Daily Crunch: Indian startups raised a record $10.46 billion in the first half of 2021

To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3 p.m. PDT, subscribe here.

Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for July 7, 2021! Today was a doozy, with everything from global startup fundraising news to frivolous lawsuits attacking tech companies all the way back to European unicorn liquidity. Hope you’re ready! Also, Early Stage is tomorrow. See you there! — Alex

The TechCrunch Top 3 5

  • Former U.S. president needs money: The previous U.S. president, Donald Trump, made a laughingstock of himself today by announcing lawsuits against major social media companies. His arguments were instantly ridiculed. But Trump is already fundraising off his attempt to slander private companies, the media and generally anyone who doesn’t bow to his wishes. That’s what today’s brouhaha was actually about.
  • Why Microsoft’s big cloud deal fell apart: We noted yesterday that the big Microsoft-U.S. military cloud deal was kaput. Today, Ron Miller explained why, namely that by trying to find a single vendor for the $10 billion deal, it was doomed from the start. Maybe the Department of Defense can figure out a multicloud approach. I bet there are a few startups willing to help if that’s the case.
  • India’s bonkers startup ecosystem: TechCrunch’s Manish Singh has been a force of nature since he joined, covering the Indian startup market with verve. Today he wrote “Dispatch from Banaglaore.” It’s amazing. Details include that India produced 16 unicorns this year and that its startups raised $10.46 billion in the first six months of 2021. Wild.
  • How European unicorns are looking for exits: U.S. companies are going public. European companies are going public. Chinese companies were going public. But the SPAC boom seems to be largely an American affair. Is that set to change? TechCrunch investigates.
  • $100M for mmhmm: Remember mmhmm, the startup that made neat Zoom tools earlier in the pandemic? It just raised a $100 million round. That’s a pile of ducats for the company. Let’s see what it can do with nine figures worth of capital. Also, Darrell’s headline was lovely for this piece — we awarded him 10 points.


Sure, we had to expand the TechCrunch Top 3 to five entries, but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t another mountain of news to cover. Here’s your startup and venture capital highlight reel:

  • Turning IRL surgery into a VR game: News broke today that Osso VR, a San Francisco-based startup, raised $27 million to “upend modern surgical instruction with a virtual-reality-based solution that allows surgeons to interact with new medical devices in 3D space.” That means we can train more surgeons faster, right? If so, this is good news.
  • In which Alex tried to cover developer tools. Again. Today r2c, a startup that is building a SaaS service around the Semgrep open-source project, raised a preemptive Series B. I wrote about it, trying to explain a developer cybersecurity tool in the process. I give myself a B-, mostly for effort. The round is cool, though.
  • Today’s Tiger deal is Unit21: It wouldn’t be a weekday without a Tiger-led deal, right? Unit21 announced that the ever-present investing group led a $34 million Series B into its business, valuing it at around $300 million. The no-code, anti-fraud startup raised its Series A less than a year ago.
  • Opioid-treatment apps are being a bit too free with their data collection: TechCrunch was not enthused.

Pakistan’s growing tech ecosystem is finally taking off

So far this year, startups in Pakistan are on track to raise more than in the previous five years combined, according to Mikal Khoso, an early-stage investor at Wavemaker Partners.

“Even more excitingly, a large portion of this capital is coming from international investors from across Asia, the Middle East and even famed investors from Silicon Valley,” he notes in a guest post for Extra Crunch.

He’s identified three factors that are fueling investor interest: rapidly expanding mobile connectivity, an improved security situation, and critical legal and regulatory changes that are making the country more startup- and VC-friendly.

Drawing a map of Pakistan’s tech ecosystem, Khoso identifies local companies trying to grab a slice of grocery delivery, e-commerce, ride-hailing and other sectors before examining the challenges still in place.

“The segments in Pakistan that are likely to attract the best entrepreneurs and most investor capital in the years to come will be fintech, e-commerce and edtech,” says Khoso.

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

Big Tech Inc.

Still here? Good. There’s even more news to get through. Let’s talk big companies:

  • Satellite SPACs are here: Beep beep beep everyone, both Satellogic and Planet are going public via blank-check companies. Sure, you are tired of SPACs. But these deals are out of this world! Har har har.
  • $200M for Outbrain before it goes public: Ye olde bridge round is still a thing, it turns out. Outbrain, which TechCrunch described as “an adtech company that provides clickbait ads below news articles,” put together a huge round before its own debut.
  • India’s tech oversight is shaking up: Keep an eye on what comes next.

TechCrunch Experts: Growth Marketing

Illustration montage based on education and knowledge in blue

Image Credits: SEAN GLADWELL (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

TechCrunch wants you to recommend growth marketers who have expertise in SEO, social, content writing and more! If you’re a growth marketer, pass this survey along to your clients; we’d like to hear about why they loved working with you.

If you’re curious about how these surveys are shaping our coverage, check out this interview Anna Heim did with Peep Laja: “To stay ahead of your competitors, start building your narrative on day one.”

TC Eventful

If you’ve been waiting to get your ticket to TC Early Stage – Marketing & Fundraising, well today just might be your lucky day! We’re giving the first 10 Daily Crunch readers a free ticket to attend the event, which kicks off tomorrow. Simply click this link and select the free ticket type to redeem. But you’ll want to hurry because once they’re gone, they’re gone! Register now.