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Gett inks deal with Curb Mobility to bring yellow cabs to its enterprise-focused on-demand ride-hailing app - techcrunch

Gett inks deal with Curb Mobility to bring yellow cabs to its enterprise-focused on-demand ride-hailing app

Gett, the ride-hailing startup that has been carving out a niche for itself in a crowded and competitive market for on-demand transportation by focusing on enterprise accounts and connecting people with rides in some 1,500 cities leveraging a number of third-party fleets, is adding another partner today as it continues to double down on its […]
techcrunch - 2 hours ago
India’s Razorpay raises funds at $3 billion valuation ahead of Southeast Asia launch - techcrunch

India’s Razorpay raises funds at $3 billion valuation ahead of Southeast Asia launch

Six-year-old Bangalore-based fintech Razorpay topped a $1 billion valuation late last year, becoming the first Y Combinator-backed Indian startup to reach the much sought after unicorn status. In less than six months since, the Indian startup has tripled its valuation and is preparing to launch in the Southeast Asian markets. Razorpay said on Monday it […]
techcrunch - 4 hours ago
Once VMware is free from Dell, who might fancy buying it? - techcrunch

Once VMware is free from Dell, who might fancy buying it?

If you accept that VMware is in play, the prospective price tag means that the number of firms that could afford such a purchase are few and far between.
techcrunch - 10 hours ago
Consumer agency warns against Peloton Tread+ use, as company pushes back - techcrunch

Consumer agency warns against Peloton Tread+ use, as company pushes back

Almost exactly a month ago, Peloton CEO John Foley wrote an open letter about the the company’s treadmill. “I’m reaching out to you today because I recently learned about a tragic accident involving a child and the Tread+, resulting in, unthinkably, a death,” it begins. “While we are aware of only a small handful of […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
How one founder build a startup around compassion and care facilitated by AI - techcrunch

How one founder build a startup around compassion and care facilitated by AI

In the second episode of our new podcast Found, our guest is Brie Code. Code is the founder and CEO of TRU LUV, a startup based out of Toronto that has its roots in the game industry, but that is taking a radically different approach to designing interactive experiences based on a historically-overlooked motivating paradigm […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Hear how StockX brought the sneaker scene to Detroit - techcrunch

Hear how StockX brought the sneaker scene to Detroit

At TechCrunch’s Detroit City Spotlight this week, I sat down with Rae Witte, the journalist behind the StockX EC-1. TechCrunch’s EC-1 push allows individual authors to go deep on a particular company. And as StockX has been headquartered in Detroit since its inception, we took the chance to dig into our reporting in front of […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Outdoor startups see supercharged growth during COVID-19 era - techcrunch

Outdoor startups see supercharged growth during COVID-19 era

After months of shelter-in-place orders, widespread shutdowns and physical distancing, outdoors became the only location for safe socializing.
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Daily Crunch: Squarespace files to go public - techcrunch

Daily Crunch: Squarespace files to go public

Squarespace is going public, Apple shares some music payment details and Twitter bans the founder of the right-wing media organization Project Veritas. This is your Daily Crunch for April 16, 2021. The big story: Squarespace files to go public Squarespace has filed to go public via direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange, under […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Pakistan temporarily blocks social media - techcrunch

Pakistan temporarily blocks social media

Pakistan has temporarily blocked several social media services in the South Asian nation, according to users and a government-issued notice reviewed by TechCrunch. In an order titled “Complete Blocking of Social Media Platforms,” the Pakistani government ordered Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to block social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, and Telegram from 11am to […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Oxbotica raises $13.8M from Ocado to build autonomous vehicle tech for the online grocer’s logistics network - techcrunch

Oxbotica raises $13.8M from Ocado to build autonomous vehicle tech for the online grocer’s logistics network

Ocado, the UK online grocer that has been making strides reselling its technology to other grocery companies to help them build and run their own online ordering-and-delivery operations, is making an investment today into what it believes will be the next stage of development of that business: the company is taking a £10 million ($13.8 […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Sen. Wyden proposes limits on exportation of American’s personal data - techcrunch

Sen. Wyden proposes limits on exportation of American’s personal data

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has proposed a draft bill that would limit the types of information that could be bought and sold by tech companies abroad, and the countries it could be legally sold in. The legislation is imaginative and not highly specific, but it indicates growing concern at the federal level over the international […]
techcrunch - 3 days ago
Twitter bans James O’Keefe of Project Veritas over fake account policy - techcrunch

Twitter bans James O’Keefe of Project Veritas over fake account policy

Twitter has banned right-wing provocateur James O’Keefe, creator of political gotcha video producer Project Veritas, for violating its “platform manipulation and spam policy,” suggesting he was operating multiple accounts in an unsanctioned way. O’Keefe has already announced that he will sue the company for defamation. The ban, or “permanent suspension” as Twitter calls it, occurred […]
techcrunch - 3 days ago
Daily Crunch: Google Earth gets an update - techcrunch

Daily Crunch: Google Earth gets an update

Google Earth gives users a new look at a changing planet, Facebook tests new business discovery features and Autodesk acquires Upchain. This is your Daily Crunch for April 15, 2021. The big story: Google Earth gets an update Google is describing this as Google Earth’s biggest update since 2017, though there’s really just one major […]
techcrunch - 3 days ago
Should Dell have pursued a more aggressive debt-reduction move with VMware? - techcrunch

Should Dell have pursued a more aggressive debt-reduction move with VMware?

The spin-out generates a large slug of cash Dell can use for debt relief, but could it have squeezed more money out of the deal?
techcrunch - 3 days ago
You can now pay for BART using an iPhone or Apple Watch - techcrunch

You can now pay for BART using an iPhone or Apple Watch

Good news, Bay Area! Apple Pay now works with Clipper cards. That means you can now use an iPhone or Apple Watch to pay for BART. Or Muni. Or Caltrain. Or the Ferry! Or (almost) any other transit-related thing you’d otherwise use the plastic Clipper card for. Clipper has a page outlining the Apple Pay […]
techcrunch - 3 days ago
How startups can ensure CCPA and GDPR compliance in 2021 - techcrunch

How startups can ensure CCPA and GDPR compliance in 2021

Small startups might not think the world’s strictest data privacy laws apply to them, but it’s important to enact best data management practices before a legal situation arises.
techcrunch - 3 days ago
Rivian to initially launch in-house insurance program in 40 states - techcrunch

Rivian to initially launch in-house insurance program in 40 states

Electric truck startup Rivian released Thursday details of its in-house Rivian Insurance program, which it says will be integrated into its digital ordering process. The insurance will initially be available in 40 states. Keeping in line with the company’s marketing as an “adventure vehicle” company, customers will also have the option to cover their home […]
techcrunch - 3 days ago
Join ECL on Wednesday to pitch your startup to Fifth Wall’s Brendan Wallace and Hippo’s Assaf Wand - techcrunch

Join ECL on Wednesday to pitch your startup to Fifth Wall’s Brendan Wallace and Hippo’s Assaf Wand

Have you ever dreamed about the opportunity to find yourself in, say, an elevator with an investor who is open to hearing your pitch? Well, then the next episode of Extra Crunch Live is for you. If you’ve hung out with us on an ECL before, you know we start with a bit of top […]
techcrunch - 3 days ago
Facebook brings software subscriptions to the Oculus Quest - techcrunch

Facebook brings software subscriptions to the Oculus Quest

Subscription pricing is landing on Facebook’s Oculus Store, giving VR developers another way to monetize content on Facebook’s Oculus Quest headset. Developers will be allowed to add premium subscriptions to paid or free apps, with Facebook assumedly dragging in their standard percentage fee at the same time. Oculus and the developers on its platform have […]
techcrunch - 3 days ago
Billion-dollar B2B: cloud-first enterprise tech behemoths have massive potential - techcrunch

Billion-dollar B2B: cloud-first enterprise tech behemoths have massive potential

Billion-dollar B2B refers to the forces shaping a new class of cloud-first, enterprise-tech behemoths with the potential to reach $1 billion in ARR.
techcrunch - 3 days ago
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techcrunch
Index closes $200 million dedicated seed fund to intensify multi-stage thesis

Index closes $200 million dedicated seed fund to intensify multi-stage thesis

techcrunch - 1 week ago

The once quiet world of seed investing became frenetic a few years ago as dedicated seed funds and angel networks increased in scale and velocity. That environment has now crescendoed into the present world of the seed capital hurricane: funds galore, solo capitalists splurging streams of rolling-capital dollars wherever they can find a cap table crevice, crowdfunding cash sloshing around and in the eye of the storm are the founders looking to just snag a term sheet for their companies and get back to work.

Into that maelstrom comes Index Ventures, which today announced the close and launch of a new $200 million dedicated seed investing vehicle its dubbed Index Origin. The funds name pays homage to the firms long-standing commitment to seed and first-check investing, where it has backed companies as diverse as Robinhood, Figma, Deliveroo and Wise (aka the rebranded TransferWise) at the seed state.

Our view is that seed investing is truly the essence of venture capital, said Nina Achadjian, a partner at Index who joined in early 2020. It’s when you as an investor have to take the biggest leap of faith.

She noted that the firm in the last 18 months, I think we’ve made over almost 35 seed investments. The new Index Origin fund would be a ramp up in terms of volume.

Theres extreme competition for cap tables at the earliest stages of startups today, and Index is focusing on a few offerings to maximize its sales pitch to founders.

The first emphasizes flexibility. Achadjian noted that there has been a sort of a devils bargain for founders on which type of funds to take at the seed stage. Do you want a dedicated seed fund who is phenomenal at what they do, or do you want a multi-stage fund that might not have seed-specific resources but they can do a quick follow up [round], she asked rhetorically. There hasn’t really been the right product in the market to help founders have the best of both worlds, and so that was kind of our inspiration for Index Origin.

Fitting its multi-stage thesis, all Index partners can write seed checks out of the new fund and they can invest in any vertical of interest to them in any geography (primarily the United States and Europe although its not explicitly limited to those markets). Achadjian noted that since the firm can potentially double down on later-stage rounds, the fund is more flexible in working with other firms, angels, and the whole coterie of funders at the seed stage.

That solves the capital component. As for providing more dedicated resources for seed founders, Index is offering a trilogy of programs to make it easier to scale businesses. They include a First Hires program designed to help with early hires at startups; an Early Adopter Network to help companies connect with potential design customers to find and accelerate product-market fit; and finally, The Index Network, an expert network of specialists (think DevOps, SalesOps, or technical architecture) that startup founders can consult on when they run into roadblocks. These programs and the seed fund writ large will have a dedicated team to help find and grow seed-stage companies.

Our philosophy has been: we never say it’s too early for Index, Achadjian said.

Part of the impetus for these new programs is the diverging mix of founders that have started companies in recent years. We’ve actually found that a lot of founders, they used to have technical backgrounds, but in the last couple of years, it’s shifted to more business-background founders, she said. That has meant helping these founders find technical talent and building up a network of technical expertise to help them grow.

Secondly, Index wants to increase the diversity of founders in its investment pipeline. That’s another driver for why we wanted to do seed, because it gives us a broader access to the very, very top of funnel, Achadjian explained. I think if you want to make an impact for diversity, that’s actually the stage where you can make the biggest impact.

Indexs approach matches that of Sequoia, which announced earlier this year that it raised $195 million for a seed fund, also focused on the U.S. and Europe. Most other firms in the multi-stage investing game tuck seed bets inside their early-stage funds, rather than creating standalone investing vehicles. With potentially dozens of checks to write in the coming months, expect to see Index bring even more activity into the white-hot seed market.

sauce: techcrunch
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