Like “pivot” and “cloud computing,” “big data” is one of those startup buzzwords that gets thrown around indiscriminately–partly because it means different things depending on the intel you’re trying to unearth and partly because it sounds like the kind of futuristic jargon that opens doors. Using machine learning to analyze big data? We can practically see the pitch deck already!
As The Economist noted back in 2010, the deluge of large data sets unleashed by the digital age, “makes it possible to do many things that previously could not be done: spot business trends, prevent diseases, combat crime and so on. Managed well, the data can be used to unlock new sources of economic value, provide fresh insights into science and hold governments to account.”
We frequently face this question here at Betabeat: What makes a tech startup a tech startup? All young businesses are startups, and a vast number of new businesses use technology or the Internet. So as a tech blog, how do we decide who to cover? Is Warby Parker a tech startup? Is Bonobos? Is Rent the Runway? All are lightweight on the tech side but have investment dollars from venture capitalists that specialize in tech.
Onepager, the startup from Matt Shampine and the design team formerly known as Simande, just announced a seed funding round: $350,000 from New York angel investors Daniel Eskapa and Mark Birch. Mr. Birch, who has a similar portfolio of startups targeting small business, is now an adviser to the company.
With their launch party already behind them, Onepager is planning to use the money to market the product–a dead simple website builder for small businesses–and continue adding features. Next up: an embeddable widget that pulls in what people are saying about your company on social media.
Oh, and maybe use some cash to buy the coveted onepager.com, which is owned by a large financial research company, Factset, that is essentially squatting on it. In the meantime, at least onepagerapp.com, the startup’s current URL, is the top result in Google for “onepager.”
Are You Frightened? Not Nearly Frightened Enough
While the rest of the tech scene frets over easy-money and inflated valuations, Union Square Ventures partner Albert Wegner is reading the public market tea leaves and seeing something different. In a post on his Tumblr today entitled, “If You Need to Raise Money, Get Your Financing Done ASAP,” Mr. Wenger points out that even early stage companies nowhere near an IPO are still beholden to the vagaries of the public market, making the argument that the time is nigh to grab the cash. Forget micro, think marco.
“While we are still well off the 52-week lows this shakiness in the markets has very real reasons: Europe has been a mess for a while and the US is rapidly becoming one,” writes Mr. Wenger. Then, he explains why even Series A start-ups should care:
Last week Adam Neary, founder of the startup Profitably, laid out the saga of finding funding for his company over the past year. In the post, he threw some digs at the venerable investing group, the New York Angels.
After 13 weeks and a commitment from one member to lead the round, Mr. Neary ended up with nothing when the investor missed his closing deadline. “No doubt, there are a handful of credibly amazing investors who attend their meetings, but from my perspective, clearly the New York Angels process is broken.”