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Inside Batch 25 at 500 Startups



Guest Post: Rishika Jhamb is the Marketing Lead at Alluva. Under no circumstances should any of the below content be construed as legal, tax or investment advice from 500 Startups or any of its affiliates.

Alluva at 500 Startups: What it was really like being a part of Batch 25

In March of 2019, Alluva was accepted into Batch 25 of 500 Startups.

As part of the founding team at Alluva, my thoughts ranged from excitement at the incredible learning opportunity to worry about how challenging 500’s batches were rumored to be.

The outcome was that it was both – and when you’re at Demo Day, you’re going to be grateful to the part that’s ‘too challenging’.

What Alluva is about

At Alluva, we’re building the world’s largest analyst marketplace, where analysts can earn for their insights and companies get a look at predictive data on market movements. We launched our beta earlier this year and while our growth in terms of users has been great, we are constantly evolving to give those very users the best experience. Our goal at 500 was to build on our product, marketing, product-market fit, and all those other nuances that are typical to an early-stage startup.

But 500 had other ideas!!

Challenge Accepted!

When we started, we were focused on making Alluva user-friendly, getting more people on board, and improving the stats of our web app. Our vision is to make Alluva the biggest global analyst marketplace, which allows analysts to get into the field at no cost in exchange for earnings and followings. At the same time, it gives large data companies, financial houses, and media companies a predictive outlook on market movements, allowing them to see tomorrow’s prices, today.

Telling analysts around the world that such a marketplace exists and getting them to try it out was just Step 1. But one week in, it became pretty clear that Step 1 wasn’t going to go at a comfortable pace. Demo Day was in four months. Which meant that we had four months to get to a point where the audience, individual analysts, data companies, and investors could see Alluva from our point of view – as the marketplace and predictive insights provider it is going to be.

That went much beyond Step 1, and a lot of this was going to be about marketing and client engagement. Given that that was my area of focus at Alluva, I was especially excited about 500 Startups, what it would teach me, and how it would improve everything we’d planned.

What you expect versus what you get

The lessons, mentorship, guidance, and insights you get as part of a 500 Startups’ Batch is widely known. You get office hours with experts, talks on topics specific to growth, fundraising, and other aspects of running a startup, mentoring, and help with finetuning your funding pitch among others.

What you get, though, is very different than the simple picture that that knowledge paints.

One-on-One Weekly Reviews: 

Every week, you sit down with your assigned mentor and he/she will more or less give you a lesson in why you’re doing things wrong. Harsh? Yes. But that’s the point. We walked out of some of those meetings feeling like we had no idea what we were doing. But that forces you to think harder, more creatively. And you find yourself going way beyond the objective, big picture view you thought was right. You get real objectivity, see things like never before, and make changes that give you the outcome you really desire. That applies equally to making a product that customers actually like and to speaking to your customers in a way that they actually reciprocate. That is the critical outlook that helped us greatly improve Alluva’s engagement and helped us design an interface that our clients wanted to see.


It’s not all tough love at 500 though. The mentors and staff at 500 understand the struggles of startup life and work because they’ve seen a lot of people dealing with it and have, in most cases, done it all themselves too. That is what makes them tough on you, but also compassionate and understanding. Very often, you get to see the softer side of your mentors – where they share tips and suggestions on how to handle stress and work chaos, where they tell you to occasionally take a breather and appreciate everything that you have done instead of only focusing on improvements required, and where they remain just an email away to help you out with inputs that solve hindrances you may be facing. Another thing that definitely helps is that the people at 500 understand the importance of relaxation, which is why Friday evening catchups with the entire batch are a weekly event. Not only do you get to relax and unwind after a long week, you also get to have casual conversations with your batchmates as well as mentors; you get the chance to address issues that go beyond your tasks and goals, so as to boost your energy and find greater positivity in your outlook.

Network and Global outlook: 

As part of 500 Startups, you receive access to a host of investors and experts, but that is not the only network that you enter. 500 Startups is a family, made up of those that run the company itself, and all the startups that have graduated from their batches. Once a part of 500, always a part of 500 – that is a motto that is followed diligently by everyone who’s been part of 500. Discussions with older batchmates, sharing of perks, networking for resources, sharing relevant information, reaching out for feedback and beta testing – it’s like a micro-ecosystem of the global market, and it’s right at your fingertips for you to participate in, and rely on too. That gives you insight that can influence your very approach. Being able to speak to people with different viewpoints that are influenced by culture, geography, background, their own ventures and more, makes you take a much greater international stand such that your startup is geared for growth from the get-go.

For instance, understanding how different geographies and industries look at a specific disruptive tech (like crypto or blockchain) was crucial to our messaging. Similarly, the numerous discussions on crypto and blockchain with other batchmates from around the world, was instrumental in a change in our roadmap. While we had always planned to add different asset classes to the app, discussions with other batchies played an important role in showing us that we needed to move up these plans, and turn our focus away from adding more cryptoassets as initially planned.


Most importantly though, 500 Startups manages to give you an incredible amount of clarity. Clarity on your own actions, on your product’s feasibility, on your marketing and sales plan, on the way you approach your business growth, and on every large and small aspect of the startup journey – personal and professional. 

These are hard truths that don’t come easily to you when you’re part of a startup because you get so caught up in daily business. These are the smaller victories that you often overlook, allowing your thoughts to focus only on upcoming goals and unintentionally stressing yourself out. 500 gives you the ability to take that necessary step back and see everything that you need to do, but also everything that you have already achieved.

The many sessions and activities that run for four whole months as part of a Batch at 500 Startups will leave you exhausted, yet exhilarated. And it’s all made even more exciting because of the big day towards which you’re working – Demo Day!

Alluva founder and CEO, James Giancotti, presents at 500 Startup’s Batch 25 Demo Day

Demo Day: The Big Finale that is also the Great Beginning

In many ways, Demo Day is the finale of the months you’ve spent at 500, growing and improving. It was the day where we could show people what we’d built Alluva into over the past four months – the analyst marketplace where everybody could see tomorrow’s prices, today. But it’s also a beginning because, as Jess Erickson of 500 Startups says, “After Demo Day, you’re thrown out into the real world where you have to succeed – or die trying.”

At 500, you don’t get any life hack, magic pill, or secret recipe to succeed as a startup. Instead, what you get is a reality check. You get to take that elusive step back and look objectively at everything you’ve been doing and want to do. You may feel that you manage to do that just fine as part of your daily business-as-usual schedule.

500 is the critic that shows you how that may not be the case, and how you can get from where you are to where you want to be. What it expects from you in return is the ability to critically judge every decision you take to ensure that it is optimal, to develop an outlook so that you can look at strategies and plans from angles that were previously ignored, and to take hard work in your stride. 

In short, it expects you to live the real startup life, so that the real world is just a little easier. And it definitely helped us do just that.

By Demo Day, we’d moved much beyond Step 1. We’d expedited our development by focusing on exactly what our individual users and corporate customers wanted. Which is why we went up on that stage with a much better product, a clientele that was already being established, and a steadily growing userbase. Now, we’ve launched an updated version of our app with a host of new features that our customers love, and have gone much beyond just cryptoassets to add various other asset classes. 500 helped us move much faster along the route to our destination of being the world’s largest analyst marketplace, and you can check out our new interface here.

This article was written by Rishika Jhamb, Marketing Lead at Alluva. See original post on Medium.





Understanding How Trading Bots Work



With the daily advancement of technology and financial markets, crypto trading is the new currency in town. Due to their volatility, digital assets are listed on crypto exchanges just the same way shares of limited companies and state corporations are listed on Wall Street.

The crypto market runs 24/7, with prices never stopping fluctuating depending on market forces across the world. With a huge number of active cryptocurrencies in the world and taking other considerations into perspective, no human can keep efficient track of the price changes.

This brings automated bots into the context. These bots are algorithms that are aimed to ease the trading process by providing accurate and efficient data on the cryptocurrencies a user trades with.

They are tools designed to gather and analyze market data and execute trades on behalf of traders, which basically means profiting from tiny price fluctuations.

Due to their ability to convey accurate and prompt changes in the crypto market prices, they are desirable to investors who are immersed in the trade. There are several types of automated bots for crypto trading that are available in the market.


  1. Arbitrage bots. Taking advantage of the existing market inefficiencies, arbitrage trading makes profits through the simultaneous purchase and sale of the same asset in different markets at different but close-range prices. Arbitrage relies heavily on execution speed, since it is crucial to buy an asset on one exchange and simultaneously sell it on another, but at a higher price.

Among all providers of automated trading solutions which have incorporated this feature into their platforms, the one offered by Bitsgap clearly stands out. All thanks to a variety of tools that allow analyzing data from 25 crypto exchanges around the world to find the best opportunity to strike a deal.

  1. Grid bots. Grid bots place multiple buy and sell orders within a predetermined price corridor. The orders form a grid above and below the current price — the higher the number of levels, the more intense trading will be. The rising number of grids leads to decreasing price differences between them, which reduce from each trade.

Users should be careful reducing grid spaces since some bots do not take into account exchanges’ fees when calculating profits. Bitsgap is among few platforms that include all commissions into profit calculation and simply won’t allow bots to perform a trade if it won’t make any profit for the user.

  1. Futures bots. The main advantage of futures trading is leverage, which allows traders to open positions exceeding their initial investments, thus multiplying profits. This advantage, however, is the main danger of futures trading, since it can dramatically impact the size of the portfolio and lead to a partial or even total loss of the investments.

Controlling emotions is especially hard when trading futures and this is the point where the Bitsgap Combo bot steps in. It completely automates the process by combining grid and DCA technology and uses trend reverse for maximizing profits when the trend turns in your favor.


Just as there are demerits of using bots in blockchain trade, so are the merits. Which surpasses them by miles. This has been harnessed through the launch of the Ethereum London Hard fork. It includes:

  1. Owing to the analysis of the cryptocurrency market prices by chart patterns and trend lines, the interpretation of data becomes simplified. Investors can therefore easily read and understand graphical representations and afterwards make sound execution decisions like in trend trading bots.
  2. Non-stop trading. Bots operate 24/7 as they scale the fluctuations and variations of cryptocurrency prices. This allows investors to secure time and focus on analysis and high-profitable smart trading.
  3. Time-saving. Automated bots constantly analyze prices and trading volumes of over ten thousand trading pairs and are capable of executing thousands of trades per minute on dozens of exchanges. This kind of precision cannot be achieved by any human being, while bots perform it with ease.


Making and maximizing profits is the main investor concern. It goes without saying that the bigger the risk, the higher the profits. Similarly, the smaller the investment, the lower the return margins.

Crypto is maturing year after year. It has evolved into a prominent asset class attracting investors with promises of high returns and relatively low entry barriers. Since 2017, Bitsgap has matured with the industry and turned into one of the leading companies offering a one-stop automated solution for crypto trading.

Compared to other platforms, Bitsgap offers an unmatched set of tools across 25 crypto exchanges to build a solid trading strategy that may generate stable returns regardless of the market trend.

The company’s blog provides users with articles and ready-made automated trading solutions that allow newcomers to avoid the most common mistakes and start benefiting from crypto at once.

Source Code:Plato Data Intelligence

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Retro Games, Meet the World of eSports



Videogames have come a long way from the days of Pong and Space Invaders. From as far back as 60 years ago, we’ve been running, jumping and dodging projectiles on everything from arcade machines to our mobile phones. eSports have become high-earning professional competitions, with some of the more popular esports competitions sporting prize pools of millions of dollars. With a combination of technological advancement and innovative game design, we’re a far cry from the pinball machines on darkened arcade floors.

Many of us have happily been along for the ride, as technological development has brought gaming to a scale of consumer engagement rivalling that of any other major entertainment sector. One could arguably go as far as saying that our gaming experiences form a part of our personal development now. A lot of us remember our first jump in Mario, or the hours of playtime we spent in arcades. While the latest and greatest games are always drawing people in, many older videogames are still juggernauts in their own right. Nostalgia is a strong motivator, and many older titles are still quite competitive these days. If you’re somebody who loves a classic whether it’s slots, fighting games or racing sims, here’s a couple of popular retro games that prove just how significant they are to the growth of the esports genre.

Street Fighter 2

Credit via Unsplash

At the time of its release, Street Fighter 2 was an instant hit. Going on to become developer Capcom’s most successful software title, Street Fighter 2 was the first arcade game that allowed players to compete directly. It was the first game to implement a working combo-system, and inspired groups of players to begin their own competitive tournaments. Street Fighter 2 is widely regarded as one of the most influential games of all time, sparking a resurgence of arcade gaming in the 1990s, and cementing the fighting game genre as a competitive gaming mainstay. One of the top three highest-grossing video games of all time, Street Fighter 2 also had a significant impact on popular culture.

With a roster full of memorable characters, Street Fighter 2 quickly became a cultural phenomenon. With their iconic moves and unique one-liners, most of us know who Ryu and Ken are, or even some of the lesser characters like Zangief or Blanka. There are a multitude of formal and informal Street Fighter tournaments around the world – some of the biggest being the Retro World Series and the EVO fighting game tournament. Old tournaments and current matches are available to watch for anyone who’s interested, and can be viewed on Twitch and Youtube. With the upcoming release of a Nintendo Switch version, Street Fighter 2 isn’t showing signs of slowing down any time soon.


Credit via Pexels

Despite a highly-successful sequel, Starcraft: Brood War still has a healthy competitive scene in 2021. A decade after its release, it is still considered one of the most popular online competitive games, owed in large part to the evolution of esports in South Korea. After the growth of Starcraft’s professional tournaments, some of its best players in the world went on to become minor celebrities. The game influenced popular culture to such an extent that competitive matches were broadcast on their own dedicated television channels.

Starcraft, and real-time strategy games in general, require efficiency in a few key skills. Some of these skills include base-building, knowledge of unit combinations, production economy, and the overall speed at which you can perform all these tasks. With all of these dynamics working in realtime, there’s no pause button as you and your opponents take each other on in a game of wits and tactics. Starcraft was also one of the first games to introduce asymmetric factions, where each faction had distinct differences in playstyle and unit composition. This allowed for more variety in how matches would play out, increasing the likelihood of a surprising tactic or outcome.

Nowadays Starcraft 2 is the game you’ll find at most tournaments. However, with the Starcraft remaster that came out in 2017, the original has seen a resurgence in players and competitive matches. Turns out all you need for a popular esport is a dedicated fanbase, and a community that will support a worthy game. Despite an increase in global connectivity and communication, tournaments and classic games bring people together in a way that many modern games have difficulty achieving.


Modern esport games such as Fortnite, Apex Legends and Counterstrike have become household names. But there will always be those of us who love the games of yesteryear. As each generation goes through its own advancement of games development, we remember the games that we love – the ones that make an impression on us are the ones we enjoy coming back to.

The ongoing support and success of retro games clearly demonstrates the fact that graphics and processing power aren’t everything. Many of us enjoy the memories a game invokes, or the friends (and enemies) we find through competition. A well-earned victory is satisfying in any entertainment medium, and the added interactivity in games make them a unique environment for esports players and spectators alike. Healthy competition will never go out of style, and it’s nice to know that the classics won’t either.

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Robinhood draws criticism from Wall Street as it braces for massive IPO



Since the Robinhood trading app has drawn attention to the stability of the US stock markets. As a strategy of high access to financial markets, the app has sparked interest in the stock market from a younger group of traders keen to take on Wall Street scammers. Despite a series of crises this year. The Robinhood app is growing faster than ever and is on track to achieve a multibillion dollar IPO in the coming months.

The disruption caused by the app’s success has drawn a lot of criticism from more established players, who claim that the app makes transactions too easy and makes the investment process much less secure. While this may be true in some cases, it also proves that the availability of the app has served to hamper the business models of major industry players, who were charging investors high enough fees to trade stocks and shares on theirs. platforms. However, the success of Robinhood has forced the major brokers to improve and lower their fees to be competitive. Freedom24 is an example of a brokerage firm: dynamic and reliable, it has experience and expertise in the US stock market. It provides robust trading platforms and technologies to the market. Thanks to their brokers, investors have direct access to the stock markets and are guaranteed to be able to participate in IPOs.

The company recently took steps to mitigate some of the criticism. After being a private company for eight years, Robinhood filed in March the necessary documents to go public. Sources told CNBC that she chose the Nasdaq as her exchange. She remains on the IPO path and has built her management teams with veterans from Wall Street and Silicon Valley.

Negative PR and Blackouts Affect Robinhood

The popularity and success of Robinhood presented the young financial technology firm with its own set of challenges, including interruptions or suspensions of transactions as its IT infrastructure struggled to cope with the huge volumes transmitted. In turn, those interruptions sparked a significant amount of negative public relations, which ultimately led to a congressional hearing into the events surrounding the rise and suspension of GameStop stock earlier this year.

(Source: Intelligent Trend Follower)

Yet Robinhood is one of the fastest growing fintech startups and has become one of Silicon Valley’s most valuable private unicorns – and is the first company on this year’s CNBC Disruptor 50 list. Robinhood is valued at $ 11.7 billion, with its main backers being Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, NEA, Kleiner Perkins and GV, the venture capital arm of Alphabet, the parent company of Google. Its IPO should allow a valuation of at least three times this amount. To prepare for its IPO, the company recruited executives with experience from Google, Facebook, Amazon, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In the run-up to Robinhood’s IPO, the tech unicorn has managed to tap into a previously untapped user base of new investors, who during the lock-in appear to have used their US stimulus payments to generate renewed interest in the functioning of financial markets. Maxim Manturov, head of investment research at Freedom Finance Europe, says: “One of Robinhood’s main problems is the lack of liquidity in the face of strong demand on GameStop (GME) stock. is not only that of Robinhood however, as many other brokers have also come across it when offering GME. Indeed, Robinhood had to put some limits and traders rushed to other platforms like Square, SoFi, etc. It is because of these limitations that many investors have been unhappy and have filed complaints and claims against Robinhood; the company however denies any involvement in helping third parties, as no one outside the company did not influence the decision on the limits.

During this crisis, Robinhood has seen tremendous growth in its users

It rose to the top of the iOS app store for several days during the gaming frenzy and led the industry in downloads, with 600,000 people downloading the free trading app in one. day, according to JMP Securities. In January, JMP estimated that Robinhood has gained 3 million users. As a result, venture capitalists rushed to fund Robinhood, which had to raise billions of dollars to meet its capital needs. Robinhood raised over $ 3 billion in a matter of days.

The biggest challenge Robinhood will face when it emerges on the other side of the pandemic will be keeping large numbers of these new users on board without them blowing their accounts up. They got a glimpse of the scale of this challenge earlier this year in the wake of GameStop’s volatility, which has had tragic consequences.

This is where future regulation may well act as a headwind. Product innovation is good, but leveraged investing and fractional exposure to various asset classes pose challenges when it comes to managing risk adequately and reasonably. Too often, novice traders are not sufficiently aware of the huge risks they take when trading with leverage. The rewards are important, but the risks can be even more so.

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7th Global Blockchain Congress by Agora Group & TDeFi on June 21st and 22nd, 2021, Dubai.



The 7th edition of the world-renowned flagship Global Blockchain Congress by Agora Group is taking place on June 21st and 22nd, 2021 in Dubai & co-hosted by TDeFi. We are also happy to have Woonkly as a Title Sponsor for this event.

This edition’s theme is “Celebrating DeFi and NFTs” and will boast an amazing line up of speakers including Keynote Addresses by His Excellency Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman & CEO of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, Hubertus Thonhauser, Chairman of the Board of Tezos Foundation, Fiorenzo Manganiello, Partner at Lian Group and many others.

The event is a closed door, exclusive congress that can be attended by invitation only. Agora will be hosting more than 100 investors and 30 Sponsors (Global Blockchain, DeFi and NFTs projects looking to raise funds). 


The first six editions of the Global Blockchain congress were a tremendous success and we were able to host more than 450 investors and more than 90 blockchain startups and were able to raise Millions in funds for our participating projects.



This is an exclusive, closed-door Congress to connect startups with investors and secure funds.


Startup founders from all over the world need financial advocates on their side. Raising funds and receiving funding is vital to the growth and success of startups. NOW is the right time for international startups to tap into a pool of highly engaged investors from the MENA region who are actively looking to invest in exciting and promising companies.

“Pitches are good and all, but have you ever sat on a table for 8 hours with 30 minutes one-on-one meetings with 50 rotating investors? Agora is next level. I went to this conference last year, and it was like speed dating with investors. THIS IS EXACTLY HOW IT SHOULD BE. If you’re in Dubai or can get there, and are looking to raise funds for your project, this is your jam.”

Nikita Sachdev, Co-Founder,


Previous Notable Speakers:

H.E. Naokazu Takemoto – Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy, Japan.

Dr. Obaid Al Zaabi – CEO, Securities & Commodities Authority, UAE.

Baiba Broka – Member of the General Council, International Institute for the Unification of Private Law, Working Group Member on Cryptocurrency Regulation, Ministry of Finance, Latvia, and Former Minister of Justice, Latvia.

Josef‌ ‌Holm‌ – Founding Partner, Draper Goren Holm


Kristina Lucrezia Corner – Managing Editor, Cointelegraph.

Ralf Glabischnig – Founder & Board Member, Crypto Valley Venture Capital.

H.E. Zulfiquar Ghadiyali – Executive Director Of DIHC under chairmanship of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Sultan bin Hamdan Al Nahyan

Zachary Cefaratti – CEO & Principal Founder, Dalma Capital

Wai Lum Kwok – Senior Executive Director & Financial Services Regulatory Authority, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)


For participation apply here: 

Official website:

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