The GPT Store has officially landed

But it's not quite the full package we were anticipating

Happy Thursday! πŸ‘‹πŸΌπŸ‘‹πŸΌ

As we step into the year, the resurgence of IPOs and a notable shift in investor sentiment towards sustainable business models are shaping the dynamics of the startup ecosystem.

Excitingly, OpenAI has kicked off the year by unveiling their highly anticipated store. However, there's a missing piece to the puzzle, leaving creators in anticipation.

Additionally: Carta faces challenges, Gen Z asserts its influence, and the app economy continues to thrive! πŸš€



Six bullets of updates

  1. πŸ§’πŸ½ Gen Z, holding a mind-blowing $150 billion in buying power, is reshaping the business world with digital savvy, a demand for authenticity, and a knack for disruptive tech.

  2. πŸ’Έ After a trust-hiccup, Carta ditches its $3M/year secondary trading business to focus on core offerings.

  3. πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί EU: Surprisingly only 39 new VC funds managed to close in 2023, down from 60 in 2022. Will 2024 be brighter? 🌟

  4. 🈡 AI is changing the game again - Duolingo cuts 10% of its contractor workforce, attributing the move to AI efficiency.

  5. πŸ“²Β App economy rebounds with $171B in consumer spending and TikTok leading the way in non-gaming app monetization.

  6. πŸ›΄ Amid struggles in the micromobility industry, Tier and Dott plan to merge operations in a bid for profitability, bolstered by a fresh €60 million funding round.


Reviving IPO Interest: Tech Startups Strategize for Post-2023 Success

Nick Chong / Unsplash

Tech startups, including Waystar, Rubrik, and Lime, are rekindling their interest in Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) as they aim to recover from the challenges of 2023.

The potential IPO candidates recognize the importance of profitability and positive cash flows, emphasizing the need for robust business fundamentals to attract investors πŸ“ˆ

The shift towards IPOs is driven not only by financial considerations but also by the desire to avoid the risks associated with down rounds, as well as the challenges of accessing private capital amid reduced valuations and expensive debt financing due to high-interest rates.

This interest is fueled not only by external market conditions but also by internal dynamics, with early-stage investors seeking exits and long-time employees eager to capitalize on their stock options. The trend might have significant implications.


Startup Events and Deadlines

  1. Financial Modeling CourseΒ | January 22, 2024 | Online

  2. Pitch Deck DesignΒ | February 13, 2024 | Online

  3. SaaS Open: AustinΒ | March 3, 2024 | Austin

  4. World Summit AI AmericasΒ | April 24, 2024, Montreal

  5. TechCrunch Early StageΒ | April 25, 2024 | Boston


Takeaways from this week’s podcasts

Austin Russell from Luminar Technologies talks about how the power of staying quiet can be instrumental for startups aiming to make a significant impact upon launch:

1. Handling Hype with Care: While hype can be beneficial, it must be authentic, and pre-launch claims must align with what the product can deliver. Otherwise, it can backfire.

2. Underpromise and Overdeliver.

3. The Value of Expert Endorsement: Expert validation proved crucial for Luminar, leading to partnerships that might not have happened through usual investment channels.

4. Let the Product Speak.

A masterclass in product-led growth. & Austin Russell on 'Masters of Scale'.

John Austinson, a top franchise broker and author, shared the top non-food franchise opportunities of 2024. Some Takeaways:

Franchise Industry Outlook: He highlights a surge in franchise interest, attributed to factors like COVID-19, available cash, and increased interest from real estate investors due to high-interest rates.

Top Franchise Opportunities: He details ten specific franchise opportunities, covering industries such as property services, health and wellness, pet grooming, and anti-aging beauty solutions, emphasizing attributes like high demand, scalability, and innovation.

JLD & John Austinson β€˜Entrepreneurs on Fire’
AI Minds NewsletterNewsletter at the Intersection of Human Minds and AI

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These companies just raised money

  1. πŸ’° Brussels-based angel investment group, Syndicate One, achieves an initial €4.8 million fund close to propel high-potential tech startups in Belgium, with plans for a second close in early 2024.

  2. 🌍 Seedstars Africa Ventures secures a $30 million investment from EIB Global to support early-stage startups βœ”οΈ

  3. πŸ“š Shimmer, a Y Combinator alumi, raises $2.2 million in seed funding to advance its coaching platform for adults with ADHD.

  4. πŸ‘¨πŸ½β€πŸŽ¨ Quora secures $75 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz to fuel the growth of Poe, its AI chat platform.

  5. πŸš‘ Brazilian eHealth company Livance secures $13.2 million in funding led by Monashees.

  6. πŸ—£οΈ Dutch AI startup Whispp raises €750,000 in a seed funding round led by LUMO Labs to launch assistive voice technology.


OpenAI's GPT Store Hits the Shelves, But Something is Missing

OpenAI's much-anticipated GPT Store has finally launched, albeit without the promised revenue sharing model for third-party creators πŸ˜₯ The GPT Store, likened by many to the launch of the Apple App Store in 2008, was announced in November 2023 as a platform for the public to discover custom GPTs.

While users can now list and find GPTs on the platform, OpenAI has delayed the introduction of revenue sharing until Q1 2024. The company has yet to detail specifics about the payment system, such as how revenues will be calculated and shared with creators.

Despite the absence of a payments mechanism, the GPT Store offers a community leaderboard and categories to help users find GPTs tailored to their needs. The launch marks another milestone in OpenAI's transition from AI model provider to platform.


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