Day: March 19, 2021

MQLs Are Here To Stay: How To Make Them Work For Your Company

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 marketing qualified lead (MQL) is useless—at least that’s what some marketers will tell you. 

The issue is that many companies aren’t using them correctly. Somehow, MQLs became the gold standard of marketing success, but that’s not (and never was) their purpose. While MQLs are one indicator of success, it’s not the sales-ready lead that many marketers believe it to be.

For example: In a 4-year study, our client Dynamis found that MQLs turn into sales meetings at 3x the rate that a cold lead does, and marketing-driven sales close at twice the rate. That’s undoubtedly essential data to have — but are companies using MQLs the most effectively?

By redefining and repositioning the MQL’s role in the sales and marketing process, companies can bring new power to this classification to increase their sales success. 


What is a marketing qualified lead?

A quick Google search will show you that — put very simply — a marketing qualified lead is a lead who meets certain criteria that indicate they are more likely to become a customer compared to other leads. 

At my company, we found that definition far (Read more...)

Hiring Your First Security Leader

This post is by Alex Manea from Georgian

If cybercrime were a country, its GDP would be the third-largest in the world, and its economy would be one of the fastest-growing.

I know that sounds far-fetched, and to be honest, I wish it was. But in 2015, the World Economic Forum estimated the total economic impact of cybercrime to be approximately $3 trillion. Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that in 2021, this cost will double to $6 trillion, trailing only the GDP of the U.S. and China. By 2025, it is projected to nearly double again to a whopping $10.5 trillion.

After spending 12 years as a cybersecurity leader and practitioner, I’ve spent the past 3 years helping founders, CEOs, and senior executives earn customer trust and leverage it to accelerate their growth. And while security is obviously a critical building block, there’s an even more fundamental piece that needs to be in place first: accountability.

As a startup or growth-stage company, the single most effective thing you can do to build and protect customer trust is to build out an effective cybersecurity team and give them the tools and influence they need to be successful. But if you’re like most founders, you’re not sure where to begin. I’ve helped numerous companies in this exact position, and today I’d like to share some of my learnings to help kickstart your cybersecurity journey.

Getting Started

The most common trap I see CEOs fall into is the false sense of security that comes from being a small business. (Read more...)

Sidekick Browser wants to be a productivity-honed ‘work OS’ on Chromium

The paradox of connected computing is how much information is made available to us in just a few clicks or taps — but also how this ocean of available data can overwhelm and lap over a particular bit of intel the moment we need to lay our fingers back on it.

Fire up a web browser and it’s hard to deny it’s the best of times for knowledge work. Yet working across multiple browser tabs and windows can feel like the friction-filled, frustrating worst.

This is the problem Sidekick Browser is taking aim at by adding a productivity-focused layer atop Chromium that it bills as a “work OS”.

Multiple tab hell? Sidekick’s answer is to let you work from inside apps that live in the browser, rather than scattered across multiple windows and tabs.

Apps like Slack and Skype and WhatsApp can be pinned in the sidebar in a vertical stack where you can easily find and switch between them. It also has support for multiple logins, granular notification controls and the ability to search across all these third-party apps (it offers “hundreds” currently but says users can add custom adds “which would function just like a bookmark”) right from the browser.

And for all those tabs you open up every time you go down an internet browsing rabbit hole, Sidekick offers a Sessions feature that lets you save them as a collective bundle for easy filing away — with ofc the ability to reopen and revisit again at a (Read more...)

It’s Impossible to Predict the Future Growth of Knowledge

This post is by naval from Naval

The laws of physics can’t predict the future

Brett: Stephen Hawking famously said, “The human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet, orbiting around a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies. We are so insignificant that I can’t believe the whole universe exists for our benefit.” This vision of what people are, and of what the planet Earth is, is true in a trivial sense, but it misses the point that people are a kind of hub. We are, so far as we know, the sole place in the universe that is creating knowledge, an open-ended stream of knowledge that could transform the rest of reality.

In the same way that gravity is able to pull a galaxy into a particular shape, knowledge in the future will be able to shape the course of the planet, the solar system and, eventually, the galaxy. We will have a profound impact on everything that we can see around us. There’s nothing the laws of physics, the laws of chemistry, or even the laws of biology can do to predict what is going to happen in the future.

It’s impossible to predict the future growth of knowledge. That’s the nature of knowledge, because knowledge creation is genuinely an act of creation. It is bringing something into existence that wasn’t there prior.

Naval: If you could predict it, you would have invented it already. A lot of our deeply pessimistic world (Read more...)

5 Signs Of Progress For Women Raising VC Funding

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. 

It has been almost a decade since I stepped into the venture capital fundraising game. In 2011, I founded beauty big data company Poshly Inc. (now called Lucky Analytics), and after two years of bootstrapping, successfully raised $3.75 million from investors from 2014 to 2016. Those funds were used to build out our team, launch our unique data platform, and scale our business to profitability.

While I could have gone for more funding to further accelerate the business, I didn’t. Why did I avoid fundraising after 2016? Honestly, I was jaded by the double standards for men and women in VC fundraising.

It was extremely demoralizing seeing founders with half-baked slide decks land millions in funding while I was so often told that my company was “too early” despite having meaningful users and revenue. As an entrepreneur, it is critical to know how best to spend your time and efforts, and with so much more time expended and uncertainty in the process as a female founder raising funding, my time and efforts were better spent working directly with customers and growing our business through reinvesting profits.

When (Read more...)

Climate and Race Have No Role in Financial Regulation

This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures

When the acting chair of the SEC testifies before the House Financial Services Committee and invokes race and climate with regard to financial regulation, you have a different ball of wax than you had before.

There is no such thing as systemic racism in financial regulation.  There also is no role for financial regulation as it relates to the weather.

Financial regulation should be there to create an unbiased marketplace.  It should also be there so you can compare and contrast companies in an unbiased manner.  If I want to individually look at United vs American vs Southwest vs Delta corporate policy as it relates to climate, race or anything else, it’s up to me to discern the differences.  Financial regulation needs to be about the process and the numbers, nothing else.

Besides, anything else is a normative subjective opinion not based on data or fact.

As it is today most markets are computerized.  Much of the analysis is being done by algorithms and artificial intelligence.  Point and figure chart analysis just plots the points and the market adjusts.  Computers do not care who is pushing the button to trade or who is doing the analysis.  Double-entry accounting has never cared about it either.

It’s also worth remembering that all relevant information is already computed into the price of a stock or asset when markets are efficient.  So, if these sorts of “woke” ideas being touted by the new administration are relevant, the market will have already priced them in.  (Read more...)

Growth and Momentum in Austin’s Startup Ecosystem

NVCA recently launched ‘Spotlight On,’ a new series highlighting VC ecosystems across the country. Our first program on March 2 featured Austin. Dennis McWilliams, Partner at Austin-based VC firm Santé, shares his perspective on the evolution of Austin’s startup scene and why the city is poised for growth in life science investing.

Q&A with Dennis McWilliams of Santé

Tell us about your background in the Austin startup ecosystem?

You could say I’m actually a product of the Austin startup ecosystem.

Following graduate school, I moved back to Austin to work with George Kozmetsky at the IC2 Institute; a think tank focused on commercialization and innovation. George is considered the grandfather of the Austin startup ecosystem and has mentored countless entrepreneurs, including me. IC2 worked on both the theory of innovation commercialization as well as its implementation. For me, it was a great perch to see exciting technology that was coming out of Universities, NASA, and even the CIA. One of my IC2 projects was working with the University of Texas Medical Branch on new biological compounds that regulate tissue regeneration, which eventually led to a career pivot out of software as I helped spin this technology out into a private company.

Following that company’s acquisition, I moved back to Austin, became interested in medical devices, and started Apollo Endosurgery. Apollo focuses on developing a new class of surgical instrumentation for “natural orifice” surgery. Apollo is publicly traded today and has global headquarters just west of Austin. It has (Read more...)

Making Work Human: Automation Anywhere Co-Founder Neeti Mehta Shukla On People, Culture And The Future Of Work

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.

Neeti Mehta Shukla is a co-founder, senior vice president and culture architect at Automation Anywhere – the world’s most widely deployed and only cloud-native robotics process automation (RPA) platform. She has dedicated her career to liberating people from the restrain of manual, repetitive work. 

Automation Anywhere is an RPA leader of a fast-evolving technology using software bots working side by side with human workers to automate manual, repetitive business processes. The impact? RPA enables an intelligent digital workforce of software robots that can automate the mundane, unleash human creativity, and ultimately make work more human. 

In this Q&A, Mehta Shukla shares why she started Automation Anywhere, her advice for other founders, and the most valuable lessons she’s learned throughout her career.

Q: What inspired you to start your company?

Growing up in an entrepreneurial household, I always dreamed of starting something new. My early experiences in the business world highlighted how inefficient its many manual, repetitive processes can be; how they limit the time that could be spent on creative, strategic and exciting work.

Knowing that technology could lead to a better way, my co-founders and I envisioned software bots that would automate manual tasks that human workers are often stuck doing every day — like data entry, compiling manual reports, or invoice processing. So we created Automation Anywhere, where our (Read more...)

Fetcher raises $6.5M to automate parts of the recruiting process

Fetcher, a startup that promises to make the recruiting process easier while also diversifying the candidate pool, is announcing that it has raised $6.5 million in Series A funding.

Originally known as Scout, the New York startup was founded by CEO Andres Blank, CPO Chris Calmeyn and engineering directors Javier Castiarena and Santi Aimetta.

Blank told me that Fetcher automates parts of recruiters’ jobs, namely finding job candidates and sending the initial outreach emails. When I wondered whether that just leads to more spammy recruiting messages, he said that Fetcher emails actually result in “a very good response rate” because they’re targeted at the right candidates.

“The reality is that if you’re looking for a job, you don’t need an email to be so amazing, and if you’re a recruiter, you don’t want to spend 10 minutes thinking about what to write to each candidate,” he said.

He also described Fetcher’s approach as a “human in the loop” approach. Yes, the initial outreach is automated, but then the recruiter handles the conversations with candidates who respond.

Fetcher screenshot

Image Credits: Fetcher

“By automating both the sourcing [and] outreach sides of recruiting, Fetcher reduces the amount of time a recruiter spends in front of a computer searching for candidates, making a recruiter’s job more balanced, strategic and impactful, all while continuing to build a robust, diverse pipeline for the company,” Blank wrote in a follow-up email.

He also suggested that automated sourcing allows recruiters to reach a much more diverse candidate (Read more...)