When consumers started buying cars, many predicted that the transportation revolution would lead to air pollution, traffic and life-threatening collisions. But nobody paid much attention to the safety aspect.
Early cars were very easy to steal: With a little practice, almost anyone could warm up an ignition, and vehicle identification numbers were decades away. Most cars didn’t have door locks until the 1920s, and Chrysler wouldn’t invent the ignition switch until the 1940s.
Fast-forward to today: The automotive cybersecurity industry has a compound annual growth rate of about 20%. Likewise, the digital transformation caused by the pandemic has taken the cybersecurity asset industry to new heights.
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There has been a steady drumbeat of stories of high-profile hacks, leaks and ransomware attempts since COVID-19 hit the ground running. New remote workers collect and process massive amounts of data, so keeping it secure has become increasingly important.
In short, this shift has delivered tangible benefits to the cybersecurity industry: In 2021, investors poured $29.5 billion into cyber startups, a 138% year-over-year increase. Likewise, M&A activity has nearly tripled, totaling $77.5 billion.
“Asset inventory has traditionally been a challenge when staff were physically located in corporate offices and on corporate networks,” said Paul Baird, chief technical security officer at cloud security firm Qualys.
“As the pandemic cements a new normal of either fully remote or hybrid work approaches, the complexities surrounding asset inventory have only grown in difficulty,” he told TechCrunch.
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Our startup’s first hire was a fractional Head of Remote
At the moment, most start-up employees have worked remotely. Yet few managers have any meaningful experience when it comes to managing distributed teams.
With that in mind, SaaS startup Wingback made a fractional head of a distance on its first hire, “and it was the best decision we made,” said Yann Leretaille, co-founder and CTO.
“A head of remote is not just a glorified HR manager. They ensure that the right processes are set up and that the right tools are selected and used to make remote working successful.”
TechCrunch Experts recruits recruiters
It’s common for budding founders to spend more than a third of their time recruiting — not because they want to, but because they have to.
Fundraising is key, but a generous transfer from an eager investor solves only one problem. Before you can deliver on any of the promises in your pitch deck, you need to build a team.
To help TechCrunch+ readers meet this challenge, we’re looking for experts to participate in a survey on tactics and strategies for recruiting startups in Q1 2022.
Do you have recent experience recruiting talent for pre-revenue startups?
If this describes you – or someone you know – use the form to share a link to their professional profile and contact details before March 4, 2022.
Exploring the Many Faces of Delivery Robots on the Sidewalk with Cartken’s Anjali Jindal Naik
As part of an ongoing series of interviews with transportation startup founders, Rebecca Bellan spoke with Anjali Jindal Naik, co-founder and COO of Cartken, which produces autonomous sidewalk robots.
Since its inception in 2019, the company has conducted pilot programs in Miami, Rotterdam and Tokoname, Japan, to offer curbside delivery and local pickup for restaurants, convenience stores and coffee shops.
“I think on the bike path or even on the road it puts up some barriers,” said Naik.
“Sidewalks seem to us the best way to get to a start and an end destination. So that’s kind of where we ended up.”
Zendesk Rejects $17 Billion Private Equity Takeover Offer
Zendesk’s board of directors is a confident, secure group of individuals.
Last week, it turned down a $17 billion offer from a consortium of private equity firms on the grounds that “this non-binding proposal significantly undervalues the company and is not in the best interests of the company and its shareholders. “
As Ron Miller and Alex Wilhelm note, the company best known for its help desk platform now has a suite of integrated support products that “accounted for $500 million in ARR and 35% of total ARR in its first year.”
Given the company’s steady growth, “who wants to sell that company for 10x?”
Startups evolve to manage growth in addition to profitability
My knowledge of physics is rudimentary, but I know momentum can only take you so far.
Ultimately, external forces like gravity, friction – or increased competition in your chosen sector – will cause things to slow down a bit.
As startups get bigger and older, they are also adopting new growth strategies to deepen their defensible canals, said Amit Anand, one of the founders of Jungle Ventures.
In a guest post by TC+, he looks at tactics that companies like DoorDash, Block, Airbnb and Zomato are using to build more resilient businesses. Three trends he identified:
- Going beyond demand-side innovation
- Creating an ecosystem of offerings to maximize value
- Accelerate profitable non-core activities
It’s not a startup settlement, it’s a correction
Natasha Mascarenhas considers the turbulence at companies like Peloton and Hopin that sparked a massive pandemic.
“Every round of growth, mega-valuation, impressive IPO pop and totally approachable market bump gave the appearance of strength amid the crisis,” she writes.
“But the same tailwind that drove so much value creation also calmed money-saving talks and made plans for a future slowdown.”
As a result, we are starting to see “which startups are disruptive.”