Extra Crunch roundup: Crucial API metrics, US startup funding, advanced SEO tactics

On a recent episode of Extra Crunch Live, Retail Zipline founder Melissa Wong and Emergence Capital investor Lotti Siniscalco joined Managing Editor Jordan Crook to walk attendees through Zipline’s Series A deck.

Interestingly, the conversation revealed that Wong declined an invitation to do a virtual pitch and insisted on an in-person meeting.

“She was one of the few or maybe the only CEO who ever stood up to pitch the entire team,” said Siniscalco.

“She pointed to the screen projected behind her to help us stay on the most relevant piece of information. The way she did it really made us stay with her. Like, we couldn’t break eye contact.”

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Beyond Wong’s pitch technique, this post also examines some of the key “customer love” metrics that helped Zipline win the day, such as CAC, churn rates and net promoter score.

“In retrospect, I really underestimated the competitive advantage of coming from the industry,” said Wong. “But it resulted in the numbers in our deck, because I know what customers want, what they want to buy next, how to keep them happy and I was able to be way more capital-efficient.”

Read our recap with highlights from their conversation, or click though to watch a video with their entire chat.

Thanks very much for reading Extra Crunch this week!

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, TechCrunch

Investors don’t expect the US startup funding market to slow down

Global venture capital reached $156 billion in Q2 2021, a YOY increase of 157%. A record number of unicorns found their feet during the same period and valuations rose across the board, report Anna Heim and Alex Wilhelm in today’s edition of The Exchange.

Even if round counts didn’t set all-time highs, “the general vibe of Q2 venture capital data was clear: It’s a great time for startups looking to raise capital.”

Anna and Alex are interviewing VCs in different regions to find out why they’re feeling so generous and optimistic. Today, they started with the following U.S.-based investors:

  • Amy Cheetham, principal, Costanoa Ventures
  • Marlon Nichols, founding managing partner, MaC Venture Capital
  • Vanessa Larco, partner, New Enterprise Associates
  • Jeff Grabow, venture capital leader, EY US

Despite the hype, construction tech will be hard to disrupt

Image of two construction workers examining blueprints next to a laptop to represent tech on construction sites.

Image Credits: AzmanJaka (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

The construction industry might seem like a sector wanting innovation, Safe Site Check In CEO and founder David Ward writes in a guest column, but there are unique challenges that make construction firms slow to adapt to new technology.

From the way construction projects are funded to complicated local regulations, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for the construction industry’s tech problems.

Construction tech might be appealing to investors, Ward writes, but it must be “easy to use, easy to deploy or access while on a job site, and improve productivity almost immediately.”

3 analysts weigh in: What are Andy Jassy’s top priorities as Amazon’s new CEO?

Jeff Bezos, executive chairman and Andy Jassy, CEO at Amazon

Image Credits: AP Photo/Isaac Brekken/John Locher

Now that he’s stepping away from AWS and taking over for Jeff Bezos, what are the biggest challenges facing incoming Amazon CEO Andy Jassy?

Enterprise reporter Ron Miller reached out to three analysts to get their take:

  • Robin Ody, Canalys
  • Sucharita Kodali, Forrester
  • Ed Anderson, Gartner

Amazon is listed second in the Fortune 500, but it’s not all sunshine and roses — maintaining growth, unionization, and the potential for antitrust regulation at home and abroad are just a few of his responsibilities.

“I think the biggest to-do is to just continue that momentum that the company has had for the last several years,” Kodali says. “He has to make sure that they don’t lose that. If he does that, I mean, he will win.”

The most important API metric is time to first call

Close up of a stopwatch resting on a laptop's trackpad.

Image Credits: Peter Dazeley (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Publishing an API isn’t enough for any startup: Once it’s released, the hard work of cultivating a developer base begins.

Postman’s head of developer relations, Joyce Lin, wrote a guest post for Extra Crunch based on the findings of a study aimed at increasing adoption of APIs that utilize a public workspace.

Lin found that the most important metric for a public API is time to first call (TTFC). It makes sense — faster TTFC allows developers to begin using new tools quickly. As a result, “legitimately streamlining TTFC results in a larger market potential of better-educated users for the later stages of your developer journey,” writes Lin.

This post isn’t just for the developers in our audience: TTFC is a metric that product and growth teams should also keep top of mind, they suggest.

“Even if your market is defined as a limited subset of the developer community, any enhancements you make to TTFC equate to a larger available market.”

Q3 IPO cycle starts strong with Couchbase pricing and Kaltura relisting

Image Credits: olli0815/iStock

Couchbase and Kaltura offered new filings Monday, with NoSQL provider Couchbase setting an initial price range for its IPO and Kaltura resurrecting its public offering with a fresh price range and new financial information.

“Both bits of news should help us get a handle on how the Q3 2021 IPO cycle is shaping up at the start,” Alex Wilhelm writes.

5 advanced-ish SEO tactics to win in 2021

SEO tactics for the underdog

Image Credits: PM Images (opens in a new window)/ Getty Images

Mark Spera, the head of growth marketing at Minted, offers SEO tips to help smaller sites stand out.

He writes in a guest column that Google’s algorithm “errs on the side of caution,” which leads the search engine to favor larger, more established websites.

“The cards aren’t in your favor, so you need to be even more strategic than the big guys,” he writes. “This means executing on some cutting-edge hacks to increase your SEO throughput and capitalize on some of the arbitrage still left in organic search. I call these five tactics ‘advanced-ish,’ because none of them are complicated, but all of them are supremely important for search marketers in 2021.”


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