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Interview with GoPuff co-founder Rafael Ilishayev, on why the startup acquired BevMo, breaking into the California market, responding to drivers’ demands



Interview with GoPuff co-founder Rafael Ilishayev, on why the startup acquired BevMo, breaking into the California market, responding to drivers' demands

Rafael Ilishayev is the co-founder and co-CEO of GoPuff, a delivery service that provides snacks, drinks, and other essentials to customers within minutes. Ilishayev and his co-founder, Yakir Gola, started GoPuff while they were still in college, and have since grown the company into a multi-billion dollar business with a presence in over 650 cities. In this interview, we discuss Ilishayev’s background, the growth of GoPuff, and his vision for the future of on-demand delivery services.

Interview with Rafael Ilishayev, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of GoPuff

Rafael Ilishayev is the co-founder and co-CEO of GoPuff, a delivery service that provides customers with snacks, drinks, and other essentials within minutes. In this interview, we discuss his background, the growth of GoPuff, and his vision for the future of on-demand delivery services.

Can you tell us about your background and how you became involved in the technology industry?

Ilishayev: I grew up in Philadelphia and attended Drexel University, where I studied business administration. While I was in college, I started working as a delivery driver for a local hookah shop. I saw firsthand how difficult it was for businesses to provide fast and reliable delivery, and I started thinking about how technology could be used to solve this problem.

I met my co-founder, Yakir Gola, while we were both in college, and we started GoPuff in 2013 as a way to provide on-demand delivery of snacks and drinks to college students.

How has GoPuff evolved since its inception, and what do you attribute to its success?

Ilishayev: Since we started in 2013, GoPuff has grown tremendously. We now operate in over 650 cities across the United States and have expanded our product offerings to include everything from groceries and household essentials to alcohol and electronics.

One of the key factors behind our success has been our focus on customer experience. We’ve built a platform that is easy to use, and we’ve invested heavily in our delivery network to ensure that orders are delivered quickly and reliably. We’ve also been able to leverage our technology to optimize our operations and reduce costs, which has helped us to scale rapidly.

What sets GoPuff apart from other on-demand delivery services, and how do you see the industry evolving in the future?

Ilishayev: One of the things that sets GoPuff apart is our focus on convenience. We’ve designed our platform to be fast and easy to use, and we’ve optimized our delivery network to ensure that customers get their orders as quickly as possible.

Looking ahead, I think we’ll continue to see a lot of innovation in the on-demand delivery space. As more and more customers become accustomed to the convenience of on-demand delivery, we’ll see a greater demand for a wider range of products and services. We’re already seeing this with the expansion of our product offerings, and I think we’ll continue to see more players in the industry diversify their offerings in the coming years.

What are some of the challenges facing GoPuff, and how are you addressing them?

Ilishayev: One of the biggest challenges facing GoPuff is competition. There are a lot of players in the on-demand delivery space, and it can be difficult to differentiate ourselves from the competition.

To address this challenge, we’ve been focusing on expanding our product offerings and investing in our delivery network. We’ve also been working to build strong relationships with our customers and provide them with a high level of service and support.

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Ilishayev: My advice would be to stay focused on your goals and be persistent. Building a successful business takes a lot of hard work and dedication, and there will inevitably be setbacks along the way. But if you stay focused on your goals and stay committed to your vision, you can overcome any obstacle.

It’s also important to be willing to take risks and try new things. Innovation is the key to success in the technology industry, and you need to be willing to take risks and try new things in order to stay ahead of the competition. Overall, Rafael Ilishayev’s story is a testament to the power of perseverance.

In conclusion, Rafael Ilishayev’s story is a testament to the power of innovation and persistence in the technology industry. As the co-founder and co-CEO of GoPuff, he has played a key role in revolutionizing the on-demand delivery space, providing customers with a fast, reliable, and convenient way to get the products they need.

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Unveiling the Secret Sauce: How Email Deliverability Services Supercharge Your Outreach




Email marketing has become an indispensable tool for businesses seeking to establish meaningful connections with their audience. However, the effectiveness of email campaigns heavily relies on whether your emails actually reach your recipients’ inboxes. This is where email deliverability services come into play. In this article, we will explore how these services function as the secret sauce behind supercharging your outreach efforts.


In an era dominated by digital communication, email remains a potent tool for businesses to reach out to potential customers, nurture relationships, and drive conversions. However, merely sending emails isn’t enough. Ensuring that your emails land in the recipients’ inboxes and avoid the dreaded spam folder is critical to the success of your email marketing strategy.

The Importance of Email Deliverability

Email deliverability is the measure of your emails successfully reaching your intended recipients. High deliverability rates lead to better engagement, increased open rates, and higher chances of conversions. On the contrary, poor deliverability can damage your sender reputation and diminish the impact of your campaigns.

Understanding Email Deliverability Services

Email deliverability services are specialized platforms designed to enhance the likelihood of your emails landing in the inbox. These services utilize advanced algorithms, authentication techniques, and reputation monitoring to optimize deliverability rates.

Factors Affecting Email Deliverability

Several factors influence email deliverability, including sender authentication, content quality, recipient engagement, and the sender’s IP reputation. Email deliverability services address these factors to ensure your emails are both relevant and safe in the eyes of email providers.

How Email Deliverability Services Work

These services employ a multifaceted approach, starting with authentication protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. They also monitor your sender reputation, providing real-time feedback to improve your email practices. Content analysis and engagement tracking further contribute to enhanced deliverability.

Choosing the Right Email Deliverability Service

Selecting the ideal service requires considering factors like your target audience, email volume, and the level of customization you require. Look for services that offer comprehensive reporting, robust customer support, and a proven track record of success.

Benefits of Email Deliverability Services

Email deliverability services offer an array of benefits, such as increased open rates, improved sender reputation, reduced chances of being marked as spam, and enhanced audience engagement. These advantages collectively lead to higher ROI from your email campaigns.

Best Practices for Maximizing Deliverability

To make the most of these services, adhere to best practices such as maintaining a clean email list, personalizing content, avoiding spam-triggering words, and optimizing for mobile devices. Regularly monitoring and adapting your strategy also play a crucial role in sustained deliverability success.

Metrics to Evaluate Deliverability Success

Measuring the effectiveness of email deliverability services involves tracking key metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, and spam complaints. These metrics provide insights into the health of your email campaigns and the impact of the services you’ve implemented.

Real-world Success Stories

Numerous businesses have witnessed remarkable improvements in their email deliverability rates after integrating these services. From startups to established enterprises, the stories are a testament to the transformative power of prioritizing email deliverability.

Common Misconceptions About Deliverability Services

Addressing misconceptions like “Email deliverability is solely the responsibility of the email service provider” or “Once you achieve good deliverability, you no longer need to monitor it” is essential for a well-rounded understanding of these services.

Cost Considerations and ROI

Investing in email deliverability services entails costs, but the returns can far outweigh the expenses. By analyzing the long-term benefits and the impact on your bottom line, you can ascertain the true ROI of implementing these services.


Email deliverability services act as the secret sauce that propels your email outreach to new heights. By ensuring your messages land where they matter most – in your recipients’ inboxes – these services empower your marketing strategy with enhanced engagement, conversions, and long-term customer relationships.

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The Power of Fintech Marketing: Strategies for Skyrocketing Growth!




In recent years, the financial technology (fintech) industry has experienced remarkable growth, revolutionizing how businesses and consumers manage financial transactions. As the competition intensifies, the significance of effective Fintech Marketing Strategy becomes paramount to gain a competitive edge in the market. This article will delve into the power of fintech marketing and explore strategies to achieve skyrocketing growth in this rapidly evolving industry.

The Role of Digital Transformation in Fintech Marketing

Digital transformation lies at the heart of fintech marketing. By embracing innovative technologies and modernizing operations, fintech companies can streamline their services, reduce costs, and deliver enhanced customer experiences. Integrating digital solutions allows for real-time interactions, personalized offers, and better data-driven decision-making, making it imperative for fintech firms to prioritize digital transformation.

Leveraging Data Analytics for Personalization

Data is a goldmine for fintech marketers. Analyzing customer behavior and preferences helps identify trends, allowing businesses to offer personalized financial solutions. Tailored recommendations build trust and strengthen customer loyalty, making data analytics an indispensable tool for fintech marketing success.

The Impact of Social Media 

Social media has revolutionized marketing across industries, and fintech is no exception. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn provide unique opportunities for fintech companies to engage with their target audience, share valuable content, and create brand awareness. Utilizing social media effectively can significantly boost lead generation and conversion rates.

The Power of Content Marketing in Fintech

Content marketing serves as the backbone of fintech marketing efforts. Providing valuable, informative, and engaging content helps establish fintech companies as industry authorities. Regularly publishing blog posts, articles, and whitepapers can attract potential clients and foster enduring relationships with existing ones.

Creating a Seamless User Experience (UX)

A seamless user experience is crucial for fintech companies. From onboarding to conducting transactions, ensuring a user-friendly interface and straightforward processes can significantly impact customer satisfaction and retention rates.

The Role of AI and Chatbots in Fintech Marketing

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and chatbots have transformed customer interactions in the fintech industry. Chatbots offer instant customer support and personalized assistance, while AI-driven algorithms can predict customer needs, leading to more effective cross-selling and up-selling.

Building Trust and Credibility

Trust is the foundation of any successful financial relationship. Fintech companies must prioritize security, privacy, and transparency to build trust and credibility with their customers. Trustworthy businesses are more likely to retain clients and attract new ones through positive word-of-mouth referrals.

Fintech companies operate in a highly regulated environment. Compliance with financial regulations is not only essential to avoid penalties but also to gain trust among potential clients. Fintech marketing strategies must navigate these challenges while still delivering compelling messages.


Fintech marketing is a dynamic and ever-evolving landscape. To achieve skyrocketing growth, companies must embrace digital transformation, leverage data analytics for personalization, utilize social media and influencer marketing, optimize for search engines, and prioritize content marketing and video engagement. Additionally, they should adopt mobile marketing strategies, explore innovative technologies like AR and VR, enhance user experiences, utilize AI and chatbots, and prioritize building trust through regulatory compliance. By executing these strategies effectively, fintech companies can propel their growth and solidify their position in the competitive market.

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For journalists and academics, the Knight Institute has requested that Facebook change its policies




Twitter have moved on to Facebook.

According to Reuters: Those who filed suit to prevent President Trump from barring his detractors on Twitter have moved on to Facebook.

The Knight First Amendment Institute disclosed Monday’s letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in which it proposed modifying Facebook’s terms of service to establish a protected zone for journalists and researchers studying the social networking site, on Tuesday. The letter warned that under Facebook’s present policies, investigators risk not only being banned from the site but also facing legal consequences under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Knight is advocating for a change in Facebook’s policies that would make it possible for legitimate journalists and researchers to scrape data and create temporary accounts for study purposes.

The letter stressed the importance of “digital journalism and research” in helping the general people comprehend Facebook’s platform and its societal impact. The tools that are typically necessary for this kind of journalism and study are explicitly forbidden by Facebook’s terms of service.

Three journalists, including New York Times’ Kate Conger and Gizmodo’s Kashmir Hill, as well as researchers from Princeton and the University of Michigan, were represented in Knight’s letter. Hill of Gizmodo published a story shortly after Knight revealed its letter, detailing how Facebook had tried to pressure Gizmodo into taking down an open source tool it had developed as part of its investigation into the company’s People You May Know feature on the grounds that it violated Facebook’s terms of service. (Anyone who downloaded the app would be able to see if Facebook suggested them as friends to those whose profiles they had seen.) The tool is still available, but Hill argues that the incident demonstrates the need for a safe haven for journalists and researchers.

I questioned Ramya Krishnan from Knight if the safe harbor could be used by competitors of Facebook or data-mining organizations looking to make money off of Facebook user data. (The Cambridge Analytica issue involving Facebook is probably still fresh in your mind.) Knight suggests the following safe harbor qualification criteria: Researchers must have a public interest rather than a commercial one, and they must take reasonable precautions to not mislead Facebook users about the identity of the people behind their temporary research profiles. According to Krishnan, these caveats would ensure that negative actors are not afforded the safe harbor. If suspicious behavior is uncovered, the Knight Institute envisions Facebook-employed monitors deciding whether or not it merits safe harbor protection.

The question of whether or not Cambridge Analytica would have been protected under the safe harbor has been considered, Krishnan added. A resounding “no”

Of course, this is all speculation. The only action taken by Knight so far has been a request to modify the service’s terms. The firm is under no obligation to respond to the letter, and it’s hard to picture Facebook inviting fresh criticism by declaring itself the final authority on whether or not journalists and researchers who scrape data and utilize masked accounts are legitimate.

In spite of Knight’s letter, Facebook shows no signs of rushing to alter its current policies. In an email response, Facebook said, “We appreciate the Knight Institute’s ideas.” Campbell Brown is Facebook’s head of global news partnerships. “Journalists and researchers play an important role in holding us accountable when we get things wrong and in educating the public about corporations and their goods. We do have stringent constraints on how third parties can use people’s information, and we do acknowledge that these sometimes come in the way of this effort. According to the company’s statement, Facebook already provides some resources for journalists and promises to provide a new software-building tool to examine the performance of political ads on the platform. There was no indication in the announcement that talks with Knight about a media and academic safe haven would be initiated.

No matter what the future holds for Facebook and the Knight Institute, the threat of civil and possibly criminal liability under the CFAA for terms of service violations is raised by Knight’s letter. You may remember (as I explained in an article last August) that the definition of “hacking” in the 1986 anti-hacking law is vague. While it may be obvious that hackers using stolen credentials obtained from the dark web are breaking the CFAA, what about a data scraper mining publicly available information, as was the case in a lawsuit filed against LinkedIn last year? Or consider Gizmodo, whose open source tool first required Facebook users to enter their login credentials so that the program could access the site automatically.

Gizmodo was not accessing or even collecting data from individual Facebook accountholders’ computers. Hill claimed on Tuesday that Gizmodo feared legal action after Facebook warned it that their tool breached Facebook’s terms of service.

Although Knight’s letter recognized that Facebook had not made that allegation in litigation against a journalist or researcher, it did note that both Facebook and the Justice Department have cited the CFAA in connection with terms of service violations. (The most well-known instance of the company’s use of the statute was in a case against the then-emerging social networking site; the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found liable for CFAA violations, 844 F.3d 1058, because it had continued accessing Facebook computers despite having been sent a cease-and-desist letter.)

Due to concerns about criminal liability under the CFAA for violations of terms of service, a group of journalists and researchers filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department in 2016, arguing that the CFAA violates the First Amendment to the extent that it forbids the collection of publicly-available data related to online discrimination. While dismissing most of the plaintiffs’ claims in Sandvig v. Sessions (2018 WL 1568881), U.S. District Judge John Bates of Washington in March kept alive First Amendment allegations by two researchers who said they feared prosecution if they carried out plans to create fake user accounts to test discrimination at employment websites. The Department of Justice has requested that Judge Bates allow discovery into which places the investigators want to visit.

Similar research methods and public-benefit objectives are mentioned in both the Sandvig suit and the Knight letter. Is the Institute thinking about going to court to get the same shield from CFAA civil liability that Sandvig’s ACLU attorneys are trying to get for him in the criminal context?

No comment from Krishnan at Knight just yet. She emailed me to tell me that the institute is still waiting for Facebook to respond to its “safe harbor” proposal. “The suggestion is made in good faith and with constructive intentions,” she stated. We’ll observe how Facebook reacts before making any further plans.

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