Psychedelic biotech, Gogoro’s SPAC, H-1Bs for Ukrainians – TechCrunch

You may not have heard of Amadeus, but if you’ve taken a trip, you’ve probably interacted with its tech stack.

Launched in 1987, the company offers hundreds of transportation and hospitality providers reservation and inventory management services. “In short, it covers just about every conceivable aspect of travel IT,” writes business reporter Ron Miller.

For years, Amadeus managed its own infrastructure, but as the pandemic slowed global travel to a trickle, its executive team realized mounting technical debt was holding the company back.

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To learn more about the planned three-year migration to public cloud, Ron interviewed Sébastien Pellisé, Deputy Director of Public Cloud Transformation, and Fredrik Odeen, Director of Public Cloud Transformation and Corporate Strategy at Amadeus,

They shared their process for evaluating cloud providers, described Amadeus’ shift to a DevOps model, and explained how they are communicating the intended benefits to customers. “Our engineers are excited about this move,” Pellisé said.

Amadeus has 16,000 employees and earned more than $2 billion in revenue last year, but early-stage startups can learn from their digital transition, Ron writes.

“As your technology gets older, you too will have to make similar decisions.”

Thank you very much for reading, have a great weekend!

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, TechCrunch+

Gogoro’s public debut could power EV battery sharing around the world

Image credits: Gogoro (Opens in a new window)

If you can map every oasis in a desert, you have created a transportation network.

Gogoro, which operates a battery-swapping platform for electric two-wheelers in urban areas, is doing something similar: On Monday, it finalized a merger of SPAC with Poema Global that will generate an estimated $335 million in cash.

“Gogoro will use the fresh funds from its initial public offering to continue its expansion in Taiwan as it branches out into larger markets like China, India and Indonesia,” writes transportation reporter Rebecca Bellan.

6 Questions Investors Should Ask When Evaluating Psychedelic Biotech Companies

Lab technician holding a psilocybin mushroom

Image credits: Yarygin (Opens in a new window) / fake images

A few years ago, ingesting small amounts of psychedelics to boost mood or productivity was fodder for Silicon Valley small talk.

Today, psychedelic therapy is used to treat a variety of mental health problems. And as more regions decriminalize the use of plant-based substances, investors are taking notice.

With plans to raise a $25 million fund and more than $15 million already invested, PsyMed Ventures focuses on early-stage startups developing psychedelic therapies.

In a TC+ guest post, partners Matias Serebrinsky and Greg Kubin explore their investment thesis in detail: “We believe in a future where psychedelic therapy will be as common as going to the dentist, but the road will not be easy.”

Dear Sophie: Supporting Ukrainians with H-1B visas and more

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

Image credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

We are a startup that currently has one employee, originally from Ukraine, working for us on an H-1B visa. He is trying to get his parents out of the Ukraine.

We also entered a potential Ukrainian employee who fled to Poland in the H-1B lottery, but has not yet been selected.

How can we support them?

— United with Ukraine

The fundraising market is losing some of its founder-friendly shine

Image credits: Nigel Susman (Opens in a new window)

With venture capitalists reining in, valuations falling, and the 2021 hype fading, founders find themselves working harder to raise capital than they did in 2021, Alex Wilhelm found in his analysis of early DocSend data.

“When we consider that change in sentiment and the fact that totals fell from fourth-quarter levels, we can infer that the second quarter of 2022 could easily see another sequential decline in US and global venture capital activity,” he writes.

What Binance’s Bailout of Axie Infinity Means for the Future of Crypto

In this illustrative photo you can see the Binance logo

Image credits: SOUP Images (Opens in a new window) / fake images

After unknown individuals stole $625 million from the play-to-win cryptocurrency game Axie Infinity last week, the studio behind the game announced that it had raised $150 million to compensate users.

“What is interesting about this funding round is that it was led by cryptocurrency exchange Binance, the largest volume exchange globally, even though Binance had not been involved in previous Sky Mavis raises,” writes Anita Ramaswamy.

“Today’s investment shows, if anything, how important Axie’s precedent is to the development of the broader ecosystem, and how willing VCs and crypto holders are to do whatever they can to make sure it succeeds.” .

3 ways deep tech founders can get out of pilot purgatory

woman looking into the opening in Jomblang cave

Image credits: yinwei liu (Opens in a new window) / fake images

Because so many deep tech startups operate on the cutting edge, founders in this space have a harder time raising funds, acquiring customers, and achieving product-to-market fit.

Many of these companies will soon stall because they never make it from pilot stage to full-scale implementation. “This is a big, pervasive, industry-specific problem,” says Champ Suthipongchai, co-founder and general partner at Creative Ventures.

“While I don’t claim to have a silver bullet, I do know of three ways deep tech founders can ensure their time in pilot purgatory ends in a launch.”

Why venture capitalists don’t need to fear a financial slowdown

daisy flower in the desert

Image credits: masik0553 (Opens in a new window) / fake images

According to Marc Schröder, Managing Partner of MGV, “Early-stage investing is the best place for venture capital to deploy when global uncertainty arises.”

Instead of pouring money into “companies that required massive growth and scale to keep growing at their valuations,” investors are turning to smaller startups with “more reasonable challenges of scale.”

Eventually, any prolonged cooldown in public markets will start to reduce the amount of resources available to startups, “but that might not be the worst for investors looking to double their investments at attractive prices,” says Schröder.

Terra founder plans to back his stablecoin with a ‘basket’ of cryptocurrencies

Illustration of a man on a seesaw with coins.

Image credits: Nuthawut Somsuk (Opens in a new window) / fake images

In an interview with reporter Jacquelyn Melinek, Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon explained how his plans to buy $10 billion worth of bitcoin will help integrate the TerraUSD (UST) “stable coin” deeper into the crypto ecosystem.

Terra will support UST with additional Layer 1 blockchains as it expands its ecosystem, Kwon said.

“We are big believers in Bitcoin, so we will continue to buy whenever there is an opportunity.”

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