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Yale Is Shakin’ Up the VC World

Wow. Yale’s making some big moves when it comes to their $32 billion endowment that famed investor David Swenson has been in charge of since 1985. 

What happened? Swensen told their money managers (all 70 of them) that Yale will be tracking their yearly progress at diversifying the investment staff. No improvement? No more cash from Yale daddy.

Yale’s endowment wasn’t anything to brag about last year, but it’s worth noting that Swensen is one of the most esteemed money managers to date. 

Not familiar? He managed Harvard’s now $40 billion endowment before coming to Yale and growing theirs from $1 billion to $32 billion. 

Ever heard of the Yale Model? It’s an investing model where you go short on public equities and make long-term commitments with hedge funds, private equity funds, venture shops and international investments. Swensen is the man behind that magic.

Let’s be honest: funds and money managers aren’t that diverse… yet. So if this really goes into effect and trickles out to the rest of the investment world, things are about to change big time.

India Is the New Silicon Valley

Yeah, yeah, the US’s startup scene and venture capital game is on point, but coming in close as second is India. There’s a lot of startups out of India that are being recognized by top accelerators and venture capitalists with API tools, in biotech, health tech, and e-commerce. 

They had their biggest year in 2019 of venture capitalist dollars invested and this year’s third quarter is the country’s fourth biggest VC quarter ever. It’s not just about the big bucks, either, their small startups are doing well too. 

Bikayi is a startup we’ve got our eye on as it’s essentially the WhatsApp and Shopify for India. The company’s reporting 100% growth for their merchants and in their own revenue… what’s not to love?

Flipkart just acquired some of the Indian e-commerce firm Aditya Birla Fashion, who Walmart owns and they’re racing as fast as they can to take up more space than Amazon is attempting to buy up. That being said, Reliance Retail, which is basically India’s version of Walmart, is fighting with Future Group and Amazon. 

Reliance just bought Future Group for $3.4 billion, but Amazon (who previously invested in an offshoot of Future Group) claims the whole deal was a breach of contract. 

There are tons of Indian startups taking on Google’s monopoly — 150 startups to be exact. They’re trying to launch their own app store and execs from GOQii, a fitness startup, Paytm, India’s MVS (most valuable startup), and MakeMyTrip, a travel ticketing firm, are all spearheading the movement.

What Indian startups or acquisitions do you know of that are kicking a** and taking names? Hit reply and let us know!

Everyone Needs Their Fill of Dogs

WFH life has killed the pet-sitting industry. Wag and Rover are the two businesses who dominated this arena, even though Wag has seen had horrible press in recent years (think dogs going missing, dogs dying… cats are in the clear). Rover, however, has gained the nickname “dog BnB” and just acquired DogBuddy, a company based in Europe. 

Other pet sitting leaders include Gudog, also out of Europe, who recently merged with HouseMyDog last year. 

Thanks to COVID-19, however, the entire pet industry saw a loss of 2.5% across the world and even those who still need help caring for pets are instead turning to subscription-based pet sharing apps like BorrowMyDoggy.

Wait, what? Is this a dog rental? If only they made this for kids… kidding.

Yes, BorrowMyDoggy, which started in 2012 and is located in the UK and Ireland lets people find others who would take care of their dog for free. This benefits dog-lovers who want that time and attention from pets, but maybe don’t have the income to take care of one.

On BorrowMyDoggy, users can pay $15.40 per year to access the app and dog owners pay $53.34 yearly. 

Don’t worry, there’s no dog abusers or thieves on the app (hopefully) because they have a verification system as well as insurance and a 24/7 vet hotline.

There’s a few other pet sharing startups out there like Share Your Pet out of the UK and HostMyPet in Finland. Maybe if companies like Rover and Wag moved to this model they’d be able to weather the incessant COVID-19 storm we’re in.

Seriously though, would you join one of these pet-sharing apps? Hit reply and give us your honest answer!

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