Keeps parent company Thirty Madison raises $15 million to fight male pattern baldness

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Thirty Madison, the healthcare startup behind the hair loss brand Keeps, has brought in a $15.25 million Series A co-led by Maveron and Northzone.

The company provides a subscription-based online marketplace for men’s hair loss prevention medications Finasteride and Minoxidil. Keeps sells these drugs direct-to-consumer, working with manufacturers to keep the costs low.

On Keeps, a subscription of Minoxidil, an over-the-counter topical treatment often referred to as Rogaine, is $10 monthly. A subscription to Finasteride, a prescription drug taken daily, is $25 per month.

It’s an end-to-end platform that is the single best place for guys who are looking to keep their hair,” Thirty Madison co-founder Steven Gutentag told TechCrunch.

Keeps is tapping into a big market. According to the American Hair Loss Association, two-thirds of American men experience some hair loss by the age of 35.

You may have heard of Hims, a venture-backed men’s healthcare company that similarly sells subscriptions to hair loss treatments, as well as oral care, skin care and treatments for erectile dysfunction. Keeps is its smaller competitor. For now, the company is focused solely on haircare, though with the new funds, Thirty Madison plans to launch Cove, a sister brand to Keeps that will provide treatments to migraine sufferers.

The company was founded last year by Gutentag and Demetri Karagas with a plan to develop several digital healthcare brands under the Thirty Madison umbrella.

“Going through this process myself of starting to experience hair loss, I was not sure where to turn,” Gutentag said. “I went online and looked up ‘why am I losing my hair,’ and if you search on Google, really for any medical condition, you usually walk away thinking you’re going to die … I was so fortunate that I got access to this high-quality specialist who could help me with my problem and I was in the position to afford those treatments but most people don’t get that access.”

Keeps also provide digital access to a network of doctors at a cost of roughly $30 per visit.

TechCrunch’s Connie Loizos wrote last year that “it’s never been a better time to be a man who privately suffers from erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation or hair loss” because of advances and investments in telemedicine. Since then, even more money has been funneled into the space.

Hims has raised nearly $100 million to date and is rumored to be working on a line of women’s products. Roman, a cloud pharmacy for erectile dysfunction, raised an $88 million Series A last month and is launching a “quit smoking kit.” And Lemonaid Health, which also provides prescriptions to erectile dysfunction medications and more, secured $11 million last year.

Greycroft, Steadfast Venture Capital, First Round, Entrepreneurs Roundtable, HillCour and Two River also participated in Thirty Madison’s fundraise, which brings its total raised to date to $22.75 million.

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Fender has discovered that guitars aren’t just for rock stars anymore — and they could help your mind stay young as you age

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Fender

  • Fender partnered with a research consultancy and a neuroscientist to learn about guitar players.
  • The results of that research suggest that playing guitar could contribute to well-being.
  • A surprising number of new guitar players have no rock-star ambitions whatsoever.
  • Fender has also gathered interesting data from its Fender Play online learning system, which launched last year.

When it comes to guitars, and electric guitars in particular, no company is bigger than Fender. The 72-year-old company has a 47% market share and is legendary for its axes and amplifiers, which are used by pop, rock, jazz, blues, and country royalty.

Jimi Hendrix played a Fender Stratocaster. Eric Clapton still plays one. And with instruments ranging in price from $100 to many thousands (for special orders from the company’s custom shop), a lot of aspiring and established musicians start out with Fender gear and later use it to make a living.

But as musical tastes evolve, questions have arisen about the future of rock-n-roll and the destiny of the guitar as a symbol of creativity. 

To investigate the contemporary guitar zeitgeist, Fender recently joined forces with research consultancy Egg Strategy and McGill University neuroscientist and author Daniel Levitin. The research covered 500 individuals in the US and UK, and the results were published in a report titled "Illuminating the State of Today’s Guitar Players."

Some of the findings confirmed what many people already knew: playing guitar can be good for you. But for Fender and its business, there were also some surprises.

The company already understood that a relatively small number of guitarists harbored rock-star ambitions. That isn’t a concern for Fender, given that many current and future rock stars do make use of its gear. But the report also revealed that 72% of players took up the instrument to improve themselves, and 50% of guitarists in the United Kingdom play for themselves, rather than aiming to entertain an audience. Guitar players might also be looking to improve their well-being.

Wandering through music might increase productivity

Fender Play

Fender sought the help of Levitin, whose 2007 book, "This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession," delves in the role music has played in human evolution. 

"Letting your mind wander is the key to reducing anxiety," Levitin said in a statement. "We get our minds to wander by walking in nature or playing music — that’s what hits the reset button on the brain. Even just 15 minutes of ‘wandering’ and playing an instrument can increase productivity."

That’s a good thing to keep in mind for any aspiring guitarist who thinks they have to practice for hours a day and achieve mastery in order to justify buying an instrument. 

According to Fender CEO Andy Mooney, the company has also learned some intriguing things about its customers since last year’s launch of Fender Play, an online guitar-instruction system. 

"We have 67,000 users in Fender Play," Mooney told Business Insider. "Our assumption was that it would be mostly young people picking up the guitar for the first time. But a much larger percentage is at the upper end of age spectrum. They see it as way to self-develop, as a meditative investment in themselves."

Beneficially, those older players have both money and time, so they can commit to more learning at a slower place — and purchase more of Fender’s pricier equipment. But younger players haven’t disappeared. And Fender learned that 50% of new players are women.

To a large extent, this pattern is an early sign that Fender Play is achieving key goals: bringing new players into the fold, decreasing the rate of attrition, and growing the overall market. It’s a well-known fact that most new players abandon the guitar after a short period of time and never return to it. Mooney reasoned that if the abandonment rate could be lowered by just 10%, Fender Play could assist in giving music-industry sales a huge boost.

He said that this would logically raise all boats — including those of Fender’s competitors — but that Fender would reap considerable returns, given that it controls nearly half of the market. Sales have been improving, and for Fender, the needle has been moving up on prices across the company’s entire range. In September, it shipped more equipment than any previous month in its long history, and its factories are running at capacity.

Rumors of the guitar’s demise, it seems, have been exaggerated. 

Fender Play

Challenges remain, however

"Nearly half of beginners stated they quit learning an instrument due to time constraints, and 33% of beginners shared they were not growing skills fast enough or as fast as they thought they would," Fender said in a statement about the Egg Strategy research. "The reality is that it’s much easier for a person to binge-watch a Netflix series in their free time than learn guitar, but the rise of digital technology also has an upside, especially for specific types of learners."

Mooney said that Fender has observed Play users dividing into two groups: one that wants quick results; and another that’s more patient. The resource is designed to address the needs of each contingent; it can be used on desktop and laptop computers, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices.

The company has also unveiled a new incentive to spur people to commit to Play for the long haul. On Tuesday, Fender started offering an $89.99 yearly subscription that comes with a 10% discount on Fender equipment purchased through the company’s e-commerce channel or at participating retailers. That 10% savings on  an $825 Classic Player Jazzmaster guitar, for example, would return almost your entire Play annual subscription. 

Previously, the Play service was only offered at a $9.99 monthly fee, following a 30-day free trail. (With that option, users can cancel whenever they want.)

I’ve tested Play and found it to be an excellent way to learn guitar and improve one’s skills. 

According to Levitin, developing your musical side also appears to be a great way to stave off the negative effects of aging — and to enhance your cognitive talents early in life. He has explored this in his own research, going back two decades.

"After 60, playing an instrument can help you retrain and remap neural circuits that are inclined to atrophy, which helps you stay mentally young,” Levitin said. "Learning an instrument can also help develop your brain when you are a kid."

SEE ALSO: I spent a few months using Fender’s online guitar-learning tool — and I was surprised by how much I learned

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This man’s life changed forever when a stranger gave him a guitar 15 years ago — now he’s trying to find him

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43 Of The Best Damn Photos On The Internet This Afternoon

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Welcome! It’s my job to bring you the best funny memes of 2018 each day. Here at BroBible, I put out the ‘Best Damn Photos’ daily pic dump in the morning and afternoon, 52 weeks a year. This is your one-stop shop for the best funny memes, classical art memes, photos, sexy fishing pics, advice animals, Tumblr jokes, and more. Check in each day for the best memes of 2018.

I’ve been publishing the ‘Best Damn Photosdaily pic dump for the better part of a decade and if there’s one thing I’ve learned over time it’s that there is always a fresh feed of funny memes to be found each day. You could spend your entire day looking for the freshest and funniest memes around but it’s my job to save you time and put them all into an easily digestible gallery for you to share with friends.

If you have awesome pictures or funny memes that you think should be featured here on BroBible then let me know! There are three ways to send me your funny memes to be featured here on BroBible: 1) tag your Instagram photos with #BroBible on Instagram (follow us at @BroBible), 2) email me your funny photos to cass@brobibledotcom, or 3) tweet me your funniest memes and pics to @casspa on Twitter.

Has anyone ever done the math on how long it would realistically take for an F1 car to road trip across America if they didn’t have to abide by speed limits and gas checkpoints were set up beforehand?

I could try and pull this off but there’d be a 10000% chance I’d snap my arm in half and break my hip immediately after this picture was taken.

F1 Racing taking over Miami Beach but not just on the roads, they were also ripping up the sand.

When’s the last time you got to open it up in the desert and just ride? It’s honestly been since childhood for me, and I’m way overdue for this.

Catching trout on the Colorado River. Does it get any better than that? Methinks not.

This baby grouper was released and if it doesn’t get eaten by a bigger fish in the next few months it’ll probably grow up to become an apex predator.

This is an absolutely gorgeous redfish. It’s one of my top-3 favorite fish because of the colors. They’re always so eye-catching.

It’s getting colder and colder out there and it’s only a matter of time before the trout streams start freezing so be sure to get your lines wet before it’s too late!

IF YOU WANT YOUR INSTAGRAM PICS/MEMES TO BE FEATURED HERE tag them with #BROBIBLE and I’ll include them if they’re good. Today’s photos came from all over on Instagram. If you have a photo you’d like to see featured here you can send it to me on Twitter at @casspa or you can email it to me at cass@brobibledotcom. I’m here to help you share your funny memes each and every day so don’t hesitate to hit me up if you’ve got some pictures that are so good you have to share them with the world.

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Co-Founder Of Blink-182 Has A UFO Research Company That’s Reportedly $37.4 Million In Debt

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Tom DeLonge Blink-182

Getty Image / Christopher Polk

Tom DeLonge cofounded Blink-182 back in 1992 alongside Mark Hoppus and later Travis Barker (1995). He left the band in 2005 when they all split and then reunited in 2009. DeLonge reportedly quit the band abruptly at some point in 2014 but rejoined the next day, and in 2015 he permanently quit the band to spend more time with his family while Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus continued touring.

What’s he been doing to fill the gap now that he’s no longer a member of Blink-182, the band that’s sold over 50 million records worldwide? He’s chasing UFOs and hunting down aliens, obviously.

The 42-year-old DeLonge is currently the frontman/lead vocalist/guitarist of Angels & Airwaves but he’s also head of a UFO company that’s reportedly $37.4 MILLION in debt. In 2017, Tom Delonge was awarded the über prestigious ‘UFO Researcher of the Year’ award from OpenMinds TV. Here he is accepting his award:

His company, ‘To The Stars Academy Of Arts And Sciences,’ is dedicated to the pursuit and study of alien life. And according to Ars Technica, their most recent report filed to the SEC shows that they are $34.4 million in debt which puts the UFO company’s future in jeopardy.

“The Company has incurred losses from operations and has an accumulated deficit at June 30, 2018 of $37,432,000. These factors raise doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

This report isn’t completely out of the blue, according to NME. They have tweets from Tom DeLonge last month which show him trying to raise money via crowdfunding for his UFO research.

How legit is Tom DeLonge’s UFO research company? Actually, all things considered, it’s pretty legitimate. Remember last year when it was revealed that a secret Pentagon program existed that was funded by tens of millions of dollars with the goal of studying UFOs and alien life? It turns out that one of the directors of that program, Luis Elizondo, joined Tom DeLonge’s UFO academy last year lending a lot of credence to the program.

I’m sorry, I have to stop for a second and ask if I’m the only person who imagines all of these dudes going to work wearing tinfoil hats? How in the actual hell did this guy go from 1990s appearances on MTV’s Total Request Live with Carson Daly and headling The Warped Tour to trying to prove the existence of UFOs on earth? I’m just, really blown away by all this news.

I have to imagine that the reported $37.4 million debt is a pretty insurmountable figure for a UFO company but this is California we’re talking about so there’s the chance they could find some private investment to keep going.

Anyway, here’s Tom DeLonge on Joe Rogan’s podcast talking about the breakup of Blink-182 if you’re interested in how all that went down.

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Billionaire Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen Could SHRED On Guitar – RIP

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Today the world lost Paul Allen, the great billionaire co-founder of Microsoft. He was seeking treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer he beat nine years ago. He was childhood friends with Bill Gates and, together, their love for technology set their lives on a trajectory to build one of the biggest and most influential tech companies of our era.

Maybe it’s just me, but you ever ask yourself what kind of life you’d live if you had all the money in the world? Paul Allen mastered living beyond his wildest dreams, using his wealth to explore a multitude of passions and causes. He wasn’t just a true titan of American business; he mastered being a rich guy in a way that looked really, reallyreally fucking fun. He owned the Seahawks and the Portland Trailblazers. He was oddly obsessed with shipwrecks.

I’ll let others focus on his contribution to modern sports culture. I’m consistently fascinated by what Allen accomplished in the music world. He was an avid guitar player, creating a studio session band called Paul Allen & The Underthinkers. They recorded an album in 2013 and it’s stacked with great American jam talent: Ivan Neville, Derek Trucks, and Joe Walsh, along with Paul’s smokey blues riffs.

The great American record producer Quincy Jones once said that Allen was, himself, Jimi Hendrix reincarnated:

Paul Allen could SHRED and did some publiclly on almost every occasion he could. Listen to him rip on Jimi Hendrix’s “Hear My Train a Comin’” at Sky Church in Seattle six years ago:

The most amazing thing is that he RIPPED in a suit and collared shirt almost every single time he took the stage. That’s James Brown-levels of commitment to the wardrobe game:

And this one is my favorite: Paul Allen taking the stage with Derek Trucks in Jersey City after the Seahawks beat the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. Dude just won the biggest title in sports and took the stage to shred it up in celebration.

Instagram Photo

Rest easy, Paul. Jam hard up there.

 

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Leaders in Silicon Valley, entertainment, and professional sports are remembering Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen, who died after a battle with cancer at 65

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Paul Allen

Paul Allen, the cofounder of Microsoft and billionaire philanthropist, died Monday afternoon after battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The 65-year-old Seattle native is best-known for having launched Microsoft with Bill Gates, but he also operated the venture-capital firm Vulcan Ventures, and staked his claim on sports franchises as the owner of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers.

Allen previously overcame a bout of Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the 1980s, but he was later diagnosed with cancer in 2009, which returned after a period of remission.

As a titan in the tech industry and the world of sports, Allen influenced his colleagues to inspire millions of others through their work.

Here’s how Allen’s friends and associates are responding to his death.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen dies at 65 after battle with cancer

Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and philanthropist

"I am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends," Gates said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal on Monday. "Paul was a true partner and dear friend."

Gates and and Allen were high-school friends; they founded Microsoft in 1975.

"Personal computing would not have existed without him," Gates said.

Tim Cook, Apple CEO

"Our industry has lost a pioneer and our world has lost a force for good," Cook said in a tweet on Monday. "We send our deepest condolences to Paul’s friends, the Allen family and everyone at Microsoft.
 

Sundar Pichai, Google CEO

"We lost a great technology pioneer today – thank you Paul Allen for your immense contributions to the world through your work and your philanthropy," Pichai said Monday. "Thoughts are with his family and the entire Microsoft community."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Bill Gates says he’s ‘heartbroken’ by the death of his Microsoft cofounder in an emotional statement

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Bill Gates Paul Allen

Bill Gates has said he is "heartbroken" by the death of his childhood friend and Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen.

Allen, who also owned the NFL Seattle Seahawks and the NBA Portland Trail Blazers, died on Monday afternoon after a battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his family confirmed to Business Insider. He was 65.

Gates said Allen helped change the world with the creation of the personal computer. He added that his life was marked by a "second act" in which he attempted to improve the lives of people in Seattle, where he was from, and others around the globe.

Gates’ statement, which was carried by CNBC and The Washington Post among others, is copied below in full:

"I am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends, Paul Allen. From our early days together at Lakeside School, through our partnership in the creation of Microsoft, to some of our joint philanthropic projects over the years, Paul was a true partner and dear friend. Personal computing would not have existed without him.

"But Paul wasn’t content with starting one company. He channeled his intellect and compassion into a second act focused on improving people’s lives and strengthening communities in Seattle and around the world. He was fond of saying, ‘If it has the potential to do good, then we should do it.’ That’s the kind of person he was.

"Paul loved life and those around him, and we all cherished him in return. He deserved much more time, but his contributions to the world of technology and philanthropy will live on for generations to come. I will miss him tremendously."

READ: Business Insider’s Paul Allen obituary»

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: What marijuana looks like under the microscope

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‘Our industry has lost a pioneer’: Tech titans are devastated by the death of Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen

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Paul Allen

Some of the most prominent tech leaders on the planet have paid tribute to Paul Allen, the cofounder of Microsoft who died on Monday at the age of 65. 

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai were among those to celebrate the mark that Allen left on the tech world. 

He died from complications relating to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer he was first diagnosed with in 2009. Allen disclosed earlier this month that it had returned after a period of remission.

Scroll on to see how tech leaders responded to news of Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen’s death.

Jeff Bezos: "He was relentless to the end."

"Very sad to hear of Paul Allen’s passing. His passion for invention and pushing forward inspired so many. He was relentless to the end. My heart goes out to Paul’s family and friends."

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Twitter

Tim Cook: "Our industry has lost a pioneer."

"Our industry has lost a pioneer and our world has lost a force for good. We send our deepest condolences to Paul’s friends, the Allen family and everyone at Microsoft."

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Twitter

Satya Nadella: "I have learned so much from him."

"Paul Allen’s contributions to our company, our industry and to our community are indispensable. As co-founder of Microsoft, in his own quiet and persistent way, he created magical products, experiences and institutions, and in doing so, he changed the world."

"I have learned so much from him — his inquisitiveness, curiosity and push for high standards is something that will continue to inspire me and all of us at Microsoft. Our hearts are with Paul’s family and loved ones. Rest in peace."

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on LinkedIn

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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This crazy fire funnel was created entirely in camera

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With long exposure photography, you create unusual, surreal worlds in your photos. UK-based photographer Tim Gamble specializes in long exposure light photography and makes breath-taking artwork. One of his photos really caught our eye, so we wanted to hear more about how it was taken. We chatted with Tim about the photo he titled Love is a Burning Thing, and he shared with DIYP some details on how it was created.

This is the gear and props Tim used:

  • Two Manfrotto tripods
  • Pentax 28mm f/2.8 adapted to Sony
  • Minolta 50 mm f/1.8 adapted to Sony
  • Sony A7II
  • A length of steel wool formed into a circle a lighter and a fractal filter.
  • Light stand with one Yongnuo 560IV fired remotely, modified with an orange tank from a broken water pistol for the light behind the silhouette.
  • Vape from an electric cigarette.

How it was taken

This photo was shot during a single long exposure in complete darkness.  And the crazy effect you see was created entirely in camera, using tripod and lens swap. Tim gave us a detailed explanation of the process he used to create this fantastic image.

Tim and his friend went to a pitch black lime kiln in the Peak District to create this photo. First, Tim framed the circle of steel wool on the floor using the first tripod and the Minolta 50mm. Then, with the second tripod, he framed his silhouette to fall in the center of the frame using the Pentax 28mm. He worked out best settings to expose for both elements and started the shot.

Tim fired the shutter and lit the ring of steel wool on the floor letting it burn around the circle like a fuse.  The mirroring effect is from the fractal filter mounted on the Minolta at f/22.  Once the steel wool finished burning, he replaced the lens cap and moved to the second tripod.  Whilst the camera was still exposing, he removed the 50mm and replaced it with the Pentax 28mm at f/5.6, with the lens cap on.  He took up position and filled the air with vapor from his e-cigarette. His friend removed the lens cap and Tim fired the flash remotely to expose the silhouette in the middle.

Although the image looks like it has some special effects, it actually went through very little post-production. Tim converted the RAW file into JPEG in Lightroom and did some basic editing.

Some additional tips

We asked Tim if he had some tips for all those who want to take a photo like this. Considering that it involves tripod swapping and mix exposure lens swapping, you can first read more about those here and here.

“I use tripod swaps when I want to accurately line up two or more elements of a shot.  For the lens swap I used two lenses here as I needed the circle of fire to reach the outside of the frame.  I also wanted the silhouette to appear smaller in the frame and show more if the inside of the Lime Kiln. So I needed the wide angle field of view from the 28mm.”

There are lots of groups online like Light Junkies on Flickr and lots of light painting groups on Facebook where people are super-friendly and willing to share knowledge. You can join these and get plenty of useful advice, ideas, and feedback.

“Taking people to places that only exist in your head is an amazing thing,” as Tim puts it. And the best piece of advice he gives about light painting is: try to be original and use your imagination.

Make sure to see more of Tim Gamble’s work on Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter. You can also read more about his light painting work and various techniques on Light Painting Blog.

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