Priyanka Sharma takes over the leadership of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation – TechCrunch


The Cloud Native Computing Foundation, the Linux Foundation-based home of open-source projects like Kubernetes, OpenTracing and Envoy, today announced that Dan Kohn, the long-time executive director of the organization, is stepping down, with Priyanka Sharma, the director of Cloud Native Alliances at GitLab, stepping into the general manager role. Kohn will continue to be part of the Linux Foundation, where he will launch a new initiative “to help public health authorities use open source software to fight COVID-19 and other epidemics.”

Sharma, who once presented in the TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield competition a startup she co-founded, became part of the overall cloud-native community during her time as head of marketing and strategic partnerships at Lightstep, a role she took in 2016. Her involvement with the OpenTracing project snowballed into a deeper relationship with the CNCF, she told me. “Once I joined GitLab, I was fortunate enough to be elected to the board of the CNCF — and until the 31st, I am in that role,” she told me. “That was really helpful, but that gave me the context about how does such a successful foundation and community run — what is the governance piece here — which, when I was on the community side, I wasn’t that involved in.”

Kohn had been at the helm of the CNCF since 2016 and guided the project from its early days to becoming one of the most successful open-source foundations of all time. Its bi-annual conferences draw thousands of developers from all over the world. While its marquee project is obviously Kubernetes, Kohn and his team at the foundation put a lot of emphasis on the overall ecosystem. The organization’s mission, after all, is “to make cloud native computing ubiquitous.” Today, the CNCF is home to 10 graduated projects, like Kubernetes, Prometheus, Envoy, Jaeger and Vitess, as well as 16 so-called “incubating projects,” like OpenTracing, Linkerd, Rook and etcd.

“Priyanka’s contributions to CNCF as a speaker, governing board member, and community leader over the last several years has been invaluable,” said Kohn in a statement. “I think she is a great choice to lead the organization to its next stage.”

Sharma says she’ll start her tenure by listening to the community. “Cloud native has become the de facto standard,” she said. “We’re doing great with regard to technology adoption, growth — but as things evolve — with the number of people already in the foundation that is on track to be 600 members — I think as a community, and there is so much growth opportunity there, we can go deeper into developer engagement, have more conversations around education and understanding of all the projects. Now we have 10 graduated projects — not just Kubernetes — so there’s lots of adoption to happen there. So I’m just very excited for the second wave that we will have.”

Now that everybody knows that DevOps and containers are, she wants to bring more people into the fold — and also look at new technologies like serverless and service meshes. “We’ve been off to a blockbuster start and now I think we have to mature a little and go deeper,” she said.

It’s worth noting that current CNCF CTO Chris Aniszczyk will continue in his role at the foundation. “The cloud native community has grown leaps and bounds in the last few years as companies look for more flexible and innovative solutions to meet their continuously evolving infrastructure and application needs,” he said. “As CNCF now reaches nearly 50 projects and 90,000 contributors globally, I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to work with Priyanka to cultivate and grow our cloud native community in its next evolution.”

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Twitter, meanwhile, swapped its standard logo for a black and white version, adding a Black Lives Matter hashtag to its bio. Its diversity account Twitter Together offered the following statement (via tweet, naturally):

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Racism does not adhere to social distancing. Amid the already growing fear and uncertainty around the pandemic, this week has again brought attention to something perhaps more pervasive: the long-standing racism and injustices faced by Black and Brown people on a daily basis.

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Amazon also took to Twitter, offering the following statement:

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The inequitable and brutal treatment of Black people in our country must stop. Together we stand in solidarity with the Black community u2014 our employees, customers, and partners u2014 in the fight against systematic racism and injustice.

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AWS head Andy Jassy added on his own account:

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*What* will it take for us to refuse to accept these unjust killings of black people? How many people must die, how many generations must endure, how much eyewitness video is required? What else do we need? We need better than what we’re getting from courts and political leaders.

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Many were quick to condemn Amazon for perceived hypocrisy. Among the issues here are longstanding complaints over worker treatment, as well as Amazon Web Services’ technologies like facial recognition, which have been utilized by law enforcement.

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The ACLU responded rather bluntly:

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Cool tweet. Will you commit to stop selling face recognition surveillance technology that supercharges police abuse?

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Amazon does not appear to have responded to this most recent question from the organization.

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The pain of the last week reminds us how far our country has to go to give every person the freedom to live with dignity…

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Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Sunday, May 31, 2020

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Facebooku2019s response has also been a mixed bag. Staff have been vocal about their anger around Mark Zuckerbergu2019s decision to break with Twitter by leaving Trumpu2019s u201cwhen the looting starts, the shooting startsu201d statement in tact. More recently, however, the CEO committed $10 million to relevant nonprofits, adding in a post:

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To help in this fight, I know Facebook needs to do more to support equality and safety for the Black community through our platforms. As hard as it was to watch, I’m grateful that Darnella Frazier posted on Facebook her video of George Floyd’s murder because we all needed to see that. We need to know George Floyd’s name. But it’s clear Facebook also has more work to do to keep people safe and ensure our systems don’t amplify bias.

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Remarks from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella posted to LinkedIn briefly touch upon the events in Minneapolis, as well as the recent problematic encounter in Central Park in which the police were called on birder Christian Cooper:

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Our identity, our very existence is rooted in empowering everyone on the planet. So, therefore, it’s incumbent upon us to use our platforms, our resources, to drive that systemic change, right? That’s the real challenge here. It’s not just any one incident, but it’s all the things that have led to the incident that absolutely need to change.

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Meanwhile, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel sent a lengthy letter to staff on Sunday, writing:

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Of course, the same Founding Fathers who espoused the values of freedom, equality, and justice for all u2013 were predominantly slave owners. Their powerful vision of a nation created by the people, for the people was built on a foundation of prejudice, injustice, and racism. Without addressing this rotten foundation and its ongoing failures to create opportunity for all, we are holding ourselves back from realizing our true capacity for human progress u2013 and we will continue to fall short of the bold vision of freedom, equality, and justice for all.

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Spiegelu2019s letter focuses on his work to understand the struggles as a u201cyoung, white, educated male [who] got really, really lucky,u201d as well as proposals for financial methods for addressing inequality. Specifically, he calls for the establishment of a non-partisan Commission on Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations, as well as an investment in housing, healthcare and education.

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On Sunday, a fourth night of protests erupted around the country, spurred on by the May 25 death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. The movement is a response to wide-ranging and systemic inequality that has seen a disproportionate number of black Americans suffer a similar fate, with Floydu2019s desperate gasping […]

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Demonstrators march during a protest of the death of George Floyd, Sunday, May 31, 2020, in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. (Photo by Jason Whitman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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At Google’s 2018 I/O developer conference, the company debuted a new suite of “digital well-being” aimed at helping Android users better manage their screen time. At its 2019 event, it expanded its tools’ capabilities and improved the related parental controls. Although Google I/O isn’t taking place this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company is once again refreshing its well-being toolset. This year, the focus is a timely one, as Google will roll out new bedtime tools to help people get better sleep.

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Google reports seeing a rise in sleep-related search queries like “insomnia” and “can’t sleep” in April and May, as the coronavirus crisis led to increased stress and anxiety, which can disrupt sleep.

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Android’s “Bedtime” mode, previously known as “Wind Down,” uses Do Not Disturb to silence calls, texts and notifications, while grayscale fades the colors on your phone to black and white, to reduce the draw to your screen. With the updates to this feature, Google is making it easier to customize when and how Bedtime mode is enabled.

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Based on your bedtime schedule, you can now opt to have it automatically turn on after your phone is plugged into its charger. You can also add Bedtime mode to your Android phone’s Quick Settings, to instantly turn it on or off with a single tap. And if you need a few more minutes, you can choose to pause Bedtime mode without needing to adjust your schedule.

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The update to Digital Wellbeing, which included the ability to automatically enable Bedtime mode when the phone is charging and add it to Quick Settings, actually rolled out earlier in May. But Google is announcing the features today as part of its other Bedtime mode changes.

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The Clock app on Android is also being updated with a new Bedtime tab.

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Here, you can set daily sleep and wake times. In the app, you’ll be able to see a preview of your calendar for the next day, and then tally the total number of hours of sleep you’d get. This way, you can adjust your bedtime if needed to sync up with tomorrow’s schedule — even if that means diverting from your typical bedtime schedule.

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In addition, users will receive a reminder before bedtime and have the option to play calming sounds from Calm, Spotify, YouTube Music and other sources. If they have Digital Wellbeing installed, they can pair with Bedtime mode to limit the interruptions during sleep.

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The app will also display how much time youu2019re spending and which apps youu2019ve used after your set bedtime.

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Google additionally suggested users looking for better sleep can try the “Sunrise Alarm” option that gradually brightens your screen to help you wake up more gently. This visual alarm system will begin 15 minutes prior to your audio alarm. Users can also set their favorite songs as an alarm to make the alarm less jarring, Google recommends.

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The sunrise alarm was first introduced with the Pixel 3 and Pixel Stand in 2018. But with the update, you will no longer need the stand to use the feature — it’s a part of the new Bedtime tab in the Clock app.

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Related to today’s launch of new bedtime features, Google noted itu00a0recently added new YouTube bedtime reminders. It also supports a daily bedtime schedule in Android’s parental controls feature, Family Link.

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The updated Bedtime experience is launching first on Pixel devices starting today, and will roll out to the Clock app and on other Android devices later this summer. Pixel devices will be getting a handful of other updates, as well, including Adaptive Battery.

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Pixel 2 devices and newer will notify the user when the battery is set to run out, while throttling background usage to save on life. The excellent Recorder app can now be triggered with a u201cHey Googleu201d and transcripts can be saved directly to Google Docs.

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The Personal Safety app introduced on the Pixel 4 is now coming to all devices, while the Pixel 3 will get car crash detection. Thereu2019s also a new Safety Check feature designed to send out alerts in potentially dangerous situations. Per Google:

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For example if youu2019re about to go on a run or hike alone, safety check will make sure you made it back safely. If you donu2019t respond to the scheduled check-in, the app will alert your emergency contacts. In the event that you need immediate help or are in a dangerous situation, emergency sharing notifies all of your emergency contacts and shares your real-time location through Google Maps so they can send help or find you.

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The Personal Safety app will also let users set notifications for crises, including natural disasters and other public safety concerns.

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At Google’s 2018 I/O developer conference, the company debuted a new suite of “digital well-being” aimed at helping Android users better manage their screen time. At its 2019 event, it expanded its tools’ capabilities and improved the related parental controls. Although Google I/O isn’t taking place this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company […]

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acquires Turkey’s Peak Games for $1.8B, after buying its card games studio for $100M in 2017","content":"rendered":"

Today, some news of a huge acquisition out of Turkey that represents the first billion-dollar-plus exit for a startup out of the country. Social gaming company Zynga confirmed that it is buying Istanbul-based Peak Games, the company behind popular Candy-Crush-style mobile gaming apps Toon Blast and Toy Blast, for $1.8 billion — $900 million in cash, and $900 million in Zynga shares.

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Interestingly, this is the second time that Zynga has made a Peak Games acquisition. In 2017, it purchased the company’s mobile card games business for $100 million (more on that below).

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The news caps off a short period of speculation about an upcoming deal, with local tech publications like Webrazzi calling the sale (and correct price) last month.

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Peak’s investors had included European VCs Earlybird and Hummingbird Ventures — both active backers of startups in emerging markets in the region — and Endeavor Global (the nonprofit that invests via its Endeavor Catalystu00a0fund). Sidar Sahin, the founder and CEO, had been the company’s biggest shareholder.

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As with all M&A in the world of gaming, Zynga is getting a couple of big gains out of this sale.

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The first is picking up two very popular titles/franchises that it doesn’t have do develop from scratch (in hopes of investing R&D budget in what it hopes but can’t guarantee will be a hit). Toon Blast and Toy Blast together total more than 12 million DAUs. And on top of that, those two games are some of the highest-grossing among all in Apple’s App Store, ranking among the top-10 and top-20 games in the past two years, Zynga noted in its announcement.

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It’s not just about adding popular games content, but expanding Zynga’s advertising business as well. Significantly, Peak Games’ primary users are outside of Zynga’s home market of the US, representing a real growth opportunity for the company to cross-sell other games. Zynga says that bolting on Peak’s games network to its own will boost its number of mobile daily active users by 60%, which mean a lot of scaling up for its ad network.

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Of course, sustaining both of those titles and their respective franchises as hits for the long run is not a given — the world of gaming regularly sees blockbusters fizzle out when the next big thing comes along — although these “forever franchises” with their steady popularity have a strong play to be exactly that.

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However, the long play is also where the third big asset comes in: talent. Peak has 100 employees working on its current franchises and other games. So while the back ends (and revenues) may be getting combined, Zynga says Peak’s people will stay put and continue to work under the Peak brand on the existing franchises as well as on new projects that are already in development.

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Zynga says the deal will close in the third quarter of 2020, and it’s updated its guidance already on the news, sending its stock up more than 5% in pre-market trading. Specifically, Zynga today said it believes the deal will bump up revenues by $40 million for the year, to $1.840 billion.

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A startup so nice, Zynga bought it twice

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The deal is notable not just because of what it’s adding to Zynga today, but because it highlights some interesting history between the two companies.

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Back in November 2017, Zynga acquired one division of Peak Games, its mobile card games studio, for $100 million in cash.

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The deal included games like Spades Plus and Gin Rummy Plus, respectively the largest spade and rummy mobile games in the world at the time; and games that were popular in Peak’s home market, 101 Okey Plus and Okey Plus. And according to analysis from Apptopia, it looks like Zynga was set to recoup the money it paid out by 2019, meaning that business is now profitable.

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The remainder of Peak Games is another story. If Zynga tried to buy the whole business two years ago, it might have been that Peak was reluctant to sell its remaining two titles — its own Candy Crush crushers — Toon Blast and Toy Blast for anything near $100 million. And with good reason, since (as Zynga itself pointed out) they went on to become some of the consistently highest-grossing games in all of the App Store.

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In the intervening period, Zynga tried to create its own rivals, namely Wonka’s World of Candy, but it’s never been as big of a hit as the others. (Apptopia’s Adam Blacker today told me, after I published this piece, that in fact Wonka’s World has made but a tiny fraction of the revenue of Peak’s titles.)

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Hence, two years on, Zynga possibly finally found the “right price”u00a0for the whole of Peak Games.

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u201cWe are honored to welcome Sidar and team to Zynga. Peak is one of the worldu2019s best puzzle game makers and we could not be more excited to add such creative and passionate talent to our company,u201d said Frank Gibeau, Chief Executive Officer of Zynga, in a statement. u201cWith the addition of Toon Blast and Toy Blast, we are expanding our live services portfolio to eight forever franchises, meaningfully increasing our global audience base and adding to our exciting new game pipeline. As a combined team, we are well positioned to grow faster together.u201d

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u201cThis is a monumental partnership not only for Zynga and Peak, but for the whole mobile gaming industry,u201d said Sidar Sahin, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Peak, in a statement. u201cBoth companies share a common vision — to bring people together through games. Peaku2019s culture is rooted in relentless learning and progress, so as we embark on this new chapter in our journey together with Zynga, we remain as committed as ever to our unique culture. Weu2019re very excited for our combined future and what we will accomplish together.u201d

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Zynga and games business strategies aside, this is also a huge deal for Turkey’s tech ecosystem.

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Turkey has been a steady presence straddling both the European and MENA markets (much as Turkey’s wider economy and political presence does), but so far with little impact in terms of exits and activity that extend outside of the region.

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This acquisition is a testament to the exciting companies and talent that are being developed in the market, and is of course yet another sign of how big tech companies based out of more established centres like the Bay Area will continue to take bigger leaps to tap talent ever further afield, in their ongoing consolidation push and search for both business and audience growth.

n

One impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been that many are starting to see a much faster decentralisation in the world of technology. People are working remotely, and some are even planning to move away from tech hubs; and deals are getting done not in person but over videoconferencing links. This acquisition also demonstrates how that is also playing out in the world of M&A, too.

n","protected":false,"excerpt":"rendered":"

Today, some news of a huge acquisition out of Turkey that represents the first billion-dollar-plus exit for a startup out of the country. Social gaming company Zynga confirmed that it is buying Istanbul-based Peak Games, the company behind popular Candy-Crush-style mobile gaming apps Toon Blast and Toy Blast, for $1.8 billion — $900 million in […]

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Ingrid is a writer and editor for TechCrunch, joining February 2012, based out of London.

nn

Before TechCrunch, Ingrid worked at paidContent.org, where she was a staff writer, and has in the past also written freelance regularly for other publications such as the Financial Times. Ingrid covers mobile, digital media, advertising and the spaces where these intersect.

nn

When it comes to work, she feels most comfortable speaking in English but can also speak Russian, Spanish and French (in descending order of competence).

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Ingrid is a writer and editor for TechCrunch, joining February 2012, based out of London.

nn

Before TechCrunch, Ingrid worked at paidContent.org, where she was a staff writer, and has in the past also written freelance regularly for other publications such as the Financial Times. Ingrid covers mobile, digital media, advertising and the spaces where these intersect.

nn

When it comes to work, she feels most comfortable speaking in English but can also speak Russian, Spanish and French (in descending order of competence).

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SaaS founders be raising capital now?","content":"rendered":"

COVID-19 quickly put the stock market in the ICU, with signs of unprecedented volatility and declines. However, the market’s resilience and swift action by the Fed made this downward spiral short-lived. The Russell 2000 Index, a benchmark for small-cap stocks, is one of several indices that highlights this.

n

Within a one-month period from late February into March, The Russell 2000 Index was down more than 40%, signaling the end of a long bull market and entrance into bear territory. Yet, two months later, at the end of May, the Index is up over 35% from its low. In the private market, the impact of volatility on healthy, pre-COVID-19 software company valuations is much easier to track. As SaaS founders consider their financing options, the picture might be a bit less glum than they might imagine.

n

Still going strong

n

Changes to private market valuations often lag behind what transpires in the public markets. Also, fundraising cycles for private companies generally take 2-3 months from start to close. Unlike the 2000 dot-com crash and the 2008 Great Recession, where valuations dropped for extended periods of time, private company valuations, for the most part, have not had time to adjust for the volatility seen in the public markets.

","protected":false,"excerpt":"rendered":"

Here are a few cases and best practices that software founders can use to help push a decision forward now if considering a capital raise in the current environment.

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He focuses primarily on investments in software and technology-enabled business services.","slug":"roger-hurwitz","links":"twitter":"volitioncapital","position":"Contributor","cbDescription":"Roger Hurwitz is a founding partner at Volition Capital. He focuses primarily on investments in software and technology-enabled business services.","cbAvatar":"","twitter":"volitioncapital"],"author":["id":133574325,"name":"Walter Thompson","url":"https://anchor.fm/thegoldencity","description":"Senior Editor Walter Thompson manages TechCrunch's guest post program and Extra Crunch, our premium content service. A seasoned startup veteran, he previously worked as City Editor for Hoodline, a hyperlocal news service.rnrnAn award-winning journalist, Walter also hosts The Golden City, a podcast that presents stories from San Francisco's past, present and future.","link":"https://techcrunch.com/author/walter-thompson/","slug":"walter-thompson","avatar_urls":"24":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/c48baf5e713b4021e7aa245ebd096727?s=24&d=identicon&r=g","48":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/c48baf5e713b4021e7aa245ebd096727?s=48&d=identicon&r=g","96":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/c48baf5e713b4021e7aa245ebd096727?s=96&d=identicon&r=g","links":"homepage":"https://walterthompson.blog/","facebook":"https://www.facebook.com/walterlthompsoniv","twitter":"https://twitter.com/yourprotagonist","linkedin":"https://linkedin.com/heywalterthompson","crunchbase":"https://www.crunchbase.com/person/walter-thompson","position":"Senior Editor","cbDescription":"","cbAvatar":"https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/rh5glskknww13wae8ts3","twitter":"yourprotagonist","_links":"self":["href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/133574325"],"collection":["href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users"]],"wp:featuredmedia":["id":1944534,"date":"2020-02-10T14:16:46","slug":"growing-investments-heap-of-money-with-seedling","type":"attachment","link":"https://techcrunch.com/2020/02/11/meet-5-cybersecurity-unicorns-that-could-ipo-in-2020/growing-investments-heap-of-money-with-seedling/","title":"rendered":"Growing investments. 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Growing investments. Heap of money with seedling.Some similar pictures from my portfolio:

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richest man built a telecom operator everyone wants a piece of","content":"rendered":"

As investors’ appetites sour in the midst of a pandemic, a three-and-a-half-year-old Indian firm has secured $10.3 billion in a month from Facebook and four U.S.-headquartered private equity firms.

n

The major deals for Reliance Jio Platforms have sparked a sudden interest among analysts, executives and readers at a time when many are skeptical of similar big check sizes that some investors wrote to several young startups, many of which are today struggling to make sense of their finances.

n

Prominent investors across the globe, including in India, have in recent weeks cautioned startups that they should be prepared for the u201cworst timeu201d as new checks become elusive.

n

Elsewhere in India, the worldu2019s second-largest internet market and where all startups together raised a record $14.5 billion last year, firms are witnessing down rounds (where their valuations are slashed). Miten Sampat, an angel investor, said last week that startups should expect a 40%-50% haircut in their valuations if they do get an investment offer.

n

Facebooku2019s $5.7 billion investment valued the company at $57 billion. But U.S. private equity firms Silver Lake, Vista, General Atlantic, and KKR — all the other deals announced in the past five weeks — are paying a 12.5% premium for their stake in Jio Platforms, valuing it at $65 billion.

n

How did an Indian firm become so valuable? What exactly does it do? Is it just as unprofitable as Uber? What does its future look like? Why is it raising so much money? And why is it making so many announcements instead of one.

n

Itu2019s a long story.

n

Run up to the launch of Jio

n

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani gave a rundown of his gigantic Indian empire at a gathering in December 2015 packed with 35,000 people including hundreds of Bollywood celebrities and industry titans.

n

u201cReliance Industries has the second-largest polyester business in the world. We produce one and a half million tons of polyester for fabrics a year, which is enough to give every Indian 5 meters of fabric every year, year-on-year,u201d said Ambani, who is Asia’s richest man.

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As investors’ appetites sour in the midst of a pandemic, a three-and-a-half-year-old Indian firm has secured $10.3 billion in a month from Facebook and four U.S.-headquartered private equity firms. The major deals for Reliance Jio Platforms have sparked a sudden interest among analysts, executives and readers at a time when many are skeptical of similar […]

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MUMBAI, INDIA – FEBRUARY 24: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella with Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and MD of Reliance Industries, during the Microsoft Future Decoded Summit at St Regis, on February 24, 2020 in Mumbai, India. (Photo by Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

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VCs share their bets on the future of work","content":"rendered":"

As tech companies like Twitter and Facebook gear up for longer-term remote work solutions, the future of work is becoming one of the more exciting opportunities in venture capital, CRV general partner Saar Gur told TechCrunch.

n

And as loneliness mounts with shelter-in-place orders implemented in various forms across the world, investors are looking for products and services that foster true connection among a distributed workforce, as well as a distributed society.

n

But the future of work doesn’t just entail spinning up home offices. It also involves gig workers, freelancers, hiring tools, tools for workplace organizing and automation. The last couple of years have particularly brought tech organizing to the forefront. Whether it was the Google walkout in 2018 or gig workers’ ongoing actions against companies like Uber, Lyft and Instacart for better pay and protections, there are many opportunities to help workers better organize and achieve their goals.

n

Below, we’ve gathered insights from:

n

n

Saar Gur, CRV

n

What are you most excited about in the future of work?

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Future of work is one of the most exciting opportunities in venture.u00a0u00a0

n

Pre-COVID, few tech companies were fully remote. While it seems obvious in retrospect, the building blocks for fully remote technology companies now exist (e.g. high-speed internet, SaaS and the cloud, reliable video streaming, real-time documents, etc.). And while SIP may be temporary, we feel the TAM of fully remote companies will grow significantly and produce a number of exciting investment opportunities.

n

I donu2019t think we have fully grokked what it means to run a company digitally. Today, most processes like interviewing, meetings and performance/activity tracking still live in the world of atoms versus bits. As an example, imagine every meeting is recorded, transcribed and searchable — how would that transform how we work?u00a0u00a0u00a0

n

There is an opportunity to re-imagine how we work. And we are excited about products that solve meaningful problems in the areas of productivity, brainstorming, communication tools, workflows and more. We also see a lot of potential in infrastructure required to facilitate remote and global teams.

n

We are also excited by companies that are enabling new types of work. Companies like Etsy (founded 2005), Shopify (2004), TaskTabbit (2008), Uber (2009), DoorDash (2013) and Patreon (2013) have helped create a new workforce of entrepreneurs. But many of these companies are over a decade old and we fully expect a new wave of companies that give more power to the individual.

","protected":false,"excerpt":"rendered":"

As tech companies like Twitter and Facebook gear up for longer-term remote work solutions, the future of work is becoming one of the more exciting opportunities in venture capital, CRV general partner Saar Gur told TechCrunch. And as loneliness mounts with shelter-in-place orders implemented in various forms across the world, investors are looking for products […]

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Megan Rose Dickey is a senior reporter at TechCrunch focused on labor, transportation, and diversity and inclusion in tech.

nn

She previously spent two years at Business Insider covering tech startups focused on the shared economy, IoT and music industry.

nn

She graduated from the University of Southern California in 2011 with a degree in Broadcast and Digital Journalism.

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nn

She previously spent two years at Business Insider covering tech startups focused on the shared economy, IoT and music industry.

nn

She graduated from the University of Southern California in 2011 with a degree in Broadcast and Digital Journalism.

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earnings to test hot tech valuations","content":"rendered":"

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.

n

This week will see two richly valued SaaS businesses share their Q1 earnings reports: CrowdStrike and Zoom. Both are 2019 IPOs, but these relatively young public companies have enjoyed a strong run in the public markets this year.

n

Zoom started off 2020 worth around $69 per share; today it is worth $179.48 ahead of the start of today’s trading. CrowdStrike started the year at a little over $49 per share; today it’s worth $87.81 per share. The business-focused, but consumer-friendly video chat service Zoom and the cybersecurity-focused CrowdStrike are perfect examples of the updraft that SaaS businesses have ridden this year.

n

With both firms reporting earnings at the same time, we’ll get notes on the work-from-home trend, and how it is impacting services that help make remote-work possible. CrowdStrike’s earnings will inform us on how the cybersecurity space is performing — are businesses shelling out more than expected to keep their networks and employees safe when so many are out of the office?

n

If Zoom and CrowdStrike report results that disappoint investors, they could do more than just deflate their own shares. Missed earnings reports from either could puncture SaaS valuations more broadly, perhaps impacting private valuations for companies that are in the market for new capital. Why?

n

Prominence and timing.

n

Earnings expectations

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Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. This week will see two richly valued SaaS businesses share their Q1 earnings reports: CrowdStrike and Zoom. Both are 2019 IPOs, but these relatively young public companies have enjoyed a strong run in the public […]

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Alex Wilhelm is Senior Editor at TechCrunch. He previously worked for Crunchbase News as Editor in Chief as well as The Next Web, TechCrunch, and Mattermark.

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Alex Wilhelm is Senior Editor at TechCrunch. He previously worked for Crunchbase News as Editor in Chief as well as The Next Web, TechCrunch, and Mattermark.

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 20: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 20, 2020 in New York City. Trading on the floor will temporarily become fully electronic starting on Monday to protect employees from spreading the coronavirus. The Dow fell over 500 points on Friday as investors continue to show concerns over COVID-19. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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at B2B European VC henQ discuss remote work’s biggest advantages","content":"rendered":"

HenQ, an Amsterdam-based VC that invests in European B2B software startups typically at seed and Series A, recently disclosed the first close of its fourth fund at u20ac70 million. The final close is expected to top out at between u20ac75-u20ac85 million later this year, and the firm has already begun backing companies out of the new fund.

n

However, what sets henQ apart from many VC firms isn’t just its pure focus on B2B software but that its team is fully remote. Primarily investing in the Nordics and Benelux, henQ doesn’t have any official offices, with the team working from different temporary locations. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, henQ closed deals remotely.

n

Successes from its previous funds include Mendix (acquired by Siemens) and SEOshop (acquired by Lightspeed).

n

I spoke to partners Jan Andriessen, Mick Mackaay and Jelmer de Jong to learn more about henQ, what it’s like to be a fully remote VC and how the firm envisions the post-pandemic era.

n

TechCrunch: Can you be more specific regarding the size of check you write and the types of companies, geographies, technologies and business models you are focusing on?

n

Jan Andriessen: Our main focus is seed rounds, in which we often are the lead investor. We also invest in Series A rounds, often as a co-investor. Initial check sizes vary from u20ac500,000 to u20ac3.5 million.

n

A typical seed investment has a product and perhaps a few pilot customers. The key here is not revenue (which is OK to be zero), but there is proof of the actual need for the product.

n

Most of our recent deals were in the Nordics and Benelux, the areas where we spent the majority of our time. But we have also invested in the Baltics, Czech Republic and the UK. For henQ 4, we expect this to be the same: the bulk of our investments will be in the Nordics and Benelux, with an occasional deal in broader Europe.

n

In terms of technology and business trends, one of the things we firmly believe in is the consumerization of enterprise software: successful startups are centered around their customers and focus on the job to be done. More generally, we have always been focused on startups with staying power: companies that have a right to exist over time, not just now, as they deliver a product that touches the core processes of their customers and operate at the heart of their customeru2019s business.

n

For example, looking at our portfolio, Zivver delivers secure communication solutions for hospitals and governments. Stravito works deep in the research departments of FMCGs, delivering a knowledge management platform. Mews runs the full operations of hotels with their property management system, and Orderchamp enables retailers to digitize their buying process.

n

We see the business model of a company as a means, not an end. Most of the startups we invest in charge a SaaS plus implementation fee, and have a more enterprise-sales driven business model. We are not afraid to invest in startups that have a more complex and longer sales cycle, and are not per se looking for SaaS ‘by-the-book.'

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HenQ, an Amsterdam-based VC that invests in European B2B software startups typically at seed and Series A, recently disclosed the first close of its fourth fund at u20ac70 million. The final close is expected to top out at between u20ac75-u20ac85 million later this year, and the firm has already begun backing companies out of the […]

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Steve O'Hear is best known as a technology journalist, currently at TechCrunch where he focuses on European startups, companies and products.

nn

He first joined TechCrunch in November 2009 as Contributing Editor for TechCrunch Europe, where he worked alongside Editor Mike Butcher to help build TechCrunch's coverage in Europe.

nn

In June 2011, Steve took a break from journalism to co-found the London and Prague-based startup Beepl. In his role as CEO, he helped the company raise its first VC round, along with seeing the Question & Answer site through development, private alpha and a high profile public launch. In November 2012, Beepl was acquired by Brand Embassy.

nn

Along with TechCrunch, Steve has written for numerous publications, including ZDNet (where he wrote the well-respected blog 'The Social Web'), The Guardian, Macworld, TES, Last100 and ReadWriteWeb. He also wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Silicon Valley documentary 'In Search of the Valley', which was released in September 2006.

nn

In 2002, Steve was made a fellow of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. He's also one half of ProtoBake Labs, an 'ideas incubator' he co-founded with Pete Harris.

nn

Disclaimer: Steve owns a small amount of cryptocurrency, and doesn't generally write about crypto currencies. If and when he does, he will always disclose any potential conflict of interest.

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Steve O'Hear is best known as a technology journalist, currently at TechCrunch where he focuses on European startups, companies and products.

nn

He first joined TechCrunch in November 2009 as Contributing Editor for TechCrunch Europe, where he worked alongside Editor Mike Butcher to help build TechCrunch's coverage in Europe.

nn

In June 2011, Steve took a break from journalism to co-found the London and Prague-based startup Beepl. In his role as CEO, he helped the company raise its first VC round, along with seeing the Question & Answer site through development, private alpha and a high profile public launch. In November 2012, Beepl was acquired by Brand Embassy.

nn

Along with TechCrunch, Steve has written for numerous publications, including ZDNet (where he wrote the well-respected blog 'The Social Web'), The Guardian, Macworld, TES, Last100 and ReadWriteWeb. He also wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Silicon Valley documentary 'In Search of the Valley', which was released in September 2006.

nn

In 2002, Steve was made a fellow of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. He's also one half of ProtoBake Labs, an 'ideas incubator' he co-founded with Pete Harris.

nn

Disclaimer: Steve owns a small amount of cryptocurrency, and doesn't generally write about crypto currencies. If and when he does, he will always disclose any potential conflict of interest.

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The Cloud Native Computing Foundation, the Linux Foundation-based home of open-source projects like Kubernetes, OpenTracing and Envoy, today announced that Dan Kohn, the long-time executive director of the organization, is stepping down, with Priyanka Sharma, the director of Cloud Native Alliances at GitLab, stepping into the general manager role. Kohn will continue to be part of the Linux Foundation, where he will launch a new initiative “to help public health authorities use open source software to fight COVID-19 and other epidemics.”

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Sharma, who once presented in the TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield competition a startup she co-founded, became part of the overall cloud-native community during her time as head of marketing and strategic partnerships at Lightstep, a role she took in 2016. Her involvement with the OpenTracing project snowballed into a deeper relationship with the CNCF, she told me. “Once I joined GitLab, I was fortunate enough to be elected to the board of the CNCF — and until the 31st, I am in that role,” she told me. “That was really helpful, but that gave me the context about how does such a successful foundation and community run — what is the governance piece here — which, when I was on the community side, I wasn’t that involved in.”

n

Kohn had been at the helm of the CNCF since 2016 and guided the project from its early days to becoming one of the most successful open-source foundations of all time. Its bi-annual conferences draw thousands of developers from all over the world. While its marquee project is obviously Kubernetes, Kohn and his team at the foundation put a lot of emphasis on the overall ecosystem. The organization’s mission, after all, is “to make cloud native computing ubiquitous.” Today, the CNCF is home to 10 graduated projects, like Kubernetes, Prometheus, Envoy, Jaeger and Vitess, as well as 16 so-called “incubating projects,” like OpenTracing, Linkerd, Rook and etcd.

n

u201cPriyankau2019s contributions tou00a0CNCF as a speaker, governing board member, and community leader over the last several years has been invaluable,u201d said Kohn in a statement. u201cI think she is a great choice to lead the organization to its next stage.u201d

n

Sharma says she’ll start her tenure by listening to the community. “Cloud native has become the de facto standard,” she said. “We’re doing great with regard to technology adoption, growth — but as things evolve — with the number of people already in the foundation that is on track to be 600 members — I think as a community, and there is so much growth opportunity there, we can go deeper into developer engagement, have more conversations around education and understanding of all the projects. Now we have 10 graduated projects — not just Kubernetes — so there’s lots of adoption to happen there. So I’m just very excited for the second wave that we will have.”

n

Now that everybody knows that DevOps and containers are, she wants to bring more people into the fold — and also look at new technologies like serverless and service meshes. “We’ve been off to a blockbuster start and now I think we have to mature a little and go deeper,” she said.

n

It’s worth noting that current CNCF CTO Chris Aniszczyk will continue in his role at the foundation. “The cloud native community has grown leaps and bounds in the last few years as companies look for more flexible and innovative solutions to meet their continuously evolving infrastructure and application needs,” he said. “As CNCF now reaches nearly 50 projects and 90,000 contributors globally, Iu2019m thrilled to have an opportunity to work with Priyanka to cultivate and grow our cloud native community in its next evolution.”

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The Cloud Native Computing Foundation, the Linux Foundation-based home of open-source projects like Kubernetes, OpenTracing and Envoy, today announced that Dan Kohn, the long-time executive director of the organization, is stepping down, with Priyanka Sharma, the director of Cloud Native Alliances at GitLab, stepping into the general manager role. Kohn will continue to be part […]

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Before he joined TechCrunch in 2012, he founded SiliconFilter and wrote for ReadWriteWeb (now ReadWrite). Frederic covers enterprise, cloud, developer tools, Google, Microsoft, gadgets, transportation and anything else he finds interesting. He owns just over a 50th of a bitcoin.

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Before he joined TechCrunch in 2012, he founded SiliconFilter and wrote for ReadWriteWeb (now ReadWrite). Frederic covers enterprise, cloud, developer tools, Google, Microsoft, gadgets, transportation and anything else he finds interesting. He owns just over a 50th of a bitcoin.

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