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New Early Stage speakers to talk fundraising strategies, growth marketing and PR

TC Early Stage SF goes down on April 28, and we are getting pretty damn excited about it!

The show will bring together 50+ experts across startup core competencies, such as fundraising, operations and marketing. We’ll hear from VCs on how to create the perfect pitch deck and how to identify the right investors for you. We’ll hear from lawyers on how to navigate the immigration process when hiring, and how to negotiate the cap table. And we’ll hear from growth hackers on how to build a high-performance SEO engine, and PR experts on how to tell your brand’s story.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Today, I’m pleased to announce four more breakout sessions.


Lo Toney

Toney is the founding managing partner of Plexo Capital, which was incubated and spun out from GV. Before Plexo, Toney was a partner with Comcast Ventures, where he led the Catalyst Fund, and then moved to GV where he focused on marketplace, mobile and consumer products. Toney also has operational experience, having served as the GM of Zynga Poker, the company’s largest franchise at the time.

Think Like a PM for VC Pitch Success

Your pitchdeck is not just a reflection of your business, it’s a product unto itself. Your startup’s success, and avoiding the end of your runway, depends on the conversion rate of that product. Hear from Plexo Capital founding partner Lo Toney about how thinking like a PM when crafting your pitch deck can produce outstanding results.


Krystina Rubino and Lindsay Piper Shaw

Shaw and Rubino are marketing consultants for Right Side Up, a growth marketing consultancy. Prior to Right Side Up, Shaw scaled podcast campaigns for brands like quip, Lyft and Texture, and has worked with brands like McDonald’s, Honda, ampm, and Tempur Sealy. Rubino has worked with companies across all stages and sizes, including Advil, DoorDash, P&G, Lyft and Stitch Fix.

Why You Need Podcasts in Your Growth Marketing Mix

Podcast advertising is widely viewed as a nascent medium, but smart companies know it can be a powerful channel in their marketing mix. Opportunity is ripe — get in early and you can own the medium, box out competitors and catapult your growth. Krystina Rubino and Lindsay Piper Shaw have launched and scaled successful podcast ad campaigns for early-stage startups and household name brands and will be sharing their strategies for companies to succeed in this often misunderstood channel.


Jake Saper

Jake Saper, the son of serial co-founders, has been obsessed with entrepreneurialism from a young age. His origin in venture capital started at Kleiner Perkins, and he moved on to become a partner at Emergence in 2014, where he became a Kauffman Fellow. He serves on the boards of Textio, Guru, Ironclad, DroneDeploy, and Vymo, and his self-described “nerdy love” of frameworks has only grown over the years.

When It Comes to Fundraising, Timing Is Everything

There are some shockingly common timing mistakes founders make that can turn an otherwise successful fundraise into a failure. We’ll talk through how to avoid them and how to sequence efforts from the time you close your seed to ensure you find the right partner (at the right price!) for Series A and beyond.


April Conyers

Conyers has been in the communications industry for 15 years, currently serving as the senior director of Corporate Communications at Postmates . Before Postmates, Conyers served as a VP at Brew PR, working with clients like Automattic, NetSuite, Oracle, Doctor on Demand and about.me. During that time, she also found herself on BI’s “The 50 Best Public Relations People In The Tech Industry In 2014” list.

The Media Is Misunderstood, But Your Company Shouldn’t Be

With the media industry in a state of flux, navigating the process of telling your story can be confusing and overwhelming. Hear from Postmates Senior Director of Corporate Communication April Conyers on how startups should think about PR, and how to get your message across in a hectic media landscape.


Early Stage SF goes down on April 28, with more than 50 breakout sessions to choose from. However, don’t worry about missing a breakout session, because transcripts from each will be available to show attendees. And most of the folks leading the breakout sessions have agreed to hang at the show for at least half the day and participate in CrunchMatch, TechCrunch’s great app to connect founders and investors based on shared interests.

Here’s the fine print. Each of the 50+ breakout sessions is limited to around 100 attendees. We expect a lot more attendees, of course, so signups for each session are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Buy your ticket today and you can sign up for the breakouts we are announcing today, as well as those already announced. Pass holders will also receive 24-hour advance notice before we announce the next batch. (And yes, you can “drop” a breakout session in favor of a new one, in the event there is a schedule conflict.)

So get your TC Early Stage: San Francisco pass today, and get the inside track on the sessions we announced today, as well as the ones to be announced in the coming weeks.

Possible sponsor? Hit us up right here.


Tesorio raises $10M Series A to help companies track their cash flow

Tesorio, a startup that helps businesses aggregate and analyze their cash flow data, today announced that it has raised a $10 million Series A round led by Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group. Existing investors First Round Capital, Floodgate, Y Combinator, Fathom Capital and Fuel Capital. This brings Tesorio’s total funding to $17 million. Madrona’s Hope Cochran will join the company’s board.

The company is tackling an interesting market that is surprisingly underserved given that every company likely wants to be able to track its cash flow as closely as possible. In most companies, though, that’s still done with the help of Excel spreadsheets. The fact that Jeff Epstein, former CFO of Oracle; Ron Gill, former CFO of NetSuite; and Greg Henry, CFO of Couchbase and former SVP of Finance at ServiceNow all gave angle funding to Tesorio shows how big a problem this is.

“Billion-dollar companies are running their cashflow in Excel — and that’s real,” Tesorio co-founder and CEO Carlos Vega told me. “What that doesn’t allow you to do is use all that data that goes into that cashflow in a smart way. […] Imagine all of that could be connected and interconnected — and that’s basically what we’re building.”

app image 01 total cash flow

Tesorio helps businesses aggregate all of their cash flow — in some ways, you can think of it as a Mint for businesses — and then runs its AI models over it to predict a company’s overall financial health. Current customers include the likes of Veeva Systems, Box, and WP Engine, who use the company’s systems to, for example, automate their accounts payable operations to understand when customers are likely to pay. While there are other tools that help you manage the overall workflow, Vega argues that Tesorio is different because it can pull in data from all of these disparate systems and create a cash flow forecast based on this.

“Many departments have systems of record to log things like accounting entries, bank info, billings, customer interactions, spend, etc,” Vega explained. “The exciting opportunity is to tie that data together dynamically so you can have a multifaceted view on the trajectory of your business (with a focus on the effects to cash flow) and then automate the levers that can help you impact cash.”

While the company didn’t disclose any revenue numbers, it did not that its revenue grew 4x year-over-year in 2018.

As Vega told me, it’s usually the financial teams and CFO’s that adopt Tesorio. The company focuses on bringing on companies with 100 to 3000 employees and it already has a number of international customers, too. In total, the platform has already analyzed $56 billion in payments, 10 million invoices and 5 million user activities. As will all machine learning services, every new transaction also helps to make its models more precise.

As usual, Tesorio will use the new funding to expand its product — with a special focus on adding integrations with other finance systems — and its expand its go-to-market initiatives.

app image 02 cash flow forecast

Madrona’s Hope Cochran, who herself was a public company CFO during her time at Clearwire and King Digital, stressed the need for a service like this. “The ultimate financial metric for a company is Cash,” she writes in today’s announcement. “Not just the current balance, but the trajectory of the balance. In the vast majority of companies, this analysis is performed on a spreadsheet. One containing many links, often circular references, and pulling in data from multiple sources. The risk of an error, a break, is high. ”

 

Oracle directors give blessing to shareholder lawsuit against Larry Ellison and Safra Catz

Three years after closing a $9.3 billion deal to acquire Netsuite, several Oracle board members have written an extraordinary letter to the Delaware Court, approving a shareholder lawsuit against company executives Larry Ellison and Safra Catz over the 2016 deal. Reuters broke this story.

According Reuters’ Alison Frankel, three board members including former U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, sent a letter on August 15th to Sam Glasscock III, Vice Chancellory for the Court of the Chancellor in Georgetown, Delaware, approving the suit as members of a special Board of Directors entity known as the Special Litigation Committee.

The lawsuit is what is called in legal parlance, a derivative suit. According to the site Justia, this type of suit is filed in cases like this. “Since shareholders are generally allowed to file a lawsuit in the event that a corporation has refused to file one on its own behalf, many derivative suits are brought against a particular officer or director of the corporation for breach of contract or breach of fiduciary duty,” the Justia site explained.

The letter went onto say there was an attempt to settle this suit, which was originally launched in 2017, through negotiation outside of court, but when that attempt failed, the directors wrote this letter to the court stating that the suit should be allowed to proceed.

As Frankel wrote in her article, the lawsuit, which was originally filed by Firemen’s fund could be worth billions:

One of the lead lawyers for the Firemen’s fund, Joel Friedlander of Friedlander & Gorris, said at a hearing in June that shareholders believe the breach-of-duty claims against Oracle and NetSuite executives are worth billions of dollars. So in last week’s letter, Oracle’s board effectively unleashed plaintiffs’ lawyers to seek ten-figure damages against its own members, Frankel wrote

It’s worth pointing out, as we reported at the time of the Netsuite acquisition, that Larry Ellison was involved in setting up Netsuite in the late 1990s and was a major shareholder at the time of the deal.

Oracle was struggling to find its cloud footing in 2016, and it was believed that by buying an established SaaS player like Netsuite, it could begin to build out its cloud business much faster than trying to develop something like it internally. A June Synergy Research SaaS marketshare report, while admitting the market was fragmented, still showed Oracle was far behind the pack in spite of that deal three years ago.

SaaS Q119 1

While there have been bigger deals in tech M&A history, including Salesforce’s acquisition of Tableau for $15.7 billion earlier this year, it’s still stands with some of the largest.

We reached out to Oracle regarding this story, but it declined to comment.