Before the pandemic, Expensify made remote working cool and profitable – TechCrunch


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Welcome to Daily Crunch for May 25, 2021. Whether you’re a developer, startup fanatic, or just someone with the urge to travel, we’ve got something for everyone today. Well, except for the disappointed Lordstown Motors investors. They’re stuck holding the bag today after the U.S. electric vehicle company announced a pretty awful profit package.

But for the rest of us, there’s a lot of tech and startup news to enjoy. Let’s go! – Alex

TechCrunch’s top 3

  • TechCrunch’s Deep Dive Into Expensify Continues: Ahead of its IPO, TechCrunch takes a look at Expensify’s growth from startup to unicorn, with our latest entry discussing how the company ditched its “Silicon Valley arrogance” to go global.
  • $ 300 million for vertical agriculture: The startups shaking up the farming world are no longer a surprising idea, but the recent Bowery Farms tour made us sit down and take note. The company is now worth $ 2.3 billion and its “vertically grown products are now available in 850 grocery stores.”
  • The global venture capital march continues: New data from Africa indicates that the continent’s historically lagging venture capital performance is making up for lost time. Tagus Kene-Okafor reports that VC activity in Africa could reach “between $ 2.25 billion and $ 2.8 billion” this year. It would be a new record.

Startups and VC

$ 26 million for Airbyte, which strives to better connect data where it’s needed: Having data is one thing, but startups are not only starting to launch storage data, but also how it’s ingested (Monte Carlo is working on this), and making sure it gets moved where it’s needed. That’s where Airbyte comes in. And the company’s latest spin comes just months after raising a $ 5.6 million seed deal.

We asked for ours Ron miller which prompted him to cover the round. Here is what he had to say: “What attracted me to this round was the fact that the founders used open source to stimulate the development of a user community and then worried about monetization thereafter. ”

Twilio opens a wallet for Hyro: Whenever a company well-known for leading a radical change in the world of tech passes a check, we tend to take notice. Remember when Salesforce was plugged in; its investments have made waves. Today, Twilio is the BigCo in question, and Hyro the startup he supports.

By our own Jordan crook, Hyro “defines itself as an adaptive communications platform, which essentially means that customers use plug-and-play tools to convey information to end users in a conversational fashion.” Very cool.

$ 50m for Whatnot, who wants to stream e-commerce live: Look, if you’re not buying things, Whatnot won’t be your jam. But if you are, he has a clear vision of e-commerce that is popular around the world, but has yet to take off in North America. Notably, this cycle comes just a few months after Whatnot raised $ 20 million.

Something real NFTs?: What happens when you come across a startup that wants to bring blockchain to the real estate market and NFTs? You get this: Propy. The startup in question “is auctioning a real apartment as an NFT”. I do not understand! But maybe that’s the point.

$ 65 million for Tessian who fights against social engineering: UK-based Tessian is a cybersecurity company, which of course means it has started a huge new cycle. The cybersecurity market is hotter than anything said has been waving his arms around all the breaches lately. But what makes Tessian cool is that he takes the human side of things by “pointing out problematic [usage] patterns [that] could mean risky things are happening. “

Brian Chesky Describes Faster, More Agile Post-Pandemic Airbnb

Editor-in-Chief Jordan Crook interviewed Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky to discuss the future of travel and what it was like to lead the world’s largest hotel startup during a pandemic global.

“Our business initially fell by 80% in eight weeks. I say it’s like driving a car. You can’t go 130 km / h, hit the brakes and expect nothing really bad to happen.

“Now imagine you’re going 80 km / h, hit the brakes, then rebuild the car while moving, and then try to speed up to go public, all on Zoom.”

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams move forward. You can register here.)

Big Tech Inc.

Today was Microsoft’s Build Conference, the second time the annual Redmond Developer Conference has been held virtually. But before getting to the heart of the matter, a quick note on stand-alone deliveries.

Having things transported to your home without human energy has been a long-standing technological dream. Remember those Amazon drones that everyone was thrilled with that we never heard from (not once, but twice)? Or the cute Postmates robot? Well, there is another set of gamers in the space namely JD.com and Meituan. TechCrunch has the latest on their standalone delivery efforts.

Back to Build – oh boy there was a lot of news. From top to bottom, Microsoft is bringing more Azure services to Kubernetes, new tools for developers that rely on Teams, updates to its Edge browser as Internet Explorer mixes up this deadly spool, support for ‘Enterprise Azure for PyTorch and, my favorite, the company uses GPT-3 (which I think is super cool) to help people code in natural language.

I was a Microsoft reporter. I miss those days a bit. It’s a huge company with a finger in almost every pie making it surprisingly horizontal. Either way, enjoy Frederick blanket!

Community

Some of us have started traveling again … a journey of revenge, if you will. Our own Jordan crook We spoke with the CEO of Airbnb and asked him if he thinks that “the trends we are seeing in travel now, such as the rise of rural destinations and the decline in business travel, are here to stay. stay?” See what he had to say here and tell us what you think here.

Do you like data? What about BIG Data? Come hang out with us on Clubhouse and discuss our recent Extra Crunch article on the subject this Thursday at 9 a.m. PDT / 12 p.m. EDT. Need an invitation to the Clubhouse? We have you; just swing by the Discord server and request.

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