Daily Crunch: With $153M Series C, LeadSquared becomes India’s newest unicorn

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Good afternoon, you fine humans! We hope you had a lovely weekend. Christine is off on a well-deserved holiday, and I’m going to be working on some special projects for a few weeks (including my tan and my surfing skills), so starting tomorrow, we will leave this fair newsletter in the capable hands of Kyle. Give the man a follow on Twitter — you’ve seen a ton of his writing linked to from this newsletter, and I love his writing in general, so you’ll have a blast.

Oh, and if you wanna come hang out in person, we only have, like, 50 tickets left to our summer party. Come hang out and be jolly!

Oh, and if you wanna brighten your day and mine — let’s go mad with cat gifs on my Twitter account. Go on, let’s have a little cat-gif sharing party. — Haje 

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • Oh dear, who tripped over the wire again? Cloudflare is a cornerstone of the internet, which is reassuring and lovely, until it all falls apart. A huge number of services, including Discord, DoorDash, Crunchyroll, NordVPN and others had significant outages when Cloudflare took a dirt nap for a few hours. Things should be up and whirring again now, and no doubt the Cloudflare ops teams will have a couple of intense weeks figuring out what happened and how to prevent it in the future, Manish writes.
  • The <?= ordinal($cutcounter++); ?> cut is the deepest: Klarna is reportedly considering raising at a $15 billion valuation — a huge haircut from its mid-2021 $45 billion valuation. Over on our subscription product TechCrunch Plus, Alex makes it make (more) sense.
  • LeadSquared grows a unicorn horn: Manish reports that LeadSquared raised $153 million in a Series C funding round that valued it at $1 billion. The round was led by Westbridge Capital, and the startup is now looking to broaden its product with new features, including sales performance analytics and a suite of tools to digitize application processing.

Startups and VC

I love it when big, ambitious projects turn into viable companies. Brian’s report on how Impossible Mining is combing the seafloor for battery metals very much tickles my curiosity bones. It employs bacterial respiration to “liberate” metals from rocks, and the company raised $10 million to, ahem, go a little deeper.

You know what really grinds my gears? You know when customer service folks seem to be so painfully friendly, but also as useless as an ice-cream tea cozy? Neuron7 is using some clever tech to help customer service folks find data and solutions more quickly, and just raised $10 million to do just that, Kyle reports.

Let’s look a little deeper:

Write a TechCrunch+ guest post that could help someone navigate this downturn

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We last updated our submission guidelines for TechCrunch+ guest posts in June 2021, but a lot has changed since then.

These are uncertain times, but experience is the best teacher, which is why we’re looking for guest articles that can help others navigate this downturn.

Because the stakes are so high, we are not looking for articles that share “thought leadership” about general challenges people in the tech industry are facing right now.

We’re only interested in posts offering actionable advice that are written by authors who have experience working under adverse economic circumstances.

If you have an idea, please review our new submission guidelines and get in touch.

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

Big Tech Inc.

Coding just gets easier, as the tools and frameworks become more powerful and smarter. One example of that is Copilot, GitHub’s AI-powered programming assistant, which became generally available, as Kyle reports.

Over on the bird sanctuary, the narrative trundles on, with Ivan reporting that Twitter is asking its shareholders to approve the $44 billion takeover by Elon Musk.

And finally, I was stanning hard for Amanda’s panel at our Climate event last week — she tackled the question of whether capitalism can solve climate change. I’m not gonna spoil it for you — just read her excellent piece on our subscription service TechCrunch Plus. And once you finish that one, get into Harri’s TC+ piece where she asks “How doomed are we?” on the climate question. Ugh, I can’t believe I get to work with smart, passionate writers like them. Lucky me!

There’s more — a lot more: