The rest of the The world may be slowing down as we prepare for Christmas and the New Year, but we're not taking our foot off the gas.
Alex Wilhelm keeps a close eye on the public markets in his column, The Exchange, but this week he's looked at some of the metrics underlying soaring cryptocurrency prices and turned his gaze to StockX, the reseller market that is currently at $ 275 million collected in a Series E that valued the company at around $ 2.8 billion.
"Selling a tenth of your business for more than a quarter of a billion may be a bit common for late-stage, high-growth software startups," he says, "but don't laugh – the round actually makes sense."
Our staff continues to submit their year-end reports: We posted a post from Manish Singh this morning exploring India's massive addressable retail market. The country has more than 60 million mom and pop stores in the neighborhood, and companies like Walmart and Amazon are keen to offer help with payments, logistics, and inventory management – as are hundreds of domestic and overseas startups.
In an interview with the author and MIT professor Sinan Aral, editor-in-chief Danny Crichton discussed some of the debates that have raged in some areas about the desire to regulate social media platforms. In "The Hype Machine", Aral examines topics such as neuroscience, economics and misinformation before offering possible solutions for solving a "full blown social media crisis".
The following stories give an overview of Extra Crunch over the past five days. Full items are only available to members, but you can use the discount code ECFriday to save 20% over a year or two. Details here.
Thank you for reading Extra Crunch this week. Hope you have a safe, relaxing weekend!
Senior Editor, TechCrunch
@ Your protagonist
Unpacking Poshmark's IPO registration
How has the Poshmark fashion market changed from regular losses in 2019 to generating a net income in 2020?
After the company filed a public S-1 last night, Alex Wilhelm pondered the question on The Exchange this morning.
Like many e-commerce platforms, Poshmark saw activity spike during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it also cut its marketing spend, which helped increase profits. As the cash-rich company prepares its roadshow, “Poshmark is valuable,” concluded Alex.
“How valuable the market will be. But who will it enrich with its final pricing decision? "
How bad is this hack that hit US government agencies?
The breach of FireEye and SolarWinds by hackers working for Russian intelligence is "the nightmare scenario that has worried cybersecurity experts for years," reports Zack Whittaker.
The intrusion began a few months ago, but news of the violation wasn't released until this week.
"Given that potential victims include defense, telecommunications, banking and technology companies, the impact on critical infrastructure and national security, although unknown at this point, could be significant," said Erin Kenneally, director of cyber -Risk analysis at Guidewire, an industry platform for insurance carriers.
In his analysis for Extra Crunch, Zack breaks down the impact of supply chain attacks that can compromise platforms like SolarWinds, which are used by more than 420 of the Fortune 500.
From Start to Starbucks: The Embedded API Possibility
Embedded finance combines services such as payment processing with everyday activities such as drinking coffee before unlocking an e-scooter.
“The ability to be in the right place at the right time and to support consumers and retailers alike, where they want it, how they want it and when they want it, cannot be underestimated,” said Simon Wu, Investment Director at Cathay Innovation .
In an article in which the top providers and enablers of embedded finance are identified, he advises startups and established brands that want to "earn and build customer loyalty while creating new sources of income".
Was the increase in usage driving the recent crypto price boom?
Bitcoin is at an all-time high.
CoinMarketCap reports that crypto market values have reached nearly $ 659 billion. In March 2020 it was just $ 140 billion.
"These gains have created a huge amount of wealth for crypto holders," wrote Alex Wilhelm yesterday.
To better understand why crypto assets are sky tied, he analyzed some basic industry metrics, including the number of unique Bitcoin addresses, fees paid, and transactions per day.
“Do the price gains make sense in the short term? Who knows, "he wrote," but they are not based on nothing. "
2020 was a disaster, but the pandemic has put safety in the spotlight
In his year-end Extra Crunch story, security reporter Zack Whittaker looked back at the myriad security challenges and vulnerabilities that COVID-19 had brought to the fore.
The Fire Eyes and SolarWinds hacks were just one link in the chain: How well prepared is your company to deal with file-encrypting malware, nation-state-backed hackers, or employees accessing secure systems from home?
"As 2020 closes, much of the security problems caused by the pandemic will continue into the new year," says Zack.
In Zoox & # 39; six years drive from prototype to product
After six years of research and development, autonomous vehicle company Zoox unveiled an electric robotic taxi this week that can propel four people at a top speed of 75 mph.
Automotive writer Kirsten Korosec interviewed Zoox co-founder and CTO Jesse Levinson to learn more about how the vehicle was developed and how the company has overcome a number of technical and legal challenges.
"I would say that if you have a big idea and are confident that it makes sense, at least investigate the idea rather than give up, as current regulations aren't designed for that," Levinson said.
Kirsten only had 15 minutes to interview Levinson, but this comprehensive interview covers topics such as regulatory compliance, Zoox's relationship with parent company Amazon, and the highest (and lowest) moments he's experienced along the way.
A pluralsight deal for USD 3.5 billion signals a mature edtech market
In one of the largest corporate acquisitions of 2020, Visa Equity Partners bought Utah-based edtech startup Pluralsight for $ 3.5 billion this week.
According to entrepreneur and investor reporter Natasha Mascarenhas, this deal "demonstrated the strength of edtech's capital options over the course of the pandemic".
"What is happening at edtech is that the capital markets are liquidating," a major change from "the old days when the options for exiting were very narrow," says Deborah Quazzo, managing partner at GSV Advisors and seed investor at Pluralsight.
Dear Sophie, how has immigration changed for founders of startups in 2020?
I'm in an F1 OPT and I'm about to start a startup with my two American co-founders.
What were the biggest 2020 immigration changes that affected us?
– Ambiousious in Albany
How to Pick an Investor in Good Times or Bad
Founders and the VCs they support may not be friends, but they are usually friendly.
Investors have first names with entrepreneurs in their portfolio companies and often have open conversations with them about life, work and the world in general. In the old days they might even have eaten together or attended a baseball game.
Make no mistake, it's a top-down relationship – the investor always has the upper hand. When an entrepreneur accepts a check, he hires his next boss.
In a guest post on Extra Crunch, Quiq CEO and Founder Mike Myer asks two questions for founders considering a new relationship with a VC:
How can the investor help the business?
What is the risk that the investor will affect the business?
From the richest man in India to Amazon to hundreds of startups: The big rush to win business in the neighborhood
In India, around 90% of consumers buy their daily goods from local kirana stores rather than supermarkets.
As a result, US retail giants like Walmart and Amazon have taken the "if you can't beat them, join them" approach, offering the nationwide 60 million mom and pop software for inventory control, payments and e-commerce.
The Indian retail market is estimated to be worth $ 1.3 trillion by 2025, but e-commerce now accounts for only 3% of that activity, reports Manish Singh.
For his final Extra Crunch story, in 2020, he looked at the startups and major players hoping to capture their niche in one of the largest retail ecosystems in the world.
The ClickUp CEO talks about hiring, increasing and scaling in the brand new area of productivity
Earlier this year, ClickUp, an enterprise productivity software startup, raised a Series A worth $ 35 million.
Now, just six months later, the company has completed a second round valued at $ 100 million that valued the San Diego-based startup at $ 1 billion.
Lucas Matney interviewed CEO Zeb Evans this week to learn more about how the company has been sustained by pandemic-driven behavioral changes that have doubled its customer base and multiplied sales by nine.
"I think the most important thing we have always focused on is delivering a new version of ClickUp every week. This is our differentiation," he said. "We have created these iterative cycles called Natural Product Adjustment , and it was difficult to keep up with. "
The top 10 corporate M&A deals in 2020 totaled a staggering $ 165 billion
In 2018, the total value of the top 10 corporate mergers and acquisitions of the year reached $ 87 billion. last year, that number fell to just $ 40 billion.
In 2020, 10 M&A deals accounted for $ 165.2 billion.
"The biggest deal of last year – Salesforce bought Tableau for $ 15.7 billion – would only have made it fifth on this year's list," noted company reporter Ron Miller. "And last year's fourth largest deal, in which VMware Pivotal bought Pivotal for $ 2.7 billion, wouldn't have made this year's list at all."