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


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

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

“She was one of the few or perhaps the only CEOs to ever stand up to the entire team,” Cinicalco said.

“He pointed to the screen displayed behind him to help us stay on the most relevant information. The way he did it really forced us to be with him. 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 rate, and net promoter score.

“In retrospect, I really underestimated the competitive advantage of coming from the industry,” Wong said. “But it resulted in 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 become more capital-efficient.”

Read our recap with highlights of their conversation, or click though to watch the video with their full chat.

Thank you so much for reading Extra Crunch this week!

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, Nerdshala
@your hero

Investors don’t expect US startup funding market to slow

Global venture capital reached $156 billion in the second quarter of 2021, an increase of 157% annually. A record number of unicorns gained their footing during the same period and valuations increased across the board, report Anna Heim and Alex Wilhelm in today’s edition of The Exchange.

Even though round counts may not have set an all-time high, “the general vibe of Q2 Venture Capital Data was clear: This is a great time for startups to raise capital.”

Anna and Alex are interviewing VCs in various fields to find out why they feel so generous and optimistic. Today, they started with the following US-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, manufacturing technology will be hard to disrupt

Image of two construction workers checking blueprints next to a laptop to represent technology at construction sites.

image credit: Azman Zaka (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

The construction industry may seem like an innovation-seeking sector, CEO and founder David Ward writes in the Safe Site Check guest column, but there are unique challenges that make construction firms slow to adapt to new technology.

Because of the way construction projects are funded thanks to complex local regulations, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the construction industry’s technical problems.

Construction technology may be attractive to investors, Ward writes, but it should be “easy to use, easy to deploy or use on a job site, and improve productivity almost immediately.”

3 Analysts Weighing In: What Are Andy Jesse’s Top Priorities As Amazon’s New CEO?

Jeff Bezos, Executive Chairman and CEO of Amazon Andy Jesse

image credit: AP Photo / Isaac Brecken / John Locher

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

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

  • Robin Odie, Canalis
  • Sucharita Kodali, Forester
  • Ed Anderson, Gartner

Amazon ranks second in the Fortune 500, but it’s not all sunshine and roses—sustaining growth, unionizing, and the ability for antitrust regulation at home and abroad are just some of its responsibilities.

“I think the biggest thing is just to continue the momentum that the company has made over the years,” says Kodali. “He has to make sure they don’t lose it. If he does, I mean he will win.”

The most important API metric is the time of the first call

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

image credit: Peter Daisley (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Publishing an API is not enough for any startup: once it is released, the hard work of building a developer base begins.

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

Lin found that the most important metric for public APIs is the time to first call (TTFC). This is understandable – faster TTFC allows developers to start using new tools quickly. As a result, “legitimately streamlining TTFC has a greater market potential for better educated users for the later stages of your developer journey,” Lin writes.

This post isn’t just for the developers in our audience: TTFC is a metric that product and development teams should also take into account, he suggests.

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

Q3 IPO cycle starts strong with Couchbase pricing and Kaltura relisting

image credit: olli0815/iStock

Couchbase and Cultura offered new filings on Monday, NoSQL provider Couchbase set an initial price range for its IPO and Cultura revived its public offering with a fresh price range and new financial information.

“Both news should help us understand how the IPO cycle for the third quarter of 2021 is about to begin,” writes Alex Wilhelm.

5 Advanced-ish SEO Tactics to Win in 2021

SEO Strategy for Dalits

image credit: PM Images (Opens in a new window)/ Getty Images

Mark Spera, Head of Growth Marketing at Minted, offers SEO tips to help small sites stand out.

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

“The cards are not in your favor, so you need to be even more strategic than the big guys,” he writes. “That means implementing some cutting edge hacks to increase your SEO throughput and leaving some arbitrage still in organic search. I call these five tips ‘advanced-ish,’ because none of them are complicated. But all of them are extremely important for search marketers in 2021.”



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