Daily Crunch: As tech stocks lose their luster, SPACs are on the rise

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Welcome back to Daily Crunch. You look great today!

From our perch, it’s fascinating to watch the exit market for startups wax and wane this year. And change it has. After kicking off with a blistering pace in early 2021 before succumbing to what felt like a sudden cold snap, it appears that the public markets are once again welcoming startups to their rosters.

At least that’s what venture-backed digital mortgage unicorn Better.com hopes. And media companies BuzzFeed, Vice, and the artist formerly known as Bustle. Tech stocks might be losing ground, but the demand for unicorn liquidity appears to be winning out over caution. -- Alex

TechCrunch Top 3

Startups and VC

The world of startups has become so very broad that it’s a bit bonkers to try and cut down on the total news volume each day for this newsletter. So what follows is a sampling of what we published today concerning the upstart economy:

Blockchain credit ratings and NFTs and consumer gaming hardware and AR-tech for techs and fintech? It’s a busy startup market out there.

SaaS companies can grow to $20M+ ARR by selling exclusively to developers

Before Twilio had a market cap approaching $56 billion and more than 200,000 customers, the cloud-communications platform developed a secret sauce to fuel its growth: a developer-focused model that dispensed with traditional marketing rules.

Software companies that sell directly to end users share a simple framework for managing growth that leverages discoverability, desirability and do-ability (the "aha!" moment).

Data show that traditional marketing doesn't work on developers; to create and sell software to developers at scale, you'll need to toss that B2B playbook and meet customers where they are.

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Big Tech Inc.

Turning at last to the largest companies in the world of tech, the public-market giants, here’s the latest:

  • Samsung is out of MWC in-person events: If you really wanted to see new Samsung hardware at MWC this year, tough, though I am not sure how many of you that impacts. Virtual events, everyone, are here to stay. Who has time to fly to a different country to sit in a chair and type?

  • Jumia’s long-bet on African e-commerce continues to post modest improvement: E-commerce and shipping company Jumia is still figuring out its model as its market evolves. It had a tough COVID, but there are some signs of life from the public concern.

  • Uber and Lyft want to help you get a vaccine: American ride-hailing companies are stepping up to get folks to a vaccine site. Which is good. Let’s hope that every ride-hailing company does this as, you know, vaccines work and COVID-19 is bad.

  • YouTube tries to buy TikTok love: Do you know what is almost as good as having huge viral traction and a huge hook into popular culture like TikTok? Dropping $100 million to pay people to populate your platform with original content. Yeesh.

  • Google gets into remittances: Google wants you to send money to other countries using its GPay. Two things: One, it’s called GPay? How have I never heard of it? And, second, it didn’t already do this? Big Search is teaming up with the ever-loved Western Union on the project. Wise is also helping out.


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