Bain’s Sarah Smith, former head of HR at Quora, will share the recruiting playbook at Early Stage

If you’re a startup that’s worried about building your team today for tomorrow’s successes you’re not going to want to miss our session with Bain Capital Ventures’ Sarah Smith at TechCrunch Early Stage on April 1 & 2.

The current Bain Capital Ventures partner who invests in early to mid-stage companies saw what it was like to grow a startup business firsthand as the vice president of human resources at Quora, a position she held from 2012 to 2016.

While at Quora, Sarah built the HR and operations teams responsible for company culture, compensation, benefits, equity refreshers, performance reviews, HRIS/ATS implementation, people development, policy enforcement and content moderation.

She scaled the company from 40 to 200 employees across all hiring from university to executive search.

After that, she became the vice president of advertising sales and operations, where she led the launch of monetization and onboarding of more than 500 advertisers to the self-service ads platform.

Smith joins an all-star cast of speakers at Early Stage. They range from Zoom CRO Ryan Azus (“How to build a sales team”) to Calendly founder Tope Awotona (“How to bootstrap”) to Kleiner Perkins’ Bucky Moore (“How to prep for Series A fundraising”), are making themselves available to answer your burning questions on just about any topic. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Unlike other TechCrunch events, there is no “main stage” at our TC Early Stage events. Each session is designed to tackle one of the many core competencies any startup needs to be successful. But this isn’t just about listening — every session includes plenty of time built in for audience Q&A. Essentially, it’s all breakout sessions, all day.

What’s more — everyone who buys a ticket to TC Early Stage gets free access to Extra Crunch! Folks who buy a ticket to one of the two events get three months free, and folks who purchase a combination ticket (to both events) get six months free! An Extra Crunch membership includes:

Of course, TC Early Stage dual event ticket holders will get access to both events (April 1-2 and July 8-9) and have access to all the content that comes out of the event on demand. Plus you can take advantage of additional savings with Early Bird pricing for another couple of weeks!

Mercenary CEOs know all too well that this is about the most bang you can get for your buck. Period.

Check out the full list of speakers here and you can get your ticket now!

Startups – TechCrunch

From food delivery to housing: Former Favor founders raise millions for Sunroom Rentals

Real estate tech startup Sunroom Rentals, which leases units on behalf of property managers and apartment owners, has raised $ 11 million in a Series A round of funding led by Gigafund.

Ben Doherty and Zachary Maurais, former founders of the delivery app Favor, launched Sunroom in May 2018 with the mission of “boosting the profitability” of mid-size property managers and apartment owners by giving them a way to outsource their leasing operations.

The pair sold Favor to Texas grocer H-E-B in 2018 and soon after shifted their focus on building out Sunroom. The Austin-based company has developed an app that it says gives renters a way to tour, apply for and lease a unit “entirely online.” COVID-19 has led to more renters wanting virtual ways to explore and secure rental units. Mobile-first, Maurais noted, is particularly appealing to millennials and Gen Zers.

“Personally, we love to create products that fulfill consumer’s most basic needs,” said Maurais, the company’s president. “With food under our belt, we decided to focus on housing.”

While one might wonder what the parallels between food delivery and housing might be beyond fulfilling consumers’ needs, CEO Doherty said the rental market in 2021 looks a lot like the food delivery market in 2013.

“In 2013, Grubhub had successfully put many restaurant menus online, but most of the transactions and delivery process was still offline,” he told TechCrunch. “We’re in a similar position with the rental market, as the majority of rental listings are online, but touring, applying or leasing units is still done offline.”

Since its launch, Sunroom Rentals has signed more than 2,000 leases and had over 100,000 renters sign up for its services in fast-growing Austin, where it focused its initial efforts.

“According to the U.S. Census, that represents roughly 10% of renters in the greater Austin metro,” Maurais said. “Instead of going shallow and wide nationally, we decided to go deep in markets, in an effort to gain network effects, which was a strategy that worked well for us at Favor.”

Sunroom Rentals claims that it’s leasing units five days faster than the market average. This benefits property managers, Doherty said, because they can grow quicker “while improving leasing performance.”

Looking ahead, the company will use the funding to expand across Texas, including in Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. It will also invest in its partner portal, which aims to give owners and property managers a way to view real-time data on leasing performance.

Sunroom Rentals currently has 18 employees with the goal of more than doubling its headcount this year. It’s in particular looking to hire across its engineering, product and sales departments.

As mentioned above, Gigafund led the Series A financing, which included participation from NextGen Venture Partners, Calpoly Ventures and a slew of angel investors, including Gokul Rajaram (Google & Square) and Homeward’s Tim Heyl, among others. Existing backers include Founders Fund Seed, Draper Associates, Boost VC and Capital Factory (among many others). The round marked Sunroom’s first “priced” round, meaning the first time it’s given up stock.

Jonathan Basset, managing partner at NextGen Venture Partners, believes Sunroom was essentially in the right place at the right time and “on trend with touchless leasing even before COVID hit.”

“I watched them build a profitable consumer marketplace in a competitive market with Favor and was impressed with them as operators,” he said. “These businesses have a surprising amount of similarities and I’m confident they can rise to the challenge.

Last week, TechCrunch reported on the raise of another startup operating in this increasingly crowded space. Seattle-based Knock — a company that has developed tools to give property management companies a competitive edge — raised $ 20 million in a growth funding round led by Fifth Wall Ventures.

Knock’s goal is to provide CRM tools to modernize front office operations for these companies so they can do things like offer virtual tours and communicate with renters via text, email or social media from “a single conversation screen.” For renters, it offers an easier way to communicate and engage with landlords.

Maurais said the two differ in that Knock is a CRM built for leasing agents with a SAAS model where as Sunroom is a marketplace, where renters match, tour and apply with partnered properties.

“Sunroom also provides a suite of leasing & analytics software to its partners and generates both transactional and subscription revenues,” he added.

Startups – TechCrunch

Brex applies for bank charter, taps former Silicon Valley Bank exec as CEO of Brex Bank – TechCrunch

Brex applies for bank charter, taps former Silicon Valley Bank exec as CEO of Brex Bank  TechCrunch
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

[ADvantage in Phoenix Business Journal] Former Coyotes CEO Ahron Cohen joins $50M sports tech venture fund

Ahron Cohen, the former president and CEO of the Arizona Coyotes, announced Wednesday he’ll join a venture fund focused on growing sports-focused technology companies.

Read more here.

The post [ADvantage in Phoenix Business Journal] Former Coyotes CEO Ahron Cohen joins $ 50M sports tech venture fund appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

How A Former Monk Launched Headspace — A Billion Dollar Meditation Application

From a 10 year journey as a monk, he now runs one of the most well-known meditation startups

Entrepreneur's Handbook – Medium

A former NEA partner and a former Uber exec just closed their $140 million debut VC fund – TechCrunch

A former NEA partner and a former Uber exec just closed their $ 140 million debut VC fund  TechCrunch
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

Elon Musk’s former Chief Engineer creates new electric car, claims it’s better than Tesla – Nairametrics

Elon Musk’s former Chief Engineer creates new electric car, claims it’s better than Tesla  Nairametrics
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News