Glossier’s investors have pumped $52 million more into the popular beauty brand

The New York City-based startup has now raised nearly $ 90 million in venture funding.

Glossier, the digital-native beauty brand whose products have become a hit among teen girls as well as women in their 20s and 30s, has raised a new $ 52 million round of financing from its existing investors.

IVP and Index Ventures led the round, which brings the startup’s total funding to $ 86 million.

Glossier grew out of Into the Gloss, a beauty blog that founder and CEO Emily Weiss created in 2010. Since then, the company has built out a line of affordable makeup and skincare products that have helped it create a fanatical following. The company sells its wares almost exclusively through its own website and its New York City showroom.

Weiss told Recode that the new funds would be earmarked “to invest in technology, grow the team, and build the infrastructure to be a massive standalone company.”

Here’s a conversation that Recode Editor in Chief Dan Frommer moderated with Weiss and one of the Sweetgreen founders at Code Commerce in September:


Recode – All

Coinbase is hiring a CFO — and still fending off interest from investors

Does the CFO hire say anything about an IPO at Coinbase?

Coinbase is moving to hire a chief financial officer in what would be a big move for the cryptocurrency platform’s growth plans.

It is also raising questions about the company’s potential plans to eventually go public. Adding an experienced, high-powered CFO is often read as a move that a business is eyeing an IPO. But that’s perhaps a less-revealing tea leaf at a financial services company like Coinbase, which could use help fine-tuning its massive, complicated business model.

Coinbase has been in late-stage talks with a number of candidates, according to people close to the company, and hiring a permanent CFO is one of its top priorities this year. Veteran CFO Tim Laehy joined the company last October to serve in the role in an interim capacity, according to his LinkedIn profile, but Laehy is not expected to stay in that role.

Other expected hires include vice presidents to handle communications and corporate development. Together, those additions would help the company manage its massive growth, which has been fueled by the surge of interest in cryptocurrencies late last year.

Coinbase declined to comment. CEO Brian Armstrong wrote a detailed post last year about how to hire senior executives, saying that it typically takes him six to 12 months to close on the right person.

The company is also continuing to fend off late-stage investors who have expressed interest in purchasing existing shares from the company, despite a recent warning from Coinbase to knock it off in a statement issued to Recode last month. Shareholders have been approached over the last few months by people interested in investing in the company at a valuation as low as $ 2 billion and as a high as $ 8 billion — a range that shows how volatile, opaque and illiquid the market is for hungry Coinbase investors.

So the company is weighing whether to launch a new financing round that would be mostly intended to allow for some existing investors to cash out as part of a “secondary” transaction, according to people with knowledge of the company’s thinking. The round, if launched, could also have a small “primary” component, in which Coinbase raises more capital, though the company is not wanting for money.

Coinbase doesn’t officially allow secondary trading, so a sanctioned round like this would require the company’s approval. Investors in recent weeks have been negotiating whether to sell shares or buy shares — hopefully with some guidance from the company about what would be a fair share price.

A large secondary transaction would likely weaken the pressure from any existing investors for the company to soon go public so that they can finally profit off their bet. And it would satisfy the swarming investors who want a piece of it.

Coinbase has also been adding independent directors to its board, another move typically done to prepare for an IPO. Facebook’s David Marcus joined the Coinbase board in December.

The company was last valued at $ 1.6 billion in August — a round that occurred largely before cryptocurrency’s bull run late last year. That round was led by IVP, a late-stage firm that specializes in leading one of a portfolio company’s last private financing rounds before the company sells its shares to the public.


Recode – All

Telegram’s ICO is attracting the industry’s newer crypto investors while firms like Andreessen Horowitz sit this one out

The investors are not who you’d expect.

Some of the most prominent investors in cryptocurrency are passing on a much-hyped initial coin offering hosted by the messaging app Telegram, while the venture firms that have largely missed out are preparing to invest.

That role reversal is crystallizing ahead of a deadline to decide whether to participate in the $ 1.2 billion project. The venture firms that have been among the most aggressive in the burgeoning cryptocurrency sector — Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners — are all expected not to invest in the upcoming ICO, according to sources familiar with their plans.

This ICO, however, is attracting a range of U.S. investors who see the deal as less of an investment in cryptocurrency and more as another investment in a promising consumer product. Several major players in Silicon Valley who are newer to cryptocurrencies are investing: Benchmark, Sequoia Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and the investor Yuri Milner, in his personal capacity, according to people briefed on their plans.

Outside investors are being asked to contribute about $ 20 million in the pre-sale period of the ICO offered by Telegram, the encrypted social messaging app that is hugely popular overseas. The $ 1.2 billion made in the ICO would allow Telegram to build and support a payment system on its platform.

The Telegram Open Network offering would put the currency before the app’s 180 million monthly active users.

“TON is not a technology bet, since the ICO isn’t really proposing anything new. It is a user-traction bet,” said one investor with knowledge of the transaction.

Founders Fund, the investment vehicle started by Peter Thiel that has also taken the unusual step of buying cryptocurrencies directly, is also still deciding whether to allocate money to the ICO. Some of those interested firms’ plans were first reported by the Financial Times.

Venture capitalists in recent months have been huddling with their funds’ own investors to see whether they can purchase ICO tokens instead of securities — or stock in private companies, which is what they’re supposed to do. Some firms are treading cautiously, but others like Coinbase backers Andreessen and USV have effectively become branded as, in the words of one investor, “the establishment” in this market.

Nearly every major venture firm has had access to participate in the Telegram ICO. And this deal appeals to venture funds, they say, because it offers an easy, introductory way for them to gain exposure to the crypto-economy without taking a risk on whether the currency will gain sufficient distribution. Interested investors say that Telegram’s mainstream appeal means that venture investors are not betting on some obscure platform that could fail even if the underlying technology is brilliant.

“It’s an easy ‘first ICO’ for VC’s ramping up to get their head around” cryptocurrency, said another person close to the ICO.

But here’s the bearish case, in the eyes of investors that passed on the deal: The assumption that every Telegram user is interested in using cryptocurrency isn’t valid. And this ICO does not solve the underlying problem for all ICOs — it is unclear how venture firms will cash in, even if the project is successful.

And others worry about the ICO’s lockup period — which sources say ends one to two years after its launch — and whether that could handcuff participants. A savvier move, investors say, would be to merely buy the currencies directly and be able to ride the incredible rise in the value of things like bitcoin.

Some others worry about the background of Pavel Durov, Telegram’s controversial CEO, or say they are not impressed by the underpinnings of the technology.

But unlike in traditional financing, the opinions of top-flight venture firms are only somewhat relevant to cryptocurrency insiders. The blessing of a Benchmark — or the thumbs-down of an Andreessen Horowitz — does not have the same signaling effect as it does when a startup is raising capital.

And also unlike startup fundraising, there is not one or two “lead” investors that provide most of the money. Some venture funds here that are pushing around $ 20 million also later plan to distribute their investment to their own syndicates of investors.

Much of the cash for the Telegram ICO is expected to come from non-American financiers, too.

About half the money for the project will be raised from the public at large later this winter, after institutional investors have had the chance to buy in.


Recode – All

BitConnect promoters are still targeting naive investors in Indonesia


Bitcoin investment website BitConnect might have closed down its fraudulent lending and exchange platform, but its task force of dedicated promoters are still at it – and are now targeting gullible “investors” in Indonesia and other parts of Asia. Duped BitConnect community members have tipped off TNW that some of the company’s promoters are now actively seeking to recruit potential investors via local social media channels and WhatsApp groups in Asia. “Stay calm,” the promoters insisted in their messages. “Don’t get upset. The price of BCC (BitConnect Coin) will go up within several months. So, just hold and save your BCC…

This story continues at The Next Web
The Next Web

India wants to collect taxes from its cryptocurrency investors

India's income tax department has sent notices to tens of thousands of people dealing in cryptocurrency, after learning that $ 3.5 billion worth of transactions have been conducted over a 17-month period. The move comes as India's finance ministry gra…
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