Day: March 8, 2021

Zapier buys no-code-focused Makerpad in its first acquisition

Zapier, a well-known no-code automation tool, has purchased Makerpad, a no-code education service and community. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

TechCrunch has covered Zapier often during its life, including its first, and only fundraising event, a $1.2 million round back in 2012 that tapped Bessemer, DFJ, and others. Since then company has added more expensive tiers to its service, built out team-focused features, and recently talked to Extra Crunch about how it scaled its remote-only team.

In an interview Monday with Zapier CEO Wade Foster told TechCrunch that his company now has 400 workers, and crossed the $100 million ARR mark last summer.

The Makerpad deal is its first acquisition. TechCrunch asked Makerpad founder Ben Tossell about the structure of the deal, who said via email that his company will operate as a “stand-alone” entity from its new parent company.

The deal doesn’t seem prepped to upend what the smaller startup was working on before it was signed. “Ultimately,” Tossell wrote, “Makerpad’s vision is to educate as many people as possible on the possibilities of building without writing code.”

Foster seems content with that focus, describing to TechCrunch how he intends to let Makerpad operate largely independently, albeit inside a set of editorial guidelines.

TechCrunch asked the Makerpad founder why this was the right time to sell his business. He said that the pairing would help his team take the no-code world further than it could alone, also noting that the deal was a (Read more...)

The Proof Is In The Product: Why 2021 Will Be The Year Of Product-Led Growth

This article is part of the Crunchbase Community Contributor Series. The author is an expert in their field and a Crunchbase user. We are honored to feature and promote their contribution on the Crunchbase blog.

Please note that the author is not employed by Crunchbase and the opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect official views or opinions of Crunchbase, Inc. 

The author, Katya Skorobogatova is chief growth officer at TheVentureCity, a new venture and acceleration model that helps diverse founders achieve global impact.

Startups will be key to economic recovery from the global recession. It’s in the DNA of these vibrant companies to drive employment and economic growth, while also providing the innovation we need in our transition toward a greener and more tech-driven economy.

But chances are they’ll be doing it with a lot less money in their pockets. According to a recent report, four out of 10 startups have three months of runway or less. While VC funding has remained strong, investors are focusing on pouring their money into a smaller number of startups, typically later-stage companies.

To weather the storm, startups need a solution that is low-cost, high-impact, and that will empower their expansion into new markets despite continued global uncertainty. Cue product-led growth, or PLG.

Product-led growth is when a company focuses on creating a product so appealing, easy to use and accessible that users will fall in love with it and rapidly bring in other users. This is not as easy (Read more...)

Explanations That Reach the Entire Universe

This post is by naval from Naval

We can understand anything that can be understood

Brett: At the beginning of The Fabric of Reality, David Deutsch presents this idea that you don’t need to know every single fact to fundamentally understand everything that can be understood.

He presents this vision that there are certain fundamental theories from science and outside science. The four theories are quantum theory, the theory of computation, evolution by natural selection, and epistemology—which is the theory of knowledge. Together they form the worldview, or lens, through which you can understand anything that can be understood.

Naval: I saw a beautiful video with him on YouTube where he was making the same points. He said, “You don’t have to memorize and know every fact. You don’t have to know where every particle moved. If you understand the deep underlying theories behind everything, then you know at a high level how everything works.” And this can all be understood by a single person, a single brain, a single human being. It’s accessible to anybody.

That is a jaw-droppingly powerful idea. We can have explanations that can reach the entire universe. It’s interesting that the theory of relativity is not in the list of four theories.

Brett: Deutsch  regards quantum theory as being deeper than the theory of relativity. It’s not to say that we’re dismissing relativity, but his guess is that quantum theory will be more foundational than the theory of relativity. There’ll be a space-time of the multiverse. That’s why relativity doesn’t appear (Read more...)

Territory Foods CEO On Striving Outside Of Your Comfort Zone And Believing In The Power Of Failure

The Crunchbase “Female Founder Series,” is a series of stories, Q&As, and thought-leadership pieces from glass-ceiling-smashers who overcame the odds and are now leading successful companies.

Ellis McCue became the CEO of Territory Foods in 2019 after being with the company for less than two years. She is responsible for Territory’s overall vision and strategy, and is currently leading the company through multiple phases of rapid growth. 

Territory is a female-led fresh food platform that offers a fresh take on the food preparation and distribution industry. Its proprietary food recommendation engine determines its subscribers’ personal preferences to deliver high-quality chef-prepared meals with nutritionist-approved menus tailored to their health and taste preferences, for example keto, Whole3, Mediterranean, paleo and plant-based.

The platform partners with over 40 local chefs and restaurants, such as Cafe Gratitude, Founding Farmers and Gracias Madre, and is hyperfocused on culinary innovation and design because its fundamental belief is that eating should be a joyous occasion. It is also focused on creating bounty for customers on their path to health to underscore the fact that eating well can be delicious and enjoyable, not restrictive or stressful. In 2021, the company will be scaling-up its reach with customers and increasing its impact in the restaurant community and its role in the evolving food landscape. 

Ellis was recently crowned as a top 25 Consumer Health Tech Executive for her foundational work in the Food as Medicine space and among the top 15 CEOs of start-ups and small/midsize businesses (Read more...)

Only a Fraction of U.S. IPOs Have Female Founders

This post is by Carmen Ang from Visual Capitalist

women-led IPOs

The Briefing

  • Over the last decade, over 2,000 companies have gone public in the U.S.—but only a fraction of these companies have been female-led
  • Since 2013, only 18 women have founded and led a company through to an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States

Only a Fraction of U.S. IPOs Have Female Founders

Last month, Bumble’s founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd became the youngest female CEO to take a company public in America.

Herd’s achievement generated a lot of buzz, and for good reason—since 2013, fewer than 1% of U.S. companies to go public have been female-led. In other words, Herde has hit a milestone that only about 18 other women in the U.S. have achieved in the last decade.

Using data from Insider, this graphic looks at the number of female-led IPOs in America since 2013.

A Decade of U.S. IPOs

In 2020, four women took their companies public. While that’s double the amount in 2019, it’s still only a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of companies that went public with male founders last year.

YearAll Companies that went PublicCompanies with a Female Founder / CEO

Interestingly, three of the four companies in 2020 were in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries:

  • Annovis Bio Inc (ANVS), founded by Maria L. Maccecchini, develops drugs for neurodegeneration diseases like (Read more...)

Helping to Eliminate Racism in America

This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts

Last summer, I shifted my personal behavior around racism. I realized that I had spent the previous 20 years providing “passive” support to social justice causes. I decided that I’d spend the next 20 years actively helping to eliminate racism in America. That includes learning, doing, supporting, and being an accomplice.

At the end of last week, two articles written by CEOs in our portfolio made the rounds on our CEO list.

This first is from Xiao Wang, the CEO of Boundless. The article is an NBC OpEd titled Violence against Asian Americans means we must fight for ourselves, not just pursue success. It’s extraordinary (as is Xiao) and includes a gem in the middle of it.

For too long we’ve been passive observers, reveling in how much better America is compared to where we or our ancestors have come from, instead of actively shaping how good America could be.

Xiao’s son just turned one year old. He ends his OpEd with:

And, yes, I will make my son do his math homework and learn how to play piano, but I will also teach him how to be proud of who he is. He doesn’t need to be ashamed about the size of his head, his face flushing after a beer or his last name. I want him to grow up in an America that will treat him equally as a U.S. citizen, and not one where he will be asked “But where are you really from?”

But (Read more...)

Cosi raises €20M for its ‘full-stack’ approach to short-term rentals

Cosi Group, a Berlin-based startup offering an alternative to boutique hotels and managed short-stay apartments, is disclosing €20 million in new investment.

Backing the round is Vienna-based Soravia, a leading real estate group in German-speaking countries. Existing investors Cherry Ventures,, Kreos Capital and Bremke followed on, along with a number of individual investors. They are described as including the founders of Flixbus, Travelperk, Comtravo and Cosi’s own founders.

Cosi says it will use the fresh capital to accelerate international expansion in Europe, implement a new brand and launch a “new strategic business unit” soon.

Originally described as a tech-enabled or “full-stack” hospitality service that competes with well-run boutique hotels or traditional local managed apartments, the company signs long-term leases with property owners, and then furnishes those apartments itself to “control” the interior design experience. It claims to have digitised, and where possible, automated its processes in order to scale and maintain quality of service throughout the guest journey, from initial contact to loyalty.

Christian Gaiser, CEO of Cosi, tells me the startup has not only been able to mitigate the pandemic — which has seen major restrictions in travel, including countries going into full lockdown — but actually thrive. That’s because Cosi was able to tap “new demand channels” that aren’t reliant on holiday travel or short business trips.

Described as “midstay” (guests that stay for one month or longer), examples include people who arrive in a (Read more...)

The Fed Isn’t Printing As Much Money As You Think

The risk of rising inflation over the next few years is probably the highest it’s been in decades. Inflation happens when too much money chases too few goods, and Covid-19 closed a lot of businesses and gave people an unprecedented amount of money. The stars align.

That out of the way, let me cool things down: The Fed is printing a lot of money, but not nearly as much as it looks.

Here’s a chart I’ve seen shared everywhere – blogs, news articles, on social media, emailed to me by friends – that is scaring the dickens out of people:


It looks …. unbelievable.

Money supply has increased from $4 trillion a year ago to $18 trillion today.

A 450% increase!

That’s something you might see in a third-world country with hyperinflation.

But before you dump life savings into gold and build a bunker, here’s the punchline: The huge majority of the increase you’re seeing in this chart is not money printing or new money creation.

It’s an accounting rule change.

Here’s what happened.

The supply of money is measured a few different ways. M1, which this chart shows, measures money that’s readily available – mostly paper cash, coins, and checking accounts.

Another measure called M2 is a little broader. It includes money in savings accounts and retail money market accounts.

The difference between a checking and savings account is how often you, the consumer, can access your money. That might seem trivial but it explains most of what (Read more...)

A small point on Kevin Drum

This is Joseph.

Kevin Drum is advocating for a free of cost national ID card that is used for voting. It's not a terrible idea, especially in the United States. The objection he anticipates is a case of closing the barn door after the horse is already out:
No, it wouldn't turn us into a "papers please" police state. No, it wouldn't do anything that we haven't already done in a chaotic way already.

 Like this case here of a passenger in a car being arrested for not showing ID at a traffic stop. Similarly, there are already stop and identify laws. I am not sure that a secure national id would do anything to make this situation worse and would be a nice way to get around issues like name conflicts in e-verify.