Daily Crunch: Android lock screen platform Glance will roll out to US consumers in coming weeks

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Guess who’s back? Back again? Well, me after a long weekend, but also Elon Musk is tweeting again, and he has lots of thoughts about socks. My partner in crime, Haje, remains in an undesirable newsletter time zone but will be back later this week. I want to call out some things going on with TechCrunch. One is that TechCrunch Live’s weekly event series is new and improved, so learn more and register. Most of us here at TechCrunch spend our days on WordPress, and the Found team spoke to Matt Mullenweg, CEO of its parent company Automattic, for the latest podcast. — Christine

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • Just a Glance: Manish wrote two of our top stories. The first is a scoop he got related to Glance, which is reportedly launching its lock screen content platform for Android in the U.S. in the next couple of months. He also dug into Twitter’s lawsuit against the Indian government that was prompted by content takedown orders. This is just another in a long line of troubles the company has had in this country.
  • No slowdown in climate tech: Paul reports on Climentum Capital’s philosophy behind its new $157 million fund that will go into European startups helping reduce CO2 emissions.
  • We gotta figure out our ‘exit scratgety’: You’ll have to go way back into the SNL archives to find that reference, but this is the first of two Haje public announcements for our founder friends. He says you really don’t need that “exit plan” slide in your pitch deck — there are a lot of assumptions and predictions on a founder’s part, and it is hard to know who wants to buy your company, so just get rid of it.

Startups and VC

There are a number of very good TechCrunch+ stories today. I recommend starting with Alex’s item on raising sweet capital in a sour market, where essentially he says venture capital firms should put their money to use when they can get more out of it. Then follow with his story from yesterday that does a bit more diving into 2021 company valuations.

Speaking of putting capital to use in easier ways, some VC firms continue to raise funds, and Sequoia Capital has been very busy. Rita reports that Sequoia’s China unit took in $9 billion, coming at a time when, she writes, “global investors are reevaluating risks in China amid a COVID-hit economy and an ongoing regulatory crackdown on the country’s internet upstarts.” This complements a quick hit I did last week about Sequoia raising two funds stateside.

Meanwhile, Haje’s other public service announcement for today is a reminder that not all of us comprehend at the same level, so startup founders should work to attract more bees with simple honey sentences rather than big, complicated fly ones.

Here’s what else you might like today:

  • Show me the money: Kyle reports on Tesorio, which closed on a $17 million Series B to continue developing tools to help businesses automate their payment collection process.
  • The opposite of McHard is McEasy: In this case, McEasy is digitizing Indonesia’s logistics, transportation and supply chain industries, and Catherine writes about the company’s plans now that it has $6.5 million in new funding.
  • Drink up: I reported on Maolac, an Israeli food tech company that is putting $3.2 million of new capital to work in its protein technology that is taking bovine colostrum and making a superfood for adults.
  • If you like it, then you should have put a ring on it: Natasha takes us on a delightful journey looking at Ultrahuman’s new smart ring aimed at “decoding metabolic health.”
  • A “Quantum Leap” indeed: Ingrid writes about the U.K.’s Oxford Quantum Circuits, which raised $47 million for its quantum-computing-as-a-service that runs a 3D processor architecture called Coaxmon.
  • Drive time: Rebecca interviews Veo’s Candice Xie about the e-scooter company’s steady journey toward profitability.

Without a clear ask, your pitch deck is useless

Fundraising is difficult because most people don’t have any experience asking strangers for money.

The “ask” slide where founders explain how they’ll spend investors’ money is particularly challenging. To break through the mental barrier, Haje recommends starting out with metrics and milestones.

How much will you increase MAU or lower CAC? What are your target dates for expanding in new markets?

“The more specific your goals are, the easier it is to know whether you’re trending toward them,” writes Haje.

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

Big Tech Inc.

Some big news from yesterday was that Meta decided not to move forward with its crypto payments wallet, Novi, Natasha writes. The company isn’t getting rid of it completely, so stay tuned as to how it might be repurposed.

Meanwhile, Google is doing a little postponing of its own — with KakaoTalk updates on its Play Store. Kate reports this has something to do with the messaging app refusing to remove its own payment links. You might remember, but Google doesn’t like that.

Over in Europe, we have a trio of regulation stories. First is Natasha’s about the European Parliament giving its approval to a set of regulations regarding digital businesses. Then Paul writes about the U.K. pushing to make “foreign interference,” particularly Russian information, an offense under its proposed Online Safety Bill. Finally, Ingrid reports on the U.K. signing its first data-sharing deal since Brexit with South Korea.

Take a peek at some others:

  • Those are some big lenses you have: If you like smartphones with giant camera lenses, then you will love Haje’s report on Xiaomi’s new phone. 
  • A marriage made in drone heaven: Brian writes about American Robotics’ owner acquiring Airobotics and why it’s a good fit.
  • Talk about your front desk fail: WeWork India was found to have exposed the personal information and selfies of visitors, Zack writes.
  • Fire up those engines: Rebecca listened in on Tata Motors’ shareholder meeting and found that the Indian automaker aims to sell 50,000 electric vehicles by March 31, 2023. 
  • Live commerce no more: TikTok is reportedly pulling the plug on plans to expand its live e-commerce unit, TikTok Shop, in the U.S. and some parts of Europe, Aisha writes. It will be interesting to see if live commerce ever does become a thing over in this part of the world.

Tesorio’s tools aim to help businesses automate payments collection

Although finance teams ultimately control budgets within their companies, investment in technology under the chief financial officer’s purview had been limited — at least until recently. That’s the assertion of Tesorio CEO Carlos Vega, who observed that, prior to the pandemic, most cash management processes had been run in spreadsheets and Word documents.

“Cash is becoming the number one priority for all organizations. The industry’s main competitor is the inertia of doing it the old way, despite it being manual, error-prone, and highly inefficient … All of a sudden, [tools like automation] have gone from vitamin to painkiller,” Vega told TechCrunch via email. “At current inflation rates, companies are losing over 2% in real terms every 90 days they sit on their receivables. That may not seem like much, but for a mid-market business with a $10 million outstanding receivables balance, that’s costing them $210 per quarter or the equivalent of two employees for a year.”

Of course, Vega has a product to promote — Tesorio sells automation solutions designed to help customers manage their accounts receivables. But at least one source supports his claim that automation can transform accounts receivable workflows for the better. In April 2022, American Express and Pymnts.com published a survey that found that about two-thirds of firms that have automated accounts receivable processes report benefiting from improved days sales outstanding (a measure of the average number of days that it takes for a company to collect payment after a sale has been made), while about half said that they achieved lower delinquency rates.

“Historically, the account receivable process has been driven by tribal knowledge within the accounting team,” Vega said. “They ‘know’ based on personal experience that a certain customer always pays ‘X’ days late and another customer breaks their promise-to-pay dates, while another set of customers can be relied upon to pay early when asked to do so. If someone leaves the company or is out on vacation, this data is lost.”

Tesorio attempts to capture this knowledge using AI models that look across a customer’s payment history and predict when, exactly, they’ll pay. Vega co-launched the company in 2015 with Fabio Fleitas, who he met while studying business at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Tesorio was originally focused on supply chain financing, helping businesses save by paying their small- and medium-sized business vendors early. But a year later, the startup pivoted to “directly serving the companies getting paid,” in Vega’s words.

Investors seemingly favor the move. Today, Tesorio closed a $17 million Series B round led by BAMCAP Ventures with participation from Madrona Venture Group, First Round Capital, and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and her sister, 23andMe co-founder and CEO Anne Wojcicki. Floodgate, FundersClub, Hillsven, Mango Capital, Carao Ventures and Xplorer Capital also contributed, bringing Tesorio’s total raised to $37.6 million.


Businesses can use Tesorio’s platform to automate parts of their accounts receivables workflow. Image Credits: Tesorio

“I spent about a decade working in finance, most recently at Lazard investment banking in Latin America. I co-founded a factoring company as a side business to finance small- and medium-sized business receivables. However, it felt like payday lending for business and wanted to find a better way to help companies with their cash flow,” Vega said. “In March 2017, [the modern] Tesorio was reborn with Couchbase and Veeva Systems among our first three customers.”

Tesorio customers can connect their enterprise resource management and customer relationship management systems to the platform to train the aforementioned payment prediction AI models. Training takes about 30 days, with setup averaging around 5 days, Vega says.

“The models are … able to train themselves by looking across our entire dataset of anonymized invoice history, covering billions in transactional volume, to further refine and improve its forecasting accuracy,” Vega added. “If companies can get paid when they expect it, their cash flow becomes more predictable so they can plan their growth better, they become more resilient, and they can fulfill their own mission without relying as much on external sources of capital.”

Tesorio also lets customers create email reminder templates and self-service payment portals. And on the back end, the platform hosts digital workspaces that allow teams to share notes and aggregate accounts receivable data in one place. From the workspaces, teams can also track metrics and monitor cash flow performance, either using out-of-the-box reports or building their own from scratch.

Plenty of vendors compete for business in the accounts receivables management space. There’s Upflow, Tipalti, and Quadient-owned YayPay, which offer software-as-a-service products focused on collecting money from outstanding invoices. Yaydoo aims to simplify collections more broadly. Another startup, Churpy, recently raised $1 million to help enterprises reconcile and manage payments across Africa.

An outstanding challenge for Tesorio and its competitors is convincing companies that they need the software. It’s a hurdle in any industry, but particularly finance, where teams are likely to perceive their processes as sufficiently modern. According to a study by Billtrust, while 86% of accounts receivable teams rate their department as “very” or “somewhat” modernized, 40% don’t offer self-service capabilities while over 60% haven’t digitized a majority of their invoices.

Economic headwinds might help Tesorio’s case, Vega believes. While the startup isn’t yet cash-flow positive, Vega claims that it has over 130 customers, including Slack, Box, Twilio, GitLab and Bank of America.

“The funding follows a third consecutive year of triple-digit revenue growth. We expect to continue the strong growth trend over the next two years, especially with the market’s renewed focus on cash flow,” Vega said. “Although the current economic climate with inflation and higher interest rates has given pause to decision makers with regards to spending, it actually puts a major, positive, spotlight on the value of Tesorio. In a world where cash is king and the cost of capital is no longer nominal, having a product like Tesorio that enables an organization to more effectively free up and manage its cash is more critical than ever.”

Vega says that the proceeds from Tesorio’s latest financing will be put toward expanding the company’s go-to-market efforts and product development, and growing its team from “just north of 50” employees to around 90 within the next year.

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. ”