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Extra Crunch roundup: How Duolingo became an edtech leader

The pandemic has just pushed edtech mainstream, but language-learning startup Duolingo had already spent the past decade figuring out how to build a successful edtech app. In our latest installment of the EC-1 series, Natasha Mascarenhas goes deep with the company to understand how it found product-market fit, then figured out how to grow like a consumer tech startup and monetize like a SaaS startup. After a record 2020, the Pittsburgh-based company also opened up about its plans for the future,...
Tags: Startups, TC, Apps, Utah, Education, Ipo, Boston, Tech, CMO, Bloomberg, Paypal, United States, Nba, Square, Holland, SEC


Will fintech unicorn Flywire’s proposed IPO reach escape velocity?

It’s a big morning for fintech startups today: Flywire, a Boston-based magnet for venture capital, has filed to go public. Flywire is a global payments company that attracted more than $300 million as a startup, according to Crunchbase, most recently raising a $60 million Series F last month. We don’t have its most recent valuation, but PitchBook data indicates that the company’s February 2020, $120 million round valued Flywire at $1 billion on a post-money basis. So what we’re looking at here i...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, Finance, Ipo, Boston, Tech, Paypal, Goldman Sachs, Stripe, Fintech, Unicorns, Adyen, Bain Capital Ventures, PitchBook, Flywire, The Exchange


Working with Angel Investors: 5 Keys to Understanding the Process 

For startups, a great alternative to venture capital is angel funding. A silver lining over the past year is large Angel investment groups like Keiretsu Forum have pivoted online, which means existing investors no matter their home geography can access and evaluate any of the deals that go through the network. Member onboarding, due diligence, live presentations, and member meetings are now all conducted online. If thinking about working with angel investors, here are things you should understan...
Tags: Business, Money, Angels, Right Now, PitchBook, Family Office, Due Diligence, Keiretsu Capital, Keiretsu Forum, Keiretsu Forum Northwest, Vitalii Vodolazskyi Shutterstock, Many are Angels, Brianna McDonald, Keiretsu Forum Keiretsu Forum, U S Region


Building a creator-focused OS

Welcome back to The TechCrunch Exchange, a weekly startups-and-markets newsletter. It’s broadly based on the daily column that appears on Extra Crunch, but free, and made for your weekend reading.  A week ago TechCrunch covered Pico’s $6.5 million funding round and described it as “a New York startup that helps online creators and media companies make money and manage their customer data.” The Exchange has also covered Pico before, most recently during a mid-2020 dive into the world of indie pub...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, Y Combinator, UK, New York, America, San Francisco, Tech, Cms, Kim, Instacart, Coinbase, Bain Capital Ventures, Exchange, Battery Ventures, Anthony Ha


European VC soars in Q1

A stunning first quarter in venture capital funding was not restricted to the United States; Europe also had one hell of a start to the year. According to data from Dealroom and Crunchbase News, an investor, and an analyst from PitchBook, European startups put together an impressive fundraising haul. The venture capital world kicked off its 2021 European investing cycle with enough activity to set the continent on the path that would crush yearly records. The Exchange explores startups, markets...
Tags: Europe, Tech, United States, Exchange, PitchBook, Dealroom, The Exchange


Mastercard is acquiring identity verification company Ekata for $850M

As online identity management grows in importance, Mastercard swooped in this morning and bought identity verification company Ekata for $850 million. Mastercard certainly sees the rapid digital transformation that is happening in online commerce, a move that was accelerated by COVID. It’s a transformation that once started isn’t likely to change back to the old ways of doing business, even when we get past the pandemic. With Ekata, the company gets a solution that can verify the online identity...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, TC, Identity, Finance, Tech, M&a, Mergers and Acquisitions, Intuit, Mastercard, Visa, Crunchbase, PitchBook, Ajay Bhalla, Bhalla, Visa Plaid, Ekata


Why it’s not surprising to see nine-figure AI rounds 

Welcome back to The TechCrunch Exchange, a weekly startups-and-markets newsletter. It’s broadly based on the daily column that appears on Extra Crunch, but free, and made for your weekend reading. If you want it in your inbox every Saturday morning, sign up here.  Ready? Let’s talk money, startups and spicy IPO rumors. This week, Scale AI raised a $325 million Series E. The company, as TechCrunch has written, works in the data labeling space. And it has been on a fundraising tear over the last f...
Tags: TC, Microsoft, Tech, Coinbase, Squarespace, Exchange, Sapphire Ventures, Chen, Das, Mo, Ron Miller, PitchBook, SimilarWeb, Jai Das, The Exchange, TuSimple


Inside the US’ epic first-quarter venture capital results

It’s no surprise that the venture capital market was incredibly active in the United States during the first quarter of 2021, but precisely how strong has only recently become clear. This morning, we’re digging into the data. According to a report from PitchBook, venture capitalists unleashed a wave of capital in the first three months of the year. So much, in fact, that funding in the United States nearly doubled compared to the same quarter of 2020. We’ll dig into specific numbers and trends r...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, US, Tech, United States, Venture Capital, Private Equity, Exchange, PitchBook, The Exchange, Jenny Lefcourt, Sarah Kunst, Iris Choi, EC Newsletter, EC News Analysis


Upstack raises $50M for its platform and advisory to help businesses plan and buy for digital transformation

Digital transformation has been one of the biggest catchphrases of the past year, with many an organization forced to reckon with aging IT, a lack of digital strategy, or simply the challenges of growth after being faced with newly-remote workforces, customers doing everything online and other tech demands. Now, a startup called Upstack that has built a platform to help those businesses evaluate how to grapple with those next steps — including planning and costing out different options and scena...
Tags: New York, Enterprise, Digital Transformation, Funding, Tech, Cloud Services, Berkshire, PitchBook, Josh Johnson, Lumen, Berkshire Partners, Christopher Trapp, UpStack, Bluevoyant, Cisco Accenture, Backblaze Riverbed


Expect an even hotter AI venture capital market in the wake of the Microsoft-Nuance deal

Microsoft’s huge purchase of healthtech AI company Nuance led the technology news cycle this week. The $19.7 billion transaction is Microsoft’s second-largest to date, only beaten by its purchase of LinkedIn some years ago. For the AI space, the sale is a coup. Nuance was already a public company, but to see Microsoft offer a firm premium over its public-market value demonstrates the value that AI technology can have to wealthy companies. For startups working in the AI space, the Nuance deal is ...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Microsoft, Tech, Venture Capital, Ai, PitchBook, DeepGram, The Exchange, ML, Jocelyn Goldfein, EC Newsletter, Microsoft Nuance, Zetta Ventures


Spain’s Glovo picks up $528M as the food deliver market continues to heat up

On the heels of Deliveroo raising more than $2 billion ahead of its on the London Stock Exchange this week, another hopeful in the food delivery sector has closed a super-sized round. Glovo, a startup out of Spain with 10 million users that delivers restaurant take-out, groceries and other items in partnership with brick-and-mortar businesses, has picked up a Series F of $528 million (€450 million). Glovo aims to become the market leader in the 20 markets in Europe where it is live today, in p...
Tags: Amazon, TC, Europe, London, Berlin, Tech, Spain, London Stock Exchange, David, Czech Republic, Italy, Lse, Deliveroo, Luxor, Zapp, PitchBook


Spain’s Glovo picks up $528M as Europe’s food delivery market continues to heat up

On the heels of Deliveroo raising more than $2 billion ahead of its on the London Stock Exchange this week, another hopeful in the food delivery sector has closed a super-sized round. Glovo, a startup out of Spain with 10 million users that delivers restaurant take-out, groceries and other items in partnership with brick-and-mortar businesses, has picked up a Series F of $528 million (€450 million). Glovo aims to become the market leader in the 20 markets in Europe where it is live today, in p...
Tags: Amazon, TC, Europe, London, Berlin, Tech, Eu, Spain, Barcelona, London Stock Exchange, David, Czech Republic, Italy, Madrid, Lse, Deliveroo


Dataminr raises $475M on a $4.1B valuation for real-time insights based on 100k sources of public data

Significant funding news today for one of the startups making a business out of tapping huge, noisy troves of publicly available data across social media, news sites, undisclosed filings and more. Dataminr, which ingests information from a mix of 100,000 public data sources, and then based on that provides customers real-time insights into ongoing events and new developments, has closed on $475 million in new funding. Dataminr has confirmed that this Series F values the company at $4.1 billion a...
Tags: TC, New York, Tech, Tesla, Michael Dell, Reid Hoffman, Associated Press, Fortune, Mark Pincus, Bailey, LA Dodgers, Eldridge, PitchBook, Ted Bailey, Dataminr, ArrowMark Partners IVP Eden Global


How the 4 companies behind every single credit card swipe prevent outages and thwart hackers from getting your data

Miami Beach, Tropical Beach Cafe credit card scanner. Photo by Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images Photo by Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images Just 4 payment processing companies are behind each credit or debit card swipe. The companies are basically huge data centers that look at billions of transactions 24/7. If one of the big four processors had an outage, merchants would be the most affected. See more stories on Insider's business page....
Tags: Europe, Finance, New York City, US, Trends, DMV, Fis, Mastercard, Visa, McDonald, Ellis, JPMorgan Chase, Fiserv, PitchBook, Popeye, Chick


Texas Roadhouse founder Kent Taylor died by suicide after suffering from severe 'post-Covid related symptoms'

Irene Jiang / Business Insider Kent Taylor, who founded Texas Roadhouse in 1993, died Thursday at the age of 65. Taylor's family said he died by suicide after "a battle with post-Covid related symptoms." Louisville's mayor remembered Taylor as a 'kind and generous spirit' who put others first. See more stories on Insider's business page. Kent Taylor, the founder and CEO of Texas Roadhouse, known for his deep care for workers and entrepreneurial spirit, died Thursday at...
Tags: News, Kentucky, Suicide, Restaurants, America, Trends, Obituaries, Retail, Obituary, Kent, Taylor, Jefferies, Founder, Louisville, Glassdoor, Morgan


Texas Roadhouse founder Kent Taylor reportedly died by suicide after suffering from severe 'post-Covid related symptoms'

Irene Jiang / Business Insider Kent Taylor, who founded Texas Roadhouse in 1993, died Thursday at the age of 65. Taylor's family said he died by suicide after "a battle with post-Covid related symptoms." Louisville's mayor remembered Taylor as a 'kind and generous spirit' who put others first. See more stories on Insider's business page. Kent Taylor, the founder and CEO of Texas Roadhouse, known for his deep care for workers and entrepreneurial spirit, died Thursday at...
Tags: News, Kentucky, Suicide, Restaurants, America, Trends, Obituaries, Retail, Obituary, Kent, Taylor, Jefferies, Founder, Louisville, Glassdoor, Morgan


Kent Taylor, the 'maverick entrepreneur' who founded Texas Roadhouse, has died at 65

Irene Jiang / Business Insider Kent Taylor, who founded Texas Roadhouse in 1993, died Thursday at the age of 65. Taylor was most recently the board chairman and the chief executive officer. Louisville's mayor remembered him as a 'kind and generous spirit' who put others first. See more stories on Insider's business page. Kent Taylor, the founder and CEO of Texas Roadhouse, known for his deep care for workers and entrepreneurial spirit, died Thursday at age 65, the company ...
Tags: News, Kentucky, Restaurants, America, Trends, Obituaries, Retail, Obituary, Kent, Taylor, Jefferies, Founder, Louisville, Glassdoor, Morgan, University Of North Carolina


Snap acquires Fit Analytics, a fitting technology startup, to double down on fashion and e-commerce

“Snap, Inc. is a camera company,” Snap notes on its homepage, and while a lot of its effort up to now have been about using that camera ethos to help people share images of their lives with their social circles on its flagship app Snapchat, today the company made an acquisition to further that camera reach in another direction: selling fashion and more generally, e-commerce and shopping. Snap today confirmed that it has acquired Fit Analytics, a startup based in Berlin that has built technology ...
Tags: Apple, Google, Amazon, Social, Fundings & Exits, Europe, Instagram, Finance, Berlin, US, Tech, Analytics, Beijing, Ralph Lauren, Snap, PitchBook


Snap is taking a significant step into fashion e-commerce with its acquisition of Fit Analytics

“Snap, Inc. is a camera company,” Snap notes on its homepage, and while a lot of it effort up to now have been about using that camera ethos to help people share images of their lives with their social circles, today the company made an acquisition to further that camera reach in another direction: selling fashion and more generally, e-commerce and shopping. The company today confirmed that it has acquired Fit Analytics, a startup based in Berlin that has built technology to help shoppers find t...
Tags: Apple, Google, Amazon, Social, Fundings & Exits, Europe, Instagram, Finance, Berlin, US, Tech, Analytics, Beijing, Ralph Lauren, Snap, PitchBook


The founder of Care.com uses empathy, not frustration, to combat biases at work

Insider Sheila Marcelo. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Care.com founder Sheila Marcelo has faced plenty of biases in her rise to the top. But she's been able to overcome them with a distinctly authentic and empathetic approach. Through perseverance, Marcelo led the company to a lucrative IPO. This article is part of a series called "Leaders by Day," which takes a look at how prominent business leaders are tackling various challenges in today's economy. When Shei...
Tags: Leadership, Ipo, US, Trends, Strategy, IAC, Care, Founder, Marcelo, New Enterprise Associates, Female Founder, PitchBook, Teng, Care.com, Sheila Marcelo, BIPOC


Jungle Scout raises $110M, acquires Downstream Impact to help 3rd parties sell on marketplaces like Amazon

There has been a rapid proliferation of roll-up companies armed with wallets full of money to consolidate promising smaller merchants that sell on Amazon and other marketplaces, the idea being to create economies of scale to help them sell more effectively and grow. Today, a company that is somewhat doing the opposite — building tools to help Amazon sellers work better on their own — is announcing significant funding to keep growing its business. Jungle Scout, an Austin-based company that builds...
Tags: Google, Amazon, TC, Facebook, Ecommerce, Instagram, China, Funding, Tech, Walmart, DSP, Cto, FBA, Roseman, PitchBook, Mercer


A magic mushroom firm backed by Peter Thiel is now worth $2 billion and reportedly eyeing an IPO

Peter Thiel. Scott Olson/Getty Images Atai Life Sciences works on the development of psychedelic and other drugs to treat mental illness. The firm, which counts Peter Thiel as an investor, is looking at going public later this year, Reuters reported. Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories. Atai Life Sciences, a psychedelic company backed by billionaire investor Peter Thiel, is eyeing a potential public stock listing as soon as this Spring, reports say.The biotech company on...
Tags: Facebook, News, Trends, Investing, Bloomberg, Healthcare, Peter Thiel, Cnbc, Reuters, Psychedelics, PitchBook, Thiel, Tech Insider, Atai, Atai Life Sciences, Ronan Levy


Axonius nabs $100M at a $1.2B valuation for its asset management cybersecurity platform

Remote work has become the norm for many businesses in the last year, and today a startup that has built a cybersecurity platform to help manage all the devices connecting to organizations’ wide-ranging networks — while also providing a way for those organizations to take advantage of all the best that the quite fragmented security market has to offer — is announcing a major round of funding and a big boost to its valuation after seeing its annual recurring revenues grow ten-fold over 15 months....
Tags: Security, Enterprise, Funding, Tech, Fox, PitchBook, Mellanox, ARR, Vertex, BVP, Ken Fox, Amit Karp, Axonius, Sysman, Integrity Project, Ofri Shur


Atlassian is acquiring Chartio to bring data visualization to the platform

The Atlassian platform is chock full of data about how a company operates and communicates. Atlassian launched a machine learning layer, which relies on data on the platform with the addition of Atlassian Smarts last fall. Today the company announced it was acquiring Chartio to add a new data analysis and visualization component to the Atlassian family of products. The companies did not share a purchase price. The company plans to incorporate Chartio technology across the platform, starting with...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Enterprise, Data Visualization, Tech, M&a, Mergers and Acquisitions, Atlassian, Exit, Jira, Fowler, PitchBook, Chartio, Atlassian Smarts, Zoe Ghani


Bessemer Venture Partners closes on $3.3 billion across two funds

Another major VC firm has closed two major rounds, underscoring the long-term confidence investors continue to have for backing privately-held companies in the tech sector. Early-stage VC firm Bessemer Venture Partners announced Thursday the close of two new funds totaling $3.3 billion that it will be using both to back early-stage startups as well as growth rounds for more mature companies. The Redwood City-based firm closed BVP XI with $2.475 billion and BVP Century II with $825 million i...
Tags: Amazon, Tech, Beijing, Andreessen Horowitz, Blackburn, Amazon Web Services, Shopify, Bessemer Venture Partners, Bessemer, Redwood City, PitchBook, Silicon Valley San Francisco, Jeff Blackburn, Andrew Hedin, BVP XI, LinkedIn Blue Apron


Oscar Health’s initial IPO price is so high, it makes me want to swear

Amidst all the hype that Lemonade (IPO), Root (IPO), Metromile (SPAC-led debut) and other insurtech players have generated in the last year, it’s been easy to forget about Oscar Health. But now that the company founded in 2012 is approaching the public markets, one of the early tech-themed insurance companies is catching up on the attention front. The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. Read it every morning on Extra Crunch, or get The Exchange newsletter every Saturday. There is so...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, Tech, Alex, Exchange, Crunchbase, SPAC, PitchBook, Oscar Health, The Exchange, The TechCrunch Exchange, IPO Oscar Health


Sequoia Capital, one of Silicon Valley's most notable VC firms, told investors it was hacked

Sequoia Capital offices on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, Calif. Katie Canales/Business Insider Silicon Valley VC firm Sequoia Capital told its investors Friday that it was hacked, according to an Axios report. The firm told its investors that some personal and financial information may have been accessed by a third party. A Sequoia employee was the victim of a successful phishing attempt, the firm said. Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories. One of Silicon Valley's oldest ...
Tags: Microsoft, Finance, Trends, Cybersecurity, Hacked, Venture Capital, Silicon Valley, Fireeye, Sequoia Capital, Phishing, Sequoia, Sand Hill Road, PitchBook, Carbon Black, Tech Insider, Security Breach


It's not just Elon Musk - a Tesla board member may have also helped with the automaker's massive bitcoin purchase

Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images A Tesla board member with an appetite for cryptocurrency may be behind the company's bitcoin investment.  Antonio Gracias is the director of two cryptocurrency companies through his investment firm.  Tesla's $1.5 billion bitcoin purchase helped the cryptocurrency cruise to record highs.  Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories. A Tesla board member with stakes in several cryptocurrency companies may have been part of the automake...
Tags: Transportation, Elon Musk, News, Cars, Trends, Tesla, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies, Electric Cars, Musk, PitchBook, Ron Baron, Gracias, Antonio Gracias, Tech Insider, Tesla Board


Sources: Palo Alto Networks acquired DevOps security startup Bridgecrew for around $200M

  The pandemic and the world’s big shift to doing (even) more online has put an unprecedented amount of pressure on cybersecurity. Now, it looks like one of the big public players in that space, Palo Alto Networks, has made an acquisition that will help it address that challenge, specifically with security tools designed for those working in DevOps to handle vast volumes of security data more efficiently. According to our sources and reports, the company is acquiring Bridgecrew, a startup out of...
Tags: Israel, Tel Aviv, Tech, Cisco, Palo Alto, Devops, Databricks, Palo Alto Networks, PRISMA, PitchBook, Calcalist, Idan Tendler, DevSecOps, Bridgecrew, Avihai Michaeli, Robinhood BetterHelp


Whitney Wolfe Herd took Bumble public as the youngest female CEO to ever IPO

Whitney Wolfe Herd. Marla Aufmuth/WireImage Marla Aufmuth/WireImage Female-first dating app Bumble went public Thursday with founder Whitney Wolfe Herd at the helm. Herd is the youngest of the handful of women CEOs who have taken their companies public. The company's shares surged upon opening on the Nasdaq, giving Bumble a market cap of over $8 billion.  Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories. 31-year-old Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder and chief executive officer of online-da...
Tags: Utah, News, Ipo, Trends, Online Dating, Women In Business, Bumble, Nasdaq, Blackstone, Stitch Fix, Female Founder, Siebert, PitchBook, StitchFix, Imagine Entertainment, Badoo