Tap Bio’s mini-sites solve Instagram’s profile link problem

You only get one link on Instagram, but Tap Bio lets you point that to a customized landing page full of all the sites you want to share. Rather than constantly changing your Instagram profile URL, you can easily add slides equipped with links to your Tap Bio corresponding to your latest Instagram posts. Tap Bio could be a powerful tool for social media stars, digital entrepreneurs or anyone trying to market themselves via Instagram.

Tap Bio is About.me for the next generation. You can see it in action here.

It’s a deceptively simple idea, yet one that the big website-creation platforms like Squarespace, Wix and Weebly have missed. It’s dumbfounding that there’s no popular mobile-first site builder, though an app called Universe was one of the hottest companies that graduated from Y Combinator’s accelerator this month. But by starting with an obvious problem, the bootstrapped Tap Bio could gain a foothold in a business dominated by heavily funded startups, and angle to become the center of your online identity. People interested can sign up for the private beta here.

The whole reason for Tap Bio’s existence is a brilliant decision of Instagram’s. You can’t post links, and you get just one link in your profile. URLs in post captions don’t hyperlink and can’t be copied. That means the focus is on sharing beauty, not driving clicks. But promoters gonna promote, so the “Link in bio” trend began. Instagrammers change their profile link to where they want to send people, then mention that much-derided phrase hoping their followers will open their profile and click-through. Unfortunately, though, anyone reading one of their older posts might be confused when the “link in bio” has changed to point somewhere unrelated.

The fact that you can’t link from posts has contributed to the quality of the experience,” says Tap Bio CEO Jesse Engle. “But it’s created a major pain point for people who are promoting something, which is a lot of people.”

Engle is experienced with filling social platform gaps. He co-founded Twitter scheduling and multi-account management app CoTweet in 2008, which sold to ExactTarget in 2010 and eventually became part of Salesforce. Over the past few years, he and Tap Bio co-founder Ryan Walker, who just left Apple, have been running Link In Profile, a more basic but similar tool that just recreates your Instagram profile but with links attached to each post.

With Tap Bio, you set it as your Instagram profile link, and then create different cards to show on your mini-site. One can show two columns of your recent Instagram posts that instantly open whichever link you want to pair with each. Another offers a more visual full-screen profile with links to your other social media presences, like on Twitter and YouTube. There’s a focused, single-link call to action page if you’ve got one big thing to promote. And Tap Bio is adding more card styles.

Tap Bio is “forever free” if you only want one profile card and one of any other card; $5 per month gets you three extra plus analytics, while $12 per month grants unlimited cards across up to three Instagram accounts — though there are discounts for yearly billing. It will compete with traditional site builders and less-polished alternatives, like Linkin.bio and Linktree.

But the biggest risk for Tap Bio isn’t competition, it’s its host platform. Instagram could always shut down links out to Tap Bio. After all, it did just suddenly kill off a big part of its API three months ahead of schedule as part of Facebook’s big data privacy crackdown. Luckily, Engle says, “we’re mitigating this risk by building a close relationship with Instagram, openly sharing our plans and offering whatever value we can to them. They’ve been very helpful in sharing their plans, and we are confident that we’ll continue to play a role in this space well into the future.”

Tap Bio’s potential goes far beyond Instagram, though. It could become the hub for your web presence. About.me is outdated, Twitter’s too temporal, Facebook’s too personal, LinkedIn’s too formal and Instagram’s too informal. Unless you have your own full-fledged website, it’s unclear which one link your should give people you meet online or off. If Tap Bio plays it right, it could become your digital calling card.

Instacart raises another $150 million

Instacart, the grocery delivery startup that has a partnership of sorts with Whole Foods, is raising $150 million in funding, Axios first reported. This is on top of Instacart’s $200 million raise at a $4.2 billion valuation in February.

Instacart has since confirmed the raise, bringing its total Series E round up to $350 million with a valuation of $4.35 billion.

The additional funding comes shortly after Amazon, owner of Whole Foods, announced free two-hour delivery of natural and organic products from Whole Foods via Prime Now.

“The online grocery market hit a tipping point last year, as more and more consumers demanded grocery delivery. We are excited to accelerate our plans to bring online grocery everywhere and to keep transforming the way people shop,” Instacart COO/CFO Ravi Gupta said in a press release. “We are also excited to welcome Coatue to our team and are grateful for the participation of our other new and existing investors.”

Careship, the German marketplace for in-home care, scores further €6M funding

Careship, the German marketplace for in-home senior care, has raised €6 million in further funding. The round is led by Creandum, the European early-stage investor best known for being an early backer of Spotify, and will be used by the Berlin startup to further expand nationally.

In addition to Creandum, European ‘impact’ investor Ananda Ventures joined the round, with participation from existing backers Spark Capital, Atlantic Labs, and Axel Springer Plug and Play. Careship had previously raised €4 million, disclosed in January 2017.

Founded in 2015 by siblings Antonia and Nikolaus Albert after they could not find a suitable caregiver for their grandmother, Careship operates a marketplace for caregivers that aims to disrupt the traditional agency model. The marketplace connects families needing elderly care with access to qualified personnel using a “matchmaking algorithm” to help solve the suitability problem.

There are other value-adds, too, such as advising on insurance benefits. In Germany, elderly care is funded by a state health insurance system and Careship co-founder Antonia Albert tells me the company has a 50/50 mix of state-funded and private customers. “If you are care dependent in Germany, you are eligible to care and companionship services and get state-funded budgets for them,” she says. Careship also offers general consultation to help you choose the best care option.

Noteworthy, caregivers on the platform set their own price, similar to the U.K.’s HomeTouch. Likewise, Careship handles billing and coordinating insurances, in addition to keeping families connected and therefore remains a central point of contact and is arguably not prone to disintermediation.

As it stands, Careship is based in Berlin and the service is also available in three other major German cities as well as the area of North Rhine-Westphalia. Albert tells me the new funding will see the startup add more coverage across Germany in 2018 and that the broader aim is to go international. “[The] long-term vision is to make Careship available to as many families as possible in Europe,” she says.

Meanwhile, direct competitors are cited as traditional “ambulatory care providers” in Germany as well as other care platforms, such as Rocket Internet’s Pflegetiger, which operates a full stack not marketplace model, and care marketplace Pflegix.