Extra Crunch roundup: Toast and Freshbook S-1s, pre-pitch tips, flexible funding lessons – TechCrunch

You may have noticed that the digital revolution is currently taking place in your local restaurant.
Toast, a Boston-based software company, has provided bars and restaurants with a software platform that allows them to manage orders and payments.

Alex Wilhelm studied the S-1 of The Exchange to see if its customers have paid more than $38 Billion in total payments volume over the past year.

According to Crunchbase data, Toast was valued at less than $5 billion the last time it was raised. People are speculating that it could be worth as much as $20 billion at its debut. Is that right?

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Each of Coinbase, DoorDash, and Airbnb were present at previous Y Combinator Demo Days. They employ a total of 10,000 people as of the writing.

TechCrunch reporters today and tomorrow will be covering the proceedings at YCs Summer 20201 Demo Day. They will not only write pitches for founders, but they'll also rank their favorite pitches.

Even from far away, I feel a sense of excitement emanating from our team. Anything can happen at YC Demo Day. Sign up for Extra Crunch now to keep up with the action.

Thank you for reading. I wish you a great week.

Walter Thompson

Senior Editor, TechCrunch


Amazon EC2 grew out of a concept to become a fundamental element in cloud computing.

AWS' August 2006 activation of its EC2 cloud-based virtual machine was a significant milestone in the development of cloud infrastructure giants.

Ron Miller, enterprise reporter, says that Amazon is impossible to overstate.

Since then, EC2 has allowed clients of all sizes to test and run their applications on AWS virtual machines in the fifteen years that have followed.

Ron spoke with Dave Brown, EC2 VP, to learn more about a fundamental technological shift which would fuel a whole new generation of startups. Brown was the man behind the Amazon EC2 Frontend team.

Three ways to be a better manager during the work-from home era

Managers agree that OKRs promote transparency and accountability. However, managing a team effectively is more difficult when employees are present at all-hands meetings from their kitchen table.

Instead of focusing on key metrics only at board meetings or performance reviews discussions, consider making them part of your day-to-day culture, suggests Jeremy Epstein (Gtmhubs CMO).

You can strengthen your team by using numbers as a universal language to create transparency in the workplace and give meaning to your teams' work.

The pre-pitch: 7 ways you can build relationships with VCs

Before they can confidently pitch potential investors face-to-face, many founders have to overcome some emotional hurdles.

Evan Fisher, founder of Unicorn Capital, suggests that entrepreneurs meet pre-pitch to strengthen and build relationships before asking for a check.

This is because we don't want to make money, but we do want to be friends. It will get you on the radar of investors so that when it comes time to raise your next round they'll be more likely to pick up the phone to talk to you.

Pre-pitches can do more than just cure the jitters. They help founders gain a better understanding of how VCs think, and sometimes lead to unexpected outcomes.

Fisher says that investors are motivated by necessity and can be opportunists. You never know when the FOMO might kick in.

COVID's lessons: Alternative lenders need flexible funding.

FischerJordans Deeba Goyal, Archita Bhandari, and Archita Bhandari discuss the impact of pandemics on alternative lenders. They also examine what lenders had to do to survive, and take a look at small lenders such as Credibly, Kabbage and Kapitus.

Only those who could find a way to navigate the complexity of their existing capital sources were capable of maintaining their performance. The rest, however, were left to die or seek new funding avenues.

Freshworks IPO filing

Freshworks S-1 filing shows a customer engagement software company experiencing rapid revenue growth. This is a good sign for its business health, according to Alex Wilhelm, this morning's The Exchange.

Companies see a decline in their growth rates as they scale. Larger denominators make percentage growth more difficult.

After reviewing the company's SEC filings, he discovered that Freshworks isn't one where we should cut it lots of slack. We could, however, with an adjusted EBITDA figure. It is ready to go public for Big Kid metrics.