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The new home of TechCrunch
The original plan was to spend a minute today explaining that the Daily Crunch is now being set up by a new, expanded team. I, your friend Alex, will write and collect the main sections from now on. We will also have the contribution of Walter and Annie on the Extra Crunch side of things (like today’s Exchange column!), as well as community notes from Drew and more. It’s going to be awesome.
But with the news today that TechCrunch’s parent company is selling our parent company to a new parent company, there is nothing we can do but admit that our newsletter revamp is not the biggest news of the day.
You can read more about TechCrunch’s coverage of the deal here. We will have more on this in the coming weeks. You will learn more about it as we do.
I am more than happy to have the chance to write to you every day. A big thank you to Anthony Ha, who ran this beautiful newsletter for so long. But there is a parcel startups and tech news to go through today, so let’s put aside the private equity buyouts of legacy media assets for now and get into what matters most to us.
The big story: the Duolingo EC-1
TechCrunch has covered the explosive edtech industry extensively over the past year (a few examples here and here), thanks in large part to Natasha job. She joined the TC team just before the pandemic, which allowed her to instantly focus on education technology as the world was on lockdown. Distance education has become the default solution multi-billion dollar venture capital quickly chased the trend.
Now, perhaps at the other end of the COVID era, Natasha has just posted an in-depth dive into one of the most fascinating companies in the edtech arena: Duolingo. According to its reports in its all-new EC-1 investigating the company, Duolingo has grown to 500 million users and $ 190 million in 2020 bookings.
Edtech is now a big company, and after being a place where venture capital is going to die, it’s more of a hot industry with one. I’m still chomping down at the 10,000+ words we just sent on Duolingo, but it’s already clear that Natasha crushed this particular mission.
Startups and venture capital: Either NFTs are the next big thing or a lot of people are wrong
Let’s talk about startups, yes? As for today’s news, I have found some gems for you to enjoy.
We’ll start with Zoomo, an Australian electric bike company (formerly Bolt Bikes) that wants delivery people to subscribe to its two-wheeled zoomers. As TechCrunch recently reported, you may have heard of the company after it “made a name for itself through partnerships with Uber Eats and DoorDash to help delivery people access e-bikes through subscriptions. weekly at reduced rates ”.
It has since expanded to 10,000 bicycles internationally and wants to work with companies of all kinds to equip their workers with its equipment. And he just raised $ 12 million. Let’s see how far his new capital allows the business, uh, to go forward.
Next up is Gatheround, which just raised $ 3.5 million in a fundraiser. The company, formerly known as Icebreaker, helps remote teams conduct engaging video meetings. This isn’t a bad idea, because sometimes you just need a little help breaking the fucking ice.
By our own Mary ann azevedo“Homebrew and Bloomberg Beta co-led the company’s latest raise, which included the participation of angel investors, such as Stripe COO Claire Hughes Johnson, Meetup co-founder Scott Heiferman, Li Jin and Lenny Rachitsky.”
Finally, it’s impossible to cover startups in 2021 without NFTs popping up somewhere, so let’s leave Lucas Matney to exploit our brain in the cryptoverse:
The creators of CryptoPunks, one of the most popular NFT projects on the web, just revealed their latest project called Meebits. The project includes 20,000 procedurally generated 3D characters that are tradeable on the Ethereum blockchain.
I won’t lie, why not procedurally generate 200,000? Or 2,000,000? Or 20? Lots of my friends tweet about bored monkeys and digital horse breeding. Meanwhile, I sit around a stack of paper books, feeling both like a caveman and an oracle able to see what won’t last. Either way, this is the year of non-fungible digital ownership of proof of digital ownership of fungible images.
Tech giants: Twitter vs. Clubhouse
When it comes to Big Tech companies, there was a fair amount of news today, the most important being that Twitter’s push towards live audio is no joke. It’s also not some sort of side project that never really gets the full attention of the social giant’s product team. Instead, Twitter today announced that it “makes Twitter spaces available to any account with 600 or more followers, including iOS and Android users.” Sarah reports.
More so, the company also “officially unveiled some of the features it is preparing to launch, such as ticketing spaces, scheduling features, reminders, co-hosting support, accessibility enhancements, etc. Get the hype, kids; Twitter vs. Clubhouse is now in its second round and we’re pretty hyped about it.
Two other things for your reading pleasure: when it comes to the biggest tech companies, a key topic – and the current topic of a lawsuit between Team Fornite and Team Dongle – has been the reduction in revenue that the app stores of all edges can take. Long stuck at 30%, a rate Apple is apparently determined to stick to, no matter how poor that makes them look, there is movement on the matter.
Today, Epic Games bought ArtStation and instantly slashed its commission rate from 30% from the 12% Epic now charges on its own game store. Microsoft had previously reduced its reduction to 12%. That sound you hear is Apple screaming as a portion of its record breaking net income is slowly eroded by more creator-friendly business practices.
Finally, in the big tech world, Dell is selling Boomi to help cover the debts it has accumulated by buying EMC. Ron miller has the details.
Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch
Analytics as a Service: Why More Businesses Should Consider Outsourcing
As KPIs evolve, Return to Experience (RoX) ranks high on the list. Unfortunately, many startups have no way of measuring RoX – it requires a holistic approach that is beyond the capacity of most growth-oriented start-ups.
Startups that need to develop a data strategy while conserving engineering resources are driving the growth of the Analytics as a Service (AaaS) market. If you’re looking for insights on winning customers strategically, lowering technical costs, and making better decisions faster, AaaS can help you set realistic expectations.
How to attract big investors to your direct investment platform
A changing regulatory environment and growth fueled by a pandemic have created a lot of new wealth and increased interest in direct investment.
In a guest post for Extra Crunch, investor David Teten took a look at several online platforms that serve as market makers to get a better idea of how they attract investors and increase engagement.
These companies are playing for high stakes, says Teten, because a competent direct investment platform must be able to operate as transparently as a traditional fund.
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