Venture funds headed by Robert Downey Jr., Jay-Z, Will Smith and Kevin Durant are among investors of Ethos Technologies, a startup for term life insurance. Insurance technology is growing in popularity among investors, with venture capitalists putting $9 billion into the industry since 2012, according to CB Insights.
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Startups in the food space are gaining momentum, having received more than $3 billion in globally disclosed investments in the past 12 months, writes Joanna Glasner. Among other things, startups are working on robot chefs, alternatives to traditional meat products and sugar substitutes.
Luminar, which has received an investment from Volvo, makes lidar sensors that are used in autonomous driving systems. Since its founding in 2012, Luminar has grown to 350-plus employees and has secured Toyota as a customer.
SoftBank Group is considering another investment, in the multibillion-dollar range, in WeWork Cos. that would approximately double WeWork's current $20 billion valuation to $35 billion to $40 billion, according to sources. WeWork doubled its revenue last year to $886 million and recently raised $702 million from bond markets.
It's natural to hire some executives who quit or were fired from their previous role, but there are certain factors to keep in mind, writes Jason Lemkin. Be wary of candidates who have negative things to say about their previous CEO or refuse to take accountability for the situation, he notes.
Maintaining a clean sales pipeline is essential, and you can accomplish this goal by limiting the number of stages and culling dormant leads, writes Brendan Harding of Teamgate. "These stagnant leads waste your sales team's time, and your money," he notes.
Entrepreneurs tend to tout their successes, but the truth is that building a company can be an emotionally draining process. "It feels like everything is about to break," says Matt Lieber, co-founder of Gimlet, a company known for its podcasts that raised an additional $20 million in 2017.