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Hello and welcome to the Daily Crunch on Thursday, February 17, 2022! Heading into a long weekend here in the US, you might think the news is slowing down, but no. It’s not. So we have major crypto soccer news, analysis of European startups, and even some notes on platform dynamics. It’s a busy day, so let’s go! – alexander
TechCrunch’s top 3
- Free money is popular: Alternatively, advertising works. TechCrunch reports that data indicates that the crypto trading advertising surge during the big American football game led to increased downloads for the companies involved. Surprised? We are not, as some of the advertisements came with freebies. Still, a group of new people have just gotten into the crypto game – we may see more of that in Q1 earnings.
- The deep tech boom in Europe: Diving deeper into the 2021 startup boom is proving to be a lot of fun, especially as we focus on key cohorts. Today, TechCrunch dug into Europe and the deep tech market, a particular segment of the tech landscape that is often portrayed as a battle between the US and China, but which could have a third hub, or a series of hubs, in the mix.
- You see, not all SPACs collapse: The deal to take crypto-focused startup Circle public via a SPAC has been dissolved. But wait! It was also reforged at a much higher price. It’s rare these days to hear positive news from SPAC, which is why Circle’s update caught our attention. Read on to learn more, but stablecoins are proving to be a lucrative way to accumulate reserves, it seems.
Before we dive into today’s startup news roundup, a group of academics wrote an op-ed for TechCrunch on Spotify, platform dynamics and clarity. It’s worth your time if you’re building something that will rely on third-party content, and doubly so if you plan to mix first- and third-party material.
Now the news:
- TechCrunch Live is back! Our own Matt Burns spoke with Emmalyn Shaw of Flourish Ventures and Itai Damti, co-founder of Unit. TechCrunch covered Unit midway through last year when it raised over $50 million in a single round.
- Today in the good titles: Haje Jan Kamps is back with its usual pun today, this time in a look at Metriport, which “aggregates all your quantified data in one place, and adds smart features like mood tracking, tracking medication and journaling,” he wrote. The title? Metriport helps you take your quantified self to the next level. Additionally, the story URL ended with the following string: metriport happily measures your towards me. Alright, Haje, we get it, you’re smart!
- $110M to market Apache Arrow:That’s news from Voltron Data, who just raised one of the biggest Series A rounds we can remember. How was Voltron able to raise so much money, so quickly? It was founded by “employees from NVidia, Ursa Computing, BlazingSQL, and the co-founder of Apache Arrow”, whom we’re sure helped. And the company is working on the commercialization of an open source tool. Which, as we know, can scale really well.
- Deel wants to pay you in crypto: The story of Deel, a young startup that got started on the issue of remote worker compensation just before the pandemic, has been one of rapid growth and huge fundraising. And, lately, some crypto too. The startup is now offering employees a way to get paid in stablecoins, which we think could reduce currency-related fees?
- Radiate me, Beem: We are all very tired of Zoom calls and other flat video services because we have been chained to them for years now. Beem, however, feels that we are not done with all video products, so it created a way to “live stream in AR,” as TechCrunch puts it. He just raised $4 million; let’s see if it sticks.
- Havenly acquires The Inside: Here’s an acquisition for you, with Havenly, an “online interior design startup” buying “direct-to-consumer home furnishings brand The Inside,” as we put it. Pricing was not disclosed, but Havenly last raised a Series C of $32 million, so we believe he had the cash in hand for the deal.
- Pet telemedicine: The boom in telemedicine services continues, with Dutch bringing the model to the pet world. And he just scored $20 million for his efforts. Anyone who has had to drag a pet to the IRL vet knows how helpful this can be.
Want even more? How about Dealshare’s $45m seed round led by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, or the fact that Thrive Capital just closed an eighth fund worth $3bn?
3 keys that unlock data-driven fundraising
It’s an opportune time to start a new venture, but rising interest rates, inflation, and any number of other unknowns could cause investors to become wiser when it comes to placing bets.
According to Blair Silverberg, co-founder and CEO of Hum Capital, data-driven founders who can tell a great story with the right metrics are much more likely to catch an investor’s eye.
“Unfortunately, many companies lack an efficient way to collect, synthesize and interpret data into real-time insights, resulting in a default reliance on Excel-based static samples that may not capture the ‘full picture of your company’s potential,’ he says.
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams grow. You can join here.)
Big Tech inc.
- This will save Peloton: The home exercise company is getting into games. No, you can’t play Doom on your bike – not officially, though we suspect someone, somewhere has already – but the Bike Shop has created an interactive title to spice up your bike. I’m already in tears at the thought of him kicking my ass.
- Ford and Volvo endorse Redwood’s battery recycling technology: Electric cars are very cool and generally good but not entirely. To make them, you have to extract all sorts of disgusting things from the planet, and when that material is used, it must be disposed of safely. This is what Redwood wants to work on, and he just found some key partners.
- And to close, you can now change your name on Snapchat.
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