TechCrunch+ Roundup: VC Robotics Survey, Visa Bulletin Update, SaaS Engagement Metrics


A robotic taxi took me home a few nights ago, and it was great.

As he drove through Golden Gate Park at 23 mph (slowing down to 6 mph for each speed bump), I felt a packet of data arrive on the network.

Since the last Robotics Investor Survey in February 2020, Image has emerged from obscurity as a bipedal humanoid robot and Boston Dynamics Atlas has become a parkour expert.

Autonomous tractors, semi-trucks and warehouse bots have gone from concept to reality. Is robotics mainstream now?

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“The period in between is arguably the most important years for the sector,” said Hardware editor Brian Heiter, who asked 13 investors about robotics as a service, new consumer products and what role it might play. To deal with climate change;

  • Milo Werner, General Partner, Motor
  • Abe Murray, Managing Partner, Alley Robotics Ventures
  • Kelly Chen, Partner, DCVC
  • Neil Mehta, Investor, G2 Ventures
  • Oliver Keown, Managing Director, Intuitive Ventures
  • Rohit Sharma, Partner, True Ventures
  • Helen Greiner, Consultant, Cybernetics Ventures
  • Kira Noodleman, Partner, Bee Ventures
  • Dayna Grayson, Co-Founder and General Partner, Construction Capital
  • Paul Willard, Partner, Grep
  • Cyril Ebersweiler, General Partner, SOSV
  • Claire Delaunay, Private Equity.
  • Peter Barrett, Co-Founder and General Partner, Playground Global

Thanks so much for reading TC+ this week!

Walter Thompson
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+
@your main actor

Vote for TechCrunch in the Webby Awards!

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Two TechCrunch podcasts, Chain Reaction and Found, were each nominated for a Webby Award in the Best Tech Podcast category.

Cast your vote before Thursday, April 20th!

4 parameters of SaaS participation that attract investors

The closest of four aces

Image Credits: Tetra mages (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Past performance doesn’t always predict future results, but it’s the best place to find customer retention statistics that interest investors.

According to Oleksandr Yaroshenko, head of investment and strategy at edtech startup Headway, engagement rates for existing customers are “very good predictors of re-registration.”

In this post, he explores gamification strategy and shares ideas for building a “golden set” that represents your target audience.

Ask Sophie: How many Employment Green Cards are available each year?

A lonely figure at the entrance to the fence of the maze with an American flag in the middle

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

I am trying to find out how long I have to wait for my green card.

I have two questions for you: How many employment green cards are available in each category each year? How do I understand the Visa Bulletin?

– Stopped in San Jose

Secondary market trackers are illuminating a typically dark deal environment.

Second level, startups, opaque deal market

Image Credits: Getty Images

Starting prices are down, but by how much?

Instead of waiting for founders to launch their next fundraising rounds, savvy players are looking to secondary markets, “where investors can buy and sell shares in a startup or fund,” reports Rebecca Skutack.

“These deals have been harder to track than major venture capital deals because they’re generally less public,” such as Caplight, Notice, Birel and Hive Markets, but a new group of startups is shining a light on them.

“As a broker, even on a daily basis, I’m shocked at how fragmented and corrupted the information is,” said Tyson Hendrickson, co-founder of Advertising. “It was very difficult to know what was going on.”

VCs still think business software is a wise investment

Female project manager using Gantt chart program to organize tasks and update plan with software on computer screen

Image Credits: NicoElNino/Getty Images

Investors continue to fund work software startups as employers and employees come to terms with the new reality of remote and hybrid offices, according to a Deloitte report released this week.

Kyle Wiegers says several trends are driving VC demand for future work: In a down market, investors are looking for sustainable growth.[s] It is located among long-standing, iron-clad business-to-business contracts for software toolsets.

MassMutual launched a $100 million fund to invest in various startups

A woman in a red dress climbing a bar graph surrounded by growth and financial symbols

Image Credits: We are / Getty Images

Two years after launching its first $50 million MM Catalyst Fund to support diverse founders, insurance company MassMutual is doubling down.

Dominique-Madori Davies interviewed the firm’s head of impact investments, Liz Roberts, to learn more about the new $100 million investment fund and discuss how past funds have been allocated.

“We want more peers to invest with us in this kind of thesis and understanding,” Roberts said. “We are very small in a big opportunity.”

Pitch Deck Teardown: Diamond Standard’s $30M Series A Pitch Deck

Image Credits: Diamond standard (Opens in a new window)

Diamond Standard last year landed a $30 million Series A for its blockchain-based investment platform and shared an 11-slide deck with TechCrunch+.

  • Cover and mission slide
  • Summary slide
  • Solution Slide (“Introducing Modern Merchandise”)
  • Problem Slide (“Diamonds are not graded too low”)
  • Market Opportunity (Marked Slide 4 on Deck)
  • Roadmap slide (marked slide 5 on deck “How we do diamond production”)
  • Product Slide 1 (“Diamond Standard Exchange”)
  • Product Slide 2 (“Diamond Standard Recycling”)
  • ESG Slide (“Diamonds Are a Powerful ESG Investment”)
  • Founding slide
  • Company slide

CeFi and DeFi in front of the regulation

Classen Raphael / EyeEm via Getty Images

Will the FTX controversy trigger a regulatory crackdown on crypto?

“Many expect the worst,” says Ira Lam, chief legal officer at Superlayer. “It looks like there will soon be a blanket crackdown on all aspects of crypto as necessary to protect the public from future bad actors.”

In this detailed market analysis, Lam examines the differences between decentralized and centralized financial systems by looking at the different ways they appear in each region.

While it may be a long time until we see significant movement on consumer protection in crypto, one thing is certain: CeFi and DeFi cannot live without each other.


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