Former Metamates Go From Zero To Unicorn With $200M Crypto Investment Led By a16z – TechCrunch

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Hello and welcome to the Daily Crunch on Tuesday, March 15, 2022! Well, we did. We’ve been through earnings season and most of the first quarter. Now, it’s only the last two weeks until we enter the second real period of 2022. Time flies, but the fact that we’re near the end of March means Early Stage is approaching. For me, I can’t wait. (And, okay, I’m looking forward to Q1 results as well.) – alexander

The TechCrunch top 3 4

  • All Raise hires a new CEO: A non-profit organization focused on “increasing diversity within venture capital deals and decision makers” according to our reports, All Raise now has a new boss. Mandela Schumacher-Hodge Dixon comes into the role after leading Founder Gym, which has helped train underrepresented founders around the world.
  • Challenges in China: The tech landscape in China is under pressure as the country’s government pursues a regulatory barrage, COVID policies lock down key cities and potential delisting threatens the country’s US-listed companies. Markets reacted negatively to the uncertainty.
  • The result of the company: The tough market is starting to show up in venture capital results, according to early data. Tracking China’s venture capital market, once a challenger for the world’s top spot, has been an interesting adventure over the past year as VCs have continued to write checks despite increased government scrutiny. Now, however, the numbers could change. And not for the better.
  • How European startups are helping Ukrainian refugees: As governments around the world work to mitigate and repel the Russian invasion of Ukraine, startups and more mature tech companies in Europe are stepping up their efforts to alleviate human suffering. TechCrunch has a running list of who does what is worth reading.

Startups and VCs

What crypto slowdown? Last week, TechCrunch noted that the NFT market seemed to be slowing down. But that and the generally uninspiring price movements of major crypto tokens aren’t dampening corporate interest in the space. The parent company of popular crypto wallet MetaMast just raised a $7 billion valuation, and the team that used to work crypto at Facebook just raised a mint for their own project. Which is, notably, a new blockchain, not something built on top of an existing decentralized network.

Before we dive into the rest of the startup news, there’s an essay on TechCrunch regarding BNPL (consumer lending fintech, essentially) regulation that’s well worth reading. I haven’t quite digested it yet, but the concept of lagged regulation versus rapid innovation is never something to ignore.

  • Astra reaches ad astra: Flying in space is a fairly binary activity. Either you do it and deliver what you’ve been tasked to carry, or you don’t, and everyone watches your rocket fail on YouTube. Good news for the burgeoning space transit game, “space startup-turned-public company Astra has reached orbit for the second time, in its first mission for new client Spaceflight Inc.”, reports TechCrunch. (I’m keeping Astra in the startup section for now because it’s still a startup despite public company status, just like Databricks is a public company despite private company status.)
  • Enterprise software is still big business: Sure, VCs want to fund crypto exchanges and so on, but the work of creating software for big companies continues. Proof of that can be found today in Run:ai raising a $75 million round. Tiger and Insight Partners led the investment, giving the AI ​​workload orchestrator a huge capital base from which to grow.
  • Employee engagement is also big business: Sticking with the corporate theme for a moment, Staffbase just raised a whopping $115 million seed round at a $1.1 billion valuation, TechCrunch reports. The company’s software “helps internal teams craft, send, and measure the impact of their communications with their organizations,” we write.
  • Plea for trade? Plaid became famous for creating APIs to help unite the fintech world. TechCrunch believes Rutter runs a similar playbook, but for e-commerce. And after raising $1.5 million last year, the company is back in 2022 with a Series A round of $27 million.
  • Battery-powered and island-hopping cargo ships: Here’s a fun one. FleetZero wants to shake up the world of carbon-heavy and generally old-fashioned global shipping with electric boats, using smaller ports and swapping batteries. Uh, shit yeah?
  • Insurtech is not dead: Yes, many insurtech startups have fallen in value over the past few quarters, but that doesn’t mean the sector is dead. A good example is the latest Cowbell Cyber ​​round, worth $100 million, to provide cyber insurance to SMEs. Given the deluge of ransomware across the globe, we doubt Cowbell will be missed by TAM.

And there was more. Bobbie raises $50 million for her baby formula business, Zomato and Blinkit merge, and we have more reports from the world of e-commerce aggregation.

How to pitch me: 4 VCs share what they’re looking for in March 2022

Concept of discussion between two oranges.Studio shot

Picture credits: Francesco Carta photography (Opens in a new window) /Getty Pictures

Looking into public information won’t tell you exactly what types of offers VCs are looking for right now or how they prefer to be approached by founders.

To dispel some of these mysteries and learn more about where top VCs are looking for opportunities, we interviewed the following investors:

  • Christine Choi, Partner, M13
  • Arvind Gupta, Partner, Mayfield Fund
  • Mike Ghaffary, General Partner, Canvas Ventures
  • Sarah Kunst, Managing Director, Cleo Capital

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams grow. You can join here.)

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