Hey — It's Nico.
Health IQ, as 90% of startups, failed. Every Thursday, I'll help you prevent your startup from shutting down.
Here's what I got today:
This is brought to you by PartnerHero, which helps startups scale with highly-trained, on-brand CX teams.
Solo founder shares how he grew his startup to $74K MRR (Link).
Greylock raises $1B for 17th fund and launches early-stage founders program (Link).
A new funding category: Shared Success Agreements (Link).
A guide to pricing for startups (Link).
Sequoia talks about the current state of the AI market + where it’s headed (Link).
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A month ago, Health IQ, a health-tech startup once valued at $450M, filed for bankruptcy.
This downfall, marked by massive layoffs, suspicious payouts, and mounting debts, has been attributed to financial mismanagement.
The company's downfall took everyone by surprise. Until 2019, they had raised $139.5M in 5 funding rounds.
The pivotal moment came in 2019 when Health IQ began to offer Medicare Advantage plans with the aim of securing substantial commissions. However, this move strained cash flow, leading to vendor lawsuits claiming unpaid invoices.
The company laid off hundreds of employees and contractors amid the financial struggles. Meanwhile, co-founders Munjal Shah and Gaurav Suri received “vacation accrual” payouts of $42,000 each just days after the layoffs were announced.
Health IQ filed for bankruptcy in August, revealing debts of $256.7M and only $1.3M in assets. In the wake of the bankruptcy, creditors' lawsuits surfaced, alleging contract breaches and fraudulent practices.
Health IQ's demise highlights the underestimated challenges of innovating in highly regulated sectors like healthcare insurance. The company lacked a sustainable business strategy and failed to prioritize financial prudence and compliance.
Andreessen Horowitz, which led Health IQ’s Series C funding round, is now investing in Shah’s new startup, Hippocratic AI.
If you have a SaaS, you have to build “alternative” pages comparing your product to all of your competitors’ ones.
These pages can rank on Google and bring you bottom-of-the-funnel users to your site.
Here’s how you can do it:
1) Create a structure for the pages with the features you want to compare.
2) Research competitors. Note down all their features and pricing.
3) Create alternative pages (“[Competitor] alternative”).
4) Create compare pages for your competitors ( “[Competitor 1] vs. [Competitor 2]”). Make sure to compare yourself to them as well.
If you have 15 competitors, that’s 15 alternative pages, and 210 compare pages you can create.
Create them programmatically by completing specific fields with the corresponding information. Here’s an article I wrote on Programmatic SEO.
Pally has got 300+ signups with these pages.
This week, Jolly Dog, an app for dogs, cracked the App Store's top 100 charts. The app is getting 70k downloads per day.
The game is simple: your dog has to land a paw on the characters appearing on the screen. The game’s color and noises have been designed to appeal to pets.
While it’s free to download and play, it has a paid version, which costs $1.99, and unlocks more characters and play environments.
Apps for baby entertainment were a thing. Apps for pet entertainment might be the next.
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That's all of this week.
90% of startups fail. Learn how to not to with our weekly guides and stories. Join 40,000+ founders.
90% of startups fail. Learn how not to with our weekly guides and stories. Join +40,000 other startup founders!
An all-in-one newsletter for startup founders, ruled by one philosophy: there's more to learn from failures than from successes.