London-based SumUp pins $8.5B valuation with $624M debt-equity round – Meczyki.Net

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Friends! me again. as i am Sure It was on the edge of your seat, I’m happy to report that the team was not completely Dissatisfied with my opening act (it’s here in case you missed it), and so they’ve agreed to give me another go. In other uplifting news, it’s almost the end of the week. And if you’re out there looking at the same New York City skyline as I am, the weather is beautiful. Get that vitamin D when you’re able.

whatever, if you No NYC bound and within spitting distance of Menlo Park today, pick up tickets to the Meczyki.Net Summer Party. I checked, and there are only a few left – the festivities start at 6 p.m. PT. Also, don’t forget to mark your calendar for the upcoming TC Sessions: Robotics event, which will feature guests like Amazon’s VP of global robotics and the director of Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute. It won’t be remembered. , Kelly

Meczyki.Net Top 3

  • Put it in a pipe and smoke it: Connie It was reported early this morning that Stanford-based e-cigarette maker Juul will be given a “marketing refusal order” from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), barring the company from selling its products in the US. later today ordered Juul to remove all of its products from sale, marking the culmination of the agency’s 2-year investigation into whether Juul’s products are harmful to children. Juul has the option of appealing through the FDA, challenging the decision in court, or filing a revised application for its products.
  • Cloud Kitchen destroys: Annie writes that Kun Food, a promising Kenya-based startup that rents out kitchens to prepare affordable ready-to-eat meals, will cease operations and lay off its nearly 90-person workforce. CEO Robin Reicht cited “the economic slowdown and tightening investment markets” that the company failed to procure the necessary funds and struggled to scale up its business model, which offers individual and corporate clients $3 per head. but depended on selling food.
  • to sum it up: Remember sumup? A decade ago, the company made waves by turning basic smartphones into card payment terminals. now, ingrid According to the report, the startup has raised $624 million at a valuation of $8.5 billion, indicating its continued growth. SumUp claims that more than 4 million small and medium-sized businesses are using its platform. The new cash will be channeled into acquisitions, higher hiring and product development.

Startups and VCs

During the pandemic, companies with digital products fared well. This is no surprise. With people and workers staying home, digital became the only way to collaborate, stay present and find a way to escape. One digital subdivision that enjoyed special growth was e-learning. Recall that Udemy had raised crores in 2020. But now the tide seems to be turning. Masterclass, the platform that sells membership in celebrity-led classes, cut 20% of its team — about 120 people — to “achieving self-reliance faster.” as Natasha Turns out, this is the latest edtech startup that can scale back later eruditusupskilling startup Section 4, Unacademy And Vedantu, Meanwhile, Duolingo and Coursera have seen their stock prices drop.

Unfortunately, micromobility isn’t looking so hot these days. Shortly after Lime exited South Korea and Bird laid off 23% of its workforce, e-scooter startup Superpedestrian announced that it would reduce its workforce by 35 employees. Voi followed suit with layoffs at its headquarters, letting off 35 full-time workers. Rebecca notes that the economics of the industry have always been tricky, but it certainly doesn’t help that investors are becoming wary of startups with high costs and long paths to profitability.

In bright news:

  • Hardwood Reboot: Tim writes about a fascinating startup, Vibrant Planet, which is developing an “operating system for forest restoration.” How on earth (pun intended) does that work? Well, Vibrant Planet’s software, which is aimed at land managers, can prioritize objectives such as fire risk using a combination of satellite imagery and AI tools. It can also run analyzes to determine how different scenario treatments will affect these objectives, revealing real-time effects. pretty neat,
  • Get in your stride – and your slalom: Tracker like Fitbit for skiing? It’s different – and as a lover of snow sports, I must say my interest has piqued. hodgesCarv’s piece details the startup’s ski-tracking inserts for ski boots, which measure and analyze the technology and send the data to an app where a virtual coach can provide feedback. Carv, which got into venture capital via Kickstarter, claims its product can be retrofitted to any boot.
  • Keep Austin Weird – and Underground: With a tunnel or two under its belt, Elon Musk’s The Boring Company plans to build a corridor under Tesla’s Gigafactory Texas in Austin. But, as the word mother is on purpose Rebecca Hint, maybe Musk wants a secret road to enter his massive factory. Presumably, he won’t have to contend with traffic issues Which affects The Boring Company’s Las Vegas project.
  • Lightning in a Bottle: Fusion can supply an almost unlimited amount of power with minimal waste, which is why countless startups — not to mention governments — are pursuing it. Zap Energy is one of these – following the successful testing of its prototype fusion reactor, the company has raised $160 million in a Series C round. Zap’s approach involves sending a plasma stream through a vacuum chamber and then electrifying it, which is what happens in a thunderstorm, Tim Report.
  • Drone-Compliance-as-a-Service: Drone-Compliant-as-a-Service: Getting the necessary approvals from the US Federal Aviation Administration to fly a drone can be a challenge for small businesses — much less local governments. Airspace Link, which raised $23 million in new support this week, promises to make this easier by tracking ground-based infrastructure such as radar coverage, notable other flights and assets, Devin writes. By using Airspace’s platform, customers can show the FAA that they have built the security infrastructure necessary for drone operations — or so the sales pitch goes.

Use buyer-generated content to personalize emails to drive more sales

image credit: alphaspirit (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Consumer confidence suffers during an economic downturn, which is why e-commerce startups should start looking for new ways to engage customers.

Cynthia Price, SVP of marketing at Litmus, shares the many ways companies can turn customer purchase data into content that improves brand experiences – and makes users more likely to buy.

For example, the most visited products on your site reflect the interests and interests of your most active customers, which means it’s also useful information to display in outbound emails.

Price writes, “You can break down that data more granularly by layering buyer data.” “This strategy drives interest, attracts more customers to your site and improves the purchaseability of their products.”

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Big Tech Inc.

Are live events returning in full force, monkeypox be damned? Spotify seems to think so. This week the music giant revamped its in-app Discovery feature with a new live events feed that promises to allow users to better discover nearby events and concerts. Event integration is nothing new for Spotify. Sarah notes that the company first introduced it back in 2015, but the upgrade signals the platform’s confidence that the worst of the pandemic is behind us.

Sarah It also reports that Spotify is developing a “community” feature that will allow users to see what kind of music their friends are streaming in real time. It may also add to the company’s live event efforts, perhaps allowing people to check out live performances by artists they were not previously familiar with.

Elsewhere, in case you weren’t aware, this week was Amazon’s re: MARS — the company’s convention touching down on different parts of its business. Frederick and Brian were on the field in Las Vegas to report the latest, both battling dodgy Wi-Fi and scorching temperatures. (Bless them.) Re: MARS’ highlights were probably a new Alexa feature that can mimic voice given a brief recording, an AI-powered coding assistant called CodeWhisper and a fully autonomous warehouse robot . No Robert Downey Jr cameos this year, sadly.

In other news:

  • Write me a letter: Twitter has officially rolled out the long-form content “Notes” feature. Sarah reported earlier this week. Ayesha Writes that Notes, which is currently limited to a small group of writers in the US, Canada, Ghana and the UK, has the potential to change the way people use Twitter. But would Elon Musk approve?
  • I’m not getting any smaller: Looking for reliable ways to better connect with younger users, Meta-owned Instagram is testing a new set of features designed to verify the age when people say they’re 18 and over. are of age. Through a combination of AI, video selfies, vouching from adult friends, and ID cross-referencing, the idea is to keep young people away from content that could affect their mental health and subject them to inappropriate accounts.
  • Controlling Governors: The Oversight Board, the advisory group that reviews Facebook and Instagram’s content moderation decisions, released its first annual report this week, Tailor writes. It received more than 1 million appeals from Facebook and Instagram users in 2021 and issued judgments and clarifications on only 20 cases. But apparently, the board reversed parent company Meta’s initial determination in more than two-thirds of the cases — 70% — it reviewed.
  • No more spam: Tired of junk messages? There is good news if you are an iPhone user. Ivan Reports that when iOS 16 rolls out, users will be able to report spam messages with a new “Report Junk” link inside the Messages app. According to the iOS 16 release notes, the feature will only be available with select carriers, but there is no information on who might support it yet.
  • Inclusiveness is the best policy: Just in time for Pride Month, Google now lets merchants add a “LGBTQ+ owned” label to their profiles on Maps and Search, Ayesha Report. The new label – available to merchants in the US with a verified business profile on Google – expands on the “LGBTQ+ Friendly” and “Transgender Safe Places” labels that appear on business profiles in Search and on Maps.