Home / SmartTech / Edtech funding boosts, VC survey in Poland, as part of Shift’s SPAC plan, more – TechCrunch

Edtech funding boosts, VC survey in Poland, as part of Shift’s SPAC plan, more – TechCrunch

I live in San Francisco, but I’m working on an east coast plan to get a dip in news day. So I had already been at my desk for a couple of hours on Wednesday morning when I looked up and saw:

As unsettling as it was to see the natural environment so changed, I still got my job done. There’s no boasting: I have a desk job and a working air filter. (However, people who deliver in the toxic air or homeschool their kids while working from home during a global pandemic impress me the hell.)

It is no coincidence that two of the Extra Crunch stories published since our Tuesday newsletter are directly related to what is going on outside my window:

As this guest post predicted, a sub-optimal attempt to track a delayed package using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) actually poisoned my customer experience.

Protection from the novel coronavirus ̵

1; and devastating smoke – is driving growth in the video game industry, perhaps a factor for Unity Software Inc.’s plan to go public before competitor Epic Games. In a two-part series, we examined how the company grew beyond games and released a detailed financial breakdown.

We have done a lot this week. So scroll down or check out the recently redesigned Extra Crunch homepage. If you would like to receive this summary by email every Tuesday and Friday, please click here.

Thank you for reading Extra Crunch; I hope you have a relaxing and safe weekend.

Walter Thompson
@ Your protagonist

Unity Game Engine concept by Nigel Sussman

Credit: Nigel Sussman (opens in a new window)

In a two-part series that aired on TechCrunch and Extra Crunch, former media columnist Eric Peckham returned to share his analysis of Unity Software Inc.’s S-1 filing.

Part one is a deep dive that explains how the company has grown beyond gambling to open up multiple sources of income, and where it’s going.

For the second part of Extra Crunch, he examined the company’s numbers to provide context for the valuation of roughly $ 11 billion.

The Palace of Culture and Science is a constant reminder of communism in Warsaw, Masovian Voivodeship, Poland.

Credit: Edwin Remsberg (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

As mentioned earlier, the COVID-19 pandemic is making the world a lot smaller.

Investors focused on their own backyards still have an advantage, but the option of setting up a quick coffee meeting with a promising investor is no longer one of them.

Although some VCs cut initial checks after Zoom calls, personal networks of regional investors are still a trump card. However, tourists will always rely on guides, which is why we continue to survey investors around the world.

A dealroom report released this summer found that 97 VC funds supported more than 1,600 financing rounds in Poland over the past year. With over 2,400 early and late stage startups and 400,000 engineers in the country, it’s easy to see why foreign investors are drawing attention to themselves.

Editor-in-chief Mike Butcher reached out to several investors focused on Warsaw and Poland in general to learn more about the startups that are piquing their interest in fintech, gaming, security, and other sectors:

  • Bryony Cooper, Managing Partner, Arkley Brinc VC
  • Anna Wnuk-Błażejczyk, Investor Relations Manager, Experior.vc
  • Rafał Roszak, YouNick Mint Investment Director
  • Michal Mroczkowski, Partner at Market One Capital
  • Marcus Erken, Partner, Sunfish Partners
  • Borys Musielak, partner at SMOK Ventures
  • Mathias Åsberg, partner at Nextgrid
  • Kuba Dudek, SpeedUp Venture Capital Group
  • Marcin Laczynski, partner at Next Road Ventures
  • Michał Rokosz, partner at Inovo Venture Partners

We’ll be completing his survey next Tuesday.

Customer relationship management and leader concepts on whiteboard

Credit: cnythzl (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Even for young startups, creating a robust customer service channel – or at least one that doesn’t bother people – is a reliable way to keep users in the sales funnel.

The use of AI and automation is fine, but now that consumers are used to asking phones and smart speakers to predict the weather and read recipe instructions, their expectations are higher than ever.

If you’re looking to find out what users are looking for in hyper-personalized customer experiences and how you can operationalize AI to give them what they’re looking for, start here.

Credit: Nigel Sussman (opens in a new window)

For today’s edition of The Exchange, Natasha Mascarenhas and Alex Wilhelm examined how the pandemic-triggered rise in interest in edtech is manifesting itself on the financing front.

The numbers suggest funding will far exceed the sector’s high water mark set in 2018. So, the duo examined the numbers through August 31, including a series of mega-rounds that exceeded $ 100 million.

“Now the challenge for the sector will be to keep its growth alive in 2021 and show investors that their 2020 bets weren’t made in just one overheated year,” they conclude.

Digital binary code on a red background.  Cybercrime Concept

Credit: WhataWin (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Chances are, someone will walk into my house and steal my things. I still lock my door when I leave the house and my valuables are insured. I am an optimist, not a fool.

Similarly, is your startup’s cybersecurity strategy based on optimism or do you have an actual response plan in the event of a data breach?

Security reporter Zack Whittaker has seen some shambolic reactions to security breaches, which is why he filed an autopsy on a company that got it right.

“Every now and then, a company’s reaction almost balances the daily barrage of hypocrisy, cover-up, and outright lies,” says Zack.

Number 6 on railroad tracks at sunset

Credit: Eric Burger / EyeEm (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

There is a lot of buzz these days about special-purpose acquisition companies.

The used car market Shift announced its SPAC in June 2020 and is well on its way to completing the process in the next few months. So, co-founder / co-CEO George Arison wrote a guest post on Extra Crunch to share his findings.

Step one: “If you choose SPAC, you have to become an expert in financial engineering.”

Credit: Sophie Alcorn

Dear Sophie:

I’m a software engineer and I’ve looked at job postings in the United States that I heard from my friends through J-1 Visa Training or J-1 Research.

What is a J-1 status? What are the requirements to qualify? Do I need to find a U.S. employer willing to sponsor me before applying for one? Can I get a visa? How long could i stay

– Determined in Delhi


Credit: Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

While we’re counting to the premiere on September 23 of NYSE: PLTRDanny Crichton looked at the “resilient secondary market” that has allowed some investors to buy stocks early.

“Given the number of people involved and the number of shares bought and sold over the past 18 months, we can get a glimpse of how insiders perceive the value of Palantir,” he writes.

Vector illustration of padlocks and keys in a repeating pattern against a blue background.

Credit: JakeOlimb / Getty Images

Zack Whittaker interviewed Bugcrowd CTO, Founder and Chairman Casey Ellis, about the best practices he recommends for creating a startup culture that takes security seriously.

“It’s a problem for everyone,” said Ellis, who encouraged the founders to promote the term “productive paranoia”.

Now that the threat area spans everyone from marketing to engineering, employees need to “internalize the fact that bad things can and do happen when you get it wrong,” said Ellis.

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