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Report: Stripe tried to raise more funding at a $55B-$60B valuation

When payments giant Stripe raised $600 million at a $95 billion valuation in 2021, it made headlines for raising capital at the highest-ever valuation for a privately-held startup. Defending that valuation appears to be challenging. The fintech company has reportedly approached investors about raising more capital — at least $2 billion — at a valuation of $55 billion to $60 billion. According to the Wall Street Journal , Stripe would not use the money toward operating expenses but rather to cover a large annual tax bill associated with employee stock units. It is not clear if any discussions are ongoing. That information came to light on the same day that Stripe was said to have told employees that it had set a 12-month deadline for itself to either go public or pursue a transaction on the private market. TechCrunch has reached out to Stripe for comment but had not heard back as of press time. The news comes after several months of apparent struggles at Stripe. In November,

How African startups raised venture capital in 2022

Earlier this month, we reported that investors’ sentiments surrounding venture capital activity going into this were more reserved than upbeat. Investors believe the market correction, which caught up with the continent in the second half of 2022, will spiral into this year. But before that, there was shared optimism that African startups would raise more VC funding last year than in 2021 when the continent, for the first time, passed the $4-5 billion threshold.  There was reason to believe so. For one thing, by the first half of 2022, A frica seemed to defy the global venture funding decline after its startups raised $3 billion, double the amount secured over a similar period the previous year; therefore, a twofold increase by December seemed plausible.  It didn’t turn out as expected, as equity deals on the continent by the end of the year hovered around $4.8-$5.4 billion, per insights from data trackers Briter Bridges , Partech and The Big Deal , with slight percentage difference

4 practical steps for using no-code to evolve your prototype to an MVP

Katherine Kostereva Contributor Share on Twitter Katherine Kostereva is CEO and managing partner of Creatio , which provides a low-code platform for automating workfolws and CRM. More posts by this contributor 3 steps to ease the transition to a no-code company The age-old adage of “doing more with less” is particularly critical advice for both startups and enterprises right now. Venture funding has hit its lowest point in two years, which means startups must now focus on making hard decisions about how to utilize their limited budgets. Enterprises are likewise tightening their belts as customers feel the impact of inflation and prepare for an uncertain economy. What’s more, we are facing a global talent shortage that further puts pressure on an already constrained software developer pool. No-code development tools could not have come at a better time. By democratizing the ability to develop software through visual, drag-and-drop tools, no-code enables a range of no

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone joins board of audiovisual startup Chroma

Chroma , a startup working to build a new type of audiovisual entertainment specifically for mobile devices, is now adding a Twitter co-founder to its board. The company announced today that Twitter and Medium co-founder Biz Stone, previously an angel investor in Chroma alongside Pinterest’s founders, will join the company’s board of directors to contribute his expertise in areas like design, product development, filmmaking, and scaling brands. An early Google employee, Stone worked on the Blogger team after its acquisition, ahead of helping co-found Twitter in 2006. He remained with Twitter for a number of years as the company grew to become adopted by millions of users worldwide. In 2011 , as Twitter hit the 100 million active users mark, the entrepreneur left to pursue new projects with Obvious Corporation , a startup incubator and investment vehicle that had included fellow Twitter co-founder Evan Williams and former Twitter exec Jason Goldman. The venture most notably incubated

Chrome for Android now lets you lock your incognito session

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Chrome is rolling out an update for Android users that lets them lock their incognito sessions with a password code or biometric info when they exit the app. The feature has been available for iOS users for some time, but now it’s being made available to folks using Chrome on Android. Users can activate this feature by going to Chrome Settings > Privacy & Security and turning on the “Lock incognito tabs when you close Chrome” toggle. So next time when a user exits Chrome, their incognito session will automatically be locked. To unlock the incognito tabs, you can use the biometric unlock on the phone such as a fingerprint unlock or lock code. Image Credits: Chrome This feature works well when searching for a topic that you don’t want to appear in your recommendations or history. Because Google has just started rolling out the feature, it is possible that the update might not be available for you even if you are using the latest version. In that case, you can type in “chro

Daily Crunch: Berlin-based design platform Kittl raises $11.6M Series A to take on Adobe and Canva

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To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3 p.m. PST, subscribe here . Did you know you can buy 3D printed key caps to replace, say, your escape key with a cat? Today, that’s our delightful little morsel of whimsy, courtesy of Frederic ’s review of a new keyboard (scroll all the way to the bottom for a photo of the adorable little kitteh). — Christine and Haje The TechCrunch Top 3 Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery : Mike writes that Kittl is carving out a piece of the graphics world dominated by giants like Canva and Adobe, raising $11.6 million in Series A capital for its design platform that it says “easily turns ideas into graphic products” without the tough learning curve of other platforms. This startup is turning up the heat : European smart thermostat startup Tado was planning to go public, but instead went after another round of funding, gathering up $46.9 million as it pursues profitability. Paul

Hands on with Walmart’s new (but buggy) ‘Text to Shop’ feature

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Walmart recently introduced a new way to shop: via text. Last month, the retail giant launched its “Text to Shop” experience which allows mobile consumers across both iOS and Android devices to text Walmart the items they want to purchase from either their local stores or Walmart.com, or easily reorder items for pickup, delivery, or shipping. However, the chat experience as it stands today does not come across as fully baked, our tests found. The chatbot said confusing things and the user interface at times was difficult to navigate, despite aiming to be a simpler, text-based shopping experience. Conversational commerce, or shopping via text, is an area that’s been seeing increased investment over the past couple of years with numerous startups entering the market . Walmart, too, has connections with this space, as its former head of U.S. e-commerce Marc Lore backed a conversational commerce startup , Wizard. And Walmart itself acquired assets from a design tool called Botmock which

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