To get a collection of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3 p.m. PDT, register here.
The SEC jumped in this week, charging 11 people associated with Forsage, which the government watchdog said ran a pyramid scheme. I’m not one to embrace drama, but I’m also looking forward to some of these stories appearing as Netflix docu-series. This particular case seems like a bit of a dump. — Hey
The TechCrunch Top 3
Startups and VCs
“Life changing: I walked into my local store, found my way to the garden centre, looked at the selection and picked one up. I went to the register and paid, then drove home. I glowed for days. It was the best big box experience of my life,” he quips Ron about buying the $5 spray nozzle, revealing that it is So over customer experience surveys.
Similar customer experience, Kyle reports that Sprig, a startup that offers tools for user and software product research, announced today that it has raised $30 million. It brings the company’s total raises to $90 million.
When beautiful art is available at the click of a button, what does that mean for artists? Hey he wonders in an article featuring 30+ AI-rendered photos of Batman. If you’ve never seen Batman as a cookie monster, you’re missing out.
According to Redpoint CEO Annie Kadavy, there will be fewer overall companies starting up next year than in the last two years. And, somewhat paradoxically, the investor thinks the impending slowdown is “a great thing.” Redpoint just raised another $650 million to invest in “tech’s riskiest founders.” Natasha M References.
More startup universe:
- Put me on your phone: Aisha reports that Locket, a popular app for sharing photos directly to the home screen of your family and friends, has raised $12.5 million in funding.
- How come Louis Vuitton was only $40?: Clothing, accessories and luxury goods are the most popular products to counterfeit, but the problem doesn’t start and end there: The explosion of digital content has also led to a large number of digital counterfeiters. MarqVision raises $20 million to spot counterfeiters, reports Kate and Ingrid.
- What’s up, (hot)dog? Over the past decade and a half, Spread has become the most recognizable name in Japan’s vertical framing ecosystem. Now, after raising $30 million, it sees strawberries and alternative meat, Brian References.
- He shows you the door of the cart: Jagmeet reports that Ottonomy, a startup working to solve delivery problems using autonomous robots, has raised $3.3 million as it looks to expand its market and deploy robots to existing customers.
Acquisition is a legitimate strategy for building your business
The difference in probability between selling a startup or going public is an order of magnitude. The odds of your company being acquired are ten times greater than the odds of your CEO ringing the opening bell on the NYSE.
And yet, startup culture encourages participants to believe they’re on a path to an IPO, regardless of their field, says Yair Snir, Vice President and CEO of Dell Technologies Capital.
“In my experience, many founders are motivated more by the potential for influence. For those types of founders, my advice is to always consider acquisition as an option,” he says. “It may not be obvious at first, but an acquisition may be your best path to massive scale.”
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can register here.)
Big Tech Inc.
The $300 Link is a 4K webcam with a half-inch sensor. The system uses artificial intelligence to automatically adjust its position and keep the user in the center of the frame. Think of it a bit like Apple’s Center Stage software, combined with hardware, Brian reports with a closer look at Insta360’s gimbal-mounted 4K webcam.
A few more nuggets of Big Tech Wisdom: