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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for January 26, 2022! Today we have surveillance robots, a Harry Potter reference, layoffs and startup news galore. Heck, we even have some Reddit news in the mix. It’s a good day to be a tech fan, worker and general consumer. Enjoy! – Alex
The TechCrunch Top 3
Today’s startup news is a really neat mix of things, so we’re proceeding in paragraphs instead of bullet points so that we can stretch our legs. To work!
With the stock market in turmoil, and valuations falling for tech companies around the world, three TechCrunchers put their heads together to answer a question: How should founders prepare for a decline in startup valuations and investor interest? We tend to put out three-views pieces around singular news events, but this time we had some fun with a trend.
Moving along, news broke today that UBS is buying robo-advisor Wealthfront for $1.4 billion. Those of us who were paying attention to fintech back in the day will recall when Wealthfront and Betterment battled it out for new customers and assets, building new tech to attract capital and users while also working to crush one another. The story is now partially closed, so we took a look at the deal from the perspective of revenue, assets under management and customers.
In good news for European startups generally – not like they have been suffering, mind – Spain’s startup law is “months away,” we report. The idea here is that Spain wants to attract more tech talent and startups. This makes good sense as tech companies can grow into large firms replete with high-payings jobs, given the space and time to do so. What’s in the law? According to our own Natasha Lomas, the bill covers “key areas like tax breaks for investors, talent incentives like stock options and a new digital nomad visa to attract international tech workers.”
Back on this continent, TechCrunch wrote today about Boom, the supersonic jet startup that wants to bring back fast traveling for consumers. Since the Concord kicked the bucket, we’ve all been flying at speeds that are pretty piddling compared to how fast our species has managed in the past. And we’ve all been kinda like, all right, I guess. I didn’t think that the comnpany was going to survive, but it has, and Boom is planning on building its speedy jets in North Carolina. Go Tarheels, I suppose!
Today from the oh god just go public file, Reddit is testing a method of allowing its users to upload NFTs as their profile pictures. Twitter recently did this. It’s a bit like uploading a picture to be your profile picture, but more complicated. Regardless of what regulars think of the NFT boom, it’s clear that tech-heads are all-in.
Speaking of tech workers, how most companies hire their engineers is a bit backwards. Most developers don’t really spend their time doing solo logic work on whiteboards while being watched by recruiters. So why is that how they are vetted? Byteboard’s new method of testing computer engineering talent just landed $5 million, so perhaps change is on the way.
If you live in Europe, you might want to invest in Asian stocks. Or if you live in Latin America, you might want to invest in companies public in the United States. This is not always as simple as you might think, so Vest’s work to help folks in the larger Americas investing in U.S. companies caught our eye. Founders Fund is backing the company’s work.
One interesting part of today’s startup landscape is the world of sales. SalesOps software is no small niche, with Gong proving that the sales use case can lead to serious dollars. CaptivateIQ is another player in the space, albeit with a different focus. Per our own Mary Ann Azevedo, CaptivateIQ “has developed a no-code SaaS platform to help companies design customized sales commission plans,” just raised $100 million and tripled its revenue last year.
And from the miscellaneous bucket, the Equity team had Bessemer growth-stage investor Mary D’Onofrio on to chat changing valuations, exit multiples and what’s ahead for startups. And I made a small argument that more drama in the tech space would do us good.
A CISO’s playbook for responding to zero-day exploits
Image Credits: Kalawin (opens in a new window) / Getty Images
The Log4Shell exploit that gave bad actors the ability to execute malicious code on infiltrated servers made global headlines and ruined many cybersecurity professionals’ holidays.
Despite a series of high-profile attacks, many companies still lack a response plan, writes Jonathan Trull, SVP of customer solutions, architecture and engineering at Qualys.
Drawing on his experience as a CISO, Trull outlines three steps companies can take to develop a playbook:
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Big Tech Inc.
Image Credits: SEAN GLADWELL / Getty Images
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