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Why, hello, Crunchers! We are very excited to tell you that today is Thursday! How fantastically exciting.
In TC+, He came has been hard at work trying to create the Perfect Pitch Deck. Oh, and European startups – here’s your chance to pitch in the Startup Battlefield 200!
The TechCrunch Top 3
- “Side missions are always distracting”: Here’s what Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke had to say today when he talked about why Shopify had to cut its workforce by 20%. He also talked about “main quests”, which is another video game analogy in case you were wondering. Oh, and Shopify also sold its logistics business to Flexport. peace has more deets In the meantime, darrell also has some reflections.
- AI knew this was coming: Microsoft is planning its next set of features for Bing, and not surprisingly, they include AI. Despite this, Kyle he writes that, “they don’t reinvent the wheel so much as build on what Microsoft has injected into the Bing experience over the past three months or so.”
- written in the stars: Kyle also wrote about Hugging Face and ServiceNow launching StarCoder, a free alternative to DeepMind’s AlphaCode, Amazon’s CodeWhisperer, and OpenAI’s Codex code generation models.
Startups and VCs
In an indication that investment in the supply chain industry remains robust, Pando, a startup developing compliance management technologies, today announced that it has raised $30 million in a Series B round, bringing bringing its total collected to 45 million. Kyle reports
Tellus, an Andreessen Horowitz-backed fintech company that says it can offer people higher returns on their savings balances by using that money to finance certain US single-family home loans, is under control of the US government. Senate Banking Chairman Urges FDIC to Investigate Company, Maria Ann reports
And we have five more for you:
Acquisition, Retention, Expansion: Why SaaS Founders Need to Understand GDR and NDR
Investors have raised their expectations about SaaS profitability and growth since the downturn began. As a result, it’s even more important for founders to have a firm handle on the key metrics VCs consider before saying yes or no.
In his latest TC+ article, Paris Heymann (Partner, Index Ventures) shares formulas for calculating Gross Dollar Retention and Net Dollar Retention, KPIs that provide deep insight into the health of your business.
“Predictable companies are more durable, easier to manage, and typically rewarded with higher valuations than unpredictable ones,” Heymann writes.
Three more from the TC+ team:
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Big Tech Inc.
Ron covered the Salesforce World Tour event this week and learned more about Slack’s plan to put AI at the heart of the user experience. He writes that examples include helping someone get the gist of a long thread without having to read every message and generate messages. We can’t wait until the technology for telepathy gets better, so we can just think and Slack write a message.
Dallas, Texas found itself in a mess, confirming that a ransomware attack forced the city to close courthouses and disrupt some 911 services while the mess was fixed. Carly themes.
And we have five more for you:
Shopify, the popular e-commerce platform, has recently announced that they are laying off 20% of its staff and selling its logistics arm to Flexport, a global freight forwarder and customs broker. This news follows the same announcement from Microsoft that it would be cutting thousands of jobs.
The restructuring of Shopify is part of the company’s plans for reducing costs in light of the economic struggles caused by the coronavirus pandemic. With its logistics arm now going to Flexport, Shopify will no longer offer its own logistics services, though the company does plan to offer partnerships with third-party logistics providers.
Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke said the layoffs will “take to heart” the responsibility the company has to make sure everyone is working on valuable projects that drive the business forward. He added that they are sorry to lose members of the Shopify family.
The sale of Shopify’s logistics arm to Flexport is a sign of the times, as the pandemic has caused a sharp decline in consumer spending and a widespread slowdown in the tech sector. But, despite the cuts, Shopify is still a major player in e-commerce and remains the go-to choice of merchants who want to sell products online.
At Ikaroa, we have seen many of our customers turn to Shopify in order to take advantage of its highly customizable store, secure payment processing and product inventory management. We’re in close contact with Shopify and are monitoring the situation to ensure our customers are not impacted. We are also looking at ways to leverage the new services from Flexport to expand our services.