Daily Crunch: Spotify is testing virtual events

Spotify explores virtual concerts, Twitter tests a “quotes” count and Google’s Nest Hub becomes more hotel-friendly. This is your Daily Crunch for August 26, 2020.

The big story: Spotify is testing virtual events

We can’t have real-world concerts at the moment, so the popular music streaming service is exploring virtual alternatives. The feature isn’t live yet, but reverse-engineering scoopster Jane Manchun Wong tweeted out photos of an “Upcoming Virtual Events” section.

Spotify already highlights upcoming concerts from artists you like through various ticketing partners, and the screenshots show Songkick as the ticketing partner. Presumably, Spotify would be able to support virtual events with only minor changes to its bargaining agreement.

And how big can these events be? K-pop megastars BTS raised nearly $20 million for a single show — but it’s probably safe to assume that most events will fall far short of that.

The tech giants

Twitter experiments with adding a ‘Quotes’ count to tweets — This engagement metric would sit alongside the tweet’s existing retweets and likes counts.

Instagram Guides may soon allow creators to recommended places, products and more — The feature, which launched in May, has allowed select organizations and experts to share resources related to managing your mental health.

Google is pushing to get the Nest Hub in more hotel rooms — A new update is tailored for the hotel experience, with key features like wake-up calls, weather and local businesses.

Startups, funding and venture capital

SpaceX will launch Masten’s first lander to the moon in 2022 — Masten’s first lunar mission is set to take place in 2022 if all goes according to plan.

Here are the 94 companies from Y Combinator’s Summer 2020 Demo Day 2 — So many companies!

Course Hero, a profitable edtech unicorn, raises rare cash — A Series B extension of $70 million, to be more specific.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Synthetic biology startups are giving investors an appetite — Impossible Foods is only the most public face of a growing trend in bioengineering.

Funding for mental health-focused startups rises in 2020 — As wellness startups drift generally, VC hotspots emerge.

(Reminder: Extra Crunch is our subscription membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

GM teases two new all-electric Chevy Bolt models — Both vehicles will go into production in summer 2021, according to GM.

Learn how to scale social impact startups at Disrupt with Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins and Jessica O. Matthews — Uttering the words “making the world a better place” isn’t the same as doing it, or doing it well.

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