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Freight startup Flexport soars from ‘unsexy’ to $800M valuation (techcrunch.com)
328 points by jonathanehrlich on Sept 22, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 125 comments

Congrats. I remember watching Flexport get pitched to PG and Sam Altman during open 'Office Hours' at Startup School in 2013.


Wow that was extremely impressive. You could tell he had a lot of experience in the industry, because he knew a surprising amount off the top of his head.

"Take problem from one domain you know and make a business by being really good at solving it with something from another domain you know" is a pretty tried and true business strategy.

Which is what makes me sad being primarily a programmer. I often wish I had another career first so that I could use the programming skills to solve something there. As it is, I often feel like a loaded gun without a direction to aim in.

You should pick up the domain you're programming in. Like when I was working on a product for the construction industry, I knew all about how certain parts of it worked. I knew all the terms and insider slang and quite a few of the problems they face because I built those things for them. There were plenty of problems I heard about that our product wasn't aimed at.

When I was working for the credit industry, and that was only for 2 months, again I picked up a lot of the terms, asked questions about how the debt buying companies works, how were the banks using the information we gave them, how the debt relief system in the uk works, looked up our clients to find out what they do, ask the customer support team what they do, etc.

Now I'm working making tools for the restaurant business, etc., etc.

One of the things I've noticed is that most other programmers don't. Because they don't talk to the sales people. They don't talk to customers. They don't talk to the consultants. They don't ask questions about why they're implementing something. They don't ask how their product is used.

You have to ask yourself, if you're not picking up problems in the domain you're presently working on, why would you if you'd worked anywhere else?

Oh yeah, there's huge value in building a relationship with other parts of the business at a large company.

A lot of people loathe talking to Sales & Marketing but I always try to have a good understanding of their areas. If you build the right relationship it also gives you great trust and authority when cross-department decisions are made since you can (reasonably) speak to both sides.

There's a reason why so many programmers want to make new programming languages, text editors, and compilers :-)

I too want to work in tooling. Sadly, we are just animals and want features faster rather than having a low memory footprint (don't know how I'd do it to be honest but I'm sure desktop apps should be leaner than they are now). I mean even gnome feels pretty bloated to be honest.

I think the problem is we are too accepting. We should put our foot down and say no. No to two clipboards on the same system. No to Eudora or whatever running in the background even though you haven't set up an email account with it. No to apps having ability to access the Internet or run at boot or run in background by default.

The problem is if I try to implement this, my best hope is to fracture everything further and realistically I will fail and have no users.

Get out and meet new people and learn new things!

Don't go to your local "I want to build a startup!" meetup as those are almost always useless. 99% of the people there have an idea and "just need someone to build it!"

Instead, check out events, meetups, conferences, trainings outside your core field. I went to a few game developer events and then music+tech meetups and learned a bunch but the most valuable were construction technology. Project management is project management. Accounting is accounting. The industry/situation changes some of the specifics but it's many of the same principles and concepts.

The vast majority are free, you just have to show up.

Would you be interested in a service that aggregated startup/product ideas from people with deep industry experience but a lack of technical skills? It's something I've been thinking should exist.


When people take a look at my "computer" skills, they ask me why I didn't become a IT/programmer instead and make lots of money. I always respond "IT people don't need IT people. Everyone else needs IT people."

My skills are a product of the needs of my environment.

Lateral thinking.

Try getting a job that way though - you're looked at as if you're too much of a risk.

Makes perfect sense, I just hear so many people looking for problems in other areas outside their domain that it seems rare.

Not only that, but PG and Sam were masterful at drilling into the relevant details and understanding the core of his product.

I don't get it, from the video, they say brokers make 3-5 billion a year, yet, they value the company at 800 million?

I've never seen a startup valued at this large percentage of market size

please correct me if I'm wrong

The value of a company is not equal to it's revenue - that doesn't make sense. To give an example, let's say someone offered to sell you a magic bean which caused $10 to appear magically every year. Would the bean grower sell it to you for $10? Probably not unless they needed cash immediately, since they could make $50 from the bean in 5 years.

Instead value of a company is the perpetual value of the cash flows to the buyer. The problem is for startups we have very little idea what their cash flows will be in the future. Their revenues could be anywhere, we have no idea what their costs will be (how many sales people do you need, how much R&D, etc.), etc. So because of that valuation becomes a very imprecise art.

Outside of the cash flow approach, another approach for valuing a company is to consider future buyers. Suppose you have a magic bean that returns 50 cents each year in perpetuity. However, the magic bean is called MagicBeanAI and since AI is hot you know you can sell that bean for $50 to someone else. In this case you would be willing to buy it for <$50 regardless of MagicBeanAI's cash flows. This is what happens when markets start to behave irrationally. Eventually people realize they don't have any more suckers to sell to and their MagicBeanAIs value goes to almost nothing. This is essentially a market crashl; google "tulip mania" for more examples.

He also says he sees the broker business as a foot-in-the-door for a much bigger, broader logistics business. If you go to flexport, it certainly seems they're pushing more a global logistics solution. I'm guessing the valuation is based on more than just the broker business.

They've already moved to become a full forwarder, including warehousing, order consolidation and other services (or are in the progress), so I imagine this valuation is based on the market for forwarders, not brokers.

from the article: Petersen told Forbes he expects revenue of $500 million this year, yet that still makes Flexport an underdog. “There are 25 freight forwarders that each do more than $1 billion in revenue a year,” he said.

2% of 4B earnings market-wide would be 80M, 10x valuation on 80M is 800M.

A company is usually worth a multiplier of annual earnings, since they make that money every year.

Startups are not evaluated like that though, the earnings multiplier approach only really applies to big public companies, and even then not so well - just look at Tesla or Amazon stock.

Have you seen Uber which is value a 2-10x the entire size of the taxi market?

Here we have a business that is going after a huge existing market. For some perspective, Slack is valued at > 5 Billion

Here's where the market is being irrational in my opinion. I would bet that in 10 years Flexport dwarfs Slack in revenue and in growth potential.

Once Flexport expands outside just the USA this company will just become massive.

I'd take that bet. Slack is more like Facebook meets LinkedIn.

The only aspect of Slack that is like Facebook or LinkedIn is that its an IRC channel that you typically have with co-workers. I wouldn't really consider it a social media website though.

Oh, I will take the other side of this bet.

You want LongBets: http://longbets.org/

I can draw an contract for a 10% fees.

Someone set up an escrow service. I want in.

As an aside, I have pondered the viability of an escrow service aimed specifically at people who want to wager about topics like these.

I see this at verious forums, someone says Company A will be bankrupt in a year and another one says that won't happen. One of them frequently pipes up to say, "I'll bet you $100 that I'm right!"

Yet, nobody ever takes the chance to capitalize on those potential bets.

Basically, they would set their terms, agree on those terms, upload those terms in a verifiable way as the terms they agreed to, pay their money, and then wait for the time period to end.

At that point, someone at the escrow company will review the wager and the evidence and decide who gets the payout, less the fees associated with it. Not all bets are easy to judge, so writing accurate terms would be important. The service will supply, if needed, impartial judging of the merits. I suppose the company would also need to have the ability to refuse to accept certain bets, perhaps insisting that they make the goals clearly articulated and demonstrable success or failures would be important.

They might even enable it for multiple parties. Each bet would require a deposit of the entire amount due. I suppose people could even go so far as to set odds, if they wanted.

I'm pretty sure this should be a thing.

I believe you are looking for http://longbets.org/

That's pretty close, though not quite what I was looking for. I'm comfortably retired but maybe I should look into making something along these lines. They don't have to be long, for example.

This is where Smart Contract comes in.

Watching this video was immersive in a way Ryan has introduced customs brokerage and freight forwarding to the valley and internet to the freight industry. I meant it was PG and Sam asking him like... ELI5 wow

Really inspiring.

Man PG's style of interviewing is super annoying. I get that he was curious and seemingly enthusiastic but at times the dude could barely get out a word.

I am a customer. They are my favorite to use, but I don't use them for everything because they don't get me 100% end to end with Amazon. Other companies do. I just talked with someone about this, and I hope that they get into it, even if it's just white labelled through their interface.

I had no idea their founder also was involved in Import Genius, but that makes total sense.

Huzzah Flexport!

I've them end to end to Amazon(Germany)FBA from China purposes...are we talking about two different things maybe?



I didn't know about them being related to import genius I used both flexport and import genius too

Is this an article from TechCrunch about how a company doing good, important, profitable work was previously called "unsexy" by TechCrunch and is continuing to do good, important, profitable work? Did anyone else call them "unsexy"?

> But as the mainstream embraces startup culture and aspiring founders flood Silicon Valley, there seems to be no shortage of people willing to chase things that seem like a bad idea.

... how does this company possibly seem like a bad idea?

I mean, if you find writing websites in $web_framework_of_the_month more exciting (or "sexy", whatever that's supposed to mean, I don't need to know about your tech fetishes) than delivering business value, that seems like your sense of excitement is off, not that they're doing something unexpected.

Don't click on TechCrunch links. They write for a different audience.

Just read the comments over here if the topic interests you.

All they did was lower the profit. Most everything is electronic now anyway. I have a relationship with a my Logistics company. They charge approx $2800 for a 40ft container to my door from Hangzhou. The ship takes 8-10 days on the water, approx 10 days by rail (East Coast). I'm not sure these guys could save me time or money since my containers already come on one of the fastest ships.

The problem is Container ships leave on weekends. If you don't get your shipment to the dock by early Friday it isn't going. You have to wait until next week for it to leave.

On another note he did found import genius which presented everyone's customs / shipping information for anyone else to see in a nice format. I would bet he leveraged the data to figure out how to approach the logistics industry. It gave him an advantage over his competitors that were old school. Probably mined the customs database he fed into Import Genius. It has all shipping records for almost every country in the world.

Glad to see someone shaking up the industry. Smart guy...

How is the article so off on "revenue" ("expects revenue of $500 million this year")? According to Forbes they do 7,000 shipments per month averaging $2k in value of which Flexport takes 15%. That's $2.1m/month ($25m annual run rate). Possibly they meant some sort of Gross Shipping Costs.

Being unsexy is the new sexy for some time now.

I'm so fucking sexy then :p

Sorry for the downvotes - it’s early and the caffeine and adderall is kicking in. Your joke was funny.

no worries :D

lol -4 so far for my comment...

This is one of my favourite companies in the valley. I worked in the industry shipping food/wearable tech for 10+ years and using their service was a game changer for me after using many many other 3PL's.

Interesting that Ryan has an MBA from Columbia business school, contrary to the typical founder in the valley.

I guess it depends on how you define typical.

30% of unicorns are founded by an MBA and 80% of unicorns have an mba on their exec team: https://qz.com/176063/most-mbas-dont-found-billion-dollar-st...

Is there any data about the success rate of mba founders vs founders from other professions ?

Ryan is not the typical MBA in the ways that MBAs are usually denigrated in the valley.

Can you expand on what you mean? What does the typical founder have? Is this better? Worse?

Much of SV is wary of MBAs. But I don't think that view extrapolates to founders since they are a different breed than employees.

I see people say this online a lot, but everywhere I look there are startups full of MBA's in SF and SV.

Eventually you will need the MBAs to "straighten you out." I'm sure Harvard, Stanford, Columbia etc would be forced to close their schools if they provided no value to their students, as no one would hire them.

In SV they are derided and part of it, IMO, it's because all the investors want a brilliant guy with no sense of organizing. Investors will provide that, for an extra xx% :)

A friend of mine has an MBA, still works as a software dev.

Ryan Peterson was on the Startup School Radio. Seems like a really nice guy. I’m happy for them!



"And while investors were happily offering it a valuation of $1 billion or more, Petersen didn’t want to get in over his head and risk a down-round later if the market stumbled."

This is straight out of Silicon Valley (the show)... why wouldn't you take the best valuation for your company?

This is a super, super mature thing to do. VCs are trying to make multiples of their investments, so the higher the valuation, the bigger your company has to be in order for VCs to make their multiple. This means you have to optimize around growing as much as possible, which increases burn rate and can screw up your priorities. If you want to build a solid, long term profitable company, it gives you more flexibility to try different things and 'do it right' rather than focus entirely on growth.

Often there is a part you don't see here where the lower valuation has a lower amount of money you can take. Would you rather sell 10% of the company for 80M on an 800M post-money valuation or 12.5% of the company for $125M at a 1B post-money valuation if you only need 80M to hit your growth objectives with a buffer and 2.5% of the company can likely be sold for a lot more than 45M once you need that extra money. It's also not smart to publicize you're taking less money as it makes you look more under pressure in the future and if it ends up being wrong to not take the extra cash you don't want everyone knowing you could have had $45M more in the bank. It gets even worse if the post-money valuation involves 15% vs 10% which can be viable as well.

A lower valuation without strict liquidation preferences is almost always better for the company, however publicly announcing that you could've been valued for more helps attract engineers who want to profit off of startup valuation multiples.

Just because it is in the TV show doesn't mean it's not based on real stuff. Silicon Valley is satire and they have some of the best consultants in the business. A lot of stuff on the show is close to reality.

Sometimes it gets it so close I kind of cringe because I've been through similar things in real life.

The tabs vs spaces argument comes to mind.

Edit: to stay on topic. As other people said, I would take a lower valuation in a heartbeat if it gives away less equity and it is enough money to get me to another round (or exit) at a higher valuation owning more of the company.

> The tabs vs spaces argument comes to mind.

Not refuting your point in the least, but that plot line made me cringe for an entirely different reason--it characterized people who use spaces as though they actually pressed the spacebar once for each space instead of letting the editor handle the work.

That said, I think it was a good decision since the majority of the audience (based on my super scientific study where I asked my wife and friend if they knew what was weird about that scene) has no idea how text editors work and it did help to drive home the point.

Yes, that's my biggest complaint about the show in its four-season history. The whole thing was so inaccurate it made me furious.

> [press] the spacebar once for each space

Python v3.4.0 had a feature regression which hijacked TAB for autocomplete and prevented using TAB for indentation in the basic REPL. To my amazement, there was actually discussion on whether converting a TAB to 4 spaces was a worthwhile feature.


Happily, the TAB was recovered.


Parse.ly recently wrote a fairly insightful piece about their reasons for taking less funding than was on the table: https://blog.parse.ly/post/6282/why-we-said-no-vc-money/

I'm guessing this is less about trying to avoid setting too high a bar, and more about taking the term sheet that offered a lower upfront valuation but with much cleaner terms and less overall deal hair.

Either way, this is super impressive from Ryan and the rest of the Flexport team. Kudos.

Likely because the lower valuation comes with better terms or lower expectations.

This issue is investment ratchets and guerentees.

IE, if the company does a down round, certain investors are privileged and get their money back first, without taking any of the loss.

Imagine if you own half of a billion dollar company, and an investor owns the other half, but has full guarantees on their 500 million dollars that they invested in your company.

That means that if the company's valuation goes down to 500 million and you sell, the investor loses 0$ and gets their full investment back, whereas you are left with nothing.

Does best mean "highest" or "most accurate"?

The quote explains exactly why: the higher the current round, the more risk that the next round will be a down round.

Investment valuations are strongly related to the amount raised. Don't think of it as "this is how much we think your company is worth" but more as "we want to invest in you and we're going to set a valuation based on the amount of capital we want to invest and the ownership we want to take".

It's also bad from a hiring perspective since any incentive stock options may not have much upside unless the strike price is heavily discounted.

A host of reasons one of them being that a lower valuation is more attractive to employees looking for equity upside.

They have great teams and exactly know what they are doing, they took the freight industry by storm, through innovation and great user-experience. Their user-experience actually has started to re-define the old fashioned international freight industry.

What is the story behind why they have embraced the "unsexy" label? Do they have some sort of complex? Logistics can be an incredibly sexy problem for a variety of technical and even mathematical reasons.

> What is the story behind why they have embraced the "unsexy" label?


I think because freight forwarding and brokering across borders is decidedly "unsexy" to most people.

Sure, that is fair. I probably didn't word it correctly. I mean if you keep repeating that it is "unsexy" people will probably believe it to be true. Why choose to send that message instead of hey we are this sexy logistics company? It's a minor detail, so I don't mean to make too big of a deal out of it. Just seems odd.

It's because tons of unsexy companies had tried doing it the other way, to the point where so many companies have done it that it's started to leave a bad taste in peoples mouth.

People are starting to get into the whole, we aren't sexy but we are solving meaningful problems thing lately.

I think there's also a certain amount of marketing. You don't want everything to be "sexy"; you want some things to be boring, unnoticed, and just work. Saying you're making shipping sexy is just saying "we're going to ignore the core logistics of reliably getting your stuff where it's going as quickly as possible", which is going to scare away customers.

I have no idea how they see it, but I would like to point out that they're not the first to intentionally market themselves that way. UPS used the slogan "What can brown do for you?" for a while. Interestingly, they're in a related space.

What about Amazon? they had a some similar plan, to become a global logistics network. And it's highly likely they'll be a competitor to flexport ?

What's Flexport's advantage in that case ?

I mean I'm not in the shipping industry, but I'd guess it'd be a long while before Amazon becomes very focused/involved in the particulars of the container shipping industry, where Flexport is focused. Amazon has a lot of other stuff on their plate to tackle. If Amazon ever becomes such a large percentage of global trade that they can actually make use of a whole fleet of container ships then maybe.

But for now, just to put things in perspective, Amazon only a year ago started up a cargo plane operation with ~20 planes. Depending on the kind of plane, that's around 1000-1500 cubic meters, 400-500 metric tons for their whole fleet of cargo planes.

For comparison, a single cargo ship (not even the biggest ones) caries >50,000 cubic meters and >150,000 tons. So we're talking orders and orders of magnitude difference when you account for a whole fleet.

I'd wait to see whether or not amazon expands their air freight more after using it to capacity before guessing that they'd get into the container industry.

But again, outsider perspective, so I could be way off, would welcome some info from someone more knowledgeable.

>If Amazon ever becomes such a large percentage of global trade that they can actually make use of a whole fleet of container ships then maybe.

By the time Amazon becomes a large percentage of global trade, Alibaba will already be in double digits.

And remember who has more shipping data to run algos on. In addition, Alibaba already owns an own 3PL operation, and an "Order a container shipment in 1 minute" from 1688

A great video to show just how over the top are the Chinese shipping companies over anything you have in US:


To be fair, the turnaround time for a plane is probably close to an order of magnitude faster than a ship.

Where ships have an advantage is in mass, not volume.

Oh yea, I'm certainly not questioning whether it made sense for Amazon to buy up some planes, because they definitely ship enough volume (even just domestically) to experiment with that.

Though I would argue ships have advantage in both mass and volume, but are significantly lacking in latency.

In case I wasn't clear, it isn't just the latency, it is the number of loads that can be made in a given amount of time.

Just like a restaurant that is always full makes more money if their clients eat quickly and leave, freeing up space for more customers to do the same.

From my own supply chain experience, by volume air freight is only slightly more expensive than sea, but by mass the difference is an order of magnitude.

I don't know of any part of Amazon that lets you just ship a container full of copper bars to your loading dock. They are more competing with other bulk shippers than what Amazon would be trying to provide.

Perhaps they are looking to be acquired by Amazon, Walmart, or some other global shipping concern.

Love it. Logistics and supply chain verticals are ripe for the taking by young, scrappy, and smart companies.

We're one of them -- and looking for more like-minded people to join us. If you're interested, hit me up at the email in my profile.

I've loved working in the logistics space, because there are so many resources already available. It's a matter of pulling them together into a package of convenience and quality, which is a fun prospect.

Still, lots of complex problems and unique constraints in the space that make for a challenging and ultimately rewarding domain to develop software for.

I share your opinions about Logistics and supply chain, especially the curation of available resources. I have sent you an email, thanks.

Much needed publicity for the whole "unsexy" supply chain startup industry. We're in that space too, and we're hiring in Seattle. Ask away, or contact through my profile

What kind of experience are you looking for a software developing position? Any internships opportunities for a CS indergrad with a statistics minor?


We will take aptitude over experience. In particular, a commitment to master the craft. Mastery has many parts to it: understanding the domain area with its parts and participants, understanding what our company can and should offer to the ecosystem, seeking out the best way you can contribute to that offering (and to the customers), studying the elemental parts that factor into decisions to be made. We don't expect you to come in like that, we do expect that you will commit to getting there.

This job I would say is 80% coding and 20% "research". So coding is a major part, but I can take the skill growth velocity over the skill itself.

For example, one way to understand the domain is to take "Supply Chain Management" course from MIT [1]. I am taking it now (first assignment dropped two days ago), not sure yet if it's any good though.

[1] http://scm.mit.edu/micromasters

Flexport is hiring engineering interns too.

Our stack is React & Rails, though we don't require any specific experience. All you need is an ability to chew through difficult software problems and an interest in having real-world impact with your code. Contact me via my profile if you're interested, or apply directly at the link below.


Any opportunities for a New York based engineer? Been watching your job posts on here for a few years now, always wanted to apply but seems to be entirely in SG

Sorry, all engineering is in SF for now.

Hi DenisM, what's your contact info? Are you hiring a lead role? The industry is very intriguing and would love to learn more.

N/m, found it in your profile. I'll be in touch!

As of now, Flexport is just a front-end to few other online shipping companies.

One of many gazillions companies doing the same.

If you ask who can be sold for a lot of moneys, it will be them: all 'seals of approval'(Thiel, YC, big banks waiting in line to underwrite for them), buzzwords, star team, and so much money and resources that they can't possibly screw up operationally

If you ask who will be dominating the market in 3 year term, it WILL be Alibaba's satellite companies, because they already are the biggest on the market, and will only have more opportunities coming as Alibaba will try to plug them as an add-ons to more services.

Another worthy thing to mention is that 'one click shipping' is one thing, and 'Wholly APIsed third party logistics, warehousing, packing, packaging, and inventory management' is another, completely qualitatively different and much higher added value.

The importance of that 'Wholly APIsed 3PL, inventory, and SCM' is that you can basically decouple nearly all physical processes from an average online store (and there are a lot of those online stores as you can guess)

Nor Alibaba, nor SV startups ever touched that 'APIsed 3PL/SCM' thing, and the current leaders on this front come from Singapore and, if my memory does not betray me, India.

You should also add low interest financing to that list, as alipay does for vendors who sell on the alibaba platform.

Btw who is this Singaporean"APIsed 3pl/scm" leader ?

Although in a sense , what the big deal, if flexe(very scalable warehousing and fulfillment provider) has an API, flexport can just easily integrate it.


Can someone please explain why Flexport’s software is being played up as “irreplaceable by the incumbents”? If they’ve proved it’s benefits, only a matter of time before the incumbents have an in-house version.

Speaking of bad and boring verticals to explore, any aspect of manufacturing software - CAD, CAM, PLM - please would some Silicon Valley types look into it?

Wow. Nice

From the article: "Flexport wholistically analyzes all its data to optimize shipping routes and simplify relationships with ports, truck drivers and anyone else that touches a container".

wholistically? ouch.

It's a word. I didn't know that, until I just looked. It's a variant spelling of holistic. I actually like it better than holistic, since the base word is more recognizable.

P.S. At least I assume the "ouch" was about it being a misspelling. Maybe I'm wrong.

> the base word

Is it really the same word? holistic comes from Greek ὅλος, whereas whole is a word of Germanic origin.

Of course that doesn't mean they aren't from the same Indo-European root — after all, whole certainly has cognates in many languages with the same meaning, such as Russian целый. But Wiktionary tells me that whole is from Proto-Indo-European ٭kóylos, whereas holistic is from PIE ٭solh₂wós.

In any case, the initial w in whole is an innovation in Early Modern English without etymological justification, so a more logical choice to emphasize the similarity would be to revert to the spelling hole.

Probably not, but I was speaking much more informally. :) To be honest, I don't care whether it makes sense linguistically or not. It takes more than one hand to count the number of times I've looked up the meaning of holistic, because I encounter it in a context I care about so infrequently that I can never remember the meaning (at least I can never remember it accurately enough to not be unsure whether I have it correct. From context you can get the gist, but nuance may be lost). Wholistic works entirely better for me.

Holistic is a strange word anyway because it's a Latin suffix tacked onto a Germanic base. At least to my ears, it sounds wrong for that reason.

If someone tasked me to come up with a replacement word, I might suggest "integralist". As in "holistic approach" -> "integralist approach", etc.

Come on.

Flexport is also hiring engineering interns! Contact me via my profile here, or apply directly: https://www.flexport.com/careers/job/221999

You can learn more about what's involved on our engineering blog at https://flexport.engineering.

Are you considering summer interns?

Yep! Check my sibling comment. I must have been writing it when you were writing this one.

Any chance that you'd be willing to hire a remote product designer?

Right now we don't have any remote opportunities but perhaps in the future.

Understandable, thanks for answering!

You never know but I'm in Japan bootstrapping startups and definitely need a product designer. My email is in my profile.

Do you know there is actually a way to invest in these highly valued startups? For example, EquityZen is a platform that lets people to invest in private pre-IPO companies.

EquityZen: https://equityzen.com/?utm_source=https%3A%2F%2Fnews.ycombin...

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