To get a roundup of Meczyki.Net’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3PM PDT, subscribe here,
Is it Wednesday already? Calendar tells me it is. (Fun fact: My apartment is filled with so many date-showing smart displays that it’s a struggle not to trip on them.) The Daily Crunch team hands you — which means — the timing with Meczyki.Net’s newsletter of the record. fades away. As always, there’s a lot to cover, but I’ve done my best to make sure hodges And Christine Nothing to worry about while they enjoy the much needed time away from the daily grind. Relax guys. You all deserve it.
African fintechs are experiencing stratospheric growth – last year, the number of startups in the category increased by 17.3% to 573, up from 491 in 2019, according to local publication Disrupt Africa. An exciting new entrant is Thepier, which primarily powers infrastructure for small to medium-sized fintech businesses. fresh Writes that the company continues to be a success a year after inception, with monthly transactions increasing by an average of 161%. It’s impressive no matter how you cut it.
On an unrelated (but equally important) note, if you haven’t picked up tickets to Meczyki.Net’s summer party, you should really consider it. We don’t bite – at least, not without justification. , Kelly
Meczyki.Net Top 3
- Not for the Wise – or the Prudent: MindGeek, the parent company of porn streaming giant PornHub, has seen fewer bad days. Devin writes that the CEO and COO – Ferrous Anton and David Tasillo, respectively – suddenly resigned almost a week after a New Yorker report good On the company’s less-than-stellar moderation policies. It’s all speculation at this point, but financial uncertainty may have played a role. Profitable as an adult film, MindGeek bore the brunt of a payment processor crusade against pornography platforms 2 years ago, with processors, including Mastercard, suspending payments to the company’s brands.
- brevity is the soul of wit (no): Remember when Twitter limited its poor users to 140 characters, constrained by SMS limits? I do. But I’m old New tweeters (Twitters?) may never know that tweets were once an exercise in self-editing, thanks to Twitter’s new feature — Twitter Notes — that will support the publication of long-form content on the platform. Sarah The story is
- better get out of here:Mary’s reporting on Better.com’s woes has been second to none, and this week, she published another big scoop: A large portion of the mortgage lender’s senior leadership has resigned, including its SVP and VP of Sales. Huh. His departure follows the exit of a trio of EVP of Customer Experience, SVP of Capital Markets and Development and High Level Public Relations people. Facing a delayed IPO and continuing bad publicity, including lawsuits, a turnaround for Better.com seems to be fast moving away.
Startups and VCs
The economic slowdown is hitting some industries harder than others, but one that appears to be immune — at least for now — is app development. The appetite for apps hasn’t waned, and neither has, apparently, the demand for low-code platforms and APIs that make them faster and easier. AppSmith, a low-code platform for building business apps, reached $41 million this week. Meanwhile, Courier grabbed $35 million to build a service for app notifications.
The hardware business has been less forgiving lately. Case in point: Nothing, OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei’s new company announced that it won’t be bringing its first phone — the phone (1) — to the US the hurdle was partly one of carrier adoption in the US, partly because US carriers are notoriously hostile to unfavorable brands — especially in a down market. But it is unfortunate nonetheless.
Elsewhere in startup land:
- boxing on the goLightboxer: Lightboxer introduced an ultra-portable, subscription-based fitness wearable that walks the wearer through a workout, optionally paired with music from a preloaded catalog. Especially for those with smaller apartments, this can be a godsend, writes Brian,
- hotter than the planet: “Climate technology” may not be new, but it is certainly hot – which is not surprising in light of dire predictions about the climate crisis. Underscoring the state of affairs, Kiko Ventures this week emerged with a $450 million (£375 million) fund to invest in climate technology and “regenerative” technologies, mike Report.
- pronunciation, I can’t place itA lucrative startup called Sunus has built an AI that can change a person’s pronunciation. Backed by Google, the company has announced funding of $32 million and claims to have a number of clients, including insurance company Assurant and BPO Leviathan Alorica. According to ingridThe technology feels a bit robotic and emotion-free, but it’s clearly intentional — Sunus built it with call centers in mind.
- let me handle that data for youProving that there is money in data management, Atacama today secured a $150 million investment from Bain Capital Tech Opportunities. As I write in my brief, Atacama’s success reflects in recent years the explosion of tools that allow businesses to connect, transform, analyze, and serve data from all kinds of sources.
- The Elusive Soft Landing at SoftBankSoftBank’s bad news just got worse this week. Following the firm’s disappointing performance, French businessman Michel Combs – who was appointed as CEO of SoftBank Group International in January – left the company, Connie Report. Troubled waters lie ahead as SoftBank plans to slow down the pace of new investments.
- M&A. charge towards: In a charming piece, Rebecca writes about consolidation in the EV charging market, which has seen cash flow in recent years amid enthusiasm for the technology – and government funding. On the horizon is a wave of startups looking to commercialize and scale so-called DC fast chargers.
- boring but profitable: Let this be a lesson to opponents of HR tech: Investors still want a piece of the action. Personaio, a startup based out of Munich, Germany that focuses itself on small and medium businesses such as Workday and Service Now, this week closed a $200 million round, valued at $8.5 billion. ingrid The story is
3 tips for biotech startups looking for non-disruptive capital to tide over the recession
This is an especially difficult time for life science startups. Even if their technology is changing the world, it will still take years to get to market.
Most biotech founders who seek to raise in this environment believe that dilutive capital is their only option, but this is short-sighted, writes James Coates, Health and Human Performance at the key turning point.
“In a recession, non-dilutive grants or contracts from the government should be seen as more attractive than ever because they provide the runway without dilution and make big headlines.”
(Meczyki.Net+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams grow. You can sign up here,
Big Tech Inc.
Thought the NFT trend was over and over? Ha. far from it. In a sign of intense interest from Big Tech, eBay this week acquired Manchester-based NFT marketplace KnownOrigin, Ayesha Report. Meanwhile, Shopify launched Tokenized Commerce, a feature designed as a way to “reward true fans and VIPs” by giving NFT holders exclusive access to products, perks and experiences by connecting the company’s crypto wallets to the Shopify online store. describes. ingrid writes.
In other buzzing news, the Metaverse — a fuzzy mix of virtual and augmented reality — could be interoperable if some tech giant has its way. Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia, Unity and others this week formed the Metaverse Standards Forum, which seeks to make building platforms easier for developers. But there are also some obvious absences, such as AMANDA Note, that includes companies such as Niantic, Apple, Roblox and Snapchat — which are building consumer “metaverse” products.
Is all this talk of digital experiences longing for something concrete? Introducing Ikea’s new tools. lauren, describing his experience with it, describes it as a way to envision your living space with furniture on your smartphone instead of taking a trip to an Ikea store. You’ll miss the Swedish meatballs, but the convenience may just make up for it.
- Hot Tub Hack Machine: Carly writes about how a security researcher found vulnerabilities in the Jacuzzi’s SmartTub interface, which allowed access to every hot tub owner’s personal data. How frightening is this?
- Mac Attack: Brian Reviewed Apple’s M2-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro. Decision? No spoilers, but the silicone is one of the few highlights in the massive incremental refresh.
- we don’t have votes: In front of multiple sexual harassment lawsuits And the inspectionActivision Blizzard has rejected an attempt by employees to get a seat on the company board to represent the voice of the employees. Disappointingly, only 5% of shareholders voted in favor, AMANDA writes, while the majority re-elected controversial CEO Bobby Kotick to the board.
- lawsuits aboundA black former employee of Tesla’s Fremont assembly plant has denied a $15 million payment from the automaker in a lawsuit alleging racial abuse by co-workers, Rebecca Report. It’s the latest legal dispute involving the company after two former employees filed a lawsuit alleging the automaker didn’t provide the 60-day advance notice required by federal law during its recent round of layoffs.
- atomic glow: NASA has the Moon on its mind – and nuclear fission. This week, the agency announced that it is contracting three suppliers to provide concept designs for nuclear fission power systems designed for use on the Moon. Exciting stuff, given the potential. Reading DarrellAccommodation report.