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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for Friday, February 4, 2022! The TechCrunch team is getting pretty stoked for our 2022 slate of live and online events. Equity and Found are hosting live tapings – for which I can confirm that tech checks are underway – and we’ve got Early Stage coming in short order. It’s going to be, if I may, a party. – Alex
The TechCrunch Top 3
- The public cloud keeps winning: The Big Tech companies with public clouds did well in the recent earnings cycle. Microsoft, Alphabet and Amazon, that’s to say. The latest data on the cloud market makes it plain why – cloud is big business, software-market equity repricings aside. (More on Google Cloud here, in case you want a dive into the numbers. Ron’s been all over the cloud beat.)
- Insurtech venture funding soars as insurtech stocks sour: Last year was perhaps the best year ever for fundraising for insurtech startups. It was also a reckoning year for insurtech companies that went public in the last year or so. TechCrunch, in the first of a two-part series, digs into what’s going on and what good news can be found.
- How to reform coding bootcamps: TechCrunch’s Natasha Mascarenhas has a great look at the world of teaching folks to code in rapid fashion. She told me earlier today that “edtech is always in search of a magic metric, one that encompasses outcomes, engagement and, heck, even fun. But in the world of coding bootcamps, which have been scrutinized over lack of efficacy, is it time to ditch the old way of tracking success?” Enjoy!
- The latest from France: Fintech upstart Numeral wants to update corporate banking by “using a modern application programming interface” that will allow its customers to connect “directly to bank servers to upload payment files and interact with outdated information systems.” In short, it’s turning discrete banking services into microservices. I dig it.
- Been reading more French startup news in the last few quarters? Here’s why. Romain, Anna and others have done a great job keeping our eyes on the country.
- Artisanal Ventures raises $62M: Looking to invest in the competitive B2B SaaS startup market, Artisanal Ventures’ first fund is “backed by more than 50 founders and senior executives,” which could provide it with some leverage for its portfolio companies inside major companies. Let’s see if that edge gets it into the right deals.
- Another €30M for Marathon Venture Capital: Based in Athens, Marathon just stacked extra chips for its investing activities. The addition to its latest fund comes after the firm first raised €40 million for its second fund’s first close.
- Drama at BharatPe: The Tiger-backed Indian fintech company is seeing turmoil in its leadership, with co-founder and managing director Ashneer Grover asking its board “for the removal of chief executive Suhail Sameer” from the leadership group at the company. Throw in the tea from Better.com, Bolt and other firms, and 2022 is shaping up to be a year of tech drama. Why? A lot of companies raised a lot of money, and not all of them are going to manage to make it at those prices. So expect to see more of this, not less, as time rolls along.
- And to close us off, if you want to know which funding rounds stood out to us this week, Equity has you covered. We also talked about cute robots!
How to organize and execute an effective hybrid sales kickoff event in 2022
One recent survey of sales and marketing professionals found that only half of respondents said they were likely to attend an event in H1 2022.
Traditionally, companies hold in-person sales kickoffs (SKOs) in January and February to brief sales teams about new products and devise strategies. Today, those convention centers and hotel ballrooms are dark and quiet.
Hybrid events won’t give teams a chance to bond over karaoke, but with a tight agenda and a compelling theme, you can create a virtual or hybrid SKO that people will actually want to attend.
If you lead a sales team, this post shares strategies for finding a theme that reflects your goals, as well as advice on scheduling and tips on ways to express your company culture.
Even if your team is spread across several time zones, there’s still time to grab a sandwich and network, and Zoom karaoke counts as team-building.
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
- Why is there no Spotify HiFi? The leading music streaming business in the world has yet to roll out a higher-priced, higher-quality tier to its service. Why? Licensing, it appears. Which is a somewhat strange answer. Spotify is part-owned by labels, and it has huge market clout. Why can’t it get this done?
- Personal space comes to Meta: This is going to be an odd blurb, but roll with me. Meta, Facebook’s parent company, is rolling out anti-harassment tools to Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues, its metaverse properties. So, if that applies to you, good news.
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