Zero-party data collection, Airbnb CEO interview, cryptocurrency volatility – TechCrunch

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Back in the days when most of the trade took place on local highways, shoppers who exchanged personally identifiable information with merchants received something in return.

Stores tracked customer hats, shoes and clothing sizes, along with their birthdays, anniversaries, and personal preferences. In return, shoppers got a first glimpse of new products and services that anticipated their desires: personalized purchases.

For most of the internet age, that work has been done with tools like browser cookies and tracking pixels, but consumers’ desire for more privacy (and more regulation) is forcing online marketers to rethink basic practices.

What if instead of secretly tracking our behavior, they only ask us for relevant details?


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“Think of the kinds of things you would say to a store employee that helps you find the right gifts for your family to buy,” says Ben Parr, president and co-founder of Octane AI. “They are zero-party given.”

In a very detailed post with more examples, shares methods for collecting third-party data that will engage customers and increase conversions.

It’s not just ecommerce – the new restrictions on sharing and collecting data will increase customer acquisition costs for everything from car sales to real estate. If your startup is formulating a zero-part data strategy, read on.

Wednesday November 17th at 3pm PST / 6pm EST, I will be interviewing Ben Parr on Twitter Spaces about no-part marketing best practices. To get a reminder, please follow @techcrunch on Twitter.

Good weekend,

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, TechCrunch +
@your protagonist

Demand curve: how Zapier acquires customers via its homepage

Image credits: zoff photo (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Your homepage is your most valuable asset when it comes to explaining what you do and the value you offer.

At its root, it’s an advanced storytelling exercise, but many startups think about it completely, which is why studying what the competition looks like will help you save time and money on testing and optimization.

For example, Demand Curve’s Joey Noble takes down the homepage of the Zapier automation service, delving into the copywriting and conversion tactics that have helped the platform gain millions of users around the world.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky talks about the future of work and the one thing he’d do above

Airbnb Inc. CEO Brian Chesky as the company plans expansion into Africa

Image credits: Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg / Getty Images

In an extensive interview, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and TechCrunch editor Jordan Crook rethought how the travel agency has adapted since the start of the pandemic.

Their chat covered topics ranging from Airbnb’s “works everywhere” policy, to how it deals with host accountability issues, and its biggest regret from the COVID-19 era:

I canceled the host’s cancellation policy and refunded more than $ 1 billion in guest bookings. I think it was the right thing to do. But I did it unilaterally, without consulting the hosts. They got really pissed off and broke some trust with some of our host community.

Debt-as-a-service provider Sivo wants to power the next generation of loan startups

Image credits: zakokor (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Raising debt is never easy for startups and fintechs with a business model that revolves around lending, raising a line of credit from banks or lenders can take several months.

By offering “debt as a service,” Sivo aims to correct this problem through its platform, which requires few deals and fees, and makes raising debt “as easy as connecting to an API,” said Ryan Lawler.

“Early returns have been positive: in just about three months from launch, Sivo has received approximately $ 4 billion in demand and has effectively signed $ 1.5 billion in term sheets from originators wishing to leverage its debt offering such as service, “he writes.

“And, according to founder and CEO Kate Hiscox, the company is in the process of welcoming 600 originators who hope to tap into its programmatic debt lines.”

As valuations rise and IPOs accelerate, the public takes on greater startup risks

Investing in companies that have astronomical valuations based on projected growth can work really well. But when the gap between expectations and reality gets too big, markets can collapse.

According to Alex Wilhelm, today’s market and IPO valuations are based on real growth, but investors should still remain cautious.

“The public is increasingly able to invest in high-risk tech companies, and as more and more of the air the tech valuations are on is expanding,” he writes.

“The public is now at risk.”

Sweetgreen’s IPO pricing guide illuminates the valuation range for tech-enabled companies

A Sweetgreen showcase in Chicago

Image credits: Scott Olson (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

This week, the Sweetgreen salad chain set an IPO range of $ 23 to $ 25 per share, giving it an approximately 8.2-fold multiple and a valuation of between $ 2.5 billion and $ 2.7 billion.

That’s a lot of lettuce, but the price shows how much tech-enabled DTC companies can flex, writes Alex Wilhelm, who compared Sweetgreen’s range to IPO pricing for Allbirds and Rent the Runway.

“Modern software multiples aren’t, but they’re not bad either,” says Alex. “In fact, they are better than I would have imagined, further proof that they are a mix of Scrooge and Grinch.”

Aileen Lee and Rachel Carlson walk through Guild Education’s first pitch deck

guild education slide from techcrunch live

Image credits: Guild Education

For a recent episode of TechCrunch Live, Editor-in-Chief Jordan Crook spoke with Guild Education CEO Rachel Carlson, Co-Founder Brittany Stich, and Cowboy Ventures founder and managing partner Aileen Lee, about the origins and arc of growth of the educational skills improvement platform.

Cowboy Ventures conducted a $ 2 million seed round in 2015 as the founders were just starting their entrepreneurial journey.

“[We felt like we had to] show up and be a founding team, ”Carlson said.

“We tried to pretend a little bit. We had this great first intellectual meeting and on the next I felt I had to introduce myself and show her that I did business. I was a little less authentic. “

How to take advantage of distributed work

Vector of different people connecting around the world using modern technology

Image credits: Feodora Chiosea / Getty Images

For several years, I made a living sitting at my living room desk. Every day I get up, make coffee and go to work.

“‘Remote’ is fundamentally at a disadvantage,” said Phil Libin, founder and CEO of TechCrunch Disrupt startup studio All Turtles and mmhmm. “We are not far away, we are distributed. We are intentionally distributed in the same way the Internet is a distributed system. “

Chief Editor Eric Eldon interviewed Libin and Wendy Nice Barnes, Gitlab’s chief people officer, to learn more about promoting corporate culture, managing people and hiring efficiently in a distributed workplace.

“Now it’s a lot easier than getting in the car, going to the office, having to check in and go through security – and then sitting in a room and staying there for five or six hours,” Barnes said.

“You now have the flexibility and are intrigued and will learn faster through the remote interview process.”

Expensify CEO David Barrett Talks About Listing and Why Expense Management is a $ 1T Opportunity

Fintech reporter Ryan Lawler interviewed Expensify CEO David Barrett this week about the timing of the company’s IPO and why they chose a traditional direct listing on a more stylish SPAC.

“We aim to be the most pro-employee IPO ever. So even if it’s a traditional IPO, with the exception of a collection of insiders, all of our employees can trade up to 15% of their shares as of today. Normally, you can only get that kind of “day one” liquidity if you have made a direct quote “.

Barrett said getting cash for early shareholders was also an important consideration, as the company is already profitable.

“It was really about – there’s no future where we won’t end up going public at some point. So it is no longer a question of making the problem public, but of when “.

The volatility of cryptocurrencies continues to confuse Wall Street

The fact that third-quarter earnings for Robinhood and Coinbase were both below expectations led Alex Wilhelm to wonder if Wall Street is underestimating how volatile the cryptocurrency market is.

“The speed of the cryptocurrency economy as a whole may simply be too rapid for public market investors to fully grow,” he writes.

“And exchanges aren’t even the most fluctuating of crypto-themed investments.”

Whether to sell your business will always be an important decision for the founders

Now I sell banners on the building.

Image credits: temmuzcan / Getty Images

To better understand what goes through a founder’s mind when considering a sale, Ron Miller hosted a panel at TC Sessions: SaaS featuring:

  • Jyoti Bansal, who sold his previous AppDynamics startup to Cisco for $ 3.7 billion.
  • Monica Sarbu, who sold her startup Packetbeat to Elastic.
  • Nick Mehta, who sold his LiveOffice email archiving startup to Symantec.

“It was four days of long board meetings and discussions and debates and struggles and coming to the decision. So it wasn’t an easy decision, “Bansal said.

“Even though, at $ 3.7 billion, everyone thought it was probably going to be a no-brainer; it wasn’t. “

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