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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for June 10, 2021. A little note from TechCrunch to get started, namely these are the last hours to get an early bird pass for TC Early Stage 2021: Marketing & Fundraising, coming early July. It’s going to be pretty amazing, so go ahead, early stage founders. – Alexis
The Top 3 TechCrunch
- Microsoft thinks it can make cloud gaming work: Microsoft has big plans to make cloud gaming more than what’s left of Stadia today. According to TechCrunch, the company is preparing to “launch a device dedicated to game streaming” and wants to integrate technology associated with televisions. Players, now is a good time to be one of us. As long as you don’t need a new GPU.
- Klarna raises $ 639 million: The craze for investing capital in successful buy-now-pay-later startups continued this week, with Klarna raising a huge stack of funds to a new, higher valuation. To learn more about the space and its rapid growth, read this.
- Technological culture is evolving: The recent unrest at Medium after related issues at Coinbase and Basecamp shines a light on the changing cultural expectations of startups and the famous Y Combinator accelerator. Within these debates, it’s not hard to see a growing recognition among some tech workers for the influence they have over their employers.
Startups and VC
Today, we take a look at some key startupland funding rounds, then fund news and a round-up of recent unicorn IPOs.
- AI-based recruiting is valuable: That’s the lesson from the recent Eightfold AI funding round. The company just put together a new round of $ 220 million at a valuation of $ 2.1 billion, more than double what it was worth at the end of last year. In particular, this doubling of valuation was not born from the largesse of Tiger Global, but from SoftBank’s second Vision Fund. The company, writes TechCrunch, “uses deep learning and artificial intelligence to help companies find, recruit and retain workers.”
- Say hello to the analysis of how you spend your working day: There is a fine line between keeping an eye on your employees and looking over their shoulders too often. Time is Ltd just raised $ 5.6 million for what we have described as Google Analytics for Business Time. For example, if a company wanted to know how much time their staff were spending in Slack compared to, say, Teams, TiL could help. As long as the startup respects the privacy of individuals, that’s fine with us.
- Everyone needs fintech: Including Indonesian micro, small and medium enterprises. Proof of this fact is demonstrated by a massive $ 60 million Series A raised by BukuWarung, a fintech company focused solely on this market. Valar Ventures and Goodwater Capital led the investment. The startup has now raised $ 80 million through Crunchbase.
On the beat of venture capital itself, here’s a fun recent fundraiser featured facts:
- Much more capital for European startups: Perhaps to keep Tiger Global from eating all over the world, Balderton Capital has set up a $ 680 million “early growth” fund that will drop $ 25 million to $ 50 million in startup checks. It’s a big piece for a growing scene.
- Serena Williams’ Husband Raises New Fund: Well-known investor Alexis Ohanian’s new venture, Seven Seven Six, has raised a fund of $ 150 million. And he’s involved in the last lap at Nuggs.
To complete the startup news of the day, Marqeta, Monday.com, Zeta Global and 1stDibs have gone public. Here’s our look at how they started and what they mean for the IPO market – and the value of startups in general.
The end of fintech: new super companies combine the best of software and finance
Now that we can trade from anywhere, a new hybrid class of software companies with integrated financial services is attracting consumers – and investors are following the action.
Using data from a Battery Ventures report on the ‘Intersection of Software and Financial Services’, this article examines why these companies can be so difficult to assess and provides a framework to better understand their business models and appeal to investors.
(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams move forward. You can register here.)
Big Tech Inc.
- Waymo’s self-driving push continues: Alphabet’s huge gamble on autonomous driving technology is partnering with JB Hunt Transport Services to test self-driving trucks in the busy Texas market. It has long been thought that freight vehicles that don’t spend a lot of time on side streets could be good early targets for autonomous driving technology. Let’s see. While we’re on the topic of autonomous transportation, Scale has news on the data side of the equation.
- Stripe adds sales tax to its payment platform: Stripe, while still private, is worth $ 84.2 billion, so it counts as Big Tech. The Payments Unicorn today announced a new technology, namely the ability of its payment stack to handle sales tax both internationally and nationally. Sales tax is a huge issue, and managing it could give Stripe a definite edge over some of its competition.
- Apple will (probably) kill Dark Sky: After Cupertino bought the Dark Sky weather service, it was presumed he was on his way to the wood chipper. Thus ends many technological exits to a large company; the larger entity really wants the technology and the team, but doesn’t want to keep the business application alive. Apple, to its credit, will not remove Dark Sky until 2022. After that, all is lost.
TechCrunch Experts: Growth Marketing
TechCrunch wants to help startups find the right expert for their needs. To do this, we compile a shortlist of the best growth marketers. We’ve received some great recommendations for growth marketers in the startup industry since we launched the survey yesterday, and we’re excited to read more responses as they come in!
Complete the survey here.
We look forward to posting more on Growth Marketing. Check out our most recent offering, Growth Marketing Amidst the Pandemic: An Interview with Tyler Elliston of Right Side Up.
We are excited to continue our editorial coverage on growth marketing with articles from the TechCrunch team and guests. If you’re interested in writing a guest column, read more here.
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