One of Extra Crunch‘s flagship editorial offerings, the EC-1 is an authoritative, deep analysis into a growth-stage company that not only offers a panoramic view of a specific business, but also teaches lessons learned from the veterans of these organizations, whether they be founders, sales leaders, product managers, software engineers, marketers or anyone else who contributed to the growth of a startup.

The goal with each EC-1 is to help TechCrunch readers understand the intricacies of building a company from as many angles as possible, while also getting situational intelligence on the best tech companies scaling up in the market today. The EC-1 takes its name from the Form S-1 filing that late-stage startups submit to the SEC as part of the IPO process.

Expensify EC-1

The Expensify origin story

Image Credits: Nigel Sussman

  • Part 1: Origin story “How a band of P2P hackers planted the seeds of a unique expense management giant” (2,400 words/10 minutes) — explores the colorful history of the Expensify founders’ days with Travis Kalanick’s venture before Uber, a P2P content distribution startup called Red Swoosh, and how that experience would eventually influence what would one day become an expense management giant.
  • Parts 2-5: Upcoming shortly.

Duolingo EC-1


Klaviyo EC-1

Image Credits: Nigel Sussman

  • Part 1: Origin storyHow Klaviyo transformed from a lifestyle business into a $4.15B email titan” (2,600 words/10 minutes) — Explores the rise of Klaviyo from a database for e-commerce data into a modern email powerhouse as it successively learned from customers and bootstrapped in the absence of funding from accelerators and early VCs.
  • Part 2: Business and growthHow Klaviyo used data and no-code to transform owned marketing” (3,000 words/12 minutes) — Analyzes Klaviyo’s recent growth and how marketers increasingly focus on owned marketing channels and customer experience management.
  • Part 3: Dynamics of e-commerce marketingMarketing in 2021 is emotional and not just transactional” (2,200 words/9 minutes) — To fully understand Klaviyo and this new world of martech, this article contextualizes how and why marketers are increasingly trying to personalize and build deeper emotional bonds with their customers outside of social media channels.
  • Part 4: Lessons on startup growthDrama and quirk aren’t necessary for startup success” (1,900 words/8 minutes) — Founders shouldn’t have to keep learning the same lessons over and over again. Klaviyo offers a number of tried-and-true tutorials to understand how to build a competitive startup and not get bogged down in finding product-market fit and scaling.

StockX EC-1

Image Credits: Nigel Sussman

  • Part 1: Origin storyHow StockX became the stock market of hype” (2,500 words / 10 minute reading time) — Investigates how StockX evolved from a basic aggregation of price data into the multibillion dollar juggernaut we see today.
  • Part 2: E-commerce authenticationAuthentication and StockX’s global arms race against fraudsters” (3,700 words / 15 minute reading time) — A deeply nuanced analysis of StockX’s key product of authentication and the challenges of building a trusted market against an onslaught of scammers heavily incentivized to get a fake good sold.
  • Part 3: Competitive and consumer landscape Where StockX fits in the business of sneakers” (2,800 words / 11 minute reading time) — Explores how the company connected buyers and sellers, as well as its long-term impact on both groups.
  • Part 4: Future and impact The consequences of scaling up sneaker culture” (2,700 words / 11 minute reading time) — Looks at how StockX and the changes it has wrought have led to a massive change in the culture of sneakers and what that portends long term.

Tonal EC-1

Image Credits: Nigel Sussman


Virtual Worlds EC-1 (Special Series)

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin


Unity EC-1 (Mini)

NSussman Techcrunch Unity FINAL q1 1

Published later, during the company’s IPO process:


The Kobalt EC-1

Willard Ahdritz - Kobalt

Image: Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch


The Roblox EC-1

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The Niantic EC-1


The Patreon EC-1

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin

  • The Story (2,100 words / 8 minutes) — A look at the hopes and dreams of two founders, the challenges of starting a company, as well as thoughts on fundraising and recruiting.
  • The Product (4,400 words / 18 minutes) — A comprehensive analysis of Patreon’s product strategy and how it has recently refocused on serving creators rather than being a content destination for patrons.
  • The Business (4,900 words / 20 minutes) — A deep dive into the business model, financials, revenues, churn, customer retention, segmentation and other key metrics of Patreon using a wide array of public and private datasets.
  • The Thesis (2,750 words / 11 minutes) — An argument for how Patreon becomes a massive company, exploring the necessary market conditions and steps it will need to take to reach its zenith.
  • The Competition (3,950 words / 16 minutes) — A backgrounder on the myriad threats and competitors targeting Patreon, including social networks like Facebook, vertical subscription platforms, talent agencies, and political controversy.
  • Reading Guide (2,050 words / 8 minutes) — A bonus annotated guide to the news articles, analyses, videos, and data about Patreon that have been posted in the past and are worth referencing if you would like to research the company further.
  • The Future and Exit Analysis (2,700 words / 11 minutes) — A final analysis of what the future holds for Patreon, as well as the potential acquirers and the hypothetical math of an IPO.