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It’s Thursday 12 May, so have a nice Friday evening. Congratulations to the “GoogleCrunch” team, who wrote about 28 stories yesterday to cover Google I/O. You can catch all the Googliness here. hi enjoy a few days off, and I’m afraid you now know who the funny one is. See you tomorrow! † Christine
The MovieUpdates Top 3
- Twitter executives leave: The Twitter saga has entered a new chapter today, though unsurprisingly given what’s going on: some of its key executives, including Consumer GM Kayvon Beykpour and Revenue Product Lead Bruce Falck, were told by current CEO Parag Agrawal that their services are no longer required. We’ll keep an eye on this – there will probably be more.
- SoftBank delay: Just as we saw yesterday with Tiger Global, as one commentator of the story put it, “The pandemic is really forcing us to re-evaluate every decision.” One such example is that SoftBank said it could cut investment in startups by more than half in the coming fiscal year.
- Terra back on track† Jacquelyn keeps up to date with the latest TerraUSD news and reports that Terraform Labs resumed its blockchain production after being on hiatus for a while. This follows the “Terra ecosystem meltdown this week” that brought down its stablecoin, UST and the rest of the cryptocurrency market. In the meantime, Alex delved into how great venture capital investments for crypto startups went in the first quarter, before “everything went to hell,” as he put it. Indeed, “crypto winter is coming”, and if you want to know more, check out today’s Chain Reaction podcast.
Startups and VC
- Let’s start with some M&A news, okay? After outsourcing the digital identity verification, Checkout.com decided to bring that function in-house with the acquisition of Ubble. While the terms of the deal have not been disclosed, Checkout.com can certainly afford it after raising $1 billion in funding in January. Meanwhile, desktop 3D printing companies MakerBot and Ultimaker have decided to make it official, tying the knot in a merger that will spawn MakerBot from parent company Stratasys. And on the other side of the pond, Nexi boasted Orderbird, a startup that provides point-of-sale services to restaurants and other hospitality businesses — a big market right now.
- Show me the money: While the provision of financial services is hot in Latin America, paying in Africa appears to be where it belongs. Interswitch has been doing a big round today as it looks set to expand across the continent.
- Calling all customers: Customer service requests came quickly and furiously as most stores have gone online in the past two years. Implementing tools to help was not something small businesses could do because of the complexity of adding a technical layer. That’s where Tidio comes in. Automated customer service offerings help businesses get up and running quickly, take on repetitive tasks, and keep up with customers who make frequent calls.
- Brazilian fintech now valued at $1.5 billion: Helping companies offer their own financial services continues to be hot, hot, hot in Latin America. Dock is the latest company to see the fruits of its labors, raising $110 million. It now manages over 65 million active accounts.
When and how do you hire your startup’s first growth marketer?
Emotion and intuition often drive many hires within early stage startups, but when a company reaches product-to-market fit and finds its target audience, “it indicates that hiring a growth marketer allows your efforts to scale much faster than without. a,” says Jonathan Martinez, who has helped scale companies like Chime, Uber, and Postmates.
In a TC+ post, Martinez explains how to identify the right hire for growth, what traits to look for, and how to set clear expectations and milestones once they’re on board.
“Priority tasks should include setting up a growth technology stack, creating a test roadmap to find the most efficient growth levers, and robust creative and copy testing in the first 90 days.”
(MovieUpdates+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)