13 July 2022 |

World: Meet Handshake



We hear about Web3 all the time, but how do we know it’s legit? This chart ☝️ 

Closing the year, there were 18,418 monthly active developers in Web3 – nearly doubling year over year. 

Some other interesting Web3 stats:

  • 34K new developers wrote Web3 related code in 2021
  • 4K developers work on ETH blockchain every month
  • ~680 developers work on BTC blockchain every month

For more awesome stats and deeper dive on the chart above, check out the Developer Report here by Electric Capital.


World: Meet Handshake

Handshake, the job platform for recent college graduates, announced a $200M funding round last week led by Coatue Management and Valiant Peregrine Fund. 

Alan’s Angle: Everyone knows the job hunt sucks. Ironically, Linkedin is an incredibly tough place to find a job, especially for college students with limited experience. That’s where Handshake ($434M raised to date) comes in — and they’re thriving.

Powered by $100M expected ARR in 2022 and intentions to launch a full blown LinkedIn competitor, Handshake had no problem funding this recent round at a $3.5B valuation. 

For context, LinkedIn just surpassed $10B in revenue in FY21 with 774M global users. So, if Handshake can get to just 10% of LinkedIn’s revenues over the next several years, a $3.5B valuation will look like a steal for the VCs.

Also, Handshake’s management shared their ambition to go public, but they made it clear that they will NOT be going public via SPAC – consistent with the SPAC trend I wrote about last week.

My prediction? Handshake goes public in 2025 with a $10B+ valuation.

One Damn Valuable Password

1Password, a password management platform, has raised $620M at a valuation of $6.8B. The round was led by Iconiq Growth who dished out ~$5.2B across their portfolio in 2021.

Alan’s Angle: 

1Password ($920M raised) is on fire. Check out these accomplishments since last year’s $100M Series B:

  • Increased business customer base from 90K to 100K
  • Added big name clients like Datadog, Intercom, and Snowflake
  • Employee headcount increased by 20%

1Password has some serious competition from the likes of NordPass, Dashlane (raised a $100M series D in 2019), and Keeper (raised $60M through a minority investment in 2020). 

Who will be the big winner here? All of them. 

The opportunity is growing at such a rapid pace that the tide will rise all boats — just look at the VC dollars pouring into this space.

Plus, the number of people online is growing. Around 60% of the world population is currently on the internet and that number is expected to grow to 90% by 2030. The number of IoT devices in use is also expected to more than double from 13.8B at the end of 2021to 30.9B by 2025. More internet users and IoT devices means… well, more passwords.

TL;DR: password management platforms are a good place to be. 

Twitter’s Move into NFTs

Twitter announced a new feature: Now, Twitter Blue subscribers can upload an NFT as their profile picture by linking their crypto wallet — AKA platforms like Coinbase, Rainbow, MetaMask, Ledger Live, Argent, and Trust Wallet. 

Alan’s Angle: 

When a mainstream social media company makes a move legitimizing NFTs, I listen. 

This is exactly what Twitter did last week. Interesting to note? This feature is only available to Twitter Blue subs — another step by Twitter to bulk up their paid subscription service.

For startups, Twitter’s dedication to improving the Twitter Blue product offering is huge. Why? Because Twitter loves acquiring startups to support these efforts. In 2021 alone, Twitter did 6 acquisitions:

  • Breaker (social podcasting)
  • Ueno (creative agency)
  • DriveScale (storage technology)
  • Revue (newsletter platform)
  • Sphere (group chat app)
  • Threader (long form reader application) 

My prediction? Last year was Twitter’s big year for product acquisitions — and even more are coming in 2022.



What They Do: Property management and leasing management platform for remote operated multi-family and single family homes

Amount Raised: $9M Series A 

Lead Investors: Asymmetric Capital Partners

Why It Matters: 

I love me some “proptech.” Both my dad and grandfather are/were real estate professionals, so real estate runs in my blood. 

But I’m not all in Hemlane — even if their platform is slick. This space is incredibly competitive:

  • Rent Redi – $2.5M seed round in May, driven 2000% sub growth since Jan ‘20
  • Door Loop – $10M seed round, helps its clients manage “tens of thousands of units in over 100 countries”
  • Appfolio – publicly traded, has nearly 17K customers in the US

Hemlane might be a winner, but they’re going to fight hard for their throne.

Learn More: Press Release & Company Website


What They Do: Develop modern golf operations for private clubs

Amount Raised: $6M

Lead Investors: Craft Ventures

Why It Matters: 

Golf is hotter than Tiger Woods on a Sunday in the mid 2000s.

In 2020, ~24.8M people played golf — the greatest increase in golfers since 2003. 

The bummer? Private golf clubs are losing ~$30k/year due to biz ops inefficiencies.

These losses in a $25B+ market means there’s massive demand and opportunity for software like Whoosh.

My prediction? Whoosh is going to be the Tiger of golf ops.

Learn More: Press Release & Company Website


What They Do: Bitcoin infrastructure company with a focus on lightning infrastructure

Amount Raised: $6M Seed Round

Lead Investors: Trammel Ventures 

Why It Matters: 

The amount of money going into crypto is off the charts. 

a16z raised a $2.2B crypto fund in June. Now, they’re looking to raise a additional $1B digital asset fund and a $3.5B crypto fund — which would be the biggest crypto fund to date, surpassing Paradigm’s $2.5B fund in November ‘21. 

We do know that crypto is here to stay. What we don’t know? Which coins, blockchains, and companies will dominate. I’ll be watching the a16z crypto fund closely — where their money goes will likely give us some insight on the path forward. 

Learn More: Company Website


What They Do: Next gen community investing platform

Amount Raised: $4M Seed Round

Lead Investors: Kalaari Capital

Why It Matters: 

Robinhood made investing cool — well, for people in the US, that is. 

Robinhood is only available in the US, allowing a company like threedots to try to become “the Robinhood of India.”

threedots is already a nice sized player in the rapidly growing Indian market with 50k+ users, andhe Indian investing market has a massive disreputable opportunity:

  • Only 3% of population is investing currently — expected to grow to 15% by 2030 
  • 14M demat accounts at end of ‘21, up from 4.9M in 2020

threedots biggest competition comes from Upstox and Groww, two India-based retail investing unicorns with a big head start. 

Learn More: Press Release & Company Website


What They Do: AI-based pool safety system

Amount Raised: $1.1M

Lead Investors: N/A

Why It Matters: 

There are 10.4M residential pools in the US and zero pool safety systems using AI — except Camereye. 

With pricing plans ranging from free to $19.99 a month, they’ve got options for everyone with a pool. 

Watchout, because Camereye is going to make a big splash 💦 

Learn More: Press Release & Company Website