BNPL competition heats up, Bowery Farming TC-1, Silicon Valley dreams – TechCrunch


Is Southeast Asia About To Hit An Inflection Point For Tech Startups?

Four hundred million people in the region are already using the internet, but by the end of the year, one estimate suggests that 80% of the population over the age of 15 in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam will be digital consumers.

“According to calculations by Jungle Ventures, the total value of digital businesses in the region is around $ 340 billion today and is expected to reach $ 1,000 billion by 2025,” said founding partner Amit Anand.

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E-commerce, fintechs, and the rapid digitization of the region’s SME workforce are some of the factors reshaping the Southeast Asian startup landscape, but the technology chain is changing. procurement is also a major opportunity, says Anand.

“With new announcements and US listing intentions being announced more frequently, the region shows no signs of slowing down and the birth of many more unicorns is on the horizon. “

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Editor-in-Chief, TechCrunch +

The Bowery Farming TC-1

Image credits: Nigel sussman

Just over a tenth of Americans have jobs in food and agriculture, so it’s easy to see why many of us lack a keen awareness of what we eat or where it comes from.

Our food supply is not as secure or predictable as we have assumed: climate change, security recalls, the COVID-19 pandemic and even immigration policies can have a direct impact on what is available in the world. store.

The technological leaps that have fed (most) of the world won’t see us through the next century if we don’t change course.

Plant protein has been the subject of a lot of press, but vertical farming that relies on hardware and robotics has reached scale, reports Brian Heater, editor of hardware TechCrunch.

In a four-part series, he explores the origins and operations of Bowery Farming, a profitable startup that has raised nearly $ 500 million since 2015 to create new technologies and facilities that grow leafy greens sold over nearly 900 markets.

Part 1: Bowery Farming forces us all to look to the future of vertical farming

Part 2: Hack lettuce for taste and profit

Part 3: Can LEDs Finally Replace the Sun?

Part 4: The Voracious Fight for Your Salad Bowl

Since Big Tech arrived in Denver, investors can’t buy enough local startups

Denver, Colorado is nicknamed the Mile High City, but keen investors don’t seem to mind the thinning air.

“According to a recent report by CB Insights, Denver-based startups raised approximately $ 2.7 billion in 2020 as a whole,” Anna Heim and Alex Wilhelm report in today’s edition of The Exchange.

“The same data set indicates that the city’s startups raised $ 3.1 billion through the third quarter of 2021 – more capital in less time.”

Colorado’s central location and quality of life have made Denver and Boulder attractive hubs for big tech companies. Now that remote working has become the norm, remote investments in the region have also increased.

“Denver was ready for the Zoom boom and reaping the rewards – venture capital.”

Credit and charge card companies vie for share of BNPL’s growing market

direct inscription slice cake

Image credits: Photographic concepts (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Offering consumers the option to defer payment for a product isn’t a new idea, but now that startups like Klarna, Afterpay, and Affirm have taken the concept to the next level, credit card companies and existing payment companies are taking note.

Mary Ann Azevedo and Ryan Lawler identified a “slow emergence” in the BNPL space of “a symbiotic relationship between traditional financial institutions, newcomers and large corporations”.

Visa announced this week that many companies are using its technology to power BNPL point-of-sale solutions; last month, its rival launched Mastercard Payments, its tailor-made offering.

“It’s not much of a surprise that these credit card companies are stepping up their efforts when it comes to BNPL,” said Ryan and Mary Ann. “If anything, it’s a miracle it took them so long. “

Dear Sophie: Any advice for living my dreams in Silicon Valley?

solitary figure at the entrance of a maze hedge that has an American flag in the center

Image credits: Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

After trying to find an H-1B job to immigrate to the United States for several years, I worked as a senior software engineer at a company in Canada.

My dream is to immigrate to Silicon Valley to start my own business. No advice?

– Enthusiastic entrepreneur

Salad chain heavily backed by VC Sweetgreen heads to public markets

Inside a Sweetgreen Inc. restaurant as the chain expands

Image credits: Adam Glanzman / Bloomberg / Getty Images / Getty Images

In a previous job, I worked near a Sweetgreen site, stopping in once a week to pick up our startup’s lunch order.

The salads were delicious, but the prices definitely made me appreciate our free lunch policy. While reading Alex Wilhelm’s review of Sweetgreen’s S-1, I remembered something else: On each visit, I was usually the only customer waiting for a pickup.

Heavily reliant on digital controls and office workers, Sweetgreen “is rather unprofitable and does not appear to be on the verge of starting a rapid march to profitability,” writes Alex.

At the same time, “the company’s overall business plan looks solid on paper”.

How to uproot shadow IT and maximize SaaS investments

Cartoon style eye peeping through yellow color on paper texture

Image credits: MirageC (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

In a modern, predominantly remote workplace, unapproved SaaS applications used by individual employees can lead to duplicate subscriptions, wasted IT spend, and increased risk of data breaches.

How to chase away the shadows? Just shine a light on your SaaS portfolio, according to Eric Christopher, CEO and co-founder of Zylo.

“Once IT has a bird’s eye view of all the applications in use and how they are being used, they are in a position to optimize the investment,” he says. “Implementing self-service SaaS in your organization is easier than you might think. “

Robinhood’s wicked neighborhood shows the ups and downs of business income

Any stock that trades on the prospect of a company’s growth rather than its current business value is walking on thin ice.

So when the Robinhood trading platform reported lower than expected third quarter revenue and earnings and predicted lower fourth quarter earnings than analysts expected, the market reacted.

During an in-depth review of the company’s third quarter results, Alex Wilhelm found that Robinhood’s user base, crypto trading revenue, and revenue per user had all fallen, which drove its profitability. to “take a hit”.

If competitor Coinbase “has seen even a fraction of the slowdown Robinhood has experienced in terms of crypto trading income, it could have a tough quarter,” he said.

How 2 companies benefited from organic and inorganic growth

a small green plant grows inside a metal gear

Image credits: Ivan Bajic (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Taking a thoughtful and balanced approach to combining organic growth with the boost of a merger or acquisition can unlock sustainable growth, writes Chris Legg, Managing Director of Progress Partners.

It highlights two examples of successful M&A strategies:

  • The frenzy of aggressive vertical acquisitions by Outside Inc. to expand its offerings while entering whole new markets.
  • Trusted Media Brands’ agreement with Jukin Media to diversify its content and increase its advertising base.

Building a pitch deck that can’t be ignored

the figure of a wooden model pulls a drape of a five-pointed star

Image credits: Boris SV (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

To find out what a pitch deck needs to stand out, editor-in-chief Danny Crichton hosted a panel at TechCrunch Disrupt with Mar Hershenson, the founding CEO of Pear VC; Mercedes Bent, Lightspeed partner, and Saba Karim, who leads the global startup pipeline at TechStars.

Their discussion contains valuable insight into how pitches have evolved over the past year, the VC’s thought process when reading decks, and what founders should focus on if they don’t want to be ignored. .

“Bridges are getting better and better in terms of design,” said Bent. “I think more and more people have realized that the visual representation of your deck is just as important as the hardware and content on it.

Originality definitely helps an entrepreneur stand out from the crowd, Karim said.

The best pitch deck I got in a different format would be from a company that recently joined TechStars – it was actually a podcast version of their pitch deck that had my face on it. I went to Apple Podcasts and he said, “Hey, Saba, here’s my pitch”. It was amazing! But the second or third time this happens, it might not be as impressive because I’ve seen it before.

Allbirds IPO Expected to Help Market Sort Value of Tech-Based IPOs

I’ve always had an interest in the origin of words: we use the term ‘bellwether’ to describe trendsetters, but it originally referred to a sheep with a bell tied around its neck, which encouraged the rest of the herd to follow.

Likewise, IPO filings offer insight into the inner workings of a business, but they can also provide insight into prevailing market trends.

The tech-based shoe maker’s Allbirds IPO brief serves both purposes quite well, reports Alex Wilhelm: Rent the Runway debuted when it went public this week.


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