Posts filtered by tags: EC-1[x]


 

The product-led growth behind edtech’s most downloaded app

Duolingo CEO and co-founder Luis von Ahn was tired of the gray and dreary design aesthetic edtech companies used to emulate universities. Instead, he and the company’s early team sought inspiration from games like Angry Birds and Clash Royale, looking to build a class that screamed more cartoon anarchy than lecture hall. From that frenetic creativity came the company’s distinctive mascot: a childish and rebellious evergreen-colored owl named Duo. Duolingo didn’t just throw out the old colors tho...
Tags: Startups, TC, Education, Tech, EC, Edtech, Duolingo, Angry Birds, Pittsburgh, Luis Von Ahn, Tyler Murphy, Super Mario Brothers, Ahn, EC-1, EC Edtech, Duo Duolingo


How Duolingo became fluent in monetization

As its meandering route to monetization will demonstrate, Duolingo isn’t mission-oriented, it’s mission-obsessed. Co-founders Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker never wanted to charge consumers for access to Duolingo content, a purpose imbued throughout the company’s culture. For years in order to work at Duolingo, you had to be comfortable with joining a company in Pittsburgh that was in no rush to make money. The startup, filled with education enthusiasts and mission-driven employees, became “ver...
Tags: Google, Startups, TC, Education, Tech, Brazil, Silicon Valley, EC, Edtech, Duolingo, Sand Hill Road, Pittsburgh, Gordon, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers KPCB, Luis, Luis Von Ahn


Duolingo can’t teach you how to speak a language, but now it wants to try

Duolingo has been wildly successful. It has pulled in 500 million total registered learners, 40 million active users, 1.5 million premium subscribers and $190 million in booked revenues in 2020. It has a popular and meme-ified mascot in the form of the owl Duo, a creative and engaging product, and ambitious plans for expansion.There’s just one key question in the midst of all those milestones: Does anyone actually learn a language using Duolingo? “Language is first and foremost a social, relatio...
Tags: Startups, TC, Education, Obama, Tech, Edtech, Carnegie Mellon University, Duolingo, Babbel, Pittsburgh, Language Learning, Luis Von Ahn, Ahn, Busuu, EC-1, Bernhard Niesner


How a bot-fighting test turned into edtech’s most iconic brand, Duolingo

Luis von Ahn, an entrepreneur who has dedicated his career to scaling free education, has probably annoyed you more than once. In fact, you’ve likely been annoyed by his work dozens and maybe hundreds of times over the years. A decade before he co-founded the whimsical and language-learning app Duolingo, one of the most popular education apps in the world with over 500 million downloads and 40 million active users, he was building the technology that would become CAPTCHA, those human-annoying bu...
Tags: Google, Startups, TC, Education, Yahoo, Tech, Duke, Edtech, Carnegie Mellon University, Duolingo, Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon, Guatemala City, Luis Von Ahn, Manuel Blum, Ahn


The Duolingo EC-1

Education may well be the most important activity we conduct as a society — and it may also be the hardest space to build a startup in. Selling to school districts and universities is notoriously difficult, but enticing consumers is even harder. Learning takes focus, patience, tenacity and resources, and most consumers would prefer to watch some lip-sync videos on TikTok than stare at math equations (not to mention that such entertainment is free). Engagement and education feel aggressively at o...
Tags: Startups, TC, Education, Tech, EC, Edtech, Duolingo, Pittsburgh, Mascarenhas, Luis Von Ahn, Danny Crichton, EC-1, Richard Dal Porto, EC Edtech, Natasha Mascarenhas Mascarenhas, Nigel Sussman Duolingo


Extra Crunch roundup: Klaviyo EC-1, micromobility’s second wave, UiPath CFO interview, more

Origin stories are satisfying because we already know the hero will overcome the odds — and in doing so, they’ll reveal their core strengths. This week, we published a four-part series about how Klaviyo co-founders Andrew Bialecki and Ed Hallen bootstrapped their startup into an e-commerce marketing automation platform now valued at $4.15 billion. Neither founder was bitten by a radioactive spider or received a serum that enhanced their entrepreneurial skills; instead, they focused on outreach t...
Tags: Startups, TC, Transportation, Europe, Advertising Tech, Finance, US, San Francisco, United States, Michael Dell, SaaS, Venture Capital, SEC, Dell, EC, Vmware


How Klaviyo transformed from a lifestyle business into a $4.15B email titan

Startups are stories of feverish dreams and obsessive fears. Short of hearing it from the source, a glimpse into the inbox of a founder would be the best way to experience the travails they endure on the way to building a business. A customer finally makes a purchase, a VC invests or walks away, an employee signs their offer letter — all of the major and minor milestones of a startup are communicated via that now-ancient medium of email. Current Klaviyo users may be surprised to hear th...
Tags: TC, Enterprise, Washington, Boston, Tech, Earth, Mit, SaaS, AB, Klaviyo, Applied Predictive Technologies, Hallen, EC-1, Andrew Bialecki, Ed Hallen, Bialecki


The Klaviyo EC-1

E-commerce is booming as retailers race to transform their brick-and-mortar footprints into online storefronts. By some counts, the market grew an astonishing 42% in 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and estimates show that online spending in the U.S. will surpass $1 trillion by 2022. It’s a bonanza, and everyone is figuring out this new terrain. Consumers are likely familiar with the front-end brands for these storefronts — with companies like Amazon, Shopify, Square, and Stripe owning...
Tags: TC, Enterprise, Boston, Tech, SaaS, EC, Mailchimp, Morrison, Klaviyo, Danny Crichton, Roblox, EC-1, Richard Dal Porto, EC Marketing Tech, Klaviyo EC, Amazon Shopify Square


How Klaviyo used data and no-code to transform owned marketing

Email is the communication medium that refuses to die. “Eventually, every technology is trumped by something new and better. And I feel that email is ready to be trumped. But by what?” wrote the venture capitalist Fred Wilson in 2007. Three years later, he updated readers that other forms of messaging had outgrown email. “It looks like email’s reign as the king of communication is ending and social networking is now supreme,” he said. (To be fair to Wilson, his view was nuanced enough to continu...
Tags: TC, Facebook, Enterprise, Boston, Tech, SaaS, Mailchimp, Fred Wilson, Wilson, Hager, Klaviyo, No Code, Darin Hager, EC-1, EC Marketing, EC Marketing Tech


Marketing in 2021 is emotional and not just transactional

Brands are emotions made physical. The clothes we wear, the media we consume, the devices we use — all signal not only to others what we value and see in ourselves, they also are a way to construct our very identities. Experimenting to deepen that bond has been at the core of the marketing profession for a century; its origins rooted in Freudian psychoanalysis. There had always been one critical limitation, though: Marketers had to appeal to the masses. Radio, television and print media allowed ...
Tags: TC, Facebook, Enterprise, Boston, Tech, Radio, SaaS, EC, Klaviyo, EC-1, COVID, EC Marketing Tech, ECI Media Management


Drama and quirk aren’t necessary for startup success

Many of the stories in our EC-1 series tell tales of startups in the wilderness hacking out green field opportunities. Klaviyo is a different breed of company: One that went into an established market and challenged powerful incumbents, ultimately finding success with a new, more data-oriented generation of email marketers. As such, the lessons that it offers are, perhaps, more subtle; its insights bordering on common sense. But as the saying goes, common sense to an uncommon degree becomes wisd...
Tags: TC, Enterprise, Boston, Tech, SaaS, Silicon Valley, EC, Klaviyo, EC-1, EC Marketing Tech


Why expensive workout gear is actually cheap

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. For this week’s deep dive Natasha and Alex wanted to dig into the Tonal EC-1, a huge document spread across a number of posts. Our goals were pretty simple: To better understand Tonal’s journey, and also to get into the mind of its author. So we corralled JP Mangalindan into firing up his computer, microphone, and recording software for a chat. Here’s what we cover...
Tags: Apple, Fundings & Exits, Startups, Tech, EC, Equity, Alex, Natasha, Peloton, Equity podcast, Tonal, EC-1, Tonal EC


The consequences of scaling up sneaker culture

StockX’s mission is “to provide access to the world’s most coveted items in the smartest way possible.” It says it right on the website, and it’s incontestable that the infinite data StockX makes transparent to anyone for free allows for smart participation in the business of sneakers. But, smartest participation by whom? As the business of sneakers commoditized alongside the boom of social media, plenty of the culture’s stories went largely overlooked by hype-pedaling media outlets and...
Tags: Ecommerce, Ebay, Tech, Nike, Adidas, Bloomberg, Chicago, Bloomberg Businessweek, Jordan, Collectibles, Zachary, Hebert, StockX, EC-1, EC Ecommerce and D2C, Ann Hebert


Where StockX fits in the business of sneakers

Before StockX, sneaker buyers had eBay, campouts at sneaker stores and internet forums as avenues to connect with other enthusiasts and find the most desired shoes. Five years later, the data-based secondary marketplace’s impact is pervasive across tech, secondary marketplaces, the business of sneakers, entrepreneurship, hype culture or even just retail stores as a whole. Instagram brought sneaker culture to the masses, and so timing was on StockX’s side for its 2015 launch, specificall...
Tags: Ecommerce, Kim Kardashian, Instagram, Ebay, New York City, Tech, Collectibles, Scott Cutler, Michael Loccisano Getty, Josh Luber, StockX, Russ Bengtson, EC-1, EC Ecommerce and D2C, NikeTalk Reddit


How StockX became the stock market of hype

While the old adage goes, “Find a job you love doing, you’ll never work a day in your life,” it’s safe to assume this was well before the age of the YouTuber, “plandids” and the stock market of things. StockX may be a multibillion dollar juggernaut with massive influence radiating throughout sneaker culture today, but it started with taking the leap to transforming a personal passion into a business plan. For founder Josh Luber, keeping his love for sneakers separate from his career was very int...
Tags: TC, Ecommerce, Craigslist, Microsoft, Ebay, New York City, Tech, Nike, Michael Jordan, Kelley Blue Book, Ibm, Collectibles, Orlando, Campless, Microsoft Excel, Kevin Durant


The StockX EC-1

Societies are defined by their markets. What people value, what they actually buy, how they transact and who they purchase from determine not just the goods in their possession, but the very society and culture they construct. It might seem that after thousands of years of evolution and refinement, concepts like quality, authenticity, value and price would be static. Nothing could be further from the truth. StockX is a unique company at the nexus of two radical transitions that isn’t just redefi...
Tags: Amazon, Ecommerce, Tech, EC, New York Stock Exchange, Engadget, Witte, Danny Crichton, StockX, EC-1, Richard Dal Porto, EC Ecommerce and D2C, Wall Street Journal Vogue Business, William E Ketchum, Nigel Sussman StockX


Authentication and StockX’s global arms race against fraudsters

As we saw in part one of this EC-1, sneakers have evolved from an enthusiast community of collectors into a global multibillion dollar business, in part due to StockX’s influence over this burgeoning market. Individual pairs can sell for well over $100,000, and as sneakers have gone from cultural symbol to cultural asset, they have increasingly become the target for criminal groups looking to make a quick buck from counterfeits. StockX is fighting an arms race against international criminals who...
Tags: Ecommerce, Tech, Nike, UPS, EC, Detroit, Collectibles, Moore, Yarbrough, StockX, Poser, Greg Schwartz, NikeCraft Mars Yard, EC-1, Tom Sachs Mars Yard, EC Ecommerce and D2C


Extra Crunch roundup: Tonal EC-1, Deliveroo’s rocky IPO, is Substack really worth $650M?

For this morning’s column, Alex Wilhelm looked back on the last few months, “a busy season for technology exits” that followed a hot Q4 2020. We’re seeing signs of an IPO market that may be cooling, but even so, “there are sufficient SPACs to take the entire recent Y Combinator class public,” he notes. Once we factor in private equity firms with pockets full of money, it’s evident that late-stage companies have three solid choices for leveling up. Seeking more insight into these liquidity opti...
Tags: Startups, TC, Asia, Entrepreneurship, Mexico, Ipo, US, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Venture Capital, Machine Learning, SEC, EC, Alex, Latin America, Digitalocean


How a homegrown experiment became one of the fastest-growing companies in fitness tech

Fitness is about resistance — running against the wind, firing up muscles against the dead gravity of weights, fortifying the mind against that nagging feeling that a park bench and a scoop of ice cream would probably be just a bit more enjoyable. For Tonal, resistance isn’t just a value proposition, it’s the very ingredient that conditioned this startup to become one of the darlings of the fitness tech world. For Tonal, resistance isn’t just a value proposition, it’s the very...
Tags: TC, Nordstrom, Samsung, America, San Francisco, Tech, Korea, Health Tech, Mayfield Fund, Tonal, Aly Orady, Orady, EC-1, EC Consumer Health, EC Ecommerce and D2C, Samsung Sun Microsystems HP


Can Tonal become the luxury fitness market champion?

Over the last three sections of this EC-1, we’ve seen the genesis of Tonal, transforming from a series of prototypes in the mind of CEO and founder Aly Orady into a unique strength-training entrant in the luxury at-home fitness market. We’ve also seen how the company extensively alpha and beta tested its device, designed a launch and marketing strategy, and also cultivated a nascent community to hone the company’s products while engaging customers. While the market is huge and the compe...
Tags: TC, Tech, EC, Health Tech, Peloton, Tonal, Aly Orady, EC-1, EC Consumer Health, EC Ecommerce and D2C


The Tonal EC-1

Back in the halcyon days of 2019, we piloted a new format for Extra Crunch we dubbed the EC-1. Modeled after the Form S-1 filing that late-stage startups submit to the SEC as part of the IPO process, EC-1s are authoritative, deep analyses into growth-stage startups. We profiled and analyzed a number of companies like Patreon, Niantic, Roblox, Kobalt and Unity, looking at everything from their product design, to their customer relations, to their events strategy and to the changing economics of m...
Tags: TC, Tech, SEC, EC, Unity, Danny Crichton, Mangalindan, Tonal, EC-1, Richard Dal Porto, Tonal EC, Patreon Niantic Roblox Kobalt, Mangalindan Mangalindan, Nigel Sussman Tonal


Millions of dollars and 3.5 years, and it all came down to this

Launching a product is a nonevent for many startups. In software, it’s not uncommon to put together a flimsy working prototype over a couple of hours and publish it immediately to start generating feedback from early users and get that iterative flywheel spinning. Launching has a very different meaning, though, for hardware. Once that physical product leaves the warehouse, the design team can’t patch the hardware itself. It’s got to work reliably, be easy to use and most importantly, be safe for...
Tags: TC, San Francisco, Tech, EC, Health Tech, Sapphire Ventures, Tonal, Aly Orady, EC-1, EC Consumer Health, EC Ecommerce and D2C, Tonal EC, Bolt Mayfield Shasta


Building online communities for fun, profit and product

Once a fitness tech company like Tonal launches its product, it immediately faces another challenge: how to keep those users engaged. It’s not enough that a customer purchased the device; it’s equally as important to keep them using it over the long term so they continue to pay the monthly subscription fees required for access to classes. In Tonal’s case, recurring revenues generated from those monthly subscription fees are significant, as the startup charges each user $49 per month with a minim...
Tags: TC, Facebook, California, San Francisco, Tech, Johnson, Facebook Groups, Health Tech, San Francisco Bay Area, Facebook Group, Instagram and Twitter, Peloton, Sarah Johnson, Tonal, EC-1, EC Consumer Health


How COVID-19 accelerated DoorDash’s business

DoorDash filed to go public today, publishing numbers that showed rapid growth, enhanced profitability and an improving cash flow record which helped explain how the company had grown to a $16 billion valuation while private. The unicorn’s impending liquidity event will enrich a host of venture capital firms that bet on its eventual maturity. Instead of posting this entry of The Exchange on Monday, we’ve put it out today for your Friday and weekend reading. Enjoy! — Alex and Walter.  But no...
Tags: Food, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Tech, Bill, Alex, Initial Public Offering, Exit, Doordash, Online Food Ordering, The Exchange, EC-1, COVID-19


Popping the hood on Vroom’s IPO filing

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. Yesterday afternoon, Vroom, an online car buying service, filed to go public. Based on its SEC filing, Vroom is a highly-successful private company in fundraising terms that has attracted over $700 million during its life as a startup. T. Rowe Price, AutoNation, Durable Capital Partners, General Catalyst and other investors fueled the firm during its youth according to Crunchbas...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Transportation, Ecommerce, Tech, E-commerce, Companies, Automotive, United States, Venture Capital, AutoNation, SEC, General Electric, General Catalyst, Unicorn


Pokémon GO and the April Fools’ joke that made billions

It’s the morning of March 31st, 2014, and the Google Maps team is about to release its April Fools’ Day gag to the world. It wasn’t the first time this team had goofed around with an April Fools’ day joke. Google, as a whole, goes wild on April 1st. Maybe it’s for the resulting publicity. Maybe it’s to make the brand seem a little more fun. Maybe it’s to give employees a creative outlet that doesn’t seem so mission critical. It’s probably a mix of all three. Google has used the first of April to...
Tags: Google, TC, Asia, Japan, Tech, EC, Google Maps, Niantic Labs, Niantic, John Hanke, Pokemon Go, EC-1, Masashi, Masa Kawashima


Patreon’s future and potential exits

Through the Extra Crunch EC-1 on Patreon, I dove into Patreon’s founding story, product roadmap, business model and metrics, underlying thesis, and competitive threats. The six-year-old company last valued around $450 million and likely to soon hit $1 billion is the leading platform for artists to run membership businesses for their superfans. As a conclusion to my report, I have three core takeaways and some predictions on the possibility of an IPO or acquisition in the company’s future. Th...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Media, Youtube, Ipo, Singapore, Tech, App, Dropbox, Ufc, EC, Jack Conte, Shopify, Patreon, Spark Capital, Zuora


The Patreon EC-1

TechCrunch is launching a new format for Extra Crunch members, called the EC-1. Modeled after the Form S-1 filing that late-stage startups submit to the SEC as part of the IPO process, EC-1s are authoritative, deep analyses into growth-stage startups. Through extensive interviews and research, an EC-1 acts as a case study for entrepreneurs and startup executives to learn from a company’s journey as well as a thorough analysis for industry observers and public market investors eager to understand...
Tags: TC, Facebook, Tech, SEC, EC, Patreon, Peckham, Danny Crichton, Graphtreon, Eric Peckham, EC-1, Patreon EC


The product of Patreon

Patreon is aggressively pursuing a new three-year product vision that is, in the words of SVP of Product Wyatt Jenkins, to build “the world’s best membership SaaS product for creators.” With about 90 engineers and product managers, the company sees an opportunity to own a particular niche that’s not well served by other B2B software and is also a growing market. In this section of the Patreon EC-1, I dive into Patreon’s product strategy, analyzing its history and current approach. Business s...
Tags: TC, Tech, Jack Conte, Patreon, Cto, John Biggs, SVP, Conte, Jenkins, Sam Yam, YouTube Instagram Snapchat, Wyatt Jenkins, Instagram Stories, Patreon Lens, EC-1, Patreon EC


The founding story of Patreon

It’s May 7, 2013 and Jack Conte is, in his own words, “totally exhausted, slash, totally wired, in that really weird in-between zone.” He has spent 18 hours per day for the last 50 days building a replica of the Millennium Falcon set from “Star Wars” and shooting a music video in it. When Conte has a vision for something he wants to create, he becomes obsessive. In fact, he maxed out his credit cards to see his vision through on this one. But this is the moment. He uploads his video to YouTub...
Tags: Google, TC, Youtube, Stanford, San Francisco, Tech, Palo Alto, Kickstarter, Reddit, Alexis Ohanian, Jack Conte, Pomplamoose, Kevin Systrom, Sam, Mike Krieger, Patreon