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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for Thursday, March 31, 2022!
It’s a beautiful day in our neck of the woods, and we’ve got a great lineup of news for you today, so let’s goooooo.
Grab your calendar and add these two: We’re doing a Data and Culture Transformation event on April 26 for the big data enthusiasts, and this is your last chance to purchase discounted tickets to our in-person TC Sessions: Mobility event on May 18 and 19, as well as the virtual event on the 20th.
The MovieUpdates Top 3
- SEC is looking at another EV SPAC: In today’s abbreviation news, several Faraday Future executives are being subpoenaed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission amid the agency’s look at electric car companies that went public through special-purpose acquisitions. The SPAC itself is not under scrutiny, but instead, the company claimed to have made false statements to investors. It’s okay, I’m sure Faraday Future did its best – everyone makes a misSPAC once in a while.
- Klarna, Klarna, Klarna, Klarna, Klarna chameleon: Buy now, pay later company Klarna shows us how versatile it can be and that it will not miss a good opportunity. Klarna Kosma’s new programming interface for open banking applications helps businesses connect to bank accounts and appears to be a response to Visa’s announcement that it will acquire Tink.
- Are there any layoffs at start-ups?: It’s a question that Alex Wilhelm made us ponder today. Valuations are high, but traction isn’t comparable for some of the companies he called “paper unicorns” (spectacular phrase, by the way). Could all this mean layoffs at companies that could bring in large quantities of dough, but couldn’t make the donuts? Stay tuned.
Startups and VC
We get a little excited when Y Combinator does a series of demo days. I recommend that you read all of our coverage this week, obvz, but if you want a quick recap, read part 1 and part 2 of our “everything you need to know” posts, make yourself a cup of coffee and follow that up with our favorite startups part 1 and part 2, then pour yourself an adult beverage and cap it all with Devin’s irreverently irresistible (and irrationally ironic) review of his favorite YC logos.
“Apparently it is the season for new venture capital funds. Freestyle closed its sixth fund, adding $130 million in dry powder to invest, while Gumi Cryptos Capital (gCC) has a $110 million cash block in the form of its second to deploy in the crypto universe.
Docker was on the ropes there for a while, but hooo boy, it was making a comeback. The company just announced a great round, raising $105 million in fresh capital at a valuation of $2 billion.
🦸 More stories about up, up and away:
- Speaking of mono-racked fantasy horses, the Chief of the Women’s Leadership Network saddled and rode his unicorn status in his continued future of developing women in leadership over the course of his $100 million Series B round.
- Kenyan social trading platform Tushop uses some rocket fuel for growth and raises $3 million.
- 66% of Egyptian adults do not have access to formal financial services. Khazna raised $38 million to fill that gap for low- and middle-income people.
- Famously dirty business, real estate, but French startup Deepski has raised $166 million to improve the measurement and impact of ESG data in the sector.
- The Great Resignation has some interesting effects on the job market and Pursuit saw an opportunity. It has raised a $10 million fund to create a self-sufficient job training service with a really interesting business model.
- Having your customer data hacked is a surefire way to lose goodwill, and Antimatter has raised a $12 million Series A to prevent that sort of thing.
- BoxedUp moves from video conferencing to high-performance video production, bringing the sharing economy to a previously untapped market.
- Freelancers are jerks at the best of times (as freelancers, we can say that with the utmost confidence), and managing them can get really crazy. Archie wants to make it easier for managers and has closed $4.5 million for this.
- Space is complex and as much fun as Kerbal is, it is not suitable for commercial simulation of space missions. Slingshot Aerospace believes it can do better and just landed a $25 million Space Force contract to build a digital twin of the inky night sky.
- Datanomik brings open banking to LatAm, with dLocal and AstroPay execs at the helm.
- Wouldn’t it be great if you could predict the future? Black Crow AI has raised $25 million to help ecommerce people figure out what users are likely to buy.
- I’m not a big fan of injections, just to say, I was pretty excited when I heard about NovaXS Biotech’s pursuit of needle-free injection therapies.
5 things budding founders need to remember when working with VCs
There’s nothing like experience like experience, which is why we were happy to write a column written by Zach DeWitt, winner of the 2013 MovieUpdates Meetup and Pitch-off.
DeWitt, who became a VC after selling Drop, Inc. on Snapchat in 2016, shares five essential lessons for budding founders who roam the wilderness in search of an investor who will be “a real partner.”
There is an inherent power imbalance when you ask a stranger for money, but “VCs should work to earn your trust,” DeWitt writes.
“In many ways it’s like finding the right partner.”
(MovieUpdates+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams move forward. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
- Microsoft takes a closer look at process mining: What is process mining? Don’t worry, reporter Kyle Wiggers (who is finishing his first week with us) tells you all about it. He also says Microsoft’s latest acquisition of process mining company Minit “comes at a time when the broader business process automation industry, which is still cash-strapped, is moving toward general consolidation.”
- Intel is also participating in the mergers and acquisitions: We noticed last year when Israel-based Granulate received funding, it seemed like the network management space was showing some consolidation. Well, that was confirmed earlier today when Intel said it has acquired Granulate “to continue both its operations in Israel and the tools Intel provides to customers to better manage traffic on Intel-powered kits.”
- New research sheds light on Viasat hack: The cyber attack that took out the US-based satellite communications provider in Europe was deemed “probably the result of destructive wiper malware” originating in Russia, we report. The identity of the hackers is not yet known.
- The strike that turned into a possible lawsuit: Meta and his subcontractor, Sama, are lurking in Kenya, where they face legal action over poor working conditions. Reporter Annie Njanja describes allegations made against the companies by former Sama contractor Daniel Motaung, who claims that contractors like him were not told what their jobs would be, but that it ended up being content moderation where they looked at quite graphic content for a long time. time, but did not often have time to come to their senses or offered support when it became too much. Sama denies any wrongdoing.