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It’s Daily Crunch time for Monday, June 14. I will be standing in for Alexander Wilhelm while he’s off enjoying his time away from the news cycle — if I don’t have to report for jury duty.
Big news today! We launched the Nubank EC-1, an extensive look into one of the biggest startups in the world. More on this down below.
And have you heard that TechCrunch recently launched a new podcast? On “Found,” Darrell Etherington and Jordan Crook interview one early-stage startup founder each week about the ins and outs and ups and downs of founding a company. In the latest episode, the pair spoke to Cory Siskind, founder of Base Operations, which earlier this year raised $2.2 million in seed funding to capitalize on its recent launch of a street-level threat-mapping platform for use in supporting enterprise security operations. Subscribe to “Found” on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or the your podcast app of choice.
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Mental models and multitasking enhancements: TechCrunch boss Matthew Panzarino got some time with Apple executives last week post-WWDC to talk about the company’s new iPadOS. Version 15 has a lot of expectations riding on it, not least of which is the new multitasking features.
- You get a Google Workspace and you get a Google Workspace! The company announced today that Workspace, which has heretofore been known as G Suite, is open to everyone. Look for updates to all of your favorite Google products (Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Sheets, Slides, Meet, Chat, etc.) that might be jarring at first — until you forget what your Google life used to look like and welcome with open arms your new Google wrapping.
- Stripe ID: Stripe launched Stripe Identity today. Companies can use the self-serve tool to verify user identities, while Stripe manages the customer data in an encrypted format using computer vision and machine learning to “read” and match up government IDs with live selfies. Developers can request access here, and Discord, Peerspace and Shippo are already in on the action.
Startups and VC
- The Pill Club raises: The birth control prescription and delivery service announced it raised a $41.9 million Series B extension led by Base 10. The startup, helmed by former Uber executive Liz Meyerdirk, who took over as chief in January, has hit record revenues, crossing $100 million in annual run rate for the first time in its four-year history. Other investors in the round include GV and Shasta Ventures, as well as new additions Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and Honey’s George Ruan.
- Solving SaaS tax: Taxes are hard. Anrok exists to make them ever-so-slightly less painful for the SaaS companies out there making their way in the world. Anorak raised $4.3 million to offer specialized help to modern companies that need to navigate the tax complexities to doing business.
- $6.8 million for fraud protection: Tel Aviv-based nSure AI raised the seed round to provide fraud detection for high-risk digital goods, such as electronic gift cards, airline tickets, software and games. The company’s AI’s risk engine leverages deep learning techniques to accurately identify fraudulent transactions.
How contrarian hires and a pitch deck started Nubank’s $30 billion fintech empire
Founded in 2013 and based in São Paulo, Brazil, Nubank serves more than 34 million customers, making it Latin America’s largest neobank.
Reporter Marcella McCarthy spoke to CEO David Velez to learn about his efforts to connect with consumers and overcome entrenched opposition from established players who were friendly with regulators.
In the first of a series of stories, she interviewed Velez about his early fundraising efforts. For a balanced perspective, she also spoke to early Nubank investors at Sequoia and Kaszek Ventures, Latin America’s largest venture fund, to find out why they funded the startup while it was still pre-product.
“There are people you come across in life that within the first hour of meeting with them, you know you want to work with them,” said Doug Leone, a global managing partner at Sequoia who’d recruited Velez after he graduated from grad school at Stanford.
Marcella also interviewed members of Nubank’s founding team to better understand why they decided to take a chance on a startup that faced such long odds of success.
“I left banking to make a fifth of my salary, and back then, about $5,000 in equity,” said Vitor Olivier, Nubank’s VP of operations and platforms.
“Financially, it didn’t really make sense, so I really had to believe that it was really going to work, and that it would be big.”
(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
The Supreme Court has given LinkedIn another chance to stop a rival company from scraping personal information from users’ public profiles, a practice LinkedIn says should be illegal but one that could have broad ramifications for internet researchers and archivists.
Battery recycling startup Redwood Materials, which was founded by former Tesla CTO JB Straubel, has purchased 100 acres of land near the Gigafactory that Panasonic operates with Tesla in Sparks, Nevada. The company is trying to create a circular supply chain by collecting the scrap from consumer electronics companies and battery cell manufacturers, processing these discarded goods by extracting materials like cobalt, nickel and lithium that are typically mined, and then supplying those back to Panasonic and other customers.
The first and last all-virtual E3 gaming soiree kicked off today, with announcements from Microsoft, Square Enix and Ubisoft.
And rounding out today, we’ve got a review for you. Beats Studio Buds are a compact, noise-canceling and somewhat affordable alternative to AirPods.
TechCrunch Experts: Growth Marketing
With the rollout of our Experts project, we’re excited by the increase of guest columns we’ve received within the growth marketing category. Today, we have a guest column from Hunter Jensen, “The demise of browser cookies could create a Golden Age of digital marketing.”
Have you recently worked with a growth marketer? We want to hear about your experience!
The answers to this survey will help shape our editorial coverage as we begin to dive into conversion optimization, social, paid ads and more! Find more details at techcrunch.com/experts.
Are you looking for a platform to introduce your pre-Series A company to the world? If so, don’t miss out on your chance to exhibit in Startup Alley at Disrupt 2021, TechCrunch’s biggest virtual event happening September 21-23. If you’re selected, you’ll get a spot to do your elevator pitch along with a chance to be selected for Startup Battlefield or our brand-new Startup Alley+ program! We only have a few spots left, so make sure to get your application in ASAP before they’re all gone!