“Simple Payment Solutions for Smaller Merchants: Flatpay Raises $47M”

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In one of the latest developments, Danish company Flatpay, which builds payment solutions for small and medium physical merchants like shops, restaurants and salons, has raised €45 million ($47 million) led by Dawn Capital. Founded in 2022, Flatpay currently has just 7,000 customers across its current footprint of Denmark, Finland and Germany. Perhaps most interestingly, on the sales side, despite its focus on streamlined technology, Flatpay only sells via live sales visits. No online sales (although there are specialists who will help arrange those in-person sales visits and handle support), no virtual visits, and no plans to introduce either. And the only way they could understand the products really well was by the company paring down the products themselves.

Tesla Cuts EV Discounts to “Optimize” Sales and Delivery Process

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One of Tesla’s delivery workers who was cut this week and spoke to TechCrunch on the condition of anonymity said their location was “short staffed” but still lost multiple employees. The decision to end discounts across its lineup in the United States, including the Model 3, Model Y, Model S and Model X is a bit of a whiplash moment for Tesla. And in the first quarter of 2024, Tesla’s delivery numbers fell year-over-year. It’s not clear how removing discounts on Tesla vehicles fits into the automaker’s new strategy to streamline sales and delivery. But beyond the initial purchase, Tesla has almost always been making changes to its sales and delivery strategy.

Tesla Cuts Global Workforce by Over 10%

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Tesla is laying off thousands of employees as it tries to simultaneously cut costs and boost productivity, according to an internal email sent to staff by CEO Elon Musk, Electrek and Bloomberg News reported. The electric automaker is cutting “more than 10%” of its global headcount, Musk said in the email. Tesla finished 2023 with over 140,000 employees, meaning the cuts could impact more than 14,000 people. The company has warned investors that sales growth could be “notably lower” in 2024 than its stated goal of 50% growth each year. This will enable us to be lean, innovative and hungry for the next growth phase cycle,” Musk wrote.

“Breaking Down Xpanceo’s $40M Seed Pitch Deck: A Stellar Example”

Pitch Deck Teardown 2024
There’s a big difference between a “solution” and a “product” slide. The biggest problem with the Xpanceo deck isn’t what is in there, but rather what isn’t. The market sizing fallacyWhen assessing the potential market size for Xpanceo’s contact lenses, it’s crucial to differentiate the nature of the product from traditional contact lenses. The full pitch deckIf you want your own pitch deck teardown featured on TechCrunch, here’s more information. Also, check out all our Pitch Deck Teardowns all collected in one handy place for you!

Suspected False Sales by Faraday Future Prompts Legal Action

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Two internal whistleblowers at Faraday Future claim the troubled EV company has been lying about some of the few sales it has announced to date. What’s more, they claim Faraday Future has been performing repairs on these early customer vehicles without proper documentation or work authorization, which he says could put the company’s license with the California Bureau of Automotive Repair at risk. Faraday Future allegedly fired Guerrero on January 18 in retaliation for speaking up, according to his complaint. Jia’s control over Faraday Future has always been a thorny issue. Jia is still not CEO, but Guerrero and Xie claim in their lawsuits that he “heads a shadow organization” that controls the company’s destiny.

Tesla’s Model Y Inventory Prices Slashed by up to $7K

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Tesla is dropping prices of unsold Model Y SUVs in the U.S. by thousands of dollars in an attempt to clear out an unprecedented backlog of inventory. The discounts come as Tesla once again made far more vehicles than it sold in the last quarter. The company built 433,371 vehicles in the first quarter but only shipped 386,810, likely adding more than 40,000 EVs to its inventory glut. It announced a $1,000 price hike was coming to the Model Y, its most popular vehicle, on April 1. He has largely blamed the struggle on high interest rates, all while his company dramatically cut prices on the Model Y and Model 3 throughout 2023.

“Legacy Automakers Must Embrace Startup Mentality: Ford Faces Yet Another Delay for New Electric Vehicles”

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Ford announced Thursday that it’s delaying the production of two electric vehicles, a next-generation EV pickup and a three-row EV SUV. Most recently, that startup mentality was on display with the Mustang Mach-E, Ford’s all-electric crossover. The result was a crossover that has helped Ford claim second place in U.S. EV sales for several quarters in a row. And don’t forget the original Ford assembly line, which while not a product, was definitely a product of entrepreneurial thinking. Ford has excelled at those tasks: The Mustang Mach-E and the F-150 Lightning are by most accounts not just excellent EVs, but excellent vehicles overall.

Goldman Reports: Zepto’s Annualized Sales Skyrocket to $1.2B in Just 29 Months in India

Zepto Raises 200 Million 10 Minute Delivery
Indian quick-commerce startup Zepto has surpassed the annualised sales milestone of $1 billion within just 29 months of its inception, Goldman Sachs wrote in a note Thursday, citing the Zepto management. Zepto, which became a unicorn last year, counts YC Continuity, StepStone Group, Glade Brook Capital and Lachy Groom among its backers. “Overall EBITDA margin for Zepto is at negative single-digit percentage and the company is on track to break even at the EBITDA level within the next quarter. The company expects steady state contribution margin of 12%, with steady state EBITDA margin of 7%,” the report added. Zepto believes it can expand into 40-50 cities over time,” the report added.

“Boosting Sales Efficiency: Raisinghani’s SaaS Entrepreneurship Secures $5.5M for Innovative AI Venture”

Manisha Raisinghani Sifthub Founder
SiftHub’s AI assistant is built on open-source large language models (LLMs), and is supported by retrieval augmented generation (RAG) technology, which uses additional data sources to fine-tune the quality of content generated by AI. All that eventually brought her focus to sales and presales teams. “Sales teams have a shadow team — a presales team or solutions engineers — and they are usually the unsung heroes of the organization. Sales and presales teams lack the necessary tooling to handle this new selling environment. We are excited to back the SiftHub team and be a part of their ambitious journey,” said Sanjay Nath, a partner at Blume Ventures.

Rivian’s Inauspicious Beginning to a Challenging Year

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Rivian has a challenging year ahead — and the first quarter is off to a tepid start. Both of those figures are down from the fourth quarter of 2023, where it built 17,541 and shipped 13,972. Rivian did signal that it plans to make roughly the same number of EVs as it did in 2023. Producing and selling vehicles, which includes the R1S SUV, R1T pickup and two versions of a commercial electric van, has never been the company’s only challenge. Tesla reported its own very weak first quarter sales on Tuesday.