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Bolt eager to show speed at Racers Grand Prix

first_imgSpeaking at the launch of the inaugural Racers Grand Prix yesterday, club patriarch Glen Mills is promising a meet with a difference, while his top draw, Usain Bolt, says he will be using the June 11 event to show his readiness ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.”I’m looking forward to it, I am excited. I don’t get to compete here that often, so the fact that I will be competing this year is a motivation to work even harder to make sure that I will be in top form and run fast times to show the country that I am ready to go to Rio and do big things,” Bolt told The Gleaner after yesterday’s launch at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.”This helps a lot of athletes; a lot of athletes really want to compete here. I think it’s a well-positioned meet because it’s just before the trials, so they can go out and compete and know where they are just before the trials, so it will be the right time for me,” he added.A long-time ambition of Mills, the IAAF Area Permit-certified Racers Grand Prix – which gets under way at 6:30 p.m. inside the National Stadium just a few weeks before the National Senior Championships, the Olympic trials – will boast some of the biggest names in local and international track and field, including Bolt.Mills, the driving force behind Racers Track Club, promised that the meet will bring together the largest collection of Olympic and World Championships medallists ever to compete on our shores, and believes it will serve as a catalyst for the formation of a regional circuit of international athletics meetings.EXPECTED PARTICIPATIONOrganisers are expecting the participation of 112 athletes in 15 events – the 100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 110m hurdles, 400m hurdles, javelin, and discus for male athletes, and the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 100m hurdles, high jump, and triple jump for females.In addition to local stars Bolt, Yohan Blake, Asafa Powell, Danielle Williams, Warren Weir, Hansle Parchment and Rasheed Dwyer, several international standouts such as 400m World Champion Wayde van Niekerk (South Africa); American stars LaShawn Merritt, Jason Richardson, Queen Harrison, Lolo Jones, Tori Bowie and Isaiah Young; Caribbean standouts Shaunae Miller, Michelle-Lee Ahye, and Kelly-Ann Baptiste; plus Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes, are among the confirmed athletes.”We are currently having negotiations with several other big names in the sport and are awaiting confirmation from others who have expressed strong interest in competing at Racers Grand Prix,” Mills shared.”I am excited, I’m very excited about it,” Mills added. “This region is the most powerful in the athletics world and boasts a number of world stars and emerging future champions in the sport. The potential of success is great and will bring meaningful benefits to the region.”BROADCASTING MEETMills mentioned plans to broadcast the meet in the European, North American and regional markets, and hopes that its growth will help the club to secure much-needed technical equipment and facilities such as electronic starting systems, high-speed cameras for biomechanics analysis, and a treatment centre to aid in its continued success.Newly returned sports minister, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, welcomed the meet and believes it presents several benefits to the country’s sporting brand.”We are delighted and extremely proud that our country is staging another major track and field event of international repute,” Grange said.”The inaugural Racers Grand Prix is testimony as well as further proof that we are a major force in global athletics. It provides yet another opportunity for brand Jamaica as the world will be watching some of the best athletes on show,” Grange added.Organisers have promised to confirm ticket and entertainment package information at a later date.last_img read more

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How Much Venture Capital Should You Raise For Your SaaS Venture?

first_imgThe short answer is “as much as you need”. The more tactical answer is “as much as you can raise cheaply”. The latter is a pragmatic view. Raise more than you need when times are good. Just because you raise it does not mean you need to spend it – capital efficiency is always good!In this post I look at what VC are saying SaaS ventures need to raise to get to scale and profitability. But I’ll also look at what VC are doing – what SaaS deals they are funding currently. I look at the capital efficiency drivers, what you can do to reduce your need for capital. And finally, I show you which VC are active in SaaS today.What Are VC Saying?The answer according to Bruce Cleveland of Interwest is about $40m.Take that seriously. Cleveland is a SaaS specialist with serious operational experience who has done his research on this subject. But as he points out, the details matter. There are two points of caution:This is looking in the rear view mirror at ventures funded some time ago that did an IPO in 2007 or earlier. It is a different world today – less capital available and less need for capital.VC are happy with models that require a lot of capital. Capital is what they have to offer and if you need a lot they are in the driving seat.Lets look at the operational details, the capital efficiency drivers, in a minute. First, lets see what VC are actually funding today.What Are VC Doing?We looked at the Series A round for 17 SaaS ventures that closed after January 2007:ClarizenMaxploreLoopfuseJive SoftwareSlideRocketElastraSyncplicitySocialCastAriaSystemsLavanteLithium TechnologiesMaxplorePivotLinkSmartTurnZuberanceInsideViewBill.comThese 17 ventures raised $90.25 million total, an average of $5.3 million. That sounds like the “old normal” $5 million Series A. You can see how you would get to $40 million for a venture that is getting traction and can do a series of larger rounds at higher valuations. Lets say, a) $5 million; b) $10 million; c) $25 million; and total: $40m.If the C round is pre IPO, everybody does well. But that is the old normal. The new normal is different. First, those 17 deals had two outliers: Jive raised $15 million and Bill.com raised $17 million.Now let’s start with a later date. If we filter by Series A deals that were done after the market meltdown in Q4 2008, the average more than halves to $2.55 million. Those five deals are:MaxploreLoopfuseSyncplicityZuberanceSocialCastCapital Efficiency DriversThere are two numbers to obsess over.1. How much does it cost to acquire customers? Cleveland defines this as CAC/ACV, or Customer Acquisition Cost divided by Annual Contract Value. If this is less than one you are in good shape. You can take this further. If you can get your customers to pre-pay for the year and your CAC/ACV is less than one, you can self-finance growth at least on the marketing side. Charging annually rather than monthly will slow down growth but that would be a small price to pay for controlling your own destiny. In some markets, customers will pre-pay in return for a discount and that is certainly the cheapest capital you will ever get.2. How much do you need to spend per customer on infrastructure? The SaaS pioneers made a big play out of having their own data centers. When SaaS/Cloud was new, this was essential. Today you will be courted by lots of big, deep-pocketed, credible cloud vendors selling PaaS, IaaS and HaaS on a pay-as-you-go basis. The pay-as-you-go basis means you don’t spend precious capex on infrastrucure. But more important is the total ICC or Infrastructure Cost per Customer. If this is low enough you can afford to be more creative with your freemium strategies – which will reduce your CAC/ACV if done right. In other words, your R&D guys had better pay attention to performance engineering from the get go. The days of throwing sloppy code out there and covering your mistakes with huge dollops of cash later are probably over.Who You Gonna Call? SaaS Funders!You need capital to build a SaaS venture. You can self-finance using the cash flow from another business. (Typically a professional services business as this requires no capital.) This is what both 37 Signals and Zoho/Advent did. But that is still capital, it is just your own capital!If you have a small niche, you might need very little capital as it is easy to reach your market. Which is a good thing as no VC will fund a small niche. If you are have a venture that is in that rare magic quadrant that is both viral and monetizable… well you are one lucky dude!For SaaS ventures that are going after a big market and have normal marketing characteristics, VC (probably preceded by Angel) is the conventional route. If you do decide to raise VC for your SaaS venture, it is better to go to a SaaS specialist. We know this is not an exhaustive list. It is not meant to be. We have seen many VCs do one or two SaaS deals. We want to highlight the VCs that have done more than that, and that have an active focus on SaaS (a section on their site, a partner focused on SaaS, some interesting research, etc.). These are the ones that made that cut:Bay PartnersBenchmarkBessemerEmergenceHummerWinbladInterwestNorthbridgeTrueVenturesVenrockWhat you really need to know is, who is funding SaaS ventures right now. Here is the much shorter list of VC that have done two or more SaaS A Series deals since the start of 2007:EmergenceTrueVenturesHummerWinbladVenrockOK, let’s make a really fine filter. Who has done SaaS A Series deals since the market meltdown in Q4 2008? That list is down to two firms:EmergenceTrueVenturesIn raising money, relationships matter – a lot. So if you know a VC that is not yet active in SaaS, call them. If your venture puts them on the SaaS map, they will love you. For most VC that like Internet or software like SaaS, the business model attractions are screamingly obvious. Photo credit: Mokra Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#start#startups#tips A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img bernard lunn Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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Cook, Bell guide England into commanding position

first_imgAlastair Cook continued to plunder the Australian bowling on Wednesday, becoming the most prolific English run scorer in an Ashes series in eight decades and guiding the visitors into a series-winning position in the fifth Test.Alastair Cook after his century in Sydney. AP PhotoThe 26-year-old opener scored 189 and shared a 154-run sixth-wicket partnership with Ian Bell, who survived a dropped catch and a controversial umpire overrule before notching his first Test century against Australia and helping England reach 488-7 at stumps on the third day, a first-innings lead of 288.England have an unbeatable 2-1 lead and needs only a draw at the Sydney Cricket Ground to claim its first Test series victory in Australia since 1987.Cook had some contentious moments on 46 and 99, both against left-arm spinner Michael Beer, but passed 5,000 career runs and lifted his series tally to 776 runs at an average of 127 with another commanding innings.The 26-year-old Cook scored an unbeaten 235 in the first Test and has only been out five times in the series. He surpassed Herbert Sutcliffe – who scored 734 in the 1924-25 series in Australia – as England’s second-highest scorer in an Ashes series. Only the great Wally Hammond has scored more for England in a series, accumulating 905 in 1928-29 at average of 113.Australia’s Sir Donald Bradman holds the record with his 974 runs in 1930 series in England.Cook was out soon after the tea interval, caught by Mike Hussey off Shane Watson’s bowling to make the England total 380-6.Bell continued to score his maiden century in Australia, but it will remain contentious. He challenged umpire Aleem Dar’s decision when he was caught behind on 67 off Watson’s bowling. The TV umpire Tony Hill ruled that there wasn’t enough evidence that Bell got an edge on a Shane Watson ball that went between bat and bad. But later television technology indicated Bell did snick the ball and Dar’s decision should have stood.advertisementThe English No. 6 was also dropped on 84 when legspinner Steven Smith put down a regulation return catch.Still, after 11 half centuries against Australia, he finally reached three figures. He was caught by Michael Clarke at second slip to give Mitchell Johnson a third wicket six minutes before stumps was called due to bad light.Bell shared century stands with Cook and wicketkeeper Matt Prior, who hit a classic straight six and five boundaries as he raised 50 from 54 balls. He was not out on 54 when play was stopped six overs before the scheduled close.Cook’s innings wasn’t without its anxious moments.He was four runs short of a half century when he appeared to be caught out off Beer’s bowling late on the second day, only for umpire Billy Bowden to refer the decision to the TV umpire, suspecting a no-ball. The third umpire confirmed Beer had overstepped the crease.On 99, Cook clipped a Beer delivery to bat-pad, where Phil Hughes claimed a catch at ground level. But Cook stood his ground despite loud and sustained appeals from the Australians, and got the benefit of the doubt when video replays seemed to show the ball touching the grass millimeters before Hughes got his fingers under it.But otherwise, his eight-hour, 342-ball innings was full of confident, well executed strokes and contained 16 boundaries.England resumed on Wednesday at 167 for three in reply to Australia’s 280 and only lost four wickets in three sessions, including night watchman Jimmy Anderson – bowled by Peter Siddle for seven – and Paul Collingwood – caught for 13 stepping down the wicket to Beer in the morning.last_img read more