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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for September 20, 2021. It’s Disrupt week, everyone, and TechCrunch is in full swing. Starting tomorrow morning, Disrupt is bound to be quite an exciting affair. Check the schedule here, speakers here, Battlefield companies here, and if you want to see your humble servant doing his first run (last run?) at the lodge, well, stick with the Extra Crunch stage. Good tweets only, please.
See you tomorrow morning! – Alex
TechCrunch’s Top 3
- Coinbase disconnects the loan product: Coinbase, the US cryptocurrency exchange, has decided to drop its “Lend” product that would have provided returns to investors who bet on its crypto assets. Why? The US regulatory body involved with such products sees the creation as a guarantee and said it would sue Coinbase if it launched the product. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong publicly argued that the SEC was being dumb, which didn’t seem to help much. Perhaps somewhat sarcastic Twitter threads are not the way to regulatory victory.
- IPO abundance: All right, people who care about the liquidity of the public market, today we have a lot of stories for you. Here is who will get rich with the GitLab IPO, here is a delve into the new prices for Toast’s IPO, and here they are some notes on the increase in the price of the IPO of Freshworks. Enjoy!
- Europe wants Facebook to turn on its lights: Or at least plus upon. In the wake of the Ray-Ban camera glasses announced by Facebook, the “leading privacy regulator in Europe has raised concerns” about the hardware. What is at stake is the small light that indicates that they are recording. Maybe a bigger light would be better. Either that or we may be in another cycle of the Glasshole speech, which I am sure we would all rather avoid.
Startups / VC
- You don’t have to go into space to take pictures of Earth: That’s the lesson from Near Space Labs’ latest round of capital, a $ 13 million infusion. While several startups want to take a lot of pictures of the Earth for commercial purposes from satellites (Albedo is one we’ve covered before), Near Space wants to use balloons that are just, well, near space. Reaching orbit is cheaper than ever, but certainly not yet cheap. Maybe this is the way to go?
- Fivetran raises a big round, buys a smaller company: Tough business journalist Ron Miller covered this $ 565 million investment for TechCrunch, noting that Fivetran is now worth $ 5.6 billion. The company is also shelling out $ 700 million for HVR, which Miller describes as a “data integration competitor that had raised more than $ 50 million.” The last deal is a combination of cash and stocks. Fivetran helps companies move data. Given the scale of data in the world, that’s big business.
- Salesforce makes an investment in Razorpay: As the Chinese startup investment market recedes, India continues to cash checks, the latest being a Salesforce Ventures investment in Razorpay, a major fintech player in the Indian market that was last valued at $ 3 billion. This deal doesn’t seem huge in dollar terms, but the fact that Salesforce is bridging the Pacific does matter.
- Video and photo editing is an industry: As companies like Picsart Increasing rounds of nine figures, it is perhaps not a surprise to see the company behind Facetune and other editing apps generate rounds of similar size. In this case, Facetune developer Lightricks has raised a round of $ 130 million. The company “operates more than a dozen subscription-based photo and video editing apps on iOS and Android,” reports TechCrunch.
- B2B fintech is in fashion: Airwallex just landed a $ 200 million round with a $ 4 billion valuation, which is notable not only for the dollars involved, but also for the fact that the company is based in Australia. The now multiple unicorn offers integrated fintech services for other businesses, as well as business banking services.
- A marketplace for the sale of businesses sells part of its business: That’s the news from Flippa, a marketplace where online businesses and digital assets can be bought and sold. The company just landed an $ 11 million round and as part of that released what has to be the worst non-GAAP metric since community-adjusted EBITDA. TechCrunch writes that the company “sees more than 600,000 monthly searches from investors looking to connect with business owners.” To which I tell you, gentlemen, are you so afraid to share real metrics that that is what you went with?
- In related news, this newsletter is the leading Internet missive that includes both “daily” and “crunch” in its title, giving us a market-leading rate of reader activation and conversion of our newsletter channel to readings.
- Cars24 raises $ 450 million in cash, debt: Cars24, the Indian used car market, is now worth $ 1.84 billion after raising $ 340 million in equity and $ 110 million in debt. It’s a healthy round for a company that has “sold 400,000 vehicles to date.” Watch? That is a really useful metric. No incredibly Useful; a sales rate would be better than an absolute statistic, but still!
The next healthcare revolution will have AI at its center
In an excerpt from “AI 2041: Ten visions for our future”, Author Kai-Fu Lee argues that recent advances in artificial intelligence are beginning to transform healthcare.
Studies have shown that AI is only as good as humans when it comes to diagnosing disease, but the pandemic has accelerated the digitization of patient records and data.
“In the coming decades, we can expect medical diagnosis to evolve from an artificial intelligence tool that provides analysis of options to an artificial intelligence assistant that recommends treatments,” Lee writes.
Lee identifies several areas where AI will improve results in drug discovery, complex surgeries, and follow-up, but he also looks at potential concerns, such as legal liabilities.
“AI healthcare is not just a market, it represents a wave of transformations that will change the entire industry.”
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Big Tech Inc.
- Perhaps we have discovered this generation of mobile operating systems: TechCrunch’s dive into iOS 15 notes that the new mobile operating system brought with it improvements in quality of life and improvements in the functions of Apple’s own applications. That is what you have to expect. Or more precisely, you will update to the new code I guess, and then instantly forget that you have. Such is the current state of mobile operating systems that, along with smartphone hardware, they seem to have reached a plateau of dull excellence. It is time for a new paradigm to change things.
- Big Tech wins some awards his parents cared about: How many stocks do they invest in the Emmys? Do you really know what an Emmy is? I do not. But it turns out that Netflix and Apple won something the other day. Good for them. It turns out that if you are among the richest companies in the history of the world, you can buy talent and make enough shots on goal to score some points. Or in this case, ugly little trophies.
TechCrunch Experts: Growth Marketing
TechCrunch wants you to refer growth marketers with experience in SEO, social media, content writing, and more! If you are a growth marketer, skip this poll together with your clients; we would like to know why they loved working with you.
If you’re curious about how these polls are shaping our coverage, check out this interview Anna Heim did with Ammo, “Australian growth marketing agency Ammo helps startups calibrate their efforts.”