The future of coding bootcamps

GUEST: Almost two years ago, I wrote a couple of features on the potential of the coding bootcamp industry, including one published here on VentureBeat. I talked to founders and other stakeholders from more than a dozen bootcamp companies at that time and have been an armchair follower of the sector since then. But recently I did some research for a private equity investor in education, online learning, and edtech who has been looking at coding bootcamps, and I thought I would share some observations on what I rounded up about the current status of this market. There isn’t enough independent information about bootcamps The motivation for this investor’s inquiry was the perception on his part that there is so little serious reporting or research on bootcamps, which I think he’s right about. Consider some of the questions I raised two years ago: Does this model only work for the cream of the crop, or can it scale to less prepared or less motivated students who make up most of the mar..

Startup bank Mondo raised a crazy £1 million in just 96 seconds in its crowdfunding campaign

App-only bank Mondo has raised £1 million in just 96 seconds, days after investor demand for the bank crashed crowdfunding website Crowdcube, Mondo had to "pause" the launch of its crowdfunding campaign on Monday after demand from punters looking to buy shares in the company crashed Crowdcube's platform. Mondo had notified 44,000 people that its campaign was going live. Crowdcube beefed up its technical chops in response and the campaign went live at 1 p.m. Thursday, selling out in record time. 1 minute, 36 seconds - the fastest @Crowdcube round ever! Thank you everyone ? — Mondo (@getmondo) March 3, 2016 Crowdcube co-founder Luke Lang tweeted: That is the fastest equity raise ever! Not just on @Crowdcube. Congrats 🙂 — Luke Lang (@lukelang) March 3, 2016 Mondo CEO and co-founder Tom Blomfield told Business Insider: "I'd love to thank all the people who invested for such a huge vote of confidence. Thousands of people have helped us sha..

The ex-CFO of bust Powa Technologies claims management were ‘breathtakingly immature and bipolar’

The former chief financial officer of failed London tech unicorn Powa Technologies claims "management were the worst I've seen in over 30 years" and claims that the CEO "parked his Bentley in the disabled spot." Steven Prowse, who was acting CFO of Powa for three months in 2014, writes in a blog post published on LinkedIn last Friday that accounting practices at Powa were lax when he arrived, with corporate payments requiring only one signature. He also accuses executives of being "breathtakingly immature and bipolar." Deloitte, the administrators that now speak and act for Powa, declined to comment. CEO and founder Dan Wagner could not be reached for comment. There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing or rule-breaking at Powa. But Prowse's blog post on LinkedIn paints a chaotic picture of upper management at the company, which collapsed into administration last month. Powa was once valued at $2.7 billion and raised at least $220 million from 2013 onwards. Prowse writes: "T..

Going private could save Yahoo the grief of the spotlight but it won’t save the company (YHOO)

Is it time for Yahoo to say goodbye to the public stock market? Yahoo was among the first internet companies in history to go public, and now has a 20-year run living in the public markets. But the company has been in a constant state of crisis and turmoil for at least half of that time. The long-awaited turnaround in Yahoo’s business has frustrated a string of CEOs and investors, with CEO Marissa Mayer the latest to try her hand and come up short. One intriguing idea now making the rounds is whether Yahoo might finally be able to save itself by going private. The idea was most famously modeled by another tech pioneer that fell on tough times. Michael Dell, the founder of the eponymous PC company, did just that in 2013. After getting battered on Wall Street for years, Dell hooked up with Silver Lake Partners, ponied up some of his personal fortune, and orchestrated a $25 billion deal that turned the PC maker back into a privately held firm (though the results are still up in the ..

Venture capitalist Saul Klein says investors should aim to spot the ‘right surfers’ instead of just trying to ‘ride the wave’

Renowned venture capitalist Saul Klein believes technology investors should focus on spotting the "right surfers" instead of just trying to ride the wave. Speaking to Business Insider ahead of his latest investment, an Estonian startup called Jobbatical that was founded by a pair of siblings and their friend, Klein said it's important to spot talented entrepreneurs building companies in areas where there is market potential. "It’s not just about spotting waves," said Klein, pointing to verticals such as cloud, mobile, fintech, and artificial intelligence. "It’s about finding the right surfers." He added: "Pick your wave. There will always be 30 plus companies on it. Our job [as investors] is to pick the surfers. It’s about focusing in on the big market opportunities within these waves and finding the right teams." Klein — who cofounded movie streaming service LoveFilm, startup accelerator Seedcamp, and computer building startup Kano — left Index Ventures last year to set up a ..

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