Check out the amazing speakers joining us on Extra Crunch Live in February

Last year, we hit you with 44(!) episodes of Extra Crunch Live, a series that gives startups and founders direct insights from the experts who know best. We’re making Extra Crunch Live even better in 2021: we’ll take a look at funding deals through the eyes of the founders and investors who made them happen, and those same tech leaders will go through your pitch decks and give feedback and advice. Every single Wednesday at 12pm PT/3pm ET!

Today, I’m thrilled to announce the February slate for Extra Crunch Live.


Gaurav Gupta (Lightspeed Venture Partners) + Raj Dutt (Grafana Labs)

February 3, 12pm PT/3pm ET

Grafana Labs, the open-source platform for monitoring, visualization and metric analytics, has raised more than $ 75 million since its 2014 inception. Lightspeed’s Raj Dutt has partnered with the company throughout its journey, leading Grafana’s Series A and B. Hear from Gupta and Grafana cofounder Raj Dutt about how that Series A deal came together, and take a look at the startup’s original Series A pitch deck on the next episode of Extra Crunch Live. And don’t forget! Gupta and Dutt will be giving live feedback to Extra Crunch members who have submitted their own pitch decks.


Aydin Senkut (Felicis Ventures) + Kevin Busque (Guideline)

February 10, 12pm PT/3pm ET

In 2014, Guideline stepped into the ring with giants, launching an all-inclusive 401k platform for fast-growing businesses. Since, it’s raised nearly $ 140 million in funding, including a $ 15 million Series B round led by Felicis Ventures. Hear the behind-the-scenes story of how Guideline CEO Kevin Busque and Felicis partner Aydin Senkut came together for that deal, with a walk through the pitch deck that started it all, and get the founder/investor duo’s live feedback on your own pitch deck.


Steve Loughlin (Accel) + Jason Boehmig (Ironclad)

February 17, 12pm PT/3pm ET

Steve Loughlin views the techworld through a prismatic lens. He’s been a founder, he’s been through an acquisition, and now he invests as a partner at Accel. One such investment includes Ironclad, a contract management platform that recently raised a $ 100 million Series D and is valued at nearly $ 1 billion. Hear CEO Jason Boehmig and Loughlin talk through their original Series A deal and get live feedback on your own pitch deck from the founder/investor duo.


Matt Harris (Bain Capital) + Isaac Oats (Justworks)

February 24, 12pm PT/3pm ET

Justworks’ back-office software has garnered the attention of many investors. The company has raised $ 143 million from firms including FirstMark Capital, Union Square Ventures, Thrive, Redpoint, and Bain Capital. Hear from Justworks founder and CEO Isaac Oats and Bain Capital Partner Matt Harris as they describe how their partnership began and get their live feedback on your own pitch deck.

Extra Crunch Live is for EC members only. If you’re not already signed up, get on it right here. Registration info for each of these episodes is below. See you soon!

Startups – TechCrunch

Get feedback on your pitch deck from tech leaders on Extra Crunch Live

Extra Crunch Live 2.0 launches next week! Among several improvements, we’re thrilled to ramp up the Pitch Deck Teardown.

In short, folks can submit their pitch decks to get feedback from investors and founders alike.

The importance of the pitch deck can’t be underestimated. It is often the first point of contact between a company and venture investors, but how investors consume a pitch deck (and what they really think) is also a bit of a black box.

Are they speed-flipping through the slides or taking their time? Do they prefer more information on the team or context on the industry? More numbers or more words? How many slides is the right number of slides?

There are too many questions to count, and often very few answers. But we’re popping the lid off of that black box with the Pitch Deck Teardown. We’ve done Pitch Deck Teardowns at events like Disrupt and Early Stage 2020, and this year we’re cranking it up a notch.

Anyone can submit their pitch deck and hear what our guests, tech leaders across the industry, think of them. (Important note: Extra Crunch members will be prioritized on the list of decks we choose to show during the episode.)

We recently shared what you can expect from Extra Crunch Live in 2021. Here’s a refresher:

  • Series A – Learn how others have fundraised! We’ll have a segment dedicated to hearing from founder/investor duos who walk us through the Series A pitch deck that led to investment.
  • Pitch Deck Teardowns – Folks will have the opportunity to submit their pitch deck and get feedback from our guests, which will include VCs and founders (You can submit their pitch decks right here!).
  • Live Pitch-offs – Audience members can raise their hand to practice their elevator pitch in front of the audience and get real-time feedback from VCs.
  • Networking!! – The Extra Crunch membership is a community. ECL will be an opportunity to meet your fellow audience members, even in a virtual environment. Who knows? Maybe you’ll meet your next co-founder or investor!
  • Consistency – ECL will always be at 12pm PT/3pm ET on Wednesdays. When it comes to your calendar, set it and forget it.

We’ll announce all the speakers joining us in February tomorrow! Stay tuned!

Startups – TechCrunch

All things Software & Engineering Office Hours – Live NOW On our Discord

Taking place on the /r/startups Discord at right NOW:

https://discord.gg/XzB7m8DeWu

Come ask about All things Software & Engineering with thatrandybrown#9976 and an all-star panel of mentors

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

LEGAL OFFICE HOURS with Verified Lawyers – LIVE RIGHT NOW on our Discord

Taking place on the r/startups Discord: https://discord.gg/XzB7m8DeWu

If you have any questions about the legalities of your startup, this is your chance to get some support from verified lawyers.

If this submission is still up, Office Hours are still in session. GET OVER THERE!

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Customs intercepts 5,200 live ammunition in Cross River | The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World NewsBusiness — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News – Guardian Nigeria

Customs intercepts 5,200 live ammunition in Cross River | The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World NewsBusiness — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News  Guardian Nigeria
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

Thimble teaches kids STEM skills with robotics kits combined with live Zoom classes

Parents with kids stuck learning at home during the pandemic have had to look for alternative activities to promote the hands-on learning experiences kids are missing out on due to attending class virtually. The New York-based educational technology startup Thimble aims to help address this problem by offering a subscription service for STEM-based projects that allow kids to make robotics, electronics and other tech using a combination of kits shipped to the home and live online instruction.

Thimble began back in 2016 as Kickstarter project when it raised $ 300,000 in 45 days to develop its STEM-based robotics and programming kits. The next year, it then began selling its kits to schools, largely in New York, for use in the classroom or in after-school programs. Over the years that followed, Thimble scaled its customer base to include around 250 schools across New York, Pennsylvania, and California, who would buy the kits and gain access to teacher training.

But the COVID-19 pandemic changed the course of Thimble’s business.

“A lot of schools were in panic mode. They were not sure what was happening, and so their spending was frozen for some time,” explains Thimble co-founder and CEO Oscar Pedroso, whose background is in education. “Even our top customers that I would call, they would just give [say], ‘hey, this is not a good time. We think we’re going to be closing schools down.”

Pedroso realized that the company would have to quickly pivot to begin selling directly to parents instead.

Image Credits: Thimble

Around April, it made the shift — effectively entering the B2C market for the first time.

The company today offers parents a subscription that allows them to receive up to 15 different STEM-focused project kits and a curriculum that includes live instruction from an educator. One kit is shipped out over the course of three months, though an accelerated program is available that ships with more frequency.

The first kit is basic electronics where kids learn how to build simple circuits, like a doorbell, kitchen timer and a music composer, for example. The kit is designed so kids can experience “quick wins” to keep their attention and whet their appetite for more projects. This leads into future kits like those offering a Wi-Fi robot, a little drone, an LED compass that lights up, and a synthesizer that lets kids become their own D.J.

Image Credits: Thimble

While any family can use the kits to help kids experience hands-on electronics and robotics, Pedroso says that about 70% of subscribers are those where the child already has a knack for doing these sorts of projects. The remaining 30% are those where the parents are looking to introduce the concepts of robotics and programming, to see if the kids show an interest. Around 40% of the students are girls.

The subscription is more expensive than some DIY projects at $ 59.99/per month (or $ 47.99/mo if paid annually), but this is because it includes live instruction in the form of weekly 1-hour Zoom classes. Thimble has part-time employees who are not just able to understand teach the material, but can do so in a way that appeals to children — by being passionate, energetic and capable of jumping in to help if they sense a child is having an issue or getting frustrated. Two of the five teachers are women. One instructor is bilingual and teaches some classes in Spanish.

During class, one teacher instructs while a second helps moderate the chat room and answer the questions that kids ask in there.

The live classes will have around 15-20 students each, but Thimble additionally offers a package for small groups that reduces class size. These could be used by homeschool “pods” or other groups.

Image Credits: Thimble

“We started hearing from pods and then micro-schools,” notes Pedroso. “Those were parents who were connected to other parents, and wanted their kids to be part of the same class. They generally required a little bit more attention and wanted some things a little more customized,” he added.

These subscriptions are more expensive at $ 250/month, but the cost is shared among the group of parents, which brings the price down on per-household basis. Around 10% of the total customer base is on this plan, as most customers are individual families.

Thimble also works with several community programs and nonprofits in select markets that help to subsidize the cost of the kits to make the subscriptions more affordable. These are announced, as available, through schools, newsletters, and other marketing efforts.

Since pivoting to subscriptions, Thimble has re-established a customer base and now has 1,110 paid customers. Some, however, are grandfathered in to an earlier price point, so Thimble needs to scale the business further.

In addition to the Kickstarter, Thimble has raised funds and worked on the business over the year with the help of multiple accelerators, including LearnLaunch in Boston, Halcyon in D.C., and Telluride Venture Accelerator in Colorado.

The startup, co-founded by Joel Cilli in Pittsburgh, is now around 60% closed on its seed round of $ 1 million, but isn’t announcing details of that at this time.

 

 

 

Startups – TechCrunch

Get live feedback on your pitch deck from big-name VCs on Extra Crunch Live

Your startup’s pitch deck could be the difference between getting funded or getting ignored. It’s often the first point of contact between a company and venture investors, but it’s also a bit of a black box.

How do these investors consume this content? Are they speed-flipping through the slides or taking their time? Do they prefer more information on the team or context on the industry? More numbers or more words? How many slides is the right number of slides?

There are too many questions to count, and often very few answers. But we’re popping the lid off of that black box with the Pitch Deck Teardown. We’ve done Pitch Deck Teardowns at events like Disrupt and Early Stage 2020, and this year we’re cranking it up a notch.

As a part of Extra Crunch Live, our weekly event series that connects investors and founders, we’ll be offering EC members the chance to get live feedback on their pitch decks from our guests. You heard that right. Every single week, VCs and big-name tech founders will look through pitch decks from the Extra Crunch community and offer their two cents.

That’s where you come in. We’re asking EC members to submit their pitch decks right here!

Only EC members will have the chance to get their pitch deck looked at, so please use the same email attached to your Extra Crunch account when you submit.

Last week, we shared what you can expect from Extra Crunch Live in 2021. Here’s a refresher:

  • Series A – Learn how others have fundraised! We’ll have a segment dedicated to hearing from founder/investor duos who walk us through the Series A pitch deck that led to investment. 
  • Pitch Deck Teardowns – Extra Crunch members will have the opportunity to submit their pitch deck and get feedback from our guests, which will include VCs and founders (EC members can submit their pitch decks right here!). 
  • Live Pitch-offs – Audience members can raise their hand to practice their elevator pitch in front of the audience and get real-time feedback from VCs.
  • Networking!! – The Extra Crunch membership is a community. ECL will be an opportunity to meet your fellow audience members, even in a virtual environment. Who knows? Maybe you’ll meet your next co-founder or investor! 
  • Consistency – ECL will always be at 12pm PT/3pm ET on Wednesdays. When it comes to your calendar, set it and forget it. 

We’re super excited about ECL in 2021 and can’t wait to get started. More on upcoming speakers very soon!

Startups – TechCrunch

London-based Hopin to offer StreamYard’s live streaming studio after acquiring it for €203M

Hopin

With work from home the new norm, the need for reliable video conferencing apps rose dramatically last year. Many established and new players such as Zoom, Google, Facebook and others entered the video conferencing domain. While online meetings were taken care of, organisations also need a way to host their physical events online. Helping organisations in this aspect is the startup Hopin, which offers an all-in-one live virtual events platform. The company has now acquired StreamYard, a live video streaming studio. 

Adding new features 

Hopin acquired StreamYard for a notable €203.82M, which will be paid for in cash and stock. With this acquisition, Hopin will enable its clients to produce “professional-quality” video streaming experiences. It will also eventually integrate StreamYard’s tech into its platform; however, for now, StreamYard will continue to also offer its live streaming studio tools to independent content creators. 

“When I founded Hopin, I wanted to replicate all the best aspects of physical events — from one-on-one networking to exploring an expo — and more. As Hopin became the go-to virtual venue for event organisers, the next product to add was professional-quality video production, so I’ve long had my eye on the advanced studio tools that StreamYard provides,” says Johnny Boufarhat, founder and CEO of Hopin. “This acquisition fits in with our goal to build the best products that help people connect and communicate better through engaging online experiences.”

Offering a complete virtual experience 

Hopin offers a platform for hosting complete online live virtual events, which helps companies create live virtual and hybrid events that are touted to be interactive and immersive. Via the company’s platform, attendees can learn, interact, and connect with people from anywhere in the world. It can be used to host a live online training workshop, remote team gathering, and more. 

What, according to the company, separates it from the competition are the features unique to its platforms. When one creates an event on the platform, up to hundreds of thousands of people can attend it and network one-on-one. Additionally, it allows for attendees to break out into group sessions, send chat messages and polls, watch keynote presentations, and explore interactive expo areas.

The platform also hosts a virtual backstage for speakers and offers plenty of sponsorship opportunities. Based out of London and founded in 2019, the company has employees in 38 countries. 

‘Hopin’g for an impressive success story 

According to the company, “it continues to enjoy rapid growth and soaring demand since its launch in February 2020. It has scaled from 5,000 registered users and 1,800 organisations hosting events on the Hopin platform to more than 5 million users and over 100,000 organisations hosting events. Last year alone, the remote-first company grew from eight employees to nearly 300 across 38 countries.”

Last year, in November, the London-based startup raised $ 125M (approx €106.1M) in its Series B round of funding led by IVP and Tiger Global and joined by Coatue and DFJ Growth, along with Hopin’s returning investors Accel, Northzone, Salesforce Ventures, and Seedcamp. According to Reuters, the company’s valuation has surged to a whopping $ 2B (nearly €1.7B), up from $ 42m less than a year ago, making it a double unicorn. It has raised over $ 170M (nearly ) to date.

“Hopin is one of our most astounding growth stories; the team’s Series B in November was a momentous milestone in every respect, including for the fast-changing virtual events industry,” says Sonali De Rycker, partner at Accel. “And they’ve now acquired two companies—first Topi, and now StreamYard. To pull this off in the first year of operation is unprecedented. The combination with StreamYard is incredibly powerful and will further fuel Hopin’s trajectory as it charts the future of online experiences.”

About StreamYard

Hopin’s acquisition, StreamYard, offers a live video streaming studio that allows content creators to produce professional-quality streaming experiences. The company’s solution can help one create graphically-rich branded experiences, engage with viewers, host multiple guests at once, and simulcast to multiple live streaming platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitch. The company was founded back in 2018 by Geige Vandentop and Dan Briggs, and is based out of Tualatin, Oregon. 

According to a press release, “StreamYard will soon replace the Hopin Studio and power all Hopin Stages, with native integration expected in H1 2021. Hopin aims to accelerate StreamYard’s innovative product development, sales and marketing, and grow StreamYard’s enterprise customer base.”

“Vandentop and Briggs will continue to oversee the StreamYard team of 19 employees while joining Hopin to assist Boufarhat in building out the company’s overall vision as a one-stop-shop for the best video broadcasting services and virtual event experiences.”

Startups – Silicon Canals

Extra Crunch Live is back in 2021, connecting founders with tech giants and each other

In April 2020, when the entire world was laser-focused on the coronavirus pandemic, we realized that startupland was in unprecedented territory. How should startups navigate fundraising, operations, and better understand the market? 

In a matter of a couple weeks, we spun up a little series called Extra Crunch Live, giving Extra Crunch members the chance to hear from and connect with leaders across the industry. We brought on some of the biggest names in tech and VC, including likes of Roelof Botha, Kirsten Green, Zach Perret, Charles Hudson, Aileen Lee, Mark Cuban, Howard Lerman, Niko Bonatsos, Alexa Von Tobel, Aileen Lee and the list could go on and on and on

Somehow, we did 44 episodes of the show in 2020, the year of our Lord. 

By any measure, it’s been a huge success. But we’re not ones to rest on our laurels here at TechCrunch. Which is why I’m thrilled to announce Extra Crunch Live 2.0. 

In 2021, we’ll be tweaking the format of ECL to provide even more interactivity between founders and audience members and the speakers we host on the show. You’re going to love it. 

What’s New: 

  • Series A – Learn how others have fundraised! We’ll have a segment dedicated to hearing from founder/investor duos who walk us through the Series A pitch deck that led to investment. 
  • Pitch Deck Teardowns – Extra Crunch members will have the opportunity to submit their pitch deck and get feedback from our guests, which will include VCs and founders (EC members can submit their pitch decks right here!). 
  • Live Pitch-offs – Audience members can raise their hand to practice their elevator pitch in front of the audience and get real-time feedback from VCs.
  • Networking!! – The Extra Crunch membership is a community. ECL will be an opportunity to meet your fellow audience members, even in a virtual environment. Who knows? Maybe you’ll meet your next cofounder or investor! 
  • Consistency – ECL will always be at 12pm PT/3pm ET on Wednesdays. When it comes to your calendar, set it and forget it. 

We’re super excited about our ECL plans for 2021 and we hope you are, too. More on upcoming speakers soon. 

Remember, Extra Crunch Live events are for EC members only, so if you haven’t joined Extra Crunch, get over here! 

Startups – TechCrunch

15 new and notable Android apps and live wallpapers from the last two weeks including CallApp, Proton Calendar, and LADB — Local ADB Shell (12/12/20 – 12/26/20) – Android Police

15 new and notable Android apps and live wallpapers from the last two weeks including CallApp, Proton Calendar, and LADB — Local ADB Shell (12/12/20 – 12/26/20)  Android Police
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News