Wednesday, July 28, 2021
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NS1 EC-1, Pakistan’s tech ecosystem, SPACs bonanza – TechCrunch

Have you seen the viral videos of yesterday’s flooding in the New York City subway?

In one, the riders waded up to their waists in brown water; another video showed a waterfall tumbling down a staircase to a subway platform where passengers were waiting for a train.

The infrastructure doesn’t get much attention until it breaks down. Domain Name Services (DNS), the system that directs readers to techcrunch.com when they say it or say it in their web browsers, work much the same way.

For the latest entry in a series of long articles that explore the inner workings of notable startups, we took a look at NS1, an internet infrastructure company known for its software-defined DNS.

Since its inception in 2013, NS1 has raised over $ 100 million to build a team of engineers and a robust product portfolio that has expanded to include DDI, which helps businesses manage their internal networks.

If you’re curious about how NS1 turned “a sleepy and dreary but trustworthy side of the internet” into a “strategic moat and corporate victory” in just eight years, read on.


Full Extra Crunch articles are only available to members.
Use discount code Friday to save 20% on a one or two year subscription.


Part 1: Origin Story: How Three Engineers Set Out to Rebuild the Internet’s Basic Addressing System.

Part 2: Product Development and Roadmap: Experimentation, Open Source Efforts, and Expansion Beyond DNS.

Part 3: Competitive Landscape: An Overview of the Wider Internet Infrastructure Market.

Part 4: Customer development: how the fall of their main competitor has become “the gift that never stopped giving”.

Thanks so much for reading Extra Crunch – have a nice weekend!

Walter thompson
Editor-in-Chief, TechCrunch
@yourprotagonist

Startups have never looked so good

Image credits: Nigel sussman (Opens in a new window)

Alex Wilhelm and Anna Heim did not mince words in today’s exchange.

“The venture capital market is in turmoil, foot on the accelerator, middle finger out the window, hair on fire.”

This is their take after analyzing second quarter data released so far on the amount of money deployed by VCs around the world between April and the end of June.

Drawing on data from CB Insights, Crunchbase News, and FactSet, Alex and Anna scour data from the United States and a few other regions – and promise more in-depth regional dives next week.

What I learned the hard way naming over 30 startups

Image of a pink toy dinosaur holding a name tag against a yellow background.

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

If you are starting a business, choosing a name can seem like a difficult choice. But in fact, as long as you follow a few basic guidelines, it shouldn’t lead to paralysis.

“The truth is, business names fall on a bell curve – you have a small number of outliers that are actively contributing to your success and a small number of outliers that are actively hampering your ability to succeed,” Drew Beechler , who named more than 30 software startups, writes in a guest column. “The vast majority, however, are somewhere in the middle of their impact on your business.”

Nextdoor’s SPAC investor deck paints a picture of large scale and sticky users

Tilt-shift aerial photo of American suburban neighborhood

Image credits: jhorrocks / Getty Images

The SPAC parade continued this week as Nextdoor announced it would go public through a blank check company, the community social network making its pitch based on scale, claiming users in one in three U.S. households. .

Alex Wilhelm younpacks Nextdoor’s “a lucid look at [its] financial performance both in historical terms and in terms of what it might accomplish in the future ”, noting that“ our usual PSPC card mockery does not generally apply.

Pakistan’s growing tech ecosystem finally takes off

Image of the skyline of Karachi, Pakistan.

Image credits: shan.shihan (Opens in a new window)/ Getty Images

So far this year, startups in Pakistan are on track to raise more than in the previous five years combined, according to Mikal Khoso, a start-up investor at Wavemaker Partners.

“Even more exciting, a lot of this capital comes from international investors across Asia, the Middle East and even famous investors in Silicon Valley,” he notes in a guest post for Extra Crunch. .

He identified three factors fueling investor interest: rapidly expanding mobile connectivity, an improved security situation, and critical legal and regulatory changes that are making the country more friendly for startups and VCs.

Drawing a map of Pakistan’s tech ecosystem, Khoso identifies local businesses trying to grab a share of grocery delivery, e-commerce, ridesharing and other industries before examining the challenges. still in place.

“The segments in Pakistan that are likely to attract the best entrepreneurs and most investor capital in the coming years will be fintech, e-commerce and edtech,” said Khoso.

Investors Find European Unicorns Reluctant To Join PSPC Boom

NS1 EC-1, Pakistan’s tech ecosystem, SPACs bonanza – TechCrunch

Image credits: Nigel sussman (Opens in a new window)

Alex Wilhelm and Anna Heim wondered if the blank check boom had spread to other countries.

“Unicorns are not unique to the American startup ecosystem,” they write. “Are we seeing a similar interest in PSPC in Europe? ”

Anna and Alex spoke to investors to see why – or why not – European startups would take the PSPC route to become a public company.

For successful AI projects, celebrate your graveyard and be prepared to fail quickly

Image of an origami crane and several pieces of crumpled paper to represent success after failure.

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

When you’ve invested a lot of time and energy into a project, it can be difficult to decide whether to put it aside – or worse, kill it.

But for AI projects, teams need to be prepared to fail quickly, writes Sandeep Uttamchandani, chief data officer of Unravel Data, in a guest column.

“To fail quickly, AI initiatives must be managed as a conversion funnel analogous to marketing and sales funnels,” he writes. “Projects start at the top of the five-stage funnel and can drop at any stage, either to be temporarily put on ice or permanently suspended and added to the AI ​​graveyard.”

Uttamchandani walks through the five stages of the funnel and offers suggestions on when to start digging a hole for your graveyard project.

Circle is a good example of the usefulness of PSPC

NS1 EC-1, Pakistan’s tech ecosystem, SPACs bonanza – TechCrunch

Image credits: Nigel sussman (Opens in a new window)

Yes, we’re all a little over-SPAC-ed at this point. It’s just an endless torrent of startups linking up with blank check companies.

But Circle, a Boston-based tech company that provides API-powered financial services and a stablecoin, is just “the kind of business that suits a PSPC-led start,” writes Alex Wilhelm in The Exchange.

“It couldn’t be made public in the traditional way in its current state of maturity,” he writes.

“But a PSPC can get her a huge amount of money at a price she’s locked in, allowing her to complete her growth to adulthood in business while still being public. A bet, of course, but one that will be a lot of fun to watch. ”

Can advertising evolve in VR?

Image of a person wearing a VR headset and two 3D orbs in front of their hands.

Image credits: da-kuk (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

It’s not hard to imagine how valuable advertising could be in virtual reality: billboards in the streets, magazine covers in newsstands, cereal boxes in virtual kitchens.

But Facebook’s stab at experimental VR ads didn’t last very long; after an avalanche of negative feedback from players, the test was quickly scuttled.

That said, VR advertising has a ton of untapped potential, but it will take a minute to reach profitable scale.

Achieve digital transformation through RPA and Process Mining

concept of machine learning or digital transformation, wireframe hand pointing with key finger

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

“Robots are not coming to replace us”, hastens to note Alp Uguray in a guest column on the automation of robotic processes. “They come to take over the repetitive, mundane and monotonous tasks that we have never been fond of.

This is the good news. But RPA is still in its infancy, despite growing rapidly through IPOs, acquisitions and roundtables.

“Adopting RPA and process exploration in your organization will define operational excellence for your business,” he writes. “If you’re late in this race, just think about how your business can continue to compete with its fully digital peers. Your organization will not want to be at the back of this race.

Demand Curve: 10 Lies You Have Been Told About Marketing

Image of an announcer speaking in front of a podium with the shadow of a long nose to represent lies.

Image credits: Absent84 (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

In a guest column, Nick Costelloe, Content Manager for Demand Curve, notes that content you come across in a Google search may not be “intentionally misleading,” it might not point you in the right direction.

Here, he debunks 10 common marketing myths and offers suggestions on what to do instead.

5 fundraising imperatives for robotics startups

Image of a robot hand holding a fistful of money to represent funding for robotic startups.

Image credits: Creative paper boat (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

This guest post from three contributors from Next47, MassRobotics and Lux ​​Capital examines best practices for robotics startups looking to raise funds.

“There has never been a better time to seek funding for robotic startups, but you are more likely to be successful if you craft a fundraising strategy marked by the same sophistication and insightful understanding that you bring.” already to many other aspects of your new business, ”the writers say.

Here, they present five strategies for making sure robotic startups get the funding they need.

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