Connect with us

Tech

Announcing TechCrunch’s 2022 event lineup

Published

on

Announcing TechCrunch’s 2022 event lineup

After two years of gathering remotely, TechCrunch’s calendar of industry-shaping events is going live and in-person once again. Digital meetings kept the world connected and technological innovations helped us through the height of the pandemic, and now we’re coming together once again to spark that fusion that powers the startup scene’s brightest minds and business visionaries.

TechCrunch Disrupt

Moscone West, San Francisco, CA
October 18-20, 2022
TechCrunch Disrupt, our flagship event, returns as the central in-person hub for the startup world. Once again, founders, investors and Silicon Valley’s smartest and savviest leaders come together, in person, for a three-day meeting of the minds. Our iconic Disrupt stage mints new stars and offers exclusive first looks at the future of one industry after another.

Disrupt is a must-attend event for founders who are serious about breaking through the noise and forging the kinds of relationships that can take them to the next level. For startup enthusiasts, potential investors and aspiring tech moguls, it’s a ticket into the ecosystem that continues to change the world.

With 100+ exhibitors and 10,000+ attendees, there is no better place to make your mark. It’s three days of pure opportunity. You can say you saw the next Mark Zuckerberg, Anne Wojcicki, Whitney Wolfe Herd or Jack Dorsey present onstage — or better yet, follow their post-Disrupt trajectories to extraordinary success.

Sign up here to get access to our pre-sale discounts!

TechCrunch Early Stage

Pier 27, San Francisco, CA
April 14, 2022
The big names earn most of the national headlines, but it’s the energy and ambition of early-stage startups that drive TechCrunch every single day. At TechCrunch Early Stage, founders in the heady early days of their entrepreneurial journey come together for a day of education, networking and new insights. The event offers dozens of breakout sessions to supercharge every stage of incubating and emerging startups, from raising seed funding to landing a Series A to recruiting the right partners and employees. The day ends with a networking event that connects the most promising founders, forging bonds that will shape the future of tech and business. It’s a day that will supercharge your startup and provide you with the fuel you need to turn bright ideas and ragtag crews into a rocket ship to the highest orbits of Silicon Valley.

We’re releasing a limited number of $150 tickets — grab a pass before we run out.

TC Sessions: Mobility

San Mateo Event Center, San Mateo, CA
May 18-19, 2022
After years of hard work, innovation and initial public skepticism, the electric vehicle revolution is now in full bloom. It’s not just electric, either — AI and 5G are entirely rewiring transportation, as well. Once centered in Detroit and then Asia, the auto industry is now being driven by Silicon Valley, where an ecosystem that changed communications and commerce is reimagining how we move across the world. At the third annual TC Sessions: Mobility, expert engineers, visionary thinkers, gutsy investors and other leaders will merge the worlds of technology and transportation.

Sign up here to get access to our pre-sale discounts!

TC Sessions: Climate

Zellerbach Auditorium, Berkeley, CA
June 14, 2022
Fighting climate change will drive innovation in every sector and transform the way we live and work, with startups leading the way. TC Sessions: Climate brings together the leading minds in the green-tech space in an all-day, all-out conference with sessions devoted to inspiring new ideas and hatching bold initiatives that can make every industry more environmentally friendly and contribute to the healing of the Earth. It’s all hands on deck, from agtech and synthetic meats to supply chains and transportation innovations that turn historic polluters into contributors to the planet’s long-term survival. No greenwashing or PR spin here — just entrepreneurs, investors and bright minds dedicated to enacting true transformation before it’s too late.

Sign up here to get access to our pre-sale discounts!

TC Sessions: Robotics

Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA
July 22, 2022

TC Sessions: Robotics brings together the most innovative minds in robotics, AI and automation. Come see demos of bleeding-edge technologies and hear from leading speakers from the worlds of startups, VC, research and more.

Robotics has fundamentally changed manufacturing, shipping and an assortment of other heavy industries, and now, in the wake of the pandemic, the technology is becoming increasingly important in consumer-facing fields. Within a few years, robotics and AI could be integrated into and even reshape the retail, healthcare and service industries — if the right technology and business plans emerge. TC Sessions: Robotics is the leading forum for the sharpest thinkers, boldest entrepreneurs and savviest investors in the AI and robotics spaces, as well as the home for early demos of the most groundbreaking new products and technologies.

Sign up here to get access to our pre-sale discounts!

The Summer Party

Menlo Park, CA
June 23, 2022
No presentations, no sessions, no demos — the TechCrunch Summer Party is all about that intangible human-to-human magic that continues to make the startup world the most dynamic club in the world. It’s cocktails and conversation, a must-attend event where you might meet your seed investor, next co-founder or even future acquirer. It’s also a damn good time.

Sign up here to be notified when these limited-capacity tickets are available.

TC Sessions: SaaS and TC Sessions: Space will be returning in Q4 2022. Sign up to receive updates for TC Sessions: Saas and TC Sessions: Space.

Source: Tech

Tech

Crypto.com expands venture arm to $500 million to back early-stage web3 startups

Published

on

Crypto.com, a popular cryptocurrency exchange, has extended its venture arm’s fund size to $500 million as it looks to more aggressively back early-stage startups to help the nascent ecosystem grow, following similar moves by rivals Binance, Coinbase and FTX.

The broadening of Crypto.com Capital comes less than a year after the Singapore-headquartered firm unveiled its maiden fund of $200 million. The fund, unlike those of many of its rivals, has no LPs (meaning, it’s fully financed by the firm’s balance sheet.)

The maiden fund, whose individual checks run up to $10 million in size, has been so far deployed to back about 20 startups including YGG SEA, multi-chain crypto portfolio tracker DeBank, cross-chain token infrastructure Efinity and Ethereum scaling solution Matter Labs.

Crypto.com will continue to focus on backing early-stage startups, said Jon Russell, who joined the firm as a general partner this month, in an interview with TechCrunch.

With the fund, Crypto.com is broadly focusing on gaming, decentralized-finance and startups innovating on cross-chain solutions. But he cautioned that the industry could change and expand, as it has in recent years, to areas “we don’t know about,” hence the firm is keeping an eye out on everything.

Tuesday’s announcement also further illustrates the growing involvement of cryptocurrency exchanges in being the rainmaker – and beneficiary – of the ecosystem which encompasses the industry in which they operate.

FTX, which has backed over 15 startups, last week announced a $2 billion crypto fund. Its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, also owns Alameda Research, a venture firm that has backed close to 100 web3 startups.

Coinbase Ventures, the investment arm of the only crypto exchange that is publicly traded, and Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, are also among the most prolific investors in the web3 space.

Venture investment in crypto / web3 in 2021 by category (Image credits: Galaxy Digital)

The funding activity in the space, even as most of the aforementioned names often co-invest in startups, is at an all-time high. VCs invested more than $33 billion in crypto/web3 startups in 2021, more than all prior years combined, Galaxy Digital, another prolific investor in the space, wrote in a recent report.

“Valuations in the crypto/blockchain space were 141% higher than the rest of the venture capital space in Q4, highlighting a founder-friendly environment and the intense competition among investors for deal allocations,” the report added.

Scores of venture capital firms have also raised new funds for their crypto investments. Just last year, Andreessen Horowitz added a $2.2 billion crypto fund, Paradigm unveiled a $2.5 billion fund, and Hivemind Capital Partners announced a $1.5 billion fund. Katie Haun, who co-led a16z’s $2.2 billion crypto fund, has left the firm to launch her own crypto-focused fund.

Russell – a former journalist who previously had stints at TechCrunch, The Next Web, and The Ken – said Crypto.com is backing startups to help the ecosystem grow.

“If you’re in the industry, it’s in your interest to help companies grow in the ecosystem and the ecosystem itself to grow,” he said. (Worth pointing out that Solana, Avalanche, Polkadot — as well as some of their major investors — are also aggressively backing startups that are building applications for the native blockchains.)

The startups Crypto.com backs are under no obligation to list their tokens on Crypto.com over any of its rivals or offer the exchange any other preferential treatment, he said. The exchange team similarly doesn’t have a soft spot for the investment arm’s portfolio firms, he added.

(What’s up with the career move? “I’ve been crypto curious for a number of years but I wasn’t gasping to dive in full-time. This project appeals to me because Crypto.com is ambitious but yet it does things the right way. There’s certainly a lot of hype and hot air in crypto and web3 right now, but it’s impossible to ignore the talent that’s pouring into the industry,” he said.)

Crypto.com, which started its life as a blog of professor Matt Blaze (who sold the domain to the crypto exchange), has aggressively expanded in the past year as it looks to court more users. The Singapore-headquartered firm last year agreed to pay more than $700 million for the naming rights of the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The downtown Los Angeles complex has been rebranded as Crypto.com Arena for the next 20 years.

The firm, which bills itself as the “fastest-growing” crypto exchange, said at the time of the announcement that the move is positioned to make cryptocurrencies mainstream. Crypto.com, which processes trade volumes of over $2.5 billion every day, also teamed up with Hollywood star Matt Damon last year to promote the brand and cryptocurrencies.

The Damon-starring ad equated buying crypto tokens and NFTs to one of the greatest and boldest accomplishments in the history of humankind. Hyperbole, to be sure, but having the most mainstream American actor as Crypto.com’s celebrity sponsor has certainly helped bring the trading platform, and all that it sells, into the mainstream. The ad went viral and also attracted criticism for being cringeworthy.

Source: Tech

Continue Reading

Tech

Focused on smaller cities, Vietnamese social commerce startup Mio raises $8M Series A

Published

on

Mio, the Vietnamese social commerce platform, has raised an $8 million Series A, less than a year after announcing its seed round. The funding was led by Jungle Ventures, Patamar Capital and Oliver Jung, with participation from returning investors GGV, Venturra, Hustle Fund, iSEED SEA and Gokul Rajaram.

TechCrunch first covered Mio at the time of its $1 million seed funding in May 2021. Founded in 2020, Mio is a group buying platform that focuses on selling fresh produce and groceries in Tier 2 and 3 cities in Vietnam. The company is able to offer next day delivery because it built a logistics infrastructure that enables it to send produce directly from farms to customers.

The Series A brings Mio’s total raised to $9.1 million, and will be used to expand its logistics and fulfillment system, enter new areas in Vietnam and add new product categories like fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and household appliances.

Mio co-founder and chief executive officer Trung Huynh said that since TechCrunch first covered Mio seven months ago, it has achieved 10x gross merchandise value growth, a 10x increase in agents, or resellers, and grew its team from 60 people to 240. It now fulfills more than 10,000 pieces of fresh produce per day, operating in Ho Chi Minh, Thu Duc, Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Long An, with plans to expand into northern Vietnam.

The numbers “strengthened our conviction in this model and its potential,” he said. “We need fresh capital to accelerate hiring, product development and supply chain to keep up with the pace of growth as we deepen our presence in existing geographies and expand to new provinces.”

Mio is able to offer next day deliveries because its vertically integrated mayor layers of the value chain, including procurement, warehousing, order sorting and bulk delivery. The startup owns the majority of its logistics infrastructure and uses its own fleet of couriers. Its ability to delivery fresh produce directly from farms to customers in less than 16 hours contributed to higher customer retention and growth, Huynh said, and it will continue to shorten delivery times. .

Mio resellers are called Mio Partners. Huynh said one of the driving factors behind Mio is targeting the right people for the program, or “housewives and stay-home-moms in lower income regions who love sharing value-for-money products to their social circle of friends.”

They aggregate orders, usually from friends and family, and orders are delivered to them in batches for distribution. The startup claims Mio Partners can make up to $400 a month, including a 10% commission on each order and additional commissions based on the monthly performance of other resellers they referred to the program.

“There is a strong possibility” that Mio will expand beyond Vietnam, Huynh said, “but will only be considered at a more appropriate time after we successfully built our playbook for Vietnam.”

Source: Tech

Continue Reading

Tech

South Korean HR automation platform flex raises $32M Series B at a $287M valuation

Published

on

South Korea-based human resources management platform flex announced today it has closed a $32 million Series B round at a valuation of $298 million. The latest funding, which brings its total raised to $42 million, was led by Greenoaks, with participation from DST Global Partners.  

The startup’s mission is to enable corporations to automate and streamline manual human resources work processes and focus more on people. Its automation tools optimize the employee experience to ensure seamless data flow across groups for use in payroll, e-signature support, on/offboarding and people analytics. It also plans to launch performance review and talents relation management tools in the first quarter of 2022. 

“At flex we define HR as Human Relations, not Human Resources. We believe HR teams deserve world-class software to manage and service their employees, but today it’s clear that many organizations still use spreadsheets or legacy products to make ends meet, said Haenam Chang, CEO of flex.

The two-year-old startup will use the proceeds to scale operations to meet demand, advance its HR automation and SaaS products and increase its headcount.

The Series B funding comes on the back of growth in revenue of almost ten times, compared to last year, driven by a number of product launches and new customers. The startup has primarily been serving SMBs in the IT sector. However, flex plans to expand the addressable market by targeting new industries in the SMB space this year. It did not disclose any user or customer numbers when asked. 

Currently, flex is focused on growing in South Korea by offering a SaaS solution that modernizes the HR functions and processes, which have been slow to adapt to technical progress over the past 20 years. The company said its deep understanding of cultural nuances in people management and the HR regulations in the country help flex to be well-positioned to offer a set of products tailored to South Korean businesses.  

“While some companies have adopted solutions to track and improve how they manage their employees, most still rely on gut instinct or insufficient data to make ad-hoc decisions on employees. At flex, we empower customers with a reliable source of employee data and a rich set of tools to manage their people, maximizing individual and organizational performance. Our goal isn’t just to provide a great HR software solution – it’s to empower companies to better track and manage their most important assets, their people,” Chang said. 

“Korea is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic economies but has historically lacked a native solution for companies to manage and pay their employees – leaving businesses frustrated and left to develop their own homegrown solutions,” said Josh Cho, principal of Greenoaks. “Now, flex is rapidly building the country’s first next-generation human resources information system and payroll platform. We are excited about their vision for an end-to-end product that will let companies handle all their HR functions in a single place, from performance management to recruiting to payroll and more.” 

Source: Tech

Continue Reading

Trending