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Steven Yang and Sonny Vu discuss COVID-19’s impact on tech manufacturing - techcrunch

Steven Yang and Sonny Vu discuss COVID-19’s impact on tech manufacturing

Like most of the rest of the world, COVID-19 hit the manufacturing sector by surprise. That China — which continues to comprise the vast majority of electronics manufacturing — was the first global epicenter of the virus certainly didn’t help the industry sufficiently brace for the impact of a pandemic on a scale the world […]
techcrunch - 22 minutes ago
German space agency reveals an autonomous, electric urban mobility prototype for use right here on Earth - techcrunch

German space agency reveals an autonomous, electric urban mobility prototype for use right here on Earth

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) has debuted a prototype of what it calls ‘U-Shift,’ an urban mobility vehicle designed for multiple uses. U-Shift is a fully electric vehicle, designed for autonomous operation, and could serve in a number of capacities including as an on-demand shuttle, a bus, a mobile distribution center for package delivery, or […]
techcrunch - 1 hour ago
TikTok and WeChat will be banned in the U.S. from Sunday - techcrunch

TikTok and WeChat will be banned in the U.S. from Sunday

The Commerce Department announced this morning that it will require mobile app stores to remove popular social media apps TikTok and WeChat. New users will not be able to download these apps, and while existing users will still be able to use their existing apps installed on their phones, new updates will not be allowed […]
techcrunch - 1 hour ago
VCs have to train themselves to ‘ask the stupid questions’, says Hoxton Ventures’ Hussein Kanji - techcrunch

VCs have to train themselves to ‘ask the stupid questions’, says Hoxton Ventures’ Hussein Kanji

If venture capitalists could predict the future, why wouldn’t they just start companies themselves? That’s the question Hussein Kanji, founding partner at Hoxton Ventures, asked rhetorically at Disrupt 2020. “If anyone says that they have predictive power in this industry and says they know where the future is gonna be, I just question the wisdom […]
techcrunch - 3 hours ago
China’s vaping giant Relx gears up for US entry - techcrunch

China’s vaping giant Relx gears up for US entry

The backlash against vaping in the United States has not deterred a Chinese challenger from entering the world’s largest vaping market. Relx, one of China’s largest e-cigarette companies, is seeking to submit its Premarket Tobacco Product Application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by the end of 2021. Upon completion of a review process […]
techcrunch - 3 hours ago
Google pulls India’s Paytm app from Play Store for repeat policy violations - techcrunch

Google pulls India’s Paytm app from Play Store for repeat policy violations

Google has pulled Indian financial services app Paytm from the Play Store for repeatedly violating its policies, two people familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. Paytm is India’s most valued startup and claims over 50 million monthly active users. Its marquee app, which allows users to exchange money with one another, disappeared from the Play […]
techcrunch - 5 hours ago
Ride-hailing was hit hard by COVID-19. Grab’s Russell Cohen on how the company adapted. - techcrunch

Ride-hailing was hit hard by COVID-19. Grab’s Russell Cohen on how the company adapted.

Ride-hailing services around the world have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Grab was no exception. The company is one of the most highly-valued tech startups in Southeast Asia, where it operates in eight countries. Its transport business suffered a sharp decline in March and April, as movement restriction orders were implemented. But […]
techcrunch - 7 hours ago
TikTok’s Chinese rival Kuaishou becomes a popular online bazaar - techcrunch

TikTok’s Chinese rival Kuaishou becomes a popular online bazaar

In China, short video apps aren’t just for mindless time killing. These services are becoming online bazaars where users can examine products, see how they are grown and made, and ask sellers questions during live sessions. Kuaishou, the main rival of TikTok’s Chinese version (Douyin), announced that it accumulated 500 million e-commerce orders in August, […]
techcrunch - 10 hours ago
Benchmark’s Peter Fenton: “10 to 20 years of innovation just got pulled forward” - techcrunch

Benchmark’s Peter Fenton: “10 to 20 years of innovation just got pulled forward”

Earlier today at TechCrunch Disrupt, venture capitalist Peter Fenton joined us to talk about a variety of issues. Among them, we discussed how he’s putting his stamp on Benchmark now that, 15 years after joining the storied firm, he’s its most senior member. Fenton said that he’s mostly focused on ensuring that firm doesn’t change. […]
techcrunch - 14 hours ago
Meet the five startup Battlefield finalists at Disrupt 2020 - techcrunch

Meet the five startup Battlefield finalists at Disrupt 2020

TechCrunch hosted an unusual Startup Battlefield this week — the founders, judges, audience and moderator (me) were all in different locations, doing our best to interact over WebEx. But the 20 startups still demonstrated their products and explained their visions, then were grilled by expert judges. And those judges helped the TechCrunch team select our […]
techcrunch - 14 hours ago
Schools are closing their doors, but OpenDoor isn’t - techcrunch

Schools are closing their doors, but OpenDoor isn’t

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast (now on Twitter!), where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week Natasha Mascarenhas, Danny Crichton and myself hosted a live taping at Disrupt for a digital reception. It was good fun, though of course we’re looking forward to bringing the live show back to the conference […]
techcrunch - 14 hours ago
Daily Crunch: Twitter tightens security ahead of election - techcrunch

Daily Crunch: Twitter tightens security ahead of election

Twitter takes preemptive steps to avoid election-related hacks, we check out the new Apple Watches and Facebook launches new business tools. This is your Daily Crunch for September 17, 2020. The big story: Twitter tightens security ahead of election Twitter said today that “high-profile, election-related” accounts in the United States will be receiving notifications telling […]
techcrunch - 15 hours ago
Ron Howard and Brian Grazer say that their accelerator can help diversify Hollywood - techcrunch

Ron Howard and Brian Grazer say that their accelerator can help diversify Hollywood

Impact Creative Systems (formerly Imagine Impact) is bringing a startup accelerator-style approach to finding fresh creative talent, and it announced this morning that, with funding from venture capital firm Benchmark, it’s spinning out from Imagine Entertainment — the production company founded by director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer. Right after the news broke, the accelerator’s […]
techcrunch - 15 hours ago
Fabletics eyes what’s next for its activewear empire - techcrunch

Fabletics eyes what’s next for its activewear empire

Like plenty of other modern direct-to-consumer companies, influencer marketing has been an essential part of Fabletics’ journey. Actress Kate Hudson co-founded the company and co-CEO Adam Golderberg believes that its network of spokespeople has been key to the company’s growth. We were joined on our virtual TechCrunch Disrupt 2020 stage by Goldenberg and comedian Kevin […]
techcrunch - 17 hours ago
Jennifer Doudna sees CRISPR gene-editing tech as a Swiss Army knife for COVID-19 and beyond - techcrunch

Jennifer Doudna sees CRISPR gene-editing tech as a Swiss Army knife for COVID-19 and beyond

Jennifer Doudna, one of the pioneers of the gene-editing technique known as CRISPR, thinks the biotech tool could be an essential one for combating COVID-19 and future pandemics. Due to its capacity to be “reprogrammed” like software, CRISPR could eventually be integral to countless tests and treatments. In an interview at Disrupt 2020, Doudna was […]
techcrunch - 17 hours ago
Twitter tightens account security for political candidates ahead of US election - techcrunch

Twitter tightens account security for political candidates ahead of US election

Twitter is taking steps to tighten account security for a range of users ahead of the US presidential election, including by requiring the use of strong passwords. “We’re taking the additional step of proactively implementing account security measures for a designated group of high-profile, election-related Twitter accounts in the US. Starting today, these accounts will […]
techcrunch - 18 hours ago
Why hasn’t digital learning lived up to its promise? - techcrunch

Why hasn’t digital learning lived up to its promise?

What is it about digital learning that has schools so keen on reopening despite the health and reputational risks?
techcrunch - 18 hours ago
Startup founders must overcome information overload - techcrunch

Startup founders must overcome information overload

One of a founder's biggest early challenges is figuring out how to sift through all the advice they receive.
techcrunch - 18 hours ago
Mozilla shutters Firefox Send and Notes - techcrunch

Mozilla shutters Firefox Send and Notes

Mozilla today announced that it will shutter two products: Firefox Send, the free file transfer service it already put on hiatus in July, and Firefox Notes, its note-taking extension and mobile app. Firefox Send launched in March 2019. At the time, Mozilla described it as a file-sharing tool with a focus on privacy. That privacy […]
techcrunch - 18 hours ago
Amazon makes Alexa Routines shareable - techcrunch

Amazon makes Alexa Routines shareable

Amazon is making it easier for Alexa devices owners to use Routines. The feature, which has been around for years, allows Alexa users to combine multiple tasks into a single voice command of their choosing. For example, you could make a routine that turns off your lights, plays relaxing music, and locks your doors when […]
techcrunch - 18 hours ago
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techcrunch
Qualified raises $12M make websites smarter about sales and marketing

Qualified raises $12M make websites smarter about sales and marketing

techcrunch - 1 month ago

Qualified, a startup co-founded by former Salesforce executives Kraig Swensrud and Sean Whiteley, has raised $12 million in Series A funding.

Swensrud (Qualified’s CEO) said the startup is meant to solve a problem that he faced back when he was CMO at Salesforce. Apparently he’d complaining about being “blind,” because he knew so little about who was visiting the Salesforce website.

“There could be 10 or 100 or 100,000 people on my website right now, and I dont know who they are, I dont know what theyre interested in, my sales team has no idea that theyre even there,” he said.

Apparently, this is a big problem in business-to-business sales, where waiting five minutes after a lead leaves your website can result in a 10x decrease in the odds of making contact. But the solution currently adopted by many websites is just a chatbot that treats every visitor similarly.

Qualified, meanwhile, connects real-time website visitor information with a company’s Salesforce customer database. That means it can identify visitors from high-value accounts and route them to the correct salesperson while they’re still on the website, turning into a full-on sales meeting that can also include a phone call and screensharing.

Qualified screenshot

Image Credits: Qualified

Of course, the amount of data Qualified has access to will differ from visitor to visitor. Some visitors may be purely incognito, while in other cases, the platform might simply know your city or what company you work for. In still others (say if you click on a link from marketing email), it can identify you individually.

That’s something I experienced myself, when I decided to take a look at the Qualified website this morning and was quickly greeted with a message that read, “ Welcome TechCrunch! We’re excited about our funding announcement…” It was a little creepy, but also much more effective than my visits to other marketing technology websites, where someone usually sends me a generic sales message.

Swensrud acknowledged that using Qualified represents “a change to peoples selling processes,” since it requires sales to respond in real-time to website visitors (as a last resort, Qualified can also use chatbots and schedule future calls), but he argued that it’s a necessary change.

“If you email them later, some percentage of those people, they ghost you, they get bored, they moved on to the competition,” he said. “This real-time approach, it forces organizations to think differently in terms of their process.”

And it’s an approach that seems to be working. Among Qualified’s customers, the company says ThoughtSpot increased conversations with its target accounts by 10x, Bitly grew its enterprise sales pipeline by 6x and Gamma drove over $2.5 million in new business pipeline.

The Series A brings Qualified’s total funding to $17 million. It was led by Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors including Redpoint Ventures and Salesforce Ventures. Norwest’s Scott Beechuk is joining Qualified’s board of directors.

The conversational model is simply a better way to connect with new customers,” Beechuk said in a statement. “Buyers love the real-time engagement, sellers love the instant connections, and marketers have the confidence that every dollar spent on demand generation is maximized. The multi-billion-dollar market for Salesforce automation software is going to adopt this new model, and Qualified is perfectly positioned to capture that demand.”

sauce: techcrunch
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