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Hello and welcome to the Daily Crunch for Monday March 21, 2022! Today in a nutshell: Follow our newcomer, the excellent Jacquelyn Melinek, who joined the TechCrunch+ team as a senior crypto reporter. We are super excited to have them on board! – Alex
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Tech talent flees Russia: As the Russian invasion of Ukraine unfolds, tech companies of all sizes are trying to figure out how to manage their operations and people. TechCrunch spoke to several founders and investors about how they are dealing with the crisis. The gist is that Russia’s tech industry has become a pariah from a venture capital perspective, with little human capital keen to stay within its borders.
- Which SaaS company is next? After it was revealed that PE shop Thoma Bravo would raise more than $10 billion on financial planning software company Anaplan, TechCrunch wanted to know who might be next. With a plethora of software companies suffering valuation discounts in recent months and private equity brimming with cash, are we headed for a deal bonanza?
- Ramp raises (again): The initial battle for dominance in the corporate spending market is huge, expensive and growing fast. That’s what I took away from today’s news that over the past year, Ramp has raised more capital at a higher price and increased revenue by about 10x. Brex is busy in space as well as the airbase.
Startups and VCs
To kick off the startup news, a report… not about a startup. Instead, let’s talk about India’s crypto tax changes that will A hit a variety of startups in the country. TechCrunch reports that “India’s proposed virtual digital asset tax law will not allow individuals to offset losses from one asset against gains from another.” As you can imagine, the news is unwelcome in many quarters.
- Tire company invests in autonomous shuttle startup: i love this story First, who thinks of tire companies when it comes to startup investing? Regardless, Bridgestone bought a piece of May Mobility, a Michigan-based startup working on self-driving people carriers.
- Gama wants you to sail the sun’s rays: Shade sails are science fiction staples. I just read an entire novel that revolved around them being useful ways of bypassing the void. Anyway, startups want to make the concept more commercially viable, and to that end, French startup Gama just raised $2 million.
- Plotlogic wants to reform the mining vision: The visible light spectrum – at least for humans – is decent but incomplete. There’s more to see out there. Plotlogic wants to bring this concept to mining with “hyperspectral imaging”. If technology can make mining more efficient, it could reduce their carbon footprint, right?
- Finally raises $95 million for its SMB finance suite: Everything is fintech, so it won’t surprise you that Final, which offers accounting and other software products for SMBs, is working on launching a credit product. Everyone collects data. Data makes underwriting possible. So expect soon that your grocery store will offer you a revolving line of credit based on the cereal you bought.
- Today in Unicorns: Another day, two more unicorns. On the agenda today is a nine-figure sum for CommerceIQ for its e-commerce software, which it claims can offer real sales boosts, and Glia, what we’ve dubbed an “AI-powered CRM” solution provider, which just Round has raised $45 million at a $1 billion valuation.
And to wrap up our startup coverage today, not all startups are out to make money, and some have more mission-driven goals than growth aspirations. Such could be the case for UK accelerator Subak’s latest cohort – six companies in its 2022 group, which we call “data-for-climate non-profits”. It’s always fun to look at the newest, smallest companies.
Why so many SaaS companies are launching their own media operations
Content as a Service?
In recent years, Salesforce, Hubspot, Shopify, and other companies have started scaling their own media operations.
Online audiences are used to consuming well-produced videos, podcasts, infographics, and other media. As a result, simple blog posts lost their luster years ago, reporter Ron Miller found. To see what startups can learn from SaaS’ new approach to content marketing, he interviewed several analysts and experts.
“As a CMO, I have to ask myself how do I get access to these audiences,” said Robert Rose, founder and principal analyst at The Content Advisory.
“I can either continue to rent it through access from Facebook or Google, which are increasingly walled gardens, or I can start building it myself or purchase it.”
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead. Sign up here.)
- E-commerce growth is slowing globally: Tracking e-commerce growth globally in 2020 was simply the addition of recent gains, but 2021 brought a more sober picture of the digital commerce market. One that’s slowing, according to public company data. For startups building in this space, there is still growth, but less than before.
- Zomato wants to pull off 10-minute deliveries: The race to procure consumer goods and groceries faster is a global competition. Indian company Zomato intends to launch a service called Zomato Instant. OK. We wonder if the cost of running the company will be worth it from a consumer value perspective.
- Tesla unveils new master plan: The company behind the world’s most famous electric vehicles has a new long-term plan, its CEO Elon Musk announced today. According to the well-known Twitter user, the themes of the plan include Tesla’s “scaling to extreme size,” among other things like space rockets and drilling through the Earth. View the latest addition to the transit switch, Jaclyn Tropfor this.