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Hello and welcome to the Daily Crunch of June 10, 2021. A brief note to start with ClearTips, namely the last few hours to get the Early-Bird Pass for TC Early Stage 2021: Marketing & Fundraising, coming in early July. It’s about to get a lot more amazing, so get on that, early stage founders. – alex
ClearTips Top 3
- Microsoft thinks it can get cloud gaming to work: Microsoft has big plans to make cloud gaming more than what’s left in Stadia today. Per ClearTips, the company is preparing to “launch a dedicated device for game streaming” and is looking to integrate related technology into TVs. Gamers, it’s a good time to be one of us. Unless you need a new GPU.
- Klarna $639M . collects: The craze to capitalize on successful buy-now-pay-later startups continued this week, with Klarna raising a huge pile of money at a new, higher valuation. Read this to know more about space and its rapid evolution.
- Changing Tech Culture: The recent turmoil in Medium following related issues at Coinbase and Basecamp is bringing to light changing cultural expectations at startups and well-known Y Combinator accelerators. Inside these debates, it’s not hard to see the growing recognition among some tech workers of the leverage that they have over their employers.
Startups and VCs
Today we’re looking at some major funding rounds from Startupland, then some fund news and a roundup of the most recent Unicorn IPOs.
- AI-powered recruiting is valuable: That’s a lesson from Eightfold AI’s recent funding round. The company put together a new round of $220 million at a valuation of $2.1 billion, more than double that at the end of last year. Notably, this valuation doubling was born not from the generosity of Tiger Global, but from SoftBank’s Second Vision Fund. The company, writes ClearTips, “uses deep learning and artificial intelligence to help companies find, recruit, and retain workers.”
- Say hello to analytics for how you spend your workday: There is a fine line between keeping an eye on your workers and looking over their shoulders over and over again. Time Is Limited has raised $5.6 million for the company Time is described as Google Analytics. For example, if a company wants to know how much time its employees are spending on Slack versus Teams, TIL can help. As long as the startup respects individual privacy, we are fine with it.
- everyone needs fintech: Including Indonesia’s micro, small and medium businesses. Proof of that fact is represented by a massive $60 million Series A raise by Bukuwarung, a fintech company focused on that market. Weller Ventures and Goodwater Capital led the investment. The startup has now raised $80 million per Crunchbase.
Beating myself on venture capital, here are some recent fun fundraisers Featured Facts:
- Too much capital for European startups: Perhaps to keep Tiger Global from eating away at the world, Balderton Capital has put together a $680 million “early-growth” fund that will drop $25 million to $50 million in checks at startups. That’s a big coin for the growing scene.
- Serena Williams’ husband raises new fund: Well-known investor Alexis Ohanian’s new firm Seven Seven Six has raised $150 million in funding. And it’s included in the latest round in noggs.
To round out the day’s startup news, Marketa, Monday.com, Zeta Global and Firstdibs went public. Here’s what they mean for their debuts and IPO market — and what startups are worth more.
Fintech endgame: New supercompanies combine the best of software and financials
Now that we can transact from anywhere, a new, hybrid class of embedded financial services software companies is appealing to consumers — and investors are following the action.
Using data from the Battery Ventures report on the “intersection of software and financial services,” this post examines why it can be so difficult to value these companies and improve their business models and investor appeal. Provides a framework to understand
(ExtraCrunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams grow. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
- Waymo’s self-driving push continues: Alphabet’s big bet on self-driving technology is partnering with JB Hunt Transportation Services to test self-driving trucks in the busy Texas market. It has long been thought that freight vehicles that don’t spend much time on side roads could make good starting targets for self-driving technology. Let’s see. While we’re on the topic of autonomous transit, scale has news on the data side of the equation.
- Stripe brings sales tax to its payment platform: Stripe, while still private, is worth $84.2 billion, so it counts as Big Tech. Payments Unicorn today announced a new technology, namely the ability of its payments stack to handle sales tax both internationally and domestically. Sales tax is a huge problem, and handling it could give Stripe a good edge over some of its competition.
- Apple (probably) to kill Dark Sky: After Cupertino bought the weather service Dark Sky, it was believed that it was on its way to a piece of wood. Thus many technology exits for a large company are eliminated; The larger entity really wants the technology and the team, but doesn’t want to keep the company’s app alive. Apple, to its credit, won’t ax Dark Sky until 2022. After that, it’s all at stake.
ClearTips Expert: Growth Marketing
ClearTips wants to help startups find the right experts for their needs. To do this, we are creating a shortlist of the top growth marketers. We’ve gotten tons of 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 arrive!
Fill out the survey here.
We look forward to publishing more about Growth Marketing. Check out our most recent offering, Growth Marketing Amidst the Pandemic: An Interview with Tyler Alliston of the Right Side Up.
We’re excited to continue our editorial coverage about Growth Marketing with posts from the ClearTips team and guests. If you’re interested in writing a guest column, read more here.
Come talk to us About Pittsburgh on Twitter Space tomorrow 6/11 at 1 p.m. PDT/4 p.m. EDT ahead of our upcoming TC City Spotlight series event.