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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

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The Big One

A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.

Lucy: Grapevine, an influencer marketing platform for YouTube, wants to give content creators another way to make money through a new acquisition.

Dylan: The Cambridge startup announced on Tuesday that it has acquired ReadyCart, a Tennessee-based affiliate marketing service that lets creators on platforms like YouTube build custom storefronts that sell products discussed in their videos.

This marks Grapevine’s second acquisition after Chinese media mogul Bruno Wu acquired a majority stake in the company near the beginning of the year. Grapevine’s first acquisition was SocMetrics, a GV-backed social media influencer analytics platform.

With ReadyCart, Grapevine will give the more than 135,000 content creators on its platform the ability to earn money through affiliate marketing. Content creators can use ReadyCart to create a custom online storefront that sells products they talk about in their videos. This is separate from Grapevine’s core offering, which is an influencer marketing platform that lets content creators get paid by brands for sponsored content deals.

Grant Deken, Grapevine CEO and 50 on Fire finalist, told me that the ReadyCart affiliate program will have the most competitive revenue-share rates in the industry, which includes Amazon’s affiliate program. “What we’re looking at is the long-tail opportunity and being able to capture all of that,” he said. Read more: Grapevine Acquires ReadyCart to Help YouTubers Earn More Cash

Making Moves

Inside the people, companies and organizations making moves today.

Lucy: Startup accelerator Techstars is partnering with a Boston company to offer unaccredited investors the opportunity to invest in any Techstars venture, BBJ reported. Thanks to Netcapital, investors can buy online small amount of equity of their selected startup – a process that’s formally known as “equity crowdfunding.”

Dylan: There’s a new marketing tech company for small- to medium-sized businesses in Boston. Poland-based GetResponse says it has opened a 2,000-square-foot office in Boston to act as its U.S. hub, which will be lead by Mike Morris. Morris was previously a VP at Grasshopper, which was acquired by Citrix and later folded into LogMeIn as part of its merger with Citrix’s GoTo business. The company says it plans to invest $30M into its U.S. expansion over the next two years. Read more about the expansion here.

Lucy: For our First Look series, I chatted with Connor Gross and Giovanni Armonies-Assalone about their new startup Cardly. The two juniors at Northeastern University have teamed up to sell millennial-friendly stick-on pockets that students can add to their phone to have their IDs and credit cards always handy. Customers have responded well, according to the co-founders: since they’ve started the company, Cardly has sold a little over 25,000 phone pockets, making an annual revenue that surpasses six figures. Not bad for a phone pockets startup founded in 2015. Read more: This Startup Makes Six-Figure Revenue by Selling Phone Pockets to Millennials 

In The Know

The Inno stories you need to read today.

Dell Technologies Launches A New IoT Division And Partner Program Amid ‘Great Boom’ In Edge Computing [CRN]

VC Funding Surges in Fewer Deals in Third Quarter, and Top 10 Deals [Xconomy]

Boston hires National Geographic exec as new chief digital officer [BBJ]

New Money

Your daily funding roundup.

Dylan: BetterSkills, an employee engagement platform, has raised $900K out of a $2M offering, according to a new Form D.

Player Personnel

Who’s moving where.

Lucy: Two personnel announcements for today:

Zemcar, a rideshare startup that provides transportation options for families and their children, announced a few big leadership announcements. Juliette Kayyem, who served as a homeland security official in the Obama administration, has become CEO, replacing founder Bilal Khan, who now serves as board chairman and head of product and technology. Shahid Azim, an entrepreneur-in-residence at Harvard, has been hired as president and COO. Last but not least, the company has added co-founder Donna Levin and Google vet Laura DeBonis as advisors.

nDash, a marketplace for hiring content creators, has hired Applause vet Matt Solar as its VP of marketing and community.

In The Community

The events and happenings to know about tonight and this week.

Dylan: HubSpot executive Meghan Keaney Anderson has joined the statewide push for paid family leave and a higher minimum wage. In a LinkedIn post, HubSpot’s VP of marketing said she is collecting signatures to get the two items on a statewide ballot. If approved, the paid family leave measure “would provide up to 16 weeks of job-protected paid leave to any Massachusetts worker to care for a seriously ill family member or a new child,” she said. “These are life-altering things, they should not be treated like side-gigs.” The nonprofit Raise Up Massachusetts is leading the push for these measures.

Lucy: It’s a busy week for tech and startup fans. Mark your calendar: HUBweek is kicking off today and will run until Sunday, the annual BUILD Entrepreneur Games are scheduled for tomorrow afternoon and the Boston Cybersecurity Conference is on Thursday. And if you still have the energy, there’s Startup Weekend at CIC Cambridge from Friday to Sunday. Read more: BostInno Approved: October’s Top Tech & Startup Events in Boston 

From Our Partners

Seismic: In 2002, the lives of Braintree brothers Jack and Craig Shadduck would change forever. At age 13, Jack suddenly fell ill to transverse myelitis, a rare immune disorder. Jack was left paralyzed from the neck down.

This is the story of Craig’s devotion to his older brother in the years since, and how each community that he is a part of can’t help but become inspired to do their part to help –his friends and family, the town of Braintree and the company he now works for SeismicRead more: Brother’s Bond Inspires Local Company, Community

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Meet The Authors

Dylan Martin

Lucia Maffei

Kyle Gross

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