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Annual Extra Crunch members get a discount on Aircall

By Travis Bernard

We’re excited to announce a new Extra Crunch community perk from Aircall. Starting today, annual and two-year Extra Crunch members that are new to Aircall and located within the U.S. or Canada can receive two months of free service on an annual Aircall contract.

Aircall is a cloud-based phone system that can help satisfy the needs of your customer support and sales teams. It’s easy to set up and scale, intuitive for users, has proven high-quality calls and can connect to your existing CRM in a few clicks. You can learn more about Aircall here

You must meet the following criteria to qualify for the Aircall community perk from Extra Crunch:

  • Must be an annual or two-year Extra Crunch member. You can sign up here.
  • Must be located within the U.S. or Canada.
  • Cannot have existing account or past account with Aircall.

The two months free from Aircall is inclusive of subscription fees, but not inclusive of minutes on annual contracts.

Extra Crunch is a membership program from TechCrunch that features how-tos and interviews on company building, intelligence on the most disruptive opportunities for startups, an experience on TechCrunch.com that’s free of banner ads, discounts on TechCrunch events and several community perks like the one mentioned in this article. Our goal is to democratize information about startups, and we’d love to have you join our community.

You can sign up for Extra Crunch here.

After signing up for an annual or two-year Extra Crunch membership, you’ll receive a welcome email with a link to sign up for Aircall and special code to enter to claim the discount. Aircall offers a free seven-day trial, and if you are interested in purchasing an annual plan after the trial you can enter the code to get two months free. 

If you are already an annual or two-year Extra Crunch member, you will receive an email with the offer at some point today. If you are currently a monthly Extra Crunch subscriber and want to upgrade to annual in order to claim this deal, head over to the “my account” section on TechCrunch.com and click the “upgrade” button.

This is one of several community perks we’ve recently launched for Extra Crunch members. Other community perks include a 20% discount on TechCrunch events, 100,000 Brex rewards points upon credit card sign up and an opportunity to claim $1,000 in AWS credits.

If there are other community perks you want to see us add, please let us know by emailing travis@techcrunch.com.

Sign up for an annual Extra Crunch membership today to claim this community perk. You can purchase an annual Extra Crunch membership here.

Sweden drops rape investigation into WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange

By Natasha Lomas

Sweden has dropped an investigation into WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, on allegations of suspected rape.

In a statement today the country’s prosecution authority said the evidence has “weakened considerably” in the almost a decade that’s elapsed since the events in question.

“I would like to emphasise that the injured party has submitted a credible and reliable version of events. Her statements have been coherent, extensive and detailed; however, my overall assessment is that the evidential situation has been weakened to such an extent that that there is no longer any reason to continue the investigation,” said Eva-Marie Persson, Sweden’s deputy director of public prosecution.

The prosecutor had only announced in May that it was reopening an investigation into allegations of sexual offences which date back to August 2010. The investigation was earlier discontinued in 2017 but reopened at the request of the lawyer for the alleged victim following Assange’s arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, after the country withdrew diplomatic immunity.

After his arrest Assange was convicted for violating bail conditions and sent to Belmarsh prison in London where he remains.

He is now facing potential extradition to the US which quickly instigated extradition proceedings against him — initially charging Assange with conspiracy to hack into a classified computer, and then additional charges under the Espionage Act.

The extradition hearing is due to take place in February 2020 after a UK judge denied a request by Assange’s lawyers to delay proceedings to give him more time to prepare his defence.

When Assange fled to the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012 it was an attempt to avoid extradition to Sweden. The WikiLeaks founder claimed he would be at risk of extradition to the US. But after spending some seven years of self-imposed incarceration in Knightsbridge he faces a major legal fight to stave off the same outcome.

You’ve heard of CRISPR, now meet its newer, savvier cousin CRISPR Prime

By Sarah Buhr

CRISPR, the revolutionary ability to snip out and alter genes with scissor-like precision, has exploded in popularity over the last few years and is generally seen as the standalone wizard of modern gene-editing. However, it’s not a perfect system, sometimes cutting at the wrong place, not working as intended and leaving scientists scratching their heads. Well, now there’s a new, more exacting upgrade to CRISPR called Prime, with the ability to, in theory, snip out more than 90 percent of all genetic diseases.

Just what is this new method and how does it work? We turned to IEEE fellow,  biomedical researcher and dean of graduate education at Tuft University’s school of engineering Karen Panetta for an explanation.

How does CRISPR Prime editing work?

CRISPR is a powerful genome editor. It utilizes an enzyme called Cas9 that uses an RNA molecule as a guide to navigate to its target DNA. It then edits or modifies the DNA, which can deactivate genes or insert a desired sequence to achieve a behavior. Currently, we are most familiar with the application of genetically modified crops that are resistant to disease.

However, its most promising application is to genetically modify cells to overcome genetic defects or its potential to conquer diseases like cancer.

Some applications of genome editing technology include:

  • Genetically modified mosquitos that can’t carry malaria.
  • In humans, “turning on” a gene that can create fetal type behaving cells that can overcome sickle-cell anemia.

Of course, as with every technology, CRISPR isn’t perfect. It works by cutting the double-stranded DNA at precise locations in the genome. When the cell’s natural repair process takes over, it can cause damage or, in the case where the modified DNA is inserted at the cut site, it can create unwanted off-target mutations.

Some genetic disorders are known to mutate specific DNA bases, so having the ability to edit these bases would be enormously beneficial in terms of overcoming many genetic disorders. However, CRISPR is not well suited for intentionally introducing specific DNA bases, the As, Cs, Ts, and Gs that make up the double helix.

Prime editing was intended to overcome this disadvantage, as well as other limitations of CRISPR.

Prime editing can do multi-letter base-editing, which could tackle fatal genetic disorders such as Tay-Sachs, which is caused by a mutation of four DNA letters.

It’s also more precise. I view this as analogous to the precision lasers brought to surgery versus using a hand-held scalpel. It minimized damage, so the healing process was more efficient.

Prime editing can insert, modify or delete individual DNA letters; it can also insert a sequence of multiple letters into a genome with minimal damage to DNA strands.

How effective might Prime editing be?

Imagine being able to prevent cancer and/or hereditary diseases, like breast cancer, from ever occurring by editing out the genes that are makers for cancer. Cancer treatments are usually long, debilitating processes that physically and emotionally drain patients. It also devastates patients’ loved ones who must endure watching helpless on the sidelines as the patient battles to survive.

“Editing out” genetic disorders and/or hereditary diseases to prevent them from ever coming to fruition could also have an enormous impact on reducing the costs of healthcare, effectively helping redefine methods of medical treatment.

It could change lives so that long-term disability care for diseases like Alzheimer’s and special needs education costs could be significantly reduced or never needed.

How did the scientific community get to this point – where did CRISPR/prime editing “come from?”

Scientists recognized CRISPR’s ability to prevent bacteria from infecting more cells and the natural repair mechanism that it initiates after damage occurs, thus having the capacity to halt bacterial infections via genome editing. Essentially, it showed adaptive immunity capabilities.

When might we see CRISPR Prime editing “out in the wild?”

It’s already out there! It has been used for treating sickle-cell anemia and in human embryos to prevent HIV infections from being transmitted to offspring of HIV parents.

So, what’s next?

IEEE Engineers, like myself, are always seeking to take the fundamental science and expand it beyond the petri dish to benefit humanity.

In the short term, I think that Prime editing will help generate the type of fetal like cells that are needed to help patients recover and heal as well as developing new vaccines against deadly diseases. It will also allow researchers new lower cost alternatives and access to Alzheimer’s like cells without obtaining them post-mortem.

Also, AI and deep learning is modeled after human neural networks, so the process of genome editing could potentially help inform and influence new computer algorithms for self-diagnosis and repair, which will become an important aspect of future autonomous systems.

Extra Crunch members get free Zendesk for 6 months

By J.M. Donaldson

We’re excited to announce a new Extra Crunch community perk from Zendesk. Starting today, annual and two-year Extra Crunch members that are new to Zendesk and located within the U.S. or Canada can receive a credit for six months of unlimited licenses for any combination of Zendesk Support, Talk, Chat, Guide and Sell products, for free. Zendesk Talk and Zendesk Sell minutes are not included.

Zendesk is a customer service and engagement platform that creates better experiences for agents, admins and customers. Zendesk’s products are powerful and flexible, and scale to meet the needs of any business. You can learn more about Zendesk here

In order to qualify for the Zendesk community perk from Extra Crunch, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be an annual or two-year Extra Crunch member. You can sign up here.
  • Must be located within the U.S. or Canada.
  • Must be a new customer of Zendesk.

The Zendesk community perk from Extra Crunch is inclusive of subscription fees free for six months, after which you will be responsible for payment. Any downgrades to your Zendesk subscription will result in the forfeiture of the promotion, so please check with Zendesk first regarding any changes (startups@zendesk.com). The credit is only available for the Zendesk Support, Talk, Chat, Guide and Sell products.

Extra Crunch is a membership program from TechCrunch that features intelligence on the most disruptive opportunities for startups, how-tos and interviews on company building, an experience on TechCrunch.com that’s free of banner ads, discounts on TechCrunch events and several community perks like the one mentioned in this article. Our goal is to democratize information about startups, and we’d love to have you join our community.

You can sign up for Extra Crunch here.

Here’s how the process works. After signing up for an annual or two-year Extra Crunch membership, you’ll receive a welcome email with a link to apply to the Zendesk perk. Apply for the perk via the provided link in the email. Within 48 hours, the Zendesk team will send an email to you with the promo code.

Start a Zendesk Trial, and from inside your Zendesk trial, click the “Buy Now” button. Select your chosen plan and number of product licenses. Don’t forget to use monthly billing.

Enter the promo code that Zendesk provides you, and complete the checkout process. 

Zendesk offers a free 15-day trial, and if you are interested in purchasing a plan after the trial you can enter the code to get six months free. 

If you are already an annual or two-year Extra Crunch member, you will receive a separate email with the offer at some point in the next 48 hours. If you are currently a monthly Extra Crunch subscriber and want to upgrade to annual in order to claim this deal, head over to the “my account” section on TechCrunch.com and click the “upgrade” button.

This is one of several community perks we’ve launched for annual and two-year Extra Crunch members. Other community perks include a 20% discount on TechCrunch events, 100,000 Brex rewards points upon credit card sign up and an opportunity to claim $1,000 in AWS credits.

If there are other community perks you want to see us add, please let us know by emailing travis@techcrunch.com. Sign up for an annual Extra Crunch membership today to claim this community perk. You can purchase an annual or two-year Extra Crunch membership here.

Africa can list more gazelles at home than unicorn IPOs abroad

By Jake Bright

At the recent TechCrunch Disrupt SF, Senegalese VC investor Marieme Diop suggested that Silicon Valley’s unicorn IPO model might not be right for African startups.

The is largely because the continent’s startups face a vastly different macro business environment, Diop explained during a discussion of investing in Africa with 500 Startups’ Sheel Mohnot and IFC’s Wale Ayeni. In a subsequent conversation, she clarified an alternative approach for African startups to raise capital from public listings.

“It might be a better option to set lower revenue expectations and have startups list on local exchanges to raise capital from IPOs when they’re ready,” said Diop. “We may be able to create more gazelles at home than unicorns abroad,”

Disrupt SF 2019 Africa Investing Session Diop Mohnot Ayeni

A gazelle at home could be a company valued at a $100 million or more and generating revenues of $15 to $50 million, according to Diop.

“We should have a discussion of setting a right valuation, a valuation that is more appropriate to African startups,” she said.

A VC investor at Orange Digital Ventures and co-founder of Dakar Angels Network, Diop’s perspective comes in the wake of Jumia’s going public on the New York Stock Exchange this April.

The e-commerce venture became the first VC-funded digital company operating in Africa to list on a major global exchange, a fact that may have raised expectations for additional $100 million revenue tech firms creating unicorns and IPOs in Africa.

The $100 million revenue point has served as the unofficial IPO benchmark for startups and investors; after reaching unicorn status in 2014, Jumia achieved it last year (with big losses in tow).

But as I mentioned in a previous Extra Crunch piece, it will be difficult for startups operating in Africa to hit that revenue mark, even with all the leaps and bounds occurring in the continent’s economies and tech sector. The overall operating environment is still fairly costly and challenging, compared to other regions.

To put the $100 million revenue benchmark in perspective for Africa, the continent’s entire tech VC funding only recently surpassed $1 billion annually, according to Partech data, which means the $100 million rule would requires a company to generate annual revenues up to roughly 10% of the yearly value of VC raised across the entire ecosystem.

Top VCs in Edtech, Dropbox, first mover advantage, India’s Netflix, scooters, and more

By Danny Crichton

Editor’s Note

This week, we hosted 23 panels on all aspects of building startups on the Extra Crunch stage at TechCrunch Disrupt SF. Thanks to the thousands of attendees who attended those talks, as well as the workshops we held on the Breakout Stage — your enthusiasm was palpable.

We also had hundreds of new EC members join during the conference — to all of you: welcome!

This newsletter covers all of last week, and is a bit abbreviated thanks to Disrupt. Back to normal next week.

Where top VCs are investing in edtech

Extra Crunch media columnist Eric Peckham interviewed almost a dozen leading venture capitalists about the state of edtech, including Jennifer Carolan of Reach Capital, Aydin Senkut of Felicis Ventures, and Charles Birnbaum of Bessemer. There is still a lot of enthusiasm for the space, but the theses for these investors have diverged quite significantly.

Marlon Nichols , Managing Partner at MaC Venture Capital (a new LA-based seed fund with investments in Catalyte, Codeverse, and Wonderschool):

“Many education technology companies target individual teachers, which presents a long path to sizable revenue (requires too many customers) while others usually attempt to navigate the lengthy and bureaucratic sales cycle of selling to school districts. VCs prefer companies that have short sales cycles that can scale revenue quickly so in general, edtech companies are difficult investments for venture capital.

That said, education is a giant opportunity in the US because high quality education is not evenly distributed across communities or social classes. It’s a crisis. Companies that address this at scale are attractive if the revenue model makes sense. That’s why I led the first round into Wonderschool, which delivers high quality education and child care at costs relative to one’s zip code. The schools double as the educator’s home so there isn’t a need for real estate investment.”

Why is Dropbox reinventing itself? A chat with Dropbox VP of Product Adam Nash and CTO Quentin Clark

Dropbox may be known for its singular file storage product, but the company is adapting and changing as it seeks new customers and also learns more about what “file storage” really means to users.

Annual Extra Crunch members can receive $1,000 in AWS credits

By Travis Bernard

We’re excited to announce a new partnership with Amazon Web Services for annual members of Extra Crunch. Starting today, qualified annual members can receive $1,000 in AWS credits. You also must be a startup founder to claim this Extra Crunch community perk.

AWS is the premier service for your application hosting needs, and we want to make sure our community is well-resourced to build. We understand that hosting and infrastructure costs can be a major hurdle for tech startups, and we’re hoping that this offer will help better support your team.

What’s included in the perk:

  • $1,000 in AWS Promotional Credit valid for 1 year
  • 2 months of AWS Business Support
  • 80 credits for self-paced labs

Applications are processed in 7-10 days, once an application is received. Companies may not be eligible for AWS Promotional Credits if they previously received a similar or greater amount of credit. Companies may be eligible to be “topped up” to a higher credit amount if they previously received a lower credit.

In addition to the AWS community perk, Extra Crunch members also get access to how-tos and guides on company building, intelligence on what’s happening in the startup ecosystem, stories about founders and exits, transcripts from panels at TechCrunch events, discounts on TechCrunch events, no banner ads on TechCrunch.com and more. To see a full list of the types of articles you get with Extra Crunch, head here.

You can sign up for annual Extra Crunch membership here.

Once you are signed up, you’ll receive a welcome email with a link to the AWS offer. If you are already an annual Extra Crunch member, you will receive an email with the offer at some point today. If you are currently a monthly Extra Crunch subscriber and want to upgrade to annual in order to claim this deal, head over to the “my account” section on TechCrunch.com and click the “upgrade” button.

This is one of several new community perks we’ve been working on for Extra Crunch members. Extra Crunch members also get 20% off all TechCrunch event tickets (email extracrunch@techcrunch.com with the event name to receive a discount code for event tickets). You can learn more about our events lineup here. You also can read about our Brex community perk here.

How to become a VC, Amazon’s voice play, Peloton stock, Facebook’s new VR environment and more

By Danny Crichton

EC Editorial Announcements

TechCrunch Disrupt SF is this week: join us on the Extra Crunch stage

TechCrunch’s biggest event of the year is happening this coming week at the brand-new Moscone North convention center in SF. We have wall-to-wall programming on our inaugural Extra Crunch stage, where audience members can ask questions to our panelists on topics as diverse as growth marketing, recruiting, fundraising, legal quandaries, and more.

If you want to join but haven’t bought your ticket, remember that all Extra Crunch annual subscribers get 20% off our tickets by emailing extracrunch@techcrunch.com. And if you can’t join, we will have synopses of some of the EC panels coming out in the following weeks.

Transfer your Extra Crunch Brex Reward points to JetBlue

A while back, we added an Extra Crunch member benefit where all EC members can receive 100,000 Brex Rewards points if they sign up for a new Brex account. Now, those points can also be transferred to JetBlue, perhaps for those fancy Mint seats between New York and SF. We are going to continue to add new member benefits, so do let us know if you have any interesting ideas or want to partner with us.

Follow our new @extracrunch Twitter handle

Finally, we now have a new Twitter handle for Extra Crunch: @extracrunch. We will be retweeting all EC articles on the handle, and later on, will be exploring other ways to engage with members through Twitter. Follow us!

Inside the venture capital recruiting process

Top venture capital partner recruiter (among other verticals) Dan Miller of True Search describes what it takes to become an investor these days at a VC firm:

If you are interviewing for operating roles in companies in parallel to interviewing with VC firms, you will get multiple offers (probably quite good ones) in the former category before you’ve made it far in the latter. It is exceedingly common in the VC Partner searches I run to find out that an excellent candidate has multiple strong offers in Product roles from big tech companies and hot startups, for example, before they’ve made it halfway through a VC interview process.

This Week in Apps: AltStore, acquisitions and Google Play Pass

TechCrunch’s apps maven Sarah Perez is starting a new, occasional series on the most important developments in the app world along with her analysis of what’s taking place. This week, she explores AltStore, a new type of app store, iOS 13 adoption trends, an App Annie acquisition, and five or so other stories:

This Week in Apps: AltStore, acquisitions and Google Play Pass

By Sarah Perez

The app industry shows no signs of slowing down, with 194 billion downloads in 2018 and over $100 billion in consumer spending. People spend 90% of their mobile time in apps and more time using their mobile devices than watching TV. In other words, apps aren’t just a way to spend idle hours — they’re a big business. And one that often seems to change overnight. In this new Extra Crunch series, we’ll help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps — including everything from the OS’s to the apps that run upon them, as well as the money that flows through it all.

This week, alternatives to the traditional app store is a big theme. Not only has a new, jailbreak-free iOS marketplace called AltStore just popped up, we’ve also got both Apple and Google ramping up their own subscription-based collections of premium apps and games.

Meanwhile, the way brands and publishers want to track their apps’ success is changing, too. And App Annie — the company that was the first to start selling pickaxes for the App Store gold rush — is responding with an acquisition that will help app publishers better understand the return on investment for their app businesses.

Headlines

AltStore is an alternative App Store that doesn’t need a jailbreak

An interesting alternative app marketplace has appeared on the scene, allowing a way for developers to distribute iOS apps outside the official App Store, reports Engadget — without jailbreaking, which can be difficult and has various security implications. Instead, the new store works by tricking your device into thinking you’re a developer sideloading apps. And it uses a companion app on your Mac or PC to re-sign the apps every 7 days via iTunes WiFi syncing protocol. Already, it’s offering a Nintendo emulator and other games, says The Verge. And Apple is probably already working on a way to shut this down. For now, it’s live at Altstore.io.

Very excited to officially announce AltStore: an alternative app store for iOS — no jailbreak required. Launching this Saturday, September 28, but you can download the preview TODAY https://t.co/M7nULBV28p

— Riles 🤷‍♂️ (@rileytestut) September 25, 2019

For the third time in a month, Google mass-deleted Android apps from a big Chinese developer.

Does Google Play have a malicious app problem? That appears to be the case as Google has booted some 46 apps from major Chinese mobile developer iHandy out of its app store, BuzzFeed reported. And it isn’t saying why. The move follows Google’s ban of two other major Chinese app developers, DO Global and CooTek, who had 1 billion total downloads.

Google Firebase gets new tools

Startup growth hacks, high-frequency trading, startup security, privacy and Adobe

By Danny Crichton

Full Disrupt SF agenda posted

We have an amazing slate of speakers stopping by TechCrunch Disrupt SF this year, including two full days scheduled for the debut of our Extra Crunch stage, which will focus on how founders can overcome the challenges they face through discussions of tactics with some of the most successful founders and leaders in our industry.

Want to learn how to raise your first dollars with Russ Heddleston at DocSend? How to get into Y Combinator with YC CEO Michael Siebel? How to iterate your product with the chief product officers of Uber, Tinder, Okta, and Instagram? How to evaluate talent with Ray Dalio? These and almost two dozen more panels are waiting for attendees on the EC stage.

Be sure to grab your tickets soon. And if you are an annual EC subscriber, be sure to use your 20% membership discount by emailing extracrunch@techcrunch.com.

How to get your ads working, and whether PR is worth it

Growth expert Julian Shapiro of BellCurve.com launched a new series of articles for Extra Crunch members on how to grow your startup using battle-tested growth hacks and techniques from heads of growth across Silicon Valley. His first piece came out on Friday on how to work with influencers, and now in this second edition, he investigates advertising and how to evaluate the value of PR firms.

How to make Snapchat ads profitable

Based on insights from Tim Chard.

  • Snap has niche audiences you’ll want to take advantage of. Examples include “people with digestive issues.” Facebook doesn’t have that. Plus, ad clicks on Snap can be cheap ($0.30 USD isn’t uncommon).
  • However, Snap traffic typically converts poorly once it arrives on your site or app.
  • Here’s a technique to mitigate that: cross-target your Snap traffic. Meaning, use unique UTM tags on your Snap ad links. Then, in Facebook/Instagram, detect that unique UTM to create a custom audience of Snap visitors. Finally, retarget those visitors with FB/IG ads, which tend to convert much better than Snap.

How to get people to open your emails

In Julian’s third edition of the Growth Report, he offers even more tips on how to increase open rates, whether you should use Bing Ads(!), and whether and how to handle multi-touch attribution.

SexTech, Kobalt, sales efficiency, philanthropy and ethics, Brexit, and startup growth tactics

By Danny Crichton

Tech startups want to destigmatize sex

Sex, despite being one of the most fundamental human experiences, is still one of those businesses that some advertisers reject, banks are hesitant to financially support and some investors don’t want to fund.

That’s TechCrunch’s Megan Rose Dickey discussing the rise of “sextech”, a movement among technologists and product designers to open up one of the most fundamental human experiences to technological innovation. Yet, the often puritanical nature of business means that while some innovations are widely received and lushly funded, other startups remain adrift, struggling to advertise and secure funding.

Megan talks with a range of founders and investors in the space, finding the positive stories along with a heap of frustrating ones. There is a lot more work to do here.

But in reality, it’s hard to say how big that market really is, Founders Fund Partner Cyan Banister, who has invested in a handful of sextech startups, tells TechCrunch.

“It’s hard to gauge and the reason why is these businesses aren’t capable of operating at the same scale a normal business could operate at,” Banister says. “They’re kind of cut off at the knees by not being able to advertise. They can’t be on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in the way other businesses could… It’s hard to know how big these companies could be if we could change the social norms and stigmas associated with these products.”

Banister has invested in O.School using personal funds, and in Unbound via venture firm Founders Fund . Unbound, a sexual wellness startup for women, focuses on sex toys, accessories and jewelry that doubles as pleasure products. In December 2017, Unbound raised $2.7 million from Founders Fund, Slow Ventures and others.

“The objective has always been to take the category mainstream like Viagra,” Unbound CEO Polly Rodriguez tells TechCrunch.

How Kobalt is simplifying the killer complexities of the music industry

Extra Crunch media columnist Eric Peckham is back with the next part of his three-part EC-1 looking at music infrastructure startup Kobalt. In part one, Eric talked about how a former Swedish saxophonist built and grew what has become one of the most important music industry startups to arise from Europe since Spotify.

The weird things after closing a venture round, iPhone 11, AI ad errors, and Cloud Foundry

By Danny Crichton

Annual Extra Crunch members get 100,000 Brex Rewards points upon credit card signup

We’re excited to announce an addition to the Extra Crunch community perks. Starting today, annual Extra Crunch members can get 100,000 Brex Rewards points after signing up for a Brex corporate credit card. This offer is worth about $1,000 in credit card points.

Brex’s corporate credit card is designed for startups, and Extra Crunch was built for the startup ecosystem. We understand that startups are trying to be as frugal as possible with spending, and we felt that the Brex corporate credit card was the perfect way to stretch those valuable dollars.

Brex gives startup founders and finance teams higher credit limits than what they would get with any other business credit card option, and it does so without requiring a personal credit check or security deposit during the application. There are some impressive reward multipliers across categories like rideshare, travel, and restaurants. It also comes with $50,000 worth of partner offers from AWS, Salesforce and many more.

Learn more here.

All the weird stuff that happens to you after you close your round

There is nothing like the excitement of closing a venture round, but what happens immediately after the money hits the bank? Well, apparently, nothing really good: a deluge of scams, requests, appointments, and more from every professional service and fly-by-night operation imaginable.

Matt Rodak, the founder and CEO of FundThatFlip, compiled the emails and other messages he got after closing his $11 million Series A financing, offering us a peek inside the world of a post-close founder:

Fitbit, Andela, AfricaTech, startups and Brexit, plus content moderation

By Danny Crichton

Programming note: Happy Labor Day!

To our U.S.-based readers, happy Labor Day weekend. Extra Crunch will be off on Monday and will resume publishing next Tuesday.

Reminder: EC ticket discounts for Enterprise Sessions and Disrupt SF

Next week, we will be hosting our Enterprise Sessions event at Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. It’s a killer lineup, and directly follows up on Ron and Frederic’s Extra Crunch coverage around quantum computing, next-generation cloud services, artificial intelligence, and data center orchestration. I just checked in with the events team, and we are down to the last dozen or so tickets before the fire marshal gets angry — so if you want to join us, please snag a ticket soon.

I will be at Yerba Buena all day, so if you are a subscriber and you are attending next Thursday, feel free to reach out — would love to meet any of you in person.

Meanwhile, TechCrunch Disrupt SF is about a month away, and it also has a stellar lineup. This year, we have a dedicated “Extra Crunch” stage focused on helping founders build their companies, from how to fundraise without dilution, to massively growing a team at scale, to how to build a brand and reach out to media. In addition, we will have a special Extra Crunch members-only lounge space as just one of a couple of ways we are trying to make our premium readers feel special at our biggest event of the year.

Today is the last day before ticket prices rise, so if you’re interested in coming, be sure to get an order in.

For all TechCrunch events, EC annual subscribers get a 20% ticket discount. Just reach out to customer service at extracrunch@techcrunch.com and they will get you all squared away.

Fitbit’s CEO discusses the company’s subscription future

Our hardware editor Brian Heater got a chance to sit down with James Park, CEO of Fitbit, about a topic near and dear to my heart: consumer subscriptions. With the rise of consumer fitness subscription startups like Peloton, which recently filed its S-1, the business model of fitness is being upended, and now Fitbit is preparing to move even more in this direction. Be sure to also check out Brian’s earlier analysis of the state of the smartwatch.

Heater:The narrative around Apple’s last several quarters, as far as how they’re allocating, is a shift into content. Do you think that more and more of the revenue is going to be generated by content and services versus hardware?

Park: Yeah, I think more of our profits, because of the gross margin profile, will be generated by the software and services. But I think the good thing for our category in general is that unlike smartphones, the hardware portion is still rapidly growing in many countries around the world.

If you look at smartwatches, they’re growing 30% or higher per year. And for us, in the first half, trackers actually grew 51% year over year. So there’s still a lot of innovation and growth in the hardware portion of wearables. But where we do see things rapidly taking off is in software and services.

❌