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After a record year for Israeli startups, 16 investors tell us what’s next

Israel’s startup ecosystem raised record amounts of funding and produced 19 IPOs in 2020, despite the pandemic. Now tech companies across industries are poised for an even better year, according to more than a dozen investors we talked to in the country.
Mainstay sectors like cybersecurity continue to matter, they said, but are maturing (more about that here). Some people are more excited by emerging areas like artificial intelligence, which has been a focus of the country’s military for years, and like cybersecurity is now producing many fresh teams of founders. Other investors felt that a broader range of industries, …

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Extra Crunch roundup: Antitrust jitters, SPAC odyssey, white-hot IPOs, more

Some time ago, I gave up on the idea of finding a thread that connects each story in the weekly Extra Crunch roundup; there are no unified theories of technology news.
The stories that left the deepest impression were related to two news pegs that dominated the week — Visa and Plaid calling off their $5.3 billion acquisition agreement, and sizzling-hot IPOs for Affirm and Poshmark.
Watching Plaid and Visa sing “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off” in harmony after the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to block their deal wasn’t shocking. But I was surprised to …

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Madrona promotes Anu Sharma and Daniel Li as Partners

Fresh off the announcement of more than $500 million in new capital across two new funds, Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group has announced that they’re adding Anu Sharma and Daniel Li to the team’s list of Partners.
The firm, which in recent years has paid particularly close attention to enterprise software bets, invests heavily in the early-stage Pacific Northwest startup scene.
Both Li and Sharma are stepping into the Partner role after some time at the firm. Li has been with Madrona for five years while Sharma joined the team in 2020. Prior to joining Madrona, Sharma led product management teams …

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VCs dispense with niceties during Capitol riots: “Never talk to me again”

It was hard not to feel emotional today, as the world watched for more than four hours as rioters stormed into and throughout the Capitol building in Washington to disrupt the certification of the election win of incoming U.S. President-Elect Joe Biden. They’d been encouraged earlier in the afternoon by outgoing President Donald Trump to head to the building and protest what he falsely claimed yet again was a stolen election, a lie he began to spread the evening of the U.S. election in November.
While members of Congress called on Trump to make a statement rebuking …

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Why VC funding is falling out of favor with top D2C brands

Ali Kriegsman
Contributor

Ali Kriegsman is co-founder and COO of Bulletin, a B2B wholesale marketplace. A Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient, her first book, “How to Build a Goddamn Empire,” comes out in April 2021.

In 2020, venture capitalists unceremoniously broke up with D2C brands and product-based businesses.
Many watched as the consumer brands in their portfolios rushed to make hefty layoffs and eke out more runway and grew more concerned with their business models.
Some simply monitored the “lackluster” Casper IPO or skimmed articles about Brandless and others “imploding” and started pulling a slow fade on D2C brands — not taking …

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5 questions about 2021’s startup market

Welcome to 2021, a year that could extend 2020’s startup market disruptions and excesses — or change patterns that previously performed well for early-stage tech companies and their investors.

The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. Read it every morning on Extra Crunch, or get The Exchange newsletter every Saturday.

As we turn the page, I have a number of questions worth raising as we muck into 2021.
Each relates to a 2020 change that is expected to persist, by either the general market or those bullish on startups. I want to know what would need to change to shake up what became the …

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Activist hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb takes on Intel, plans launch of new VC fund

Third Point, the activist hedge fund run by Daniel Loeb, is busy in the waning days of 2020. It’s had great returns despite huge turbulence early in the pandemic — Reuters says that it is up 12.3% for the year as of earlier this month — and the firm clearly sees more and more potential for growth in the tech sector.
First, we learned via Asa Fitch at the Wall Street Journal yesterday that the hedge fund sent a vituperative shareholder letter to Intel chair Omar Ishrak, demanding wide-scale changes in its management after the American chipmaker fell dramatically behind rivals in recent …

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Seattle-based Madrona raises $320M for its eighth fund

Madrona Venture Group has been a mainstay of the Seattle and northwest United States startup ecosystem for years now, and it looks like it is going to continue that legacy going forward.
In a filing with the SEC, the firm announced its eighth venture capital fund, raising $320 million. That’s up slightly from the firm’s past two funds, both of which were $300 million vehicles. The filing comes roughly a year and a half after the firm’s last fundraise for its seventh fund. That slight increase in size is a different choice from many other VC firms these days, …

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2021 will be a calmer year for semiconductors and chips (except for Intel)

If ever there was a typically quiet tech industry that seemed to drive massive headlines this year, it was semiconductors. From record-setting M&A purchases to prodigious venture capital financing, the decline of major players and huge international trade fights, semiconductor companies found themselves in the crosshairs of inventors, VCs, regulators, politicians and, well, Apple.
2020 was a banner year, mostly since it was the culmination of patterns we’ve been watching in the industry for years now. It’s dangerous to predict that there will be “less news” in any tech industry, but these patterns have in many ways worked …

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Comcast Ventures Holiday Gift Guide

All of us at Comcast Ventures would like to wish you and your loved ones a Happy Holiday season. After a year like 2020, we all deserve a little something special. Shop from our CV Gift Guide featuring special discounts from our portfolio companies and their founders. Unless otherwise noted, the deals are good through January 31, 2021 but some supplies are limited, so get your holiday shopping done early. BluelandAvoid the supermarket rush for cleaning products and plastic bottles that end up polluting our oceans.Blueland is reimagining cleaning products to be better for your home and our planet. The team would …

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