Trump administration, but am feeling more comfortable providing it as an option under the Biden administration. The H-1B is the only type of visa that allows somebody to start working upon the filing of a transfer application.

Startups – TechCrunch

ErudiFi raises $5 million Series A to give students in Southeast Asia more education financing options

Based in Singapore, ErudiFi wants to help more students in Southeast Asia stay in school by giving them affordable financing options. The startup announced today it has raised a $ 5 million Series A, co-led by Monk’s Hill Ventures and Qualgro.

ErudiFi currently works with more than 50 universities and vocational schools in Indonesia and the Philippines. Co-founder and chief executive officer Naga Tan told TechCrunch that students in those countries have limited financing options, and often rely on friends or family, or informal payday lenders that charge high interest rates.

To provide more accessible financing options, ErudiFi partners with accredited universities and schools to offer subsidized installment plans, using tech to scale up while keeping costs down. Interest rates and repayment terms vary between institutions, but can be as low as 0%, with loans payable in 12 to 24 months.

By providing their students with affordable financing plans, ErudiFi can increase retention rates at schools, helping them keep students who would otherwise be forced to drop out because of financial issues.

Tan said ErudiFi’s value proposition for educational institutions is “being able to offer a data-driven financing solution that helps with student recruitment and retention. Students also greatly benefit because our product is one of the few, if not the only, affordable financing option they have access to.”

In a press statement, Peng T. Ong, co-founder and managing partner of Monk’s Hill Ventures, said, “Access to affordable tertiary education remains a huge pain point in Southeast Asia where the cost is nearly double then the average GDP per capita. ErudiFi is tackling an underserved market that is plagued with high-interest rates by traditional financial institutions and limited reach from peer-to-peer lending companies.”

ErudiFi’s Series A will be used on hiring for its product and engineering teams and to expand in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Startups – TechCrunch

EquityBee raises $20M to help startup employees actually afford their stock options – TechCrunch

EquityBee raises $ 20M to help startup employees actually afford their stock options  TechCrunch
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Best business equipment financing options for expansion to new market

I'm a co-owner of a specialty fueling business, we've been in business for 6 years and we are about to gain a special legal advantage that will give us access to a market that is 15x the size of our current market, and has been untouchable until just now by anyone.

In order to execute and conquer this market-share as fast as possible, we need to build one new fuel distributor per quarter(we have extensive pro forma modeling to prove this out, all based on our real numbers of what we're doing now) – each one costs about 250k, we need to add 2 in the first 2 quarters ideally.

We are self-funded up until this point and we can easily just continue this way and we'll get to the market but we don't want to limp to the market, we want to dive in and dominate it!

Does anyone know how to get about ~500k in business equipment loans? Or have advice of where to look?

Biz stats below:


Specialty fueling biz
300k rev 100k profit
6 years in business
No debt

500k in business capital for equipment and expansion into new market with a special legal advantage to be the only one with market access(new market is 15x the size, we can prove this).

Where is the best place to go for this capital? Or does anyone with this type of funding experience have recommendations?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

How common is it for a startup to offer early exercise of options?

My company is reluctant to offer early exercise of our ISOs because they think it's uncommon. How common is it? Would anyone be willing to share names of companies that offer early exercise, or connect me with people at them who would be willing to chat about the experience of early exercise from the company's perspective?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Financing options for acquiring larger partner/management buyouts? Is this still a thing?

I have a small SaaS business which works in partnership with a larger company and extends their products. I was employed as a software developer of the parent company until I started my business and have had a relationship with the owners and worked in our niche for nearly 20 years.

Our business has grown extremely quickly over the last year and is much more profitable per sale than our parent company; more importantly I have some concerns about the direction of the parent company and believe I could both significantly improve its profitability and grow the business.

I estimate the parents company value at perhaps $ 3m AUD (although undoubtedly the owners will want more for it). I have a fairly high confidence given current interest rates that my business could service the say $ 30k+ p/m in repayments to buy the parent at some point in the near future (under 1 year). Especially when I take into account the revenue the parent makes.

However like most people I don't have anywhere near $ 3m laying around. Further while I am certainly aiming to become a larger business this is probably not at the level that VCs would be interested in (nor am I frankly sure that I want to try and get into the VC world).

So my options seem to be either try and get a bank loan which I believe might prove very difficult without substantial collateral or try and raise funds from somewhere that might have experience with management buyout type deals (given that my goal would be to keep a substantial portion of the existing employees whom I all know personally).

Some might suggest discussing this with the owners and perhaps financing with their help. While this is a possibility that I haven't dismissed there are 3 owners to this business all of whom have extremely eccentric personalities, its going to be hard enough just to get them to sell. Plus for me to convince them this is a good idea, I essentially need to convince them that they aren't doing a good job?!

Anyone have any comments on what some financing options for this type of a deal might be? Ever heard of anyone in a similar position pulling something like this off?

Thanks in advance for any input…

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

[Zoomcar in Drive Spark] MG ZS EV Subscription Ownership Options Announced: Prices Start At Rs 49,999

MG Motor India has announced that the ZS EV is now available under the subscription service ownership plans. The electric SUV is available for lease with an introductory starting price of Rs 49,999 per month.

Read more here.

The post [Zoomcar in Drive Spark] MG ZS EV Subscription Ownership Options Announced: Prices Start At Rs 49,999 appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

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