It's vacation season for tech unicorns

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Have you followed all of the unicorn news in the past few weeks? No? Here's a list of headlines to keep you posted as this holiday season has already seen mega-acquisitions, even more IPO registrations, and a steady amount of fundraising.

Somehow, after one of the toughest years in recent history, the tech industry walks into December with more enthusiasm than ever. (Do you remember the WeWork IPO fiasco last year? No?)

Salesforce buys Slack in a mega-deal for $ 27.7 billion

Everyone has an opinion on the $ 27.7 billion acquisition of Slack

What do you think of Stripe's potential $ 100 billion valuation?

We see today how the pandemic triggered the IPO wave

A round up of the latest unicorn news

The first pricing guideline for the C3.ai IPO sheds light on the technical appetite of the public market (EC).

Working to understand the growth story of C3.ai (EC)

Insurtech's big year gets bigger as Metromile plans to go public (EC)

Wall Street Needs to Relax as Startups Show Remote Work Stays Here (EC)

In the first IPO price range, Airbnb's rating recovers to pre-pandemic (EC) levels.

3 new ARR Club members valued at $ 100 million and a call for the next generation of startups in the growth phase (EC)

Virtual fundraising is here to stay

Connie Loizos sat down with Jason Green of leading enterprise company Emergence Capital to review SPACs and how they are expected to be used in the next year and beyond. But early stage startups shouldn't miss his confirmation of Zoom meetings as part of the future fundraising process.

I would say that in the past five years we have made almost a complete transition. Now we're a data-driven, thesis-based outbound company, reaching out to entrepreneurs soon after they've started their businesses or received seed funding. The last three investments we made were all relationships that were a year to 18 months ago before we embarked on the actual funding process with them. I think that's required to build a relationship and conviction because funding comes so quickly.

I think we're actually going to be making more investments this year than ever before in the company's history, which is amazing to me (given COVID). I think we really improved our ability to build this pipeline and be confident. In this market environment, Zoom is actually helping to expand the landscape in which we want to invest. We're probably seeing 50% to 100%. more companies and try to reduce them over time and really focus on the 20-25 that we want to delve into as a team.

Thousands of startup founders will continue to wander through VC's Silicon Valley offices once the vaccines arrive. However, we will remember 2020 as the year the company really joined the cloud.

Credit: Brighteye Ventures

Edtech looks to the future

Every level of education has been forced online at least temporarily this year by the pandemic. While the kids may be back in the classroom by now, higher education and corporate education are still booming from afar. Natasha Mascaren analyzed the latest market changes for Extra Crunch and assembled a group of industry leaders for a special Thanksgiving edition of Equity. Here's more about what you'll find on the show:

At this equity dive, we focus on part of that conversation: the impact of edtech on higher education. We brought together Udacity co-founder and CEO of Kitty Hawk Sebastian Thrun, Eschaton founder and college dropout Ian Dilick, and Cowboy Ventures investor Jomayra Herrera to answer our biggest questions.

Here's what we got into:

How the state of distance learning leads to gap years among students.
A framework for looking at the three main products of higher education (including those products that are most defensible over time).
What lessons can we draw from this COVID-19 distance learning experiment to apply to the future?
Why Edtech is pouring into the concept of lifelong learning.
The reality of whom learning at your own pace serves – and who is left out.

Blank sale sign on white background.

How to evaluate your SaaS product for a bottom-up growth strategy

SaaS continues to be reshaped for consumers through Internet technologies, with today's top companies competing against established salespeople through word of mouth. However, the revenue model must be precise in order for it to be scaled. In a guest post for Extra Crunch, Coatue's Caryn Marooney and David Cahn set a strategic framework for how to properly evaluate your bottom-up SaaS product for the marketplace. Using the “MAP” label for Metrics, Activities, and People, allows you to sort your product based on the actual way people try to use it and pay for it. This is how you describe the A:

activity: How do your customers really use your product and how do they describe themselves? Are you creators? Are you editors? Do different customers use your product differently? Instead of metrics, a key pricing anchor can be the different roles users have within an organization and what they want and need in your product. If you choose to be anchored in activities, you must align feature sets and functionality with usage patterns (for example, creators are given access to more comprehensive tools than viewers, or administrators are given high privileges over row-level users). For example:

Figma – editors versus viewer: freely visible, changes after two changes.
Monday – Creators vs. Viewers: Free to creators, $ 10 to $ 20 per month.
Smartsheet Creators Versus Viewers: Free to create. Creators pay $ 10 + / month.

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Mental health startups are raising spirits and risk capital

Who will build the grocery store of the future?

Hit First, Hit Hard, No Mercy: How Aspiring Managers Can Win

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7 things we just learned about Sequoia's European expansion plans

#EquityPod

From Alex Wilhelm:

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch's venture capital-focused podcast (now on Twitter!) Where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

We're back with no equity shot or dive from Monday, this is just the regular show! So we went back to our roots by watching a large number of rounds in the early stages. And a couple of other things we were just too excited about not to mention.

So from Chris and Danny and Natasha and me, here is the overview:

That was a lot, but how could we leave some of it off? We're back with more on Monday!

Equity declines every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PDT and as fast as we can on Thursday afternoon. So subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and All Casts.