Plaid loses a fifth of its workforce after ‘growth didn’t materialize as quickly as expected’ • TechCrunch
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Hello and welcome to Hump Day! If you haven’t had your fill of tech egos yet, you’ll want to tune in to today’s Equity podcast, where Natasha M and alexander talk about how ego got Sam Bankman-Fried and Elizabeth Holmes to where they are today.
Mark your calendar for tomorrow’s podcast with Walter and attorney based in Silicon Valley and Tech Crunch+ journalist Sophia. Starting at 9:00 a.m. PST/12:00 p.m. EST, they will discuss immigration issues and answer questions about layoffs, work visas, and being a tech worker visa. The public is invited to send in questions.
Now, on with the news! — Christina
TechCrunch’s top 3
- More layoffs: I hate that layoffs have become a regular feature in this newsletter, but today, Mary Ann writes about fintech Plaid laying off 20% of its staff, with CEO Zach Perret telling employees the motivation for the cuts came from “hiring and investing before revenue growth”. I guess companies will get better at forecasting, although with this macro climate it’s probably best to throw the crystal ball out the window.
- Avatars are everywhere: Speaking a lot in the news lately, WhatsApp is rolling out 3D avatars, Jagmeet reports. Just in time for the movie.
- Against the VC trend: Security compliance and automation will never go out of style, and Drata proves that this sector is still attractive for investors. The company, which helps clients adhere to frameworks, such as SOC 2 and GDPR, secured $200 million at a $2 billion valuation. Paul see you.
Startups and VCs
Tags follows the events of the African fintech Chipper Cash. Already this week, the company announced layoffs, and today we learn that FTX, its main investor, reduced Chipper Cash’s valuation of $2 billion to $1.25 billion shortly before FTX does not declare bankruptcy.
It was a great day for new funds. pot holder writes about India’s Blume Ventures, which more than doubled in size after securing more than $250 million for its new fund. Connie reports on 645 Ventures, led by a data-driven duo that just raised $350 million in capital commitments. And finally, Thoma Bravo has been on an acquisition tear lately, and Ron writes that they now have a new record capital of $32 billion to feed the buyout funds.
Enjoy five more:
- The downfall of the VC heard across Europe: Ingrid gives you a look at Atomico’s report on how much venture capital European startups are on track to raise this year.
- Row, row, row your boat: Harbor Lab got 6.1 million euros to automate everything that happens when you dock a ship in a commercial port. Mike see you.
- I think that truck smiled at me: Einride’s self-driving, electric truck looks like it has a face. And you might see one for yourself. Paul writes that the company landed $500 million in equity and debt to expand in Europe and North America.
- No SIM card needed: Telegram’s Premium offer just hit 1 million paying users, as reported pot holderand now the company is auctioning off virtual phone numbers so people can use the instant messaging app without a sim card, Ivan writing.
- It helps to know what you’re spending: Today I’m talking about MarginEdge, a restaurant technology company that has raised $45 million in new funding to collect real-time data from a restaurant’s back-office operations to give merchants a better idea of how much they are spending.
To attract investors, use growth as a differentiator
Despite the pessimism, investors continue to encounter the founding teams as they search for places to park their money. Suave storytelling skills are good, but they’re not enough: once you’re in the room where it’s happening, making the most of everyone’s time is key.
To make investor buy-in more likely, Jon Attwell, head of Seedstars Growth Track, advises teams to create metric-driven customer journey maps that detail “all the mini-processes that customers go through and the pathways that they follow”. ”
Growth projections are great, but showing investors concrete plans for onboarding and retention, combating churn, and addressing other growth drivers will help demonstrate how well you understand your market.
“For investors, it’s a rare treat to see an obsession with granular metrics of a customer journey,” Attwell writes.
Three others from the TC+ team:
- We’re not telling you anything you didn’t already know…: But we put a TC spin on it. Beca examines the valuations of fintech unicorns and how far they have fallen in 2022.
- Two rich men go to a conference on cryptography…: Jacqueline ended at the Benzinga “Future of Crypto” event and caught Kevin O’Leary and Anthony Scaramucci chatting all things SBF, FTX and what’s next for crypto.
- Complaints increase: Tim has heard complaints about the US climate legislation from opponents, which he says is a sign that it is already working.
Tech Crunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get a head start. You can register here. Use code “DC” to get 15% off an annual subscription!
Big Tech inc.
In the “do you think?” today? files, San Francisco is now rethinking its policy on police using killer robots, Paul writing.
I’m often polite to Alexa – my husband looks up at me when I say “please” and “thank you” so I was intrigued by AmandaToday’s story that Amazon will give your overworked delivery driver $5 if you ask Alexa to thank your driver. I mean, why not start this habit during gift-giving season? I see the green light on my Alexa flashing right now…
Five more for you:
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