Tag Archives: Andreessen Horowitz

Amazon Demonstrates Its Business Expertise, Provides Superior Marketing and Distribution Services for Entrepreneurs and Startups

17 Nov

Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Other Top Crowdfunding Sites Should Pay Attention and Start Providing a Deeper Portfolio of Marketing and Distribution Channel Services or Suffer the Consequences

By Robert Hoskins

Seattle, Washington – Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced Amazon Launchpad, a new program that makes it easy for startups to launch, market, and distribute their products to hundreds of millions of Amazon customers across the globe. The program offers a streamlined onboarding experience, custom product pages, a comprehensive marketing package, and access to Amazon’s global fulfillment network, all geared toward helping startups successfully launch their innovations and share their stories. With Amazon Launchpad, startups can overcome many of the challenges associated with launching new products by using Amazon’s retail expertise and infrastructure to create awareness and drive sales.

Amazon Launchpad for Entrepreneurs and Startups

Amazon Launchpad for Entrepreneurs and Startups

“As the pace of innovation continues to increase within the startup community, we want to help customers discover these unique products and learn the inspiration behind them. We also know from talking to startups that bringing a new product to market successfully can be just as challenging as building it,” said Jim Adkins, Vice President, Amazon. “Amazon Launchpad gives customers access to a dedicated storefront featuring a variety of innovative new products from emerging brands. For startups, we handle inventory management, order fulfillment, customer service, and more, allowing them to focus their efforts on the innovation that results in more cool products.”

Amazon Launchpad offers participating startups:

  • Brand Development: Custom product pages help bring products to life through visually-compelling imagery and videos. Founders can tell their story and connect with customers in a personal way with Q&A about the startup. Products from these emerging brands are featured in the new Amazon Launchpad store, which is dedicated to showcasing startups and their innovations.
  • Customer Reach: Amazon’s most powerful marketing tools – including merchandised placements, personalized recommendations, and participation in the Amazon Vine customer reviews program – give products from startups added visibility. Startups also enjoy access to Amazon’s global fulfillment network, fast and free shipping with Amazon Prime, and customer service.
  • Global Expansion: When startups are ready to reach customers outside the U.S., Amazon Launchpad can help them expand globally with cost-effective supply chain solutions and marketing programs in more than 10 Amazon marketplaces around the world.

Amazon is working with more than 25 venture capital firms, startup accelerators, and crowd-funding platforms to bring startups into the Amazon Launchpad program. Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator, and Indiegogo are a few of the companies that have funded the more than 200 products currently available in the Amazon Launchpad store – which features everything from Electronics to Kitchen to Beauty items. Products from startups in the program include the Bluesmart Smart Carry-On Luggage, eero Home Wi-Fi System, Cuff DVB Smart Sport Band, Fenugreen FreshPaper Produce Saver SheetsElectric Objects EO1 Digital Art Panel, Soma Sustainable Pitcher & Plant-Based Water Filter, Thync Mood-Changing Wearable System, and Casper Mattress, among others.

Initial feedback from some of the companies in the Amazon Launchpad program includes:

  • “Launchpad makes Amazon an ideal partner for the most innovative young tech companies,” said Marc Andreessen, Co-Founder and General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz. “It’s yet another way Amazon fosters a real ecosystem of invention and creativity.”
  • “At Y Combinator, our support doesn’t end on Demo Day. With Amazon Launchpad, we are reinforcing our commitment to help bring physical products to a wide audience,” said Luke Iseman, Partner, Y Combinator. “This program will help our hardware startups get in front of more users than ever before.”
  • “Indiegogo empowers campaigners to turn ideas into reality through customer engagement and funding mechanisms. By partnering with Amazon Launchpad, Indiegogo entrepreneurs gain instant access to Amazon’s powerful distribution capabilities and massive audience,” said Slava Rubin, Co-Founder and CEO, Indiegogo. “I’m excited to see how this unique partnership enables startups to accelerate their growth and share their innovative products with the world.”
  • “Amazon recognizes the increasing importance of fast and reliable home Wi-Fi as consumers stream more video and music than ever before and connected devices go mainstream,” said Nick Weaver, Co-Founder and CEO, eero. “We couldn’t ask for a better partner and are honored to be one of the emerging companies in the Amazon Launchpad program. We’re excited to showcase our product on the world’s largest discovery platform.”
  • “Amazon Launchpad is the perfect home for our smart jewelry. This innovative way to shop lets us tell consumers the story and philosophy behind Cuff, and hopefully makes them fall in love with our product,” said Deepa Sood, Founder and CEO, Cuff. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this initiative.”
  • “I am an accidental entrepreneur – I never dreamed that FreshPaper, which started as my middle school science project, would one day be in the hands of farmers and families across the globe. But my unlikely story is only possible because of visionary partners like Amazon who believe in our product’s potential to change the way the world eats,” said Kavita Shukla, Inventor and Founder, Fenugreen FreshPaper. “By throwing their considerable weight behind ideas like FreshPaper, Amazon is using its technology and reach to make innovation accessible to all.”
  • “The sheer scale that Amazon Launchpad offers a startup like Electric Objects is unparalleled,” said Jake Levine, Founder and CEO, Electric Objects. “Working closely with their team these last few months, I’ve been consistently impressed with the level of service and access that this program makes available. This partnership could be game-changing for our company, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to participate.”

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Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-five years of external communications, media relations, digital social media and SEO skills to Front Page PR’s crowdfunding PR and media relations service portfolio.
(512) 627-6622

Mr. Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
Hoskins is one of the crowdfunding industry’s foremost crowdfunding advocates and has amassed a huge social media following that is dedicated to supporting donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns. Due to the overwhelming demand from the general public for crowdfunding information, he empowers entrepreneurs with some of the internet’s most affordable ($20) online crowdfunding training classes, which provide insight to startups around the world on a 24 x 7 basis.
Hoskins adamantly believes that the crowdfunding industry will empower everyone in the United States to rediscover the possibility of living the American dream with a little hard work, a great business idea and the dedication to researching, planning and launching a well-thought-out crowdfunding campaign. He consults on a regular basis with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.


FundersClub Snubs 97% of New Accredited Investors Seeking to Get into the Equity Crowdfunding Investment Business

21 Sep

Surprising regression by FundersClub reverses business model and makes investors jump through hoops to participate in one of America’s biggest financial industry opportunities

By Robert Hoskins

FundersClub, one of the world’s first online venture capital firms, announced that it is changing its membership application process to an invitation-only model. The change will not impact current members, but will require individuals interested in joining FundersClub to be invited by a current member. Alternatively, individuals who are familiar with a FundersClub member, may request a professional courtesy referral to FundersClub. In all cases, individuals must be certified as accredited investors before FundersClub will admit them as a member.

FundersClub is a new type of venture capital platform, built around a unique online marketplace that allows accredited investors to become equity holders in FundersClub-managed venture funds

FundersClub is a new type of venture capital platform, built around a unique online marketplace that allows accredited investors to become equity holders in FundersClub-managed venture funds

“This represents a significant shift in how we intend to grow our community of premier accredited investors,” said Alex Mittal, co-founder and CEO of FundersClub. “At a time when crowdfunding platforms are poised to get loud via solicitation and advertising activity, we as an online venture capital firm are actually heading in the opposite direction, focusing on quality and empowering our members themselves to build a thoughtfully curated community,” added Mittal.

Prior to this change, membership to FundersClub was open to all accredited investors who applied through the company’s website, subject to verification of their accredited investor status. The definition of an accredited investor is an individual who has a net worth, or joint net worth with the individual’s spouse, that exceeds $1 million at the time of the investing, excluding the value of their primary residence, or whose income exceeded $200,000 in each of the two most recent years or joint income with a spouse exceeding $300,000 and has a reasonable expectation of reaching the same income level in the current year.

The new membership process allows current members to invite friends and colleagues whom they know and trust. Individuals that accept the invitation become members of FundersClub once their accredited investor status is verified. Additionally, FundersClub will consider on a case-by-case basis applications for membership.

“We’ve always believed in the value of empowerment. Our invitation-only model underscores that belief and our commitment to providing a safe, reliable and trustworthy environment for our community,” added Mittal.

Alex Mittal and Boris Silver launched FundersClub in July 2012 with one goal in mind — to change the way the world fundraises and invests. Together they had founded five companies, raised more than $20 million in funding and invested as angels in other startups. For FundersClub, the pair raised capital through their own platform and from other top investors including Y Combinator, First Round Capital, Spark Capital, Intel Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Felicis Ventures, and Tim Draper. All FundersClub members with access to investment opportunities have been certified as accredited investors.

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