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TechCrunch

VCs reload ahead of the election as unicorns power ahead – TechCrunch

This is The TechCrunch Exchange, a newsletter that goes out on Saturdays, based on the column of the same name. You can sign up for the email here. It was an active week in the technology world broadly, with big news from Facebook and Twitter and Apple. But past the headline-grabbing noise, there was a steady drumbeat of bullish news for unicorns, or private companies worth $1 billion or more. A bullish week for unicorns The Exchange spent a good chunk of the week looking into different stories from unicorns, or companies that will soon fit the bill, and it’s surprising to see how much positive financial news there was on tap even past what we got to write about. Databricks, for example, disclosed a grip of financial data to TechCrunch ahead of regular publication, including the fact that it grew its annual run rate (not ARR) to $350 million by the end of Q3 2020, up from $200 million in Q2 2019. It’s essentially IPO ready, but is not hurrying to the public markets. Sticking to our theme, Calm wants more money for a huge new valuation, perhaps as high as $2.2 billion which is not a surprise. That’s more good unicorn news. As was the report that “India’s Razorpay [became a] unicorn after its new $100 million funding round” that came out this week. Razorpay is only one of a number of Indian startups that have become unicorns during COVID-19. (And here’s another digest out this week concerning…Continue readingVCs reload ahead of the election as unicorns power ahead – TechCrunch

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TechCrunch

Will future unicorns go public sooner? – TechCrunch

The public markets are staying receptive to tech IPOs, and tech unicorns are trying to recover from pandemic damage, polish up their financials, and head back towards the starting gates. This week, it’s Airbnb and Palantir, finally. Both have been startup icons of the past decade, and literally helped define the term “unicorn.” Now, both are illustrating the challenges that can come from sticking to private funding for years when going public was feasible. First up, the travel rental company filed confidentially on Wednesday for a public offering, which means we’ll probably get a look at the numbers after Q3 is accounted for, as Alex Wilhelm has been covering. It had eventually decided to go public this year, then the pandemic reshaped its business and forced a down-round and mass layoffs. Now, it says its business has been booming again, and at the expense of some incumbents. The cost-savings plus the fresh growth potential could prove an exciting combo to public markets. Palantir, meanwhile, appears headed to an IPO soonish judging by the S-1 screenshots that Danny Crichton scooped yesterday. However, the oldest unicorn (17 years) is still losing hundreds of millions every year, it still has a concentrated group of customers for its data and consultancy products, and its commercial business is still relatively smaller than government. The more positive financial news it has to offer? Government revenue lines have been up this year, apparently related to more pandemic demand, and the commercial side had been growing since before then.…Continue readingWill future unicorns go public sooner? – TechCrunch

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TechCrunch

Liquid unicorns, accelerating transitions, and Gen Z’s venture impact – TechCrunch

Welcome back to The TechCrunch Exchange, a weekly startups-and-markets newsletter for your weekend enjoyment. It’s broadly based on the daily column that appears on Extra Crunch, but free, and made for your weekend enjoyment. Ready? Let’s talk money, upstart companies and spicy IPO rumors. Sadly the best news of the week isn’t a fit here So far this little newsletter has bested performance expectations, and has quickly become my favorite thing to write each week. Sadly, however, it has a theme and a genre and a remit. Which means that I will not be writing its opening column on the Epic-Apple payment brouhaha. Alas. But don’t worry. In our world of markets and startups there was a lot to get through. Namely that a number of unicorns that you know by name appear to be edging closer and closer to going public. There are some big names that are either about to file, or are trending in the direction of public debuts, and we’re getting more and better information than before. I tried to summarize a bit of this on Thursday, but let’s narrow and just talk IPO mechanics: Palantir may direct list in September. Is it a consultancy? Is it a software company? Is it a mix of both? Don’t know? Don’t want to price it? Just direct list it! Jokes aside that we are this close to a Palantir IPO is a combination of this and exciting. (More on its growth history here.) Airbnb’s IPO is not only…Continue readingLiquid unicorns, accelerating transitions, and Gen Z’s venture impact – TechCrunch

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TechCrunch

COVID-19 fails to stop the march of the unicorns – TechCrunch

Q2 2020 venture capital totals for the US are down but not out We’re digging into Q2 2020 venture capital results this week. Today we are exploring U.S.-specific results after taking a broader perspective yesterday. As with every quarter, our goal is to understand how strong, or not, the domestic and global VC markets are so that we can better follow the pace of startup dealmaking. The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. You can read it every morning on Extra Crunch, and now you can receive it in your inbox. Sign up for The Exchange newsletter, which will drop every Saturday starting July 25. TechCrunch will explore specific metros in the coming days, but today we’re sticking to numbers that detail the whole United States’s second-quarter venture outcome. The results may surprise you. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and huge disruptions to how companies large and small work, VCs put lots of capital to work in American startups during Q2. While total dollars put to work were down compared to Q1 2020 and the year-ago period, the declines were modest. And unicorns appeared to have a moderately good quarter to boot. This morning we’re leaning on fresh data from the MoneyTree Report, compiled by business data company CB Insights and its partner, PwC. Our goal is not to perish under a crushing tower of numbers, but to snag only the most important trends and squeeze them for all they can tell us. Let’s go! Source linkContinue readingCOVID-19 fails to stop the march of the unicorns – TechCrunch

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TechCrunch

Tech unicorns look to IPOs as Lemonade, Accolade boom – TechCrunch

Hundreds of tech-oriented startups worth a billion or more dollars had envisioned successful public offerings before the pandemic hit. But new tech listings slowed to nearly nothing this spring as companies have tried to adjust to the profound changes sweeping the world. Today, more and more companies are back to their previous plans, with Lemonade and Accolade finding an enthusiastic public this week, following Agora’s pop last Friday, as Alex Wilhelm has been covering. The first big tech IPO this week was in online insurance, the second in health, and despite both being in promising markets, the valuations are quite a bit higher than their business realities to date. Here’s more, from his analysis on Extra Crunch: Lemonade is being valued at more than 15x the value of its annualized Q1 revenue despite not sporting the gross margins you might expect investors to demand for it to merit that SaaS valuation. And Accolade only expects to grow by about 20% in Q2 2020 compared to its year-ago results while probably losing more money. But who cares? The IPO market is standing there with open arms today (there’s always another IPO cliché lurking). The read of this is impossibly simple: However open we thought that the IPO market was before, it is even more welcoming. For companies on the sidelines, like Palantir, Airbnb, DoorDash and Asana, you have to wonder what they are waiting for. Sure, you can raise more private capital like Palantir and DoorDash have, but so what; if you want to…Continue readingTech unicorns look to IPOs as Lemonade, Accolade boom – TechCrunch

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VentureBeat

Startup Genome: 80 regions have produced unicorns as tech democratizes

The tech world used to be synonymous with Silicon Valley. But while the region still dominates, technology ecosystems have spread around the world, and Asia-Pacific is coming on strong, according to research by Startup Genome. That story is decades in the making, but Startup Genome has some interesting data that illustrates the democratization of tech ecosystems, or regions with a lot of tech startups and the infrastructure to make them viable. This democratization is most evident in Asia-Pacific, which now has 30% of the world’s tech ecosystems, compared to just 20% in 2012. On top of that, in 2013 only four ecosystems produced unicorns (startups with billion-dollar exits). Today, more than 80 ecosystems have done so. These ecosystems are huge contributors to economic prosperity. All told, the global startup economy is valued at nearly $3 trillion, a figure on par with a top G7 nation. Silicon Valley’s tech ecosystem is valued at $677 billion, compared to $92 billion for London and $47 billion for Tel Aviv. Seven of the top 10 companies in the world are in technology, and 2019 saw close to $300 billion in venture capital investments across the globe, Startup Genome said. Among the top ecosystems, Seoul and Tokyo have ascended to the top 20. Washington, D.C., saw the largest gain, jumping eight positions, and Seattle and Amsterdam-Delta both advanced three positions. Berlin and Bangalore had the most substantial drops but stayed within the top 30. China has four cities in the top 30: Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen,…Continue readingStartup Genome: 80 regions have produced unicorns as tech democratizes

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TechCrunch

With three unicorns under its belt, Hoxton Ventures outs ~$100M second fund – TechCrunch

Hoxton Ventures, the London-based early-stage VC firm best known for backing British unicorns Babylon Health, Darktrace and Deliveroo, is announcing its second fund, which has closed at a little less than $100 million. That’s more than twice the size of the firm’s $40 million debut fund back in 2013, when new VCs setting up shop in Europe were still seen as a novelty. How the ecosystem has blossomed since then. Founded by Rob Kniaz and Hussein Kanji — Fidelity and Accel alums, respectively — and joined last year by new partner and chief operating officer Rob Ludwig, Hoxton’s self-proclaimed strategy is, and always has been, to seek out startups that can scale globally into “large, category-defining leaders” in nascent industries. It is sector-agnostic and typically invests between $500,000 and $5 million into pre-seed, seed and Series A stage. “We’re deliberately anti-thematic strategy, just as we were in the first fund,” Kanji tells TechCrunch. “Our job is to back tomorrow’s global tech winners from Europe. We feel most of these come from new market categories that [are] only now being born.” “We also have a wider check-size range than some funds as we allocate a small portion of the fund to pre-seed companies, where we can take some riskier bets, where we have particular conviction around the founders themselves or a certain market,” adds Kniaz. “It will be years before quantum computing is ready to be commercialised, for example, but we think it’s important to have some exposure there to founders…Continue readingWith three unicorns under its belt, Hoxton Ventures outs ~$100M second fund – TechCrunch