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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for October 26, 2021! Our one-day SaaS event — extravaganza? — kicks off tomorrow morning and I could not be more hype. In fact, I am taking a break from honing my questions list for our data-focused panel (DataRobot, Monte Carlo and AgentSync; it’s going to be a blast) to write this newsletter for you. See you there! — Alex
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Sequoia rebuilds itself for the future of venture capital: With capital now a commodity and nearly every VC focused on offering services, standing out is hard in the venture game. As are the harsh realities of startups staying private longer and restrictions on how venture capitalists can invest. Sequoia thinks that it has the solution.
- Jessica Rosenworcel to lead FCC: Rosenworcel will be the first woman to ever lead the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, which is at once good news and an indictment of my nation’s governmental diversity through the years. Also, Gigi Sohn, whom TechCrunch called an “FCC veteran and tireless policy advocate,” was nominated to the group. Sohn is well known for her work on net neutrality.
- Inside the Sweetgreen IPO filing: Heavily VC-backed fast-casual food chain Sweetgreen is going public, so TechCrunch spent time mucking about in its numbers. Our takeaway is that the company has identified a notable portion of the economy where it can plug a need, but that it loses too much money.
- By the time this newsletter reaches your inbox, Rent the Runway should have priced its IPO. Our initial notes concerning its business are here; more in the a.m.
We have a lot of startup news to chat about today, but first, TechCrunch dug into the American Midwest yet again this morning, this time asking CEOs and investors in the region what impact the fundraising boom and increasingly flat global talent and capital market are having on area startups.
- Indian AgTech accelerates: Sure, it seems that every day another Indian startup raises a nine-figure round. But this time it’s DeHaat, which focuses on agriculture, catching my eye. Per TechCrunch, the company built “an online platform that offers full-stack agricultural services to farmers in India.” Given how many farmers its market includes, DeHaat should not lack for TAM.
- Gusto buys RemoteTeam: U.S. HR and payroll-focused startup Gusto bought another company, it announced this morning. With an eye on supporting more international hiring, it picked up RemoteTeam. The increasingly global and distributed tech talent pool likely helped pull Gusto in this particular direction.
- DealShare set to raise more capital: Returning to India, TechCrunch can report from several sources that “Tiger Global and Falcon Edge Capital are looking to double down on their bets on DealShare,” perhaps putting more than $225 million into the company at a unicorn valuation. DealShare exists in the social commerce space, in case you were wondering.
- How often do we get to talk about startups from Connecticut? Not very often. But today was a nice exception with LogicBroker raising $135 million in a single go. The startup builds software for the shipping world (think e-commerce and drop-shipping) and now certainly has as much capital as it could have dreamed about at its fingertips. Good on the Nutmeg State.
- Piiano raises $9M to help keep PII safe: Get it? PII-ano wants to help you keep PII, or personally identifying information, safe. The company likely competes with Skyflow, which raised a bunch of money just the other week. The market for data protection services is hot and potentially lucrative given that there is lots of data in the world, and that leaking it is bad. (Note that this is not Piano, the subscription media software startup.)
- SoftBank backs Pipefy: Gone are the days when SoftBank would drop a flat trilly on a dog-walking startup or zero-gravity pinball maker. Instead, the Japanese telco, conglomerate and frenetic technology investor has put $75 million into a low-code workflow management startup. How very pedestrian!
And there was so much more. Fabric raised $200 million so that robots can help with e-commerce order fulfillment. Indian busing startup Chalo bought another bus-focused startup. Jay-Z’s venture capital firm just closed its second fund and Devo raised $250 million on the back of rising global cybersecurity spend.
To close us out, TechCrunch has a great story on what happens when you mix fiction, community, NFTs and copyright questions.
Bridging the gap: What CISOs must do to get the C-suite on their side
On a good day, most people forget the chief information security officer even exists. But if something should go wrong, everyone will demand answers.
Keeping a company’s security measures up to the mark while getting all stakeholders to implement safe security practices is a tall order, complicated by the fact that many CISOs aren’t inside the executive decision-making loop.
According to Sean McDermott, founder and CEO of RedMonocle, CISOs should meet executives where they are.
“You already know why cybersecurity investment is essential to your role. Now step into your leadership’s shoes to explain why it’s crucial to theirs,” he writes.
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
- Social media goes to Congress: It appears that social media companies want to avoid the fate of Facebook, namely becoming a company better known for obfuscation and late fixes. So, before Congress today, TikTok, Snap and YouTube shared new changes to their products that may help protect kids. TikTok, however, was a bit more coy about data than we’d have liked.
- Apple will roll out its software bundle to 17 new markets: In early November, that is. Per TechCrunch, the service, called Apple One Premier, will include “Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple Fitness+ and 2 TB of iCloud storage” for a flat fee. In other news, remember when Apple product names were good?
- And from Adobe, much news, including that the company is keeping up its cloud push and following the times by adding support for NFTs to its products.
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