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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for August 3, 2021. We have a delicious mix of news for you today, from Twitter product changes, troubled venture capitalists, mega deals, and even some very early stage rounds. Let’s have a little fun! – Alex
TechCrunch’s Top 3
- Even VCs are affected by ransomware: Sure, people with less technical knowledge are attacked by malware and ransomware all the time. You don’t really expect better from legacy telcos or underfunded utilities. But when the victim is Advanced Technology Ventures, which has about $ 1.8 billion in assets under management, the scourge of aggressive cybercrime begins to take on a more sinister flavor. Who is safe? Neither?
- Disadvantaged fleets flee: Twitter’s plan to take down its Fleets product went live today. It has disappeared from our iOS applications. The fleets were fleeting, as everyone has noticed, with the product life cycle coming and going in rapid succession. Bad news for Twitter? Not really. Its Stories-like feature wasn’t overly popular, and the company has a million other things behind the scenes, like its subscription service, its live audio product, and its newsletter effort.
- Substack purchase Letter: TechCrunch covered this deal today, which made your humble scribe sit back and think. Why would Substack buy Letter, a platform for written debate? Well, the newsletter-centric startup is big on the written word and the value of it. And many well-known Substack authors are controversial in one way or another. You know, the kind of people you want to see have, let’s say, a debate? The two products should line up well.
Startups / VC
Today we are dividing our venture capital and startup news into three sections. The first deals with the venture capitalists themselves. Then we’ll talk about a few mega rounds and close with some worthwhile small business deals.
- Moderne Ventures raises $ 200 million: Every new venture capital fund wants to get to its second fund. And if they do, to raise a larger fund. From that perspective, things seem to be going well at Moderne, a company whose second fund is a multiple of the size of the first. And it was oversubscribed. What is the group investing in? According to our own reports, startups working in the “real estate, finance, insurance and home services industries.”
- Venture Capitalists Go Public? Yeah, it turns out it’s one thing. Several European venture capital funds have gone public in recent quarters, including Draper Esprit in motion from the smallest AIM to the main board in London. It turns out that being a public venture capitalist can remove certain time constraints that more traditional venture capital firms have to deal with. And normal people can invest.
Now for some huge rounds:
- India’s BharatPe raises $ 370 million: Confirming TechCrunch’s previous scoop, fintech unicorn BharatPe is now worth $ 2.85 billion after Tiger led its most recent round. The company, TechCrunch reports, “operates a service of the same name to help offline merchants accept digital payments and secure working capital.” Given the number of SMEs in India, the TAM of BharatPe is huge. And now you have nearly infinite capital that you can use to fuel your own growth.
- Rapyd raises $ 300 million for fintech APIs: The fintech world saw not just one big round today, but two. Rapyd’s $ 300 million infusion led by Target Global values the company at around $ 8.75 billion, according to TechCrunch sources. What does Rapyd do? It offers APIs that feed wallets, money transfers and card issuance, among other services, helping other companies to offer fintech services around the world.
- Of course, why not? Here’s another great round of Tiger from India: Further evidence that Tiger is building an index fund of growth-focused private companies around the world, and that the Indian startup market is red hot, Infra.Market today announced its third round in nine months. The $ 125 million Series D values the Mumbai-based company at $ 2.5 billion, post-money. Infra.Market creates software to help construction companies source the raw materials they need and handle project logistics.
And then there is the startup news from the upstream side of the market:
- bina raises $ 1.4 million for child-centered educational technology: bina, the small b is part of her brand, she wants to build an online school with small classes aimed at children from 4 to 12 years old. Given the big changes in the global education market in light of COVID-19, it’s a big task.
- $ 1.3M for Africa-focused agtech startup Khula: By providing farmers large and small with software and a market, Khula wants to solve chronic problems in the African agricultural market with technology.
- Finally, Aira’s wireless charging tech just raised $ 12 million: Sure, Apple gave up on AirPower, but Aira is still hard at work on the set of wireless charging issues. Which gives us hope, because our phones always run out of batteries, along with our headsets, keyboards, and just about everything else. It’s not just us, right?
- Citizen launches its $ 20 / mo Protect service: Controversial consumer security startup Citizen’s Protect is now something you can buy. Get to that line of communication and company staff will help you handle your emergency. That doesn’t sound too racy, but as TechCrunch reports, “the app made headlines earlier this year for the launch of a private fleet of ‘personal rapid response service’ vehicles and a reward for a person wrongly accused of starting a fire. forest in Los Angeles “.
Built-in AI, super intelligence, and the master algorithm
Over the next 18 months, a technologist says that the increased adoption of embedded artificial intelligence will pave the way to superintelligence, incredibly powerful software that outshines anything the human mind can produce.
“All the crazy Boston Dynamics videos of robots jumping, dancing, swinging and running are examples of embedded AI,” says Chris Nicholson, founder and CEO of Pathmind, which uses deep reinforcement learning to optimize industrial operations and supply chains. supply.
“The field moves fast and, in this revolution, you can dance.”
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Big Tech Inc.
- YouTube’s Big Momentum Kicks Off: Alphabet’s Google division has a video product called YouTube that you may have heard of. And the subsidiary’s subsidiary has a $ 100 million fund that it hopes will generate interest in creating short-form videos for its viewers. TikTok changed the video game and YouTube’s huge financial response is now live.
- Google updates its Maps product on iOS: If you use Maps on iOS, which we estimate is about half of those who read this note, good news. Now you can more easily share location in iMessages, use dark mode, and get traffic data on your home screen. Welcome.
- Nikola warns about electric vehicle deliveries: The chip shortage has a new victim. This time it’s Nikola, the troubled electric vehicle company that saw its CEO under fire for fraud in recent days. The company was one of the first successes of SPAC and now it is a warning for the financial mechanism.
- Marvell buys Innovium for $ 1.1 billion: Here’s a good acquisition story that is also somewhat disappointing. Innovium, a maker of “cloud-optimized network Ethernet switches,” according to our own reports, was worth a bit more in its final private round. Still, it’s a big deal and a billion-plus dollar outing, making it worth our time.
TechCrunch Experts: Growth Marketing
TechCrunch wants to help startups find the right expert for their needs. To do this, we are creating a short list of the top growth marketers. We’ve received great recommendations for growth marketers in the startup industry since we launched our survey.
We are excited to read more responses as they come in! Complete the survey here.
Our editorial coverage on growth marketing includes articles from the TechCrunch team, guest columns, and posts such as “Demand curve: questions to answer in your paid search ads” by Stewart hillhouse in Extra Crunch.