Hello and welcome to the Daily Crunch on Monday, January 31! We put a bow on the first month of the year today, but that doesn’t mean we’re looking back. Not at all. First, the news explodes like firecrackers. And we’re looking ahead because we’re doing a lot of really fun live podcasts this year. We’ll see each other there! – alexander
TechCrunch’s top 4
- Sony buys Bungie as gaming consolidates: If you’ve been reading TechCrunch for more than a few days, you’ve seen us cover the Take Two-Zynga deal and the recent Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal. Today, Sony threw another deal into the mix, announcing it would buy Halo maker Bungie for billions. There have also been other deals lately, and if the latest deals pass the antitrust authorities, we’ll be heading into next year with a more consolidated gaming industry than ever before. It is not yet clear if this will prove a power-up or a debuff for players.
- The now infamous CEO of Bolt came out: Following waves of power post Twitter feeds attacking some of tech’s most prominent power connections, Ryan Breslow stepped out as CEO of Bolt. Bolt competes in the one-click payment space. Whichever way you view Breslow’s drama, he owns high-voting shares in Bolt, according to reports from TechCrunch, so he’s not going overboard, we think.
- Spotify tries to patch Joe Rogan’s flap: After some prominent musicians decided they didn’t want their material available on Spotify, protesting the music platform’s deal with controversial podcast host Joe Rogan, the company began working to push back The critics. He detailed his guidelines and said he would make some changes to his podcast setup. The market works! Unfortunately, not all capitalists are able to not lose their minds when it actually works.
- Citrix will become private in PE megadeal: With tech stocks under the hammer thanks to shifting public market preferences and tightening central bank policies, private equity buying season could be buying season. Today Vista and a friend decided to buy remote desktop company Citrix for over $16 billion. The idea is to turn Citrix and the already private Tibco into something of a corporate stew. It will work?
Let’s start today in France. The French startup scene has had a very strong 2021, which means more deals from the country are hitting our radar. Today, it’s Pennylane, which has just raised $57 million in a series B to “replace old accounting solutions in France”, and its continent at large. If you don’t follow ours Romain Dillet on the rhythm of France, you miss something.
Along the way, the trend of big funds investing earlier doesn’t seem to be waning. TCV has a new $460 million fund set to launch in Series A, despite raising a multi-billion fund a few quarters ago. Our view is that this will help keep early-stage startup deals pricey.
Let’s spin the globe, let’s talk about Africa. There is a new fund with $200 million in the market looking for growth-stage startups on the continent. And, Tiger has made its second investment in an African company, we write today, this time putting capital into Bamboo, a fintech start-up bringing US stocks to the Nigerian market.
- Employees pass on feedback from the CEO of Better.com: If you come back to lead your old team and they decide’no, ‘are you still a leader? TechCrunch reports that Better.com staff are hitting the ‘surely not’ button and not work there after the company brought back its disgraced CEO.
- Jupyter the platform: If you play with data, chances are you’re familiar with Jupyter Notebook. It’s a notebook for data scientists to take notes, interact with code, etc. Deepnote wants to build a “data science platform on Jupyter-enabled laptops”, reports TechCrunch. The company just raised $20 million.
- GitHub for hardware? The AllSpice startup is not a spice, nor an Old Spice guerrilla marketing campaign. Instead, the company is creating a “collaborative hub designed for hardware development,” reports TechCrunch. Probably every industry needs a central GitHub-style knowledge repository? Expect to see more startups working in the same direction.
- Qlub wants to shake up the way you pay for food: According to Mike Butcher, Qlub is similar to Sunday in that it wants to help consumers pay for their orders through QR codes instead of restaurant staff helping them pay. The company just raised $17 million.
3 experiences for early-stage founders looking for a product-market fit
Elise King, Director of the Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program at Human Ventures, interviewed three company portfolio founders to learn about the tactics they used to acquire data in their quest for product-market fit. .
- Pre-MVP/customer discovery phase: Tiny Organics
- Mid-MVP phase: Tabu
- Once the product is on the market: teal blue
“The general theme seems to be this: listen to your demographic, learn from their experiences in order to find a way to truly serve them, and don’t be afraid to change direction if necessary,” King advises.
Big Tech inc.
- Pinterest now lets you see pinned furniture IRL: The idea of wanting to see the furniture on site before buying is a good one. Some retailers have tools to help consumers do just that. Pinterest is getting in on the action, working with some of these same retailers. This fits into the general concept of Pinterest being more of an e-commerce business over time than a social network.