December 9, 2023

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A few nights ago a robotic taxi drove me home, and it was fine.

As it took me through Golden Gate Park at 23 mph (slowing down by 6 mph for every speed bump), I felt like a packet of information being delivered over a network.

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Since our last Robotics Investor Survey in February 2020, Figma emerged from stealth with its bipedal humanoid robot, and Boston Dynamics’ Atlas became a parkour expert.

Autonomous tractors, semi trucks and warehouse restocking bots have moved from concept to reality. Is Robotics Mainstream Now?

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“The time in between has certainly been the most important year for the sector,” writes hardware editor Brian Heiter, who interviewed 13 investors on a range of topics, including robotics as a service, emerging consumer products and what role it could play in the future. asked about. In addressing climate change:

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Milo Werner, General Partner, The Engine Abe Murray, Managing Partner, Elle Robotics Ventures Kelly Chen, Partner, DCVC Neil Mehta, Venture Investor, G2 Ventures Oliver Keon, Managing Director, Intuitive Ventures Rohit Sharma, Partner, True Ventures Helen Greiner, Advisor , Cybernetics Ventures Kira Noodleman, Partner, B Ventures Dayna Grayson, Co-Founder and General Partner, Construct Capital Paul Willard, Partner, Grape Cyril Ebersweiler, General Partner, SOSV Claire Delaunay, Private Investor Peter Barrett, Co-Founder and General Partner, playground global

Thank you so much for reading TC+ this week!

walter thompson
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+

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Two TechCrunch podcasts, Chain Reaction and Found, have each been nominated for Webby Awards in the Best Technology Podcast category.

Cast Your Vote Before Thursday, April 20!

4 SaaS Engagement Metrics That Attract Investors

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Past performance doesn’t always predict future results, but it’s the best place to start to find customer retention statistics that have investor appeal.

According to Oleksandr Yaroshenko, head of investments and strategy at edtech startup Headway, engagement rates for existing customers are “the best predictor for re-subscribing.”

In this post, he explores the Gamification strategy and shares ideas for creating a “Golden Cohort” that represents your target audience.

Ask Sophie: How Many Employment Green Cards Are Available Each Year?
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dear sophie,

I’m trying to figure out how long I have to wait for a green card.

I have two questions for you: How many employment green cards are available in each category each year? How do I understand the Visa Bulletin?

standing in san jose

Secondary market trackers are illuminating a traditionally dark deal environment
secondary, startup, opaque transaction market

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Startup Valuations Are Low, But By How Much?

Rather than waiting for founders to raise their next fundraising round, savvy players are looking to secondary markets, “where investors can buy and sell an existing stake in a startup or fund,” Rebecca Szkutak reports.

These deals have traditionally been harder to track than “primary venture capital deals” like Caplight, Notice, Birel and Hive Markets, because they typically aren’t announced, but a new raft of startups are shedding light on them. Is.”

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“I was amazed at how fragmented and busted the data was, even as a broker who was active every day,” said Tyson Hendrickson, founder of Notice. “It was really difficult to figure out what was happening.”

VCs still think work software is a wise investment
Female project manager using Gantt chart schedule to organize tasks and update plan on computer screen with software

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As employers and employees come to grips with the new reality of remote and hybrid offices, investors are continuing to fund startups that produce work software, according to a Deloitte report released this week.

Kyle Vigers says several trends are fueling VC interest in the future of work: In a down market, investors are looking for sustainable growth, “which[s] To be found among long-standing, ironclad business-to-business contracts for software tool suites.

MassMutual Launches $100M Fund to Invest in Diverse Founders
Woman in red suit moving a bar graph surrounded by development and finance symbols

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Two years after launching its first $50 million MM Catalyst Fund to support diverse founders, insurance company MassMutual is doubling down.

Dominique-Madori Davis interviews Liz Roberts, the company’s Head of Impact Investments, to learn more about their new $100 million Impact Fund and discuss how past money has been allocated.

“We wish more peers would invest with us with this kind of thesis and understanding,” Roberts said. “We are too small in a big opportunity.”

Pitch Deck Teardown: Diamond Standard’s $30M Series A Deck

Image credits: Diamond Standard (Opens in a new window)

Diamond Standard raised a $30 million Series A for its blockchain-based investment platform last year and shared its 11-slide deck with TechCrunch+:

Cover and Mission Slides Summary Slides Solution Slides (“Introduction to the Smart Commodity”) Problem Slides (“Diamonds are severely underallocated”) Market Opportunities (marked as slide 4 on the deck) Roadmap Slides (“How We Commodity Diamonds”) on deck Slide 5) Product Slide 1 (“Diamond Standard Exchange”) Product Slide 2 (“Diamond Standard Recycling”) ESG Slide (“Diamonds are a Powerful ESG Investment”) Founder Slide Organization Slide CEFI and regulation on the face of DeFi

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Will the FTX Debacle Trigger a Regulatory Clampdown Across Crypto?

“Most expect the worst,” says Ira Lamm, chief legal officer at Superlayer. “A reactive sweeping crackdown on all aspects of crypto designed to protect the public from future bad actors appears imminent.”

In this detailed market analysis, Lam explores the differences between decentralized and centralized finance systems, looking at the different ways risk manifests itself in each environment.

“While it may be a long time until we see significant movement towards consumer safety in crypto, one thing is certain: CeFi and DeFi cannot exist without each other.”

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