How a Swedish saxophonist built Kobalt, the world’s next music unicorn

You may not have heard of Kobalt before, but you probably engage with the music it oversees every day, if not almost every hour. Combining a technology platform to better track ownership rights and royalties of songs with a new approach to representing musicians in their careers, Kobalt has risen from the ashes of the […]

3 lessons from Roblox’s growth to gaming dominance

Our recently published EC-1 on Roblox recounts the origin story and growth prospects of the company. But there’s one more piece to the story: what Roblox’s impact will be on gaming and the broader startup industry, if the company manages to multiply its current 90 million users. Sources: TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Roblox We’ve distilled three key […]

Digging into the Roblox growth strategy

Could Roblox create a new entertainment and communication category, something it calls “human co-experience”? When it was a small startup, few observers would have believed in that future. But after 15 years — as told in the origin story of our Roblox EC-1 — the company has accumulated 90 million users and a new $150 […]

How Roblox avoided the gaming graveyard and grew into a $2.5B company

There are successful companies that grow fast and garner tons of press. Then there’s Roblox, a company which took at least a decade to hit its stride and has, relative to its current level of success, barely gotten any recognition or attention. Why has Roblox’s story gone mostly untold? One reason is that it emerged […]

Nine lessons on how Niantic reached a $4B valuation

We’ve captured much of Niantic’s ongoing story in the first three parts of our EC-1, from its beginnings as an “entrepreneurial lab” within Google, to its spin-out as an independent company and the launch of Pokémon GO, to its ongoing focus on becoming a platform for others to build augmented reality products upon. It’s not […]

Harry Potter, the Platform, and the Future of Niantic

What is Niantic? If they recognize the name, most people would rightly tell you it’s a company that makes mobile games, like Pokémon GO, or Ingress, or Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. But no one at Niantic really seems to box it up as a mobile gaming company. Making these games is a big part of […]

The definitive Niantic reading guide

An annotated list to everything written on Niantic to accompany our EC-1 Arman Tabatabai 13 hours In just a few years, Niantic has evolved from internal side project into an independent industry trailblazer. Having reached tremendous scale in such a short period of time, Niantic acts as a poignant crash course for founders and company […]

An Equity deep dive on Patreon

The popular TechCrunch podcast Equity this week launched a new series called Equity Dive, wherein a host interviews the writer of the latest edition of the Extra Crunch EC-1. If you’ve ever wanted to know everything there is to know about Patreon, the platform that connects creators with fans and their wallets, then this is […]

Patreon’s future and potential exits

Through the Extra Crunch EC-1 on Patreon, I dove into Patreon’s founding story, product roadmap, business model and metrics, underlying thesis, and competitive threats. The six-year-old company last valued around $450 million and likely to soon hit $1 billion is the leading platform for artists to run membership businesses for their superfans. As a conclusion […]

The competitors of Patreon

In December, Patreon CEO Jack Conte shared a list on Twitter predicting what being an independent content creator will be like in 10 years. One of his predictions was that there will be fierce competition between distribution platforms to get creators paid. That competition has already begun, which is good for creators, but is it […]