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New clinical trial data from Locus Biosciences shows promise in CRISPR-Cas3 technology

Startup News - 2021, March 8 - 10:15pm

Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest potential threats to global health today. But Locus Biosciences is hoping that their crPhage technology might provide a new solution.

Based in North Carolina’s Research Triangle, the startup recently announced promising phase 1b clinical trial results for their use of CRISPR-Cas3-enhanced bacteriophages as a treatment for urinary tract infections caused by escherichia coli. Led in part by former Patheon executive and current Locus CEO Paul Garofolo, the startup launched in 2015 with the goal of using a less popular application of CRISPR technology to address growing antimicrobial resistance.

CRISPR-Cas3 technology has notably different mechanisms from its more well-known CRISPR-Cas9 counterpart. Where the Cas9 enzyme has the ability to cleanly cut through a piece of DNA like a pair of scissors, Garofolo describes Cas3 more like a Pac-Man, shredding the DNA as it moves along a strand.

“You wouldn’t be able to use it for most of the editing platforms people were after,” he said, noting that meant there wouldn’t be as much competition around Cas3. “So I knew it would be protected for some time, and that we could keep it quiet.”

Garofolo and his team wanted to use CRISPR-Cas3 not to edit harmful bacteria found in the body, but to destroy it. To do this, they took the DNA-shredding mechanism of Cas3 and used it to enhance bacteriophages—viruses that can attack and kill different species of bacteria. Together, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer Dave Ousterout—who has a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Duke—thinks this technology offers an extremely direct and targeted way of killing bacteria.

“We armed the phages with this Cas3 system that attacks E. coli, and that sort of dual mechanism of action is what comes together, essentially, as a really potent way to remove just E. coli,” he said in an interview.

Tech’s role in the COVID-19 response: Assist, don’t reinvent

That specificity is something that antibiotics lack. Rather than targeting only harmful bacteria in the body, antibiotics typically wipe out all bacteria they come across. “Every time we take antibiotics, we’re not thinking about all the other parts of us that are impacted by the bacteria that do good things,” said Garofolo. But the precision of Locus Biosciences’ crPhage technology means that only the targeted bacteria would be wiped out, leaving those necessary to the body’s normal function intact.

Beyond offering this more specific approach to treatment of pathogens, or any bacteria-based disease, Garofolo and his team also suspect that their approach will also be extremely safe. Though deadly to bacteria, bacteriophages are typically harmless to humans. The safety of CRISPR in humans is well-established, too.

“That’s our secret sauce,” said Garofolo. “We can build drugs that are more powerful than the antibiotics they’re trying to replace, and they use phage, which is probably one of the world’s safest ways to deliver something into the human body.”

While this new technology could certainly help treat pathogens and infectious diseases, Garofolo hopes that indications in immunology, oncology, and neurology might benefit from it too. “We’re starting to figure out that some bacteria might promote cancer, or inflammation in your gut,” he said. If researchers can identify the bacteria at the root cause of those conditions, Garofolo and Ousterout think the crPhage technology might prove to be an effective treatment.

“If we’re right about that, it’s not just about infections or antimicrobial resistance, but helping people overcome cancer or delay the onset of dementia,” Garofolo said. “It’s changing the way we think about how bacteria really help us live.”

Early Stage is the premier ‘how-to’ event for startup entrepreneurs and investors. You’ll hear first-hand how some of the most successful founders and VCs build their businesses, raise money and manage their portfolios. We’ll cover every aspect of company-building: Fundraising, recruiting, sales, product market fit, PR, marketing and brand building. Each session also has audience participation built-in – there’s ample time included for audience questions and discussion.

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Categories: Business News

Egypt’s customer engagement platform for F&B brands in MENA, Koinz, raises $4.8M seed

Startup News - 2021, March 8 - 10:00pm

As the restaurant industry across different cities was massively hit by the pandemic-induced lockdowns last year, food aggregator platforms helped by driving online customers to them.

Koinz is one such startup in Egypt. Its value for food and beverages brands before, during and after the lockdowns has bagged the startup a $4.8 million seed round.

Founded in 2018 by Hussein Momtaz, Ahmed Said, and Abdullah Al Khalidi, Koinz set out to solve two major problems in Egypt’s food aggregation industry.

The offline and online food and restaurant experience in the country are totally separate. Most food aggregators who deal with delivery tend to focus on the online customer, and there’s no sophisticated experience for the offline customer.

Next, the unit economics of the food aggregation industry is quite challenging. According to Momtaz, the startup’s CEO, the food aggregation industry usually takes about 25%-30% average commission from F&B players for business to start to make sense.

“This is not because they want to squeeze money from the hands of restaurants or brands,” Momtaz said to TechCrunch. “But the cost of acquiring customers and retaining them for the food aggregator itself is very high; that’s why they need very high commissions from the brands or restaurants.”

This is where Koinz comes in. The company developed a mobile app for takeout and delivery orders that manages offline customer experiences while delivering an engagement platform to manage loyalty programs, customer feedback and analytics about the online and offline customer base.

Abdullah Al Khalidi (CRO), Hussein Momtaz (CEO), and Ahmed Said (CTO)

Online food experience for Koinz customers is like a treasure hunt, and Momtaz claims the company’s business model has cracked the industry’s unit economics. This, alongside providing brands with insights, differentiates the platform from other aggregators and makes its customer acquisition cost and retention cost 60% less than most of them.

Here’s how the platform works. When customers visit a brand using for the first time, they collect their phone numbers and store them in the application. The customers, on the other hand, get points for making orders via text message. After various restaurant visits and making orders, they accumulate enough points. They’ll need to download the Koinz mobile application to redeem them, thereby converting these offline customers to online ones.

Furthermore, these offline customers can now discover new places to eat, read and leave reviews, and order delivery or takeout.

“None of the small or big brands in the region had something like this before. The offline customer is like a ghost. He walks into the brands, takes his orders, and leaves without the brands knowing anything about him. Koinz is changing that,” the CEO remarked.

Building its platform this way, Koinz tries to be different from other online aggregators that erode restaurant owners’ profit margins while delivering limited customer access and interaction. How? By collecting real-time data and leveraging a digital rewarding system designed to drive customers to deepen their relationship with restaurants.

Image Credits: Koinz

Brands can configure their gifts lists and determine what customers can redeem their points for. For instance, customers in an Egyptian restaurant called Buffalo Burger can exchange 68 points for a Diablo Fries Medium; or wait till they get to 160 points to get a Mozzarella Sticks Medium; or 236 points for a Double Diggler.

Similarly, every brand has its own configuration. A customer cannot get points in Buffalo Burger and redeem them at Hamburgini. Koinz charges subscriptions to the brands for its engagement and feedback platform and collects commission whenever an order is made via its platform, which varies across its markets.

Because of its original business model, Koinz had to iterate several times. Before using phone numbers to collect customers’ information, the company used QR codes and NFC tags. Momtaz says this was highly ineffective, and the move to phone numbers helped skyrocket its growth and value.

The six-man team back in 2018 is now 80, and the platform, which is basically powering the growth of restaurants in the Middle East, claims to have had up to 4 million consumers earn points on its platform. These consumers have redeemed almost 300,000 rewards, while almost 800,000 customers have left reviews.

Since launching in Egypt, Koinz has expanded to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Like Egypt, these markets have similar dynamics and demographics. They have also witnessed one of the highest rates of new or increased users in online deliveries — restaurant products and groceries — during the pandemic.

Besides, consumers in the Middle East are outpacing the global appetite in food delivery, with 64% ordering in at least once a week compared to 40% made by global consumers. And with the fast-food industry in MENA was estimated at nearly $31 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach nearly $60 billion by 2025, there’s so much room for Koinz to grow in the region. Momtaz says the company is also considering a move to Sub-Saharan Africa in the nearest future despite them having distinct demographics.

Entrepreneur and investor Justin Mateen led this seed round. Since leaving Tinder in 2014, Mateen has been an active investor in early-stage companies. Koinz is his first investment in the MENA region. According to him, Koinz’s ability to allow food and beverages brands to understand their customers’ needs and simultaneously increase their profit margins was one of the reasons he invested in the Egyptian-based startup.

“The company’s unique business model will continue to scale as the food delivery space evolves. Hussein’s drive and excitement for what the team is building are what convinced me to lead a round in the Middle East for the first time,” Mateen added.

African-focused VC 4DX Ventures and strategic angel investors from Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia participated as well.

Peter Orth, co-founder and managing director of the firm, said of the investment that with restaurants in the region suffering under the traditional aggregator model, especially during the pandemic, Koinz has quickly become a win-win for both consumers and restaurant owners across the Middle East.

As the three-year-old company plans to use the capital to hire more talent and fuel its expansion across the Middle East, Mateen and Orth will join its board of directors.

Early Stage is the premier ‘how-to’ event for startup entrepreneurs and investors. You’ll hear first-hand how some of the most successful founders and VCs build their businesses, raise money and manage their portfolios. We’ll cover every aspect of company-building: Fundraising, recruiting, sales, product market fit, PR, marketing and brand building. Each session also has audience participation built-in – there’s ample time included for audience questions and discussion.

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Categories: Business News

Swiss maker of meat alternatives Planted will expand and diversify with $18M Series A

Startup News - 2021, March 8 - 8:01pm

Planted, a startup pursuing a unique method of creating a vegetarian chicken alternative, has raised an $18M (CHF 17M) Series A to expand its product offerings and international footprint. With new kebabs and pulled-style faux meats available and steak-like cuts in the (literal) pipeline, Planted has begun to set its sights outside central Europe.

The company was a spinout from ETH Zurich and made its debut in 2019, but has not rested on the success of its plain chicken recipe. Its approach, which relied on using pea protein and pea fiber extruded to recreate the fibrous structure of chicken for nearly 1:1 replacement in recipes, has proven to be adaptable for different styles and ingredients as well.

Planted joins the meatless meat melee with its pea-protein ‘chicken’

“We aim to use different proteins, so that there is diversity, both in terms of agriculture and dietary aspects,” said co-founder Christoph Jenny.

Image Credits: Planted

“For example our newly launched planted.pulled consists of sunflower, oat and yellow pea proteins, changing both structure and taste to resemble pulled pork rather than chicken. The great thing about the sunflower proteins, they are upcycled from sunflower oil production. Hence, we are establishing a circular economy approach.”

When I first wrote about Planted, its products were only being distributed through a handful of restaurants and grocery stores. Now the company has a presence in more than 3,000 retail locations across Switzerland, Germany, and Austria, and works with restaurant and food service partners as well. No doubt this strong organic (so to speak) growth, and the growth of the meat alternative market in general, made raising money less of a chore.

The cash will be directed, as you might expect for a company at this stage, towards R&D and further expansion.

“The funding will be used to expand our tech stack, to commercialize our prime cuts that are currently produced at lab scale,” said Jenny. “On the manufacturing side we look to significantly increase our current capacity of half a ton per hour to serve the increasing demand coming from international markets, first in neighboring countries and then further into Europe and overseas.”

Image Credits: Planted

“We will further invest in our structuring and fermentation platforms. Combining structuring technologies with the biochemical toolboxes of natural microorganisms will allow us to create ultimately new products with transformative character – all clean, natural, healthy and tasty,” said co-founder Lukas Böni in a press release.

No doubt this all will also help lower the price, a goal from the beginning but only possible by scaling up.

As other companies in this space also raise money (incidentally, rather large amounts of it) and expand to other markets, competition will be fierce — but Planted seems to be specializing in a few food types that aren’t as commonly found, at least in the U.S., where sausages, ground “beef,” and “chicken” nuggets have been the leading forms of meat alternatives.

No word on when Planted products will make it to American tables, but Jenny’s “overseas” suggests it is at least a possibility fairly soon.

The funding round was co-led by Vorwerk Ventures and Blue Horizon Ventures, with participation from Swiss football (soccer) player Yann Sommer and several previous investors.

Early Stage is the premier ‘how-to’ event for startup entrepreneurs and investors. You’ll hear first-hand how some of the most successful founders and VCs build their businesses, raise money and manage their portfolios. We’ll cover every aspect of company-building: Fundraising, recruiting, sales, product market fit, PR, marketing and brand building. Each session also has audience participation built-in – there’s ample time included for audience questions and discussion.

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Categories: Business News

How <b>VoIP</b> changed telecommunication

Google News - VoIP - 2021, March 8 - 7:52pm
Starting to sound familiar, right? Today, VoIP is the dominant force in telecoms and continues to grow in influence. Voice over IP is a technology that ...
Categories: VoIP News

COVID-19 Impacts: <b>VoIP</b> Softphones Market Will Accelerate at a CAGR xx% Through 2021-2027 ...

Google News - VoIP - 2021, March 8 - 7:30pm
The global VoIP Softphones market report is a comprehensive analytical study that forecasts the market behavior of the product for a specified period.
Categories: VoIP News

Global Phone Card Market 2020 SWOT Analysis – UNIVERSAL CALLING INC., SpeedyPin.com ...

Google News - VoIP - 2021, March 8 - 6:44pm
Global Phone Card Market 2020 SWOT Analysis – UNIVERSAL CALLING INC., SpeedyPin.com, Birch Communications, VoIP Softswitch.
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<b>VoIP</b> Software Market 2027 Segmentation By Types, Application, SWOT Analysis, By Top Players ...

Google News - VoIP - 2021, March 8 - 6:31pm
“The Global VoIP Software Market report addresses unique and trending aspects of the market on the basis of segment's description. Moreover, the ...
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<b>VoIP</b> Market to Deliver Prominent Growth &amp; Striking Opportunities Scenario Highlighting Major ...

Google News - VoIP - 2021, March 8 - 5:02pm
The report analyzes key players in the VoIP market by examining market share, recent developments, new product launches, partnerships, mergers or ...
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<b>VoIP</b> Providers Market Analysis by Region Analysis and Business Development, By 2026

Google News - VoIP - 2021, March 8 - 4:18pm
Growth Forecast Report on “ VoIP Providers Market size | Industry Segment by Applications (SMEs and Large Enterprises), by Type (Cloud Based and ...
Categories: VoIP News

Praava Health raises $10.6M to increase access to quality healthcare in Bangladesh

Startup News - 2021, March 8 - 11:00am

Praava Health founder and chief executive officer Sylvana Sinha (third from left) at one of the company’s healthcare centers

Before launching Praava Health, a company that combines telemedicine with physical clinics, Sylvana Sinha had a successful career in international law, including serving as a foreign policy advisor to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and working for the World Bank in Afghanistan. While visiting Bangladesh in 2011 for a family wedding, however, Sinha had a “lightbulb moment” after her mother nearly died after an operation at a top private hospital.

“When I had this experience with my mom, I observed that there was really no amount of money that could afford you access to quality healthcare in Bangladesh,” she told TechCrunch.

“It really struck me that despite all the progress the country had made, and the fact that there is now a middle class of 40 million people, that there are still not really great options for excellent healthcare,” she added. “You have thousands of people traveling abroad every day and billions of dollars a year going outside the country to access better healthcare.”

Born and raised in the United States, Sinha moved to Bangladesh in 2015 to start working on Praava. Today the company is announcing a Series A Prime round that brings its total raised to $10.6 million. Praava claims to have tripled its growth every year since launching services in 2018, and now serves 150,000 patients. In 2020, it also processed 75,000 COVID-19 tests in-house.

Praava Health’s patient portal app

Praava’s backers include a list of prominent angel investors: retired United States Army General David H. Petraeus, chairman of the KKR Global Institute and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, who also invested in Praava’s seed round; Wellville executive founder Esther Dyson; SBK Tech Ventures; Dr. Jeremy Lim, advisor of digital health to Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research; Dr. Rushika Fernandopoulle, co-founder and CEO of Iora Health; and Geoff Price, co-founder and chief operating officer of Oak Street Health.

The company has a flagship medical center in the Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital, and a network of 40 smaller clinics throughout the city. Praava plans to open more clinics in Dhaka, before expanding into Chittagong, the country’s second-largest city.

Its “brick-and-click” model, including online consultations, also allows it to reach patients throughout the country. Virtual healthcare accounts for about 40% of Praava’s services including telemedicine and an online pharmacy.

Bangladesh is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, but there is a critical shortage of healthcare workers for its 170 million people. The World Health Organization estimates that there are only about 3 physicians and 1 nurse for every 10,000 people, and most work in urban hospitals, even though 70% of Bangladesh’s population is in rural areas. This means people often travel long distances for consultations that may last less than a minute.

Maya, a startup focused on accessible healthcare in Asia, raises $2.2 million seed for regional expansion

“One of the things that we see telemedicine really help with is patients outside of Dhaka to figure out if they even need to make that trip,” said Sinha.

The company found that in over 80% of cases, especially primary care, its providers are able to address patient needs online. In the remaining 20% of cases, they will ask them to come into one of Praava’s clinics, which provide a wide range of outpatient services, imaging and lab diagnostics and a pharmacy.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, about 90% of Praava’s consultations were happening virtually, though clinic visits have picked up again. Most of Praava’s doctors are salaried full-time employees and one of its goals is to create deeper provider-patient relationships, with appointments typically lasting about 15 minutes.

“I think technology is the future of health, there’s absolutely no doubt about that,” Sinha said. “But when it come to seeing a doctor and the kind of healthcare needs that we all have over the course of our lifetime, technology is not going to be able to replace that entirely.”

Most of Praava’s patients currently pay per visit, and its pricing is at market rate, between Bangladesh’s public healthcare system and more expensive private hospitals. It has also introduced membership plans with a flat rate for unlimited access to services.

Sinha said this is a very new type of model in Bangladesh, where only 1% of people have health insurance, primarily to cover hospitalizations.

“It’s our experiment of introducing value-based care to the region, so we’re very excited about the product, but it’s a new product and we expect it to pick up more in the coming years,” she added. “It’s already picked up a lot in the last year, because I think people are more health conscious and corporations are more willing to invest in employees’ health.”

With its new funding, Praava will focus on building a “super app” for patients, to consolidate all of its digital services into one mobile app. It also plans to open 10 more healthcare centers in Dhaka, before expanding into Chittagong. Praava’s “brick-and-click” model can scale into other emerging markets, but it plans to concentrate on Bangladesh for the next few years.

“There are 170 million people to take care of first,” Sinha said. “So we’re really focused on this market on this market for now.”

Where top VCs are investing in healthcare B2B and infrastructure

Categories: Business News

Global <b>VoIP</b> Softphones Market Analysis, Growth, Size, Demand &amp; Forecast 2020-2025

Google News - VoIP - 2021, March 8 - 12:04am
The latest trending report Global VoIP Softphones Market to 2025 available at MarketStudyReport.com is an informative study covering the market with ...
Categories: VoIP News

Global Voice over Internet Protocol (<b>VoIP</b>) Services Market Analysis By Growth and Forecast 2025 ...

Google News - VoIP - 2021, March 7 - 11:09pm
Based on these versatile information sets, market players in global Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Services market can effectively deliver ...
Categories: VoIP News

<b>VoIP</b> Market, World Trends, Business Overview, Challenges, Opportunities Analysis and Forecast ...

Google News - VoIP - 2021, March 7 - 10:41pm
VoIP Market Report Coverage: Key Growth Factors & Challenges, Segmentation & Regional Outlook, Top Industry Trends & Opportunities, ...
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Cloud Private Branch Exchange(PBX) Software Market Industry Outlook, by Top Key Players ...

Google News - VoIP - 2021, March 7 - 9:00pm
... Networks,CloudTalk,Monster VoIP ... VoIP,Junction Networks,AVOXI,IPFone,Fonvirtual,Magna5,MYVOIPAPP,IP Communications,Net2Phone ...
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<b>VoIP</b> Market is Expected to Grow at a Healthy CAGR with Top players: 3M, JSC Zaporozhabrasive ...

Google News - VoIP - 2021, March 7 - 8:26pm
The VoIP market report also covers an overview of the segments and sub-segmentations including the product types, applications, companies and ...
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<b>VoIP</b> Desktop Phone Market Overview, Major Manufacturers and Production Price, Cost Revenue ...

Google News - VoIP - 2021, March 7 - 6:33pm
The VoIP Desktop Phone market report covers the key trends overseeing the industry growth across the regional contributors. It provides insights ...
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<b>VoIP</b> Adapters Sales Market 2021 Size, Share Industry Trends, Growth, Development Status ...

Google News - VoIP - 2021, March 7 - 5:03pm
VoIP Adapters Sales Market 2021 Size, Share Industry Trends, Growth, Development Status, Future Plans Analysis by 2027| Key Companies Analysis- ...
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<b>VoIP</b> Market Share, Forecast 2027 Statistics by Top Companies – , Teleco, Netvoipkce, Inovatia ...

Google News - VoIP - 2021, March 7 - 4:41pm
VoIP Industry fundamentals: an introduction of this current market, characterizations, types, programs and supply chain situation; VoIP business ...
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Investors still love software more than life

Startup News - 2021, March 7 - 6:00am

Welcome back to The TechCrunch Exchange, a weekly startups-and-markets newsletter. It’s broadly based on the daily column that appears on Extra Crunch, but free, and made for your weekend reading. Want it in your inbox every Saturday morning? Sign up here.

Ready? Let’s talk money, startups and spicy IPO rumors.

Despite some recent market volatility, the valuations that software companies have generally been able to command in recent quarters have been impressive. On Friday, we took a look into why that was the case, and where the valuations could be a bit more bubbly than others. Per a report written by few Battery Ventures investors, it stands to reason that the middle of the SaaS market could be where valuation inflation is at its peak.

Something to keep in mind if your startup’s growth rate is ticking lower. But today, instead of being an enormous bummer and making you worry, I have come with some historically notable data to show you how good modern software startups and their larger brethren have it today.

In case you are not 100% infatuated with tables, let me save you some time. In the upper right we can see that SaaS companies today that are growing at less than 10% yearly are trading for an average of 6.9x their next 12 months’ revenue.

Back in 2011, SaaS companies that were growing at 40% or more were trading at 6.0x their next 12 month’s revenue. Climate change, but for software valuations.

One more note from my chat with Battery. Its investor Brandon Gleklen riffed with The Exchange on the definition of ARR and its nuances in the modern market. As more SaaS companies swap traditional software-as-a-service pricing for its consumption-based equivalent, he declined to quibble on definitions of ARR, instead arguing that all that matters in software revenues is whether they are being retained and growing over the long term. This brings us to our next topic.

Consumption v. SaaS pricing

I’ve taken a number of earnings calls in the last few weeks with public software companies. One theme that’s come up time and again has been consumption pricing versus more traditional SaaS pricing. There is some data showing that consumption-priced software companies are trading at higher multiples than traditionally priced software companies, thanks to better-than-average retention numbers.

But there is more to the story than just that. Chatting with Fastly CEO Joshua Bixby after his company’s earnings report, we picked up an interesting and important market distinction between where consumption may be more attractive and where it may not be. Per Bixby, Fastly is seeing larger customers prefer consumption-based pricing because they can afford variability and prefer to have their bills tied more closely to revenue. Smaller customers, however, Bixby said, prefer SaaS billing because it has rock-solid predictability.

I brought the argument to Open View Partners Kyle Poyar, a venture denizen who has been writing on this topic for TechCrunch in recent weeks. He noted that in some cases the opposite can be true, that variably priced offerings can appeal to smaller companies because their developers can often test the product without making a large commitment.

So, perhaps we’re seeing the software market favoring SaaS pricing among smaller customers when they are certain of their need, and choosing consumption pricing when they want to experiment first. And larger companies, when their spend is tied to equivalent revenue changes, bias toward consumption pricing as well.

Evolution in SaaS pricing will be slow, and never complete. But folks really are thinking about it. Appian CEO Matt Calkins has a general pricing thesis that price should “hover” under value delivered. Asked about the consumption-versus-SaaS topic, he was a bit coy, but did note that he was not “entirely happy” with how pricing is executed today. He wants pricing that is a “better proxy for customer value,” though he declined to share much more.

If you aren’t thinking about this conversation and you run a startup, what’s up with that? More to come on this topic, including notes from an interview with the CEO of BigCommerce, who is betting on SaaS over the more consumption-driven Shopify.

Next Insurance, and its changing market

Next Insurance bought another company this week. This time it was AP Intego, which will bring integration into various payroll providers for the digital-first SMB insurance provider. Next Insurance should be familiar because TechCrunch has written about its growth a few times. The company doubled its premium run rate to $200 million in 2020, for example.

The AP Intego deal brings $185.1 million of active premium to Next Insurance, which means that the neo-insurance provider has grown sharply thus far in 2021, even without counting its organic expansion. But while the Next Insurance deal and the impending Hippo SPAC are neat notes from a hot private sector, insurtech has shed some of its public-market heat.

Stocks of public neo-insurance companies like Root, Lemonade and MetroMile have lost quite a lot of value in recent weeks. So, the exit landscape for companies like Next and Hippo — yet-private insurtech startups with lots of capital backing their rapid premium growth — is changing for the worse.

Hippo decided it will debut via a SPAC. But I doubt that Next Insurance will pursue a rapid ramp to the public markets until things smooth out. Not that it needs to go public quickly; it raised a quarter billion back in September of last year.

Various and Sundry

What else? Sisense, a $100 million ARR club member, hired a new CFO. So we expect them to go public inside the next four or five quarters.

And the following chart, which is via Deena Shakir of Lux Capital, via Nasdaq, via SPAC Alpha:

Alex

 

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