Archive: First Stage Investor

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Most of you know that I’m an Ethereum bull. I believe that Ethereum is one of the most important networks in the crypto space. It’s the backbone for much of crypto’s decentralized finance (DeFi) system. Most NFTs trade on the Ethereum network. And trading volume for NFTs alone last year was $17.6 billion. Ethereum is by far the most popular network for decentralized apps. And all of this happened despite the…
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Our friends at KingsCrowd have been tracking online startup investing since 2018. They gather data on deal volume, industry growth, investor check sizes, founder demographics and everything in between. So we were excited to learn about their…
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Startup disruptions are like earthquakes. The bigger the earthquake, the more widespread its impact. Likewise, major disruptions can upend entire industries. Major earthquakes can topple buildings. And big disruptions can expose the vulnerabilities of powerful legacy companies, diminishing their ability to compete.  Airbnb disrupted the global…
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Crypto Insider: The NFT Bubble Is Not a Death Knell

By Early Investing on April 18, 2022

What’s one word that will spook any investor in any market? Bubble. The word tends to stir up painful memories of the dot-com boom and bust of the late ‘90s, the financial crisis of 2008… and now, the NFT market. The NFT…
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We recommended Bloomstack last June. We liked founder and CEO Eric Delisle’s idea of combining all the systems and platforms cannabis operators use into a single platform. Not only was it a great idea, but it also seemed to be working. Bloomstack was…
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Instacart got a haircut. The company sliced its valuation by nearly 40% from $39 billion to $24 billion — despite the fact that it saw 30% year-over-year growth last year. And Instacart is not the only high-tech company trimming its valuation. So what’s going on?…
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Autonomous driving hasn’t quite arrived yet. But it has spawned several startups that are playing a critical role in advancing autonomous driving technology and adoption.  The startup Argo builds cloud infrastructure — including maps, software and hardware…
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Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, is worried about the future of crypto. In an interview with Time magazine, he said he was concerned about the dangers to overeager investors, high transaction fees and the exorbitant displays of wealth that have come to be synonymous…
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VirZOOM Fights to Find Sustainable Growth

By Andy Gordon on March 31, 2022

It must be possible to feel very good and very bad about a company at the same time. Because that’s how I feel about VirZOOM. To refresh your memory, VirZOOM offers an app that can be used with just the Oculus Quest headset or in conjunction…
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Startup Insider: Data Takes Over

By Early Investing on March 28, 2022

In 2011, Marc Andreessen — co-founder of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz — proclaimed that “software is eating the world.” It’s been a mantra of tech investors ever since. But today an even more powerful force is overtaking software: data. Data is a gold mine for…
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I never thought this day would come. I’m recommending a company that is replacing coffee with a hot beverage that is damn nearly as rich and roasty but a hundred times more healthy.  Listen, I love my coffee. I drink three to…
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Crypto Insider: Microsoft Invests in Ethereum

By Early Investing on March 21, 2022

Microsoft is officially paying attention to the crypto space. The tech giant backed a recent $450 million funding round for ConsenSys, a blockchain startup founded by Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin. ConsenSys develops software that runs on the Ethereum network. And its valuation jumped to $7 billion with this…
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Startup Insider: The Power of Luck

By Early Investing on March 17, 2022

When investors evaluate startups, they need to consider a wide range of factors. Some factors — like founder experience and financial performance — are straightforward. Others — like profit potential and scalability — are more speculative and difficult to measure. Then there’s luck. As…
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Crypto Insider: Crypto Proves Itself in Russia-Ukraine War

By Early Investing on March 14, 2022

Crypto is experiencing its first major war. And it has a big role to play. The Ukrainian government has received millions of dollars’ worth of crypto donations. It’s creating an NFT to support its military. And a growing number of Ukrainians…
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The five most exciting future markets are, in no particular order, robotics, medtech, fintech, energy and space/aerospace. But only one of them is harboring a big ugly secret.  And that’s the space market.  Imagine the FDA allowing companies to avoid listing harmful side effects…
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Startup Insider: Ukraine’s Mighty Startup Scene

By Early Investing on March 7, 2022

When news broke that Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, people around the world responded with shock. Now headlines about the ongoing war describe civilians fleeing their homes, protesters resisting Russian forces and government officials discussing their next moves. But the mainstream headlines may not tell…