If you want to start a financial company, instead of spending two years and millions of dollars in forming tons of partnerships, you can get all of that as a service and get going.
— Andreessen Horowitz
Embedded Finance refers to non-financial companies that have value propositions that are significantly enhanced or even transformed through the associated financial products and services embedded within.
Essentially, these are companies that are embracing the trend that non-fintech companies are venturing into being involved with financial services, and the first, second, and third-order implications of such a macro-trend.
We want to answer three main…
Full-Stack Marketplaces are one of the most interesting and misunderstood developments in the world of marketplaces. I try to understand the levers that go into why a full-stack (as opposed to ‘lite’) marketplace evolves, the current discourse within the VC community and its relevance to emerging markets.
In the last part of this article, I will also talk about…
I am a big believer in building in public so this is my report from my experience in the deferral years before I went to HBS. I was admitted into the 2+2 program/graduated in 2017.
In those years I went down a crazy rabbit hole as an emerging markets startup operator and investor [Fintech/Consumer], but first three bloopers on some unexpected things that happened to me during these years:
Canva.com, the leader in graphic design tools, sits at the core of the creative economy. Casual individual designs and serious design corporate teams use Canva for everything design-related. Canva, as the content creation layer, owns the surface of creative image expression.
Hypothetical: Canva could acquire Redbubble, the leading marketplace for independent creators to go deeper into the intersection between creative expression and commerce.
Redbubble isn’t just a marketplace with more web traffic than all its competitors combined (second only to Etsy), but one that provides the necessary inroads to own the creator economy, from content creation, to monetization. …
One of my favourite e-commerce business models is a 15-year-old listed company that very few people have heard of before: Redbubble (ASX: RBL).
Redbubble is an Australian-based global e-commerce business where shoppers can buy quality products with designs on them that are created by artists who upload their designs and can open mini-shops of products with their designs on them. Some of the product categories include wall art, clothes, phone cases, pillows, aprons, bags and so on.
Redbubble solved two key issues in a way that I have not seen other e-commerce platforms in the creative space do so well:
A few years ago, as I was early in angel investing, I was offered angel allocation into a deep-tech computer vision company. One of the arguments given for investing was that the founders and team were highly technically competent and that there was at least a downside valuation floor of an acqui-hire at the going rate of 1–2M USD/engineer. Given that the company already had 4 engineers, at a 10M valuation, I was basically investing in the liquidating price of the company.
This was a very interesting argument because it was basically an arbitrage on tech talent hiring, and can…
In this article, I talk about the two types of legitimacy [Brand + Filter] that constitute Community Branding, how various communities have actioned such legitimacy, and how to effectively segment communities into sub-groups and sub-brands.
The process for attracting members to a Community consists of two levers:
Legitimacy of a platform is derived from two sources:
Brand Legitimacy: In many cases, the filtering mechanism for communities is opaque…
I got an award from Forbes recently for the startup/VC work I’ve done, and this comes with attention that I want to redirect to something more important than me — how we think about the state of mental health and normalizing getting help for it.
This seems fitting because while we celebrate achievement — we should also talk about the costs of achievement and about one of the more important things I did to get there that we don’t talk about — working on being mentally healthy.
COVID introduced a lot of uncertainty and it was always great to hear stories of people who stepped up to try and help others. To find out that not only did the Covid Interns founders themselves graduate into a difficult job market but built a project that has now become a side-hustle business was an impressive mark of side-hustling.
Rob Muldowney: I finished my undergrad in May last year. I studied business studies at Trinity College London. As soon as we finished college, my close friend and I from uni started Covid interns.
Rob: The initial idea was to help…
Circa early 2000's/10's, the world (first the West and then the East), largely faced Internet 1.0, which was a great place. Fundamental foundations of the internet and digital economy was being built everywhere. In the East, I joined Rocket Internet and helped clone e-commerce companies in South Asia. Those business models made sense.
Localization was always crucial but manageable with Internet 1.0 business models. Along the way came the Great Internet Divergence.
The Great Internet Divergence saw Governments, Culture, Regulations and various pieces of complex parts of local society react to technology in a way that fundamentally caused divergence in…