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Extra Crunch roundup: StockX EC-1, Early Stage recaps, unpacking Alkami’s IPO, more

Over the last few days, we’ve published several articles recapping panels from last week’s TechCrunch Early Stage virtual conference.
Each story is based on an interview with a founder or investor who addressed some of the most common startup dilemmas. Predictably, they’re mostly focused on the how and why:
How do I get into an accelerator? When should I hire a sales team? What’s the best way to earn attention from investors?
TechCrunch reporter Natasha Mascarenhas interviewed Kleiner Perkins partner Bucky Moore to get sector-agnostic advice for founders who are ready to raise a Series A.

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Industry experts bullish on $500M KKR investment in Box, but stock market remains skeptical

When Box announced it was getting a $500 million investment from private equity firm KKR this morning, it was hard not to see it as a positive move for the company. It has been operating under the shadow of Starboard Value, and this influx of cash could give it a way forward independent of the activist investors.
Industry experts we spoke to were all optimistic about the deal, seeing it as a way for the company to regain control, while giving it a bushel of cash to make some moves. However, early returns from the stock market were not as upbeat …

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KKR closes $15 billion fund targeting consumption and urbanization in Asia

KKR has just closed $15 billion for its Asia-focused private equity fund, exceeding its original target size after receiving “strong support” from new and existing global investors, including those in the Asia Pacific region.
The new close came nearly four years after KKR raised its Asian Fund III of $9.3 billion and marks the New York-based alternative asset management titan’s ongoing interest in Asia. It also makes KKR Asian Fund IV one of the largest private equity funds dedicated to the Asia Pacific region.
KKR itself will inject about $1.3 billion into Fund IV alongside investors through the firm and its employees’ …

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Three ways VC firms can construct sustainably diverse portfolios

Leslie Feinzaig
Contributor

Venture capital has a diversity problem: Data show that Black and Latinx founders received just 2.6% of overall funding in 2020. Women-founded teams received nearly 30% less funding in 2020 than they did in 2019.
For decades, a close-knit community of brilliant but like-minded individuals built a system of pattern recognition. It produced high-growth companies with homogenous leadership teams. They called it meritocracy. Those of us who didn’t fit the profile were told, or were left to assume, that we didn’t have what it takes.
When a founder needs funding but investors don’t think they “have what it takes,” …

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Tech in Mexico: A confluence of Latin America, the US and Asia

Kevin Xu
Contributor

Kevin Xu is an early-stage investor and founder of Interconnected, a bilingual newsletter covering tech, business and U.S.-Asia relations.

Mexico has been known as an up-and-coming tech hub and a gateway to the Latin American market. As an investor focused on developer-centered products, open-source startups and infrastructure technology companies with a particular interest in emerging market innovation, I have been wanting to do some firsthand learning there.
So, despite the ongoing pandemic, I took all the necessary precautions and spent roughly seven weeks in Mexico from January to March. I spent most of my time …

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Startups book an expo booth at TC Sessions: Mobility 2021 to double down on connection and exposure

When it comes to fast-moving technology, mobility zooms ahead of the pack — both literally and figuratively. Early-stage startup founders and investors need to keep their fingers on the sector’s very rapid pulse and the best place to do that is, you guessed it, TC Sessions: Mobility 2021 on June 9.
If you’re eager to introduce your early-stage startup to the top leaders, investors, experts and policy makers across the mobility tech community, don’t just attend TC Sessions: Mobility — exhibit there. Double down on essential exposure and increase your opportunities.
Budget-friendly tip: The early-bird price remains active until May 5 at 11:59 …

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Leon Black to Step Down as C.E.O. of Apollo

Leon Black, the Wall Street billionaire who was the main client of the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein for the last decade of his life, is stepping down as chief executive of Apollo Global Management, several months ahead of schedule.Mr. Black also will give up the chairmanship of the private equity firm, which he helped found roughly three decades ago, the firm said in a statement on Monday. Jay Clayton, the former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman who recently joined the firm as an independent director, will take his place.The firm had said in January that he would step …

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Aldea Ventures creates ‘hybrid’ European €100M fund to invest both in Micro VCs, plus follow-on

The historical trajectory of venture capital has been to move to earlier and earlier finding rounds in order to capture the greatest potential multiple on exit. In the US, we’ve seen an explosion of Pre-series A funds, and similarly in Europe. But there’s been an opportunity to tie a lot of that activity together and also produce data that can feed into decision-making about growth rounds, further up the funding pipeline. Now, newly-formed Aldea Ventures intends to do just that.
Today’s it’s announcing a €60M first close of its Pan-European fund with the aim of reaching …

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Investors Clara Brenner, Quin Garcia and Rachel Holt are coming to TC Sessions: Mobility 2021

The transportation industry is abuzz with upstarts, legacy automakers, suppliers and tech companies working on automated vehicle technology, digital platforms, electrification and robotics. Then there are shared mobility companies from cars to scooters and mopeds to e-bikes. And who can forget the emerging air taxi companies?
At the center of this evolving industry are the investors. Simply put: TechCrunch can’t hold an event on mobility without hearing from the people who are hunting for the best opportunities in the industry and tracking all of its changes. That’s why we’re happy to announce investors Clara Brenner of Urban …

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A Buyout Fund C.E.O. Got in Tax Evasion Trouble. Here’s Why Investors Shrugged.

Still, the low-key response to Mr. Smith’s tax violations stands in contrast to how a scandal played out involving Leon Black, a fellow private equity billionaire and a co-founder of Apollo Global Management. After the revelation, also last fall, that Mr. Black had paid Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced financier and registered sex offender, tens of millions of dollars for tax and estate planning services, Apollo had an outside review conducted at Mr. Black’s behest. In January, Apollo announced that Mr. Black, 69, had done nothing wrong but would step down as chief executive by this summer and introduced several …

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