Affirm Is Firm and Strong

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Affirming how seriously they wanted to come out of the gate, Affirm (sorry, we had to) doubled their share price with their IPO debut yesterday. They set out with a $49 per share IPO price but started the day trading above $90 per share. Affirm is a rival of Klarna, another “buy now, pay later” unicorn, and clearly the company’s shares are high in demand. 

Airbnb, C3.ai, and DoorDash all had similarly strong results, so much so that Roblox put their tail between their legs and is holding back on their IPO for now. 

Affirm’s strong debut is a win the fintech industry needed this week, especially after Visa’s acquisition of Plaid didn’t go through (thanks DOJ).

Will we see more fintech companies IPO and be welcomed just as warmly this year? What are your thoughts? Hit reply and tell us!

When Life Gives You a Pandemic, Make Lemonade

And by lemonade we mean profits. Sure, lots of DTC startups didn’t fare well in 2020, but investors from Greycroft, Lerer Hippeau, and Forerunner all say startups that are addressing problems like sleep and personal grooming will win big this year. Anything related to pets, home design, and health or wellness is also going to shine brightly.

For example, Clare is a startup improving the online, paint-buying experience with paint swatches, designer picked colors and tech tools like the Paint Calculator. They even have a “Color Genius” option online. A play on Apple’s Genius Bar… no?

Also, Cove is a new startup out of Feelmore Labs that is positioned well for 2021 because they offer consumers a wearable tech device that reduces anxiety and improves sleep. Uh… doesn’t everyone need one of these? Pair that with Eight Sleep’s smart mattresses that track data and can change the temperature of each side of the bed at any time, and you’re in sleep heaven.

When it comes to health, Found is combining prescription medicine, community support and coaching all-in-one as part of a weight-loss program. Instead of just offering diet and exercise components, the startup covers the entire gamut of health. Biological factors in weight-loss like metabolism, hormones, gut health, genetics, sleep, emotional health and environment. 

What “new and hot” startups do you see rising to the top of 2021? Hit reply and tell us!

Never Lose Your Dog Again

Not like that should be an issue, but just like with kids, you can’t help but worry your dog might wiggle out of its leash, jump over a fence, or run out the door when you forget to close it.

Unfortunately, about 10 million pets go missing every year in the US without returning to their owners. They end up in shelters and, well, you know what’s next, all because they don’t have a microchip or identification tag.

Shadow is a new app from the creators of Zocdoc that uses AI tech and a volunteer network (think partnerships with animal shelters and rescue non-profits) to help missing dogs return to their owners. 

The organizations pool together photos of the dogs they currently have and then Shadow’s AI matches those photos with ones the owners provide. But just in case a match isn’t found that way, Shadow automatically programs a search radius according to when and where the dog went missing and then suggests a plan of action to the owner to keep the hunt going. 

They even use crowdsourcing to hang “lost dog” flyers around neighborhoods instead of having to do it all by yourself! 

Get this too… the app is free to use but makes money through a virtual tipping system. Users can even buy a $10 Instagram ad to help improve the search. 

All of this from Cyrus Massoumi, the same guy that founded Zocdoc and exited while suing his CFO and other cofounders claiming fraud. Talk about a comeback. 

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