Digital lending platform Blend valued at over $4B in its public debut

Mortgages may not be considered sexy, but they are a big business. If you’ve refinanced or purchased a home digitally lately, you may not have noticed the company powering the software behind it — but there’s a good chance that company is Blend. Founded in 2012, the startup has steadily grown to be a leader […]

Extra Crunch roundup: NS1 EC-1, Pakistan’s tech ecosystem, SPACs bonanza

Did you see the viral videos of yesterday’s flooding in New York City subways? In one, riders waded through brown, waist-deep water; another video showed a cascade rushing down a flight of stairs to a subway platform where passengers waited for a train. Infrastructure doesn’t attract much attention until it fails. Domain name services (DNS), […]

Nextdoor’s SPAC investor deck paints a picture of sizable scale and sticky users

The SPAC parade continues in this shortened week with news that community social network Nextdoor will go public via a blank-check company. The unicorn will merge with Khosla Ventures Acquisition Co. II, taking itself public and raising capital at the same time. Per the former startup, the transaction with the Khosla-affiliated SPAC will generate gross […]

Extra Crunch roundup: Unpacking BuzzFeed’s SPAC, curb your meeting enthusiasm, more

Meetings should have a clear purpose, but instead, they’ve become a way to measure status and reinforce what is colloquially referred to as CYA culture. There’s a kernel of truth in every joke, so whenever someone quips, “This meeting could have been an email!” you can bet that some small part of them meant it […]

Extra Crunch roundup: Selling SaaS to developers, cracking YC after 13 tries, all about Expensify

Before Twilio had a market cap approaching $56 billion and more than 200,000 customers, the cloud-communications platform developed a secret sauce to fuel its growth: a developer-focused model that dispensed with traditional marketing rules. Software companies that sell directly to end users share a simple framework for managing growth that leverages discoverability, desirability and do-ability […]

Why SPACs aren’t targeting African startups

One. That’s the number of African tech companies that have gone public on the NYSE in the last 10 years. Two, if you’re counting local exchanges. The former is African-focused e-commerce company Jumia and the latter is Egyptian fintech company Fawry. As a tech company, Fawry’s listing on the Egyptian Stock Exchange is a rarity. […]

Beyond the fanfare and SEC warnings, SPACs are here to stay

Matt Johnson Contributor Matt Johnson is CEO and co-founder of QC Ware, a quantum computing software company. Matt was a managing director in private equity at Apollo Management and prior to that was a managing director in principal investing at Credit Suisse. The number of SPACs in the deep tech sector was skyrocketing, but a […]

The SPAC boom isn’t just here to stay, it’s changing consumer tech

Mike Murphy Contributor Mike Murphy is the founder and CEO of Rosecliff Ventures, a New York City-based investment firm focused on venture capital and private equity opportunities. Consumer technology is an inherently risky investment sector: even the best idea can fall flat if the story of the product is not sold properly to the end […]