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Before suing NSO Group, Facebook allegedly sought their software to better spy on users - techcrunch

Before suing NSO Group, Facebook allegedly sought their software to better spy on users

Facebook's WhatsApp is in the midst of a lawsuit against Israeli mobile surveillance outfit NSO Group. But before complaining about the company's methods, Facebook seems to have wanted to use them for its own purposes, according to testimony from NSO founder Shalev Hulio.
techcrunch - 9 minutes ago
Zelos is like a cross-game battle pass, rewarding you for completing challenges in games you already play - techcrunch

Zelos is like a cross-game battle pass, rewarding you for completing challenges in games you already play

People seem to love the concept of the battle pass. Largely popularized by Fortnite, battle passes reward players for playing well, and playing often. The better you do, the more XP you earn; the more XP you earn, the more stuff (new looks for your character, or victory dances to fire off at the end […]
techcrunch - 1 hour ago
Google research makes for an effortless robotic dog trot - techcrunch

Google research makes for an effortless robotic dog trot

As capable as robots are, the original animals after which they tend to be designed are always much, much better. That's partly because it's difficult to learn how to walk like a dog directly from a dog — but this research from Google's AI labs make it considerably easier.
techcrunch - 1 hour ago
Want to survive the downturn? Better build a platform - techcrunch

Want to survive the downturn? Better build a platform

When you look at the most successful companies in the world, they are almost never just one simple service. Instead, they offer a platform with a range of services and an ability to connect to it to allow external partners and developers to extend the base functionality that the company provides. Aspiring to be a […]
techcrunch - 2 hours ago
Pandemic puts the brakes on micromobility - techcrunch

Pandemic puts the brakes on micromobility

As of this writing, nearly a million people globally have been infected with the novel coronavirus and 50,322 have died. Healthcare systems are overwhelmed, consumers and profiteers are hoarding supplies and some service workers have launched strikes while many others have been let go. In the world of micromobility, we’ve seen Bird lay off hundreds […]
techcrunch - 2 hours ago
Zoom will enable waiting rooms by default to stop Zoombombing - techcrunch

Zoom will enable waiting rooms by default to stop Zoombombing

Zoom is making some drastic changes to prevent rampant abuse as trolls attack publicly-shared video calls. Starting April 5th, it will require passwords to enter calls via Meeting ID, since these may be guessed or reused. Meanwhile, it will change virtual waiting rooms to be on by default so hosts have to manually admit attendees. […]
techcrunch - 2 hours ago
Stocks drop as unemployment spikes - techcrunch

Stocks drop as unemployment spikes

Stocks fell in regular trading Friday, as all major American indices fell in the wake of a broadly negative jobs report. With more than 700,000 jobs lost in the March data, unemployment in the United States rose from 3.5% to 4.4%. The markets have been bracing for widespread job losses due to the continued fallout […]
techcrunch - 3 hours ago
The pandemic is already reshaping tech’s misinformation crisis - techcrunch

The pandemic is already reshaping tech’s misinformation crisis

Since 2016, social media companies have faced an endless barrage of bad press and public criticism for failing to anticipate how their platforms could be used for dark purposes at the scale of populations—undermining democracies around the world, say, or sowing social division and even fueling genocide. As COVID-19 plunges the world into chaos and […]
techcrunch - 3 hours ago
‘Artemis Fowl’ is skipping theaters for Disney+ - techcrunch

‘Artemis Fowl’ is skipping theaters for Disney+

With movie theaters largely closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney is pushing back its slate of upcoming films. And at least one movie won’t be making it into theaters at all, with “Artemis Fowl” heading straight to streaming instead. The company announced today that that the film will debut exclusively on Disney+, and that […]
techcrunch - 3 hours ago
Google rolls back SameSite cookie changes to keep essential online services from breaking - techcrunch

Google rolls back SameSite cookie changes to keep essential online services from breaking

Google today announced that it will temporarily roll back the changes it recently made to how its Chrome browser handles cookies in order to ensure that sites that perform essential services like banking, online grocery, government services and healthcare won’t become inaccessible to Chrome users during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The new SameSite rules, which […]
techcrunch - 4 hours ago
How Homage is tackling Southeast Asia’s growing eldercare need - techcrunch

How Homage is tackling Southeast Asia’s growing eldercare need

The world’s population is aging, but the needs of elderly people are still being underserved. A United Nations report found that older people make up more than one-fifth of the population in 17 countries, and by 2100, a majority of the world’s population, or 61%, will be aged 60 and above. One of the most […]
techcrunch - 5 hours ago
GM and Honda are co-developing two new electric vehicles due to arrive in 2024 - techcrunch

GM and Honda are co-developing two new electric vehicles due to arrive in 2024

GM and Honda will jointly develop two new electric vehicles slated for 2024, the latest move by the two automakers to deepen their existing partnership. Under the plan, the automakers will focus on their respective areas of expertise. Honda will design the exterior and interiors of the new electric vehicles. GM will contribute its new […]
techcrunch - 5 hours ago
Insight closes $9.5B fund to help support portfolio companies through the pandemic crunch - techcrunch

Insight closes $9.5B fund to help support portfolio companies through the pandemic crunch

We’re now several weeks into what is has become a very big dip for the global economy due to the coronavirus pandemic, but amidst that, we are seeing are some notable pockets of investment activity emerging that will help shape how the future startup landscape will look. Today one of the biggest venture capital firms […]
techcrunch - 5 hours ago
Sleep apnea retrofit designed by doctors and engineers could help address ventilator shortage - techcrunch

Sleep apnea retrofit designed by doctors and engineers could help address ventilator shortage

The FDA has been working to adapt its policies and restrictions to respond to the growing need for unconventional solutions like shortages of medical equipment needed for treating COVID-19 patients. A group of doctors, engineers and medical researchers from UC Berkeley, UCSF and working hospitals has devised a creative solution to the ventilator shortage they’re […]
techcrunch - 6 hours ago
Germany’s Xpension pension platform raises €25M in A Series C growth round - techcrunch

Germany’s Xpension pension platform raises €25M in A Series C growth round

The German pension and insurance industry was a laggard in the word of online a few years ago, but in recent times it’s quickly caught up. There’s further evidence of this trend with the news that Xpension (trading as xbAV), an online platform for pensions and life insurance, has raised €25m in its Series C […]
techcrunch - 6 hours ago
Daily Crunch: Google publishes coronavirus mobility reports - techcrunch

Daily Crunch: Google publishes coronavirus mobility reports

Google uses its ad-tracking data to provide a glimpse at how the world is responding to coronavirus, the CDC changes its tune on face masks and Apple accidentally reveals that AirTags are coming. Here’s your Daily Crunch for April 3, 2020. 1. Google is now publishing coronavirus mobility reports, feeding off users’ location history Google […]
techcrunch - 6 hours ago
Emergent BioSolutions gets $14.5M in federal funding to expedite COVID-19 plasma therapy development - techcrunch

Emergent BioSolutions gets $14.5M in federal funding to expedite COVID-19 plasma therapy development

Last week, we spoke to the Head of Emergent BioSolutions’ Therapeutics Business Unit Dr. Laura Saward about her company’s work developing plasma-based potential treatments for COVID-19. Now, the company announced that it has received $14.5 million in funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which is part of the U.S. Department of […]
techcrunch - 6 hours ago
Bustle Digital Group shuts down The Outline as part of broader layoffs - techcrunch

Bustle Digital Group shuts down The Outline as part of broader layoffs

Bustle Digital Group, owner of a portfolio of digital media properties including Bustle itself, says it laid off two dozen staffers today. That includes eliminating the entire staff of The Outline, a culture site that it acquired a year ago. In a statement, a BDG spokesperson said the company will continue to host The Outline’s archives, […]
techcrunch - 6 hours ago
Join prolific enterprise/SaaS seed investor Jonathan Lehr April 6 at 2pm EDT for a live conference call - techcrunch

Join prolific enterprise/SaaS seed investor Jonathan Lehr April 6 at 2pm EDT for a live conference call

It’s a tough fundraising environment out there, but one of the few glimmers of hope lies in the enterprise and SaaS markets. Critical customer problems + recurring revenues is probably where you want to be right now to weather out the storm that’s hitting the startup world these days. That’s why we are excited to […]
techcrunch - 7 hours ago
OctoML raises $15M to make optimizing ML models easier - techcrunch

OctoML raises $15M to make optimizing ML models easier

OctoML, a startup founded by the team behind the Apache TVM machine learning compiler stack project, today announced that it has raised a $15 million Series A round led by Amplify, with participation from Madrone Ventures, which led its $3.9 million seed round. The core idea behind OctoML and TVM is to use machine learning […]
techcrunch - 8 hours ago
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techcrunch
YC just published a 70-page Series A guide so founders don’t tank their own prospects

YC just published a 70-page Series A guide so founders don’t tank their own prospects

techcrunch - 1 month ago

This morning, Y Combinator is publishing a 70-page, Series A guide based on its work with 190 YC companies over the last couple of years. It’s part of an initiative launched in 2018 to help these alums understand how Series A rounds work — and how to make them work to their advantage.

The program is led by YC partner Aaron Harris, who we talked with at the program’s launch and who we caught up with again earlier this week to find out what’s in the guide, and why — given the many related posts that YC publishes on a regular basis — the outfit felt the need to put something so massive together. Excerpts from that chat follow.

TC: You’ve been working expressly with companies on their Series A rounds for a couple of years. What are some of the misconceptions around how to land these financings?

AH: I had this idea that Series A rounds were understood on the investor side — that they are looking for ARR, plus profit, then comes funding. But the metrics that people like to talk about, they’re really meaningless. We’ve seen companies funded with $200,000 in ARR and companies funded with $9 million in ARR. It’s really fundamentally a bet on what the investor thinks the future looks like based on the founder and what the business is doing at that point. It’s entirely possible to raise on a great story and no metrics, versus great metrics and no story.

TC: If you don’t need to reach a certain financial threshold, then how do you know when it’s time to reach out to Series A investors?

AH: There’s a lot of preparation required [before doing this]; we advise against companies going out to market because of a false signal. Sometimes, an investor wants to give a team a term sheet and they misinterpret this interest and kick off the fundraising process before they’re ready.

TC: How many investors do founders have to meet with on average?

AH: They meet with 30 on average to produce a single term sheet.

TC: Are these preemptive offers then good news?

AH: They aren’t as good as they seem. If an investor preempts your round, you might think you’ve won. But looking at dozens of preemptive rounds versus non-preemptive rounds, we’ve seen that companies wind up giving up 1.4 percent more in dilution for nearly $1 million less in funding when they do this, and that’s quite a lot of your company.  Also, if people want to preempt you, there’s a good chance others will like your company.

TC: This guide is very detailed. For TC readers wondering what they’ll find in it, what’s one example of the advice it includes?

AH: We explain how to work through a diligence request by an investor. Someone might say, ‘Hey, can you give me a month-by-month breakdown of major customers?’ And we’ve seen founders give them a full list of their customer, then the VC calls them, and if the customer is having a bad day or [the VC] reaches the wrong person, that bad reference check can sink a round. It’s really important that founders ask instead about what the VC is trying to learn from the diligence request, then call those customers so they’re ready, You also want to make sure that 15 investors aren’t calling the same customer so that [that person or company] isn’t overwhelmed.

TC: Why make your findings available to everyone if you’re trying to give YC companies an edge?

AH: We’re happy we’ve helped our companies do better at raising A rounds, but we want to help as any founders as we possibly can. It goes back to [Paul Graham’s] online essays for founders to our Startup School, through which we’re helping founders all over the world at no cost. This guide is another step designed to solve that information asymmetry between what founders and investors know.

If YC can help companies build bigger companies and level the playing field, that’s just overall good for the rate of innovation in the world.

TC: A lot of this advice assumes that the economy won’t change. It’s based on two years of findings in a market where things have been clicking along nicely. Have you considered the impact of this coronavirus slowing things down — including the money flow to the Bay Area —  and making it harder for startups to get funded?

AH: I don’t think startups are killed by macro trends, unlike tech giants; they’re too small. [Pitchbook recently estimated] that there is $100 billion in dry powder [waiting to be invested in startups], but that sounds way too low to me. In 2007, 2008, I was at Bridgewater Associates, and we saw the amount of money sitting on sidelines in sovereign wealth funds, and various of these have trillions of dollars. And some are investing directly in startups.

sauce: techcrunch
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