Based in London, is a general partner for , the VC firm formerly known as Google Ventures. And Hulme isn’t your average VC as he likes to focus on hard problems instead of quick wins. He has become an important figure of the European VC landscape, that’s why I’m excited to announce that Glovo founder Oscar Pierre is joining us at . has had an interesting start in Europe. The firm originally announced a new, separate fund focused on European startups exclusively. A dedicated GV Europe team was supposed to lead the fund. A few years later, GV has switched to a more global and unified strategy. The European team is now part of GV at large. But it doesn’t mean that GV stopped looking at European startups altogether. Tom Hulme is evidence that GV is still very much active in London, the U.K. and Europe. A couple of years ago, . It is a fascinating read and I would recommend it to anyone interested in startup investment. GV doesn’t want to stop at low-hanging fruits. The firm is looking at startups working around artificial intelligence and deep learning, virtual and augmented reality, the car of the future, life sciences and more. For instance, Tom Hulme and his team looked at over 60 companies in Europe and Tel Aviv focused on AI. In other words, if you’re working on something big that requires a lot of capital, chances are you should meet up with GV. Tom Hulme has invested in , , , , , and many other startups. And I can’t wait to hear what’s going to be his next investment. to listen to this discussion — and many others. The conference will take place on December 11-12. In addition to panels and fireside chats, like this one, new startups will participate in the Startup Battlefield to compete for the highly coveted Battlefield Cup. Tom is a general partner at Google Ventures. Previously, Tom was a design director at IDEO Europe, where he founded OpenIDEO, an open innovation platform that has over 150,000 users from more than 170 countries. Tom also launched OIEngine, an online platform for IDEO clients, including Harvard Business School and the Knight Foundation. Before IDEO, Tom was managing director of Marcos, a British sports car manufacturer. As a serial entrepreneur, Tom also founded Magnom, a magnetic filter startup. Tom’s filter designs have been widely used in Formula One, Superbikes, JCB loaders, and central heating systems. Tom has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and has been featured in WIRED UK’s Top 100 Digital Power Brokers list every year since the list has been published. He has also been included in the Evening Standard list of London’s 1000 Most Influential People. Tom earned a first class bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Bristol, and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he received the Baker Scholar Award of high distinction. Tom has also received an honorary doctorate from University Arts London.
Sonderangebot! That sounds like a super-cool robotics startup you’d find at , right? But it’s German for special offer — and that’s super cool, too. Our premier tech conference takes place on 11-12 December, and we want to make attending Disrupt Berlin as easy on the budget as possible. Hence, our buy-now-pay-later Sonderangebot! It’s our super early-bird season and, depending on which Disrupt Berlin pass you buy, you can save up to €600. But now you have the option to stretch your payments over four months and avoid an upfront layout of your hard-earned cash. . Here’s how our buy-now-pay-later installment plan works. Follow the normal process to purchase your pass. When it comes time to pay, select the payment plan option. You pay 25% of the pass price (plus fees) now and then pay off the remaining balance in three equal monthly payments. Note: Discounted student, government or nonprofit Innovator passes do not qualify for payment installments. Want to bring your whole team to Disrupt Berlin? Combine the buy-now-pay-later option with our for even more bottom-line comfort. Perhaps you’re keen to introduce your early-stage startup to 3,000+ attendees — from more than 50 countries — as they stream through our exhibit hall. Yes? Then scoop up a super early-bird for €745 + VAT and yes, you can take advantage of the payment plan option. Whatever startup role describes you — founder, investor, industry leader, developer or technologist — you can lock in your pass price and experience all the excitement and action of Disrupt Berlin 2019. Dive into two full days of hands-on workshops, product demonstrations, top-notch speakers, and world-class networking. We’ll announce more exciting news in the weeks ahead — like how you can apply to compete in or earn a coveted spot as a and exhibit in Startup Alley for free. Join our mailing list to stay in the loop. We’re in the process of building our roster of Disrupt Berlin speakers, and TechCrunch editors want to hear your recommendations. Opportunities are limited, so as soon as possible. The team reviews submissions on a rolling basis and when they’ve reviewed yours, you’ll receive the editorial decision by email. takes place on 11-12 December, and you can give your budget breathing room with our buy-now-pay-later installment plan. Buy your passes, take advantage of this Sonderangebot, and we’ll see you in Berlin! Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt Berlin 2019? Contact our sponsorship sales team by .
A $28 million financing has made , an AI-powered news aggregation app, a unicorn. Japan Post Capital has led the Series E round, which brings the company’s total investment to $116 million and pushes its valuation to $1.1 billion. Existing investors in SmartNews include Development Bank of Japan, SMBC Venture Capital and Japan Co-Invest L.P. The company, founded in Tokyo in 2012, boasts 20 million monthly active users in the U.S. and Japan. Growing at a rate of 500% per year, its audience checks into the app for a mix of political, sports, global and entertainment news curated for each individual reader. To make money, the company sells inline advertising, video ads and deals with publishers to sell ads against “SmartViews,” its equivalent of Google’s AMP or Facebook’s Instant Articles SmartNews has nearly 400 U.S. publishing partners including The Associated Press and Bloomberg. It competes with the likes of Apple, which earlier this year, a subscription news product that offers access to more than 300 magazines and newspapers for $9.99 per month. SmartNews says it will use the infusion of capital to expand its global footprint. “We are very pleased with our strong progress in the United States,” SmartNews co-founder and chief executive officer Ken Suzuki said in a statement. “We will continue to share our vision of informed, balanced media consumption with our current and future users in the U.S. and all over the world.”
Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy startups and venture capital news. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I wrote about . Before that, I noted some . Remember, you can send me tips, suggestions and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter . If you don’t subscribe to Startups Weekly yet, you can do that What’s new? This week DoorDash announced an agreement to acquire Caviar, an on-demand delivery business, from Square. DoorDash says it will pay $410 million for the company in a combination of cash and stock. If you’re thinking that seems like a lot of money, you are very much correct. It’s so much money that all of us over here at TechCrunch were scratching our heads trying to understand why DoorDash would shell out that kind of cash. After all, Square paid only $90 million in stock for Caviar when it acquired the company back in 2014. However, DoorDash is VC cash-rich. The business, still privately-owned, has raised an astronomical sum of venture capital. This year alone it’s raised $1 billion, including a Series G funding of $600 million that valued it at $12.6 billion. This is fucking insane. — Kate Clark (@KateClarkTweets) When a company raises that many huge rounds so close together, you can only assume it’s burning through a lot of cash. When it comes time for DoorDash to begin pitching Wall Street for an IPO — we’re thinking late next year — established subsidiaries like Caviar will at least help bolster its IPO-ready narrative. With monster companies like DoorDash, Grubhub and UberEats owning the food delivery space, we will no doubt see more big M&A deals and more startups die. () But will any of these efforts ever become profitable? Or will DoorDash burn through cash until there’s just no more cash left to burn? #Equitypod If you enjoy this newsletter, be sure to check out TechCrunch’s venture-focused podcast, Equity. In this week’s episode, available , Equity co-host Alex Wilhelm and I attempt to make sense of DoorDash’s acquisition of Caviar. Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on , and Big Deals Little Deals M&A Plus: Read TechCrunch’s Lucas Matney’s on Salesforce’s major acquisition of Tableau. (Extra Crunch membership required.) Venture Fundraising Extra Crunch Here’s your weekly reminder that for a low price — a complete bargain really — you can learn more about the startups and venture capital ecosystem with a. We offer exclusive deep dives, Q&As, newsletters, resources and recommendations, and fundamental startup how-to guides to our subscribers. Here are some of the best EC posts of the week:
Here are five words you’ll never hear spring from the mouth of an early-stage startupper. “I don’t mind paying more.” We feel you, and that’s why we’re letting you know that the price of admission to , which takes place on September 5, goes up next week. Our $249 early-bird ticket price remains in play until 11:59 p.m. (PT) on August 9. now and save $100. Now that you’ve scored the best possible price, get ready to experience a full day focused on what’s around the corner for enterprise — the biggest and richest startup category in Silicon Valley. More than 1,000 attendees, including many of the industry’s top founders, CEOs, investors and technologists, will join TechCrunch’s editors onstage for interviews covering all the big enterprise topics — AI, the cloud, Kubernetes, data and security, marketing automation and event quantum computing, to name a few. This conference features more than 20 sessions on the main stage, plus separate Q&As with the speakers and breakout sessions. Check out . Just to peek at one session, TechCrunch’s Connie Loizos will interview three top VCs — (Emergence Capital), (Canaan Partners) and Rebecca Lynn (Canvas Ventures) — in a session entitled Investing with an Eye to the Future. In an ever-changing technological landscape, it’s not easy for VCs to know what’s coming next and how to place their bets. Yet, it’s the job of investors to peer around the corner and find the next big thing, whether that’s in AI, serverless, blockchain, edge computing or other emerging technologies. Our panel will look at the challenges of enterprise investing, what they look for in enterprise startups and how they decide where to put their money. Want to boost your ROI? Take advantage of our group discount — save 20% when you buy four or more tickets at once. And remember, for every ticket you buy to TC Sessions: Enterprise, we’ll register you for a free Expo Only pass to on October 2-4. takes place September 5, but your chance to save $100 ends next week. No one enjoys paying more, so today, cross it off your to-do list and enjoy your savings. Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at TC Sessions: Enterprise 2019? Contact our sponsorship sales team by .
Yesterday, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins announced that , moving his streaming career over to Microsoft’s Mixer platform. This morning, has shot to the top of the App Store’s free app charts. Microsoft , back when it was called Beam, and has been trying to grow the platform since. However, Mixer has had a tough go of it with competition from the industry leader, Twitch, as well as other tech giants like Google (YouTube) and Facebook. In fact, Mixer represented just three percent of game streaming viewership hours in the last quarter, according to . Microsoft had this to say about Ninja’s move: We’re thrilled to welcome Ninja and his community to Mixer. Mixer is a place that was formed around being positive and welcoming from day one, and we look forward to the energy Ninja and his community will bring. Ninja announced the news with , which didn’t offer much by way of reasons for the move. It’s highly likely that Microsoft paid a pretty penny for it, though that hasn’t been officially confirmed. In less than 24 hours, his new has picked up more than 250K followers, and Mixer has risen to the top of the App Store charts. It’s early days for the switch, but it’s still a long way to go to get back to the 14 million followers Ninja enjoyed on Twitch.
Early-stage startuppers around the world are getting ready for , which takes place on 11-12 December. Our premier tech conference attracts an international startup community from more than 50 countries. It’s the intersection of current and future tech and an incomparable networking opportunity. You reap big savings with our (up to €600), but you can save even more when you buy in bulk. We want to make Disrupt Berlin a team-friendly event, because nobody wants to play to see who stays home. Take advantage of our group discounts and bring your whole squad to Berlin. Buy five or more Innovator passes at once and enjoy a 20% discount Buy two or more Founder or Investor passes at once and enjoy a 10% savings Bring the team and multiply your ROI. Split up and experience more of what Disrupt Berlin offers in two short days — world-class speakers, workshops, fireside chats, , the and Startup Alley for starters. Let’s look a little closer, shall we? You’ll hear advice and insight from leading founders and investors, like PicsArt founder and CEO , UiPath founder and CEO and SoftBank Vision Fund partner — to name just a few. We’re still adding speakers, and if you have someone you’d like to nominate, Don’t miss out on . Our legendary pitch competition features the best early-stage startups launching their companies on a global stage in a bid for glory, the Disrupt Cup, investor love, media coverage and $50,000 cash. Keep your eyes peeled for the chance to enter this epic competition — . We expect more than 3,000 attendees, and just about all of them will head to to explore our exhibition floor. They’ll find hundreds of creative early-stage startups displaying their latest innovations across the tech spectrum. It’s a networking opportunity like no other. Turn your team loose and let the startup magic begin. Startup Alley is also home to the TC Top Picks. That’s our curated cadre of startups representing the very best in their tech categories. Check out our . Think your startup can make the cut? You’ll have the opportunity to apply soon — another great reason to keep tabs on Disrupt Berlin news. Join us at on 11-12 December. So many excellent reasons to go and a limited amount of time to experience it all. Take advantage of our and bring your whole team to amplify your presence and your ROI. We’ll see you in Berlin! Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt Berlin 2019? Contact our sponsorship sales team by .
a marketplace for freelance labor in India and UAE, has raised $75 million to expand its business. The Series E round for the four-and-half-year-old India-based startup was led Tiger Global. Existing investors , and Vy Capital also participated in the round. The startup has raised about $185 million to date, according to Crunchbase. The financing round was split into two parts — a primary round which resulted in a share subscription by the aforementioned investors and a secondary share sale by some of its early backers, the startup said in a brief statement. Through its platform, UrbanClap matches service people such as cleaners, repair staff and beauticians with customers across 10 cities in India and Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The startup supports 20,000 “micro-franchisees” (service professionals) with around 450,000 transactions taking place each month, cofounder and CEO Abhiraj Bhal told TechCrunch. Bhal said that UrbanClap helps offline service workers in India, who have traditionally relied on getting work through middleman such as some store or word of mouth networks, to find more work. And they earn more, too. UrbanClap offers a more direct model, with workers keeping 80% of the cost of their jobs. That, Bhal said, means workers can earn multiples more and manage their own working hours. “The UrbanClap model really allows them to become service entrepreneurs. Their earnings will shoot up two or three-fold, and it isn’t uncommon to see it rise as much as 8X — it’s a life-changing experience,” he said. Average value of a service is between $17 to $22, according to the company. In recent years, UrbanClap has also began offering training, credit, and basic banking services to better support the service workers on its platform. On its website, UrbanClap claims to offer 73 services — including kitchen cleaning, hairdressing, and yoga training. It says it has served 3 million customers. Bhal said that around 20-25% of applicants are accepted into the platform, that’s a decision based on in-person meetings, background and criminal checks, as well as a “skills” test. Workers are encouraged to work exclusively — though it isn’t a requirement — and they wear UrbanClap outfits and represent the brand with customers.
a popular site for buying and selling sneakers and other apparel, has admitted it reset customer passwords after it was “alerted to suspicious activity” on its site, despite telling users it was a result of “system updates.” “We recently completed system updates on the StockX platform,” said the email to customers sent to TechCrunch on Thursday. The email provided a link to a password reset page but said nothing more. The company was only last month valued after a $110 million fundraise. Companies reset passwords all the time for various reasons. Some security teams obtain lists of previously breached passwords that make their way online, scramble them in the same format that the company stores passwords, and find matches. By triggering the reset, it prevents passwords stolen from other sites from being used against one of a company’s own customers. In less than desirable circumstances, passwords are reset following . But the company admitted it was not “system updates” as it had told its customers. “StockX was recently alerted to suspicious activity potentially involving our platform,” said StockX spokesperson Katy Cockrel. “Out of an abundance of caution, we implemented a security update and proactively asked our community to update their account passwords.” “We are continuing to investigate,” said the spokesperson. The password reset email sent by StockX on Thursday (Image: supplied) We asked several follow-up questions — including who alerted StockX to the suspicious activity, if any customer data was compromised and why it misrepresented the reason for the password reset — but the spokesperson declined to comment further. Throughout the day customers were tweeting screenshots of the email, worried that their accounts had been compromised. Others questioned whether the email was genuine or if it was part of a phishing attack. “Did they get hacked, find out somehow, and then to cover it up send out that email and ask for a password change?,” one of the affected customers told TechCrunch. Customers were given no prior warning of the password reset. StockX founder Josh Luber kept with the company’s line, telling a customer in that the password reset was “legit” but did not respond to users asking why. StockX tweeted back to several customers with a boilerplate response: “The password reset email you received is legitimate and came from our team,” and to contact the support email with any questions. We did just that — from our TechCrunch email address — and heard nothing back hours later. Security experts expressed doubt that a company would reset passwords over a “systems update” as StockX had claimed. Security researcher John Wethington said it is “rare” to see security overhauls that require password resets. “You wouldn’t just send out a random email about it,” he said. Jake Williams, founder of Rendition Infosec, said it was “bad communication” in any case. Several took to Twitter to criticize StockX for its handling of the password reset. One customer the email “fishy,” another it “suspicious” and another called on the company why they had to reset passwords in this unorthodox way. Another said that he asked StockX twice but they “refused to provide an answer.” “Guess I’m closing my account,” he . Read more:
Forget the village, people. It takes an army to make TechCrunch Disrupt the well-oiled experience that savvy start-uppers have come to know and love. And we couldn’t do it nearly as well without our incredible volunteers. If you’re looking for a no-budget way to experience up-close-and-personal, for work exchange, and not only will you get a behind the scenes look at how events are produced, you’ll also earn a free Innovator pass to experience the event. You’ll work hard, play hard and get free access to all three days of . Whether you dream of becoming a startup founder, marketer or event coordinator, this is a great way to see what it takes to produce a world-renowned startup conference. Plus, your free Innovator pass gives you access to the full Disrupt experience and all four stages — including the competition. We expect more than 10,000 people at , and volunteers will handle a variety of tasks to help make this startup conference an epic experience for everyone. At any given time, you might help with registration, wrangle speakers, direct attendees, stuff goodie bags, place signage, scan tickets or help with pre-marketing activities. We need volunteers on October 1-4. If you can meet the following criteria, we want to hear from you: Attend a mandatory orientation on Tuesday, October 1 at Moscone Center. Work a minimum of 16 hours during the entire conference starting from October 1 (the day before the conference starts) to October 4. You’ll find volunteer shift availability in the application. We might select you for some pre-event opportunities, which would count toward your hours. We will assign volunteer schedules. Shifts run between 2.5 to 6 hours and can start as early as 6 a.m. or end as late as 11:30 p.m. You must provide your own housing and transportation. Due to the high volume of applications, we will notify only the selected applicants. Lend us a helping hand, and we’ll hand you a free Innovator pass. Save money, gain valuable experience and still have plenty of time to take in all the startup goodness Disrupt SF 2019 has to offer. before September 20 to get your free Innovator pass, and we’ll see you in October! Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt SF 2019? Contact our sponsorship sales team by .
Xiao Wang Contributor Xiao Wang is CEO at , a technology startup that has helped thousands of immigrant families apply for marriage green cards and U.S. citizenship while providing affordable access to independent immigration attorneys. More posts by this contributor Newsflash! President Donald Trump is planning to, , of lawful permanent residents. He also wants to and from the country. Or wait — maybe he’s planning to,,, and — for an encore —. Feel like you’ve got whiplash yet? Welcome to the — a strange place at the best of times but one made all the more confusing by the weaponization of immigration issues for political gain and the media’s continuing failure to cut through the spin. Tech workers are better prepared than most to cope with a torrent of torrid immigration headlines, continuously amplified and distorted by Twitter rumors, Slack chatter, and credulous Facebook reposts. Still, the sheer volume of makes it hard to know what to pay attention to — and with born outside the United States, this isn’t simply a theoretical problem. If you, your loved ones, colleagues, or staff are immigrants, then you need to learn to separate the signal from the noise. So how can you tell the real deal from the real fake news? There’s no simple answer, but to keep you safe — and keep your heart rate in check — here are a few ground rules to help you figure out which headlines are worth taking seriously: Whose headline is it anyway?
A few years ago, Silicon Valley couldn’t stop using a trendy buzzword — the sharing economy. The good old top-down economic model with a clear separation between service providers and clients was falling apart. And huge tech companies disrupted entire industries, from to , , and . When you retrospectively look at the sharing economy boom of the early 2010s, many of the principles that defined that generation of startups have slowly disappeared. Instead of a huge societal shift, the sharing economy is slowly fading away. What is the sharing economy? In the past, if you wanted to buy a good or a service, you would ask a company or a professional to provide it. You’d buy something from a company in particular because you knew it would be the exact thing you need. That’s why plenty of companies spent huge amounts of money to build a brand and a reputation. If you just bought a car, chances are you’ll see thousands of ads for cars before you buy your next car. And that’s also why distribution channels have been key, especially in commoditized markets with low brand differentiation. For instance, when you buy a new printer, chances are you just head to an electronics store or type “printer” on your favorite e-commerce website. If HP doesn’t have a distribution deal with those stores, you’ll just buy an Epson printer. If your neighbor wants a new printer in a couple of years, you might recommend the same printer, but you may have forgotten where you bought it. There’s little differentiation between distribution channels in that case. The marketplace model The sharing economy happened because a group of entrepreneurs wanted to invent new distribution channels. Sure, some traditional distribution channels secured exclusive rights to sell specific products. But those startups made a radical change. They wanted to work on a completely new inventory of goods or services.
Digital, the subsidiary of carmaker Porsche, is , after launching its first in 2017 in Silicon Valley. The second North American office for this software and digital product-focused wing of Porsche will open in Atlanta, which is also the seat of Porsche’s North American cars business. Porsche Digital cited proximity to their auto business headquarters as one reason why they picked Atlanta, but also pointed to Atlanta’s “local tech talent” and “robust and constantly growing startup and tech sector” as key factors in its selection. The need for a second office is specifically about serving the U.S. market, Porsche Digital notes and the company expects to have 45 employees total in the U.S. across both offices within the next year. The subsidiary overall has 120 employees worldwide, with offices in Berlin, Shanghai, and Tel Aviv as well as the U.S. Porsche Digital does focus on creating software and digital products for the automaker’s customers, but it’s actually probably more valuable to its parent company as a sort of distributed tech talent scouting and business development arm of the company. Its offices definitely occupy global hotspots when it comes to startup tech companies, and having a permanent presence in this locations has got to come in handy when looking to attract engineering talent and potential acquisitions of complimentary early-stage companies.
is the world’s biggest startup campus and it’s based in Paris. Director Roxanne Varza at TechCrunch Disrupt back in December 2016. That’s why I’m excited to announce that Station F director Roxanne Varza is joining us at to give us an update and tell us about future plans. If you aren’t familiar with Station F, it starts with a beautiful building. Originally built in 1929, it is now classified as a historical monument. But now, it’s also a high-tech building and a cornerstone of the French tech ecosystem. Varza has managed to create a community of entrepreneurs, VC funds and big tech companies that work, share knowledge and collaborate. In addition to Station F’s own Founders Program and Fighters Program, you can become a Station F member by joining a partner program. Facebook, Naver (Line), Ubisoft, Microsoft and all run their own incubator from Station F. And it’s been working really well as there are over one thousand startups based at Station F. Station F is also a great signal for the international tech community. If you head over to its , you can see that plenty of head of states and major tech CEOs come to Station F whenever they visit Paris, from Jack Dorsey to newly elected president of Ukraine Vlodomyr Zelensky. Around one third of Station F startups come from abroad and 600 members don’t even speak French. More recently, Station F unveiled , a co-living space for Station F members. Station F is creating a lifestyle and has become a cultural phenomenon for Paris. And I can’t wait to see what’s next. to listen to this discussion and many others. The conference will take place on December 11-12. In addition to panels and fireside chats, like this one, new startups will participate in the Startup Battlefield to compete for the highly coveted Battlefield Cup. Roxanne Varza is Director of STATION F, the biggest startup campus in the world with more than 1.000 startups, located in Paris. She is originally from Silicon Valley. Before joining she led Microsoft Ventures Paris and TechCrunch France. She also worked for several London-based startups and cofounded StarHer, Tech.eu and Failcon France. Prior to her current role, Roxanne was the lead for Microsoft’s start-up activities in France, running both Bizspark and Microsoft Ventures programs for 3 years. She was also Editor of TechCrunch France from 2010-2011 and has written for several publications including Business Insider and The Telegraph. In April 2013, Business Insider listed her as one of the top 30 women under 30 in tech. She has also been listed in additional rankings by Business Insider, Vanity Fair and Le Figaro, The Evening Standard and more. Roxanne also co-founded StartHer (ex Girls in Tech Paris) and is the co-organizer of the Failcon Paris conference. More recently, she co-founded Tech.eu, a European tech media backed by Dave McClure, Adeo Ressi, Daniel Waterhouse and more. Prior to TechCrunch, Roxanne worked for the French government’s foreign direct investment agency helping fast-growing startups develop their activities in France. Roxanne has spoken, moderated, mentored and judged numerous startup events and programs throughout Europe and also helps European startups with content and communications. Roxanne is trilingual and holds degrees from UCLA, Sciences Po Paris and the London School of Economics. She is also an epilepsy advocate.
Hot on the heels of Indian delivery startup — at a unicorn valuation, no less — so its close rival Grofers has also pulled in capital after it announced a $200 million raise to battle its local competition and international giants Amazon and Walmart. The round is the largest in India’s online grocery sector to date, and it was led by Vision Fund, which continues to make major bets on the nation’s growing internet economy. KTB, and existing investors Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital also took part. Five-year-old works with more than 5,000 stores in . In an interview with TechCrunch, Albinder Dhindsa, cofounder and CEO of Grofers, said the startup will use the fresh capital to expand to new markets and bring its service to “hundreds of millions of Indian consumers,” although he didn’t specify exact launch cities. Dhindsa said that Grofers does not want to expand to new cities for the heck of it. Instead the startup focused on entering a city and growing its business profitable there. Grofers is already profitable in Delhi and will soon be profitable in Kolkata, he said. In Southern Indian markets such as Bengaluru, the startup is working to gain foothold. The startup is rivaled by a number of players, including BigBasket, which raised its round earlier this month from Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund, the U.K.’s and Alibaba. The duo also faces competition from , and delivery startup Swiggy, which . However, more concerning for them is the growing ambitions of Amazon India and both of which are quickly expanding their businesses in India. Amazon’s Pantry and Prime Now services jointly have a presence in more than 100 cities, while Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy has publicly expressed an intention to pilot a fresh foods business in the nation. Dhindsa argued that these players are not really a significant competitor to Grofers yet. The foods and grocery market is growing in India. According to some estimates, it will in sales in 2023 with digital-based services seen as an important vector for growth. This is likely only the start now that SoftBank’s Vision Fund has entered the space through this deal with Grofers. Other investments in India from the near-$100 billion fund include , , Flipkart — although the fund exited after the Walmart sale — Paytm, and . With , you can bet that there’s a lot more to come.
If you thought Uber’s initial public offering last week would deter fellow venture-backed technology companies from pursuing the public markets in 2019, you thought wrong. , yet another multi-billion-dollar Silicon Valley “unicorn,” has filed to go public. The cloud-based cybersecurity platform valued at $3.3 billion in 2018 revealed its IPO Tuesday afternoon. The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “CRWD.” According to the filing, it intends to raise an additional $100 million, though that figure is typically a placeholder amount. To date, has raised $480 million in venture capital funding from Warburg Pincus, which owns a 30.3% pre-IPO stake, Accel (20.3%) and CapitalG (11.2%). As we’ve come to expect of these companies, CrowdStrike’s financials are a bit concerning. While its revenues are growing at an impressive rate, from $53 million in 2017 to $119 million in 2018 to $250 million in the year ending January 31, 2019, its spending is far outweighing its gross profit. Most recently, the company posted a gross profit of $163 million on total operating expenses of about $300 million. CrowdStrike is not yet profitable. Its total losses are increasing year-over-year from $91 million in 2017, to $135 million in 2018 and $140 million in 2019. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, the business was founded in 2011 by chief executive officer George Kurtz and chief technology officer Dmitri Alperovitch, former McAfee executives. CrowdStrike, which develops security technology that looks at changes in user behavior on networked devices and uses that information to identify potential cyber threats, has reportedly pondered an IPO for some time. The business sells its endpoint protection software to enterprises on a subscription basis, competing with Cylance, Carbon Black and others. In its S-1, CrowdStrike makes a case for its offering based on the rise of cloud computing and the growing threat of cybersecurity breaches. It estimates a total addressable market worth $29.2 billion by 2021. “We founded CrowdStrike in 2011 to reinvent security for the cloud era,” the company writes. “When we started the company, cyberattackers had a decided, asymmetric advantage over existing security products. We turned the tables on the adversaries by taking a fundamentally new approach that leverages the network effects of crowdsourced data applied to modern technologies such as artificial intelligence, or AI, cloud computing, and graph databases.”
Daniel Wu Contributor is a privacy counsel and legal engineer at . He holds a JD from Harvard University, and is a PhD candidate for Social Policy and Sociology at The Harvard Kennedy School. More posts by this contributor This week on Extra Crunch, I am , looking at how 200+ companies are creating more access and affordability. Yesterday, I focused on startups trying to , from property acquisition to management and operations. Today, I want to focus on innovations that improve housing inclusion more generally, such as efforts to pair housing with transit, small business creation, and mental rehabilitation. These include social impact-focused interventions, interventions that increase income and mobility, and ecosystem-builders in housing innovation. Nonprofits and social enterprises lead many of these innovations. Yet because these areas are perceived to be not as lucrative, fewer technologists and other professionals have entered them. New business models and technologies have the opportunity to scale many of these alternative institutions — and create tremendous social value. Social impact is increasingly important to , with brands like having created loyal fan bases through purpose-driven leadership. While each of these sections could be their own market map, this overall market map serves as an initial guide to each of these spaces. Social impact innovations These innovations address:
As a former entrepreneur turned independent designer, gets the startup life. He often describes himself as a second co-founder for his clients, unafraid of 2AM phone calls and prepping pitch decks for investors. He’s a “full stack” creative director based in Oakland, CA with a passion for tackling cultural tension. Learn more about why design runs in his blood, his branding philosophy, and more. On his ideal client: “There are certain values that we have to have in line. The number one value is that they don’t view their people as resources, they view them as people. If I start to get the inkling that a founder isn’t necessarily great at managing their teams and their people, empowering them or removing obstacles, it’s probably going to be difficult for us to figure out customer empathy. Number two, design is an investment, not an expense.” “Phil has worked with us to create and shape a number of impact brands like 100% Human at Work – and hundreds of visual presentations that have inspired hundreds of entrepreneurs to do something bigger in their lives.” Jean Oelwang, London, UK, CEO, Virgin Unite On the power of branding: “I get to be able to shape culture because that’s what brands are able to do. You can build a really great product and introduce it into the market and that’ll have it’s own life cycle until trends change. Brands can last a lifetime. I think that’s the only way that I can make a mark on the world, even if my name isn’t on the company. If it’s contributing to the brand, I’ve scaled my potential impact in the world.” Below, you’ll find the rest of the founder reviews, the full interview, and more details like pricing and fee structures. This profile is part of our ongoing series covering with whom founders love to work, based on and our own research. The survey is open indefinitely, so please fill it out if you haven’t already. The Interview Yvonne Leow: Tell me about your background. How did you get into design and branding? Phil Weiner: So I actually didn’t study design. I’m self-taught designer. I come from a pretty cool line of designers. My grandfather drew the “I Love Lucy” heart and did album artwork for Motown Records, and typography. My mom’s also a graphic designer. She’s been with The Washington Post and The NY Daily News for years. She just retired. The first thing they actually told me was “Don’t go to school for design. Go to school for business. Because if you don’t understand business, you don’t understand design.” So I went to school for econ and math. I studied design in “the streets”. I started my first company when I was 21 years old. It was an early version of Hired.com. When you don’t have any money, you have to do things yourself and be creative so I learned everything from basically failing. I know a lot about what startups are going through, whether it’s designing a pitch deck, selling a product, A/B testing, or trying to convert traffic on a webpage. I ended up selling that first company, which was a recruiting business that was based on scraping Linkedin for what we call, “The most placeable candidate.”
It’s not looking great for ride-hailing giant Uber (NYSE: UBER). Today, Uber closed its second day of trading down more than 18.8% from its IPO price at $37.25 per share, with a market cap of $62.2 billion. Uber, which was previously valued at $72 billion by venture capitalists on the private market, priced its stock at $45 a share for an $82.4 billion valuation last week. On day one, Uber closed at $41.57 a share. In a , Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told employees today that, “like all periods of transition, there are ups and downs. Obviously, our stock did not trade as well as we had hoped post-IPO. Today is another tough day in the market, and I expect the same as it relates to our stock.” Moving forward, Khosrowshahi urged employees to focus on the long-term. He also pointed to the comebacks both Facebook and Amazon made post-IPO. Lyft has similarly suffered on the public market since its IPO in March. Lyft closed the day at $48.15, with a market cap of $13.8 billion.
After as the first meat replacement patty to roll out nationally with one of the largest fast food chains, has raised $300 million in capital. The financing brings the company’s total equity raise to $750 million — and provides a sizable pool of funds to draw from as it continues to compete with rival,. Both companies are looking to provide plant-based replacements for animal proteins, but while has focused on consumers in the grocery store, Impossible Foods has focused on restaurants and business-to-business sales. That focus paid off earlier this year with the announcement of the Impossible Whopper, and its subsequent nationwide rollout only a month later. The Impossible Burger is now sold in more than 7,000 restaurants in the U.S. and Europe and has been a top-selling item and a driver of new foot traffic, according to the company. However, since it’s actually driving new foot traffic to restaurants, the product’s impact as a meat replacement is arguable. There’s no data from the company on whether people are actually buying less meat, or whether new customers are entering stores. Investors don’t seem to mind. And given the success of Beyond Meat’s public offering earlier this year, has a benchmark it can reference to illustrate the appetite institutional investors have for meat replacement companies. Indeed, even corporate America has taken notice, with in the coming years. Previous investors Temasek, the investment arm of the Singaporean government, and the personal venture fund of Hong Kong multi-billionaire Li Ka-shing, led the new financing, which also included a host of celebrity investors. Jay Brown, Kirk Cousins, Jay-Z, Trevor Noah, Alexis Ohanian, Kal Penn, Katy Perry Questlove, Ruby Rose, Phil Rosenthal, Jaden Smith, Serena Williams, will.i.am and Zedd also joined the financing round, making Impossible Foods officially the coolest cap table I’ve ever seen (no offense to Beyond Meat backer Leonardo DiCaprio). Institutional investors like Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, Google Ventures, Sailing Capital and Open Philanthropy Project also back the company. The presence of Impossible Foods’ Asian investors point to the hunger for protein replacements on the continent where the quality of meat is an issue and rising demand is putting increasing pressure on companies looking to feed the continent’s newly wealthy consumers more high-quality protein. There’s a compelling reason to hope that both companies succeed in their mission to reduce demand for animal protein around the world. Animal husbandry and industrial farming (which is kind of a huge problem). And it seems that the strategy is working in Asia. Sales across the continent are rising, according to the company, in restaurants across Hong Kong, Singapore and Macau. Founded in 2011 by former pediatrician and Stanford biochemistry professor Dr. Patrick O. Brown, Impossible Foods’ plant-based burger may be the second . Impossible Foods is also hiring extensively in Oakland, Calif., where the company has its largest plant. It has already added to its executive team since the new funding, bringing on Sheetal Shah, a former chief operations officer at Verifone, to oversee the company’s manufacturing, supply chain and logistics.