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Data Sheet—Sunday, December 4, 2016

December 4, 2016, 8:41 PM UTC

It’s no secret that the number of startups has exploded in the last few years. Luckily, there’s also been an influx of early stage funding.

This week, a couple of interesting things related to those early stage startups caught my attention:

Product Hunt sold to AngelList. Three years after its debut, Product Hunt, a fast-rising website for sharing, finding, and discussing tech products, finally answered the question of how it intends to become self-sustaining business: It won’t. That’s not to say that it can’t make money—it already has, starting in its early days through its job board. But selling to AngelList, a crowd funding site for angel investors, means that the pressure is off of Product Hunt’s shoulders. Sure, Product Hunt founder Ryan Hoover has alluded to a big push for revenue, in addition to telling Forbes that it work with AngelList to create a joint product focused on recruiting. But by and large, Hoover won’t have to worry about overloading his site’s community with ads and other in-your-face money-making features that tend to turn off even the most enthusiastic users.

Fundraising is hard—and easy. First Round Capital, a venture capital firm focused on early stage startups, released its second annual survey, which included responses from 700 startups founders. On the topic of fundraising, founders both said it was quick—24% only took three months to raise their last round—or slow—25% said it took longer than four months. As for finding investors, most startups either pitched themselves to a fair number of venture capital firms—20% tried 11 to 20 firms and 18% went to six to 10 firms—or just returned to their existing investors for additional cash. Fifteen percent of startup founds said their latest round was with a firm that had backed them in a previous round.

As more and more new startups crop up, it’s clear that the industry is looking for ways to more efficiently match them to investors and other resources like job candidates. It will definitely be interesting to see if founders feel any differently a year from now.

Kia Kokalitcheva


This is the Startup Sunday edition of Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily tech newsletter, edited by reporter Kia Kokalitcheva. You may reach me via Twitter, email, or an entirely new platform that your startup developed. Feedback welcome.

Everyone's Talking About

Product Hunt. Three years after its debut, the online forum for tech enthusiasts announced this week its sale to AngelList, an online introduction board for angel investors that also lets them invest in startups. The companies will continue to operate separately though they'll also collaborate on new services in the future. According to Recode, AngelList paid about $20 million for Product Hunt. (Fortune) (Recode)

Unicorn Watch

Zenefits is looking for a new CEO. Just 10 months after then-COO David Sacks took over the CEO job, HR software company Zenefits is on the hunt for a more permanent chief executive. (Fortune)

Uber argues in Europe that it's a digital service. The ride-hailing company defends its business model to the Court of Justice of the European Union as it seeks to avoid the stricter regulations for taxi and transportation companies. (Reuters)

Airbnb drops its lawsuit against New York City. The home-sharing company is backing down after regulators agreed not to go after Airbnb itself when enforcing new laws aimed at cracking down on illegal hotels. (Bloomberg)

The Week in Startups

Famous iPhone Hacker George Hotz Is Releasing His Self-Driving Software Into the Wild (Fortune)

Opendoor Raises $210 Million to Buy and Sell Even More Homes (Fortune)

Navdy's Car Gadget Could Help You Keep Your Eyes on the Road (Fortune)

Fitbit Might Buy Pebble But Here's Why It Won't Help (Fortune)

Osterhout Design Group Raises $58 Million for Augmented Reality Smartglasses (VentureBeat)

CNN to Start a New Media Brand with YouTube Star Casey Neistat (The Verge)

Facebook Blocks Prisma’s Live Video Filters (The Verge)

Amazon Has a Shiny New Startup Accelerator to Advance Conversational AI (TechCrunch)

Dubsmash Syncs €9 Million Series B (TechCrunch)

Period Tracking App Clue Pulls in $20 Million Series B from Nokia Growth Partners (TechCrunch)

Words of Wisdom

"A CEO’s first job is to build a product users love; the second job is to build a company to maximize the opportunity that the product has surfaced; and the third is to harvest the profits of the core business to invest in transformative new product ideas."—Y Combinator Continuity fund CEO Ali Rowghani, on a startup CEO's priorities at different stages. (Y Combinator's blog)