Extra Crunch Live: Join Anu Duggal for a live Q&A on August 20 at 11am PT/2pm ET – TechCrunch


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Extra Crunch Live: Join Anu Duggal for a live Q&A on August 20 at 11am PT/2pm ET  TechCrunch

Sequoia Capital has internal crash courses for its founders — here’s how they work – TechCrunch


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Sequoia Capital has internal crash courses for its founders — here’s how they work  TechCrunch

A few slots still remain for free AngelNV bootcamp – KTNV Las Vegas


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A few slots still remain for free AngelNV bootcamp  KTNV Las Vegas

Meet Asha Grant: The Founder Of Black Feminist Literary Hub To Be ‘The Salt Eaters Book Shop’ – Forbes


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Meet Asha Grant: The Founder Of Black Feminist Literary Hub To Be ‘The Salt Eaters Book Shop’  Forbes

The Information’s 411 — Benioff at Sea


This post is by Tom Dotan from The Information

Kevin discusses Marc Benioff, the Salesforce CEO and philanthropist. His profile earlier this week described how Benioff is managing during the pandemic, especially now that Salesforce's marquee event, Dreamforce, appears to be off this year.

Also, Tom chats with Alex about Apple's changes to ad tracking and the effect it will have on Facebook—as well as the gaming companies that rely heavily on Facebook ads. 

With a new general partner and without Alexis Ohanian, Initialized Capital garners $230 million for fund five – TechCrunch


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With a new general partner and without Alexis Ohanian, Initialized Capital garners $230 million for fund five  TechCrunch

Chicago’s venture-capital and private-equity firms 2020 – Crain’s Chicago Business


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Chicago’s venture-capital and private-equity firms 2020  Crain’s Chicago Business

With a new general partner and without Alexis Ohanian, Initialized Capital garners $230 million for fund five – TechCrunch


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With a new general partner and without Alexis Ohanian, Initialized Capital garners $230 million for fund five  TechCrunch

Open Office Hours: Sign up for Office Hours with YC Partners 


This post is by Tamanna Khemani from Y Combinator

We’re delighted to announce that YC is hosting online office hours for startup founders every Friday throughout the month of September. 

If you’re in the early stages of building a company, we’d love to meet you — anyone from idea stage through Series A, and any non-profit is welcome to sign up.

We’ll host individual and group office hours where you’ll get to meet with:

  • Jared Friedman on September 4: Apply here
  • Michael Seibel on September 11: Apply here
  • Harj Taggar on September 18: Apply here
  • Aaron Epstein on September 25: Apply here

Come with specific questions or challenges that your startup is currently facing. 

We will send out instructions for how to connect once you apply.

Local VC leads $1.1M fundraise for Virginia social networking startup – San Antonio Business Journal


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Local VC leads $1.1M fundraise for Virginia social networking startup  San Antonio Business Journal

Why Derechos Are So Devilishly Difficult to Predict


This post is by Megan Molteni from Feed: All Latest

The destructive storms, with winds over 75 mph, are often compared to inland hurricanes. But unlike a hurricane, a derecho can come out of nowhere.

When should CEOs speak out on political issues?


This post is by Greylock from Greylock Perspectives - Medium

🎧 New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday. Subscribe wherever you listen to pods: Soundcloud | iTunes | Spotify | GoogleStitcher

Design Together While Distributed. Enabling virtual collaboration was the founding mission of Figma. In the latest #Greymatter pod, Figma CEO Dylan Field talks with Greylock partner Sarah Guo about how creating makes you less afraid, Figma’s surprising remote work survey, and their go-forward hybrid work strategy. (Greymatter)

Talking Politics. Business leaders today must navigate an increasingly politicized world. While making statements has become more common, it’s still a complex undertaking that should be approached with care. We need to define a set of principles that can help decide when, how, and why CEOs should speak out. Greylock partner Reid Hoffman lays out his framework for how he makes decisions about getting involved in politics. You’ll also hear the story of why he personally decided to start speaking out. (Greymatter)

Is It Possible To Build A Startup During A Recession? Greylock partner David Thacker notes that many of the best tech companies were starting during recessions. Venture capitalists commit to backing companies over a long term time horizon, so we will continue to invest in the most promising startups no matter what the macroeconomic climate. (Forbes)

Coda Takes on Google’s G-Suite, Now Valued Above $600 Million. While Slack and Microsoft Teams spar over users in the new world of work-from-home, a much-hyped startup is taking on a different tech titan, Google and its productivity G-suite, with a major new round of funding from venture capital investors. Coda, a San Francisco area-based startup which helps users collaborate in online documents that function as their own lightweight apps, has raised $80 million in a funding round that values the company at $636 millions. (Forbes)

Digital loan start-up Blend jumps to $1.7 billion valuation as mortgage demand surges. Refinance application volumes jolted more than 1,000% higher in March, and purchase applications climbed by more than 100% every month since May, according to company figures. (CNBC)


When should CEOs speak out on political issues? was originally published in Greylock Perspectives on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

The Surface Deuce


This post is by M.G. Siegler from 500ish - Medium

The oddness of Microsoft’s Surface Duo

I am confused. Microsoft did a press blitz for their Surface Duo device this week and… I don’t understand anything. About the product. The strategy. The goal.

Look, I think the foldable tablets on Westworld look cool too. But if this is that, it sure seems like the prehistoric version of it. Granted, I think it looks and sounds better than Samsung’s gimmicky foldable phones, but only just. At least with a phone you can make the argument that folding a big screen to be pocketable makes some conceptual sense. This is decidedly not a phone. Because Microsoft insists it’s not. Even though it runs Android and can make phone calls. Listening to Microsoft, it’s not a tablet either. It’s something new.

Well maybe it is. Or maybe it isn’t. Cnet’s Scott Stein spoke with Microsoft’s Panos Panay on the matter:

Panay seemed hesitant to call the Duo a new device category, because it really isn’t. It’s an Android phone. Or, a tablet. “It really is five years of invention … we just have a belief that there’s a new category here,” Panay adds.

What it actually is, at least right now, is not real.¹ Speaking of that Cnet article, it has to be one of the most remarkable “first looks” I’ve ever read:

This isn’t a working version of the Microsoft Surface Duo being unveiled today. This is a special see-through prototype sent to me in advance just so I can see the circuits and feel how the hinge works.

I had to check the date of the article. Was this a piece from a year ago? Nope. It’s from this week. Less than a month until it supposedly ships. Pre-orders started yesterday. Hope you’re feeling lucky, punk.

Well, at least Wired’s Lauren Goode got a look at the thing in action — remotely.² She notes another oddity:

Now Microsoft is trying to sell an ultraportable two-in-one at a time when many of us are going exactly nowhere. For the digital employee, work has officially been redefined as WFH, and our days are structured by whatever screen we have to use at any given hour. The move from a 6-inch screen to a 13-inch one, and later in the evening to a 50-inch screen or 10-inch one, is the delineator between work and leisure. Now, Microsoft wants to wedge its way into your living room and onto your couch, instead of your train ride and your office.

People criticize the iPad as a “tweener” device, still, after all these years and insane success. So I don’t know what to make of this. Maybe there’s a market for this type of thing — again, I want the Westworld foldable tablet! — but to Goode’s point, it feels like Microsoft made this for a world in which we’re not actually living. One more thing — the most important thing:

Microsoft may very well be able to make the case that two screens are better than a single screen, especially when it comes to switching between apps. But the Duo’s starting price of $1,399 will also turn off many a potential buyer. Early pandemic concerns about supply chain disruptions in the tech industry eventually gave way to daunting concerns about consumer demand. Many millions of people in the US are unemployed, the pandemic is still raging, and, by the way, you can get a pretty good Android phone right now for around $400. At a thousand dollars more than that, the Duo is a tall order.

I’ll say. Again, this is a device for which Microsoft is shipping transparent shells to test out the look and feel of the hinge. Who wants to hit the craps table after this? As with Samsung’s aforementioned foldable phones, it feels like you’re paying a ton of money to beta test something. Which, look, godspeed. But that’s not how Microsoft is trying to frame this. This is the future of computing.³ On the go. When you’re stuck at home.

The iPad mini starts at $399. It can run two apps side-by-side.⁴ It may not fold, but where the hell are you going anyway?

Is anyone going to hold it like this? That looks uncomfortable.

¹ What’s especially odd is that there were hands-on impressions with the device a year ago, when it was first announced. What has taken them so long, even in the age of COVID, I have no idea. And why no hands-on now beyond hollowed-out Duos, I really have no idea.

² You can watch the “closed door” video briefing for the press yourself, here. It’s also a bit weird.

³ And none of this is to talk of the confusion of this being a Surface device — let alone a Microsoft device — that doesn’t run Windows, it runs Android. On one hand, that’s smart — that’s where the apps are. On the other, one could argue that the reason no Android tablets have taken off in the way that the iPad has is because there are no apps built for those form factors, as they are for the iPad. We’ll see what happens here, but Microsoft is obviously touting the idea of running two regular (read: phone) apps side-by-side. Maybe that’s interesting — but is it $1,399 interesting? Of course not. This thing needs to be sub-$500, then we can talk.

⁴ And the screen size is actually similar — 8.1" for the Duo versus 7.9" for the iPad mini. (And the rumored next iPad mini will likely have a larger display thanks to a reduction in bezels, something which the Duo doubles down on.)


The Surface Deuce was originally published in 500ish on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Chilean Venture Capital Firm Says it Acquired DirecTV Venezuela – Bloomberg


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Chilean Venture Capital Firm Says it Acquired DirecTV Venezuela  Bloomberg

Chilean Venture Capital Firm Says it Acquired DirecTV Venezuela – Bloomberg


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Chilean Venture Capital Firm Says it Acquired DirecTV Venezuela  Bloomberg

July 2020: Our First COVID-19 Investment and Updates


This post is by Tribeca Venture Partners from Tribeca Venture Partners

Matt Gillis, CEO at clean.io

As the world shut down around us and we shifted to working from home, we were forced to reinvent our investment process. Our old investment process, which consisted of a lot of in-person interactions, just isn’t possible anymore. But we still need to invest in promising start-ups…it’s what we do. Post-COVID, a trusted VC partner intro’d us to Matt Gillis and the clean.io team. Chip’s been operating and investing in the martech space for over two decades, so we have a deep understanding of the problem space and the people in the sector, so we dug in. After completing numerous Zooms, phone calls, model reviews, and 2x our typical number of front and back door references, we closed our first COVID investment without ever meeting the team live. And you know what…it all worked just fine. We are pleased to announce that we are leading the Series A in clean.io.

clean.io is a cybersecurity company that protects enterprises from the execution of malicious and untrusted code. A single line of malicious JavaScript on a brand’s website or mobile app can breach data security, create poor user experiences, reduce revenue, and tarnish a brand’s reputation. clean.io stops it. 

Read More In TechCrunch

What We’re Reading

On Pins And Needles: Will COVID-19 Vaccines ‘Save The World’?  McKinsey & Company

We Need To Talk About Ventilation  The Atlantic

Our Ghost-Kitchen Future The New Yorker

Digital Advertising Benchmarks 2020. What’s A Good Click Rate? Forbes

How Payments Fintech Is Using Banking As A Service To Drive Growth Forbes

Governor Cuomo Announces $94 Million For School Technology Upgrades  New York State

Portfolio News and Updates 

ACV Auctions

ACV Hits 2 Months Of Record Sales  Auto Remarketing

AlphaSense

Sell-Side Technology Awards 2020: Best Artificial Intelligence Technology  Waters Tech

CommonBond

When Is A 1% Variable-Rate Student Loan Worth the Risk?  The Street

Lendio

How 2 Utah Tech Giants Teamed Up To Help Small Businesses Secure PPP Loans KSL Broadcasting

PebblePost

PebblePost Expands Platform With The Launch Of Lookalikes  PebblePost

Porter Road 

A Popular Nashville Butcher Shop Now Delivers It’s High-Quality, Pasture-Raised Meat Across The Whole Country  Business Insider 

ShopKeep

Best Point-Of-Sale Systems For Restaurants Of 2020  US News & World Report

Tentrr

Everyone Wants To Get Outside: Boom In Camping As Americans Escape After Months At Home The Guardian

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Asana, Weeks Away From a Listing, Projects Annual Revenue Growth of 66%


This post is by Ross Matican from The Information

Workplace software firm Asana, which is planning to go public next month, is projecting a 66% increase in revenue this year, partly due to the impact Covid-19 has had on remote work, according to previously unreported financial projections the company has given its investors. 

As of July, Asana was projecting it would boost revenue to $236 million million for the 12 months to January, from $142 million in 2019, according to an investor in the company. Next year, Asana projects revenue will grow 51% to $355 million. The projections underlie a doubling of Asana’s valuation on the secondary market for private tech stocks to $5 billion since January. 

SF coffee shop and famed tech meeting hub The Creamery to close permanently – SF Gate


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SF coffee shop and famed tech meeting hub The Creamery to close permanently  SF Gate

Duck Creek Technologies’ Stock Jumps 56 Percent On First Day Of Trading 


This post is by Sophia Kunthara from Crunchbase News

Duck Creek Technologies’ stock opened at $42 on its first day of trading, nearly 56 percent above its initial public offering price.

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The company priced its shares at $27 apiece on Thursday, raising $405 million through its IPO. Duck Creek Technologies had initially set a price range of between $19 and $21 before bumping it up to between $23 and $25. 

The 20-year-old company, which makes software for the property and casualty insurance industry, had raised $357 million in total funding as a private company. Private-equity firm Apax Partners acquired the majority stake in the company back in 2016.

Boston-based Duck Creek Technologies is among a growing number of venture-backed companies to go public this year after the COVID-19 pandemic effectively paused the tech IPO market. Like other companies, it seems to be well-received by public market investors, with its stock surging well above its IPO price on its first day of trading.

More later today when the market closes.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Huron Capital in Detroit Purchases Insurance Group in Bloomfield Hills – dbusiness.com


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Huron Capital in Detroit Purchases Insurance Group in Bloomfield Hills  dbusiness.com