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Indian startups explore forming an alliance and alternative app store to fight Google’s ‘monopoly’ - techcrunch

Indian startups explore forming an alliance and alternative app store to fight Google’s ‘monopoly’

Google, which reaches more internet users than any other firm in India and commands 99% of the nation’s smartphone market, has stumbled upon an odd challenge in the world’s second largest internet market: Scores of top local entrepreneurs. Dozens of top startups and firms in India are working to form an alliance and toying with […]
techcrunch - 3 hours ago
Lots of happy people as Palantir and Asana spike on first day of trading - techcrunch

Lots of happy people as Palantir and Asana spike on first day of trading

The markets are closed and the verdicts are in: investors liked what they saw in Palantir and Asana . The two companies, which debuted this morning in dual (and duel) direct listings, continued to prove that enterprise tech companies without the brand recognition of Spotify (which conducted its own direct listing back in 2018) can […]
techcrunch - 7 hours ago
Dustin Moskovitz discusses Asana’s first trading day - techcrunch

Dustin Moskovitz discusses Asana’s first trading day

It’s a big day for Asana, the work management tool that debuted on the NYSE this morning in a direct listing. Founded back in 2009 by Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein, the company has assiduously grown over the years, taking in about $213 million in venture capital the past decade and reaching almost $100 million […]
techcrunch - 7 hours ago
Everything Google announced at today’s hardware event - techcrunch

Everything Google announced at today’s hardware event

This year, Google’s annual hardware event consisted of a brisk 30 minutes of pre-recorded promotional videos, but the company managed to pack a number of new product announcements into that time. To make things easy for you, here’s a quick rundown of everything that Google announced, including the Google Pixel 5, a new TV interface […]
techcrunch - 7 hours ago
How 3 remote-friendly tech companies plan to return to the office - techcrunch

How 3 remote-friendly tech companies plan to return to the office

Six months ago, millions of workers left their offices for the last time without realizing it. Many would be laid off because of the pandemic, but for those fortunate to keep their jobs, some of their employers still haven’t determined whether they will open their workplaces again. Some of the biggest tech employers in the […]
techcrunch - 8 hours ago
Investors give Baltimore’s Facet Wealth $25 million to sell businesses on financial planning as a benefit - techcrunch

Investors give Baltimore’s Facet Wealth $25 million to sell businesses on financial planning as a benefit

Yesterday, Baltimore-based fintech company Facet Wealth said it raised $25 million in financing as it readies a new business line pitching financial planning as an employment benefit to businesses looking to recruit top talent. Employment benefit packages are expanding beyond the basic gym membership and healthcare to include subscriptions to Netflix, discounts on delivery and […]
techcrunch - 9 hours ago
A new Google Assistant feature, ‘Hold for Me,’ waits on hold so you don’t have to - techcrunch

A new Google Assistant feature, ‘Hold for Me,’ waits on hold so you don’t have to

Google has been pushing forward the capabilities of what a smartphone can do when it comes to one of the device’s most basic — if these days often overlooked — features: phone calls. In previous years, the company launched Call Screen to vet your incoming calls, Duplex for restaurant reservations, and just this month, a […]
techcrunch - 9 hours ago
AOC flagged ‘material risks’ to Palantir investors in letter to SEC - techcrunch

AOC flagged ‘material risks’ to Palantir investors in letter to SEC

In a newly released letter, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez issued words of warning to the SEC over Palantir’s efforts to take the company public, cautioning the regulatory body over details the progressive congresswoman says were “omitted” in the company’s disclosures. Illinois Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García co-authored the letter, embedded below, which was submitted to […]
techcrunch - 9 hours ago
Pixel 5 and 4a 5g get the same, improved cameras with rear ultrawide lens, Night Sight portraits and more - techcrunch

Pixel 5 and 4a 5g get the same, improved cameras with rear ultrawide lens, Night Sight portraits and more

Google made its newest smartphones official today, unveiling the much-leaked Pixel 4a 5g and Pixel 5. Both smartphones will get the same, improved cameras, despite a $200 price different between the models, which is great news for people who are specifically coming to Google for their excellent mobile camera tech. Here’s an overview of what […]
techcrunch - 9 hours ago
Google unveils the $99 Nest Audio smart speaker - techcrunch

Google unveils the $99 Nest Audio smart speaker

Four years after the introduction of the Google Home smart speaker, Google showcased its successor to the company’s mid-range smart speaker. In keeping with the broader rebranding of the company’s smart home products, the device is now called Nest Audio. The smart speaker will retail for $99 and come in a variety of colors including […]
techcrunch - 10 hours ago
Google launches the $499 Pixel 4a 5G - techcrunch

Google launches the $499 Pixel 4a 5G

As expected, Google today officially launched the 5G version of its Pixel 4a phone at its annual hardware event. Given all the previous leaks, there were no real surprises left and Google had already announced the $499 price. We now have a launch date, though. It’ll launch in Japan on October 15 and then come […]
techcrunch - 10 hours ago
Google’s Pixel 5 get reverse wireless charging and 5G for $699 - techcrunch

Google’s Pixel 5 get reverse wireless charging and 5G for $699

Here it is, the centerpiece of this morning’s confusing-titled Launch Night In. The Pixel 5 is Google’s latest mobile flagship. Launching months after the budget-minded Pixel 4a (and same day as the Pixel 4a 5G) , the new handset sports a a 100% recycled aluminum body to set the new phone apart from the rest […]
techcrunch - 10 hours ago
The new Chromecast adds a remote and the new Google TV interface for $49 - techcrunch

The new Chromecast adds a remote and the new Google TV interface for $49

It’s been a while since Google gave its Chromecast line a proper bit of love — perhaps not surprising for a fairly mature device now marking its seventh year. At today’s big Launch Night In event, however, the company’s bringing the popular TV dongle a much-needed refresh by way of Chromecast with Google TV. The […]
techcrunch - 10 hours ago
The new Google TV brings streaming apps, live TV and search into a single interface - techcrunch

The new Google TV brings streaming apps, live TV and search into a single interface

Not to be confused with the smart TV platform of the same name (2010-2014, RIP) or the Android TV platform it’s built on top of, Google has just taken the wraps off the new Google TV. The name refers to the interface for the new, aptly titled Chromecast with Google TV, combining streaming services, live […]
techcrunch - 10 hours ago
Golden raises $14.5M to build a wiki-style database of tech knowledge - techcrunch

Golden raises $14.5M to build a wiki-style database of tech knowledge

Golden is announcing that it has raised $14.5 million in Series A funding. The round was led by previous investor Andreessen Horowitz, with the firm’s co-founder Marc Andreessen joining the startup’s board of directors. When Golden launched last year, founder and CEO Jude Gomila told me that his goal was to create a knowledge base focused […]
techcrunch - 10 hours ago
The roadmap to startup consolidation in Southeast Asia is becoming clearer - techcrunch

The roadmap to startup consolidation in Southeast Asia is becoming clearer

While Southeast Asia’s startup ecosystems are still young compared to those in China or India, it has matured over the last five years. Unicorns like Grab, Gojek and Garena are continuing to grow, and more competitive startups are emerging in sectors like fintech, e-commerce and logistics. That leads to the question: Will consolidation start to […]
techcrunch - 10 hours ago
Following Apple’s Sidecar launch, Astropad announces Luna Display for Windows - techcrunch

Following Apple’s Sidecar launch, Astropad announces Luna Display for Windows

In June, Luna Display creator Astropad wrote a blog post titled, “Why Getting Sherlocked by Apple Was a Blessing in Disguise.” It arrived on the one-year anniversary of Apple’s launch of Sidecar for macOS, which let Mac owners use an iPad as a second display — thus making Luna’s functionality redundant. The rose-colored post detailed […]
techcrunch - 10 hours ago
Aurora Labs ramps ‘self-healing’ software with $23M from LG Technology Ventures, Porsche SE, Toyota Tsusho - techcrunch

Aurora Labs ramps ‘self-healing’ software with $23M from LG Technology Ventures, Porsche SE, Toyota Tsusho

The automotive market is grappling with increasingly complex software systems, and in turn greater risks of glitches that can cause costly and unsafe disruptions and damage an automaker’s credibility. Just look at today’s new cars, trucks and SUVs compared to their counterparts a decade ago. New vehicles coming off assembly lines today contain tens of […]
techcrunch - 10 hours ago
‘The Real Facebook Oversight Board’ launches to counter Facebook’s ‘Oversight Board’ - techcrunch

‘The Real Facebook Oversight Board’ launches to counter Facebook’s ‘Oversight Board’

Today a group of academics, researchers and civil rights leaders go live on with ‘The Real Facebook Oversight Board’ which is designed to criticize and discuss the role of the platform in the upcoming US election. The group includes Facebook’s ex-head of election security, leaders of the #StopHateForProfit campaign and Roger McNamee, early Facebook investor. […]
techcrunch - 11 hours ago
Asana up 39% and Palantir still holding as both direct listings hit the public markets - techcrunch

Asana up 39% and Palantir still holding as both direct listings hit the public markets

Two direct listings in one day. Lots to talk about. Asana started trading just a bit after noon Eastern today, quickly zooming to roughly $29 a share in early trading this afternoon. We are still waiting for the first trades of Palantir to hit the market. Asana’s reference price was revealed yesterday by the NYSE, […]
techcrunch - 11 hours ago
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techcrunch
Mode raises $33M to supercharge its analytics platform for data scientists

Mode raises $33M to supercharge its analytics platform for data scientists

techcrunch - 1 month ago

Data science is the name of the game these days for companies that want to improve their decision making by tapping the information they are already amassing in their apps and other systems. And today, a startup called Mode Analytics, which has built a platform incorporating machine learning, business intelligence and big data analytics to help data scientists fulfil that task, is announcing $33 million in funding to continue making its platform ever more sophisticated.

Most recently, for example, the company has started to introduce tools (including SQL and Python tutorials) for less technical users, specifically those in product teams, so that they can structure queries that data scientists can subsequently execute faster and with more complete responses — important for the many follow up questions that arise when a business intelligence process has been run. Mode claims that its tools can help produce answers to data queries in minutes.

This Series D is being led by SaaS specialist investor H.I.G. Growth Partners, with previous investors Valor Equity Partners, Foundation Capital, REV Venture Partners, and Switch Ventures all participating. Valor led Mode’s Series C in February 2019, while Foundation and REV respectively led its A and B rounds.

Mode is not disclosing its valuation, but co-founder and CEO Derek Steer confirmed in an interview that it was “absolutely” an up-round.

For some context, PitchBook notes that last year its valuation was $106 million. The company now has a customer list that it says covers 52% of the Forbes 500, including Anheuser Busch, Zillow, Lyft, Bloomberg, Capital One, VMWare, and Conde Nast. It says that to date it has processed 830 million query runs and 170 million notebook cell runs for 300,000 users. (Pricing is based on a freemium model, with a free “Studio” tier and Business and Enterprise tiers priced based on size and use.)

Mode has been around since 2013, when it was co-founded by Steer, Benn Stancil (Mode’s current president) and Josh Ferguson (initially the CTO and now chief architect).

Steer said the impetus for the startup came out of gaps in the market that the three had found through years of experience at other companies.

Specifically, when all three were working together at Yammer (they were early employees and stayed on after the Microsoft acquisition), they were part of a larger team building custom data analytics tools for Yammer. At the time, Steer said Yammer was paying $1 million per year to subscribe to Vertica (acquired by HP in 2011) to run it.

They saw an opportunity to build a platform that could provide similar kinds of tools — encompassing things like SQL Editors, Notebooks, and reporting tools and dashboards — to a wider set of users.

“We and other companies like Facebook and Google were building analytics internally,” Steer recalled, “and we knew that the world wanted to work more like these tech companies. That’s why we started Mode.”

All the same, he added, “people were not clearly exactly about what a data scientist even was.”

Indeed, Mode’s growth so far has mirrored that of the rise of data science overall, as the discipline of data science, and the business case for employing data scientists to help figure out what is “going on” beyond the day to day, getting answers by tapping all the data that’s being amassed in the process of just doing business. That means Mode’s addressable market has also been growing.

But even if the trove of potential buyers of Mode’s products has been growing, so has the opportunity overall. There has been a big swing in data science and big data analytics in the last several years, with a number of tech companies building tools to help those who are less technical “become data scientists” by introducing more intuitive interfaces like drag-and-drop features and natural language queries.

They include the likes of Sisense (which has been growing its analytics power with acquisitions like Periscope Data), Eigen (focusing on specific verticals like financial and legal queries), Looker (acquired by Google) and Tableau (acquired by Salesforce).

Mode’s approach up to now has been closer to that of another competitor, Alteryx, focusing on building tools that are still aimed primary at helping data scientists themselves. You have any number of database tools on the market today, Steer noted, “Snowflake, Redshift, BigQuery, Databricks, take your pick.” The key now is in providing tools to those using those databases to do their work faster and better.

That pitch and the success of how it executes on it is what has given the company success both with customers and investors.

Mode goes beyond traditional Business Intelligence by making data faster, more flexible and more customized, said Scott Hilleboe, MD, H.I.G. Growth Partners, in a statement. The Mode data platform speeds up answers to complex business problems and makes the process more collaborative, so that everyone can build on the work of data analysts. We believe the companys innovations in data analytics uniquely position it to take the lead in the Decision Science marketplace.

Steer said that fundraising was planned long before the coronavirus outbreak to start in February, which meant that it was timed as badly as it could have been. Mode still raised what it wanted to in a couple of months — “a good raise by any standard,” he noted — even if it’s likely that the valuation suffered a bit in the process. “Pitching while the stock market is tanking was terrifying and not something I would repeat,” he added.

Given how many acquisitions there have been in this space, Steer confirmed that Mode too has been approached a number of times, but it’s staying put for now. (And no, he wouldn’t tell me who has been knocking, except to say that it’s large companies for whom analytics is an “adjacency” to bigger businesses, which is to say, the very large tech companies have approached Mode.)

“The reason we havent considered any acquisition offers is because there is just so much room,” Steer said. “I feel like this market is just getting started, and I would only consider an exit if I felt like we were handicapped by being on our own. But I think we have a lot more growing to do.”

sauce: techcrunch
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