Daily Crunch: Black Girls Code conducts review as suspended CEO denies employee allegations

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Hi all, and welcome back to Daily Crunch for December 28, 2021!

I hope you're all staying dry, warm and safe as we come to the end of another weird year. I haven't heard from Alex how his vacation is going, which I'm hoping means he's having a great time and playing way too much Crusader Kings III.

Alex should be back next week. In the meantime, I'll try to be half as good at wrapping up the top stories from the past day or so.

Greg

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • WTF is .xyz?: Have you noticed the sudden uptick in ".xyz" domains in the wild? Wondering why? Anita Ramaswamy has a great overview of .xyz's history, its growing role in the web3 world and how Google/Alphabet might've sparked the trend.

  • Black Girls Code CEO suspended: What's going on at Black Girls Code? Why was the non-profit org's CEO and co-founder, Kimberly Bryant, suddenly suspended? Natasha Mascarenhas talked to many of those involved to get some answers.

  • 'The Matrix: Resurrections' is a bad movie, but…: I still haven't watched the new "Matrix" (I have a toddler running around, so watching any movie without songs and/or animated dogs is rare) so I can't vouch for Devin's headline, but I appreciate him finding a diamond (the movie's take on our relationship with tech) in what he otherwise considers the rough (everything else.) Spoiler warnings, btw.

Startups/VC

  • Where New Zealand startups are poised to win: The startup scene in New Zealand is rocketing — quite literally. Besides rockets, where else might New Zealand find wins? Rebecca Bellan talked with investors in the region and came away with four verticals to watch.

  • Religious apps draw investor attention: I'll never stop being amazed by Connie Loizos' ability to spot trends I never would've noticed. This time it's a huge uptick in investment in faith-focused apps — from $6.1 million in 2016 to $175 million this year. Connie sat down with the founder of one of these apps (Hallow) for insights on the landscape.

How to be one of the “haves” of SaaS

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

Software as a service has leveled the playing field for startups in the last decade, but in terms of venture capital, the winners still take all.

According to Sean Fanning, a VP on OpenView’s investment team, companies that post stellar growth often take the bulk of VC investment, leaving the lower performers to fight for scraps.

In an in-depth post, Fanning shares three tactics used by SaaS companies with an attractive enterprise value-to-revenue (EV/R) multiple:

Continued execution against large and growing market opportunities.

Leveraging a business model that enables rapid growth (i.e., product-led growth).

Strong unit economics that support high free cash flow margins over the long term.

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Big Tech Inc.

  • Even more companies drop from in-person CES: Large companies continue to drop out of the Consumer Electronics Show due to COVID concerns. Following announcements from Intel, T-Mobile, Google, Amazon, Twitter, and more last week, the latest are AMD, OnePlus, MSI, and Procter and Gamble.

  • Dutch regulators demand App Store changes: Seems like South Korea started something global with its App Store legislation back in August. The Netherlands is the latest country to tell Apple to change its requirements around in-app purchases — though, curiously, in this case they seem specifically focused on dating apps?

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