Edtech Funding Increase, Poland VC Survey, In Shift’s SPAC Plan, More – TechCrunch

I live in San Francisco, but I have a schedule on the east coast to stay ahead of the news. So I had already been at my desk for a few hours Wednesday morning when I looked up and saw this:

As disturbing as it was to see the natural environment transformed in this way, I did my job anyway. This is not to brag: I have a desk job and a working air filter. (However, people doing deliveries in toxic air or teaching their kids at home while working from home during a global pandemic impress me greatly.)

It’s no coincidence that two of the Extra Crunch stories released from our Tuesday newsletter relate directly to what’s happening outside my window:

As this guest post predicted, a suboptimal attempt I made to track a delayed package using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) did indeed plague my customer experience, and;

Putting up a shelter to avoid the novel coronavirus – and smoke from wildfires – is fueling the growth of the video game industry, perhaps one of the factors in Unity Software Inc.’s plan to become public before its competitor Epic Games. In a two-part series, we took a look at how the company has grown beyond games and shared a detailed financial breakdown.

We’ve covered a lot of ground this week, so scroll down or visit the newly redesigned Extra Crunch homepage. If you would like to receive this summary by email every Tuesday and Friday, please click here.

Thanks so much for reading Extra Crunch; Hope you have a safe and relaxing weekend.

Walter thompson
Editor-in-chief
@yourprotagonist


Image credits: Nigel sussman (Opens in a new window)

In a two-part series aired on TechCrunch and Extra Crunch, former media columnist Eric Peckham returned to share his analysis of Unity Software Inc’s S-1 case.

The first part is a deep dive that explains how the business has grown beyond gaming to develop multiple revenue streams and where it is heading.

For Part 2 on Extra Crunch, he studied the company’s numbers to provide context for its roughly $ 11 billion valuation.


The Palace of Culture and Science is reminiscent of communism in Warsaw, Masovian Voivodeship, Poland.

Image credits: Edwin Remsberg (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

As we have seen previously, the COVID-19 pandemic is making the world much smaller.

Investors who focus on their own backyard still have an advantage, but the ability to set up a quick meeting with a promising investor is no longer one of them.

Even though some VCs cut the first checks after Zoom calls, the personal networks of regional investors are still an asset. However, tourists will always rely on guides, which is why we continue to survey investors around the world.

A Dealroom report released this summer determined that 97 venture capital funds supported more than 1,600 financing rounds in Poland last year. With over 2,400 start-ups and start-ups and 400,000 engineers in the country, it’s easy to see why foreign investors are interested.

Editor-in-Chief Mike Butcher reached out to several investors who focus on Warsaw and Poland in general to find out more about startups fueling their interest in fintech, games, security and others:

  • Bryony Cooper, Managing Partner, Arkley Brinc VC
  • Anna Wnuk-Błażejczyk, Head of Investor Relations, Experior.vc
  • Rafał Roszak, Director of Investments, YouNick Mint
  • Michal Mroczkowski, partner, Market One Capital
  • Marcus Erken, Partner, Sunfish Partners
  • Borys Musielak, partner, SMOK Ventures
  • Mathias Åsberg, partner, Nextgrid
  • Kuba Dudek, SpeedUp Venture Capital Group
  • Marcin Laczynski, Partner, Next Road Ventures
  • Michał Rokosz, partner, Inovo Venture Partners

We will launch the conclusion of its poll next Tuesday.


Customer relationship management and leader concepts on whiteboard

Image credits: cnythzl (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Even for nascent startups, building a robust customer service channel – or at least one that doesn’t bore people – is a reliable way to keep users in the sales funnel.

Using AI and automation is good, but now that consumers have gotten used to asking smart phones and speakers to predict the weather and read recipe instructions, their expectations are higher than ever.

If you’re trying to figure out what people expect from hyper-personalized customer experiences and how you can operationalize AI to give them what they’re looking for, start here.


Image credits: Nigel sussman (Opens in a new window)

For today’s edition of The Exchange, Natasha Mascaren joined Alex Wilhelm to examine how the pandemic’s interest in edtech manifests itself on the funding front.

The numbers suggest funding will far exceed the industry peak set in 2018, so the duo studied the numbers through August 31, which included a number of mega-towers topping $ 100 million.

“Now the challenge for the sector will be to maintain its growth in 2021, showing investors that their 2020 bets were not simply bets made in a single overheated year,” they conclude.


Digital binary code on red background.  Cybercrime concept

Image credits: WhataWin (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

There is little chance that someone will enter my home and steal my belongings. However, I always lock my door when I leave the house and my valuables are insured. I am an optimist, not a fool.

Likewise: is your startup’s cybersecurity strategy based on optimism, or do you have a real response plan in the event of a data breach?

Security reporter Zack Whittaker has seen chaotic reactions to security breaches, which is why he gave a postmortem on a company that got it right.

“Every now and then, a company’s response almost makes up for the daily deluge of hypocrisy, obfuscation and outright lies,” Zack explains.


Number 6 by train tracks at sunset

Image credits: Eric Burger / EyeEm (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

There is a lot of buzz about special purpose acquisition companies these days.

The used car market Shift announced its SPAC in June 2020 and is on track to complete the process in the coming months. So co-founder / co-CEO George Arison wrote an Extra Crunch guest post to share what he learned.

Step One: “If you choose PSPC, you will need to become an expert in financial engineering. “


Image credits: Sophie alcorne

Dear Sophie:

I am a software engineer and searched for vacancies in the United States. My friends told me about J-1 Visa Training or J-1 Research.

What is a J-1 status? What are the conditions to qualify? Do I need to find an American employer willing to sponsor me before I apply for one? Can I get a visa? How long can I stay?

– Determined in Delhi


Alexander "Alexis" Karp, co-founder and CEO of Palantir Technologies Inc., speaks at the WSJDLive Global Technology Conference in Laguna Beach, California, United States on Wednesday, October 26, 2016. The conference brings together an unrivaled group of greats CEOs, founders, pioneers, investors and luminaries to explore emerging technological opportunities around the world.  Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Image credits: Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

As we count to the September 23 premiere NYSE: PLTR, Danny Crichton looked at the “robust secondary market” which has allowed some investors to acquire stocks early.

“Considering the number of people involved and the number of shares bought and sold over the past 18 months, we can get a sense of how insiders perceive the value of Palantir,” he writes.


Vector illustration of padlock and keys in a repeating pattern on a blue background.

Image credits: JakeOlimb / Getty Images

Zack Whittaker interviewed Bugcrowd CTO, Founder and President Casey Ellis on the best practices he recommends for creating a startup culture that takes safety seriously.

“It’s a problem for everyone,” said Ellis, who encouraged the founders to promote the notion of “productive paranoia.”

Now that the threat envelope includes everyone from marketing to engineering, employees need to “internalize the fact that bad things can and do happen if you do it wrong,” Ellis said.



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