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The TechCrunch Top 3
- Fake out: Kyle spoke with Stability Diffusion about 4chan getting ahold of its artificial intelligence art model and then to some deepfake experts about what this means and who might be at risk.
- Peloton rides into Amazon: That Amazon box just became more diverse. Peloton has started selling its equipment on Amazon, which opens up a whole new strategy shift and revenue stream for the beleaguered company, Brian writes.
- Spammed: A bug caused by a configuration change was to blame for some Facebook users getting strange celebrity fan posts. It’s since been fixed, but Ivan and Manish have the skinny on what happened.
Startups and VC
We published a really fascinating piece written by Battery Ventures’ Neeraj Agrawal, Brandon Gleklen, and Jack Mattei on TechCrunch Plus (our premium subscription site) today, about how ARR per employee (APE) is one of the most meaningful efficiency metrics for startups. It makes sense; for a lot startups, the number of employees is one of the biggest cost bases — more, even, than customer acquisition. It’s a fresh take on how to measure company success, and well worth a read.
Okay, fine, have a few more:
ARR per employee is the North Star efficiency metric you’ve been looking for
If you want to break even, go APE.
Cloud companies generally rely on efficiency metrics like CAC payback and LTV-to-CAC, but “they feel more like financial metrics than operational ones, and it is difficult for employees to execute against these concepts,” according to Neeraj Agrawal, Brandon Gleklen and Jack Mattei of Battery Ventures.
Using data from Capital IQ and Battery’s research, this post contains key benchmarks for public companies and privately held SaaS businesses, along with recommended targets for companies with different ARR ranges.
“APE is an extremely simple metric we think could serve as your north star as you navigate these volatile times.”
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
It was a Sarah, Brian, Aisha, Zack kind of day. First up, Walmart+ members have a brand-new feature: cash back. Sarah explains that Walmart+ is its “answer to Amazon Prime.” Here’s how it works: browse the app for offers and clip them for future purchases. Once you make one, you earn cash back in the form of digital rewards that accumulate over time to apply to future purchases.
Now over to WhatsApp’s new group discussions features, a story Sarah has also been following since April. It looks like more users have access to the feature, which is similar to Facebook, but in a messaging capability, and reduces the amount of single chats that occur. The groups are also not public or discoverable and joining one means you need an invite.