Scale CEO Alex Wang and Accel’s Dan Levine explain why sometimes unconventional VC deals are best

Few companies have done better than Scale at spotting a need in the AI gold rush early on and filling that gap. The startup rightly identified that one of the tasks most important to building effective AI at scale — the laborious exercise of tagging data sets to make them usable in properly training new […]

Extra Crunch roundup: StockX EC-1, Early Stage recaps, unpacking Alkami’s IPO, more

Over the last few days, we’ve published several articles recapping panels from last week’s TechCrunch Early Stage virtual conference. Each story is based on an interview with a founder or investor who addressed some of the most common startup dilemmas. Predictably, they’re mostly focused on the how and why: How do I get into an […]

How we dodged risks and raised millions for our open-source machine language startup

Jorge Torres Contributor Jorge Torres is CEO and co-founder of MindsDB, an open source AI layer for existing databases. Adam Carrigan Contributor Adam Carrigan is a co-founder and COO of MindsDB, an open source AI layer for existing databases. Open-source software gave birth to a slew of useful software in recent years. Many of the […]

Mortgage is suddenly sexy as SoftBank pumps $500M in Better.com at a $6B valuation

Digital mortgage lender Better.com has raised a $500 million round from Japanese investment conglomerate SoftBank that values the company at $6 billion. The financing is notable for a few reasons. For one, that new $6 billion valuation is up 50% from the $4 billion it was valued at last November when it raised $200 million […]

So you want to raise a Series A

During a seed funding round, a founder needs to convince a venture capital investor on a vision. But during a Series A fundraise, napkin-stage ideas don’t make the cut — a founder needs product progress, numbers, and revenue (or at least a plan to eventually generate some). In many ways, the stakes are higher for […]

Formation raises $4M led by Andreessen Horowitz to train truly ‘exceptional’ software engineers

Sophie Zhou Novati worked as a senior engineer at Facebook and then Nextdoor, where she struggled to hire great engineers for her team. Frustrated, she decided to try training engineers to meet her team’s hiring standards by mentoring at a local coding bootcamp. After two and a half years of mentoring on nights and weekends, […]

New Jersey announces $10M seed fund aimed at Black and Latinx founders

Today, in a twist, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has announced a proposal for a $10 million allocation in the state budget to create a seed fund for Black and Latinx startups, TechCrunch has learned exclusively. The Black and Latinx Seed Fund will be administered by the New Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). NJEDA CEO Tim […]

Ribbit Capital leads $26.7M round for Brazilian fintech Cora

Cora, a São Paulo-based technology-enabled lender to small and-medium-sized businesses, has raised $26.7 million in a Series A round led by Silicon Valley VC firm Ribbit Capital. Kaszek Ventures, QED Investors and Greenoaks Capital also participated in the financing, which brings the startup’s total raised to $36.7 million since its 2019 inception. Kaszek led Cora’s […]

ConductorOne raises $5M in seed round led by Accel to automate your access requests

Over the course of their careers, Alex Bovee and Paul Querna realized that while the use of SaaS apps and cloud infrastructure was exploding, the process to give employees permission to use them was not keeping up. The pair led Zero Trust strategies and products at Okta, and could see the problem firsthand. For the […]

Extra Crunch roundup: Tonal EC-1, Deliveroo’s rocky IPO, is Substack really worth $650M?

For this morning’s column, Alex Wilhelm looked back on the last few months, “a busy season for technology exits” that followed a hot Q4 2020. We’re seeing signs of an IPO market that may be cooling, but even so, “there are sufficient SPACs to take the entire recent Y Combinator class public,” he notes. Once […]