TechCrunch+ Roundup: Generative AI marketing, European edtech report, falling fintech valuations


The famous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco , seen from Lands End
Image Credits: Martina Birnbaum (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Maintaining a full content pipeline is a laborious, subjective process, and with so many people involved, it can be hard to remain data-driven.

Generative AI tools speed up this work dramatically: Once a system is trained on your content, it will churn out keywords and ideas by the bushel, but human beings still need to separate the wheat from the chaff.

In a detailed TC+ post, Nick Zamanov, director of business development at Cyber Switching, explains how his team used OpenAI to boost site traffic, domain rating and backlinks within just a few months.

Full TechCrunch+ articles are only available to members
Use discount code TCPLUSROUNDUP to save 20% off a one- or two-year subscription

He includes several prompts they developed, along with suggestions that will help you train AI tools to produce material in your own voice.

“There is no need to reinvent the wheel, so use content you’ve already worked on to help generate better keywords, recommendations, and ultimately, your marketing strategy,” he advises.

Thanks for reading,

Walter Thompson
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+

We tried using OpenAI to generate marketing strategies — and it worked

Get the TechCrunch+ Roundup newsletter in your inbox!

To receive the TechCrunch+ Roundup as an email each Tuesday and Friday, scroll down to find the “sign up for newsletters” section on this page, select “TechCrunch+ Roundup,” enter your email, and click subscribe.

Click here to subscribe

It’s been a bumpy 6 months for edtech — are smoother roads ahead?

Pencil Sharpener Sharpening Pencils with Pencil Shavings on Solid Blue Colored Background.
Image Credits: MirageC (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Europe’s edtech market is having a moment.

In the first half of this year, one-third of all global edtech deal activity took place in the region, writes Rhys Spence, head of research at Brighteye Ventures.

“H1 2023 saw increased funding than the previous period in H2 2022 and many of the companies that raised big rounds in early- to mid-2021 will be coming back to the table to raise more funding,” he writes in TC+.

“This should not be seen as signs of health in the ecosystem, however…”

It’s been a bumpy 6 months for edtech — are smoother roads ahead?

Early-stage SaaS startups grow the same with or without VC dollars

Image Credits: Richard Drury (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

There’s a lot of performative behavior in startup land, such as foosball tables in reception areas and kitchens with kombucha taps.

Should we add fundraising to that list?

Rebecca Szkutak covered a report by Capchase, which saw little difference in YoY growth between bootstrapped (44%) and venture-backed startups (42.8%).

“Given that the venture-backed startups raised external capital, we can safely assume that they spent more to achieve what is effectively the same growth rate as their bootstrapped peers,” she writes.

Early-stage SaaS startups grow the same with or without VC dollars

Ask Sophie: How realistic are my chances of hiring H-1B candidates at my startup?

lone figure at entrance to maze hedge that has an American flag at the center
Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

With more than 750,000 H-1B registrations this year, is it realistic for my early-stage startup to consider hiring candidates who are seeking them?

— Skeptical Startup

Ask Sophie: How realistic are my chances of hiring H-1B candidates at my startup?

Startups with all-women founding teams raised just $1.4B in H1

Woman walking while looking at falling pink bricks
Image Credits: Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

If your founder team includes men and women, here’s some good news:

“Mixed-gender teams picked up 28.1% of capital raised in H1, which is up from raising 16.9% in H1 2022,” reports Dominic Madori-Davis.

However, women founders aren’t faring nearly as well, raising just $1.4 billion during the same period.

“The last time companies with all-women founders raised such a low H1 amount was in 2017, when they picked up $1.2 billion.”

Startups with all-women founding teams raised just $1.4B in H1

Fintech valuations have fallen. Where do they go from here?

Dominoes in a circle, one falling
Image Credits: Jordan Lye (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Investors were hungry for fintech startups like Stripe three years ago, but a closer look at the secondary market shows that valuations have plummeted, Mary Ann Azevedo and Rebecca Szkutak report.

“Other people who are hanging on to their valuation are probably going to take longer to hit the bottom and find their way back up and have momentum,” said Greg Martin, co-founder and managing director at Rainmaker Securities.

Fintech valuations have fallen. Where do they go from here?

More TechCrunch

Welcome to TechCrunch Fintech! This week, we’re looking at the continued fallout from Synapse’s bankruptcy, how Layer wants to disrupt SMB accounting, and much more! To get a roundup of…

There’s a real appetite for a fintech alternative to QuickBooks

The company is hoping to produce electricity at $13 per megawatt hour, which would be more than 50% cheaper than traditional onshore wind.

Bill Gates-backed wind startup AirLoom is raising $12M, filings reveal

Generative AI makes stuff up. It can be biased. Sometimes, it spits out toxic text. So can it be “safe”? Rick Caccia, the CEO of WitnessAI, believes it can. “Securing…

WitnessAI is building guardrails for generative AI models

It’s not often that you hear about a seed round above $10 million. H, a startup based in Paris and previously known as Holistic AI, has announced a $220 million…

French AI startup H raises $220 million seed round

Hey there, Series A to B startups with $35 million or less in funding — we’ve got an exciting opportunity that’s tailor-made for your growth journey! If you’re looking to…

Boost your startup’s growth with a ScaleUp package at TC Disrupt 2024

TikTok is pulling out all the stops to prevent its impending ban in the United States. Aside from initiating legal challenges against the government, that means shaping up its public…

As a U.S. ban looms, TikTok announces a $1M program for socially driven creators

Microsoft wants to put its Copilot everywhere. It’s only a matter of time before Microsoft renames its annual Build developer conference to Microsoft Copilot. Hopefully, some of those upcoming events…

Microsoft’s Power Automate no-code platform adds AI flows

Build is Microsoft’s largest developer conference and of course, it’s all about AI this year. So it’s no surprise that GitHub’s Copilot, GitHub’s “AI pair programming tool,” is taking center…

GitHub Copilot gets extensions

Microsoft wants to make its brand of generative AI more useful for teams — specifically teams across corporations and large enterprise organizations. This morning at its annual Build dev conference,…

Microsoft intros a Copilot for teams

Microsoft’s big focus at this year’s Build conference is generative AI. And to that end, the tech giant announced a series of updates to its platforms for building generative AI-powered…

Microsoft upgrades its AI app-building platforms

The UK’s data protection watchdog has closed an almost year-long investigation of Snap’s AI chatbot, My AI — saying it’s satisfied the social media firm has addressed concerns about risks…

UK data protection watchdog ends privacy probe of Snap’s GenAI chatbot, but warns industry

U.S. cell carrier Patriot Mobile experienced a data breach that included subscribers’ personal information, including full names, email addresses, home zip codes, and account PINs, TechCrunch has learned. Patriot Mobile,…

Conservative cell carrier Patriot Mobile hit by data breach

It’s been three years since Spotify acquired live audio startup Betty Labs, and yet the music streaming service isn’t leveraging the technology to its fullest potential—at least not in our…

Spotify’s ‘Listening Party’ feature falls short of expectations

Alchemist Accelerator has a new pile of AI-forward companies demoing their wares today, if you care to watch, and the program itself is making some international moves into Tokyo and…

Alchemist’s latest batch puts AI to work as accelerator expands to Tokyo, Doha

“Late Pledge” allows campaign creators to continue collecting money even after the campaign has closed.

Kickstarter now lets you pledge after a campaign closes

Stack AI’s co-founders, Antoni Rosinol and Bernardo Aceituno, were PhD students at MIT wrapping up their degrees in 2022 just as large language models were becoming more mainstream. ChatGPT would…

Stack AI wants to make it easier to build AI-fueled workflows

Pinecone, the vector database startup founded by Edo Liberty, the former head of Amazon’s AI Labs, has long been at the forefront of helping businesses augment large language models (LLMs)…

Pinecone launches its serverless vector database out of preview

Young geothermal energy wells can be like budding prodigies, each brimming with potential to outshine their peers. But like people, most decline with age. In California, for example, the amount…

Special mud helps XGS Energy get more power out of geothermal wells

Featured Article

Sonos finally made some headphones

The market play is clear from the outset: The $449 headphones are firmly targeted at an audience that would otherwise be purchasing the Bose QC Ultra or Apple AirPods Max.

4 hours ago
Sonos finally made some headphones

Adobe says the feature is up to the task, regardless of how complex of a background the object is set against.

Adobe brings Firefly AI-powered Generative Remove to Lightroom

All cars suffer when the mercury drops, but electric vehicles suffer more than most as heaters draw more power and batteries charge more slowly as the liquid electrolyte inside thickens.…

Porsche Ventures invests in battery startup South 8 to boost cold-weather EV performance

Scale AI has raised a $1 billion Series F round from a slew of big-name institutional and corporate investors including Amazon and Meta.

Data-labeling startup Scale AI raises $1B as valuation doubles to $13.8B

The new coalition, Tech Against Scams, will work together to find ways to fight back against the tools used by scammers and to better educate the public against financial scams.

Meta, Match, Coinbase and others team up to fight online fraud and crypto scams

It’s a wrap: European Union lawmakers have given the final approval to set up the bloc’s flagship, risk-based regulations for artificial intelligence.

EU Council gives final nod to set up risk-based regulations for AI

London-based fintech Vitesse has closed a $93 million Series C round of funding led by investment giant KKR.

Vitesse, a payments and treasury management platform for insurers, raises $93M to fuel US expansion

Zen Educate, an online marketplace that connects schools with teachers, has raised $37 million in a Series B round of funding. The raise comes amid a growing teacher shortage crisis…

Zen Educate raises $37M and acquires Aquinas Education as it tries to address the teacher shortage

“When I heard the released demo, I was shocked, angered and in disbelief that Mr. Altman would pursue a voice that sounded so eerily similar to mine.”

Scarlett Johansson says that OpenAI approached her to use her voice

A new self-driving truck — manufactured by Volvo and loaded with autonomous vehicle tech developed by Aurora Innovation — could be on public highways as early as this summer.  The…

Aurora and Volvo unveil self-driving truck designed for a driverless future

The European venture capital firm raised its fourth fund as fund as climate tech “comes of age.”

ETF Partners raises €285M for climate startups that will be effective quickly — not 20 years down the road

Copilot, Microsoft’s brand of generative AI, will soon be far more deeply integrated into the Windows 11 experience.

Microsoft wants to make Windows an AI operating system, launches Copilot+ PCs