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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for January 14, 2022! I assume this was Wordle week, as everyone and their dog are tweeting their scores and results. A little camaraderie for those of you out there who aren’t good at the game: I’m junk too. And because I still get paid to write, I refuse to link “Bravo in Wordle” with “Bravo in words!” – Alessio
PS Speaking of words, the Equity team had a blast this week, in case you want to take a chat dip into the recent startup events.
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Bolt raises $ 355 million as the online cash war continues: Bolt (not this bolt) has raised a huge new round of capital that pushes its valuation to $ 11 billion. Bolt provides an online payment solution for other companies. It competes, in various ways, with Fast and Checkout.com, which just raised $ 1 billion at a $ 40 billion valuation. It can be argued that there is a separation between players in terms of where they are in the world of online payments and checkout, but the overlap appears increasingly substantial between competitors. (Just a year ago we called the online check market a war; the battle continues.)
- Major tech companies sued by Congress: As the investigation into the January 6 uprising continues here in the United States, major tech companies get involved in seeking answers. YouTube (Alphabet), Facebook and Instagram (Meta), Reddit and Twitter seem to be in the line of fire.
- All that glitters is not legitimate trading volume: as the market for non-fungible tokens – digital signatures on the blockchain that often point to assets stored on the traditional web, such as images – heats up, we are monitoring the various exchanges in which it takes place. the trading place. What we have learned most recently is that not all trading volume may be what it first appears.
Startup / VC
- Daasity raises $ 15 million to help companies leverage e-comm data: Daasity is a startup that helps customers aggregate their information from various e-commerce platforms (Amazon, Shopify, etc.), “analyze it. and push them onto marketing channels to optimize customer experiences based on insights from historical performance, ”writes TechCrunch. The company’s new funding round was a Series A, led by VMG Catalyst.
- Commercial Electric Vehicles for the Indian Market: Amazon is working with several electric vehicle companies for its global delivery network, one of which is EVage. The Indian firm just raised $ 28 million for an electric van which I have to admit is pretty cool, as long as you’re the kind of person who likes brutalist architecture.
- The cannabis job market is growing startups – TechCrunch notes in this story that there are job platforms under construction to help particular industries hire. The healthcare market has few, for example. And now the cannabis industry too, thanks to Vangst, who just raised a $ 19 million B Series.
Brazil’s fintech and insurtech innovation is poised to take off with the favorable winds for regulation
Regulation is often referred to as an obstacle to innovation in most developing countries.
But in Brazil, the Central Bank is hailed by both investors and fintech founders as a favorable wind to bring the banking sector to the masses.
“The open banking initiatives adopted by the Brazilian central bank are absolutely in favor of fintech innovation,” Amy Cheetham of Costanoa Ventures told TechCrunch.
In an in-depth market analysis, Anna Heim explores the growth of Brazilian fintech in the wake of Brazilian open banking initiatives and how insurtech is poised to take advantage of them as well.
(TechCrunch + is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams move forward. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
Today we have a gripe of transit-themed Big Tech news, followed by, what else, some European legal news involving a large US tech company!
- Self-driving taxis work to merge into the fast lane in China – our very own Rita Liao did everyone a favor by writing a dip in the self-driving taxi market in China. As he writes, it appears that every week “news arrives that another major player has gotten the green light to launch a new pilot program or small-scale service” in the country. What do the individual news events add up to? Discover!
- And speaking of self-driving cars: Waymo and JB Hunt, a trucking company, are turning their driver into a long-term program. There is a shortage of truckers in the United States, meaning trucks that can get along unaided could be a big problem in the nation.
- Here’s a review of a car that no one at TechCrunch can afford: Let me be clear, I want a Bentley Continental GT Speed. I would also settle for a standard Bentley Continental. The fact that Kirsten Korosec, our enterprising transport editor, was able to test one is a source of jealousy. On the facts front, if you have more than a quarter of a million dollars lying around and need 12 cylinders, this is perhaps the car for you.
- Meta faces a class action lawsuit in the UK: A class action lawsuit filed in the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal in London seeks to dock the US social media giant about $ 3.1 billion for abusing its market power in the UK. Let’s see if this goes anywhere.
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