Daily Crunch: Robinhood raises $1B

Robinhood caps a wild week for new funding, Coinbase is going public and Johnson & Johnson reveals new vaccine trial data. This is your Daily Crunch for January 29, 2021.

The big story: Robinhood raises $1B

I know the newsletter has been dominated by Robinhood and stock market news for the past few days but, well, so have the headlines.

The latest news is that after reportedly tapping its credit lines, Robinhood raised $1 billion in new funding from existing investors. It seems the company needed the money in order to meet regulatory minimums and other requirements tied to users’ trading activity.

Meanwhile, the SEC has issued a statement that doesn’t specifically mention Robinhood or GameStop by name, but it says that “extreme stock price volatility has the potential to expose investors to rapid and severe losses” that could “undermine market confidence.”

The tech giants

You can now give Facebook’s Oversight Board feedback on the decision to suspend Trump — The board says the point of the public comment process is to incorporate “diverse perspectives” from third parties who wish to share research that might inform their decisions.

Uber’s Autocab acquisition gets eyed by UK competition watchdog — Autocab makes booking and dispatch software for the taxi and private-hire vehicle industry.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Coinbase is going public via direct listing — The company has raised over $540 million in funding as a private company.

Firehawk Aerospace extends seed funding to $2.5M with $1.2M from Harlow Capital — Firehawk has developed a new kind of hybrid rocket fuel that greatly enhances rocket launch safety, cost and transportation using additive manufacturing.

SoftBank earmarks $100M for Miami-based startups — The fund will back companies that are in Miami or plan to move there.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Customer advisory boards are a gold mine for startup brand champions — Some considerations to make certain your customer advisory board is a success.

Rising African venture investment powers fintech, clean tech bets in 2020 — The Exchange looks at a report from Briter Bridges, a research group that focuses on Africa’s private capital market.

Subscription-based pricing is dead: Smart SaaS companies are shifting to usage-based models — That’s according to OpenView VP of Growth Kyle Poyar.

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine is 85% effective against severe cases, and 66% effective overall per trial data — Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is a single shot rather than a two-course treatment.

‘Frozen’ CG snow and crash-test cadavers offer hints for 60-year-old Russian mystery deaths — New research uses simulation techniques from multiple eras to advance what is perhaps the least implausible explanation for a tragic mystery.

Reap big benefits when you attend both TC Early Stage 2021 events — TechCrunch Early Stage is a two-day virtual bootcamp that gives early founders access to leading experts.

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