‘Winter could be longer’ because unicorns won’t accept downgrades, says SoftBank executive – TechCrunch

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TechCrunch Top 3

  • Brrr, it’s cold in here: Manish writes that a “venture capital winter” will last a little longer, according to SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son. It’s kind of interesting, though, that a firm often known for pouring large amounts of capital into companies, cough, WeWork, cough, seems shocked that companies aren’t willing to give up big valuations when they’re out raising new funding. Meanwhile, Alex offers his opinion in a TechCrunch+ op-ed looking at SoftBank’s Vision Fund losses.
  • Hook, line, but hopefully no sinker: Twilio confirmed that hackers gained unauthorized access to company login information under the guise of telling employees that their passwords had expired, Carly reports.
  • Another big private equity deal: Vista Equity Partners is set to buy automated tax compliance company Avalara in an all-cash deal worth $8.4 billion, Paul write. There have been some other big private equity deals this year, including another acquisition Vista made earlier this year of Citrix and Thoma Bravo’s two of Anaplan and Ping Identity.

Startups and VCs

We had so many incredible things published over the weekend, it’s hard to choose what to include in this Ye Olde Lettre from Neues here.

We loved today’s Equity podcast, “How to Lose Money, SoftBank Edition.” RebeccaThe transport and mobility roundup, the station, was also particularly good, breaking down what’s happening in the land of micromobility and much more. (Also, her update from earlier this week had a lot more information on Cybertruck revenue.)

The collapse of Three Arrows Capital and the counterparties wrapped up in the crypto hedge fund’s troubles have raised questions about the soundness of the fierce digital asset investment space. For industry survivors, watching their rivals fall apart overnight has been an alarming experience. Bitmain’s co-founder welcomes crypto regulation to stabilize things, Rita reports.


  • Entering South Korea cryptically: Singapore-based cryptocurrency platform Crypto.com has acquired two startups in South Korea for an undisclosed amount, Kate reports.
  • Geek+: Your entire inventory belongs to us: Beijing-based warehouse robotics firm Geek+ just raised another $100 million in funding (the company calls it a “Series E1,” whatever that means), Brian reports.
  • Almost office-ially virtual: Kyle reports that Kumospace closed a $21 million Series A, just a year after the company raised $3 million in a seed round, to replace physical offices with virtual ones.
  • Data in, data out: Equalum wants to help companies build data pipelines and closed a $14 million Series C round to help do just that, Kyle reports.
  • You wouldn’t download a solar panel from the internet, would you? Online solar seller for the home bags $23 million, and promises “dramatically lower prices” Harry writes in his latest piece.

3 ways to optimize SaaS sales during a downturn

Decline in SaaS sales strategy

Image credit: Eva Almqvist (opens in new window) / Getty Images

“In a downturn, money saved is worth even more than money earned,” which means SaaS sales strategies should shift from driving growth to helping customers conserve their resources, writes Sahil Mansuri, CEO of Bravado.

“If you can frame your product as a way to increase revenue or cut costs, people will find a budget.”

Mansuri, who started in software sales during the Great Recession, shares several strategies that SaaS startups can use to “tailor your approach, show prospects unexpected opportunities and focus on the money.”

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, helping founders and startup teams get ahead. You can register here.)

Big Tech Inc.

Google is taking Sonos to court again for patent infringement. Ivan writes that two new lawsuits “center around different patents involving keyword detection, loading using ‘technologies invented by Google’ and determining which speaker from a group should respond to the keyword.” Both companies have already won against each other in previous court cases, so we’ll see who the court side with this time.

Get ready for more advertising in your car if you often Lyft. The company has created a new digital advertising business, called Lyft Media, which will put infotainment in cars and promises that some of the ad revenue will go to drivers, Jaclyn reports.

  • “To Public and Back”: Over in TechCrunch+ territory, Ron talks about “long, strange startup journeys” with Ping Identity CEO Andre Durand, whose company, as you may have read above, is now in an acquisition deal with Thoma Bravo after being public for several years.
  • Maybe dry cleaning next time: Carly and Anita paired up to explain what happened at Tornado Cash, which is being sanctioned by the US Treasury after being accused of laundering stolen cryptocurrency.
  • Not for playing games: Netflix is ​​finding no subscriber love in the mobile gaming department. Lauren reports that less than 1% of Netflix subscribers want to play them.
  • Get into my driverless car: Chinese internet giant Baidu is preparing to put its fully driverless commercial robot taxi in Wuhan and Chongqing after securing a permit, Rebecca reports.
  • Climate technology is changing the world: To stay up-to-date on developments across climate technology, AI and more, sign up for the Emerging Tech Brew newsletter for free.

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