Frisco Startup Developing ‘Mixed Virtual Reality’ Tool for Teachers – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Frisco Startup Developing ‘Mixed Virtual Reality’ Tool for Teachers  NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
“startups when:1d” – Google News

PandaDoc announces second Series B extension worth $30M

PandaDoc, the startup that provides a fully digital sales document workflow from proposal to electronic signature to collecting payment, announced a $ 30 million Series B extension today, making it the second such extension the company has taken since taking its original $ 15 million Series B in 2017. The total for the three B investments is $ 50 million.

Company co-founder and CEO Mikita Mikado says that he took this approach — taking the original money in 2017, then $ 5 million last year along with the money announced today — because it made more sense financially for the company than taking a huge chunk of money all at once.

“Basically when we do little chunks of cash frequently, [we found that] you dilute yourself less,” Mikado told TechCrunch. He said that they’ve grown comfortable with this approach because the business became more predictable once it passed 10,000 customers. In fact today it has 20,000.

“With a high-velocity in-bound sales model, you can predict what’s going to happen next month or [say] six months out. So you kind of have this luxury of raising as much money as you need when you need it, minimizing dilution just like public companies do,” he said.

While he wouldn’t discuss specifics in terms of valuations, he did say that the B1 had 2x the valuation of the original B round and the B2 had double the valuation of the B1.

For this round, One Peak led the investment, with participation from Microsoft’s Venture Fund (M12), Savano Capital Partners, Rembrandt Venture Partners and EBRD Venture Capital Investment Programme.

Part of the company’s growth strategy is using their eSignature tool to move people to the platform. They made that tool free in March just as the pandemic was hitting hard in the U.S., and it has proven to be what Mikado called “a lead magnet” to get more people familiar with the company.

Once they do that he says, they start to look at the broader set of tools and they can become paying customers. “This launch helped us validate that businesses need a broader workflow solution. Businesses used to think of the eSignature as the Holy Grail in getting a deal done. Now they are realizing that eSignature is just a moment in time. The full value is what happens before, during and after the eSignature in order to get deals done,” Mikado said.

The company currently has 334 employees with plans to hit 380 by year’s end and is aiming for 470 by next year. With the office in San Francisco, Belarus and Manila, it has geographic diversity built in, but Mikado says it’s something they are still working at and includes anti-bias programs and training and leadership programs to give more people a chance to be hired or promoted into management.

When it came to shutting down offices and working from home, Mikado admits it was a challenge, especially as some of the geographies they operate in might not have access to a good internet connection at home or face other challenges, but overall he says it has worked out in terms of maintaining productivity across the company. And he points out being geographically diverse, they have had to deal with online communications for some time.

Startups – TechCrunch

Andre Iguodala Net Worth: Miami Heat Reserve Earned Big After Investing in Zoom – International Business Times

Andre Iguodala Net Worth: Miami Heat Reserve Earned Big After Investing in Zoom  International Business Times
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Apple has acquired Mobeewave, a startup with tech that could transform iPhones into payment terminals; one source says deal is worth ~$100M (Mark Gurman/Bloomberg) – Up News Info

Apple has acquired Mobeewave, a startup with tech that could transform iPhones into payment terminals; one source says deal is worth ~$ 100M (Mark Gurman/Bloomberg)  Up News Info
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Plant-Based Meat Market Size Worth $35.4 Billion By 2027 | CAGR: 15.8% – Food Industry Executive

Plant-Based Meat Market Size Worth $ 35.4 Billion By 2027 | CAGR: 15.8%  Food Industry Executive
“sweden startups when:7d” – Google News

Why aren’t Rackspace and BigCommerce worth more?

This week has brought with it two tasty pieces of IPO news — Rackspace’s return to the public markets and BigCommerce’s debut will be far more interesting now that we know what a first-draft valuation for each looks like.

But amidst the numbers is a question worth answering: Why aren’t cloud-focused Rackspace and e-commerce-powering BigCommerce worth more?

Using a basic share count and the top end of their initial ranges, Rackspace is targeting a roughly $ 4.8 billion valuation, and BigCommerce a $ 1.3 billion price tag. Given that Rackspace had $ 652.7 million in Q1 2020 revenue and BigCommerce reaped $ 33.2 million in the same period, we have a puzzle on our hands.

Let me explain. At its IPO price, Rackspace is worth around 2x its current revenue run rate. For a company we associate with the cloud, that feels cheap at first glance. BigCommerce is targeting a valuation of around a little under 10x its current annual run rate, which feels light compared to its competitor Shopify’s current price/sales ratio of of 66.4x (per YCharts data).

We did some maths to hammer away at what’s going on in each case. The mystery boils down to somewhat mundane margin and growth considerations. Let’s dive into the data, figure out what’s going on and ask ourselves if these companies aren’t heading for a second, higher IPO price range before they formally price and begin trading.

Margins and growth

Let’s unpack Rackspace’s IPO pricing first and BigCommerce’s own set of numbers second.

Rackspace

While Rackspace has a public cloud component, its core business is service-driven, so it isn’t a major cloud platform that competes with Microsoft’s Azure, Google’s GCP or Amazon’s AWS.  This isn’t a diss, mind, but a point of categorization.

The company has three reporting segments:

Canada is cramming years worth of modernization into months, but experts say the country’s scale-up problem lingers – ITBusiness.ca

Canada is cramming years worth of modernization into months, but experts say the country’s scale-up problem lingers  ITBusiness.ca
“sweden startups when:7d” – Google News

Without desks and a demo day, are accelerators worth it?

As a result of the pandemic, accelerators have moved operations fully remote to abide by social distancing. The shift has forced well-known programs like 500 Startups, Y Combinator and Techstars to go fully online, while encouraging existing venture capital firms to launch new digital-only fellowships like Cleo Capital and NextView Ventures.

Before the pandemic, accelerators could advertise their value by lending desk space once used by Airbnb, Twilio and Brex’s co-founders, plus a glitzy demo day. Now, stripped of their in-person element, the actual value of an accelerator program — and the network they provide — is being tested in new ways.

So a question remains for participating founders: Are they getting the benefits of what they thought they signed up for?

In the Zoom where it happened

The last thing Michael Vega-Sanz wanted to do was was join another Zoom get-together for entrepreneurs. But the car-sharing company he co-founded with twin brother Matthew was in the middle of a pivot, so they joined NextView Ventures’ inaugural remote accelerator program.

“I envisioned an accelerator with awkward happy hours, mass Zoom calls,” Vega-Sanz said. Fast-forward one month into the program, he says it “has been quite the opposite.”

Before joining NextView’s accelerator, Vega-Sanz did an in-person incubator at Babson College in Boston, but there’s “a lot less fluff” in being virtual, he told TechCrunch.

“[With in-person] the reality was you’d go to lunch, and by the time you drove over there and had all your side talk, small talk, chit-chat and actually got into the nitty-gritty of the event, there was a lot of time loss,” he said. “You could have been working for your company during that time.”

If possible, Vega-Sanz still recommends that first-time founders attend a physical accelerator instead of a virtual one for the energy it brings, even with the downside of useless events.

Startups – TechCrunch