How to Dominate Financial Fundamentals with Mercury’s Finance Vice President, Dan Kang, at TechCrunch Early Stage

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TechCrunch Early Stage is gearing up for another insightful event on April 25, and one roundtable session promises to be particularly illuminating for early-stage founders. Titled “Finance Fundamentals Before Your First Finance Hire: A Founder’s Guide to Navigating Early Financial Decisions,” this roundtable will offer invaluable insights into navigating the financial complexities that often accompany the early stages of startup ventures. Led by Dan Kang, the vice president of finance at Mercury, this roundtable aims to demystify the core aspects of early-stage financial management. With years of experience in building and scaling fintech companies, Kang brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. Secure your spot at TechCrunch Early Stage today to take advantage of this invaluable opportunity to learn from industry experts like Dan Kang.

Observing: Difficulties facing electric vehicle manufacturers, with Fisker in a particularly delicate situation.

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Fisker’s finances are back in the news after the company warned back in February that it didn’t have enough cash to make it through its next year. The company said this week that it intends to halt production for six weeks to get its business back in order. Softening demand growth for EVs is making the normal challenges of scaling a company all the harder for Fisker and its peers. Not that we’re all doom and gloom here at TechCrunch — we’re actually rather bullish on the prospect for EVs in the near and far future. Let’s take a look at what’s going on under the hood here:

“Shield AI Secures Additional $300M in Equity and Debt, Boosting Valuation to $2.8B in Massive Series F Expansion”

Defense tech startup Shield AI has expanded its latest funding round with another $300 million in equity and debt, bringing its total Series F to $500 million, TechCrunch has exclusively learned. This total amount reflects $200 million in equity closed in November, $100 million in new equity raised at the Series F price, and $200 million in debt. Shield AI is building an “AI pilot” to turn aircraft into autonomous systems. “AI pilots are becoming a strategic conventional deterrent in class with our aircraft carriers andguided missile submarines,” he said in a statement. “Adopt AI pilots too slow, and we will fail.

“Growing Sustainably: Why Startups Need to Prioritize Scalable Strategies”

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Until recently, many startups have prioritized growth at all costs, using abundant venture capital to acquire users and dominate markets without regard for profitability or sustainability. However, recent market conditions have shifted toward “efficient growth,” balancing growth with profitability to create a sustainable path to scale. The churn rate is not stable enough to accurately forecast customer lifetime. With a product improving over time by adding features that address customers’ needs, we would expect the churn rate to decline. Despite an improvement in a product, there are external factors beyond a company’s control, such as macro headwinds, that may encourage a higher churn rate.