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Hello, humans, and the hundreds of AIs that are probably reading this as well. May your day be full of joy. If you can’t feel joy today, be kind to yourself. Perhaps tomorrow is the day for joy. That goes for both humans and AIs, come to think of it. — Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Hope you have a great Meta Day: That’s right, we had a team monitoring the comings-and-goings of today’s Meta Connect developer conference, where we are sure Mark Zuckerberg was passionately talking about how to make the metaverse “a real boy,” and its next big bets. See the Big Tech Inc. section for more.
- Help us help you: Human resources technology has gotten a lot of action in recent years as companies went into remote mode. Factorial is one of the companies reaping the benefits. Ingrid reports that the company brought in $120 million in new funding that doubles its valuation into unicorn territory as it builds out enterprise-quality HR for small businesses.
- And in this corner…: NocoDB is throwing its hat into the ring as a viable contender for Airtable, offering an open source, no-code platform that connects to production databases. Paul has more.
Startups and VC
NextView Ventures announced today that it has raised a $200 million venture fund, its largest to date, split between an early-stage vehicle, at $135 million, and an opportunity vehicle, at $65 million, Natasha M reports. The fund also brings on Stephanie Palmeri, a founding partner of All Raise and former partner at Uncork, as an equal partner.
Indian startups raised $3 billion in the quarter that ended in September, down 57% from the previous quarter and 80% year over year. The figures are remarkable for many reasons, Manish reports. The most obvious being that startups are finding it difficult to raise capital at a time when most top-tier funds in India have raised record-large funds this year.
And we have another handful of stories. I know I usually just do five, but our little writer-bees were particularly busy over the past 24 hours, so here’s five plus a few bonuses.
- Wishful thinking at best: Blue-chip VC firm Matrix Partners has long been an investor in software infrastructure Now, Connie reports, it has some questions about web3. She describes a lot of the projects as “wishful thinking.”
- Fitter, happier, more productive: Ron reports that Quantori is building an app development platform focused on life sciences.
- Money smarts, gamified: This company wants to improve your credit by gamifying financial literacy, reports Christine.
- On the sunny side of the street (yeah): Solestial promises solar panels in space for a tenth of the cost and lines up $10 million seed funding, Devin reports.
- Moar data, moar funds: Nigerian data and intelligence company Stears raises $3.3 million, reports Tage.
- Look, you just can’t do that: Haje face-palms pretty hard at OG App, wondering what the fledgling startup’s endgame was.
- Last chance saloon: Wanna come to Disrupt? Well, Lauren S wants to remind you it’s your last week to save on passes to TechCrunch Disrupt.
How to go from popular to profitable during a downturn
Product-led growth startups are like a car with a manual transmission that needs a push to get going: one driver just can’t do it all on their own.
According to Nick Mills, whose sales experience includes stints at Stripe, Facebook and CircleCI, “all companies eventually face a similar challenge: To keep growing, sales teams must be hired and a pipeline must be built.”
After explaining how to calculate your serviceable addressable market, aka “the piece of that pie you can win right now,” Mills shows how to define product-qualified leads that will get sales engines firing on all cylinders.
“Telling investors about your viral user growth is no longer enough,” says Mills. “They want to know how it translates to revenue, resilience and runway.”
Three more from the TC+ team:
- It’s the circle of life: Stellantis says circular economy business unit will rake in revenue of €2 billion by 2030, by Rebecca.
- Mo data, mo solutions: Earthmover to bring petascale data tools to climate tech with $1.7 million pre-seed, by Tim.
- Chaining the chains: As crypto regulation looms ahead, here are the bills to look out for, by Jacquelyn.
Big Tech Inc.
We hope you are having a Meta and Google day so far, but if not, we think the following stories will get you in the mood. These are just a few of the gems you will find in our event hub:
- Darrell shares How to watch Meta Connect’s 2022 Keynote (hint: Facebook).
- Meta’s next enterprise push is into the metaverse, Ingrid reports.
- Kyle has Meta partners with Microsoft to bring Teams, Windows apps and games to Quest devices.
- Meta partners with NBCUniversal to bring you into “The Office,” writes Amanda.
- Among Us is coming to the Meta Quest 2 on November 10, reports Taylor.
- Meta announces the $1,499 Quest Pro, by Lucas.
- And, the pièce de résistance, Lucas lets us all know that Meta announces avatar legs.
Not to be outdone, Google announced a bunch of news that the team was here for as well:
- Ivan has more on Google introducing Chromebooks geared for cloud gaming.
- Google unifies its BI services under the Looker brand, reports Frederic.
- Google looks to boost its security cred in the cloud, writes Ingrid.
- Ron reports on Google Cloud announcing Dual Run to ease mainframe migration to cloud.
- Frederic provides the details on Google opening up Workspace with new integrations and APIs.
- Google Cloud expands to six more countries, also by Frederic.
- Google Meet gets automatic meeting transcriptions, again by Frederic.
For those of you ready for some other company news, we are here to deliver:
- And just like that…: General Motors has gotten into the energy business, Kirsten writes. The car maker’s new business unit is offering a line of energy products targeted at residential, commercial and charging.
- Why take a cab when you can take a helicopter?: Joby Aviation, an electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft startup (whew!), is partnering with Delta Air Lines to offer home-to-airport transportation for airline customers, beginning in New York and Los Angeles. Rebecca has more.
- I’m in a buying mood: Thoma Bravo also continues to be in a buying mood this year, and Ron has kept up with all of the action. This time, Thoma Bravo acquired its third identity company this year with a $2.3 billion ForgeRock deal.
We are pleased to meta you — now have a Google day.