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A COVID-19 resilience test for B2B companies

TX Zhuo Contributor TX Zhuo is the managing partner of Fika Ventures, focusing on fintech, enterprise software and marketplace opportunities. More posts by this contributor Discovering that deckhands make great waiters — and why this matters Winning deals as a new venture capital fund Colton Pace Contributor Colton Pace is an investor at Fika Ventures. He previously held roles investing ...
Tags: Startups, Column, Congress, Funding, Marketing, Tech, United States, Venture Capital, B2b, Twilio, Analyst, Customer Relationship Management, Cloudera, Vulcan Capital, LTV, Collaboration Tools


India’s richest man built a telecom operator everyone wants a piece of

As investors’ appetites sour in the midst of a pandemic, a three-and-a-half-year-old Indian firm has secured $10.3 billion in a month from Facebook and four U.S.-headquartered private equity firms. The major deals for Reliance Jo Platforms have sparked a sudden interest among analysts, executives and readers at a time when many are skeptical of similar big check sizes that some investors wrote to several young startups, many of which are today struggling to make sense of their finances. Prominen...
Tags: Facebook, Ecommerce, Apps, Asia, Enterprise, Media, India, Funding, Tech, Streaming, Private Equity, KKR, Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani, Ambani, Market Analysis


Beware mega-unicorn paper valuations

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. There’s a famous old post going around Twitter this week by entrepreneur and developer David Heinemeier Hansson (@DHH). DHH is a critic of certain elements of the startup world, especially wild valuations. This entry from him is, in my view, a classic of the genre. The post in question is titled “Facebook is not worth $33,000,000,000,” and was written back in 2010. You can alrea...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Facebook, Uber, Twitter, Softbank, Funding, Tech, Fundraising, Venture Capital, Private Equity, Airbnb, Toyota, WeWork, Unicorns


Some investors turn to cutting fully remote checks while sheltering in place

By March 16, founder Janine Yancey was tired of playing the waiting game. After watching the stock market take yet another unprecedented nosedive due to coronavirus, she called up a potential investor. “If this isn’t going to happen, let’s call it now,” Yancey said, referring to the close of her Series A round, the first capital her culture tech company, Emtrain, would have accepted in 14 years. “At that point, I put my nose to the grindstone; I didn’t have a lot of bandwidth in engaging in conv...
Tags: Startups, TC, Funding, Tech, Investing, Fundraising, Venture Capital, Sequoia Capital, FirstMark Capital, Shift, Roelof Botha, Zoom, Matt Turck, Yancey, Emtrain, Janine Yancey


What the new VC show-and-tell means for signaling risk

A month ago, we asked several venture capitalists if they planned to change the way they invest or lead rounds during COVID-19 — most said no, but they noted that valuations were coming down and founders in their portfolio companies were responding to the crisis. Northzone’s Paul Murphy predicted fewer FOMO rounds because investors will “take more time to get to know and diligence the business… and it might also take a bit more time to close deals,” adding that he would “continue to lead round...
Tags: Startups, TC, Y Combinator, Entrepreneurship, Funding, Tech, Fundraising, Venture Capital, Private Equity, Northzone, Paul Murphy, First Round Capital, Berson, First Round, Market Analysis, Sarah Kunst


7 VCs discuss how COVID-19 is changing the media startup landscape

The world has changed dramatically since May 2019 when we last surveyed venture capitalists about the trends they were seeing in media, entertainment and gaming. Since then, COVID-19 and the resulting physical distancing measures have created plenty of demand for companies helping to inform and entertain us as we’re stuck at home. At the same time, there’s a dramatic reduction in ad spending, making it harder to monetize that consumer attention. So we checked in a variety of top VCs about the ne...
Tags: Startups, Asia, Media, China, Funding, Events, Tech, Venture Capital, Northzone, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Upfront Ventures, Travis Scott, GV, Courtside Ventures, Market Analysis, NFX


Introducing the term-sheet grader

Jamie Goldstein Contributor Share on Twitter Jamie is the founding partner of Pillar VC, a Boston-based seed-stage venture capital firm. He has spent the last 22 years investing in early-stage startups. When we launched in 2016, we took the unusual approach of saying we’d buy common stock in startups. We believed then, and still do, that alignment with founders was more important than covering our downside in investments that ...
Tags: Startups, TC, Column, Boston, Funding, Tech, Investment, Fundraising, Venture Capital, Valuation, Fred Destin, Jamie, Said, Corporate Finance, Jamie Goldstein, Term Sheet


Seed investors take long view on promising enterprise startups

The job of an early-stage startup founder is challenging in good times, never mind a crash like the one we are experiencing today. While most expect private investing to slow down, it’s clear that some investments are still happening in spite of the pandemic, if the stories we are writing on TechCrunch are any indication. But the downturn is bound to have an impact on the types of deals that receive funding; any startup that offers a good or service requiring human interaction or installation wi...
Tags: Startups, TC, Cloud, Enterprise, Funding, Tech, Fundraising, SaaS, Venture Capital, Jon Lehr, BoldStart Ventures, Seed Investing, New York Enterprise, Ed Sim, Work-Bench, Extra Crunch


My experience with the CARES Act was frustrating, confusing and unfair

Suzanne Borders Contributor Share on Twitter Suzanne is the CEO and co-founder of BadVR. She thrives at the intersection of data, art, technology and poetry. As a small business owner, I was excited to learn about the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act that offers low-interest loans to firms impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as I read through the details and began to apply, it became cle...
Tags: Startups, Column, Congress, Government, Funding, Tech, Policy, Loans, PPP, Suzanne, SBA, Shake Shack, Extra Crunch, Coronavirus, COVID-19, CARES Act


Facebook’s $5.7 billion bet on Indian giant Jio spells trouble for Amazon and Flipkart

Facebook’s major bet on Jio Platforms could create a headache for mobile payments services that have amassed tens of millions of users while struggling to find a business model in the world’s second-largest internet market. The $5.7 billion investment, Facebook’s second-largest to date, could also further its dominance in India — its biggest market by user count — by expanding the reach of consumer-facing services like WhatsApp and expanding its lead over ByteDance’s TikTok, which has amas...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Social, Facebook, Apps, Asia, India, Funding, Narendra Modi, Tech, Walmart, Whatsapp, Payments, Jeff Bezos, Flipkart, Paytm


Punitive liquidation preferences return to VC — don’t do it

Pascal Levensohn Contributor Pascal Levensohn is a San Francisco-based venture capitalist with over 22 years of VC experience through Levensohn Venture Partners and Dolby Family Ventures. He is a former director of the National Venture Capital Association. More posts by this contributor Why SAFE notes are not safe for entrepreneurs As silently and swiftly as it has devastated families and communities around the world, COVID-19 has also ...
Tags: Startups, Column, Entrepreneurship, Funding, San Francisco, Tech, Fundraising, Private Equity, Corporate Finance, Dolby Family Ventures, Market Analysis, Extra Crunch, National Venture Capital Association More, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Pascal Levensohn


Small businesses are out of time, but COVID-19 aid comes with massive roadblocks

Lexi Reese Contributor Share on Twitter Lexi Reese is the COO of Gusto, which provides payroll, benefits, compliance and HR to more than 100,000 small businesses across the U.S. She has spent her career advocating for small businesses at American Express, Google and Accion International. Just a few weeks ago, Seattle-based small business SnapBar — which provides custom photo booth rentals and selfie stations for events nationw...
Tags: Startups, Column, Small Business, Funding, Tech, Policy, Fundraising, Seattle, Sam, PPP, Hiring, Gusto, American Express Google, Lexi Reese, Extra Crunch, Coronavirus


Venture capitalists chat edtech’s new normal after COVID-19 

There’s no doubt that the coronavirus has had a monumental impact on the way we view technology’s relationship with education. For now, students are learning from home. But what happens when they return to school? Picking up where we left off in last week’s survey, we asked top investors in the space for their predictions on what is ahead once life resumes to its new normal. One investor mentioned how in March, they spent a third of their time in edtech. Now, they’re spending almost all their ti...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Education, Funding, Tech, Venture Capital, 500 Startups, TechStars, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Jenny Lee, Reach Capital, Marlon Nichols, Jennifer Carolan, GGV, Shauntel Garvey


Airbnb is buying trust during the COVID-19 travel slowdown

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. Airbnb’s recent moves in the wake of a global travel slowdown are interesting and worth understanding in chronological order. What it details is a company spending heavily today to keep up its future health. Demand will return to the world travel market in time — how much, no one knows — and Airbnb wants to be a well-liked participant in the return to form. Building off our l...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Ipo, Funding, Tech, Airbnb, Unicorn, Profitability, Extra Crunch, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Growth and Monetization


Longtime VC Neil Sequeira: funding founders without in-person meetings is ‘quite difficult’

Neil Sequeira was a managing director with General Catalyst for more than 13 years before co-founding early-stage firm Defy several years ago with another veteran of the industry, Trae Vassallo, who’d spent the dozen years prior with Kleiner Perkins. We caught up with Sequeira yesterday afternoon and discussed whether he’s seeing valuations come down and whether he can imagine funding founders who may have an exciting pitch but is unable to meet in-person due to the pandemic. Our chat has ...
Tags: Startups, TC, Funding, Tech, Fundraising, Venture Capital, General Catalyst, Kleiner Perkins, Bay Area, Trae Vassallo, Defy, Neil Sequeira, Sequeira, Extra Crunch, Coronavirus, COVID-19


Venture debt’s new reality: ‘The last thing we want is management walking away from a company’

Maurice Werdegar is the longtime CEO of venture debt shop Western Technology Investment, one of the most active venture debt lenders in the U.S. It’s also one of the older firms, having loaned out money for roughly 40 years to startups that needed to achieve certain milestones, reach profitability or wanted additional runway and didn’t necessarily want to raise a new round (especially if that next round might be at a lower valuation). It’s a needed service and a boon for startups in good time...
Tags: Startups, TC, Entrepreneurship, Funding, Tech, Fundraising, Venture Capital, BDC, Werdegar, Corporate Finance, Western Technology Investment, Venture Debt, Extra Crunch, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Maurice Werdegar


Leading VCs discuss how COVID-19 is impacting real estate & proptech

Several months ago, we surveyed more than 20 leading real estate VCs to learn about what was exciting them most in the real estate tech sector and hear their opinions on proptech trends like co-working, flexible office space and remote office space. Since we published our survey, COVID-19 has flipped the real estate sector on its head as more companies move toward mandatory remote work, retail businesses are forced to temporarily shut their doors and high-traffic properties thin out. Suddenly, t...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, Real Estate, Funding, Tech, Venture Capital, Real Estate Tech, DreamIt Ventures, Thomvest Ventures, VC Survey, Andrew Ackerman, Urban-x, Urban.us, Stonly Baptiste, Micah Kotch, RET Ventures


Where top VCs are investing in D2C

If you’re looking for toothbrushes, skin-care face masks, mattresses, glasses or even socks, there’s a digitally-native, direct-to-consumer (D2C) company or two that can help you out. And thanks to smart digital marketing, the cult followings that ensue and the economics of e-commerce, D2C has changed how we relate to consumer goods (while attracting a waterfall of investment dollars). Globally, D2C startups have raised between $8 billion to $10 billion in known venture capital across more than ...
Tags: Google, Fundings & Exits, Startups, Facebook, Ecommerce, Funding, Fundraising, Kickstarter, Venture Capital, Retail, Alexis Ohanian, Casper, Northzone, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Shopify, Accel Partners


Venture investment in esports looks light as Q1 races to a close

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. Today we’re taking a look at the world of esports venture capital investment, largely through the lens of preliminary data that we’ll caveat given how reported VC data lags reality. That phenomenon is likely doubly true in the current moment, as COVID-19 absorbs all news cycles and some venture rounds’ announcements are delayed even more than usual. All the same, the data we do ...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Gaming, Funding, Tech, Fundraising, Venture Capital, Esports, Extra Crunch


Doing deals through Zoom? These investors have some tips

Investors are turning to remote-only meetings to combat COVID-19, which was officially declared a pandemic yesterday . The novel coronavirus is already spreading via community contact in the Bay Area; an employee of South Park Cafe, a popular hub for techies and venture capitalists run by the credit card startup Brex, tested positive this week. The spot is a few hundred feet from a number of high-profile venture capital firms, including Kleiner Perkins. But for many remote-friendly ventu...
Tags: Work, Money, Funding, Tech, Fundraising, Venture Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Bay Area, South Park Cafe, Geoff Lewis, Bedrock, Astia, Elizabeth Yin, Brex, Extra Crunch, Turner Novak


Why now is the best time to start a SaaS company

With the markets in turmoil and fear running rampant through the global economy, you might not think it’s the right moment to start a company. According to at least one well-known venture capitalist, however, it’s a great time to start up. TechCrunch recently caught up with former founder and active venture capitalist Jason Lemkin to chat about the world of software-as-service companies, better known as “SaaS.” Lemkin swung by TC HQ in San Francisco to spend some time with the Equity crew to ...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, TC, Microsoft, India, Funding, San Francisco, Tech, Fundraising, SaaS, Equity, Jason, Jason Lemkin, Lemkin, SaaStr, Equity podcast, Extra Crunch



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