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Daily Crunch: ‘Winter may be longer’ because unicorns won’t accept down rounds, says SoftBank leader

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The TechCrunch Top 3

  • Brrr, it’s cold in here : Manish writes that a “venture capital winter” will last a little longer, according to SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son. It’s a bit interesting, though, that a firm often known for pouring large amounts of capital into companies, cough, WeWork, cough, seems shocked that companies aren’t willing to give up on the large valuations when they are out raising new funding. Meanwhile, Alex gives his take in a TechCrunch+ version looking at SoftBank’s Vision Fund losses.
  • Hook, line, but hopefully no sinker : Twilio confirmed that hackers gained unauthorized access to corporate login credentials under the disguise of telling employees their passwords had expired, Carly reports.
  • Another big private equity deal : Vista Equity Partners is set to acquire automated tax compliance company Avalara in an all-cash deal valued at $8.4 billion, Paul writes. There have been some other large private equity deals this year, including another acquisition Vista made earlier this year of Citrix and Thoma Bravo’s two of Anaplan and Ping Identity.

Startups and VC

We had so many incredible things get published over the weekend, it’s hard to choose what to feature in this here Ye Olde Lettre of Neues.

We loved today’s Equity podcast, “How to lose money, SoftBank edition.” Rebecca’s transportation and mobility roundup, the Station, was particularly good too, breaking down what is happening in the land of micromobility and much more. (Also, her update from earlier in the week had a lot more Cybertruck earnings call info.)

The collapse of Three Arrows Capital and the counterparties wrapped in the crypto hedge fund’s troubles have drawn questions about the soundness of the heady digital asset investment space. For the industry’s survivors, watching their rivals fall to pieces overnight has been an alarming experience. Bitmain’s co-founder welcomes crypto regulation to help stabilize things, Rita reports.


  • Cryptically entering South Korea: Singapore-based cryptocurrency platform Crypto.com has acquired two startups in South Korea for an undisclosed amount, Kate reports.
  • Geek+: All ur warehouse r belong to us: The Beijing-based warehouse robotics firm Geek+ just raised another $100 million in funding (the company calls it a “Series E1,” whatever that means), Brian reports.
  • Virtually office-ially virtual: Kyle reports that Kumospace closed a $21 million Series A, just a year after the company raised $3 million in a seed round, to replace physical offices with virtual ones.
  • Data in, data out: Equalum wants to help companies build data pipeline and closed a $14 million Series C round to help do just that, Kyle reports.
  • You wouldn’t download a solar panel from the internet, would you? Online-only home solar seller bags $23 million, pledging “dramatically lower prices,” Harri writes in her newest piece.

3 ways to optimize SaaS sales in a downturn

“In a downturn, money saved is worth even more than money earned,” which means SaaS sales strategies should shift from driving growth to helping customers conserve their resources, writes Sahil Mansuri, CEO of Bravado.

“If you can frame your product as a way to boost revenue or cut costs, people will find a budget.”

Mansuri, who started out in software sales during the Great Recession, shares multiple strategies SaaS startups can use to “tailor your approach, show prospects unexpected opportunities and focus on the money.”

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here .)

Big Tech Inc.

Google is taking Sonos to court again over patent infringement. Ivan writes that two new lawsuits “center around various patents involving keyword detection, charging using ‘technologies invented by Google’ and determining what speaker from a group should respond to the keyword.” Both companies have already won against each other in previous lawsuits, so we’ll see with whom the court sides with this time.

Get ready for more in-car advertising if you frequent Lyft. The ride-hailing company has created a new digital advertising business, called Lyft Media, that will put infotainment in cars and promises some of that ad revenue will go to drivers, Jaclyn reports.

  • “To public and back”: Over in TechCrunch+ territory, Ron talks about “long, strange startup trips” with Ping Identity CEO Andre Durand, whose company, as you may have read above, is now in an acquisition deal with Thoma Bravo after being public for several years.
  • Maybe dry clean next time: Carly and Anita paired up to lay out what happened over at Tornado Cash, which is being sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury after being accused of laundering stolen cryptocurrency.
  • Not into playing games: Netflix is not finding any subscriber love over in its mobile games division. Lauren reports less than 1% of Netflix’s subscribers want to play them.
  • Get into my driverless car: Chinese internet giant Baidu is gearing up to put its fully driverless commercial robotaxi in Wuhan and Chongqing after securing a permit, Rebecca reports.
  • Climate tech changing the world: To stay up to date on the developments across climate tech, AI, and more, sign up for the Emerging Tech Brew newsletter for free.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2022/08/08/daily-crunch-winter-may-be-longer-because-unicorns-wont-accept-down-rounds-says-softbank-leader/