#DealMonitor – Getsafe sammelt 55 Millionen ein – FreshBooks übernimmt FastBill – Sensorberg bekommt 6 Millionen


Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 7. Oktober werfen wir wieder einen Blick auf die wichtigsten, spannendsten und interessantesten Investments und Exits des Tages in der DACH-Region. Alle Deals der Vortage gibt es im großen und übersichtlichen #DealMonitor-Archiv.

INVESTMENTS

Getsafe
+++ “Einige der größten Family Offices aus Deutschland und der Schweiz” sowie Earlybird und Abacon Capital, CommerzVentures und Swiss Re investieren 55 Millionen Euro in Getsafe. “Das neue Eigenkapital fließt einerseits in die eigene Versicherungslizenz, andererseits investiert das Unternehmen in seine Technologie und weiteres Wachstum”, heißt es in der Presseaussendung. Seit 2015 digitalisiert das Heidelberger InsurTech Getsafe, gegründet von Christian Wiens, die Versicherungswelt. Anfangs positionierte sich das Startup als “Versicherungsmanager für die Hosentasche” positionierte. Inzwischen ist Getsafe ein Vollversicherer, ein “digitaler Versicherungsanbieter”. Zielgruppe: Millennials. In der Series-B wanderten nun 80 Millionen in das InsurTech. Mehr über Getsafe

Sensorberg 
+++ XAnge Private Equity, 3e Capital Group sowie zwei Family Offices aus München und der Schweiz investieren 6 Millionen Euro in Sensorberg. “Mit dem frischen Kapital sollen Neueinstellungen und Produktinnovationen sowie die internationale Expansion vorangetrieben werden”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. Das Berliner PropTech, die 2013 von Alexander Oelling gegründet wurde, kümmert sich um die Digitalisierung von Immobilien. Sensorberg installiert etwa Access-Control-Systeme. Bis Ende 2019 flossen schon rund 10 Millionen in Sensorberg. 30 Mitarbeiter:innen arbeiten derzeit für das Unternehmen. Mehr über Sensorberg

Dropp
+++ Atlantic Labs, Kima Ventures, Collective Ventures sowie die Gorillas-Gründer Ronny Shibley und Jörg Kattner investieren 2 Millionen Euro in Dropp. Das Berliner Startup, das 2021 von Alessa Vogler, Nicolas Pörschke und Philip Braun gegründet wurde, positioniert sich als Last-Mile-Delivery-Unternehmen. Die Last-Mile-Lieferung über Dropp erfolgt dabei innerhalb von drei Stunden sowie über “E-Cargo-Bikes und mit Hilfe von ressourcenschonenden Verpackungen”. Das frische frische Kapital soll unter anderem in die “Produktentwicklung und Operations” fließen.

FinMarie
+++ Der High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) und das Unternehmen wallstreet:online investieren 1,4 Millionen Euro in FinMarie. Das Berliner FinTech, das 2018 von Karolina Decker gegründet wurde, möchte Frauen “den Zugang zum Finanzmarkt erleichtern”. Zum Angebot der Jungfirma, die inzwischen auch von Rica Klitzke und Leitha Matz geführt wird, “gehören heute neben dem klassischen Finanzcoaching verschiedene Robo Advisors, aber auch eine E-Learning Community und weitere Angebote im Bereich Finanzbildung”. Das frische Kapital soll in die Produktentwicklung, den Aufbau des Teams und Marketingmaßnahmen fließen.

heyvie 
+++ Calm/Storm Ventures, Altinvestor APX (Porsche und Springer) sowie Angel-Investoren wie David Brewin, Stefan Telegdy und Patrick Engle investieren 400.000 Euro in heyvie. Das E-Health-Startup aus Karlsruhe, das von Hady Daboul und Marius Krämer gegründet wurde, möchte Menschen mit chronischen Schmerzen helfen. “Neurozentrisches Training” soll dabei via App für den langfristigen Aufbau von Resilienz bei Nutzer:innen sorgen. Dabei werden in der App Übungen vorgeschlagen, die Kompensationsmechanismen umgehen sollen um so Schmerzen zu reduzieren. 

First A
+++ Die Gorillas-Gründer Jörg Kattner, Felix Chrobog und Ronny Shibley investieren neben den Brüdern Felix und Florian Swoboda in First A – siehe Gründerszene.  Bei First A handelt es sich um einen “Sofort-Lieferdienst für lokale Apotheken”. Dabei setzt das Startup nicht auf sogenannte Dark Stores, sondern “arbeitet eng mit lokalen und inhabergeführten Apotheken zusammen”. First A verspricht dabei eine “Lieferung innerhalb von 30 Minuten, auch am Wochenende”. Das Berliner Quick Commerce-Startup wurde von Antonie Nissen und Leif Löhde gegründet. 

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

FastBill
+++ Das kanadische Unternehmen FreshBooks, ein Anbieter cloudbasierter Finanzsoftware, übernimmt FastBill. Der Kaufpreis (Cash, Anteile und Earn out) liegt nach unseren Informationen bei rund 17 Millionen Euro. “Nach Abschluss der Transaktion werden die 30 Mitarbeiter von FastBill in das weltweite Team von FreshBooks übernommen”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. Das 2011 von Christian Häfner und Rene Maudrich gegründete Unternehmen, positioniert sich als Cloudlösung für das Finanzmanagement kleiner Unternehmen und Selbständiger. “Maudrich bleibt CEO von FastBill und wird zusätzlich die Rolle des Geschäftsführers von FreshBooks Deutschland übernehmen. Das Team von FastBill bleibt unverändert am derzeitigen Hauptsitz in Frankfurt am Main”, heißt es zur Zukunft der Jungfirma. FinLab und coparion investieren eine siebenstellige Summe in FastBill. Rund 4 Millionen flossen bis Ende 2019 in das Unternehmen. FreshBook sammelte zuletzt 120 Millionen US-Dollar ein, bei einer Bewertung in Höhe von 1 Milliarde. Mehr über FastBill

8080 Labs
+++ Das amerikanische Unternehmen Databricks, das auf Unternehmenssoftware setzt, übernimmt den Bamboolib-Macher 8080 Labs. “It’s been a fun few years and we’re thrilled and humbled by what we’ve accomplished with bamboolib so far – this acquisition gives us the opportunity to grow beyond our original vision as part of the Databricks team”, schreibt das Unternehmen aus Frankfurt am Main. “We are now hard at work integrating the best parts of bamboolib into the Databricks platform”, teilt das Startup, das von Benedict Ely und Gursimran Kaur Lally geführt wird, weiter mit. 

simply-X
+++ Der Ticketing- und Live Entertainment-Anbieter CTS EVENTIM übernimmt Mehrheit an simply-X. “Damit stärkt das Unternehmen seine Position bei innovativen Lösungen zur Einlasskontrolle und erweitert das Angebotsspektrum um leistungsstarke digitale Gesamtsysteme”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. simply-X aus Bad Gandersheim wurde 2012 gegründet. Das Unternehmen bietet “Lösungen aus den Bereichen elektronische Zutrittskontrolle, Payment, Loyalty, Digital Signage und Fan-App” an.

VENTURE CAPITAL

Maximon
+++ Der Schweizer Kapitalgeber Maximon legt den Longevity Co-Investment Fund (LCIF) auf. 6 Millionen Franken sind bereits im Topf. “Der Fonds investiert in Longevity-Ventures des Schweizer Longevity Company Builders Maximon, die mit ihren Produkten und Dienstleistungen Langlebigkeit und gesundes Altern fördern oder eine aktive und gesunde seniore Gesellschaft unterstützen”, heißt es in der Presseaussendung. Zu den ersten Investitionen gehören das auf Nahrungsergänzungsmittel-Unternehmen Avea und das Big Data-Unternehmen Biolytica.

Achtung! Wir freuen uns über Tipps, Infos und Hinweise, was wir in unserem #DealMonitor alles so aufgreifen sollten. Schreibt uns eure Vorschläge entweder ganz klassisch per E-Mail oder nutzt unsere “Stille Post“, unseren Briefkasten für Insider-Infos.

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): azrael74

#3e-capital-group, #abacon-capital, #aktuell, #apx, #atlantic-labs, #bamboolib, #berlin, #collective-ventures, #commerzventures, #cts-eventim, #databricks, #dropp, #e-health, #earlybird-venture-capital, #fastbill, #female-fintech, #finmarie, #fintech, #first-a, #frankfurt-am-main, #freshbooks, #getsafe, #heidelberg, #heyvie, #high-tech-grunderfonds, #insurtech, #karlsruhe, #kima-ventures, #maximon, #proptech, #quick-commerce, #sensorberg, #simply-x, #swiss-re, #venture-capital, #wallstreet-online, #xange-private-equity

Private equity giveth, and private equity taketh away

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

Natasha and Alex and Grace and Chris gathered to dig through the week’s biggest happenings, including some news of our own. As a note, Equity’s Monday episode will be landing next Tuesday, thanks to a national holiday here in the United States. And we have something special planned for Wednesday, so stay tuned.

Ok! Here’s the rundown from the show:

That’s a wrap from us for the week! Keep your head atop your shoulders and have a great weekend!

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PDT, Wednesday, and Friday morning at 7:00 a.m. PDT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts.

#allbirds, #compound-foods, #databricks, #drift, #equity-podcast, #hum-capital, #ipo, #s-1, #sustainability, #tc, #toast, #vista-equity-partners, #y-combinator

Databricks raises $1.6B at $38B valuation as it blasts past $600M ARR

Databricks this morning confirmed earlier reports that it was raising new capital at a higher valuation. The data- and AI-focused company has secured a $1.6 billion round at a $38 billion valuation, it said. Bloomberg first reported last week that Databricks was pursuing new capital at that price.

The Series H was led by Counterpoint Global, a Morgan Stanley fund. Other new investors included Baillie Gifford, UC Investments and ClearBridge. A grip of prior investors also kicked in cash to the round.

The new funding brings Databricks’ total private funding raised to $3.5 billion. Notably, its latest raise comes just seven months after the late-stage startup raised $1 billion on a $28 billion valuation. Its new valuation represents paper value creation in excess of $1 billion per month.

The company, which makes open source and commercial products for processing structured and unstructured data in one location, views its market as a new technology category. Databricks calls the technology a data “lakehouse,” a mashup of data lake and data warehouse.

Databricks CEO and co-founder Ali Ghodsi believes that its new capital will help his company secure market leadership.

For context, since the 1980s, large companies have stored massive amounts of structured data in data warehouses. More recently, companies like Snowflake and Databricks have provided a similar solution for unstructured data called a data lake.

In Ghodsi’s view, combining structured and unstructured data in a single place with the ability for customers to execute data science and business-intelligence work without moving the underlying data is a critical change in the larger data market.

“[Data lakehouses are] a new category, and we think there’s going to be lots of vendors in this data category. So it’s a land grab. We want to quickly race to build it and complete the picture,” he said in an interview with TechCrunch.

Ghodsi also pointed out that he is going up against well-capitalized competitors and that he wants the funds to compete hard with them.

“And you know, it’s not like we’re up against some tiny startups that are getting seed funding to build this. It’s all kinds of [large, established] vendors,” he said. That includes Snowflake, Amazon, Google and others who want to secure a piece of the new market category that Databricks sees emerging.

The company’s performance indicates that it’s onto something.

Growth

Databricks has reached the $600 million annual recurring revenue (ARR) milestone, it disclosed as part of its funding announcement. It closed 2020 at $425 million ARR, to better illustrate how quickly it is growing at scale.

Per the company, its new ARR figure represents 75% growth, measured on a year-over-year basis.

That’s quick for a company of its size; per the Bessemer Cloud Index, top-quartile public software companies are growing at around 44% year over year. Those companies are worth around 22x their forward revenues.

At its new valuation, Databricks is worth 63x its current ARR. So Databricks isn’t cheap, but at its current pace should be able to grow to a size that makes its most recent private valuation easily tenable when it does go public, provided that it doesn’t set a new, higher bar for its future performance by raising again before going public.

Ghodsi declined to share timing around a possible IPO, and it isn’t clear whether the company will pursue a traditional IPO or if it will continue to raise private funds so that it can direct list when it chooses to float. Regardless, Databricks is now sufficiently valuable that it can only exit to one of a handful of mega-cap technology giants or go public.

Why hasn’t the company gone public? Ghodsi is enjoying a rare position in the startup market: He has access to unlimited capital. Databricks had to open another $100 million in its latest round, which was originally set to close at just $1.5 billion. It doesn’t lack for investor interest, allowing its CEO to bring aboard the sort of shareholder he wants for his company’s post-IPO life — while enjoying limited dilution.

This also enables him to hire aggressively, possibly buy some smaller companies to fill in holes in Databricks’ product roadmap, and grow outside of the glare of Wall Street expectations from a position of capital advantage. It’s the startup equivalent of having one’s cake and eating it too.

But staying private longer isn’t without risks. If the larger market for software companies was rapidly devalued, Databricks could find itself too expensive to go public at its final private valuation. However, given the long bull market that we’ve seen in recent years for software shares, and the confidence Ghodsi has in his potential market, that doesn’t seem likely.

There’s still much about Databricks’ financial position that we don’t yet know — its gross margin profile, for example. TechCrunch is also incredibly curious what all its fundraising and ensuing spending have done to near-term Databricks operating cash flow results, as well as how long its gross-margin adjusted CAC payback has evolved since the onset of COVID-19. If we ever get an S-1, we might find out.

For now, winsome private markets are giving Ghodsi and crew space to operate an effectively public company without the annoyances that come with actually being public. Want the same thing for your company? Easy: Just reach $600 million ARR while growing 75% year over year.

#ali-ghodsi, #artificial-intelligence, #cloud, #data-lake, #data-warehouse, #database, #databricks, #enterprise, #fundings-exits, #ml, #startups

Announcing the agenda for TechCrunch Sessions: SaaS

TechCrunch Sessions is back!

On October 27, we’re taking on the ferociously competitive field of software as a service (SaaS), and we’re thrilled to announce our packed agenda, overflowing with some of the biggest names and most exciting startups in the industry. And you’re in luck, because $75 early-bird tickets are still on sale — make sure you book yours so you can enjoy all the agenda has to offer and save $100 bucks before prices go up!

Throughout the day, you can expect to hear from industry experts, and take part in discussions about the potential of new advances in data, open source, how to deal with the onslaught of security threats, investing in early-stage startups and plenty more.

We’ll be joined by some of the biggest names and the smartest and most prescient people in the industry, including Javier Soltero at Google, Kathy Baxter at Salesforce, Jared Spataro at Microsoft, Jay Kreps at Confluent, Sarah Guo at Greylock and Daniel Dines at UiPath.

You’ll be able to find and engage with people from all around the world through world-class networking on our virtual platform — all for $75 and under for a limited time with even deeper discounts for nonprofits and government agencies, students and up-and-coming founders!

Our agenda showcases some of the powerhouses in the space, but also plenty of smaller teams that are building and debunking fundamental technologies in the industry. We still have a few tricks up our sleeves and will be adding some new names to the agenda over the next month, so keep your eyes open.

In the meantime, check out these agenda highlights:

Survival of the Fittest: Investing in Today’s SaaS Market
with Casey Aylward (Costanoa Ventures), Kobie Fuller (Upfront) and Sarah Guo (Greylock)

  • The venture capital world is faster, and more competitive than ever. For investors hoping to get into the hottest SaaS deal, things are even crazier. With more non-traditional money pouring into the sector, remote dealmaking now the norm, and an increasingly global market for software startups, venture capitalists are being forced to shake up their own operations, and expectations. TechCrunch sits down with three leading investors to discuss how they are fighting for allocation in hot deals, what they’ve changed in their own processes, and what today’s best founders are demanding.

Data, Data Everywhere
with Ali Ghodsi (Databricks)

  • As companies struggle to manage and share increasingly large amounts of data, it’s no wonder that Databricks, whose primary product is a data lake, was valued at a whopping $28 billion for its most recent funding round. We’re going to talk to CEO Ali Ghodsi about why his startup is so hot and what comes next.

SaaS Security, Today and Tomorrow
with Edna Conway (Microsoft), Olivia Rose (Amplitude)

  • Enterprises face a constant stream of threats, from nation states to cybercriminals and corporate insiders. After a year where billions worked from home and the cloud reigned supreme, startups and corporations alike can’t afford to stay off the security pulse. Find out what SaaS startups need to know about security now, and in the future.

Automation’s Moment Is Now
with Daniel Dines (UiPath), Laela Sturdy (CapitalG), and Dave Wright (ServiceNow)

  • One thing we learned during the pandemic is the importance of automation, and that’s only likely to be more pronounced as we move forward. We’ll be talking to UiPath CEO Daniel Dines, Laela Sturdy, an investor at CapitalG and Dave Wright from ServiceNow about why this is automation’s moment.

Was the Pandemic Cloud Productivity’s Spark
with Javier Soltero (Google)

  • One big aspect of SaaS is productivity apps like Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Drive. We’ll talk with executive Javier Soltero about the role Google Workspace plays in the Google cloud strategy.

The Future is Wide Open
with Abby Kearns (Puppet), Aghi Marietti (Kong), and Jason Warner (Redpoint)

  • Many startups today have an open source component, and it’s no wonder. It builds an audience and helps drive sales. We’ll talk with Abby Kearns from Puppet, Augusto “Aghi” Marietti from Kong and Jason Warner an investor at Redpoint about why open source is such a popular way to build a business.

How Microsoft Shifted from on Prem to the Cloud
with Jared Spataro (Microsoft)

  • Jared Spataro has been with Microsoft for over 15 years and he was a part of the shift from strictly on prem software to one that is dominated by the cloud. Today he runs one of the most successful SaaS products out there, and we’ll talk to him about how Microsoft made that shift and what it’s meant to the company.

How Startups are Turning Data into Software Gold
with Jenn Knight (Agentsync), Barr Moses (Monte Carlo), and Dan Wright (DataRobot)

  • The era of big data is behind us. Today’s leading SaaS startups are working with data, instead of merely fighting to help customers collect information. We’ve collected three leaders from three data-focused startups that are forging new markets to get their insight on how today’s SaaS companies are leveraging data to build new companies, attack new problems, and, of course, scale like mad.

What Happens After Your Startup is Acquired
with Jyoti Bansal (Harness), Nick Mehta (GainSight)

  • We’ll speak to three founders about the emotional upheaval of being acquired and what happens after the check clears and the sale closes. Our panel includes Jyoti Bansal who founded AppDynamics, Jewel Burkes Solomon, who founded Partpic and Nick Mehta from GainSight.

How Confluent Rode the Open Source Wave to IPO
with Jay Kreps (Confluent)

  • Confluent, the streaming platform built on top of Apache Kafka, was born out of a project at LinkedIn and rode that from startup to IPO. We’ll speak to co-founder and CEO Jay Kreps to learn about what that journey was like.

We’ll have more sessions and names shortly, so stay tuned. But get excited in the meantime, we certainly are.

Pro tip: Keep your finger on the pulse of TC Sessions: SaaS. Get updates when we announce new speakers, add events and offer ticket discounts.

Why should you carve a day out of your hectic schedule to attend TC Sessions: SaaS? This may be the first year we’ve focused on SaaS, but this ain’t our first rodeo. Here’s what other attendees have to say about their TC Sessions experience.

“TC Sessions: Mobility offers several big benefits. First, networking opportunities that result in concrete partnerships. Second, the chance to learn the latest trends and how mhttps://techcrunch.com/2021/06/24/databricks-co-founder-and-ceo-ali-ghodsi-is-coming-to-tc-sessions-saas/obility will evolve. Third, the opportunity for unknown startups to connect with other mobility companies and build brand awareness.” — Karin Maake, senior director of communications at FlashParking.

“People want to be around what’s interesting and learn what trends and issues they need to pay attention to. Even large companies like GM and Ford were there, because they’re starting to see the trend move toward mobility. They want to learn from the experts, and TC Sessions: Mobility has all the experts.” — Melika Jahangiri, vice president at Wunder Mobility.

TC Sessions: SaaS 2021 takes place on October 27. Grab your team, join your community and create opportunity. Don’t wait — jump on the early bird ticket sale right now.

#abby-kearns, #ali-ghodsi, #appdynamics, #artificial-intelligence, #capitalg, #casey-aylward, #ceo, #cloud-computing, #companies, #computing, #costanoa-ventures, #daniel-dines, #databricks, #datarobot, #dave-wright, #firewall, #fundings-exits, #google, #greylock, #jared-spataro, #javier-soltero, #jay-kreps, #jenn-knight, #jyoti-bansal, #kathy-baxter, #kobie-fuller, #laela-sturdy, #microsoft, #nick-mehta, #salesforce, #sarah-guo, #servicenow, #software, #software-as-a-service, #startup-company, #startups, #tc, #uipath

Men are a niche demographic

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

Danny was back, joining Natasha and Alex and Grace and Chris to chat through the week’s coming and goings. But, before we get to the official news, here’s some personal news: Danny is stepping back from his role as co-host of the Friday show! Yes, Mr. Crichton will still take part in our mid-week, deep dive episodes, but this is the conclusion of his run as part of the news roundup. We will miss him, glad that his transitions and wit will continue to be part of the Equity universe.

Who will take the third chair? Well, stay tuned. We have some neat things planned.

Now, the rundown:

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PDT, Wednesday, and Friday morning at 7:00 a.m. PDT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts.

#brazil, #carta, #chime, #databricks, #decacorns, #discord, #equity, #equity-podcast, #fundings-exits, #informed, #launch-house, #maven, #media, #monte-carlo, #news-economics, #nuvemshop, #startups, #unicorns, #yik-yak

UIPath CEO Daniel Dines is coming to TC Sessions: SaaS to talk RPA and automation

UIPath came seemingly out of nowhere in the last several years, going public last year in a successful IPO during which it raised over $527 million. It raised $2 billion in private money prior to that with its final private valuation coming in at an amazing $35 billion. UIPath CEO Daniel Dines will be joining us on a panel on automation at TC Sessions: Saas on October 27th.

The company has been able capture all this investor attention doing something called Robotic Process Automation, which provides a way to automate a series of highly mundane tasks. It has become quite popular, especially to help bring a level of automation to legacy systems that might not be able to handle more modern approaches to automation involving artificial intelligence and machine learning. In 2019 Gartner found that RPA was the fastest growing category in enterprise software.

In point of fact,  UIPath didn’t actually come out of nowhere. It was founded in 2005 as a consulting company and transitioned to software over the years. The company took its first VC funding, a modest $1.5 million seed round in 2015, according to Crunchbase data.

As RPA found its market, the startup began to take off, raising gobs of money including a $568 million round in April 2019 and $750 million in its final private raise in February 2021.

Dines will be appearing on a panel discussing the role of automation in the enterprise. Certainly, the pandemic drove home the need for increased automation as masses of office workers moved to work from home, a trend that is likely to continue even after the pandemic slows.

As the RPA market leader, he is uniquely positioned to discuss how this software and other similar types will evolve in the coming years and how it could combine with related trends like no-code and process mapping. Dines will be joined on the panel by investor Laela Sturdy from Capital G and ServiceNow’s Dave Wright where they will discuss the state of the automation market, why it’s so hot and where the next opportunities could be.

In addition to our discussion with Dines, the conference will also include Databricks’ Ali Ghodsi, Salesforce’s Kathy Baxter and Puppet’s Abby Kearns, as well as investors Casey Aylward and Sarah Guo, among others. We hope you’ll join us. It’s going to be a stimulating day.

Buy your pass now to save up to $100. We can’t wait to see you in October!

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at TC Sessions: SaaS 2021? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

#abby-kearns, #ali-ghodsi, #articles, #artificial-intelligence, #automation, #business-process-automation, #business-process-management, #business-software, #casey-aylward, #ceo, #daniel-dines, #databricks, #dave-wright, #enterprise, #kathy-baxter, #laela-sturdy, #machine-learning, #robotic-process-automation, #rpa, #salesforce, #sarah-guo, #servicenow, #software, #tc, #tc-sessions-saas-2021, #technology, #uipath

Would the math work if Databricks were valued at $38B?

Databricks, the open-source data lake and data management powerhouse has been on quite a financial run lately. Today Bloomberg reported the company could be raising a new round worth at least $1.5 billion at an otherworldly $38 billion valuation. That price tag is up $10 billion from its last fundraise in February when it snagged $1 billion at a $28 billion valuation.

Databricks declined to comment on the Bloomberg post and its possible new valuation.

The company has been growing like gangbusters, giving credence to the investor thesis that the more your startup makes, the more it is likely to make. Consider that Databricks closed 2020 with $425 million in annual recurring revenue, which in itself was up 75% from the previous year.

As revenue goes up so does valuation, and Databricks is a great example of that rule in action. In October 2019, the company raised $400 million at a seemingly modest $6.2 billion valuation (if a valuation like that can be called modest). By February 2021, that had ballooned to $28 billion, and today it could be up to $38 billion if that rumor turns out to be true.

One of the reasons that Databricks is doing so well is it operates on a consumption model. The more data you move through the Databricks product family, the more money it makes, and with data exploding, it’s doing quite well, thank you very much.

It’s worth noting that Databricks’s primary competitor, Snowflake went public last year and has a market cap of almost $83 billion. In that context, the new figure doesn’t feel quite so outrageous, But what does it mean in terms of revenue to warrant a valuation like that. Let’s find out.

Valuation math

Let’s rewind the clock and observe the company’s recent valuation marks and various revenue results at different points in time:

  • Q3 2019: $200 million run rate, $6.2 billion valuation
  • Q3 2020: $350 million run rate, no known valuation change
  • EoY 2020: $425 million run rate, $28 billion valuation (Q1 valuation)
  • Q3 2021: Unclear run rate, possible $38 billion valuation

The company’s 2019 venture round gave Databricks a 31x run rate multiple. By the first quarter of 2021, that had swelled to a roughly 66x multiple if we compare its final 2020 revenue pace to its then-fresh valuation. Certainly software multiples were higher at the start of 2021 than they were in late 2019, but Databricks’s $28 billion valuation was still more than impressive; investors were betting on the company like it was going to be a key breakout winner, and a technology company that would go public eventually in a big way.

To see the company possibly raise more funds would therefore not be surprising. Presumably the company has had a good few quarters since its last round, given its history of revenue accretion. And there’s only more money available today for growing software companies than before.

But what to make of the $38 billion figure? If Databricks merely held onto its early 2021 run rate multiple, the company would need to have reached a roughly $575 million run rate, give or take. That would work out to around 36% growth in the last two-and-a-bit quarters. That works out to less than $75 million in new run rate per quarter since the end of 2020.

Is that possible? Yeah. The company added $75 million in run rate between Q3 2020 and the end of the year. So you can back-of-the-envelope the company’s growth to make a $38 billion valuation somewhat reasonable at a flat multiple. (There’s some fuzz in all of our numbers, as we are discussing rough timelines from the company; we’ll be able to go back and do more precise math once we get the Databricks S-1 filing in due time.)

All this raises the question of whether Databricks should be able to command such a high multiple. There’s some precedent. Recently, public software company Monday.com has a run rate multiple north of 50x, for example. It earned that mark on the back of a strong first quarter as a public company.

Databricks securing a higher multiple while private is not crazy, though we wonder if the data-focused company is managing a similar growth rate. Monday.com grew 94% on a year-over-year basis in its most recent quarter.

All this is to say that you can make the math shake out for Databricks to raise at a $38 billion valuation, but built into that price is quite a lot of anticipated growth. Top quartile public software companies today trade for around 23x their forward revenues, and around 27x their present-day revenues, per Bessemer. To defend its possible new valuation when public, then, leaves quite a lot of work ahead of Databricks.

The company’s CEO, Ali Ghodsi, will join us at TC Sessions: SaaS on October 27th, and we should know by then if this rumor is, indeed true. Either way, you can be sure we are going to ask him about it.

 

#cloud, #data-lakes, #databricks, #enterprise, #funding, #open-source, #rumors, #tc

Affordable student passes available for TC Sessions: SaaS 2021

If you’re a current student or a recent grad with a burning passion for data, software and artificial intelligence, we want you to join us on October 27 for TC Sessions: SaaS 2021. The software-as-a-service sector keeps growing rapidly — both in size and sophistication, and it’s going to require a deep bench of thinkers, makers and technologists to create and wrangle a data-driven future.

We want to foster the next generation, and we’ve set aside discounted, budget-friendly passes especially for students. Register for your $35 student pass and get ready to meet, network with and learn from the global SaaS community’s most influential founders, makers and investors.

Your student pass provides full access to all the day’s events — main stage presentations, panel discussions, breakout sessions and networking with CrunchMatch. Video-on-demand takes care of any schedule conflicts — you don’t have to miss a single presentation.

A quick word about networking at TC Sessions: SaaS. Whether you’re hunting for internships, employment, mentorship, a co-founder or investors, you won’t find a better place or opportunity to meet the people who can help you launch your dreams.

Deal Sweetener: Your pass includes a free, one-month subscription to Extra Crunch, our members-only program featuring exclusive daily articles for founders and startup teams.

While we’re not quite ready to reveal the full agenda, we can share some of the speakers we have lined up. And (not-so-humble-brag) what a group it is so far.

We’re talking folks like investors Casey Aylward (Costanoa Ventures) and Sarah Guo (Greylock), Databricks’ Ali Ghodsi, Javier Soltero, Google’s head of Workspace, UiPath’s Daniel Dines, Puppet’s Abby Kearns and Monte Carlo co-founder, CEO and data junkie extraordinaire, Barr Moses.

Who would you love to hear from at TC Sessions: SaaS? The TechCrunch editorial team is accepting recommendations for speakers. Submit your recommendations here no later than 11:59 pm (PT) on September 29.

Register here for updates and keep your fingers on the pulse of this event as we announce new speakers, events and ticket discounts.

TC Sessions: SaaS 2021 takes place on October 27. Jump on this student discount, join the global SaaS community and take advantage of every opportunity.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at TC Sessions: SaaS 2021? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

#abby-kearns, #ali-ghodsi, #business-models, #casey-aylward, #co-founder, #computing, #costanoa-ventures, #daniel-dines, #databricks, #head, #javier-soltero, #monte-carlo, #olo, #saas, #sarah-guo, #software, #software-as-a-service, #tc, #tc-sessions-saas-2021, #uipath

VCs are betting big on Kubernetes: Here are 5 reasons why

I worked at Google for six years. Internally, you have no choice — you must use Kubernetes if you are deploying microservices and containers (it’s actually not called Kubernetes inside of Google; it’s called Borg). But what was once solely an internal project at Google has since been open-sourced and has become one of the most talked about technologies in software development and operations.

For good reason. One person with a laptop can now accomplish what used to take a large team of engineers. At times, Kubernetes can feel like a superpower, but with all of the benefits of scalability and agility comes immense complexity. The truth is, very few software developers truly understand how Kubernetes works under the hood.

I like to use the analogy of a watch. From the user’s perspective, it’s very straightforward until it breaks. To actually fix a broken watch requires expertise most people simply do not have — and I promise you, Kubernetes is much more complex than your watch.

How are most teams solving this problem? The truth is, many of them aren’t. They often adopt Kubernetes as part of their digital transformation only to find out it’s much more complex than they expected. Then they have to hire more engineers and experts to manage it, which in a way defeats its purpose.

Where you see containers, you see Kubernetes to help with orchestration. According to Datadog’s most recent report about container adoption, nearly 90% of all containers are orchestrated.

All of this means there is a great opportunity for DevOps startups to come in and address the different pain points within the Kubernetes ecosystem. This technology isn’t going anywhere, so any platform or tooling that helps make it more secure, simple to use and easy to troubleshoot will be well appreciated by the software development community.

In that sense, there’s never been a better time for VCs to invest in this ecosystem. It’s my belief that Kubernetes is becoming the new Linux: 96.4% of the top million web servers’ operating systems are Linux. Similarly, Kubernetes is trending to become the de facto operating system for modern, cloud-native applications. It is already the most popular open-source project within the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), with 91% of respondents using it — a steady increase from 78% in 2019 and 58% in 2018.

While the technology is proven and adoption is skyrocketing, there are still some fundamental challenges that will undoubtedly be solved by third-party solutions. Let’s go deeper and look at five reasons why we’ll see a surge of startups in this space.

 

Containers are the go-to method for building modern apps

Docker revolutionized how developers build and ship applications. Container technology has made it easier to move applications and workloads between clouds. It also provides as much resource isolation as a traditional hypervisor, but with considerable opportunities to improve agility, efficiency and speed.

#cloud, #cloud-computing, #cloud-infrastructure, #cloud-native-computing-foundation, #cloud-native-computing, #column, #databricks, #ec-cloud-and-enterprise-infrastructure, #ec-column, #ec-enterprise-applications, #enterprise, #google, #kubernetes, #linux, #microservices, #new-relic, #openshift, #rapid7, #red-hat, #startups, #ubuntu, #web-services

Salesforce’s Kathy Baxter is coming to TC Sessions: SaaS to talk AI

As the use of AI has grown and developed over the last several years, companies like Salesforce have tried to tap into it to improve their software and help customers operate faster and more efficiently. Kathy Baxter, principal architect for the ethical AI practice at Salesforce will be joining us at TechCrunch Sessions: SaaS on October 27th to talk about the impact of AI on SaaS.

Baxter, who has more than 20 years of experience as a software architect, joined Salesforce in 2017 after more than a decade at Google in a similar role. We’re going to tap into her expertise on a panel discussing AI’s growing role in software.

Salesforce was one of the earlier SaaS adherents to AI, announcing its artificial intelligence tooling, which the company dubbed Einstein, in 2016. While the positioning makes it sound like a product, it’s actually much more than a single entity. It’s a platform component, which the various pieces of the Salesforce platform can tap into to take advantage of various types of AI to help improve the user experience.

That could involve feeding information to customer service reps on Service Cloud to make the call move along more efficiently, helping salespeople find the customers most likely to close a deal soon in the Sales Cloud or helping marketing understand the optimal time to send an email in the Marketing Cloud.

The company began building out its AI tooling early on with the help of 175 data scientists and has been expanding on that initial idea since. Other companies, both startups and established companies like SAP, Oracle and Microsoft have continued to build AI into their platforms as Salesforce has. Today, many SaaS companies have some underlying AI built into their service.

Baxter will join us to discuss the role of AI in software today and how that helps improve the operations of the service itself, and what the implications are of using AI in your software service as it becomes a mainstream part of the SaaS development process.

In addition to our discussion with Baxter, the conference will also include Databricks’ Ali Ghodsi, UiPath’s Daniel Dines, Puppet’s Abby Kearns, and investors Casey Aylward and Sarah Guo, among others. We hope you’ll join us. It’s going to be a stimulating day.

Buy your pass now to save up to $100, and use CrunchMatch to make expanding your empire quick, easy and efficient. We can’t wait to see you in October!

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at TC Sessions: SaaS 2021? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

#abby-kearns, #ali-ghodsi, #artificial-intelligence, #casey-aylward, #cloud, #cloud-applications, #computing, #daniel-dines, #databricks, #enterprise, #google, #information-technology, #kathy-baxter, #microsoft, #oracle, #salesforce, #sap, #sarah-guo, #tc, #tc-sessions-saas-2021, #uipath

Monte Carlo’s Barr Moses will join us at TC Sessions: SaaS

Monte Carlo’s Barr Moses joins the data panel at TC Sessions: SaaS. See you there!

As the clock ticks down on TechCrunch’s upcoming SaaS-focused event, we’re excited to announce that Monte Carlo co-founder and CEO Barr Moses will join us. Specifically, the startup exec will be joining our data-focused panel.

What does Monte Carlo do? The startup works in the realm of data observability, making sure that companies’ data ingestion work is bringing in actual information, and not bunk.

When I covered Monte Carlo’s Series B earlier this year, Moses was kind enough to walk me through her company’s market. Which makes her a perfect fit for our data-focused panel.

We’re past the era in which saying “big data” could get you onto a stage. Today’s data gurus are now building lakehouses and going public for their work with hybrid structured-and-unstructured database tech. Meanwhile, Monte Carlo wants to make sure that companies around the world are alerted when some of their incoming data pipelines go off the rails. That way when the corporate world does run data analysis on their collected information, it isn’t skewed by zeroes and other effluent.

It’s a big enough problem, and a hot enough market, that Monte Carlo raised its Series A in September of 2020, and its Series B mere months later in February of 2021. That’s a rapid-fire pace of capital accumulation; investors are betting that Moses and her team are onto something pretty big. Notably, TechCrunch also published an article the other month that included an interview with her cofounder, Yotam Hadass.

Moses will join other tech folks at the event, including Javier Soltero, Google’s head of Workspace. Who else is coming? Databricks’ Ali Ghodsi, UiPath’s Daniel Dines, Puppet’s Abby Kearns, and investors Casey Aylward and Sarah Guo, among others. It’s going to be nerdy and kickass.

Register today with a $75 early-bird ticket and save $100 before tickets go up. TC Sessions: SaaS takes place on October 27 and will feature chats with the leading minds in SaaS, networking and startup demos.

#data, #databricks, #fundings-exits, #monte-carlo, #saas, #startups, #tc, #tc-sessions-saas-2021

Group discounts let you take the whole team to TC Sessions: SaaS 2021

If you want to get the most value out of attending TC Sessions: SaaS 2021, a day-long deep dive into the rapidly changing and expanding world of software-as-a-service, don’t go it alone — take your team. It’s a smart way to cover more ground on October 27, make more connections and increase your ROI.

We’re talking a sweet group discount, people. The early-bird pricing won’t remain in play forever, so get your group passes now and cross that money-saving task off your to-do list before the prices go up.

TC Sessions is where community meets opportunity. Each event focuses on a specific tech sector, and it’s a chance for everyone within that ecosystem to learn about the latest trends, hear from the leading experts, founders, investors and other visionaries and, of course, network.

Expect nothing less from TC Sessions: SaaS. We’re nailing down the agenda and building out a roster of impressive speakers. Does that describe you? Apply here to speak if you want to share your vast knowledge.

We’ll be announcing plenty more speakers in the coming weeks. Here’s a perfect of example. Databricks co-founder and CEO, Ali Ghodsi will grace our virtual stage to talk, among other things, about the future of data management in AI.

Pro tip: Keep your finger on the pulse TC Sessions: SaaS. Get updates when we announce new speakers, add events and offer ticket discounts.

Why should you carve a day our of your hectic schedule to attend TC Sessions: SaaS? This may be the first year we’ve focused on SaaS, but this ain’t our first rodeo. Here’s what other attendees have to say about their TC Sessions experience.

“TC Sessions: Mobility offers several big benefits. First, networking opportunities that result in concrete partnerships. Second, the chance to learn the latest trends and how mobility will evolve. Third, the opportunity for unknown startups to connect with other mobility companies and build brand awareness.” — Karin Maake, senior director of communications at FlashParking.

“People want to be around what’s interesting and learn what trends and issues they need to pay attention to. Even large companies like GM and Ford were there, because they’re starting to see the trend move toward mobility. They want to learn from the experts, and TC Sessions: Mobility has all the experts.” — Melika Jahangiri, vice president at Wunder Mobility.

TC Sessions: SaaS 2021 takes place on October 27. Grab your team, join your community and create opportunity. Don’t wait — jump on this group discount offer right now.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at TC Sessions: SaaS 2021 – Marketing & Fundraising? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

#ali-ghodsi, #artificial-intelligence, #as-a-service, #business-models, #computing, #databricks, #flashparking, #software, #software-as-a-service, #tc, #tc-sessions-saas-2021

Databricks co-founder and CEO Ali Ghodsi is coming to TC Sessions: SaaS

In many industries, Databricks has become synonymous with modern data warehousing and data lakes. Since it’s exactly these technologies that are at the core of what modern businesses are doing around operationalizing their data, data engineering and building machine-learning models — and since Databricks is at the forefront of startups that offer these services on a SaaS-like platform, who better to join us at TC Sessions: SaaS on October 27 than Databricks co-founder and CEO Ali Ghodsi.

Ghodsi co-founded Databricks together with a handful of partners in 2013 with the idea of commercializing the open-source Apache Spark analytics engine for big data processing. As is the case with so many open-source companies, Ghodsi, who has a Ph.D. from KTH/Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and whose research focused on distributed computing, was one of the original developers of the Spark engine. At Databricks, he first served as the company’s VP of Engineering and Product Management before being named CEO in 2016.

Under his leadership, Databricks has reached a $28 billion valuation and has now raised a total of $1.9 billion. The company’s bets on open source, data and AI are clearly paying off and unlike some of its competitors, Databricks has done a good job staying ahead of the trends (and had a bit of luck given that some of those trends, including the rise of machine learning, really benefitted the company, too).

Despite consistent rumors of Microsoft and others trying to acquire the company in recent years, Ghodsi and his board have clearly decided that they want to remain independent. Instead, Databricks has shrewdly partnered with all of the big cloud players, starting with Microsoft, which actually gave the service the kind of prime placement in its Azure cloud computing service and user interface that was previously unheard of. Most recently, the company brought its platform to Google Cloud.

Ghodsi will join us at TC Sessions: SaaS to talk about building his company, raising funding at crazy valuations and what the future of data management in the AI space looks like.

$75 Early Bird ticket sales end October 1. Grab your ticket today and gain insights on how to scale your B2B and B2C company from CEOs who have done it themselves. Meet the founders building with low code/no code, meet the investors cutting the checks, and discover the next generation of SaaS startups bridging data with new technologies.

#ali-ghodsi, #apache, #apache-spark, #artificial-intelligence, #ceo, #cloud-computing, #computing, #data-processing, #databricks, #machine-learning, #microsoft, #saas, #software, #software-as-a-service, #tc, #technology

Databricks introduces Delta Sharing, an open source tool for sharing data

Databricks launched its fifth open source project today, a new tool called Delta Sharing designed to be a vendor neutral way to share data with any cloud infrastructure or SaaS product, so long as you have the appropriate connector. It’s part of the broader Databricks open source Delta Lake project.

As CEO Ali Ghodsi points out, data is exploding and moving data from Point A to Point B is an increasingly difficult problem to solve with proprietary tooling. “The number one barrier for organizations to succeed with data is sharing data, sharing it between different views, sharing it across organizations — that’s the number one issue we’ve seen in organizations,” Ghodsi explained.

Delta Sharing is an open source protocol designed to solve that problem. “This is the industry’s first ever open protocol, an open standard for sharing a data set securely. […] They can standardize on Databricks or something else. For instance, they might have standardized on using AWS Data Exchange, Power BI or Tableau — and they can then access that data securely.”

The tool is designed to work with multiple cloud infrastructure and SaaS services and out of the gate there are multiple partners involved including the Big Three cloud infrastructure vendors Amazon, Microsoft and Google, as well as data visualization and management vendors like Qlik, Starburst, Collibra and Alation and data providers like Nasdaq, S&P and Foursquare

Ghodsi said the key to making this work is the open nature of the project. By doing that and donating it to The Linux Foundation, he is trying to ensure that it can work across different environments. Another big aspect of this is the partnerships and the companies involved. When you can get big name companies involved in a project like this, it’s more likely to succeed because it works across this broad set of popular services. In fact, there are a number of connectors available today, but Databricks expects that number to increase over time as contributors build more connectors to other services.

Databricks operates on a consumption pricing model much like Snowflake, meaning the more data you move through its software, the more money it’s going to make, but the Delta Sharing tool means you can share with anyone, not just another Databricks customer. Ghodsi says that the open source nature of Delta Sharing means his company can still win, while giving customers more flexibility to move data between services.

The infrastructure vendors also love this model because the cloud data lake tools move massive amounts of data through their services and they make money too, which probably explains why they are all on board with this.

One of the big fears of modern cloud customers is being tied to a single vendor as they often were in the 1990s and early 2000s when most companies bought a stack of services from a single vendor like Microsoft, IBM or Oracle. On one hand, you had the veritable single throat to choke, but you were beholden to the vendor because the cost of moving to another one was prohibitively high. Companies don’t want to be locked in like that again and open source tooling is one way to prevent that.

Databricks was founded in 2013 and has raised almost $2 billion since. The latest round was in February for $1 billion at a $28 billion valuation, an astonishing number for a private company. Snowflake, a primary competitor, went public last September. As of today, it has a market cap of over $66 billion.

#cloud, #data-sharing, #databricks, #enterprise, #open-source, #tc

Extra Crunch roundup: Jam City SPAC, startup PR, telemedicine market map, more

For this morning’s edition of The Exchange, Alex Wilhelm studied information recently released by mobile gaming studio Jam City as it prepares to go public in a $1.2 billion blank-check deal with DPCM Capital.

“Jam City is a bit like Zynga, but unless you are a mobile-gaming aficionado, you might not have heard of it,” he writes.

Since its launch, Jam City has raised upwards of $300 million, including a $145 million round in 2019. At the time, the company was riding high after signing a deal with Disney to adapt some of the media giant’s intellectual property, which includes brands like Marvel, Fox and Pixar.

Almost half of all Americans play mobile games, so Alex reviewed Jam City’s investor deck, a transcript of the investor presentation call and a press release to see how it stacks up against Zynga, which “has done great in recent quarters, including posting record revenue and bookings in the first three months of 2021.”

(Full disclosure: the second time I worked at a startup founded by Mark Pincus, Zinga slept behind my desk and I was one of her favorite dog-sitters.)

Thanks for reading Extra Crunch; I hope you have an excellent weekend!

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, TechCrunch
@yourprotagonist


Full Extra Crunch articles are only available to members
Use discount code ECFriday to save 20% off a one- or two-year subscription


5 ways to raise your startup’s PR game

Image of a numbered wooden puzzle ring on a wooden table.

Image Credits: Andrii Yalanskyi (opens in a new window)/ Getty Images

The ability to effectively communicate can make or break your launch. It will play a role in determining who wins a new space — you or a competitor.

So how do you make a splash? How do you stay relevant?

For one, you have to stop thinking that what you are up to is interesting.

Every early-stage startup must identify and evaluate a strategic advantage

A strategic advantage can make your business

Image Credits: Eoneren / Getty Images

Whether you’re building a company or thinking about investing, it’s important to understand your strategic advantage.

In order to determine one, you should ask fundamental questions: What’s the long-term, sustainable reason that the company will stay in business?

As M&A accelerates, deal-makers are leveraging AI and ML to keep pace

Image of multicolored, complicated, twisted threads combining to form a single arrow against a light gray backdrop.

Image Credits: Fanatic Studio (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

The global pandemic has changed the way we work, including how and where we work. For those involved in the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) industry, a notoriously relationship-driven business, this has meant in-person boardroom handshakes have been replaced by video conference calls, remote collaboration and potentially less travel in the future.

The pandemic has also accelerated digital transformation, and deal-makers have embraced digital tools to help them execute effectively.

The quickening pace of digital transformation is no longer about ensuring a competitive edge. Today, it’s also about business resilience. But what’s on the horizon, and how else will technology evolve to meet the needs of companies and deal-makers?

There are still many inefficiencies in managing M&A, but technologies such as artificial intelligence, especially machine learning, are helping to make the process faster and easier.

New Relic’s business remodel will leave new CEO with work to do

Businessman struggling to move data arrow upwards

Image Credits: Malte Mueller / Getty Images

Lew Cirne, New Relic’s founder and CEO, is stepping into the executive chairman role. He will be replaced by Bill Staples on July 1.

Cirne spent the last several years rebuilding the company’s platform and changing its revenue model, aiming for what he hopes is long-term success.

TechCrunch decided to dig into the company’s financials to see just what challenges Staples may face as he moves into the corner office. The resulting picture is one that shows a company doing hard work for a more future-aligned product map and business model, albeit one that may not generate the sort of near-term growth that gives Staples ample breathing room with public investors.

Fast growth pushes an unprofitable no-code startup into the public markets: Inside Monday.com’s IPO filing

At long last, the Monday.com crew dropped an F-1 filing to go public in the United States. TechCrunch has long known that the company, which sells corporate productivity and communications software, has scaled north of $100 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR).

The countdown to its IPO filing — an F-1, because the company is based in Israel, rather than the S-1s filed by domestic companies — has been ticking for several quarters.

The Exchange has been riffling through the document since it came out, and we’ve picked up on a few things to explore.

The battle for voice recognition inside vehicles is heating up

market map voice recognition

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin

Until recently, integrating affordable voice-recognition software into an automobile was something from science fiction.

But last year, the percentage of vehicles offering in-car connected services reached 45%. By 2024, analysts predict cars with voice recognition will comprise 60% of the market.

Considering how much time many of us spend behind the wheel, there’s an infinite number of applications for the technology. For our latest Extra Crunch market map, we sized up the general market opportunity before creating a roster of major players and reaching out to investors to see where they’re placing bets.

Industrial automation startup Bright Machines hauls in $435M by going public via SPAC

Automatic robot mechanical arm is working in the modern automobile parts factory.

Image Credits: Teera Konakan / Getty Images

Bright Machines is going public via a SPAC-led combination that will see the 3-year-old company merge with SCVX, raising gross cash proceeds of $435 million in the process.

After the transaction is consummated, the startup will sport an anticipated equity valuation of $1.6 billion.

The Bright Machines news indicates that the great SPAC chill was not a deep freeze. And the transaction itself, in conjunction with the previously announced Desktop Metal blank-check deal, implies that there is space in the market for hardware startup liquidity via SPACs. Perhaps that will unlock more late-stage capital for hardware-focused upstarts.

We took a look at what Bright Machines does, and then the financial details that it shared as part of its news.

Want to double your rate of return? Seek counsel from experienced executives

As a rule of thumb, it takes 7-8 years for a successful startup to achieve an exit. But there’s a simple way to speed up the clock: Bring in one or more founders who have previous executive experience.

According to data gathered by Rob Olson, partner and head of data strategy at venture engine M13, startups that have two or more experienced founders tend to exit 33% faster and raise 34% less capital.

“Combined, these two improvements can nearly double an investor’s rate of return,” says Olson.

Should startups build or buy telehealth infrastructure?

Image Credits: Georgijevic (opens in a new window)/ Getty Images

Digital health in the U.S. got a huge boost from COVID-19 as more people started consulting physicians and urgent care providers remotely in the midst of lockdowns. So much so that McKinsey estimates that up to $250 billion of the current healthcare expenditure in the U.S. has the potential to be spent virtually.

The prominence of digital health is undoubtedly here to stay, but how it looks and feels from provider to provider is still a debate among sector startups.

But for providers who want to deliver care virtually across the country, it’s not as simple as adding a Zoom invite to an annual check-up. The process requires intention every step of the way — right from the clinicians delivering remote care to the choice of payment processor.

Help TechCrunch find the best email marketers for startups

Image Credits: Getty Images under a MirageC (opens in a new window) license.

Email marketing has been with us for decades, but today it has been refined to a science and an art form.

If you’re an early-stage founder, it is one of the best ways to build and grow your direct relationship with your customer. You know how fickle the platforms can be. You can’t afford to mess this up.

So when and how should you think about doing email marketing, versus all of your other frantic priorities?

Here at Extra Crunch, we’re helping you find the answers. We launched a survey of founders who want to recommend a great email marketer or agency they have worked with to the rest of the startup world.

Fill out the survey here.

For companies that use ML, labeled data is the key differentiator

Data labeling is more important than ever for ML implementations

Image Credits: gremlin / Getty Images

When a company chooses supervised learning, it needs to have a strategy that allows it to label data as quickly as it acquires it.

Supervised learning is currently the most practical approach for most ML challenges, but it requires the crucial additional step of making raw data smart by labeling it.

How Expensify got to $100M in revenue by hiring ‘stem cells’ and not ‘cogs in a wheel’

Illustration Expensify

Image Credits: Nigel Sussman

The influence of a founder on their company’s culture cannot be overstated. Everything from their views on the product and business to how they think about people affects how their company’s employees will behave, and since behavior, in turn, informs culture, the consequences of a founder’s early decisions can be far-reaching.

So it’s not surprising that Expensify has its own take on almost everything it does when you consider what its founder and CEO David Barrett learned early in his life: “Basically everyone is wrong about basically everything.”

As we saw in part 1 of this EC-1, this led him to the revelation that it’s easier to figure things out for yourself than finding advice that applies to you. Eventually, these insights would inform how he would go about shaping Expensify.

Inside Marqeta’s fascinating fintech IPO

Marqeta, long a darling of the fintech market though less well known than some companies in its sector due to its infrastructure nature, filed to go public late last week

If you are not familiar with Marqeta, it powers the payment card tech behind products that you use, like Square, a key customer and driver of the unicorn’s growth. Marqeta exhibits a number of fascinating fintech characteristics (majority revenue from interchange, a rabidly competitive market) that make it very interesting to unspool.

May Mobility’s Edwin Olson and Nina Grooms Lee and Toyota AI Ventures’ Jim Adler on validating your startup idea

When a founder has a work history that includes the name of the parent company of one of their key investors, you probably assume that was one of the first deals to come together. Not so with May Mobility and Toyota AI Ventures, which connected for the company’s second seed round after May went out and raised its original seed purely on the strength of its own ideas and proposed solutions.

That’s one of the many interesting things we learned from speaking to May Mobility co-founder and CEO Edwin Olson, as well as Chief Product Officer Nina Grooms Lee and Toyota AI Ventures founding partner Jim Adler on an episode of Extra Crunch Live.

Extra Crunch Live goes down every Wednesday at 3 p.m. EDT/noon PDT. Our next episode is with Sequoia’s Shaun Maguire and Vise’s Samir Vasavada, and you can check out the upcoming schedule right here.

Meanwhile, read on for highlights from our chat with Olson, Grooms Lee and Adler, and then stay tuned at the end for a recording of the full session, including our live pitch-off.

WalkMe is going public: Let’s stroll through its numbers

GettyImages 1058454392

Image Credits: Getty Images / Somyot Techapuwapat / EyeEm

WalkMe is the second Israel-based technology company to file to go public this week: No-code startup Monday.com is also pursuing an American IPO.

WalkMe’s software provides visual overlays on websites that help users navigate the product in question. Per the company’s F-1 filing, other elements of its service that matter include its onboarding system, Workstation, or its “single interface to the applications within an enterprise and simplifies task completion through a natural language conversational interface and automation.” We’re including that last feature because it says “automation,” which, in the wake of the UiPath IPO, is a word worth watching. Investors are.

At a high level, WalkMe is a SaaS business, which means that when we digest its results we are digging into a modern software company. Let’s do just that.

Can Squarespace dodge the direct-listing value trap?

Squarespace’s reference price has been set at $50 per share.

We went over Squarespace’s recently disclosed Q2 and full-2021 guidance and asked how its expectations compare to its reference-price-defined pre-trading valuation. Then, we set some stakes in the ground regarding historical direct-listing results and what we might expect from the company as it adds a third set of data to our quiver.

Let’s get into the numbers!

Mapping out one edtech company’s $200M bet on lifelong learning

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Image Credits: Getty Images / DrAfter123

Mumbai-based Emeritus, an edtech company that works with universities to create online upskilling courses for employed folks, just spent a big chunk of cash to break into K-12.

Emeritus, which is part of the Eruditus group, announced this week that it plans to acquire iD Tech, a STEM education service for children. The acquisition, which has not yet closed, is estimated to be around $200 million and leaves iD Tech operating as an independent brand for now.

ID Tech brings a whole different set of customers to its umbrella: The startup offers courses for elementary through high-school students across the globe taught by college students in the U.S.

5 innovative fundraising methods for emerging VCs and PEs

Five innovative ways PE and VCs can use to fundraise

Image Credits: Hiroshi Watanabe / Getty Images

According to Versatile VC founder David Teten, five new strategies are gaining traction among fund managers looking to raise capital from family offices and high-net-worth individuals:

  • Online communities and virtual events.
  • Platforms that help other investors access your fund.
  • Soliciting under the 506(c) designation.
  • Launching a rolling fund.
  • Crowdfunding from retail investors into a general partnership.

In a summary of a class he taught for the Oper8r VC fund accelerator, Teten offers actionable advice for anyone who wants to connect with pre-qualified investors.

Dear Sophie: What’s happening with visa application receipt notices?

lone figure at entrance to maze hedge that has an American flag at the center

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

Our startup employs several individuals who are on work visas or have employment authorization. Many of them have been waiting for quite a while for the government to tell them their applications have been received.

Why? When will things be back on track? We have a few employees who are waiting for green cards, and a few F-1 visa holders who will be extending their OPT to STEM OPT.

Is there anything we can do?

— Patient in Pasadena

Arrival’s Denis Sverdlov on the new era of car manufacturing

Denis-Sverdlov

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin

Electric vehicle company Arrival wants to break the current auto manufacturing model. Instead of one giant factory and an assembly line, Arrival’s commercial electric vans, buses and cars are robotically built in small, regional microfactories, of which the company wants to open 31 by the end of 2025.

If you want to achieve something radically more efficient, you have to go deeper, into complex, high-level computational algorithms that are not normally used in consumer-facing products.

The London-based company, founded in 2015, joined the ranks of EV companies going public via SPAC, merging with blank-check company CIIG Merger Corp. in March. UPS has already ordered 10,000 of Arrival’s robotically engineered vans, and the company recently signed a deal with Uber to create purpose-built EVs for ride-hail drivers.

Arrival founder Denis Sverdlov has been at the intersection of technological advancement and societal change before.

 

Chasing hype is human nature: The tyranny of startup trends

Startup trends can be tricky

Image Credits: Nuthawut Somsuk / Getty Images

The fear of missing out (FOMO) spreads faster than wildfire and often overwhelms rational decision-making.

In the VC community, investors look for lessons from disruptive startups they can use to identify other potential winners. But hype leads to bad decision-making, rushed due diligence and wishful thinking.

When and if those startups actually do well, “irrational FOMO takes over” because the initial assessment was based on bad information, says Victor Echevarria, a partner at Jackson Square Ventures. “Trends are addictive; to remain disciplined and avoid hype is to deny our innate instincts.”

It’s natural for investors to follow the crowd, but in the race to the bottom, FOMO can be high-octane fuel.

Robinhood’s epic Q1 growth explains its fundraising boom

The Exchange explores Robinhood’s financial results using the lens of payment for order flow (PFOF) income, which the company said during a congressional hearing constitutes the majority of its revenues.

This particular revenue growth — or the lack thereof — is a good way to understand not only Robinhood’s own results but also its larger market. If Robinhood is seeing rapid growth and strong trading volumes, we can infer with some confidence that others in its space are enjoying a related, if not similar, level of interest.

For Public.com, eToro and others like Freetrade (as well as our own understanding), how Robinhood performed recently is key. So, let’s explore the data.

How to ensure data quality in the era of Big Data

Unknown data failures are a big problem in the big data age

Image Credits: gremlin / Getty Images

A little over a decade has passed since The Economist warned us that we would soon be drowning in data. The modern data stack has emerged as a proposed life-jacket for this data flood — spearheaded by Silicon Valley startups such as Snowflake, Databricks and Confluent.

Today, any entrepreneur can sign up for BigQuery or Snowflake and have a data solution that can scale with their business in a matter of hours. The emergence of cheap, flexible and scalable data storage solutions was largely a response to changing needs spurred by the massive explosion of data.

Currently, the world produces 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily (there are 18 zeros in a quintillion). The explosion of data continues in the roaring ‘20s, both in terms of generation and storage — the amount of stored data is expected to continue to double at least every four years. However, one integral part of modern data infrastructure still lacks solutions suitable for the Big Data era and its challenges: Monitoring of data quality and data validation.

Investors help Procore build a decacorn valuation in public debut

Cranes of a construction site against blue sky

Image Credits: the_burtons (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Watching construction tech software company Procore go public Thursday after pricing above its range makes the IPO slowdown look like the deceleration that wasn’t.

Investors quickly bid up the company’s value in trading, giving Procore a higher valuation than it might have anticipated, along with a boost of confidence for the IPO market in general.

Construction tech may not be as glamorous as space travel, but it’s a massive industry that’s fraught with inefficiencies.

Procore initially set an IPO range of $60 to $65 per share before pricing at $67 per share Wednesday night. Its debut was worth gross proceeds north of $600 million and a fully diluted valuation of $9.6 billion. As of early afternoon Thursday, shares were trading at a solid $85.25.

In light of Procore’s debut, TechCrunch is digging quickly into the company’s new valuation and its resulting revenue multiples.

Telemedicine startups are positioning themselves for a post-pandemic world

Closeup shot of an unrecognizable nurse using a cellphone in a hospital

Image Credits: LaylaBird (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

It’s impossible to predict how healthcare institutions will operate post-pandemic, but with so many people now accustomed to telemedicine, startups that provide services around virtual care continue to be poised for success.

Telemedicine has faced an uphill battle to become more relevant in the U.S., with challenges such as meeting HIPAA compliance requirements and insurance companies unwilling to pay for virtual visits. But when COVID-19 began raging across the globe and people had to stay home, both the insurance and healthcare industries were forced to adapt.

Now that people see the benefits and conveniences of “dialing a doc” from the kitchen table, healthcare has changed forever.

#bright-machines, #data-infrastructure, #databricks, #desktop-metal, #entrepreneurship, #extra-crunch-roundup, #machine-learning, #marqeta, #private-equity, #procore, #startups, #tc, #telemedicine, #venture-capital, #voice-recognition, #walkme

Quix raises $3.2M from Project A and others for its ‘Stream centric’ approach to data

Quix, a platform for Python developers working on streaming data, has secured a £2.3 Million ($3.2M)Seed funding round led by Project A Ventures in Germany, with participation from London’s Passion Capital and angel investors. The Quix Portal is also providing developers with a free subscription to a real-time data engineering platform.

Quix attracted angel investors including Frank Sagnier (CEO, Codemasters), Ian Hogarth (Co-author, State of AI Report), Chris Schagen (CMO, Contentful), and Michael Schrezenmaier (COO, Pipedrive).

Quix wants to change the way data is handled and processed from a database-centric approach to a ‘stream-centric’ approach, connecting machine learning models to real-time data streams. This is arguably the next paradigm in computing.

Use cases for Quix, it says, include developing electric vehicles, and fraud prevention in financial services. Some of its early customers are the NHS, Deloitte and McLaren.

Indeed, the founding team consists of former McLaren F1 engineers who are used to processing real-time data streams from the systems used by most Formula 1 teams.

Co-founder and CEO Michael Rosam said: “At Quix, we believe that it will soon be essential for every organization to automatically action data within milliseconds of it being created. Whether it’s personalizing digital experiences, developing electric vehicles, automating industrial machinery, deploying smart wearables in healthcare, or detecting financial fraud faster, the ability to run machine learning models on live data streams and immediately respond to rapidly changing environments is critical to delivering better experiences and outcomes to people.”

Over email he told me that Quix’s main advantage is that it allows developers to build streaming applications on Kafka without investing in cloud infrastructure first: “Uniquely, our API & SDK connects any Python code directly to the broker so that teams can run real-time machine learning models in-memory, reducing latency and cost compared to database-centric architectures.”

Quix is entering the data ecosystem alongside batch data processing platforms like Snowflake and Databricks, and event streaming platforms like Confluent, Materialize, and DBT. However, this ecosystem is very complementary with organizations usually combining multiple products into a production infrastructure based on the strengths of each proposition.

Sam Cash of Project A Ventures said: “Data streaming is the next paradigm in data architecture, given end-users accelerating demand for live, on-demand and personalized applications. The Quix team are leading the way in this market, by democratizing access to data streaming infrastructure, which until now has been the reserve of the largest companies.”

Malin Posern, Partner at Passion Capital commented: “The world today is generating unimaginable amounts of data from digital and physical activities. Businesses of all types and sizes will want to make use of their data in real-time in order to be competitive.”

#api, #ceo, #cloud-infrastructure, #codemasters, #computing, #coo, #data-stream, #databricks, #deloitte, #europe, #financial-services, #germany, #healthcare, #ian-hogarth, #kafka, #machine-learning, #mclaren, #nhs, #passion-capital, #pipedrive, #project-a-ventures, #python, #streaming-applications, #streaming-data, #streaming-media, #tc, #technology, #wireless-networking

Planting seed investments on tech’s frontiers nets KdT Ventures $50 million for its latest fund

Like other venture investors over the past year, Cain McClary, co-founder of the investment firm KdT Ventures, recently made the jump to Austin. But unlike the rest of them, he was coming from Black Mountain, NC.

McClary had spent the better part of the last three years with his co-founder Mack Healy building out a portfolio that would be the envy of almost any investor looking at financing startups whose businesses depend on innovations at the borders of current technological achievement.

Since 2017, when the firm closed on the first $3.5 million of what ended up being a $15 million fund (they had targeted $30 million), McClary and Healy managed to find their way onto the cap table of businesses like the green chemicals manufacturer, Solugen; health diagnostics technology developer, PathAI; the Nigerian genetic dataset developer, 54Gene; the novel biomaterials developer, Checkerspot; and the genetics-focused therapy company, Dyno Therapeutics. 

That portfolio — and the subsequent top decile performance that Cambridge Associates has said comes with it — has allowed McClary and Healy to close on an oversubscribed $50 million new fund to invest in promising startup companies.

KdT co-founders Cain McClary and Mack Healy. Image Credit: KdT Ventures

Hailing from a small Tennessee town outside of Leipers Fork (itself a small Tennessee town) McClary studied medicine at Tulane and business at Stanford where he linked up with Healy through a mutual friend.

Healy, who had done stints throughout big Bay Area startups like Airbnb, Databricks, and Facebook brought the software expertise (and some capital to stake the firm) while McClary provided the life sciences know-how.

Together the two men set out to hang their investment shingle at the intersection of software and life sciences that was proving to be fertile ground for new business creation. Each company in the firm’s portfolio depends on both the advances in understanding how to code computers and living cells.

McClary had left California for personal reasons when he launched the fund in 2017 and in 2020 relocated to Austin for professional ones. Healy had already set up shop in the city and it was easier, McClary said to fly out to San Francisco to look for companies from the Austin airport than it was from Ashville.

Also, both men were placing big bets on the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas to become the breeding ground for the type of entrepreneurs that the firm is looking to back.

Mack was there… the Dell Medical School and we think it’s going to be produce the types of entrpereneurs that we want to support. Houston has a med system. I firmly believe that texas has a place at the table in the future 

“The way that we define it is that we like to invest in the physical layer of the world,” said McClary. “That includes not only medicine, but chemicals and agriculture. All of that is driven by some of the things that we have this sourcecode for the physical world.”

Mapping the unmapped corners of the frontier tech startup world means that the firm not only has a presence in Austin, but has hired principals to scour Houston and Research Triangle Park in North Carolina for hot deals.

That doesn’t mean the firm is forsaking California though. One of the most recent deals in the KdT portfolio is Andes Ag, an Emeryville, Calif.-based startup that’s applying yield-boosting microbes directly to seeds in an effort to improve crop performance for farmers.

“The KdT team speaks the language of science, making them an outlier in this area of venture investing,” said JD Montgomery of Canterbury Consulting, a limited partner in KdT’s first and second fund. “They are passionate about building the science companies of the future that will tackle some of the significant challenges our world faces in the next decade and beyond.”

#54gene, #airbnb, #austin, #california, #cambridge-associates, #chemicals, #co-founder, #corporate-finance, #databricks, #dell, #economy, #entrepreneurship, #facebook, #finance, #fork, #houston, #money, #north-carolina, #partner, #pathai, #private-equity, #san-francisco, #solugen, #stanford, #startup-company, #tc, #texas, #tulane, #university-of-texas, #venture-capital

Databricks brings its lakehouse to Google Cloud

Databricks and Google Cloud today announced a new partnership that will bring to Databricks customers a deep integration with Google’s BigQuery platform and Google Kubernetes Engine. This will allow Databricks’ users to bring their data lakes and the service’s analytics capabilities to Google Cloud.

Databricks already features a deep integration with Microsoft Azure — one that goes well beyond this new partnership with Google Cloud — and the company is also an AWS partner. By adding Google Cloud to this list, the company can now claim to be the “only unified data platform available across all three clouds (Google, AWS and Azure).”

It’s worth stressing, though, that Databricks’ Azure integration is a bit of a different deal from this new partnership with Google Cloud. “Azure Databricks is a first-party Microsoft Azure service that is sold and supported directly by Microsoft. The first-party service is unique to our Microsoft partnership. Customers on Google Cloud will purchase directly from Databricks through the Google Cloud Marketplace,” a company spokesperson told me. That makes it a bit more of a run-of-the-mill partnership compared to the Microsoft deal, but that doesn’t mean the two companies aren’t just as excited about it.

“We’re delighted to deliver Databricks’ lakehouse for AI and ML-driven analytics on Google Cloud,” said Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian (or, more likely, one of the company’s many PR specialists who likely wrote and re-wrote this for him a few times before it got approved). “By combining Databricks’ capabilities in data engineering and analytics with Google Cloud’s global, secure network—and our expertise in analytics and delivering containerized applications—we can help companies transform their businesses through the power of data.”

Similarly, Databricks CEO Ali Ghodsi noted that he is “thrilled to partner with Google Cloud and deliver on our shared vision of a simplified, open, and unified data platform that supports all analytics and AI use-cases that will empower our customers to innovate even faster.”

And indeed, this is clearly a thrilling delight for everybody around, including customers like Conde Nast, whose Director of Data Engineering Nana Essuman is “excited to see leaders like Google Cloud and Databricks come together to streamline and simplify getting value from data.”

If you’re also thrilled about this, you’ll be able to hear more about it from both Ghodsi and Kurian at an event on April 6 that is apparently hosted by TechCrunch (though this is the first I’ve heard of it, too).

#ali-ghodsi, #artificial-intelligence, #aws, #bigquery, #cloud-computing, #cloud-infrastructure, #computing, #conde-nast, #databricks, #google, #google-cloud, #microsoft, #microsoft-azure, #partner, #tc, #thomas-kurian

Monte Carlo raises $25M for its data observability service

This morning Monte Carlo, a startup focused on helping other companies better monitor their data inflows, announced that it has closed a $25 million Series B.

The round, which was co-led by GGV and Redpoint, comes mere months after its September Series A that was worth $15 million. Accel led the company’s Series A and Seed deals, participating in its Series B as well.

The round caught our attention not only for the speed at which it was raised following Monte Carlo’s preceding investment, but also because your humble servant had no idea what data observability, the startup’s niche, really was.

So we got Monte Carlo co-founder and CEO Barr Moses on a call to explain both her company’s space, and how it managed to attract so much more capital so quickly.

Data inflows

Big data was the jam a while back, but it turned out to be merely one piece in the broader data puzzle. We can see evidence of that in recent revenue growth at Databricks, which reached $425 million ARR in 2020 by building an analytics and AI service that sits on top of companies’ data.

Monte Carlo is another bet on the data space, sitting a bit earlier in the data lifecycle. Think of it this way: Snowflake can hold all your data, and Databricks can help you analyze it. But what’s checking to make sure that data flowing into your repositories is, you know, not bullshit?

Figuring out if data inflows are healthy and not bunk is what Monte Carlo does.

According to Moses, companies now have myriad data sources. That’s great in theory as more data is usually a good thing. But if one or two of those sources goes haywire, figuring that out before you collect, store, and analyze the bad information is pretty important.

So Monte Carlo sits upstream from the other data companies that are hot these days, keeping tabs on inbound data sources across a number of parameters to make sure that what’s actually arriving in your data lake is legit.

The startup does that, Moses said, by checking data freshness (how recent, or tardy the data in question is), volume (is there too little, too much?), schema (the data’s structure itself, to see if things have changed that could matter, or break downstream services), distribution (if data points suddenly jump from say, the single digits to the millions), and lineage, which can help find breakpoints in data inflows.

Hearing that Monte Carlo learns from a company’s particular data pipes to figure out what could be non-standard data inflow made me curious how long it takes to get the startup’s software set up and running; not long, per Barr, an hour to fire it up in many cases, and a week to learn.

A growing sector

Monte Carlo’s product is neat enough to warrant our attention by itself. But, fitting neatly inside the growth of the broader data space, and especially data tooling