Sign up here to get an overview of MovieUpdates’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3 p.m. PT.
Welcome to the Daily Crunch for Wednesday, April 13, 2022! Tomorrow we’ll be giddy with excitement to attend Early Stage (if you come, don’t forget to submit your pitch deck!). If you haven’t gotten your tix yet, it’s still possible to grab a last-minute ticket to join the fun in San Francisco.
On Equity Today, the podcast crew states that VC needs crypto a lot more than the other way around, so listen to that too!
The MovieUpdates Top 3
- Battling Business Expense Management: The competition to help large companies become more efficient with their spending just got a new fighter. Brex, which initially focused on startups with its corporate card, is now getting into the software. It’s already secured DoorDash as a customer, so the jump into the business spending pool was more like a cannonball than taking a clove. Ironically, on the same day, Mary Ann wrote about Emburse, an expense management company that started as a venture and now goes after the small business area of Brex. Thing thing!
- Today’s MovieUpdates+ promotion† Alex ruled on whether the SaaS sell-off is over as public markets level, saying, “Ironically, interest rates are perhaps the best reason to expect most of the sell-off in software stocks to be behind us.” In the meantime, Anna dived into investment in Latin America, where the numbers show a slowdown, but it could simply be “a correction after some overheating,” Anna reported. Don’t pull out the tissues just yet — with all the seed investment still pouring into the region and some new funds turning their sights to LatAm, there’s apparently “a lot of dry powder still to be deployed.”
- Former Xinjiang inmate describes experience in Chinese detention camps: At this point, it’s hard not to have heard about the Chinese detention camps accused of incarcerating people of certain ethnic backgrounds. Bag interviewed a person who arrived with his family in Washington DC after the US government was granted temporary immigration status. What is the technical angle? At the camp and after his release under house arrest, Ovalbek Turdakun said Hikvision-branded cameras were “always on and watching.”
Startups and VC
There are a ton of EV companies that have made their way into the public markets by being “acquired” by an already publicly traded company, rather than going the regular IPO route. Jaclyn argues that the EV companies should have stepped on the brakes a bit before jumping on the SPAC wagon.
Meanwhile, fresh off our department keeping an eye on the propaganda machine, TikTok did what it could to throw some Russian state media propaganda off its platform, but an investigation reveals it hasn’t been particularly successful: The platform continues to be dominated by pro -war content.
It’s simply the best; better than the rest:
Dear Sophie: I did not win the H-1B lottery. What are my next steps?
I got my master’s degree in business analysis last year and have been working for a company ever since while doing OPT.
My employer enrolled me in the H-1B lottery last month, but I was not selected. I heard that my degree now qualifies as a STEM field making me eligible to continue working under OPT.
How can I stay in the United States?
— Astute analyst
(MovieUpdates+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams move forward. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
- The creator of Pokémon Go thinks he has a gem on his hands with the new Peridot game: I’m not a gamer, but apparently many of my colleagues are, based on the amount of water cooler chatter that occurs when new games come out. Peridot appeals to your love of caring for animals, but with augmented reality you can now go on a treasure hunt together and discover new places.
- WhatsApp approved to expand payment service to 100 million Indian users: That’s both a good and a bad thing, we report. While this gives the Meta service the green light, regulators say it should do a slow rollout. This gives rival companies a chance to gain a foothold in the region.
- Just when the European Commission thought its Digital Services Act was good to go: European consumer association BEUC, a collection of consumer associations, has asked the EU not to weaken key provisions aimed at merchant traceability, prohibit misleading design and ban the use of children’s data and sensitive data for ad targeting. I’m not sure why they wouldn’t fully bet on that, but we report that these deals are often not done transparently.
- Switching to Android app no longer just a rumor: If you’re an iOS user and want to ditch your iPhone in favor of a smartphone on Google’s Android operating system, you’re in luck. Google quietly launched the Switch to Android app in the App Store to make your transition as smooth as possible.
- Read the latest in the Better.com saga: Spoiler alert: There could be more layoffs ahead.