Slack’s shares are set to fall sharply this morning, down around 16% in pre-market trading. As the company beat analyst expectations last quarter and guided within range, the selloff might feel a little surprising.
Perhaps it shouldn’t.
I spoke with a VC last week about what the new benchmark results are for private SaaS companies, and to my surprise, he said software startups don’t have to grow at 100% to be fundable in today’s market. Given what I’d heard from other venture capitalists about how so much of their portfolios had found a COVID-19 growth bump, the perspectives felt incongruous.
The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. You can read it every morning on Extra Crunch, or get The Exchange newsletter every Saturday.
Startups wanted to grow at a pace of more than 100% pre-pandemic, and some have accelerated since. So how could a startup growing less than three
It was just days ago that cries of “stocks only go up,” and “no it makes sense that Tesla is going up because it split” and other bits of unironic stupidity were the only thing you could read online about the equities markets. Today, and yesterday, that all went to hell.
Stocks, it turns out, can go down, and they can do so very quickly. And, yes, even Tesla can endure a strong slump, giving up tens of billions of dollars in market capitalization at the same time.
What’s going on? It’s impossible to point to a single thing as the reason, but it’s worth noting that the United States is still suffering from the business impacts of COVID-19, with high unemployment and other related issues plaguing the broader economic climate.
Update: While this piece was in edit, news broke in the FT and the WSJ that SoftBank — yes, Continue reading "Stocks are selling off again, and SaaS shares are taking the biggest lumps"
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast (now on Twitter!), where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.
The whole crew was back, with Natasha Mascarenhas and Danny Crichton and myself chattering, with Chris Gates behind the scenes making it all work. An extra shout-out to Natasha this week as we spent a lot of time talking about edtech, a category that she spearheads for us and has brought to the show. It’s a big deal!
We’re on YouTube now, don’t forget, and with that, let’s get into the news:
Avi Freedman is like any other founder: He wants to build a great company. In this case network analytics platform Kentik, and he needs venture capital to do it. Like pretty much all founders, he doesn’t like the dilution that comes from taking vast sums from VCs in order to grow. There’s always been an alluring solution to this dilemma, but one that comes with its own tradeoffs.
The word has negative connotations, but the reality is that just like equity capital, debt is a key tool in the corporate finance toolbox. Judicious use of debt with the right terms and conditions can cut the cost of capital for a startup significantly, saving founders and early-stage investors from serious dilution as a company scales. Used too heavily or improperly however, and debt can turn a bad financial quarter into a dead company, stat.
Founders, particularly those who run Continue reading "How one founder leveraged debt to drive early growth and avoid dilution"
More than 150 e-commerce and delivery companies globally use an Indian logistics startup’s service to work out the optimum way to ship items to their customers.
That startup, Noida-based FarEye, said today it has raised an additional $13 million to close its Series D financing round at $37.5 million.
FarEye first unveiled its Series D round in April this year when it raised from Microsoft’s venture fund M12, Eight Roads Ventures, Honeywell Ventures, and SAIF Partners.
The startup said today industry veterans Nandan Nilekani and Sanjeev Aggarwal’s Fundamentum Partnership led the extended round, with participation from KB Global Platform Fund.
FarEye helps companies orchestrate, track, and optimize their logistics operations. Say you order a pizza from Domino’s, the eatery uses FarEye’s service, which integrates into the system it is using, to quickly inform the customer how long they need to wait for the food to reach them.
Behind the Continue reading "Indian logistics SaaS startup FarEye bags $13 million"
Investors are betting on the automation of human resources management in China. We reported last year that Moka, one of the key players in the space, secured roughly $27 million for its Series B led by Hillhouse Capital. This week, the startup announced closing a Series B+ at over 100 million yuan ($14.4 million), lifting its total raise for the B round to 300 million yuan ($43.2 million).
The startup declined to disclose its investors in the latest round, saying the proceeds will go towards recruitment, product innovation and business expansion. GGV Capital invested in its Series A round.
Chinese investors have in recent years shifted more attention to enterprise-facing products as the consumer tech market becomes crammed. Moka makes software to aid HR managers’ day-to-day operations, from posting job openings, discovering potential candidates, to managing current staff. For instance, Moka will alert the HR manager when employees
Adaptive Shield, a Tel Aviv-based security startup, is coming out of stealth today and announcing its $4 million seed round led by Vertex Ventures Israel. The company’s platform helps businesses protect their SaaS applications by regularly scanning their various setting for security issues.
The company’s co-founders met in the Israeli Defense Forces, where they were trained on cybersecurity, and then worked at a number of other security companies before starting their own venture. Adaptive Shield CEO Maor Bin, who previously led cloud research at Proofpoint, told me the team decided to look at SaaS security because they believe this is an urgent problem few other companies are addressing.
Pictured is a representative sample of nine apps being monitored by the Adaptive Shield platform, including the total score of each application, affected categories and affected security frameworks and standards. (Image Credits: Adaptive Shield)
Uber has bought UK based Autocab, which sells SaaS to the taxi and private hire vehicle industry, with the aim of expanding the utility of its own platform by linking users who open its app in places where it doesn’t offer trips to local providers who do.
No acquisition price has been disclosed and Uber declined to comment on the terms of the deal.
Autocab has a SaaS presence in 20 countries globally at this stage, according to an Uber spokeswoman. We’ve asked whether it will be closing a marketplace service which connects local taxi firms with trip bookers in any locations as a result of the Uber acquisition.
The Manchester-based veteran taxi software maker — which sells booking and despatch software as well as operating a global marketplace (iGo) which local firms can plug into to get more trips — was founded back in 1989, per Crunchbase.
Uber’s Continue reading "Uber picks up Autocab to push into places its own app doesn’t go"