I worked at TechCrunch for a little over a year, but this was one of the toughest weeks on the job.
How many people have I been distracted in the past few days. As I write this, I have one eye on my keyboard and another on a television that sporadically broadcasts election results from battlefield states. Despite the background noise, I am totally impressed with the TechCrunch staff. It takes a lot of focus and energy to put the world's best news aside and focus on the work at hand.
Monday feels like a distant memory. Here is an overview of the most important Extra Crunch stories from the past five days. These items are only available to members, but you can use the discount code ECFriday to save 20% over a year or two. Details here.
B2B marketplaces will be the next billion dollar ecommerce startups
Marketplaces created for B2B activities are enjoying growing popularity. According to a report, transactions at these venues generated around $ 680 billion in 2018, but that number is projected to reach $ 3.6 trillion by 2024.
The COVID-19 pandemic is helping startups that innovate in areas such as payments, finance, insurance, and compliance.
According to Merritt Hummer, partner at Bain Capital Ventures, "B2B marketplaces cannot simply stagnate and serve as simple transaction platforms."
The startups that are the first to bring innovative “neighboring services” to market will emerge as winners in the next few years, ”she advises.
Software companies report a pretty good third quarter
For this morning's edition of The Exchange, Alex Wilhelm Interviewed Three Cloud and SaaS Company Executives to Find Out How Well Q3 2020 Treated Them:
Ping CFO Raj Dani
JFrog CEO Shlomi Ben Haim
Brent Bellm, CEO of BigCommerce
As one Twitter commenter noted, Alex doesn't just talk to the most popular tech managers. He speaks to a wide range of people, which is evident in the quality of his reporting.
Will new crowdfunding rules for SEC stocks encourage more founders to take off their hats?
According to the SEC's new crowdfunding guidelines released this week, companies can raise up to $ 5 million per year directly from individual investors, an increase from the previous limit of $ 1.07 million.
"Life has gotten easier in other ways for founders pursuing this type of fundraising and for the platforms trying to simplify it," says Lucas Matney, who interviewed Wefunder CEO Nicholas Tommarello.
Lucas found that funding for seed-stage startups plummeted 32% in the most recent quarter compared to 2019. The tide could turn for founders unwilling to raise money from a huge pool of small dollars.
3 Tips for SaaS Founders Looking to Join the $ 1 Million ARR Club
Achieving scalability is paramount for software companies, so growth is a top priority.
In a guest post on Extra Crunch, Drift CEO David Cancel explains that too many SaaS and cloud companies waste time trying a number of solutions before they come up with the right recipe.
"I can tell you that building a successful SaaS business is absolutely repeatable," he says. "A process that reliably guides you to adapt to the product market and then helps you to scale quickly."
Implementation of a data-driven approach to ensure fair, equitable and transparent pay for employees
Companies hoping to eradicate long-standing inequalities in the workplace cannot be relied on to do just what they see fit. Without a data-driven approach, subjective judgments and implicit biases tend to negate good intentions.
Many startups don't hire full-time HR managers until they reach the size. However, this comprehensive post lists several critical factors for creating and maintaining a fair compensation model.
4 questions about Airbnb's upcoming IPO
It was revealed this week that Airbnb is planning to raise approximately $ 3 billion in a public filing to achieve a valuation in the range of $ 30 billion.
Our seasoned unicorn wrangler Alex Wilhelm says curious investors should ask themselves:
Will Airbnb be able to show a short term path to profitability?
What is the quality of Airbnb revenue after the pandemic?
Is there something lurking in recent funding that public investors don't like?
Will Airbnb see year-over-year revenue growth?
Anne Boden, founder of Starling Bank, says the new book is not a memory.
"People at the end of their careers write memoirs," Anne Boden, founder of Starling Bank, told TechCrunch's Steve O'Hear. "I'm at the beginning."
In Boden's new book "Banking On It", she tells how (and why) she decided to set up a challenger bank and eventually part with colleagues who started competitor Monzo.
"This is really getting put on paper where we are right now," she said. "It has been written over several years and I hope it will inspire a generation of entrepreneurs."
The effects of the pandemic disproportionately reduced VC funding for female founders
Natasha Mascarenhas and Alex Wilhelm collaborated on Monday's edition of The Exchange to cover how investors are less likely to fund female founders since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Drawing on data from various sources, Alex and Natasha found that startups led by women and mixed-gender founding teams received 48% less VC funding in the third quarter of 2020 than they did in the second quarter, although overall funding rebounded.
"From fear in the late first quarter to a mediocre second quarter to a boom in the third quarter," they wrote. “It was an impressive comeback. For some."
Edtech's booming M&A activity is bringing consolidation into a fragmented sector
Natasha Mascarenhas has owned TechCrunch's edtech beat since she came aboard in early 2020, just months before the pandemic resulted in widespread school closings.
She has reported on countless financing rounds and interviewed founders and investors who are active in this area. However, she recently spotted a new trend: "M&A activity is livelier than usual."
4 takeaways from Fintech VC in the third quarter of 2020
Alex Wilhelm shrugged long enough to write a column that looked at fintech investing in the most recent quarter.
In the third quarter of 2020, "60% of all the equity raised by financial technology startups came from just 25 rounds valued at $ 100 million or more," he says.
Will these mega-rounds finance “the next harvest of unicorns”? It's too early to say, but it's clear that the uncertainty caused by pandemics is driving consumers into the arms of companies like Robinhood, Chime, Lemonade and Root.
In 1,316 words, Alex sums up the state of insurtech, banking, asset management and payments investments: "Now we just want to see a few more IPOs."
The new AGM partner Terri Burns has a simple investment thesis: Gen Z.
Five years ago, Terri Burns did was a product manager at Twitter. Today she is the first black woman – and the youngest person – to be promoted to a partner at Google Ventures.
In a Q&A with Natasha Mascarenhas, Burns shared her plans for the new role as well as her investment thesis.
"I don't know what it is to build a sustainable business, and Venture is a great way to learn," said Burns.
GV General Partner MG Siegler talks about portfolio management and fundraising 6 months after the COVID-19 pandemic
Are founders and investors really leaving Silicon Valley for greener pastures? Are investors more active with their portfolio companies now that they are limited to virtual interactions?
In an Extra Crunch live chat from Darrell Etherington, MG Sieg General Partner MG Siegler spoke about how the pandemic is and is not affecting his business.
"I feel like things are going pretty rationally or as much as possible at this point," he said.
"But you know, there will always be more wild cards – like we're a week away from the US elections today."
Thank you for reading Extra Crunch. I hope you have a nice weekend.