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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for Tuesday, March 29, 2022! Haje and I are now flying solo with the newsletter. It will be all hands on deck today and tomorrow as we listen to startups pitch at the YC Demo Day, so look out for a deluge of stories over the next two days. Don’t forget to join us Wednesday for the DeFi & The Future of Programmable Money online event, and then at TechCrunch Early Stage on April 14.
A very warm welcome to Jacquelyn Melinek, who is joining our crypto desk and comes careening out of the starting blocks with her coverage of the largest DeFi hack we’ve seen so far. Great story and welcome aboard! – Christine
The TechCrunch Top 3
- HackerRank will test your coding skills: The competition for talent is fierce out there, so how do you know that your potential new hire has what it takes? HackerRank raised $60 million to continue developing its recruiting tools to not only answer that question, but also enable developers to practice their coding and interview skills.
- Electric buzzing after reaching unicorn status: If you are like most of us working from home, accessing the tools and equipment that would normally be waiting for us in the office — with an IT person at your beck and call — now involves a little more logistical effort. Electric secured $20 million to put it over the $1 billion valuation mark to manage much of that work for IT.
- DAO for human behavior?: Jacquelyn was also busy writing about decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs, thankfully describing what they are and where enthusiasts see them being used in the future — think pooling funds or decision-making.
Startups and VC
It’s the most wonderful tiiiime of the yeaaaaaar – Y Combinator hasn’t quite gotten to 1,000 companies per batch yet, but its Demo Day comprises 424 startups from 42 countries – so as you might imagine, it’s still a pretty intense time at TechCrunch Towers. YC’s Demo Day showed off 32 startups from India (the accelerator has funded almost 200 Indian startups to date), with heavy focus on fintech. Africa was represented as well, with more than 18 Nigerian startups and an additional six from the rest of the continent.
And some great news if you’re a mere millionaire, rather than part of the exclusive Tres Comas club: Anita reports that Equi is willing to sneak you in the back door to your own personal little family office.
Other goings-on across the startup ecosystem:
2 reasons why demo days are dead
Demo days are a showcase for tech media, but does this performative Silicon Valley tradition still benefit founders and investors?
In a guest post for TC+, 22 Ventures co-founder and chair Michael Redd shares two factors that make demo days less relevant: Many startups sign funding deals before the big show, and founders are more interested in working with value-add investors.
“Simply getting rid of demo day won’t help founders find, or let investors offer, that value,” Redd writes. “What we need is to better understand why demo day falls short and how to source deals on …….