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Less VC for SV, 2022 marketing predictions, GTM research strategies – TechCrunch



Detroit became the center of America’s automobile industry largely for logistical reasons: its midwestern location, high population density and proximity to raw materials were just a few factors that assured investors it was an optimal spot for building an industrial hub.

Silicon Valley’s tech ecosystem, on the other hand, was initially seeded by military research and a surge in college admissions after the Second World War that fostered a community of technologists and investors.

But those aren’t permanent geographic traits like being close to ports or large deposits of iron and copper ore.

Decades after Palo Alto’s first garage startup, talent and capital has become more evenly distributed: This year, Bay Area startups only attracted 27% of all U.S. seed- and early-stage venture dollars.

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“It’s been more than 10 years since that percentage fell below 30%,” reports Mary Ann Azevedo, who analyzed “Beyond Silicon Valley,” a report released by investment firm Revolution and PitchBook.

She identified several factors pushing investors in major tech hubs to venture outside their own backyards in search of opportunities. Many readers may be surprised to learn which city is now the top destination for dollars from NYC and SF-based investors.

“This momentum we’re seeing now? You ain’t seen nothing yet,” said Revolution founder and CEO Steve Case.

Some might think “Silicon Valley’s share of US VC funding falls to lowest level in more than a decade” is a scary headline, but from my perspective as a resident, it’s great news. The San Francisco Bay Area has received tremendous benefits from making itself a magnet for technology talent and money, but it’s also had unintended impacts on the region’s infrastructure, housing and income inequality.

I mean, we have the best food and weather, but we certainly haven’t cornered the market on good ideas. If more people are starting up in cities like Cincinnati, Portland and Buffalo, not only will those communities benefit directly, we’ll also see new products and services that reflect a greater diversity of thought and location.

Thanks very much for reading, and I hope you have a great weekend.

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, TechCrunch+

3 disruptive trends that will shape marketing in 2022

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Image Credits: Adam Drobiec/EyeEm (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Since the pandemic began, the rules of the game for growth marketing have changed considerably.

Consumers are embracing Apple’s iOS 14.5’s privacy changes, regulators are taking a greater interest in browser cookies, and The Great Resignation are just a few X factors, but there are many others.

“What worked yesterday may not work today and likely won’t work tomorrow,” write Jonathan Metrick, chief growth officer at Sagard & Portage Ventures, and Simon Lejeune, user acquisition lead at Wealthsimple.

Here’s what they’re preparing for:

  • Less data, more privacy and the return of growth hacking.
  • TikTok, influencers and the dominance of native creative.
  • The Great Resignation and the Gettysburg for growth talent.

How to acquire customer research that shapes your go-to-market strategy

A white coffee mug on a white background that is overflowing with roasted coffee beans.

Image Credits: Xinzheng (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

A marketer is one of a startup’s most important first hires, but finding out just who your end users are and what they want from your product is even more important.

“You must first get to know your potential customer and what is going on in their life that will ultimately trigger them into using you,” writes Lucy Heskins, an early-stage startup marketing adviser.

Heskins shares three key questions that will help you better understand target customers, along with recommendations for how to apply the data you’ll gather in future marketing campaigns:

  • Why would a customer subscribe to your product?
  • What triggers your customer to decide your product is the one?
  • Who else are you competing against?

Dear Sophie: 2 questions about resuming consular appointments

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Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

I sponsored my fiancé for a K-1 visa last year right before the pandemic. Unfortunately, the consulate canceled my fiancé’s visa interview and he hasn’t yet been able to get his visa.

Now that travel restrictions to the United States have been lifted, what’s the status of visa interviews?

— Pining in Pittsburgh

Dear Sophie,

I’m in the U.S. on an approved H-1B petition, but I don’t have an H-1B visa stamp in my passport. I want to visit my family in Mumbai.

Will I get a visa stamp in time to return to the U.S. within a month?

— Hankering for Home

The peculiar investment management industry

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Image Credits: ekkawit998 (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Investment management is one of a few industries where a manager’s win comes at another’s loss, writes Versatile VC founder David Teten and Katina Stefanova, CIO and CEO of Marto Capital.

“If you eat a great steak dinner, it doesn’t imply that others have to eat hot dogs. In asset management, each new money manager who generates alpha (returns above the passive benchmark performance) does so at the expense of other managers who underperform.”

In the first post in a series that examines investment management, Teten and Stefanova give us a look at the current state of the industry and explain why it is primed for disruption.

Usage-based pricing is a company-wide effort

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Image Credits: We Are (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

In his latest guest post for TechCrunch+, OpenView partner Kyle Poyar explains why usage-based pricing “is a company-wide effort” that “requires ditching the old SaaS metrics playbook.”

It’s no fad: UBP went mainstream because SaaS companies that use it see dramatically higher growth and retention rates.

Citing examples from powerhouses like Twilio, Stripe, AWS and others, Poyar explains how UBP companies “share their customers’ success” and reduce their risk of ending up with a CRM packed “with lots of unprofitable customers.”

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Better together: Offsetting cybersecurity’s labor challenges with API integrations



The labor challenges afflicting cybersecurity teams far and wide are no secret. A razor-tight hiring market coupled with surging demand and an accelerating threat landscape has created a perfect storm of complexity, resulting in a widening skills gap that is driving higher levels of burnout and human error across the sector. In fact, Verizon’s independently commissioned 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report found that 82% of breaches today involve some degree of human error. Whether it’s an unsuspecting end user or a bleary-eyed analyst, the vulnerabilities caused by cognitive overload shouldn’t be overlooked.  

Take the recent high-profile Uber data breach. A malicious actor, posing as an internal IT administrator, used digital collaboration channels to trick an Uber employee into giving up their VPN credentials, leading to a total compromise of the rideshare giant’s network infrastructure. The breach exemplified the consequences of a social engineering attack targeting the always-on hybrid workforce. And with the rate of such attacks accelerating in volume and velocity, it’s clear that more visibility of these threats is needed for security teams to effectively remediate them.

Many organizations are investing in a plethora of new, best-in-class security products in response to staffing shortages. However, reactive patchwork spending on the industry’s latest niche products shouldn’t be viewed as the answer, as the tool sprawl often creates additional complexity that hurts organizations more than it helps. Enterprises, on average, have 60 to 80 different security monitoring tools in their portfolio, many of which go unused, underutilized or forgotten. Forcing security teams to master a myriad of tools, consoles and workflows shifts priorities from managing risk to managing technology.

An integrated cybersecurity framework

The companies best positioned to offset cybersecurity’s labor challenges are those adopting best-of-breed security tools and platforms that offer a deep library of API and third-party integrations. Above all, an integrated framework empowers organizations to effectively navigate their unique environments by consolidating tools and reducing human error through the following three processes:


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  • Improved protection via security intelligence and threat sharing: This enables rapid recognition and response to incoming threats via machine learning analytics tools, strengthening a human analyst’s ability to formulate swift and comprehensive cyberdefense measures.
  • Improved efficiency via automation: This enables offloading of repetitive and mundane manual tasks to AI-enabled tools, streamlining human workflows by accelerating and improving key facets of incident response and vulnerability management.
  • Improved prevention via sharing and consolidating tool data: This enables complete, real-time visibility into an organization’s entire security environment to promote the creation of targeted alerts that uncover unknown threats.

In collaborating with a wider range of security vendors, organizations leveraging API integrations benefit from the combined knowledge of all integrated platforms to greatly improve overall security posture. The extensive access to timely threat intelligence allows security teams to align prevention, investigation and response plans across multiple security controls, as well as increase the speed of their detection and remediation efforts.

Amid the widespread adoption of cloud-based hybrid work environments, it’s increasingly clear that organizational security architectures must consist of scalable, tightly integrated solutions that combine the right balance of automated prevention, detection and response capabilities to effectively protect data across its lifecycle.

Enhancing detection and increasing cybersecurity efficacy

An open API integration framework is the embodiment of unlocking strength in numbers. It stitches together the critical functions and processes performed by foundational security tools — email security, endpoint security, web security, NDR, data security — into a single meshed framework that operates in unison and shares centralized threat intelligence data across its ecosystem. By connecting all the pieces of the puzzle, organizations gain the resources to enhance their prevention and detection capabilities in complex environments.

In one scenario, an API framework could enable automated processes to continuously flow between an email gateway and security service edge (SSE) to corresponding SIEM/XDR systems. This would allow security teams to share rich logging, metadata, indicators of compromise, malicious URLs, user activity, data movement and machine learning analytics in real time. The AI-powered SIEM platform automates the analysis of that threat data, sifting through the noise to generate actionable alerts with contextual information for security teams. Meanwhile, the real-time contextual insights provide simplified guidance for analysts to alleviate potential threats and, if needed, formulate a swift response to an attack.

With access to a wider range of threat data touchpoints, cybersecurity teams can also create customized scripts within the overarching API library. This gives them “targeted capabilities” that more directly align with their specific needs and skillsets. For instance, the team could create a script that simultaneously analyzes email security logs from Vendor A, data protection logs from Vendor B, web security click logs from Vendor C, and spam filter logs from Vendor D, based on which intel is most relevant to their specific use case. Filtering the exceedingly high volumes of incoming alerts enhances the efficiency of the entire team, empowering analysts to identify needles in the haystack by prioritizing the right alerts at the right times for maximized protection.

Automating manual processes and workflows

Despite the growing number of innovative, best-in-class products available on the market today, it’s important to remember that a multi-vector social engineering attack is exceedingly difficult for hybrid security teams to combat regardless of the tools in their stack. Quick and agile responses are non-negotiable in these situations, but with resources stretched thin and employees working from multiple locations, executing swift corrective action free of human error is easier said than done. Even the most experienced and skilled security teams are susceptible to mistakes while trying to remediate an attack. Therefore, identifying how to automate well-defined processes wherever possible is imperative for tightening these response durations and ensuring security teams can remediate quickly and effectively.

With access to an open API library, organizations can integrate the capabilities of additional AI/ML security tools into their existing security architecture to automate the repetitive steps of protection, detection, response, mitigation and intelligence sharing. Whether it’s informing an endpoint security provider of an emerging alert, or securely moving data from one storage solution to another, API-driven automation can handle the routine, error-prone tasks cybersecurity teams perform every day. Streamlining these otherwise human-centric workflows allows overstretched analysts to instead focus on more critical threat assessments requiring extensive time and attention. That, on a macro level, strengthens the security posture of the greater organization.

There’s no magic bullet that will completely reverse cybersecurity’s labor challenges in the immediate future. But there are proactive steps organizations can take now to provide the critical support their security teams need today. For effectively navigating a complex threat landscape, there’s no better place to start than with the applied adoption of a deep API integration framework.

After all, cybersecurity is a team sport. Why defend alone when you can defend together? 

Joseph Tibbetts is senior director for tech alliances and API at Mimecast.

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It’s foie gras season in unicorn land • TechCrunch




elcome to the TechCrunch Exchange, a weekly startups-and-markets newsletter. It’s inspired by the daily TechCrunch+ column where it gets its name. Want it in your inbox every Saturday? Sign up here.

With most startups getting repriced behind closed doors, we love getting data that gives us a glimpse of what’s going on. This week, our new information comes from EquityZen, which shared insights on secondary stock sales. EquityZen also put up a few IPO predictions that gave us food for thought. Let’s explore. — Anna

A glimpse of repricing

How do you know when a unicorn has lost its billion-dollar valuation? Usually you only find out long after the fact, when — and if — the company raises a down round that makes it clear that its equity valuation is no longer in the unicorn realm.

The thing is, not many founders want to advertise that they have raised capital at a lower valuation than their previous round; in most cases, they just won’t disclose their new valuation.

As market observers, this leaves us with little data on a topic that our readers do care about: What kind of repricing they could expect. This is why we were grateful for Instacart, which made it public that it reduced its valuation through a 409A price change. This wasn’t good news, but it was a helpful data point for everyone involved. However, that was back in March.

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This Top-Rated PDF Solution Is 66% Off Now



Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Paper has made its way largely out of business, but that doesn’t mean you don’t still work with documents regularly. Instead, we’re just working with them differently: with the dreaded PDF. These static files can be great if you’re positive that a document is ready, but a serious nightmare when you have to make changes. When you’re working with a lot of PDFs, you need a quality digital solution.


We’ve got a deal you’ll like. For a limited time, you can get a lifetime subscription to UPDF Pro for 66% off.

UPDF Pro is one of the top-rated PDF solutions on the market. Geeky Gadget writes, “UPDF is a potent PDF editor and PDF converter designed to stay up with advanced technologies. It ensures that whichever features you use are up to date. UPDF not only converts PDF to Word but can perform many advanced editing.” Fossbytes adds, “UPDF doesn’t have a boring interface like other PDF software. The design is stunning and eye-catching. On top of it, it is convenient to use. You wouldn’t be bothered with a complex design that is very time-consuming.”

These are just the tip of the iceberg of positive reviews for this all-in-one PDF solution for individuals and businesses. With it, you can edit any PDF document across Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices, adding or deleting text, editing fonts and color, and much more. The tool allows you to add, crop, rotate, replace, extract or delete images, watermark documents, and password-protect them for elevated confidentiality. You can also easily annotate PDFs, highlight, underline, or strike out text, add shapes and notes, and much more. Finally, it’s even easy to convert any PDF to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and a ton of other file types in just a click.

Working with PDFs has never been easier than with a lifetime subscription to UPDF Pro. Grab it on sale for 66% off $149 at just $49.99, the best price you’ll find online.

Prices subject to change.

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