Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

As the end of the year approaches, we’ll be publishing more stories that look back on topics we’ve explored in depth over the past few months, and several that offer informed predictions for the year ahead.

This week, Bill Taranto, president of Merck’s Global Health Innovation Fund, wrote a BestFitnessBands+ article exploring six digital health trends that his corporate VC fund will follow as we enter 2022.

Between Q1 and Q3 2021, healthcare startups raked in $21.3 billion in VC, “behind the previous record of $14.6 billion in 2020,” Taranto writes.

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“Companies with strong offerings, management teams and balance sheets are poised to capture tremendous value.”

According to Crunchbase, Merck GHI has made 75 investments with 22 exits to date, including companies spanning everything from drug discovery to diabetes detection.

Artificial intelligence, IoT and data analytics are key drivers for innovation, Taranto says, “especially as data becomes the central currency of healthcare.”

We’re publishing on a light schedule between now and New Years, but we’ll be back with another recap on Friday, December 31 to close out 2021.

Thank you for reading BestFitnessBands+, and I wish you a Merry Christmas!

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, BestFitnessBands+

10 growth marketing experts share their 2022 predictions and New Year’s resolutions

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Image Credits: Nora Carol Photography (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

We reached out to 10 growth marketing experts to find out how they were preparing for 2022 and if they had any resolutions to share.

The answers and advice we received were as varied as the people we surveyed, but almost all of them indicated that learning, such as analytics training, getting started with AI tools, etc. was high on their to-do list.

This is who we spoke to:

  • Jonathan Martinez, Founder, JMStrategy
  • Kate Adams, Senior Vice President Marketing, Validity
  • Richard Meyer, growth marketer, Tuff
  • Bas Willems, head of marketing, DataSnipper
  • Gus Ferguson and Alyssa Crankshaw, Co-Founders, Ascendant
  • Shane Hegde, Founder and CEO, Air
  • Tracey Wallace, Marketing Director, MarketerHire
  • Greg Sheppard, CMO, Templafy
  • Lauren Kelly, CMO, ThoughtExchange

How does former CEO Vishal Garg still have a job? CEO takes time off

Image Credits:

Former CEO Vishal Garg is now taking time off after laying off 9% of the company’s workforce a few weeks before its planned public market debut.

The announcement was so poorly handled that the company soon hired a crisis management firm and fired Garg from his leadership role after emails surfaced in which he berated investors. says it has since hired an outside company “to do a leadership and cultural assessment.”

Mary Ann Azevedo and Alex Wilhelm looked at the company’s corporate structure and found that investors have enough leverage to push the embattled founder overboard — meaning they “shouldn’t agitate for the complete removal of Garg.”

Capital is a commodity

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Image Credits: AlexLMX (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

By July 2021, startup founders had raised $268.7 billion from global VCs, surpassing the previous year’s total.

When there’s that much cash, “capital is a commodity,” according to Charlie Graham-Brown, Seedstars’ partner and chief investment officer, and Daniela Moreno, the company’s investment marketing manager.

In a post that walks founders through different VC platform styles and the value they can provide, the authors set two rules:

  1. No individual or VC company is good at everything.
  2. What a startup needs most changes over time.

Demand Curve: How Ahref’s Homepage Trains Prospects to Buy

Laptop computer went up in flames

Image Credits: PM images (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Homes with high conversion rates have one thing in common: they make it extremely easy for a customer to buy.

“People have short attention spans, so if your homepage is confusing, they’ll leave,” Demand Curve community manager Joey Noble writes in his latest BestFitnessBands+ post.

In a detailed analysis of the homepage for SEO firm Ahrefs’, Noble explains how the site captures the reader’s attention, reduces friction and increases desire.

Bitcoin is religion; web3 is greed

Image Credits: Nigel Sussman (Opens in a new window)

In the latest issue of The Exchange to be published in 2021, Alex Wilhelm turned his attention to a recent Twitter thread in which Block CEO Jack Dorsey claimed that end users don’t own web3, “the VCs and their LPs do.”

His comment did not go down well with some prominent crypto enthusiasts who insisted that the decentralized nature of web3 is one of its key features. “Is Jack wrong? No, he isn’t,” Alex wrote.

However, “While I’m more than happy to nod to Jack stirring the web3 pot, I don’t agree with his overall philosophy.”

Dear Sophie: What is allowed between a K-1 visa and a green card?

lone figure at the entrance of the maze hedge with an American flag in the middle

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/BestFitnessBands

Dear Sophie,

Great news! After a long COVID delay, my fiancé finally arrived in the US on her K visa.

We’re thinking about going to Las Vegas for a quick wedding so we can start with her green card application. (In Silicon Valley, we’d have to wait a few months to get a marriage license.)

After signing up, we want to have a big wedding with her family and friends in her hometown in the spring and then go on a honeymoon after that. That’s allowed?

— Happy in Hayward

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