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What is it, delightful creatures. Today I’ve been thinking a lot about Instagram. Devin wrote about how the platform is only getting worse with dark patterns pulled from TikTok, and Amanda made me laugh with her Instagram responds to criticism with shocking revelation that it will continue to support the “photos” headline. The evolution of the platform is close to my heart and I am still torn between influencers and thought leaders. In a nutshell: I like Instagram the way it is, but I’m also curious where photographers can frolic these days. Reply to a postcard.
Oh, and you don’t even have to read the article, but do yourself a favor and look at the photos in this piece I published this morning: BMF’s microscopic 3D printing powers are magnificent, and I’m amazed at how far 3D printing is. came. — hi
PS: Startup Battlefield 200 registrations close this weekso receive your applications in pronto!
The MovieUpdates Top 3
- Sine Qua Non Prime: European customers got a great deal on Amazon’s Prime subscription. The e-commerce giant just raised prices by a pretty big chunk. French customers are a small bite angry at their 43% price increase, while German subscribers think their 30% increase is just the worst, Paul reports.
- A decimation at Shopify: Lots of ecommerce news today, including bad news for a tenth of Shopify’s employees. As pandemic-driven investments in online shopping decline, Shopify lays off about 1,000 employees, Aisha writes.
- After two years at a16z, the first solo album: Mary Ann reports that Rex Salisbury concluded that adding a fund to his vibrant Cambrian community was a natural next step of the journey. He began the process of raising capital for his own venture firm, Cambrian Ventures, and today announced a $20 million fund targeting fintech startups.
Startups and VC
Brian reviewed the third generation Oura Ring in December, but today Kylea reports that the existing hardware has gradually picked up a new trick and can now measure blood oxygen levels, with more fitness features in the future.
Our Found podcast had a very interesting episode this week – Nikki Pechet joins in as a guest. She started Homebound to make home building easier and more accessible after a wildfire swept through Northern California, putting thousands of people on years of waiting lists to start building their homes. The episode is called Why This Founder Is Confident in the Economic Downturn. Get that wisdom in your ears ASAP. Here’s a link to Found on all your favorite podcasting platforms.
I was intrigued by Struck Capital’s $15 million venture studio and was a little alarmed when the founders suggested using the “thousands of pitches” they receive to inform which companies they choose to build.
More startup goodies:
- A chain with a bag of money at the end of itNew York-based Interplay raises $10M for a new blockchain fund, Anita reports
- Goodbye, goodbye, Auf Wiedersehen, goodnight: Based in Germany, Babbel has more than one million US customers on its platform and is also expanding its business language learning platform to the US, Frederick reports.
- My coins jingle jingle: Mike argues for hardware wallets that are about to make a comeback as crypto markets get a bit crumbly.
- Pogo provides a monetized bounce in your step: If Pogo had his way, you’d get paid every time you stroll down the street. The only catch is that you’re giving your personal information to the consumer-facing fintech in return. The company has raised nearly $15 million to become the “Honey for the real world,” reports Natasha M.
- On the social chain: Blockchain ecosystem Topl has raised $15 million to help businesses track and monetize social impact initiatives, Jacquelyn reports.
- Feeling good, investing money: Mike writes about Europe’s newest health and wellness fund: Exceptional Ventures has a $24 million fund.
- Spiders like robot hands: Definitely the weirdest story on the site today, Brian dives in with scientists who use dead spiders as robotic hands. Strange breakthroughs in robotics? I love them so much!
The Right Questions to Ask Investors When Fundraising in a Down Market
Fundraising chats may still start with a chat, but startup teams are under more pressure than ever to make the most of these rare opportunities.
Blair Silverberg, CEO and co-founder of Hum Capital, says entrepreneurs should resist the urge to get defensive during these sessions.
“In fact, the more a founder can steer the questions back to the investor in a way that gives a better understanding of their business and investment strategy, the easier the rest of the conversation will be.”
(MovieUpdates+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams move forward. You can register here.)
Big Tech Inc.
About nine months after the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced it was conducting a market investigation into music streaming services, the ministry has revealed it believes there is no reason to reply – for now, at least. Paul reports.
GM is quite in the news today: Jaclyn reports that the auto giant plunged 40% in the second quarter. She also covered the 3 indicators to watch for on the GM Q2 earnings day, and Rebecca revealed that the company has secured a $2.5 billion government loan for US battery factories.
Keep it up, take a few more: