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Modacruz’s new round

Our preowned female clothing and accessories marketplace investment Modacruz recently completed a new $2M funding round.

The round was led by new investor Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), our co-investor in Volt, and also included the participation of existing investors Hummingbird Ventures and Nevzat Aydin.

We welcome MEVP to the company, thank Hummingbird and Nevzat for their continued support, and look forward to Modacruz further growing its base of buyers and sellers as it brings the use of preowned clothing and accessories to women across Turkey.

The ocean’s depth

I recently came across a Business Insider video which uses examples of marine species and human missions to highlight the depth of the ocean.

It turns out that the ocean floor is about 36000 feet, or 11000 meters deep.

As the video shares, we know very little of and about most of the species that live there.

Alexa and Amazon Echo

I received my Amazon Echo order earlier last week. Amazon doesn’t ship the device to Turkey yet so I had to order it from a seller on the N11 marketplace. The cost of buying the device this way is about twice the $180 list price on Amazon.

The Alexa app (Alexa is the voice assistant that powers the Amazon Echo) which you need to set up the Amazon Echo is also not available in Turkey, so I downloaded a prior version from the APKMirror website.

Fortunately, after going through these troubles to buy and set up the Echo in Turkey, I discovered that the experience is well worth it.

The main use case I found for the Echo is having it play music. I connected my Spotify account to the Alexa app and, simply by saying “Alexa, play X by Y on Spotify” (where X is the name of the song and Y is the name of the singer), I get to listen to all of the songs available on my Spotify account. The speaker quality is great but that’s just table stakes. What differentiates the experience is the ability to listen to music by simply saying what you want to listen to. That’s a much more fluid experience than looking for music by typing and clicking on your smartphone or laptop.

I also used the Echo to get weather forecasts for the upcoming day before heading out in the morning. Once again, it’s a much better user experience to get the weather this way than by typing and clicking on a smartphone or laptop screen.

Alexa is currently an example of weak artificial intelligence (AI). It only understands and responds to a narrow range of requests which are communicated to it with a predefined syntax. And the range of requests that it responds to (like playing music and sharing the weather) are indeed pretty narrow. For example, Alexa isn’t able to share what’s showing on TV. Whenever you make a request that its current capabilities cannot respond to, Alexa simply states that it can’t carry out the task. And since it delivers such a great experience in areas like music and the weather, you’re quick to forgive its lack of performance in other use cases.

However, it’s easy to imagine a future where Alexa is integrated with a much broader range of data sources like TV guides, restaurant discovery and reservation platforms, and travel booking sites. And Alexa will become more and more useful with each new integration. We’re in the initial innings of a ball game where Alexa can develop into an irreplaceable household device by simply accommodating more and more weak AI tasks.

The holy grail will occur when we eventually develop strong AI (that is, a machine with the intellectual capability of a human), but Alexa and the Amazon Echo are already very useful in its absence.

Turkey’s startups

In advance of the Startup Turkey event in Antalya last week, TRT World, Turkey’s English language news channel, featured a piece on Turkey’s startup ecosystem.

The piece highlights Meal Box in particular as well as several other startups where we’re investors. I also talk about the availability of venture capital in Turkey.

At two and a half minutes it’s a short piece. You can watch it in full below.

Professional Writing Programs

Something written (“notated or documented”) in a fixed variety, in this case the form of a, is automatically branded. Goto the eCO site to join up digitally via the link in Resources below. You print it can even complete an online form and send it alongside clones of your function and $50 or. Relating Subject 17 of the U.S. Digital book or an ebook may be the digital equivalent of a printing book that is standard. Usually, you’re able to only prosecute for earnings and injuries. Whilst the publisher that is initial, you possess the trademark to your function from the moment it’s created.

But he refused and made a decision to focus on part time basis.

Even though the copyright is quickly conferred upon development of the first e-book to the publisher, you will find legitimate strengths to using a pubic history demonstrating the fact. Register your trademark. Guidelines Create an ebook. mail. Registration through the Trademark Workplace is not essential to be guarded by copyright legislation. In the event you file the registration you are additionally protected by registration of copyright against importation of clones infringing the trademark. Using a trademark notice isn’t needed.

(next section on why formulae ensure it is simpler to publish an article).

In case you enroll your copyright the registration shows the truth of the copyright. Trademark Office, a is quickly copyright protected following the author’s death. It gets the quickest processing period, functions online checking and is the least expensive of three alternatives. Go to the Electronic Copyright Office (eCO) to join up your trademark digitally for $35. You need a public document, professional writing programs as an example, before filing an infringement suit. It may be downloaded via www.custom-papers-online.com the Net and read using an ebook reader or a pc. Both approaches require delivering subscription products towards the Copyright Office via U.S. Attorney’s costs and governmental problems are available towards the author or copyright operator in court proceedings if you register within 90 days of distribution. Code, copyright laws protect professional writing programs the ownership rights of authentic works’ experts.

Free Online Essay Typer

It truly is how they clarify their continued inaction. It’s only a reason. After undergoing procedures, the Ukrainian 21-year-old achieves an inferior-than-usual middle, sufficient break and symmetrical facial functions (right). The real-existence Barbie can also be a fresh age musician and vocalist whose skills are the ability to perform soprano and crafting more than 70 tracks. Nonetheless, real-life Valeria Lukyanova spoke out to refute that she’d radical levels of plastic surgery, boasting to have her search with merely make-up. See more photographs: Lukyanova: her body dimensions that are intense are flaunted by Human Barbie toy in high-fashion shoot for magazine Lana Del Rey 2012: Before Plastic Surgery Pictures Hollywood Superstars: After Plastic and Before Operations Related posts: Osbourne: Before and After Removing Breast Enhancements Loser Champion 2011 After and Before Rhode Dropped of Their Weight U.S. Lukyanova dresses just like the popular toy with polished bow lips and large eye makeup. Valeria Lukyanova looks like an ordinary girl before plasticsurgery free online essay typer (left).

As an example, you might publish, “the patient was effectively -groomed and dressed.

Unpleasant look after surgery free online essay typer that is plastic, although Lukyanova defines her great. ” a lot of people claim things that are terrible about those who want to perfect themselves. “this is the way they justify not wanting to try for self-improvement. There are many of movies on the web. She is thought to invest thousands to acquire the look of Barbie, which might involve some bones to reduce out. She denies heading underneath the blade to attain the looks of a toy that is plastic. It had been clear the Ukrainian type had to undertake plastic surgery that is excessive to gain her existing doll-like physique with heart shaped glassy eyes faces breast and tiny waists. The masterpapers ” human Barbie ” displays off her huge breasts, shockingly small middle, long gold locks and broad – like eyes.

For instance when you have been put through serious starvation, their brain tells them to find food.

Presidents: Before and after departing Whitehouse Taylor Lautner is Homosexual Scandal on People Magazine Cover Is Wholly Fake Valeria Lukyanova is really an instructor in the Faculty of Out-of- Body Vacation. It really is effort, however it is dismissed by them as anything done by physicians or computer designers,” Valeria Lukyanova explained. Valeria Lukyanova turned an Internet sensation after she posted images of her seemingly inhuman- ratios, the outcome of several cosmetic surgery classes.

Using offline business strategy to inform online

This one’s going to be short and sweet. I met two subscription businesses over the last month. The first business is offline and the second online. The offline business is experiencing high churn rates among its customer base, which it is trying to reduce through an increased focus on customer satisfaction. Some of the measures it is taking include hiring better quality sales staff, training them better, aligning their compensation with the long term performance of their customer portfolio, and improving call center performance. 

However, measures designed to reduce the churn of existing customers are only part of the strategy. In addition, the company is looking to attract new customers who are less likely to churn. To achieve this, the company introduced an upfront signup fee. The goal of this entry fee is not to generate revenue, but to serve as a filter which ensures that those customers who do sign up have a greater commitment to the company’s service. While everyone may sign up for a free service, only for the majority to leave once the first monthly bill arrives, an upfront fee makes potential customers think twice. They will only sign up if the service is of long term value to them. Since the customers of this company who churn in the early stages of their subscription have a negative lifetime value, it makes sense for the company to filter these customers out at the beginning.
The online business is in a slightly different, but similar situation. Instead of a high churn rate, it has a large fraction of customers who don’t use its product. Since the company’s business model includes a significant profit sharing component whereby the company only makes money if its customers use the product to generate revenue for themselves, the customers who don’t use the product represent an acquisition cost with no future revenue to make up for it. In other words these customers have a negative lifetime value and the company should try to avoid serving them. 
So far the company has relied on a set of questions which it asks each customer prior to signing up to get a feel for how frequently they expect to use the product. While a good first step, this is an imperfect measure as it evaluates future expectations of usage, not actual usage. Customers can also game the system by claiming high levels of expected usage in order to get through the door but not following through on this claim in the absence of a commitment mechanism. 
The solution I proposed is to do exactly as the offline business did. Impose a small entry fee, not with the goal of generating revenue, but to serve as a filter which selects only those customers who are serious in their intent to use your product. While this will lower the overall number of customers that the company acquires, it will increase the company’s profits because the customers who don’t sign up as a result of the entry fee are those that would have had a negative impact on the company’s bottom line.

What concerns does Bitcoin need to address to become a lasting currency?

There’s a new investment theme in the tech startup scene, and it’s called Bitcoin. Basically Bitcoins are a form of currency, like dollars or euros. The key advantage of Bitcoin over traditional currencies is its lower transaction costs. Whereas payments in traditional currencies which need to be processed through institutions like banks and credit card processing companies incur fees ranging from 2% to 5% of the transaction value, payments made in Bitcoin are free. That is until you convert Bitcoins back into a traditional currency. For example, Coinbase, a leading startup in the Bitcoin ecosystem, charges 1% + $0.15 per transaction to convert your Bitcoins into dollars.

As a result of the lower transaction cost of Bitcoins which represent a potentially very large shift in value from financial institutions to consumers, startups attempting to build the ecosystem have attracted significant venture capital interest. Coinbase has raised over $6M from the likes of Union Square Ventures and SV Angel. OpenCoin is backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Ventures, and Google Ventures. And BitPay recently raised $2M led by Founders Fund. But all is not rosy. As is natural for a new ecosystem, volume remains low. Coinbase saw $15M of Bitcoins converted into dollars in April, and BitPay announced that it handles $5M in transactions per month. Although Bitcoin is a very promising currency, it faces three key concerns that it needs to address in order to gain widespread adoption: anonymity, volatility, and deflationary pressure.

Let’s address anonymity first. The first adopters of Bitcoin were groups and individuals who did not want to leave a trail behind as they engaged in illegal activities like online gambling. While the appeal of using Bitcoin to protect your identity in illegal transactions is clear, for Bitcoin to become a universal currency, it needs to be used for legal transactions where the identities of the buyer and seller are known. Fortunately, this is starting to become the case. Gyft, which Romulus partnered with in June 2012, works with BitPay to allow its users to buy mobile gift cards from its retail partners by paying with Bitcoins.

This leads to the second concern surrounding Bitcoin: volatility. The value of one Bitcoin has ranged from $5 in April 2012 to a high of $266 in April 2013. This appreciation in excess of 5000% over the course of one year was followed by a greater than 50% drop over the last month. One Bitcoin currently trades for around $127. Part of the solution to the tremendous volatility in the value of Bitcoin is greater usage. As more and more transactions are conducted in Bitcoin, for example through Gyft, the market will better price the currency. However, there remains a second complicating factor which will be more challenging to solve. While a central bank like the US Federal Reserve is able to moderate the volatility of a currency like dollars through open market operations, the lack of a central bank behind Bitcoin makes volatility a greater concern.

If there is no central issuing authority for Bitcoin, how do Bitcoins come into circulation? The answer is that they are created by a predictable algorithm built by the founder of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. There are currently 11 million Bitcoins in circulation, with the production of new Bitcoins taking place at a declining rate. There is a hard limit of 21 million Bitcoins which will be in circulation by 2140. Users capture these new Bitcoins by applying their computing power to solve increasingly complex mathematical problems. The eventual fixed number of Bitcoins, and their declining rate of production, makes deflation a real concern. While a central bank could print money to counteract a deflationary environment in a traditional currency, this is not possible for Bitcoins. If Bitcoins gain widespread adoption, their fixed supply is likely to lead to hoarding. This would create a chasm between the haves and the have nots, which could threaten the very foundation of Bitcoin.

While anonymity, volatility, and deflationary pressure remain important concerns on the road to the widespread adoption of Bitcoin, they need to be seen in the proper context. We are in the early innings of a long ball game. The current structure of the Bitcoin system represents its first iteration. We need to adopt an attitude that is willing to experiment and learn from mistakes to overcome Bitcoin’s rough edges. I am convinced that the tech sector will place its best foot forward. With a little help from regulators, Bitcoin can become a lasting currency that ultimately benefits consumers.

Crocodoc: thank you for the ride

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end”. These lyrics are from one of my favorite songs, Closing Time by Semisonic. In fact I’m listening to the song as inspiration as I write this post. What then is the original beginning that has ended, and what is the new beginning?

Crocodoc, our third investment at Romulus, was recently acquired by cloud storage provider Box. While this marks the end of a successful partnership which we initiated with Crocodoc in 2009, I am confident that Ryan and the rest of the Crocodoc team will achieve even greater successes as part of Box.
Crocodoc originally started out in 2007 at MIT as WebNotes, a web annotation tool which is still live at http://www.webnotes.net. The current incarnation of the company, which resulted from a pivot following its participation in Y Combinator’s Winter 2010 program, positions it as the leading online document viewing and editing tool for Microsoft Office and PDF files. Simply put, Google has developed its own technology for Gmail users to view Microsoft Office and PDF documents in their browser. Everyone else on the web, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and DropBox, uses Crocodoc.
It has been a pleasure to see Crocodoc grow from its humble beginnings on the MIT campus to the profitable company that it is today. We were fortunate to invest in the company in December 2009, prior to its participation in Y Combinator. Since then, Crocodoc has pursued a strategy of sustainable growth, raising only $1M of outside funding. Instead of adopting a “go big or go home” attitude, Crocodoc chose to pursue a patient approach to product development, releasing successive improvements of its technology to customers only after careful fine tuning. The result speaks for itself: a best-in-class product, a great end, and an even more promising new beginning.
While we were very fortunate to partner with Crocodoc as Romulus, I was equally fortunate to interact with a great founder like Ryan. I can recall multiple specific moments when I learned at least as much from him as he did from me. To Ryan and the entire Crocodoc team: thank you for the ride.