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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for November 22, 2021! I am happy to report that this is a holiday week in the United States, so expect the news to be busy until Wednesday at around midday, at which point the Americans in your life are going to switch off the internet and start eating. Don’t call; we’re on the couch! — Alex
The TechCrunch Top 3
- NFTs + music = Royal? Today news broke that Royal, a startup that is bringing NFTs, fractional ownership and music rights together in a single package, announced a $55 million raise. This after it raised some $16 million the other month. That’s a lot of money! A good question at this juncture is this: Why do crypto startups appear to require so very much capital to do regular startuppy things?
- League of Legends is still ultra-popular: TechCrunch has an interesting dig into the world of LoL today parsing its recent Worlds tournament — sadly Team Liquid struggled — viewership numbers and its work with the NBA. Frankly it’s a good reminder of just how big the world of esports remains, even if we’ve heard a little less from startups in the domain of late.
- What happened to Paytm’s IPO? In the wake of a huge public debut, Indian fintech giant Paytm struggled to hold onto its market value. It fell during its first day of trading, and it fell again today after a market break in its home country last Friday. Our read, after going back through its numbers, is that the company’s IPO was simply mispriced.
- If you say “creator” three times in the mirror, a VC will appear and stuff money into your hands: Today’s creator-economy round is a doozy. LTK has raised $300 million from SoftBank, valuing the company at $2 billion. Per TechCrunch, LTK “helps social media influencers make their posts shoppable and houses them on a central marketplace, both on the web and on its app.”
- FSD Africa wants to bolster insurtech on the continent: Insurtech remains a hot startup category despite some public-market whoopsies in the United States. So much so that a group is “set to launch insurtech accelerator programs in Ghana and Nigeria next year.” TechCrunch has the news.
- Here’s $700M worth of cybersecurity liquidity: Today Schwarz Group, what we called “an EU-based retail company,” announced that it has purchased Israeli security startup XM Cyber for $700 million. That is a great many duckets, leading myself to wonder why the deal came together. Per our own Ron Miller, the gist is that the retail company wants to protect itself, so it bought a company to help with the work.
- AutoCloud raises $4M for cloud viz: Today’s news that AutoCloud — the company behind the CloudGraph open source project — raised capital was not a surprise. Startups with an open source component have been hot lately, making investments into their ranks completely non-shocking.
- Fractional wants to help you buy real estate with your friends: While Zillow and other public companies play the iBuying game, smaller companies are hoping to help you get into the buying wars. Fractional wants to help you and friends buy real estate together. And Doorvest, which we covered last week, wants to help users buy and manage rentals. Fun space to keep an eye on.
- Fonoa raises $20.5M for global tax compliance: Software is great because you can sell it over the internet, which means you can build a global customer base. But, when you do, you also engender a varied tax bill. Enter Fonoa, which wants to help customers untie that particular Gordian knot.
- TechCrunch battlefield winner Render renders unto itself a $20M Series A: DevOps is a big freakin’ software category because developers are very expensive. So, tooling budgets for the group exist to ensure that staffing dollars are put to good use. Render’s round is another example of that fact.
- Abeg shows that there are other ways to advertise your startup than Facebook ads: After sponsoring a reality TV show on its home continent, African fintech startup Abeg saw a huge influx of new users. TechCrunch has the deets on the deal and some questions that surround the company itself, but the marketing ploy appears to have worked.
- And, because it is both cute and neat, check out this retro handheld coming soon.
5 must-have board slides for SaaS sales and revenue leaders
Before he became a partner at Battery Ventures, Bill Binch was chief revenue officer at Pendo, a product analytics app.
In his former role, he was responsible for providing his company’s board with quarterly updates on growth and revenue.
“As a wise mentor once told me, no one ever gets a promotion from a board meeting, but people sure do get fired afterward,” he writes in an article about the five slides sales and revenue teams must get right:
- Headline reel.
- Detailed, five-quarter view.
- Segments, geographies and verticals.
- Sales team health.
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
- Live shopping coming to Twitter: And Walmart is its first retail partner? I don’t really want to shop on Twitter. I want to read tweets. But I am merely one single, religious DAU and thus only get so much sway on Twitter’s product choices (none). Regardless, Twitter is getting into live shopping, a category popular in some Asian markets and, perhaps, soon, maybe, here as well with folks under the age of 80.
- Astra’s rocket doesn’t go boom, does reach orbit, allows for more tests: Most startups don’t have binary outcomes. Things tend to fall along a shading line, grayer or not depending on the circumstance. Rocket tests are not like that. They either make it to orbit or not, as was the case with Astra. After one of its rockets did not, the next one did. Now the company is marching forward with more work.
- And to close us out, another deal, this time with Ericsson (international networking) buying Vonage (cloud communications) in a deal worth $6.2 billion. Both are names that I once heard rather often but have not in some time. Perhaps as a pair they can make a bit more noise. And by noise we mean money.
Are you all caught up on last week’s coverage of growth marketing and software development? If not, read it here.
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