Extra Crunch publishes a variety of article types, but how-tos are my favorite category.
For many entrepreneurs, the startup they are trying to get off the ground might be only the second entry on their resume. As a result, they don't have much experience to draw from when it comes to basics like hiring, fundraising and growth marketing.
Last week, Natasha Mascarenhas interviewed experts who had some strategic advice for finding the right time to bring a product manager on board. This afternoon, we published a guest post by growth marketer Jessica Li with tips for “how nontechnical talent can build relationships with deep tech companies.”
We've also received great feedback on a recent guest post about bootstrapping options for SaaS founders written by a founder who's actually done it.
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If you have some startup-related “how” and “why” questions, please browse our Extra Crunch How To stories. They're aimed squarely at early-stage founders and workers trying to solve long-term problems.
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Senior Editor, TechCrunch
Welcome to Bloxburg, public investors
As Roblox began to trade Wednesday, the company’s shares shot above its reference price of $45 per share. Roblox, a gaming company aimed at children, has had a tumultuous if exciting path to the public markets.
Seeing Roblox trade so very far above its direct listing reference price and final private valuation appears to undercut the argument that this sort of debut can sort out pricing issues inherent in more traditional IPOs.
4 ways startups will drive GPT-3 adoption in 2021
Trained on trillions of words, GPT-3 is a 175-billion parameter transformer model — the third of such models released by OpenAI.
GPT-3 is remarkable in its ability to generate human-like text and responses, able to return coherent and topical emails, tweets, trivia and much more. In 2021, this technology will power the launch of a thousand new startups and applications.
There have never been more $100M+ fintech rounds than right now
We are in a period of all-time record investment for so-called mega-rounds, or investments of $100 million or more inside the fintech realm.
To date, Q1 2021 is ahead and is thus guaranteed to set a new record, having already bested the preceding all-time high. What’s going on?
Global-e files to go public as e-commerce startups enjoy a renaissance
Global-e, an e-commerce platform that helps online sellers reach global consumers, filed to go public on Tuesday. Global-e’s business exploded amid the pandemic in 2020, and the company expects that the COVID-fueled shift to e-commerce will only lead to future growth.
Passive collaboration is essential to remote work’s long-term success
Have you ever popped into a meeting because you overheard a snippet of a conversation and wanted to share your perspective?
That’s passive collaboration — low-friction ways to invite new ideas. But it’s only when we’re able to fully realize passive collaboration virtually that we’ll have unlocked the full potential of remote and hybrid work situations.
Dear Sophie: What are the pros and cons of the H-1B, O-1A and EB-1A?
I’m an entrepreneur who wants to expand my startup to the U.S. What are the benefits and drawbacks of various types of visas and green cards?
The ones I’ve heard the most about are the H-1B, O-1 and EB-1A.
— Intelligent in India
Proactive CEOs should prioritize European expansion
Many investors will encourage CEOs to remain U.S.-centric this year and perhaps expand their product offering or move into new market segments. But 95% of the world’s population lives outside the U.S., making an expansion into Europe your best growth lever.
Coupang follows Roblox to a strong first day of trading
After Roblox debuted on Wednesday, Coupang followed, with shares shooting above the South Korean e-commerce giant’s IPO price range. Quick math shows Coupang is worth around $92 billion at the moment, a huge number that nearly zero companies will ever reach.
How and when to hire your first product manager
Because product managers and founders often have overlapping skill sets, it can be tricky to find the right candidate.
While it’s different for every company, hiring a PM ensures companies aren’t “chasing the shiny object” but rather building the things that create enduring value for customers.
Deep Science: AI adventures in arts and letters
AI isn’t confined to the tech sphere; machine learning is applicable across disciplines, from music and the “computational unfolding” of ancient letters to figuring out where EV charging stations need to be built.
A first look at Coursera’s S-1 filing
The SEC filing offers a glimpse into the finances of how an edtech company, accelerated by the pandemic, performed over the past year.
It paints a picture of growth, albeit one that came at steep expense.
Olo's IPO could value the company north of $3B as Toast waits in the wings
Olo has a history of growth and profitability, making its impending pricing all the more interesting.
But are investors willing to pay more for profits? And, if so, how much?
From electric charging to supply chain management, InMotion Ventures preps Jaguar for a sustainable future
InMotion’s investment in Circulor, a company that monitors supply chains from raw material inputs to finished outputs with an eye toward sustainable sourcing, shows the firm’s dedication to backing companies across the mobility space broadly.
White-label voice assistants will win the battle for podcast discovery
Americans are bored, housebound and screened out, driving roughly 128 million Americans to use a voice assistant at least once a month.
This has created a golden opportunity for audio as consumers turn to podcasts, voice assistants and smart speakers.
Why I'm hitting pause on ARR-focused coverage
One of the first recurring features Alex Wilhelm established at Extra Crunch was the “$100M ARR Club,” ongoing coverage of startups that have reached scale.
“Forget a $1 billion valuation — $100 million in annual recurring revenue is the cool kids' club,” he wrote in December 2019. Since then, he expanded it to cover companies that attained $50M ARR.
The concept is a useful lens for studying the market. I can say this with confidence because it's been widely copied by other tech news outlets. But this morning, Alex surprised me — he's shelving the ARR Club, at least for now.
“In the end it became a pre-IPO list that was fun but not entirely educational, by my reckoning,” he told me. “The $50M ARR club evolution was supposed to help shake loose more interesting operational details, but just didn't.”
Before putting the format on hiatus, Alex's last ARR Club roundup looks at in-office display and kiosk startup AppSpace, data backup unicorn Druva, and Synack, which makes security software.
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