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Welcome to the Daily Crunch for Friday, April 15, 2022, where we continue to bury our heads in the sand regarding the war in Ukraine and the Earth slowly roasting itself in favor of… a rowdy billionaire looking to buy a deranged bird sanctuary.
On our Equity podcast today, which we recorded during our amazing, completely sold-out Early Stage event, Alex and Natasha dived into social fintech. A propos events – are you coming to our mobility event? If you want to pitch, this is your last chance to get your applications in. By the way podcasts – Found, the MovieUpdates podcast in which founders tell the stories behind their startups, has been nominated for a Webby for best technology podcast! Cast your vote before April 21! † Christine and hi
The MovieUpdates Top 3
- Twitter Uses ‘Poison Pill’ To Block Elon Musk’s Proposed Purchase: For what seems like all week now, Twitter is in the news again today. This time, it announced it was taking steps to block the purchase by “he who shall not be named”. Literally, the company did not mention Elon Musk by name. Hopefully you’re not like, “What happened?” but if you are: Musk said he wanted to buy the social media giant. Some of his language in the proposal suggested a hostile takeover, so Kylea took a look at the history of hostile takeovers and what this could mean for Twitter’s cause.
- US links North Korea to latest crypto hack: The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said a North Korean state-backed hacking group known as Lazarus is responsible for the recent theft of $625 million worth of cryptocurrency from the Ronin Network, an Ethereum-based sidechain created for the popular play-earning game Axie Infinity. We report that “this is the largest decentralized financial hack to date.”
- European startups have had a good year so far: We’ve written about a slowdown in venture-backed deals in several regions, including the US, Asia and Latin America, so it’s refreshing to see Europe take the lead in Q1 – up 20% QQ , in reality.
Startups and VC
You’ll be forgiven for humming a little Aloe Blacc under your breath as you declare your expenses. Those on the other side of those expense reports tend to swear more than whistle a tune — and Itilite just raised $29 million to put a smile on their faces and take their step forward by automating corporate expense workflows. .
One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, go now, cat, go, and don’t, step on my smart, balanced views:
- Like Affirm, but for your company: The buy now, pay later market, led by Afterpay, Affirm, Klarna and others, is mainly focused on consumer spending. Slope wants to bring the same mechanics to B2B buying and just raised $24 million to put that dream on hold.
- Like Uber, but on two wheels: Indian food delivery giant Swiggy just put $180 million into pedicab startup Rapido.
- Like Chrome, but encrypted: Opera is one of those companies that just refuses to die, even if it has only found an extremely niche audience. Today, it launched an iOS version of its web3 and crypto-friendly browser.
- Like HubSpot, but HubSport: TeamSnap makes it easier to manage youth sports organizations – planning, team management, etc. The company has been around since 2009 and just launched a new set of tools.
MLB moves into the future with new technology for the old ball game
Baseball has come a long way since 1897, when a Princeton math professor designed a pitching machine that ran on gunpowder.
Today, baseball is a technology-driven business where team owners, players, media organizations and individual fans have access to stacks of raw statistics.
To learn more about Major League Baseball’s tech stack, corporate reporter Ron Miller interviewed its CPO and chief of engineering, Vasanth Williams.
“MLB has a long history of using data and technology and being an early adopter of many of the technologies, which I love to do,” he said.
(MovieUpdates+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams move forward. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
- China changes its policy on foreign games: Continuing from yesterday with some news out of China, it looks like the country is getting ready to close a loophole that was left open for people to access unauthorized video games. This week, online gaming company Tencent said it will “end its gaming booster that allows users to play games overseas,” meaning all games without the government-issued license to operate in the country will be goodbye.
- Meta brings Horizon Worlds to the web: Meta’s social virtual reality platform Horizon Worlds is getting a web facelift so people with Quest VR headsets can try it out. We point out that with all the company talk about the metaverse, it seems counterintuitive to have VR and web versions of the same stuff, but we suspect a lot of people have been asking for this or it wouldn’t be made.
- Take a ride in the Toyota bZ4X from 2023: Brace yourself, we’ve got the “nuts and volts” on one of Toyota’s latest electric vehicles. For a rather awkward name, we report that this one promises an all-in price tag of just under $50,000 for what’s an “impressive” range for a single charge.