2 VC surveys, Tesla’s melt up, The Roblox Gambit, more – TechCrunch

It has been quite a week.

Instead of falling behind due to the chaos and uncertainty of the past few days, here are three good things:

  • Google employee Sarah Robinson combined her interest in machine learning and making AI-generated hybrids behave.
  • a Crack Can make water desalination 30% -40% more effective.
  • Bianca Smith Will become the first black woman to coach a professional baseball team.

Despite many distractions in our first full week of the new year, we published a full slate of stories exploring the various aspects of entrepreneurship, fundraising and investing.

We have already received feedback This overview of the subscription pricing model, And look back at 2020 Funding round and exit among Israeli security startups It was aimed at our new members, who live and work there, along with international investors, who are looking for new opportunities.

Also, don’t miss our first investor surveys of 2021: One by Lucas Matni on social gaming, And another by Mike Butcher that collects Responses from Portugal based investors On a wide variety of subjects.

Thanks so much for reading Extra Crunch this week. I hope we all look forward to a good, boring weekend with breaking news alerts.

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, TechCrunch

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Robox Gambit

In February 2020, the gaming platform Roblox It was valued at $ 4 billion, but after announcing the $ 520 million Series H this week, it is now worth $ 29.5 billion.

Alex Wilhelm writes, “Of course, you could argue that Robel enjoyed an epic 2020, thanks to COVID-19.” “It helped in its evaluation. But there is too much space between $ 4 billion to $ 29.5 billion. “

Alex suggests that Robox take a grandmaster step to delay its IPO and raise a huge Series H that could affect how other units market themselves. “A big thanks to the gaming company for running this experiment for us.”

I asked him what inspired the title; Like the best ideas, it came to him when he was trying to sleep.

“I think I had the queen’s gamble” Somewhere in my head, so that a little fun is formed with myself. Roblox is placing a strategic bet on how to go public. So, ‘Juana’ fits! “

8 investors discuss the biggest opportunities for social gaming

A girl playing a game on a desktop computer

Image Credit: Eric von Weber (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

For our first investor survey of the year, Lucas Matney interviewed eight multipliers to discuss 2021 trends and opportunities, which invest in massively multiplayer online games:

  • Hope Cochran, Madron Venture Group
  • Daniel Lee, Madron Venture Group
  • Nico Bonatos, General Catalyst
  • Ethan Kurzveil, Bessemer Venture Partners
  • Saqib Dadi, Bessemer Venture Partners
  • Jacob Mullins, Shasta Ventures
  • Alice lloyd george, rogue
  • Gigi Levi-Weiss, NFX

Once more than shooters and sims, platforms such as Twitch, Discord and Fortnite “where culture is made,” said Madonna’s Daniel Lee.

Rape Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez uses Twitch to explain policy situations, leading musicians regularly play in-game games on Fortnite and tens of billions of in-game purchases last year.

“Gaming is a unique combination of science and art, left and right brain,” said Gigi Levy-Weiss of NFX. “It’s not just science (ie, software and data), that’s why many investors find it difficult.”

How to convert customers with subscription pricing

Huge hands and magnets lift office and workers

Image Credit: Cj burton (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Startups that lack insight into sales funnels have high churns, low conversion rates, and an inability to optimize or leverage customer behavior changes.

If you’re hoping to convert and retain customers, “strengthening your value proposition should play a big role in every level of your customer funnel,” says Joe Procopio, founder of Teaching Startup.

What’s with the price of Tesla?

Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and CEO of Tesla Inc. arrives on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, at the Axel Springer Awards ceremony in Berlin, Germany.  Tesla Inc. will be added to the S&P 500 index in one shot.  On December 21, a move that would wave through the entire market as money managers adjust their portfolios to make room for $ 538 billion of company shares.  Photographer: Liesa Johannssen-Koppitz / Bloomberg via Getty Image

Image Credit: Bloomberg (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Alex Wilhelm followed his regular Friday column with another story, which tries to find a well-crafted argument. Tesla’s A sky-high valuation of approximately $ 822 billion.

Meanwhile, GM Bus Unveiled a new logo and tagline.

As always, I learned something new while editing: a “melt” occurs when investors start struggling for a particular company due to intense FOMO (fear of missing out).

Delivery of 500,000 cars was “impressive” in 2020, says Alex, who has also acknowledged the company’s ability to turn on GAAP profits, but “proud Cometh before falling, as it melts, I think.”

Note: Alex has the original title in this story, but I told him that I would replace the depicted image with a picture of someone who has “the richest man in the world”.

How the segment redesigned its core system to solve a major scaling crisis

Abstract glow grid and particle

Image Credit: Piranca / Getty Images

On Tuesday, the enterprise reporter Ron miller The customer data platform segment covered a major engineering project known as “centrifuges”.

“It was intended to move data through the segment’s data pipe, where customers needed it quickly and efficiently at its lowest operating cost,” but according to Ron’s report, it meant “an existential crisis for young businesses “Had to be resolved, which required a more flexible platform.

Dear Sophie: banging my head against the wall that understands the American immigration system

Image Credit: Sophie Alcorn

Dear Sophie:

Now that a new president is coming to America, whose policies are more welcoming to immigrants, I am considering coming to the US to expand my company after COVID-19. However, I am struggling with the online information front which has bits and visa types and procedures.

Can you please take a look at the US immigration system and how it works so that I can get the big picture and understand what I am doing?

– Flexible in Romania

The first “Dear Sophie” column of each month is available on TechCrunch without pay.

Revenue-Based Financing: The Next Step to Private Equity and Early Phase Investment

Shot of a group of people holding plants growing from the soil

Image Credit: Hiraman (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

For those founders who are not interested in angel investments or seeking recognition from VC, revenue-based investment is growing in popularity.

To gain a deeper understanding of the US RBI scenario, we published an industry report on Wednesday that studied data from 134 companies, 57 funds, and 32 investment firms, detailing “specific verticals and business models …” and access it Prior to breaking specific profiles of the companies to do. Form of capital. “

Portugal gets ready to be a European tech tiger as Lisbon’s startup scene

Man using laptop on 25 April bridge in Lisbon, Portugal

Image Credit: Westend61 (Opens in a new window)/ Getty Images

Mike butcher European Investor continues its series of surveys with its latest remittances from Lisbon, where the nascent startup ecosystem can get a Brexit boost.

Here the chancellors of Portugal are interviewed:

  • Christina Fonseca, Partner, Indico Capital Partners
  • Pedro Ribeiro Santos, Partner, Armailer Venture Partners
  • Tocha, Partner, Olysipo Way
  • Adão Oliveira, Investment Manager, Portugal Ventures
  • Alexander Barbosa, Partner, Faber
  • Antonio Miguel, Partner, Mustard Seed MAZE
  • Jaime Parodi Bardón, Partner, Now Raises Capital Capital
  • Stephen Morris, Partner, Indico Capital Partners
  • Gavin Goldblatt, Managing Partner, Portugal Gateway

How late edtech companies have been thinking about tutoring the marketplace

The rings of life flying under the storm clouds are a metaphor for rescue, aid and assistance.

Image Credit: John cocks (Opens in a new window)/ Getty Images

How do you measure online tuition, especially when demand exceeds supply of human trainers?

this month, Chegg Changing its seven-year-old marketplace that paired students with tutors with a live chatboat.

A spokesman said the move would “define our offerings differently from our competitors and better service students”, but Natasha Mascarenhas identified two challenges for EdTech automation.

“A student will not work for special needs or someone who needs a little more hand work,” she says. “Second, speed tutoring can only work for specific subjects.”

Decrypt: How Bad was US Capital Breach for Cyberspace?

Image Credit: Treedeo (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

When I saw the rebels invading and vandalizing the US Capitol on live TV, I saw the staff evacuate so quickly, some did not have time to turn off their computers.

The robbers locked up with a laptop from Senator Jeff Merkle’s office, but according to security reporter Jack Whitaker, the damage to the infosec was not as bad as it had been seen.

Nevertheless, “the possibility of a breach would present a major task for congressional IT departments, which would have to find out if there had been theft and whether security risks could still pose a threat to the Capitol’s network.”

2020 Top 10 Stories of Extra Crunch

On New Year’s Eve, I made a list of 10 “Best” Extra Crunch stories from the past 12 months.

My methodology was personal: out of hundreds of posts, these were the 10 that I found most useful, which is my key metric for business journalism.

Some readers are skeptical about Pavels, but without boasting, Extra Crunch is a premium product, such as Netflix or Disney +. I know, we are not as entertaining as a historical drama about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II or a Western location about a bounty hunter. But, speaking as someone who has worked in many startups, Extra Crunch stories contain actionable information that you can use to build a company and / or look smart in meetings – and this Worth something.