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Confluera snags $9M Series A to help stop cyberattacks in real time

Just yesterday, we experienced yet another major breach when Capital One announced it had been hacked and years of credit card application information had been stolen. Another day, another hack, but the question is how can companies protect themselves in the face of an onslaught of attacks. Confluera, a Palo Alto startup, wants to help […]

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Confluera snags $9M Series A to help stop cyberattacks in real time – TechCrunch

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Confluera snags $9M Series A to help stop cyberattacks in real time

Just yesterday, we experienced yet another major breach when Capital One announced it had been hacked and years of credit card application information had been stolen. Another day, another hack, but the question is how can companies protect themselves in the face of an onslaught of attacks. Confluera, a Palo Alto startup, wants to help with a new tool that purports to stop these kinds of attacks in real time.

Today the company, which launched last year, announced a $9 million Series A investment led by Lightspeed Venture Partners . It also has the backing of several influential technology execs, including John W. Thompson, who is chairman of Microsoft and former CEO at Symantec; Frank Slootman, CEO at Snowflake and formerly CEO at ServiceNow; and Lane Bess, former CEO of Palo Alto Networks.

What has attracted this interest is the company’s approach to cybersecurity. “Confluera is a real-time cybersecurity company. We are delivering the industry’s first platform to deterministically stop cyberattacks in real time,” company co-founder and CEO Abhijit Ghosh told TechCrunch.

To do that, Ghosh says, his company’s solution watches across the customer’s infrastructure, finds issues and recommends ways to mitigate the attack. “We see the problem that there are too many solutions which have been used. What is required is a platform that has visibility across the infrastructure, and uses security information from multiple sources to make that determination of where the attacker currently is and how to mitigate that,” he explained.

Microsoft chairman John Thompson, who is also an investor, says this is more than just real-time detection or real-time remediation. “It’s not just the audit trail and telling them what to do. It’s more importantly blocking the attack in real time. And that’s the unique nature of this platform, that you’re able to use the insight that comes from the science of the data to really block the attacks in real time.”

It’s early days for Confluera, as it has 19 employees and three customers using the platform so far. For starters, it will be officially launching next week at Black Hat. After that, it has to continue building out the product and prove that it can work as described to stop the types of attacks we see on a regular basis.

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IBM’s massive $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat closed a few weeks ago and today, the two companies are now announcing the first fruits of this process. For the most part, today’s announcement further IBM’s ambitions to bring its products to any public and private cloud. That was very much the reason why IBM acquired Red Hat in the first place, of course, so this doesn’t come as a major surprise, though most industry watchers probably didn’t expect this to happen this fast.

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Specifically, IBM is announcing that it is bringing its software portfolio to Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat’s Kubernetes-based container platform that is essentially available on any cloud that allows its customers to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

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In total, IBM has already optimized more than 100 products for OpenShift and bundled them into what it calls “Cloud Paks.” There are currently five of these Paks: Cloud Pak for Data, Application, Integration, Automation and Multicloud Management. These technologies, which IBM’s customers can now run on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform or IBM’s own cloud, among others, include DB2, WebSphere, API Connect, Watson Studio and Cognos Analytics.

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“Red Hat is unlocking innovation with Linux-based technologies, including containers and Kubernetes, which have become the fundamental building blocks of hybrid cloud environments,” said Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO of Red Hat, in today’s announcement. “This open hybrid cloud foundation is what enables the vision of any app, anywhere, anytime. Combined with IBMu2019s strong industry expertise and supported by a vast ecosystem of passionate developers and partners, customers can create modern apps with the technologies of their choice and the flexibility to deploy in the best environment for the app – whether that is on-premises or across multiple public clouds.”

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IBM argues that a lot of the early innovation on the cloud was about bringing modern, customer-facing applications to market, with a focus on basic cloud infrastructure. Now, however, enterprises are looking at how they can take their mission-critical applications to the cloud, too. For that, they want access to an open stack that works across clouds.

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In addition, IBM also today announced the launch of a fully managed Red Hat OpenShift service on its own public cloud, as well as OpenShift on IBM Systems, including the IBM Z and LinuxONE mainframes, as well as the launch of its new Red Hat consulting and technology services.

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n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

IBM’s massive $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat closed a few weeks ago and today, the two companies are now announcing the first fruits of this process. For the most part, today’s announcement further IBM’s ambitions to bring its products to any public and private cloud. That was very much the reason why IBM acquired […]

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Before he joined TechCrunch in 2012, he founded SiliconFilter and wrote for ReadWriteWeb (now ReadWrite). Frederic covers enterprise, cloud, developer tools, Google, Microsoft, gadgets, transportation and anything else he finds interesting. He owns just over a 50th of a bitcoin.

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Before he joined TechCrunch in 2012, he founded SiliconFilter and wrote for ReadWriteWeb (now ReadWrite). Frederic covers enterprise, cloud, developer tools, Google, Microsoft, gadgets, transportation and anything else he finds interesting. He owns just over a 50th of a bitcoin.

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Starting in one week, the Impossible Foods plant-based Impossible Burger will be available at Burger King restaurants across the country.

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The world’s second largest fast food chain is rolling out the Impossible Whopper nationwide at all of its 7,200 U.S. locations for the next month as it tests the potential demand for the meaty-tasting meatless patty.

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Burger King first launched the Impossible Whopper at 59 restaurants in the St. Louis area on April Fool’s day. But the joke seems to be on the restaurant chain for not trying to make the nationwide rollout happen sooner.

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Foot traffic to restaurants that sold the Impossible Whopper soared a whopping 18.5%, according to the market analysis firm, inMarket Insights. Over the same period, foot traffic to the company’s restaurants elsewhere in the U.S. declined 1.75%, according to the study, which analyzed location data of 50 million Comscore-verified users.

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It’s been a busy week for Impossible Foods, which announced only yesterday that it had inked a partnership with a manufacturer to boost supplies of its heavily in-demand patties. The company also cleared the final regulatory hurdle it faced to bring its Impossible Burgers to grocery stores around the country. So just as Burger King wraps up its trial run, customers across the country will be able to find the patties on store shelves.

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Burger King wasn’t the first chain to see the value in adding Impossible Burgers to the menu. Roughly a year ago, White Castle became the first major fast food chain to offer an Impossible Slider on its menu. The burgers can also be found at more upscale fast-casual restaurant chains like Bareburger, Applebeeu2019s, Red Robin, and Five Napkin Burger joints.

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While the other chains may have been first, the Burger King rollout is by far the largest.

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u201cFrom the launch of our test in St. Louis, we knew that our guests really enjoyed the taste of the flame-grilled Impossible Whopper,u201d said Chris Finazzo, President, North America, Burger King Corporation, in a statement. u201cWeu2019re now making the Impossible Whopper available for our guests across the country at an unbeatable price for a limited time only so visit one of our restaurants before they sell out.u201d

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One day after the in-store launch, Burger King and DoorDash will offer an “Impossible Taste Test” where customers can order an Impossible Whopper and the original sandwich for $7. For orders of $10 or more, DoorDash will waive the delivery fee.

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Suggested retail price for the Impossible Whopper is $5.59, which also puts the burger at a lower price point than many of the other fast food chains slinging Impossible products.

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While the Impossible Whopper may be made entirely of plants, it’s not much healthier than eating a regular burger. The patties, made of water, soy protein, coconut oil, sunflower oil and leghemoglobin (that’s the company’s secret ingredient) aren’t designed to be healthier option than a burger — they’re just designed to be a more environmentally conscious replacement for beef.

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Impossible Foods’ recent wins come as its chief rival, Beyond Meat, is raking in piles of cash as a publicly traded company and building up a sizable war chest to conduct research and development for new products.

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Impossible Foods has raised nearly $700 million to date as a private company. Its backers include u00a0Khosla Ventures,u00a0u00a0Bill Gates, Google Ventures, Horizons Ventures, UBS, Viking Global Investors, Temasek, Sailing Capital and Open Philanthropy Project.

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Starting in one week, the Impossible Foods plant-based Impossible Burger will be available at Burger King restaurants across the country. The world’s second largest fast food chain is rolling out the Impossible Whopper nationwide at all of its 7,200 U.S. locations for the next month as it tests the potential demand for the meaty-tasting meatless […]

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Exit: The acquisition charting Salesforce’s future”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

Before Tableau was the $15.7 billion key to Salesforce’s problems, it was a couple of founders arguing with a couple of venture capitalists over lunch about why its Series A valuation should be higher than $12 million pre-money.

n

Salesforce has generally been one to signify corporate strategy shifts through their acquisitions, so you can understand why the entire tech industry took notice when the cloud CRM giant announced its priciest acquisition ever last month.

n

The deal to acquire the Seattle-based data visualization powerhouse Tableau was substantial enough that Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff publicly announced it was turning Seattle into its second HQ. Tableau’s acquisition doesn’t just mean big things for Salesforce. With the deal taking place just days after Google announced it was paying $2.6 billion for Looker, the acquisition showcases just how intense the cloud wars are getting for the enterprise tech companies out to win it all.

n

The Exit is a new series at TechCrunch. Itu2019s an exit interview of sorts with a VC who was in the right place at the right time but made the right call on an investment that paid off. [Have feedback? Shoot me an email at lucas@techcrunch.com]

n

Scott Sandell, a general partner at NEA (New Enterprise Associates) who has now been at the firm for 25 years, was one of those investors arguing with two of Tableau’s co-founders, Chris Stolte and Christian Chabot. Desperate to close the 2004 deal over their lunch meeting, he went on to agree to the Tableau founders’ demands of a higher $20 million valuation, though Sandell tells me it still feels like he got a pretty good deal.

n

NEA went on to invest further in subsequent rounds and went on to hold over 38% of the company at the time of its IPO in 2013 according to public financial docs.

n

I had a long chat with Sandell, who also invested in Salesforce, about the importance of the Tableau deal, his rise from associate to general partner at NEA, who he sees as the biggest challenger to Salesforce, and why he thinks scooter companies are “the worst business in the known universe.”

n

The interview has been edited for length and clarity.u00a0

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Lucas Matney: You’ve been at this investing thing for quite a while, but taking a trip down memory lane, how did you get into VC in the first place?u00a0

n

Scott Sandell: The way I got into venture capital is a little bit of a circuitous route. I had an opportunity to get into venture capital coming out of Stanford Business School in 1992, but it wasn’t quite the right fit. And so I had an interest, but I didn’t have the right opportunity.

n

“,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

Before Tableau was the $15.7 billion key to Salesforce’s problems, it was a couple of founders arguing with a couple of venture capitalists over lunch about why its Series A valuation should be higher than $12 million pre-money. Salesforce has generally been one to signify corporate strategy shifts through their acquisitions, so you can understand […]

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food delivery startup Deliveroo acquires Edinburgh software studio Cultivate”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

As two of the largest players in online-food ordering and delivery in Europe work on a $10 billion merger to expand their footprint and economies of scale, one of its biggest rivals has made an acquisition to expand its own tech muscle.

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Deliveroo, the London-based food delivery startup backed by Amazon that is itself valued in the billions, has acquired a small Scottish startup called Cultivate, a software development and user experience design house that has worked with a number of big names, including Deliveroo itself.

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Deliveroo — which today has 80,000 restaurants and 60,000 riders on its books across 500 cities in 14 markets in Europe and beyond (Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and the United Kingdom) — is subsequently creating a new fintech hub in Edinburgh, where Cultivate is headquartered. It will be run by Andy Robinson, currently chief commercial officer for Cultivate.

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u201cWe have a fantastic relationship with Deliveroo, supporting them through an amazing period of growth. We were attracted by the array of interesting problems being tackled by their team, and how they are addressing them using modern and emerging technology,” Robinson said in a statement. “Weu2019re proud to have built such a great team here in Edinburgh, and todayu2019s announcement is a testament to their hard work and expertise in building world-class software. We are excited to continue this work, create highly skilled jobs, and build a centre of tech excellence here in Edinburgh.u201d

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The plan will be to expand the team to 50 in the next three years, hiring engineers, product managers, user researchers, and designers and data scientists. (It’s worth pointing out too that Amazon has been a major employer in Edinburgh, where it also has a key R&D operation working in various areas including AI and search.)

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Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed but it’s likely to be a modest deal.

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Cultivate itself was a small (likely around only 15 employees) but profitable business, from the looks of its filings with Companies House. It was also off the radar somewhat as a startup. Originally founded in 2007, Cultivate was initially acquired in 2009 ago by Texas firm EdgeCase, which was then itself acquired by Canadian web firm GroupByu00a0in 2017 in a bid to take on Shopify and rebranded to become Neo. Subsequent to that, Cultivate was amicably spun out again. In that time it had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from unnamed investors.

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Deliveroo, foundedu00a0in 2013 by William Shu and Greg Orlowski, was most recently valued at over $2 billion, although that was before Amazon put $575 million into the company earlier this year. It has raised around $1.5 billion in funding to date.

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Cultivate — which had worked for many of clients — will now be working for just one, its owner. The two had already built Deliveroo’s payments technology, but as Deliveroo continues to work on ways to differentiate itself from its competitors through tech, it will be investing more in this area.

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In addition to building new (not yet launched) services, some of the other areas of focus for the new Edinburgh operation will be to create more efficient payment systems for riders (which today use a Cash Out feature to access earnings quickly) and restaurants; to expand Deliveroo’s analytics for restaurants to figure out how to better plan for surges and to figure out what is popular and what is not; and (for both restaurants and riders) to better manage finances.

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Cultivate had been involved in a number of social enterprise community initiatives to promote technology education alongside its paid work and Deliveroo said these efforts will continue.

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u201cCultivate have always been at the centre of the tech scene in Edinburgh and have supported events and initiatives across the board,” said Stephen Coleman, CEO of CodeBase, the tech campus in Edinburgh where Cultivate was based. “We are really pleased for the Cultivate team and Deliveroou2019s plans to grow here in Scotland and are looking forward to having one of Europeu2019s top tech companies based here at CodeBase.u201d

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News of this acquisition comes in the same week that Takeaway.com and Just Eat announced that their respective boards had agreed on the basic terms of a merger to create an expanded footprint across Europe.

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The deal, if it completes, will not only give the two more economies of scale, and thus a better return on their own tech investment, but the aim will be to help them compete better against the likes of Uber Eats (a major priority for now-public Uber) as well as Deliveroo, which is now continuing its growth now with the might and will of Amazon behind it.

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In that context, the Cultivate acquisition is demonstration not just of Deliveroo’s own investments into its tech, but specifically into what is a sizeable and important tech hub in the region, where Amazon has also been very active.

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u201cDeliveroo is proud to be investing in Edinburgh and creating more high skilled jobs in the UK,” said Dan Winn, Deliveroo VP of engineering, in a statement. “Edinburgh is one of the UKu2019s fastest growing tech hubs, with access to an excellent talent pool of highly skilled people and university graduates. Deliveroo is committed to offering riders flexible, well-paid work and helping restaurants to grow their businesses. Building on Cultivateu2019s expertise, we are excited to create new products and services that will help us achieve this.u201d

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Notes to Editors

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Deliveroo is one of the UKu2019s leading tech unicorns and a British tech success story. Its investment in world-leading proprietary technology yields substantial benefits for customers, restaurants and riders. The Frank algorithm – which finds the optimal way to deliver food from restaurant to customer – has cut the average delivery time by nearly 20%, significantly reducing customer wait times. Franku2019s machine-learning capabilities improves the allocation of orders and reduces restaurant waiting times for riders, helping them to earn higher fees without riding longer hours. And Deliveroou2019s innovative products and tools give restaurants unique insights into their customer base, allows them to provide in-app offers to customers and improves their efficiency when preparing meals.

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A photo of Andy Robinson (Chief Commercial Officer, Cultivate), Dan Winn (VP of Engineering, Deliveroo) and Paul Wilson (Managing Director, Cultivate) is available here.

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As two of the largest players in online-food ordering and delivery in Europe work on a $10 billion merger to expand their footprint and economies of scale, one of its biggest rivals has made an acquisition to expand its own tech muscle. Deliveroo, the London-based food delivery startup backed by Amazon that is itself valued […]

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When it comes to work, she feels most comfortable speaking in English but can also speak Russian, Spanish and French (in descending order of competence).

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Before TechCrunch, Ingrid worked at paidContent.org, where she was a staff writer, and has in the past also written freelance regularly for other publications such as the Financial Times. Ingrid covers mobile, digital media, advertising and the spaces where these intersect.

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When it comes to work, she feels most comfortable speaking in English but can also speak Russian, Spanish and French (in descending order of competence).

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CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM – DECEMBER 22: A Deliveroo rider at work at night on December 22, 2018 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

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Asana, the work management platform led by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, today launched Workload, a new feature for its paying users that aims to help prevent burnout. It does so by making it easier for businesses to fairly distribute work across their teams and, if necessary, redistribute it.

n

“The most productive and happiest teams are those that have clarity of who is doing what by when,” said Alex Hood, the Head of Product at Asana . “While today’s workplace has more ways to communicate and collaborate than ever before, the majority of teams are still turning to outdated spreadsheets and email chains to plan and manage work.”

n

The general idea behind Workload is that it provides a central view of how much more work any given team can currently handle. Team members can customize their own workload based on criteria like points or hours and, maybe most importantly, set capacity limits.

n

EN Workload With Effort Blog Header v2

n

One of the first companies to test Workload was fast-casual chain Panera. “Panera’s creative team averages 45 projects a week, and before Workload, we didn’t have a simplified way to review the team’s bandwidth,” said Jenny Williams, Marketing Traffic Manager at Panera Bread. “With Workload, we can easily see assigned tasks and react to bandwidth concerns by negotiating deadlines and, if needed, make a case for additional resources.”

n

The general ideas behind all of these tools always sound good, of course. It’s no secret that burnout is a major problem and according to Asana’s own research, 80 percent of global knowledge workers say they consistently feel overworked and close to burnout. I would take those results with a grain of salt, though, given that few people are going to say that they are barely doing anything — even if they are and their colleagues consistently wonder what they are doing all day. Still, anything that helps to bring down the actual number of burned-out workers is a good thing.

n

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Before he joined TechCrunch in 2012, he founded SiliconFilter and wrote for ReadWriteWeb (now ReadWrite). Frederic covers enterprise, cloud, developer tools, Google, Microsoft, gadgets, transportation and anything else he finds interesting. He owns just over a 50th of a bitcoin.

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Before he joined TechCrunch in 2012, he founded SiliconFilter and wrote for ReadWriteWeb (now ReadWrite). Frederic covers enterprise, cloud, developer tools, Google, Microsoft, gadgets, transportation and anything else he finds interesting. He owns just over a 50th of a bitcoin.

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Before Tableau was the $15.7 billion key to Salesforce’s problems, it was a couple of founders arguing with a couple of venture capitalists over lunch about why its Series A valuation should be higher than $12 million pre-money.

n

Salesforce has generally been one to signify corporate strategy shifts through their acquisitions, so you can understand why the entire tech industry took notice when the cloud CRM giant announced its priciest acquisition ever last month.

n

The deal to acquire the Seattle-based data visualization powerhouse Tableau was substantial enough that Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff publicly announced it was turning Seattle into its second HQ. Tableau’s acquisition doesn’t just mean big things for Salesforce. With the deal taking place just days after Google announced it was paying $2.6 billion for Looker, the acquisition showcases just how intense the cloud wars are getting for the enterprise tech companies out to win it all.

n

The Exit is a new series at TechCrunch. Itu2019s an exit interview of sorts with a VC who was in the right place at the right time but made the right call on an investment that paid off. [Have feedback? Shoot me an email at lucas@techcrunch.com]

n

Scott Sandell, a general partner at NEA (New Enterprise Associates) who has now been at the firm for 25 years, was one of those investors arguing with two of Tableau’s co-founders, Chris Stolte and Christian Chabot. Desperate to close the 2004 deal over their lunch meeting, he went on to agree to the Tableau founders’ demands of a higher $20 million valuation, though Sandell tells me it still feels like he got a pretty good deal.

n

NEA went on to invest further in subsequent rounds and went on to hold over 38% of the company at the time of its IPO in 2013 according to public financial docs.

n

I had a long chat with Sandell, who also invested in Salesforce, about the importance of the Tableau deal, his rise from associate to general partner at NEA, who he sees as the biggest challenger to Salesforce, and why he thinks scooter companies are “the worst business in the known universe.”

n

The interview has been edited for length and clarity.u00a0

n


n

Lucas Matney: You’ve been at this investing thing for quite a while, but taking a trip down memory lane, how did you get into VC in the first place?u00a0

n

Scott Sandell: The way I got into venture capital is a little bit of a circuitous route. I had an opportunity to get into venture capital coming out of Stanford Business School in 1992, but it wasn’t quite the right fit. And so I had an interest, but I didn’t have the right opportunity.

n

“,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

Before Tableau was the $15.7 billion key to Salesforce’s problems, it was a couple of founders arguing with a couple of venture capitalists over lunch about why its Series A valuation should be higher than $12 million pre-money. Salesforce has generally been one to signify corporate strategy shifts through their acquisitions, so you can understand […]

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Lucas Matney is a reporter at TechCrunch and has been covering emerging technologies and startups since 2015. He lives in San Francisco and can be reached via email at lucas@techcrunch.com

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Lucas Matney is a reporter at TechCrunch and has been covering emerging technologies and startups since 2015. He lives in San Francisco and can be reached via email at lucas@techcrunch.com

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – SEPTEMBER 19: Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff delivers the keynote address during the Dreamforce 2012 conference at the Moscone Center on September 19, 2012 in San Francisco, California. A reported 90,000 people registered to attend the cloud computing industry conference Dreamforce 2012 that runs through September 21. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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The AWS DeepRacer is an almost toylike 1/18th scale race car. It comes with all of the sensors and software tools to help developers build machine learning models to drive the car around a course u2014 or really do anything else they want it to do. The $399 DeepRacer launched at AWS’s massive re:Invent show in late 2018.

n

At the time, it seemed like a bit of a gimmick, but AWS has put a lot of its weight behind it and is currently running a DeepRacer league at its various events around the world. At these events, developers can pit their models against each other and learn more about building a specific kind of machine learning model in the process.

n

Why bother, though? It’s not like DeepRacer cars are likely to add to AWS’s bottom line anytime soon. DeepRacer, however, is part of a line of hardware products from AWS that started with DeepLens, a smart camera for developers.

n

“It really comes from the same place,” AWS general manager for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning marketing Ryan Gavin told me. “When you think about the stimulus for something like DeepLens, it was really about how do we put machine learning into the hands of every developer and data scientist. That’s our mission and we’re very consistent about that.”

n

“,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

The AWS DeepRacer is an almost toylike 1/18th scale race car. It comes with all of the sensors and software tools to help developers build machine learning models to drive the car around a course u2014 or really do anything else they want it to do. The $399 DeepRacer launched at AWS’s massive re:Invent show […]

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Before he joined TechCrunch in 2012, he founded SiliconFilter and wrote for ReadWriteWeb (now ReadWrite). Frederic covers enterprise, cloud, developer tools, Google, Microsoft, gadgets, transportation and anything else he finds interesting. He owns just over a 50th of a bitcoin.

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Before he joined TechCrunch in 2012, he founded SiliconFilter and wrote for ReadWriteWeb (now ReadWrite). Frederic covers enterprise, cloud, developer tools, Google, Microsoft, gadgets, transportation and anything else he finds interesting. He owns just over a 50th of a bitcoin.

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BURBANK, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 22: The AWS DeepRacer demo at AT&T SHAPE at Warner Bros. Studios on June 22, 2019 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for AT&T)

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dreaded 10x, or, how to handle exceptional employees”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

The “10x engineer.” Shudder. Wince. I have rarely seen my Twitter feed unite against an idea so loudly, or in such harmony.

n

I refer of course to the thread last month by Accel India’s Shekhar Kirani, explaining “If you have a 10x engineer as part of your first few engineers, you increase the odds of your startup success significantly” and then going on to address, in his opinion, “How do you spot a 10x engineer?”

n

The resulting scorn was tsunami-like. The very concept of a 10x engineer seems so… five years ago. Since then, the Valley has largely come to the collective conclusion that 1) there is no such thing as a 10x engineer 2) even if there were, you wouldn’t want to hire one, because they play so poorly with others.

n

The anti-10x squad raises many important and valid u2014 frankly, obvious and inarguable u2014 points. Go down that Twitter thread and you’ll find that 10x engineers are identified as: people who eschew meetings, work alone, rarely look at documentation, don’t write much themselves, are poor mentors, and view process, meetings, or training as reasons to abandon their employer. In short, they are unbelievably terrible team members.

n

Is software a field like the arts, or sports, in which exceptional performers can exist? Sure. Absolutely. Software is Extremistan, not Mediocristan, as Nassim Taleb puts it.

n

“,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

The “10x engineer.” Shudder. Wince. I have rarely seen my Twitter feed unite against an idea so loudly, or in such harmony. I refer of course to the thread last month by Accel India’s Shekhar Kirani, explaining “If you have a 10x engineer as part of your first few engineers, you increase the odds of […]

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happened to the sharing economy?”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

A few years ago, Silicon Valley couldnu2019t stop using a trendy buzzword u2014 the sharing economy. The good old top-down economic model with a clear separation between service providers and clients was falling apart. And huge tech companies disrupted entire industries, from Airbnb to Taskrabbit, Uber, Etsy and Getaround.

n

When you retrospectively look at the sharing economy boom of the early 2010s, many of the principles that defined that generation of startups have slowly disappeared. Instead of a huge societal shift, the sharing economy is slowly fading away.

n

What is the sharing economy?

n

In the past, if you wanted to buy a good or a service, you would ask a company or a professional to provide it.

n

Youu2019d buy something from a company in particular because you knew it would be the exact thing you need. Thatu2019s why plenty of companies spent huge amounts of money to build a brand and a reputation. If you just bought a car, chances are youu2019ll see thousands of ads for cars before you buy your next car.

n

And thatu2019s also why distribution channels have been key, especially in commoditized markets with low brand differentiation. For instance, when you buy a new printer, chances are you just head to an electronics store or type u201cprinteru201d on your favorite e-commerce website. If HP doesnu2019t have a distribution deal with those stores, youu2019ll just buy an Epson printer.

n

If your neighbor wants a new printer in a couple of years, you might recommend the same printer, but you may have forgotten where you bought it. Thereu2019s little differentiation between distribution channels in that case.

n

The marketplace model

n

The sharing economy happened because a group of entrepreneurs wanted to invent new distribution channels. Sure, some traditional distribution channels secured exclusive rights to sell specific products.

n

But those startups made a radical change. They wanted to work on a completely new inventory of goods or services.

n

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A few years ago, Silicon Valley couldnu2019t stop using a trendy buzzword u2014 the sharing economy. The good old top-down economic model with a clear separation between service providers and clients was falling apart. And huge tech companies disrupted entire industries, from Airbnb to Taskrabbit, Uber, Etsy and Getaround. When you retrospectively look at the […]

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Romain Dillet is a Senior Writer at TechCrunch.

nn

Originally from France, Romain attended EMLYON Business School, a leading French business school specialized in entrepreneurship. He covers many things from mobile apps with great design to privacy, security, fintech, Apple, AI and complex tech achievements. He also speaks at major tech conferences. He likes pop culture more than anything in the world.

nn

He now lives in Paris when he’s not on the road. He used to live in New York and loved it.

nn

He owns small amounts of various cryptocurrencies.

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Romain Dillet is a Senior Writer at TechCrunch.

nn

Originally from France, Romain attended EMLYON Business School, a leading French business school specialized in entrepreneurship. He covers many things from mobile apps with great design to privacy, security, fintech, Apple, AI and complex tech achievements. He also speaks at major tech conferences. He likes pop culture more than anything in the world.

nn

He now lives in Paris when he’s not on the road. He used to live in New York and loved it.

nn

He owns small amounts of various cryptocurrencies.

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top VCs view the new future of micromobility”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

Earlier this month, TechCrunch held its annual Mobility Sessions event, where leading mobility-focused auto companies, startups, executives and thought leaders joined us to discuss all things autonomous vehicle technology, micromobility and electric vehicles.

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Extra Crunch is offering members access to full transcripts key panels and conversations from the event, including our panel on micromobility where TechCrunch VC reporter Kate Clark was joined by investors Sarah Smith of Bain Capital Ventures, Michael Granoff of Maniv Mobility, and Ted Serbinski of TechStars Detroit.

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The panelists walk through their mobility investment theses and how they’ve changed over the last few years. The group also compares the business models of scooters, e-bikes, e-motorcycles, rideshare and more, while discussing Uber and Lyft’s role in tomorrow’s mobility ecosystem.

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Sarah Smith: It was very clear last summer, that there was essentially a near-vertical demand curve developing with consumer adoption of scooters. E-bikes had been around, but scooters, for Lime just to give you perspective, had only hit the road in February. So by the time we were really looking at things, they only had really six months of data. But we could look at the traction and the adoption, and really just what this was doing for consumers.

n

At the time, consumers had learned through Uber and Lyft and others that you can just grab your cell phone and press a button, and that equates to transportation. And then we see through the sharing economy like Airbnb, people don’t necessarily expect to own every single asset that they use throughout the day. So there’s this confluence of a lot of different consumer trends that suggested that this wasn’t just a fad. This wasn’t something that was going to go away.

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For access to the full transcription below and for the opportunity to read through additional event transcripts and recaps, become a member of Extra Crunch.u00a0Learn more and try it for free.u00a0

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Kate Clark: One of the first panels of the day, I think we should take a moment to define mobility. As VCs in this space, how do you define this always-evolving sector?

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Michael Granoff: Well, the way I like to put it is that there have been four eras in mobility. The first was walking and we did that for thousands of years. Then we harnessed animal power for thousands of years.

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And then there was a date u2014 and I saw Ken Washington from Ford here u2014 September 1st, 1908, which was when the Model T came out. And through the next 100 years, mobility is really defined as the personally owned and operated individual operated internal combustion engine car.

n

And what’s interesting is to go exactly 100 years later, September 2008, the financial crisis that affects the auto industry tremendously, but also a time where we had the first third-party apps, and you had Waze and you had Uber, and then you had Lime and Bird, and so forth. And really, I think what we’re in now is the age of digital mobility and I think that’s what defines what this day is about.

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Ted Serbinski: Yeah, I think just to add to that, I think mobility is the movement of people and goods. But that last part of digital mobility, I really look at the intersection of the physical and digital worlds. And it’s really that intersection, which is enabling all these new ways to move around.

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GettyImages 1129827591

Image via Getty Images / Jackie Niam

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Clark: So Ted you run TechStars Detroit, but it was once known as TechStars Mobility. So why did you decide to drop the mobility?

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Serbinski: So Iu2019m at a mobility conference, and we no longer call ourselves mobility. So five years ago, when we launched the mobility program at TechStars, we were working very closely with Ford’s group and at the time, five years ago, 2014, where it started with the connected car, auto and [people saying] u201cyou should use the word mobility.u201d

n

And I was like u201cWhat does that mean?u201d And so when we launched TechStars Mobility, we got all this stuff but we were like u201cthis isn’t what we’re looking for. What does this word mean?u201d And then Cruise gets acquired for a billion dollars. And everyone’s like u201cMobility! This is the next big gold rush! Mobility, mobility, mobility!u201d

n

And because I invest early-stage companies anywhere in the world, what started to happen last year is we’d be going after a company and theyu2019d say, u201cwell, we’re not interested in your program. We’re not mobility.u201d And I’d be scratching my head like, u201cNo, you are mobility. This is where the future is going. You’re this digital way of moving around. And no, we’re artificial intelligence, weu2019re robotics.u201d

n

And as we started talking to more and more entrepreneurs, and hundreds of startups around the world, it became pretty clear that the word mobility is actually becoming too limiting, depending on your vantage where you are in the world.

n

And so this year, we actually dropped the word mobility and we just call it TechStars Detroit, and itu2019s really just intersection of those physical and digital worlds. And so now we don’t have a word, but I think we found more mobility companies by dropping the word mobility.

n

“,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

Earlier this month, TechCrunch held its annual Mobility Sessions event, where leading mobility-focused auto companies, startups, executives and thought leaders joined us to discuss all things autonomous vehicle technology, micromobility and electric vehicles. Extra Crunch is offering members access to full transcripts key panels and conversations from the event, including our panel on micromobility where […]

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Just yesterday, we experienced yet another major breach when Capital One announced it had been hacked and years of credit card application information had been stolen. Another day, another hack, but the question is how can companies protect themselves in the face of an onslaught of attacks. Confluera, a Palo Alto startup, wants to help with a new tool that purports to stop these kinds of attacks in real time.

n

Today the company, which launched last year, announced a $9 million Series A investment led by Lightspeed Venture Partners . It also has the backing of several influential technology execs, including John W. Thompson, who is chairman of Microsoft and former CEO at Symantec; Frank Slootman, CEO at Snowflake and formerly CEO at ServiceNow; and Lane Bess, former CEO of Palo Alto Networks.

n

What has attracted this interest is the company’s approach to cybersecurity. “Confluera is a real-time cybersecurity company. We are delivering the industry’s first platform to deterministically stop cyberattacks in real time,” company co-founder and CEO Abhijit Ghosh told TechCrunch.

n

To do that, Ghosh says, his company’s solution watches across the customer’s infrastructure, finds issues and recommends ways to mitigate the attack. “We see the problem that there are too many solutions which have been used. What is required is a platform that has visibility across the infrastructure, and uses security information from multiple sources to make that determination of where the attacker currently is and how to mitigate that,” he explained.

n

Microsoft chairman John Thompson, who is also an investor, says this is more than just real-time detection or real-time remediation. “It’s not just the audit trail and telling them what to do. It’s more importantly blocking the attack in real time. And that’s the unique nature of this platform, that you’re able to use the insight that comes from the science of the data to really block the attacks in real time.”

n

It’s early days for Confluera, as it has 19 employees and three customers using the platform so far. For starters, it will be officially launching next week at Black Hat. After that, it has to continue building out the product and prove that it can work as described to stop the types of attacks we see on a regular basis.

n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

Just yesterday, we experienced yet another major breach when Capital One announced it had been hacked and years of credit card application information had been stolen. Another day, another hack, but the question is how can companies protect themselves in the face of an onslaught of attacks. Confluera, a Palo Alto startup, wants to help […]

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Ron Miller has been writing about the enterprise at TechCrunch since 2014.

nn

Previously, he was a long-time Contributing Editor at EContent Magazine. Past regular gigs included CITEworld, DaniWeb, TechTarget, Internet Evolution and FierceContentManagement.

nn

Disclosures:

nn

Ron is currently corporate blogger for Intronis where he writes once weekly on IT issues. He has contributed to various corporate blogs in the past including Ness, Novell and the IBM Mid-market Blogger Program.

“,”cbAvatar”:”https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/v1499972664/ht4i7k0bhkvpkjnlxuhp.jpg”,”twitter”:”ron_miller”}],”replies”:[[{“id”:669729,”parent”:0,”author”:0,”author_name”:”Tracy Jackman”,”author_url”:””,”date”:”2019-07-30T07:22:08″,”content”:{“rendered”:”

Since I started working on the web, I cash in $44 every fifteen minutes. And, as unbelievable it sounds, doable for you is, as well, cause Iu2019ve never had a job as easy as this one. Anyone can do it, with no exception. I suggest you, donu2019t neglect this unique chance, which you can experiment with even in your spare time for some additional bonus bucks to your main source of income, cuz you wonu2019t forgive yourself afterwards. Anyway, hereu2019s how to get you started https://westmot.tumblr.com/

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Ron Miller has been writing about the enterprise at TechCrunch since 2014.

nn

Previously, he was a long-time Contributing Editor at EContent Magazine. Past regular gigs included CITEworld, DaniWeb, TechTarget, Internet Evolution and FierceContentManagement.

nn

Disclosures:

nn

Ron is currently corporate blogger for Intronis where he writes once weekly on IT issues. He has contributed to various corporate blogs in the past including Ness, Novell and the IBM Mid-market Blogger Program.

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Isometric network security technology

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