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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for Tuesday, March 29, 2022! hi and I am now flying solo with the newsletter. It’s all hands on deck today and tomorrow as we listen to startups pitching at the YC Demo Day, so watch out for a deluge of stories over the next two days. Don’t forget to join us on Wednesday for the DeFi & The Future of Programmable Money online event, then at MovieUpdates Early Stage on April 14.
The MovieUpdates Top 3
- HackerRank will test your coding skills: Competition for talent is fierce there, so how do you know your potential new hire has it in them? HackerRank has raised $60 million to continue developing its recruiting tools to not only answer that question, but also allow developers to practice their coding and interviewing skills.
- Electric buzz after reaching unicorn status: If you are like most of us who work from home, it now takes a little more logistical effort to access the tools and equipment that would normally be waiting at our office – with an IT person at your beck and call – now. Electric took in $20 million to exceed $1 billion to manage much of that work for IT.
- DAO for human behavior?: Jacquelyn has also been writing about decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs, which happily describe what they are and where enthusiasts see them being used in the future – think pooling funds or decision-making.
Startups and VC
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – Y Combinator hasn’t quite hit 1,000 companies per batch yet, but the Demo Day includes 424 startups from 42 countries – so as you might imagine, it’s still a pretty intense time at MovieUpdates towers. YC’s Demo Day showcased 32 startups from India (the accelerator has funded nearly 200 Indian startups so far), with a strong focus on fintech. Africa was also represented, with more than 18 Nigerian startups and another six from the rest of the continent.
And great news if you’re just a millionaire, instead of being part of the exclusive Tres Comas club: Anita reports that Equi is willing to sneak you through the back door to your own personal little family office.
Other events in the startup ecosystem:
2 reasons why demo days are over
Demo days are a showcase for tech media, but does this performative Silicon Valley tradition still benefit founders and investors?
In a guest post for TC+, Michael Redd, co-founder and chairman of 22 Ventures, shares two factors that make demo days less relevant: many startups sign funding deals before the big show, and founders are more interested in working with value-added investors.
“Simply doing away with the demo day doesn’t help founders find that value or get investors to bid,” Redd writes. “What we need is to better understand why the demo day falls short and how to find deals on a much more intimate level.”
(MovieUpdates+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
- Sony unveils updated PlayStation Plus: To keep up with competitors, Sony has combined its PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now services into one subscription gaming product. The latest part of this is the addition of two more expensive tiers to join the lowest tier, and the three are priced in monthly, quarterly, and annual increments. Users in Asia will get access first before it rolls out around the world.
- Amazon Glow connects family members story by story: After six months by invitation only, Amazon is now opening up the purchase of its Amazon Glow remote calling/projector device to everyone. The company created the device as a way for children to connect with distant relatives. Want to know what it’s like to use it? Check out what Greg Kumparak had to say when he tested the device in December.
- TikTok, GIPHY partner for video creation tool: TikTok has a new in-app creation tool called TikTok Library which will initially be populated with GIPHY content. As MovieUpdates reports, there’s a bit of irony here, with TikTok “using content from a company Facebook once acquired for $400 million (and is now asking to divest) to improve the short video app that has since become a of the social giant’s greatest threats.” In addition, we point out that TikTok doesn’t go into much detail about possible future partners for the library, suggesting that this is all quite early.