Natasha Mascarenhas, TechCrunch

Natasha Mascarenhas

TechCrunch

San Francisco, CA, United States

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Recent:
  • TechCrunch
Past:
  • crunchbase.com
  • SF Chronicle
  • The Boston Globe
  • MyCentralJersey
  • The Asbury Park Press NJ

Recent articles by Natasha:

Morressier wants academic conferences to feel cutting edge –

While a unicorn named Hopin tends to dominate the virtual conferencing space, a new startup just raised millions of dollars by focusing on what it believes is an untapped niche in the same universe: academic conferences. Morressier, a virtual conference and publishing platform specifically for the scientific community, announced today that it has raised $18 […] → Read More

Fiveable makes first acquisition: a virtual study tool built by a 16-year old –

Fiveable, an online learning community for high school students, made its first-ever acquisition earlier this week: Hours, a virtual study platform built by a 16-year old. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Fiveable is a free, online learning community for high school students with the focus of helping them pass Advanced Placement (AP) […] → Read More

For unicorns, how much does the route to going public really matter? –

"I think when money's chasing money, you don't want to be the last guy holding the money. You want to be the chase," → Read More

Duolingo swipes Tinder in a Clash Royale –

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. For this week’s deep dive, Alex and Danny unpacked Natasha‘s latest project: The Duolingo EC-1. The 12,000 word four-part series was published last week and is worth a read. But, until you get to it, enjoy our podcast […] → Read More

How Duolingo became a $2.4B language unicorn –

At the heart of Duolingo is its mission: to scale free education and increase income potential through language learning. However, the same mission that has helped it grow to a business valued at $2.4 billion with over 500 million registered learners, has led to tensions that continue to define the business. How do you survive […] → Read More

If 12% is the new 30%, 4% is the new 12% –

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. The whole team was aboard for this recording, with Grace and Chris behind the scenes, and Danny, Alex, and Natasha on the mics. We had to cut more than we included this week, which should give you a […] → Read More

Tiger Global is betting that more schools are going to share future student earnings –

Income-share agreements, or ISAs, are a way to bring flexibility to the often steep financial costs of higher education. The financial model allows a student to learn at zero upfront cost, and then pay any costs through a percentage of future income over time. While the model has caught fire from a variety of trade […] → Read More

Expressable launches with millions for scalable speech therapy –

Speaking isn’t simple for at least 40 million Americans, so a new Austin-based startup is scaling a solution. Expressable is a digital speech therapy company that connects patients to speech language pathologists (SLP) via telehealth services and asynchronous support, and it has raised a new $4.5 million seed round. The early-stage startup is launching with […] → Read More

The morality and efficacy of going public earlier –

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. For this week’s deep dive Natasha and Alex and Chris dug into the world of the IPO. Not just the numbers and the metrics and the calculations of valuations at diluted, and non-diluted share counts. No. We wanted to talk about the […] → Read More

This startup wants to bring clarity to the complex world of IVF –

About 180 million people globally suffer from infertility. In the United States, one in eight families have trouble conceiving. The statistics are only getting worse, as male infertility and miscarriages continue to increase. Alife Health, a San Francisco-based startup founded by Paxton Maeder-York, thinks it can help. The startup wants to use artificial intelligence to […] → Read More

The Duolingo EC-1 –

Education may well be the most important activity we conduct as a society — and it may also be the hardest space to build a startup in. Selling to school districts and universities is notoriously difficult, but enticing consumers is even harder. Learning takes focus, patience, tenacity and resources, and most consumers would prefer to […] → Read More

How a bot-fighting test turned into edtech’s most iconic brand, Duolingo –

Luis von Ahn, an entrepreneur who has dedicated his career to scaling free education, has probably annoyed you more than once. In fact, you’ve likely been annoyed by his work dozens and maybe hundreds of times over the years. A decade before he co-founded the whimsical and language-learning app Duolingo, one of the most popular […] → Read More

The product-led growth behind edtech’s most downloaded app –

Duolingo CEO and co-founder Luis von Ahn was tired of the gray and dreary design aesthetic edtech companies used to emulate universities. Instead, he and the company’s early team sought inspiration from games like Angry Birds and Clash Royale, looking to build a class that screamed more cartoon anarchy than lecture hall. From that frenetic […] → Read More

How Duolingo became fluent in monetization –

As its meandering route to monetization will demonstrate, Duolingo isn’t mission-oriented, it’s mission-obsessed. Co-founders Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker never wanted to charge consumers for access to Duolingo content, a purpose imbued throughout the company’s culture. For years in order to work at Duolingo, you had to be comfortable with joining a company in […] → Read More

Duolingo can’t teach you how to speak a language, but now it wants to try –

Duolingo has been wildly successful. It has pulled in 500 million total registered learners, 40 million active users, 1.5 million premium subscribers and $190 million in booked revenues in 2020. It has a popular and meme-ified mascot in the form of the owl Duo, a creative and engaging product, and ambitious plans for expansion.There’s just […] → Read More

Emotional marketing and an e-mail titan walk into a bar –

My mom cuts to the chase when she is describing my beat to others. In her words, I cover companies like Uber before they become companies like Uber. And honestly? I can’t exactly disagree with the description. The best feeling in tech journalism is telling a story about a startup before it becomes a household […] → Read More

The second shot is kicking in –

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. First and foremost, Equity was nominated for a Webby for “Best Technology Podcast”! Drop everything and go Vote for Equity! We’d appreciate it. A lot. And even if we lose, well, we’ll keep doing our thing and making each […] → Read More

Lambda School lays off 65 employees amid restructuring –

Nearly a year after its last layoff, online coding bootcamp Lambda School just announced more cuts amid a broader structuring. In a blog post, CEO and founder Austen Allred said that the startup, which raised a $74 million Series C in August, is laying off 65 employees. The roles that were cut span senior product, […] → Read More

In a room with no smart speaker, Alexa can’t hear you scream –

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. For this week’s deep dive Natasha and Alex and Danny and Chris dove into the world of audio. Sure, you’ve heard of Clubhouse, but there’s lots more going on than just a single app’s cultural rise. So from the biggest companies to […] → Read More

Banana Capital’s debut fund is for internet-first founders –

You might know him for his viral tweets, but Turner Novak wasn’t always a master meme-maker. Instead, Novak grew up with a single mother in the United States. The financial situation of his family led to the internet being not always accessible. They often hop-scotched between discounted trials and went months without access. The experience, […] → Read More