AI content developer Jasper is now valued at $1.5 billion after capital injection – TechCrunch

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The bulletin is a little later than usual today and for the next three days. Don’t worry, it’s for fun reasons: we want to be the first to tell you about the beauty of our TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield companies. Find them in our special Battlefield section below! And, this is our very first time writing Daily Crunch, sitting next to each other, IRL. — Christina and haje

TechCrunch’s top 3

  • Someone have a good day: Jasper, which markets itself as an “AI content” developer, has raised its first-ever funding round – and a hefty $125 million to give it a $1.5 billion valuation, Kyle reports. It also comes as the company is in the process of acquiring a grammar and style checking platform, Outwrite.
  • Turn tenants into owners: Christina provides an update on Landis, which raised $40 million in Series B funding. The company buys homes on behalf of its clients while providing them with a patch for them to build up their credit and eventually get a mortgage on the home that they rent.
  • So Apple hosted an event: Roman gives you a look at the new entry-level iPad which it says looks like the iPad Pro. Alas, it’s also more expensive, but you get a bigger screen. Priorities, Amirite?

Startups and VCs

Venture capital funds focused on niche sectors are “in fashion”, according to Connieand Will Ventures is here for it. Christina reports that the Boston-based venture capital firm has just tripled the size of its second fund to $150 million through its approach to investing in sports technology with the help of its community of athletes who help promote and developing portfolio companies.

Turo, the peer-to-peer car-sharing platform described as the Airbnb for cars, will expand to Australia before the end of the year, Rebecca reports. Local car owners in all major cities, including Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane, can join the waitlist on the Turo website.

Well, okay, have a few more:

New drops from Disrupt

Crypto Accelerator: Dishes from Chris Dixon of Andreessen Horowitz at Anita about a “Crypto Startup School,” an inaugural accelerator program that will begin next year in Los Angeles. He also provided more insight into the company’s recent giant investment in our favorite controversial founder, Adam Neumann.
Stealth start: Both Harris and Tim sitting on IngridMarc Lore’s interview, which revealed a new sports ticketing startup he’s working on called Jump Platforms, and gave insight into the sale of Diapers.com to Amazon, calling it a “forced transaction”.
On a new cloud: Netflix VP of Games Mike Verdu spoke with Amanda about opening a new game studio in SoCal and getting into cloud gaming.

Startup Battlefield

It’s Disruuuupt! We’re so excited we can barely sit still. Here’s the first batch of Battlefield companies that took to the stage this beautiful California Tuesday – and if you’re curious, Nesha revealed the 20 companies showing up on the Disrupt Stage earlier today. Here is the first batch launched today:

NXgenPort: A Saint Paul, Minnesota-based startup that seeks to remotely monitor cancer patients between doctor visits using a port catheter.

Omneky: Leverages OpenAI’s DALLE-2 and GPT-3 models to generate visuals and text that can be used in ads for social platforms.

Circular genomics: claims its new form of genetic testing can identify drugs that will work for a patient in a fraction of the time.

Anthill: Connects frontline workers to company resources via text messaging.

AppMap: Was built on the simple idea that developers should be able to see the behavior of software as they write it so that they can avoid problems when the software is running.

mother honestly: The new commerce offering aims to give employees more freedom when it comes to healthcare expenses.

Digest.ai: Beyond flashcards to create an AI dialogue assistant that we can all carry on our phones.

Exchange robotics: Paving the way for solar electric vegetation cutting and sidewalk snow removal.

Hormone: Hopes to encourage menstruating people to do just that – add hormone monitoring to their quantified health mix.

Staax: Believes that peer-to-peer payments can integrate a new generation of equity investors.

How to Combine PLG and Enterprise Sales to Improve the Funnel and Drive Bottom Line Growth

Six different straws in a cup

Picture credits: Richard Drury (Opens in a new window) /Getty Pictures

The products and services that sell seem great, but product-driven growth (PLG) startups are still launching marketing campaigns and hiring sales teams.

Combining PLG with traditional sales-focused growth efforts can take retention and acquisition to the next level, says Kate Ahlering, chief revenue officer at Calendly.

In this TC+ guest post, Ahlering lays out several strategies that will help teams implement a “Hybrid GTM Strategy,” which includes suggestions for leveraging PLG data and optimizing success metrics.

Three others from the TC+ team:

Tech Crunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get a head start. You can register here. Use code “DC” to get 15% off an annual subscription!

Big Tech inc.

We have even more for you from Apple’s surprise October event. brian take a look at the company’s new iPad Pro M2, which has been refreshed and arrives on October 26th. He talks about bullets and thumbs, and a pencil…you get the picture.

Even more Apple to chew:

Since we have all the Battlefield companies for your reading pleasure, here are a few more:

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