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In April 2012, venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners invested $485,000 in a startup called Snapchat. Snapchat allows users to send each other self-destructing photos. According to reports, the investment gave Snapchat a $12.5 million valuation. Today, Snapchat is worth $800 million. According to the Pew Research Center, 9% of all American cellphone owners use the app.

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When people — particularly investors — think of successful local marketplace businesses, they think of Yelp, OpenTable, maybe GrubHub, and Task Rabbit (to give our portfolio a little plug). What few realize, however, is that even the most successful of these businesses require time and patience to realize their full potential.

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Nutanix is transforming the datacenter as we know it and is empowering its customers to handle virtualized environments, Big Data and ever-growing mobile workforces. Traditional datacenter architectures employ discrete tiers of compute (servers) and storage, which are connected by a dedicated network—typically a storage-area network (SAN).

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DataStax, the company that powers the online applications that transform business, today announced that Silicon Valley veteran Dennis Wolf will join the company as chief financial officer, where he will oversee all of the company's financial and operational functions. Wolf arrives at a time when privately held DataStax is experiencing more than 150 percent growth year-over-year, rapid international expansion, and a continuing momentum of enterprises migrating from relational database management systems (RDBMS) such as Oracle to DataStax's Apache Cassandra(TM) -- based NoSQL solution.

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Outbrain, the leading content discovery platform, announced that it has closed a new round of funding of $35 million, bringing its total financing to $99 million. HarbourVest led the round with participation from Outbrain's existing investors Carmel Ventures, Index Ventures, Gemini Israel Ventures, GlenRock Israel, Rhodium, and Lightspeed Venture Partners, as well as a new participant, Vintage Partners. The company will use the new funding to continue its innovations in content discovery and expand its global business, which currently spans 13 offices.

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How many younger readers really care about news and politics — as opposed to celebrity gossip, viral videos, and cat GIFs? Well, a site called PolicyMic is built around the proposition that readers under 35 are looking for something more substantive, and it just raised $3 million in new funding.

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Enterprise cloud startups are a particularly hot area these days. Since 2012, 18 enterprise cloud companies have gone public and half of them are worth over $1 billion today. And there's more where that came from, like the 21 startups on this list.

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Personalis Closes $22M Series B Financing

10.07.2013 - Press Release

Personalis, Inc., the leading provider of advanced medical exome and genome sequencing and interpretation services, announced today the closing of a $22 million Series B financing. “This financing brings the total investment in Personalis to over $42M, the relative scale of which gives us a significant advantage over most new companies now entering this space,” said Personalis CEO John West. “We will use this to further build on our technological lead, expand our product offerings, scale our operations, and expand our commercial team.

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Peter Nieh: Focus On Repeatability

10.01.2013 - Wall Street Journal

GUEST MENTOR Peter Nieh, partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners: In the early days of a startup, every business component, from what to pay employees to new product features seems critical. However, I’ve have found that the most important aspect for success is relentless focus on establishing a repeatable customer acquisition process. This provides the essential foundation on top of which the team can scale the business in a highly efficient, rapid and predictable way.

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Searching for the next Zuckerberg

09.09.2013 - VentureBeat

Building a company for first-time founders is like jumping into the deep end of the pool without really knowing how to swim. The Lightspeed Summer Fellowship helps aspiring entrepreneurs get their feet wet and buoys them as they take their first strokes.

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