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TechCrunch+ roundup: Mixpanel’s reset, smart growth, $100K referral bonuses

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January 2020 seems like a long time ago: Billie Eilish swept the Grammy Awards, Tesla’s market cap made it America’s most valuable car company, and Visa announced plans to purchase Plaid for $5.3 billion.

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A year later, the credit card giant balked at the deal after it attracted regulatory scrutiny, but Ryan Lawler reports that “the year wasn’t a total loss for the data connectivity startup.”

He spoke to CEO Zach Perret, CTO Jean-Denis Greze and COO Eric Sager about what they learned while working with Visa, and looked at some new platform features designed to build customer trust while eliciting better insights.

“Despite the outcome not being what we predicted when we went in, I think we as a company grew a lot and learned a lot,” said Perret.


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If you’re interested in becoming a TechCrunch contributor, I’ll be on Twitter Spaces on Tuesday, October 19 from 3 to 3:30 p.m Pacific to answer questions about our editorial guidelines and talk about what we’re generally looking for in guest posts.

To get a reminder, please follow @techcrunch on Twitter. If you have questions about how to submit a post, format or other issues, I hope you’ll join the conversation.

Thanks again for reading TechCrunch+ this week; have a great weekend!

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, TechCrunch+
@yourprotagonist

Smart growth tactics can put account-based marketing within reach for startups and SMBs

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

Account-based marketing makes it easier to engage with key customers at the right moment, but for many early-stage startups desperate to reach takeoff velocity, ABM isn’t viewed as something they can do.

“This couldn’t be further from the truth, and both startups and SMBs can, and should, invest in ABM strategies,” advises Jonas van de Poel, head of content marketing at Unmuted, an Amsterdam-based growth agency.

In a post that offers a detailed overview, van de Poel identifies “distinctive characteristics” of businesses that should consider ABM strategies, along with specific recommendations for implementing them.

“With a handful of smart growth tactics and clever tools, ABM strategies don’t have to break the bank to be successful,” he writes.

Investors say Indian startup funding could get even hotter after record Q3

Global startup funding has soared this year, but a number of exits and large funding rounds are drawing new attention to India’s startup ecosystem.

Anna Heim and Alex Wilhelm interviewed GV Ravishankar, managing director with Sequoia India, and Kunal Bajaj, head of capital for Blume Ventures, about the trends they’re seeing.

“Whether it is product-led growth, community-led, customer-led or what have you,” Bajaj said, “modern go-to-market playbooks have caused a fundamental shift in the software-as-a-service market by creating 10x+ as many buying/retention signals.

Accordingly, super-specialized GTM strategies are now the norm, not the exception.”

How Mixpanel got its startup groove back by focusing on its core product

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

Analytics startup Mixpanel burst out of the gate in 2009, scoring big wins as it scooped up new users and approached the $100 million ARR mark, but by 2017, “it lacked focus, it was losing customers, and many of the customers it had weren’t terribly pleased with it,” reports Ron Miller.

To learn more about how the company course-corrected by returning to its roots, he interviewed Mixpanel CEO Amir Movafaghi, VP of people and strategy Amy Hsuan, and VP of product and design, Neil Rahilly.

“When you decide to make a huge strategic shift like this, it’s really a case of taking a step backward to take two steps forward, because in the short-term, there’s lots of pain,” Rahilly said.

3 things GitLab’s wild IPO pricing says about public markets

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

GitLab stock popped 35% in its first day of trading, but before the bell rang, Alex Wilhelm shared his thinking about its $77 debut price, up from an initial range of $55 to $60. His conclusions?

  • Revenue growth is good, but revenue growth with top-tier SaaS metrics is god-tier.
  • You can go public with a top-five public multiple.
  • Public markets could be, somehow, warmer than private markets.

Dear Sophie: Marriage-based green card versus EB-1C green card?

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Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

My fiancé and I got engaged early this year. We’re planning a wedding for later in the year when my family can travel to the U.S. from Estonia, where I’m originally from. I’ve been living and working in the U.S. for almost two years on an L-1A visa.

My company is sponsoring me for an EB-1C green card, but the process has been slow. I’m thinking about getting a green card through my spouse when we’re married.

Is there anything in particular that I should keep in mind? Also, would it be a problem if I keep my maiden name after my fiancé and I get married?

— Fantastic Fiancée

Founders should use predictive modeling to fundraise smarter

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

Predictive modeling is used for customer relationship management, health care and forecasting TV ratings, but more startup founders should be using it to inform their fundraising, suggests Billy Libby, CEO and co-founder of hybrid fund Upper90.

“Data can separate the healthy and experimental parts of all businesses, making it easier to utilize earnings, marketing ROI and inventory to make predictions about or get credit for future revenue streams,” he writes in a TechCrunch+ guest post.

How my company is winning the war for engineering talent

Blockdaemon CEO Konstantin Richter is hiring at least 10 engineers a month.

“You can’t overlook the elephant in the room — money talks,” the CEO writes in a guest column for TechCrunch+.

Setting aside the $100,000 bounty the company now offers its recruiters, Richter also shares his company’s compensation framework. For example, instead of a yearly salary review, Blockdaemon revisits the matter every six months.

“This helps build a meritocratic and less bureaucratic culture, and ensures our team reaps the benefits commensurate with their work product,” he says.

Apple Fitness+ UX teardown: 3 key takeaways on how not to interrupt the user journey

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 01: A jogger jogs past the Fifth Avenue Blooms Mother's Day installation in front of The Apple store on May 01, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Fifth Avenue Blooms Mother's Day Installation)

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

Our resident UX analyst, Peter Ramsey, dives into the home-workout sector with a review of Apple’s Fitness+.

“On paper, there’s never been a better time to work out at home,” he writes.

“But are these subscriptions actually any good? For example, what’s the experience of Apple Fitness+ actually like?”

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