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Top 5 AI-Driven Furniture Engineering Design Applications



Anybody that is familiar with the nature of technology recognizes the contributions of artificial intelligence. AI technology has been instrumental in transforming the healthcare and financial industries, as well as many other sectors.

Fewer people talk about the role that AI has played in the creative arts professions. However, there are a number of reasons that AI has become invaluable to designers working across many different types of media. Patrick van Hoof wrote an article a few years ago stating that designers were largely responsible for the fact that the AI market was going to be worth an estimated $70 billion by 2020. His projection was very close to actuality, since Grandview Research found it grew from $15 billion in the year van Hoof’s article was written to $62 billion in 2020.

There is no question that AI is reshaping the future of the design profession. However, the question is which designers are most dependent on it. Furniture designers are among those that have become reliant on AI technology.

AI-Driven Furniture Design Software is Rapidly Gaining Popularity

A decent design is important for creating engineering items that improve the main objectives of an organization. Engineering design includes planning with different partners to meet the ultimate objectives of their company. A designer has the most extreme obligation to upgrade the item’s worth, client encounters, and the visual part of a brand.

It upholds tasks and helps in using design mastery to make proficient and powerful items. As you prefer buying floors from engineered wood flooring sale, it is also essential for you to look for extraordinary furniture designs that can change the visual of an association and help upgrade the usefulness of the workers.

However, a fabulous furniture design requires a magnificent software program where specialists can use their innovative information to convey results. These new applications utilize AI technology to enhance the quality of designs. The section below will address the top furniture designing software with exceptional AI features that you should use to make the most attractive furniture design.

Let’s see this software.

1. SolidWorks

Powerful 3D rendering capabilities with AI algorithms, lower price, and interface make SolidWorks an incredible designing software that is very popular among most designers. This software effectively provides design capabilities to major educational institutions for new students and has an excellent user interface.

SolidWorks is also customizable and uses machine learning technology to check for safety issues, weak points, and faults in the designs for making the necessary development changes. It can arrange components in particular regions without controlling the plan of the furnishings. Also, it saves time and permits changes in design before the formation of the actual furnishings.

2. SketchList 3D

Many woodworking specialists use this AI design software to design fences, chairs, tables, closets, benches, and other furniture. You could use it once for a free trial. However, you would have to do the payment procedure after a single chance. This software consists of a more effective workflow and can even offer data regarding the stock price essential for building the furniture.

Moreover, if you require guidance, you could easily rely on SketchList 3D for correct information.

3. Polyboard

Polyboard is a perfect combination of cost, design, and quality that every professional designer needs to create furniture. It is user-friendly, offers high performance, and provides the best designs for cupboards, cabinets, and fittings. With this software, you can have 3D and 2D presentations. It can deliver the yield records that are needed to drive your CNC machines.

It additionally offers speedy plan libraries with all equipment and assembling strategies. It is a marvel in AI design applications.

4. Pro100

This fantastic AI-powered software is generally used for cabinet makers, garage cabinet designers, and kitchen dealers. It can share results with customers, export images, and also record panoramic views. Pro100 is a user-friendly software entirely based on the styles, parts, and substances of the component. It also consists of standard metric units and is highly customizable.

5. Smart Draw

Unlike the other softwares, smart Draw is quite simple to use. It provides numerous graphs and charts, and templates that can help you effectively create a fantastic design for the customers. Besides that, the software can even make complex flowcharts and mind maps with greater ease. Therefore, if you’re planning on creating a complex furniture design, then SmartDraw could be a perfect tool for you to get started.

AI Software is Invaluable for Modern Furniture Design

AI technology is changing the future of design. Furniture design is no exception. Furniture configuration is acquiring pertinence and acknowledgment as buyers are progressively getting imaginative with their stuff. Consequently, these engineering design software applications use sophisticated machine learning algorithms and have been an essential furniture creator for meeting the client’s needs.

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Manu Smadja: CEO at MPOWER Financing, a Fintech Firm Facilitating Educational Loans, Shares Business Strategy



MPOWER Financing, a global education loan provider, recently secured an equity investment of $100 million. The new funding is in addition to the $60 million MPOWER raised earlier this year from Tilden Park Capital Management that also participated in the current round along with ETS Strategic Capital.

Other investors were King Street Capital Management, Drakes Landing Associates, and Pennington Alternative Income Management.

We recently connected with Manu Smadja, CEO at MPOWER Financing, which is a Public Benefit Corporation whose stated mission is “to reduce the financial barriers to international education.” The company is based in Washington, DC, with business offices in New York and Bangalore, India.

The firm was established by Manu Smadja and Michael Davis back in 2014, both of whom attended INSEAD Paris where they first met each other. Our conversation with Manu Smadja is shared below.

Crowdfund Insider: You’ve mentioned that you use your cross-border lending platform, Big Data, and global infrastructure to finance international and DACA students in North America.

How did you identify this as a key requirement, and what are some of the long-term benefits that your organization has been able to provide?

Manu Smadja: MPOWER Financing’s mission is to remove the financial barriers that many high-promise students from around the world encounter attending school overseas. International and DACA students simply do not have access to the types of programs that American students can take advantage of, including federal student loan subsidies, grants, national scholarships, etc. Additionally, they are often excluded from many private loan options available due to a lack of domestic credit history.

We apply the latest technology and processes to fulfill this mission, ensuring we’re able to help as many students as we can as seamlessly as possible. This includes looking at a variety of different data sources along with projecting future earning potential to determine an applicant’s credit risk long-term.

We also understand that funding is only part of the equation. We provide additional career guidance and resources through our Path2Success program, which helps our students prepare for the unique challenges they may face when it comes to entering the workforce. This, in turn, yields significantly better credit outcomes and lower-than-average loan default rates.

We are constantly rethinking how we use technology to transform our business. We’re currently exploring machine learning to help identify trends and patterns in customer support, which will help us better address students’ questions and challenges.

Crowdfund Insider: Your website states that people can “fund their dreams on their own.” Candidates can apply for your co-signer loans and scholarships to study in the U.S. and Canada. How does your Fintech platform make this possible?

Manu Smadja: Unlike traditional financing options available to international and DACA students (usually brick and mortar banks in the student’s home country), MPOWER loans do not require a cosigner or collateral for approval. Our approval process is also not based on credit history alone. Instead, we have built a proprietary algorithm that factors in future earning potential and analyzes disparate data sources, such as employment history and credit history domestically and abroad.

This model ensures that high-promise students have access to education without putting an undue financial burden on their families. MPOWER’s loans are approved instantly and are granted at competitive interest rates.

By amalgamating and evaluating the many factors that will contribute to their success and solvency, we make it possible for high-promise students who are left out of the traditional lending process to fund their endeavors in higher education in the U.S. and Canada.

Crowdfund Insider: You’ve noted that you’re a social benefit corporation founded by international students for international students, and you’re on a mission “to make socioeconomic mobility borderless.”

We’re now living in a world with rapid globalization and advancements in telecommunications technology, yet some processes like acquiring loans are still  being done in an inefficient manner with legacy platforms.

How can Fintech enhance this process from the perspective of learners and the organizations that provide education?

Manu Smadja: Our global financial systems have largely not kept up with the pace of innovation seen in other sectors of the consumer economy. While online applications and accessibility may be more commonplace, particularly due to the pandemic, the back-end systems that support these technologies are cumbersome and often outdated. Typically, the first option for many international students to fund their education is through traditional brick and mortar banks in their home countries. Not only can the lending process take longer, the majority of these loan providers are also still using conventional credit mechanisms to determine eligibility.

Since our founding, we have been committed to rethinking and overhauling how international students fund their education. This includes removing prohibitive barriers, such as requiring collateral or having a cosigner. Thanks to data and our proprietary algorithm, we gain a more detailed and comprehensive financial picture of each applicant to determine if they’re a good candidate for a loan.

Naturally, our model breaks down barriers to funding, while ensuring that each transaction is financially sound and does not present a credit risk to our business.

Crowdfund Insider: You’ve processed over $2 billion in loan applications. You’ve also been supporting 190+ countries of citizenship along with 350+ U.S. and Canadian schools.

How can financial technology be leveraged to expedite the loan application review process? Does your software use any A.I. or machine learning algorithms to improve the overall process?

Manu Smadja: A faster approval and processing pathway is something we strive for, but the process must be anchored by accuracy. We recently launched our Instant Offer product, enabling a student to check their eligibility in 30 seconds and apply online in less than 30 minutes. Based on the information we collect; we are able to provide a conditional loan offer in real-time.

Crowdfund Insider: What are your plans for this year and beyond? What technological improvements do you plan to incorporate into your existing platform?

Manu Smadja: In 2021, MPOWER has raised a total of $160 million including the $100 million in equity on July 13. These funds are being used to scale and automate our operations, enabling us to help more students.

While many companies would use an investment like this to expand product offerings, we want to stay true to our core offering: lending for high-promise students and tools and education to help prepare students to enter the workforce. This means investing in our team and technology.

Crowdfund Insider: Earlier this year, MPOWER partnered with Sallie Mae to expand higher education access, specifically for international and DACA students.

Please tell us about your aim to leverage these strategic partnerships to offer better services.

Manu Smadja: We are always looking for organizations to partner with, particularly when it builds the bridge between funding and a students’ dreams to pursue higher education. The partnership with Sallie Mae helps fill the gaps found in traditional lending services, offering credit-based private loan products that students can apply for with an eligible U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer. When a co-signer is unavailable, MPOWER works with Sallie Mae and leverages its proprietary data and technology to underwrite high-promise international students.

We look forward to partnering with more lenders so that we can help more students fulfill their educational goals.

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Identity Proofing Firm AuthenticID Announces $100M Minority Growth Investment from Long Ridge Investment



AuthenticID recently announced a $100 million minority growth investment that has been led by Long Ridge Investment

The investment will be directed towards supporting AuthenticID’s ongoing innovation in automated identity proofing as well as the firm’s market expansion efforts.

AuthenticID, an established provider of Identity Proofing solutions for large companies or businesses, closed a $100 million minority investment from Long Ridge Equity Partners, a tech-focused growth equity firm (on July 22, 2021).

The investment will support AuthenticID’s ongoing expansion within telecommunications, financial services, government, and other consumer segments “looking to establish trust and mitigate fraud, as well as enable AuthenticID to support the next generation of digital identity platforms,” according to a release.

AuthenticID offers identity proofing services to leading firms, which reportedly include some of the nation’s biggest telecom carriers and financial institutions. The solution also “powers many of the leading digital identity platforms globally.”

The announcement further noted:

“AuthenticID provides document-centric identity verification delivered via the only 100 percent automated identity proofing platform, producing the industry’s highest accuracy rates and fastest processing times.”

AuthenticID’s AI-based offering is used “to eliminate fraud and increase conversion rates for a majority of the US wireless carrier market.”

The Identity Proofing market “continues to grow at a rapid pace, with the recent shift to digital customer onboarding and increasing fraud levels driving the need to establish identity remotely,” the announcement revealed.

This latest investment will be channeled towards supporting the development of solutions for extended identity verification use cases. The funding also “allows the Company to continue innovating and address the world’s ever-evolving digital identity and verification challenges with automated solutions.”

Jeff S. Jani, CEO, AuthenticID, stated:

“Our platform is relied upon by a majority of the US wireless carriers and various identity platforms to securely establish identity. Our differentiator is the significant ROI we deliver to customers, from stopping more fraud to converting more sales than our digital identity competitors. Our mission is to improve the security for all of our collective identities.”

Jim Brown, Founder and Managing Partner, Long Ridge, remarked:

“AuthenticID’s automated approach to Identity Proofing allows delivery of best-in-class results for their clients, especially when compared to manual and hybrid solutions. The shift towards digital onboarding is accelerating, and AuthenticID is positioned to help global enterprises establish identity, reduce fraud, and build trust. We are excited to partner with AuthenticID and support their vision for securing identities across the globe.”

Blair Cohen, Founder, AuthenticID, added:

“This investment will drive research and development, go-to-market, and market awareness activities that will take the Company to the next level.”

Union Square Advisors LLC served “as exclusive financial advisor” and DLA Piper “served as legal counsel to AuthenticID.”

Choate, Hall, & Stewart LLP served “as legal counsel to Long Ridge Equity Partners.”

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China Roundup: Kai-Fu Lee’s first Europe bet, WeRide buys a truck startup



Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch’s China Roundup, a digest of recent events shaping the Chinese tech landscape and what they mean to people in the rest of the world.

Despite the geopolitical headwinds for foreign tech firms to enter China, many companies, especially those that find a dependable partner, are still forging ahead. For this week’s roundup, I’m including a conversation I had with Prophesee, a French vision technology startup, which recently got funding from Kai-Fu Lee and Xiaomi, along with the usual news digest.

Spotting opportunities in China

Like many companies working on futuristic, cutting-edge tech in Europe, Prophesee was a spinout from university research labs. Previously, I covered two such companies from Sweden: Imint, which improves smartphone video production through deep learning, and Dirac, an expert in sound optimization.

The three companies have two things in common: They are all in niche fields, and they have all found eager customers in China.

For Prophesee, they are production lines, automakers and smartphone companies in China looking for breakthroughs in perception technology, which will in turn improve how their robots respond to the environment. So it’s unsurprising that Xiaomi and Chinese chip-focused investment firm Inno-Chip backed Prophesee in its latest funding round, which was led by Sinovation Venture.

The funding size was undisclosed but TechCrunch learned it was in the range of “tens of million USD.” It was also the first investment that Kai-Fu Lee has made through Sinovation in Europe. As Prophesee CEO Luca Verre recalled:

I met Dr. Kai-Fu Lee three years ago during the World Economic Forum … and when I pitched to him about Prophesee, he got very intrigued. And then over the past three years, actually, we kept in touch and last year, given the growing traction we were having in China, particularly in the mobile and IoT industry, he decided to jump in. He said okay, it is now the right timing Prophesee becomes big.

The Paris-based company wasn’t actively seeking funding, but it believed having Chinese strategic investors could help it gain greater access to the complex market.

Rather than sending information collected by sensors and cameras to computing platforms, Prophesee fits that process inside a chip (fabricated by Sony) that mimics the human eyes, a technology that is built upon neuromorphic engineering.

The old method snaps a collection of fixed images so when information grows in volume, a tremendous amount of computing power is needed. In contrast, Prophesee’s sensors, which it describes as “event-based,” only pick up changes in the environment just as the photoreceptors in our eyes and can process information continuously and quickly.

Europe has been pioneering neuromorphic computing, but in recent years, Verre saw a surge in research coming from Chinese universities and tech firms, which reaffirmed his confidence in the market’s appetite.

We see Chinese OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), particularly Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo pushing the standard of quality of image quality to very, very high … They are very eager to adopt new technology to further differentiate in a way which is faster and more aggressive than Apple. Apple is a company with an attitude which to me looks more similar to Huawei. So maybe for some technology, it takes more time to see the technology mature and adopt, which is right very often but later. So I’m sure that Apple will come at certain point with some products integrating event-based technology. In fact, we see them moving. We see them filing patents in the space. I’m sure that will come, but maybe not the first.

Though China is striving for technological independence, Verre believed Prophesee’s addressable market is large enough — $20 billion by his estimate. Nonetheless, he admitted he’d be “naive to believe Prophesee will be the only one to capture” this opportunity.

WeRide bought a truck company

One of China’s most valuable robotaxi startups has just acquired an autonomous trucking company called MoonX. The size of the deal is undisclosed, but we know that MoonX raised “tens of millions RMB” 15 months ago in a Series A round.

While WeRide is focused on Level 4 self-driving technology, it is also finding new monetization avenues before its robotaxis can chauffeur people at scale. It’s done so by developing minibusses, and the MoonX acqui-hire, which brings the company’s founder and over 50 engineers to WeRide, will likely help diversify its revenue pool.

WeRide and MoonX have deep-rooted relationships. Their respective founders, Tony Han and Yang Qingxiong, worked side by side at Jingchi, which was later rebranded to WeRide. Han co-founded Jingchi and took the helm as CEO in March 2018 while Yang was assigned vice president of engineering. But Yang soon quit and started MoonX.

Han, a Baidu veteran, gave Yang a warm homecoming and put him in charge of the firm’s research institute and its new office in Shenzhen, home to MoonX. WeRide’s sprawling headquarters is just about an hour’s drive away in the adjacent city of Guangzhou.

AI surveillance giant Cloudwalk nears IPO

Cloudwalk belongs to a cohort of Chinese unicorns that flourished through the second half of the 2010s by selling computer vision technology to government agencies across China. Together, Cloudwalk and its rivals SenseTime, Megvii and Yitu were dubbed the “four AI dragons” for their fast ascending valuations and handsome funding rounds.

Of course, the term “AI dragon” is now a misnomer as AI application becomes so pervasive across industries. Investors soon realized these upstarts need to diversify revenue streams beyond smart city contracts, and they’ve been waiting anxiously for exits. Finally, here comes Cloudwalk, which will likely be the first in its cohort to go public.

Cloudwalk’s application to raise 3.75 billion yuan ($580 million) from an IPO on the Shanghai STAR board was approved this week, though it can still be months before it starts trading. The firm’s financials don’t look particularly rosy for investors, with net loss amounting to 720 million yuan in 2020.

Also in the news

  • Speaking of the torrent of news in autonomous driving, vehicle vision provider CalmCar said this week that it has raised $150 million in a Series C round. Founded by several overseas Chinese returnees in 2016, CalmCar uses deep learning to develop ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) used in automotive, industrial and surveillance scenarios. German auto parts maker ZF led the round.
  • Baby clothes direct-to-consumer brand PatPat said it has raised $510 million from Series C and D rounds. The D2C ecosystem leveraging China’s robust supply chains is increasingly gaining interest from venture capitalists. Brands like Shein, PatPat, Cider and Outer have all secured fundings from established VCs. Founded by three Carnegie Mellon grads, PatPat counts IDG Capital, General Atlantic, DST Global, GGV Capital, SIG China and Sequoia China among its investors.

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Extra Crunch roundup: Finding GTM, China’s edtech clampdown and how to define growth



Early-stage startups tend to claim that their go-to-market strategy is fully operational. In reality, GTM is a stark numbers game, and even with a solid plan in place, it can be easily foiled by common problems like turf battles and poor communication.

Finding GTM fit is a milestone for any startup that includes everything from expanding the engineering team to launching your first media buy. But how do you know when you’ve reached that magic moment?

“You have to consider three metrics: gross churn rate, the magic number and gross margin,” says Tae Hea Nahm, co-founder and managing director of Storm Ventures.

High churn means customers aren’t delighted, low gross margins mean poor unit economics, and that so-called magic number?

“You can calculate it by taking new ARR divided by your marketing and sales spending,” Nahm writes. “But keep in mind that the magic number is a lagging indicator, and it may take you a few quarters to see a positive result.”

Full Extra Crunch articles are only available to members.
Use discount code ECFriday to save 20% off a one- or two-year subscription.

If you are methodical in your approach to building a larger customer base, it is not difficult to foster steady growth.

Marketers who shift with whichever way the wind is blowing — or blindly follow someone else’s idea of best practices — are less likely to be successful.

“The not-so-secret secret here is that the key to great retention is really simple,” said growth expert Susan Su recently at TechCrunch Early Stage: Marketing and Fundraising. “It is building a product that solves a real and especially persistent problem for people.”

In conversation with Managing Editor Eric Eldon, Su delved into several issues, including tips on how founders should discuss growth with investors, and her methods for developing a sample qualitative growth model.

“I firmly believe that every founder should try their hand at growth,” said Su.

Thanks very much for reading Extra Crunch this week!

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, TechCrunch

How we built an AI unicorn in 6 years

An adult wearing a unicorn mask leaps over a chain-link fence

Image Credits: Lucas Knappe/EyeEm (opens in a new window)/ Getty Images

Few startups go to market with the exact product their founders first envisioned.

Today, Tractable is known for developing tech that allows drivers to upload photos of their vehicles after a collision so its AI can assess the damage. Its first paying customer, however, used Tractable to inspect plastic pipe welds.

And as fate would have it, that customer also fired them just as the founders were raising their first round.

“We struck gold with car insurance,” says co-founder Alex Dalyac, as it was “a huge and inefficient market in desperate need of modernization.”

In an Extra Crunch guest post, he shares several takeaways from the last six years spent scaling a unicorn that have value for founders of all stripes. Step one?

“Search for complementary co-founders who will become your best friends,” advises Dalyac.

The European VC market is so hot it may skip its summer holiday

Alex Wilhelm and Anna Heim continued their exploration of the scorching global VC market, this time taking a look at Europe.

For perspective, they analyzed data from Dealroom and spoke to four VCs about the continent’s investment climate:

  • Diana Koziarska, SMOK Ventures
  • Vinoth Jayakumar, Draper Esprit
  • Simon Schmincke, Creandum
  • Javier Santiso, Mundi Ventures

“There’s little indication that what we’ve seen thus far from Europe in 2021 will slow in Q3 or Q4,” Alex and Anna write.

“Even though Europe has a reputation for lengthy summer vacations, investors don’t expect much — if any — slowdown to come in Europe during this sun-drenched quarter.”

Startups and investors are turning to micromobility subscriptions

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin

“Amid the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic and the murky path to profitability for shared electric micromobility, an increasing number of companies have turned to subscriptions,” Rebecca Bellan writes in a roundup about the future of micromobility.

“It’s a business model that some founders and investors argue hits the profit center sweet spot — an approach that appeals to customers who are wary of sharing as well as paying upfront to own a scooter or e-bike, all while minimizing overhead costs and depreciation of assets.”

What Robinhood’s warnings about crypto trading say about Coinbase’s near-term future

After noting that Robinhood anticipates a decline in revenue in the third quarter as a result of slowing crypto trading, Alex Wilhelm got to thinking about what that forecast means for Coinbase.

“The now-public unicorn has lived through crypto ups and crypto downs,” he writes. “A decline in consumer interest in the next few months or quarters is not a huge deal, assuming one keeps a long enough perspective and the crypto-infused future that its fans expect comes to pass.”

But will it?

Dear Sophie: Should we look to Canada to retain international talent?

lone figure at entrance to maze hedge that has an American flag at the center

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

I handle people ops as a consultant at several different tech startups. Many have employees on OPT or STEM OPT who didn’t get selected in this year’s H-1B lottery.

The companies want to retain these individuals, but they’re running out of options. Some companies will try again in next year’s H-1B lottery, even though they face long odds, particularly if the H-1B lottery becomes a wage-based selection process next year.

Others are looking into O-1A visas, but find that many employees don’t yet have the experience to meet the qualifications. Should we look at Canada?

— Specialist in Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley comms expert Caryn Marooney shares how to nail the narrative

Caryn Marooney, right, vice president of technology communications at Facebook, poses for a picture on the red carpet for the 6th annual 2018 Breakthrough Prizes at Moffett Federal Airfield, Hangar One in Mountain View, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017. (N

Image Credits: MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images (opens in a new window)/ Getty Images (Image has been modified)

Caryn Marooney, a Silicon Valley communications professional turned venture capitalist, spoke extensively on storytelling at TechCrunch Early Stage: Marketing and Fundraising.

Throughout her time in Silicon Valley, she helped companies like Salesforce, Amazon, Facebook and more launch products and sharpen their messaging. In 2019, she left Facebook, where she was VP of technology communication, and joined Coatue Management as a general partner.

Marooney uses the acronym RIBS to describe her basic strategy for startup messaging: Relevance, Inevitability, Believability and keeping it Simple.

Canada’s startup market booms alongside hot global VC investment

For The Exchange, Alex Wilhelm and Anna Heim looked at Canada’s VC market in the first half of 2021, and if you’ve been reading their work, you know what’s coming.

Canada, like the rest of the globe, was absolutely scorching in the first half.

“Canada’s venture capital results now rival those of the entire Latin American region, with exits and mega-deals coming in roughly on par in the second quarter, and a similar number of total venture capital rounds in the period,” they write.

“That caught our attention.”

Greylock’s Mike Duboe explains how to define growth and build your team

With more venture funding flowing into the startup ecosystem than ever before, there’s never been a better time to be a growth expert.

At TechCrunch Early Stage: Marketing and Fundraising earlier this month, Greylock Partners’ Mike Duboe dug into a number of lessons and pieces of wisdom he’s picked up leading growth at a number of high-growth startups, including StitchFix. His advice spanned hiring, structure and analysis, with plenty of recommendations for where growth teams should be focusing their attention and resources.

Last-mile delivery in Latin America is ready to take off

a cardboard box flies through outer space propelled by two thruster rockets

Image Credits: Erlon Silva/TRI Digital (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Thanks to sprawling fulfillment centers, seamless logistics networks and ubiquitous internet access, consumers in many regions can now order groceries and a new set of cookware during breakfast and reasonably expect everything to arrive in time for dinner.

In Latin America, a lack of technology infrastructure makes delivery operations complex, and these supply chains are often managed with spreadsheets, paper and pen.

Algorithms that manage delivery routes or automatically dispatch drivers “are almost unheard of in the Latin America retail logistics sector,” says Bob Ma, an investor at WIND Ventures.

But thanks to growing consumer demand and expanding investment in last-mile delivery startups, Ma says the region is at a turning point.

Since Latin America’s middle class has grown 50% in the last decade and e-commerce constitutes just 6% of all retail, several unicorns have emerged in recent years, with more waiting in the wings.

China’s expected edtech clampdown may chill a key startup sector

China’s edtech industry is estimated to be worth $100 billion, but its leaders are reportedly considering a plan that would require these firms to operate as non-profits.

“When it comes to control, the Chinese government doesn’t mind wiping out a few dozen billion dollars in market cap here and there,” writes Alex Wilhelm in this morning’s edition of The Exchange.

“That’s not a great system.”

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