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Why, hello, Crunchers! We’re excited to tell you that today is Thursday! How fabulously exciting.
Over on TC+, Haje has been hard at work trying to create the Perfect Pitch Deck. Oh, and Euro startups: Here’s your chance to apply to Startup Battlefield 200!
— Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
- “Side quests are always distracting”: That’s what Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke had to say today when talking about why Shopify had to reduce its workforce by 20%. He also talked about “main quests,” which is another video game analogy in case you were wondering. Oh, and Shopify also sold its logistics business to Flexport. Paul has more of the deets. Meanwhile, Darrell also has some thoughts.
- A-I knew this was coming: Microsoft is planning its next set of features for Bing, and, no surprise here, they involve AI. However, Kyle writes that, “they don’t so much reinvent the wheel as they build on what Microsoft has injected into the Bing experience over the past three months or so.”
- Written in the stars: Kyle also wrote about Hugging Face and ServiceNow releasing StarCoder, a free alternative to DeepMind’s AlphaCode, Amazon’s CodeWhisperer and OpenAI’s Codex code-generating models.
Startups and VC
Signaling that investments in the supply chain sector remain robust, Pando, a startup developing fulfillment management technologies, today announced that it raised $30 million in a Series B round, bringing its total raised to $45 million, Kyle reports.
Tellus, an Andreessen Horowitz–backed fintech company that claims it can offer people higher yields on their savings balances by using that money to fund certain U.S. single-family home loans, is under scrutiny by the U.S. government. The Senate Banking chair urges the FDIC to look into the company, Mary Ann reports.
And we have five more for you:
Acquisition, retention, expansion: Why SaaS founders must understand GDR and NDR
Investors have raised their expectations around SaaS profitability and growth since the downturn began. As a result, it’s even more important for founders to have a firm handle on the key metrics VCs consider before saying yes or no.
In his latest TC+ article, Paris Heymann (partner, Index Ventures) shares formulas for calculating gross dollar retention and net dollar retention, KPIs that provide deep insights into the health of your business.
“Predictable businesses are more durable, easier to manage, and typically rewarded with higher valuations than unpredictable ones,” writes Heymann.
Three more from the TC+ team:
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Big Tech Inc.
Ron covered the Salesforce World Tour event this week and found out more details about Slack’s plan to put AI at the center of the user experience. He writes that examples include helping someone get the gist of a long thread without having to read each message and generating messages. We can’t wait until the technology for telepathy gets better so we can just think and Slack will type out a message.
Dallas, Texas, found itself in a pickle, confirming that a ransomware attack forced the city to shut down courts and disrupt some 911 services while the mess got sorted out. Carly has more.
And we have five more for you: