I was browsing yesterday when I picked up this post by Alyson Shontell of Business Insider on LearnVest, a finance tools and information site for women, founded by a 27-year-old woman and funded very quickly by major venture capital. Here’s Alyson’s quick summary:
In July, LearnVest raised a $19 million round, bringing its total funding to $24.5 million. It’s seeing quick adoption among advertisers and users, and conversion rates on its recently launched subscription product are exceeding expectations. Based on its recent funding, the success of its predecessors, and its quick adoption, we estimate a $100 million valuation.
Alyson’s post on Business Insider includes the 4-minute video embedded here below, where she interviews founder Alexa Von Tobel, who tells her story extremely well. Here are some points I found especially interesting:
- I hate the unequal representation of women in startups. both in fact and in media coverage, so I’m happy to post an example of a startup founded by a woman, targeting women, that has taken off beautifully.
- Pay close attention near the end where Alyson asks Alexa about the metric, the hard numbers, that sparked investor interest. I think it’s a great example of how investors want to hear a story, punctuated with numbers, that validates a startup. Alexa talks about 10,000 signups on the first day. I enjoyed the detail about the site going down, which is a refreshing real-world example of good news outweighing the bad.
- I post a lot about the value of education, and whether the MBA studies are worth it, so I noted here that Alexa dropped out of the Harvard MBA program after one semester. It doesn’t change my opinions already posted here, but some people will want to include Alexa in her list of entrepreneurs who didn’t finish the degree. In this case, it’s an MBA, not an undergrad, but still — in you like those examples, here’s another one.
If for any reason you don’t see the video here you can click this link to go to the original.