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Pear, now nearly 10 years old and with numerous hits, looks to close its biggest fund by far

Pear, a Palo Alto, Ca.-based venture firm that we’ve been tracking since its outset in 2012, looks to be closing in on its fourth fund with $410 million in capital commitments, shows a new SEC filing . It would be a big step up from Pear’s first three funds, which closed progressively with $50 million in 2013, $75 million in 2016, and $160 million in capital commitments in 2019, including from a longtime limited partner, the University of Chicago. Reached for comment, cofounder Pejman Nozad emailed back, “I can’t comment!” Nozad and cofounder Mar Hershenson have long been first-stop for prominent early-stage investors that are looking to fund nascent teams, given the firm has been among the earliest backers in a notable number of companies that have gone to raise ever-bigger rounds and higher valuations, including the now publicly traded companies DoorDash and Guardant Health. Other startups to attract capital from Pear before nearly any other firm was aware of their existence incl

Coinbase’s lost momentum

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Hey everyone, and welcome back to Chain Reaction, In our Chain Reaction podcast this week, Anita and I chatted with Mercedes Bent of Lightspeed Venture Partners on backing blockchain startups and the future of consumer fintech. More details below. Last week, we talked about the how the crypto industry needs to take a moment to reflect on buying the love of its followers. This week, we’re looking at the unhappy misfortunes of America’s favorite public crypto company To get this newsletter in your inbox every Thursday, you can subscribe on TechCrunch’s newsletter page. Image Credits: Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images the hottest take Though crypto markets have been relatively stable since last week’s bombastic dump-o-rama, gloom was on the menu this week for institutional investors and retail buyers prophesying crypto winters falling upon all ye households for the next several years. The message from VCs to crypto startups and mega corps alike was “cut the fat” — a statement

Why founders should start talking now to bankers and potential buyers

Founders have gotten the memo that the ground is shifting under their feet right now. What to do about it is the question. Already, teams are making plans to scale back their spending to preserve capital. They’re making painful staff cuts toward that same end — or else instituting hiring freezes. But they should also be thinking a lot harder about building relationships with bankers and the larger companies that might conceivably be interested in acquiring their startup, says two attorneys who work on both the ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ side of transactions, with both large companies and venture-backed outfits, and who both have more than 20 years of experience. Indeed, to better understand some of the options founders may have, we talked earlier today with Denny Kwon and Scott Anthony, both of whom represent the white shoe law firm Covington & Burling (where former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is also an attorney). They answered a range of questions that we thought startups might be

COVID was the best thing for Kitty, as insurance apps for pets boom

Technology turned out to be a boon for pets during the pandemic. Without ready access to vets, pet owners turned to mobile apps to keep track on their pet’s health, often via educational content, and in some cases that was linked to insurance providers. The behavior has lit up the VC world as startups roll out these relatively simple ups which turn out to be big money-spinners when this insurance angle is attached. This is why pet app and insurance provider Lassie has today closed an €11m Series A round led by Felix Capital. Also participating were existing investors Inventure and Passion Capital, as well as prominent angels such as Josefin Landgård (co-founder KRY & Mantle), Fredrik & Caroline Hjelm (VOI siblings) and Karl-Johan Persson (Chair H&M). The proceeds will be used to scale the business beyond its home base of Sweden. Some seven in 10 pet parents take their pet’s physical and mental health more seriously than their own, so Lassie’s pitch is that it reduces not

Leanplum acquired by Clevertap as retention marketing platforms consolidate

CleverTap , a retention marketing platform which has raised $76.6M to date, is to fully acquire Bulgarian-originated but San Francisco-based Leanplum , a customer engagement platform which has raised $131.2M, for an undisclosed amount. The news was broken by South Eastern European startup news site The Recursive . Sunil Thomas, CleverTap Cofounder and Executive Chairman said: “Like many private company transactions we are not disclosing the price and terms of the acquisition. This is a cash and stock transaction that is being funded by internal accrual and CleverTap stock.” The deal is expected to close in Q2 of 2022. The most recent Series D investors in Leanplum included LAUNCHub Ventures, Shasta Ventures, Canaan Partners, and Kleiner Perkins. This acquisition will give more global reach to CleverTap, with development centers and customer-facing teams across North America, Europe, Latin America, India, South East Asia and the Middle East. The company says it now has a total custom

Daily Crunch: ‘Things don’t look good’: Y Combinator sends founders a 10-point survival strategy

Thursday May 19, 2022, and it’s the last day of our in-person Mobility event. Tomorrow we take the journey to the mean streets of the world wide web, and you can still join us virtually ! — Haje and Christine The TechCrunch Top 3 Tl;dr : We know you don’t have 32 minutes to read Meta global affairs president’s new manifesto, so Natasha skim-read it for you. In short, the future of the metaverse, excuse us, “metaverse spaces,” is uncertain, complicated and needs a truckload of developers to do it. We also still don’t have the 411 on how Meta plans to make money in the metaverse, particularly, as Natasha points out, since the company does a lot of tracking and profiling. That may come in Nick Clegg’s next manifesto. We’re here for it. What happens when a vertical farming company cracks the code? : Spoiler alert, it’s delicious! Oishii started out selling strawberries from its New Jersey facility at $50 for eight to 11 berries, and with a new facility up and running, the company is

Swyft Cities is the winner of the TechCrunch Sessions: Mobility 2022 pitch-off!

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TechCrunch is excited to announce Swyft Cities won the TechCrunch Sessions: Mobility 2022 pitch-off and is fast-tracked into the Battlefield 200 at TechCrunch Disrupt in October. Beyond Aero is runner-up. The Mountain View-based company is committed to improving transportation through the use of autonomous, lightweight, fixed-cable vehicles. The company says that its solution offers a lower cost per mile with fewer carbon emissions than conventional transportation alternatives. Swyft sees this as a new form of urban mobility that can solve transportation problems in densely developed areas, including corporate campuses, airports, universities and tourism districts. The platform is novel in that the vehicles move on a stationary cable, allowing for new connections that can be added when needed. This adds capacity into an area, allowing higher density and more profitable developments. It also reduces costs on parking and traffic mitigation. In some areas, providing connections withi

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