TikTok, WeWork and Data Science: Trending Topics and Clients in the News

In the past month, Mission North client news included the announcement of hundreds of millions in new funding and a new method for extracting silk proteins. Clients also commented on trends and news making waves through the technology industry, from the booming TikTok app to corporate boards’ diversity problem. Read on to learn about the topics in the news that our clients have been weighing in on.

Teens Targeted on TikTok

Short-video-sharing app TikTok has exploded among teens and tweens. By the app’s one-year anniversary last month, the app had already garnered 1 billion monthly active users (a feat that took Instagram about eight years). But where there are millions of users, there are scams — porn scams, in particular. A new research report from Tenable explored the shady operations taking place on the app. “(TikTok) is going to be a haven for scammers,” Tenable researcher Satnam Narang told the Huffington Post.

WeWork and Boards’ Diversity Problem

WeWork came under fire recently when it filed to go public with a board of directors that didn’t include a single woman. Tradeshift Chief Strategy Officer Sarika Garg argues in this Quartz op-ed that it’s critical for companies today to prioritize diversity by creating room for opposing views. If startups draw their board members from the same clique of venture capitalists, they run the risk of building corporate monocultures.

The Data Science Skills Gap

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are becoming staples of modern industry, leading to a 256% growth in demand for data scientists since 2013. Unfortunately, businesses are unable to fill these roles with qualified talent. Nearly 60% of data scientists are partially self-taught, and even those with advanced degrees have varied expertise, so recruiters never know what backgrounds will make for good data scientists. HackerRank’s new tool standardizes the testing process and enables candidates of all backgrounds to display their skills while providing a clear, much-needed skill rubric for various roles.

Other clients in the news

  • As the ingredients in skincare and other household products are becoming more organic and natural, green chemical company Evolved By Nature has taken the game to a new level — the company’s co-founders found a way to extract silk proteins in liquid form. This discovery paved the way for a chemical platform with unique properties that can replace chemistry in a variety of consumer goods.
  • Customer success is often deprioritized at startups, as many growing businesses feel pressure to start selling as soon as there’s a viable product. In this op-ed for TechCrunch, ScaleVP’s Dale Chang and Customer Imperative’s Jay Nathan explain how they’ve used ScaleVP’s dataset from hundreds of SaaS startups to share the metrics that investors use to link a company’s valuation to success.
  • The female body is complex, and as bacteria become more resistant to antibiotics, women are left with fewer and fewer treatment options when they get sick. To create an environment that’s more resistant to infection, a new bioscience company called LUCA Biologics, which was launched by Seed Health, is developing a series of therapeutics to increase a certain type of bacteria in the vagina — an approach similar in concept to eating yogurt to create a healthy gut.
  • This month brought monumental funding rounds for several of Mission North’s clients, including ThoughtSpot, which raised almost $250M to bring the power of search to data; BigID, which raised $50M for its privacy platform; Incorta, which raised $30M for an ETL-free data processing solution; and Finix, which raised $18M to become the “Twilio of payments.”

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