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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for October 6, 2021. We have an absolutely packed newsletter for you today. So no jokes up top from us, just a note that we’ve put out the agenda for TechCrunch Sessions: SaaS, and it’s looking mighty fine. – Alex
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Google boosts African investment: U.S. technology giant Google is investing $1 billion into the African continent to help hasten its digital transformation, including $50 million into local startups. African startup investment has been scaling in recent quarters, making Google’s news unsurprising, if welcome when we consider the uneven reality of global venture funding.
- Opportunities abound in Latin America’s burgeoning startup market: TechCrunch dug into where investors see gaps in the funding market for startups in Latin America today, discovering that while more upstart tech companies in the region are raising funds, there are still ample blind spots where intrepid investors can find deals.
- Twitch hacked: Amazon’s Twitch video streaming service was hacked, it confirmed today. Payout details, source code — the hack was more than a simple release of user data. It’s a pretty terrible moment for Twitch, its parent company and its vast user base. Change your passwords everyone, and then get a password manager.
There is a veritable flood of startup stories on the blog today, so we’re ditching our usual format and proceeding in a few discrete blocks of news. Enjoy!
- What do people think startups do with money that they raise? They spend it, in case you were curious, which leads to incredibly negative cash flow results at growing companies. That’s the goal — to invest raised funds in the name of revenue expansion. Which is what The Athletic has been doing with its venture funds.
- Here’s a host of early-stage rounds from startups we think are neat: BeeHero has raised $19 million in new capital to “find more uses for its one-of-a-kind collection of data collected from thousands of active honeybee hives.” Calgary-based CostCertified raised $8.4 million to help “contractors send a shoppable interactive estimate to homeowners so that they can choose their selections during a project.” Teen-focused neobank Copper Banking has closed $13.3 million across several rounds, TechCrunch reports. Matter put together $7 million in new funding to build a better reading application, which we are very curious about. Normative’s emissions accounting service raised €10 million from U.S. and European climate funds. Andreessen Horowitz and Coinbase Ventures put $260 million into Indian cryptocurrency trading house CoinSwitch Kuber, which is now worth $1.9 billion.
- Cloud migration and management tool Logicworks is homing in on $100 million in revenue.
- Our own Frederic Lardinois reports that Databricks has purchased German startup 8080 Labs. If you are not clear on why this matters, Lardinois writes that the startup in question is “behind bamboolib, a popular GUI for the Python-based Pandas data analysis and manipulation tool.” (Go public Databricks; stop putting off the inevitable!)
Getting the details right in your pitch deck
For the Pitch Deck Teardown at TechCrunch Disrupt, Managing Editor Danny Crichton reviewed two decks, “one consumer and one enterprise,” with three VCs:
- Maren Bannon, co-founder and managing partner, January Ventures
- Vanessa Larco, partner, NEA
- Ben Ling, founder and general partner, Bling Capital
Only the most exceptional pitch decks will receive more than a few minutes of attention, so Danny selected four slides “that provoked our panelists to show how VCs can have radically different views on the same material.”
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
Today in our big technology section we’re starting with an automotive competition and then digging into a raft of policy-focused stories that are shaping the global technology market.
- GM intends to double revenue, take Tesla market share: By 2030, U.S. automotive company General Motors wants to double its revenues and “and take over the market share of EVs,” TechCrunch reports. Naturally, Tesla will have something to say about the latter goal, but it’s nice to see the North American EV market get more competitive.
- To do that, the company plans electric trucks, crossovers: Popular ICE vehicles from GM will make an electric transition, with the company planning electric trucks and crossovers, it said during an event that detailed its future EV plans.
And now, PolicyCrunch:
- The U.K. rolls out new regulations for protecting youths on video apps: U.K. regulator Ofcom has new rules out “intended to protect users under 18 from harmful content such as hate speech and videos/ads likely to incite violence against protected groups.” The new guidelines will impact services like TikTok, Twitch and Snapchat.
- U.S.-based companies may have to disclose ransomware payments in future: It’s always risky to cover newly proposed laws, but they provide direction regarding future regulation. In this case, a newly proposed law would “compel businesses in the U.S. to disclose any ransomware payments within 48 hours of the transaction.” Which makes sense? Frankly? Now we just need something similar for data breaches.
- European Parliament backs ban on biometric mass surveillance: Worried that facial recognition is going to take over the world and that you will never be able to travel without being under scrutiny? Well, good news if you live in Europe, where there is a new call for lawmakers to “pass a permanent ban on the automated recognition of individuals in public spaces,” except in the case of those suspected of crimes.
TechCrunch Experts: Software Consulting and Growth Marketing
We recently added another vertical to the Experts project! If you have a software consultant that you think other startup founders should know about, fill out the survey here.
Read one of the testimonials we’ve received below!
Consultant: Appetiser Apps
Recommended by: Andre Eikmeier, founder of Good Empire
Testimonial: “They had a good reputation globally and had produced some good products. We also liked their flexible model — we were able to use our CTO to lead a team of six devs from the Appetiser team, with occasional UX/UI, product management and project management as needed; it was properly collaborative, not a blackbox agency arrangement. So we were able to build capability in-house at the same time, rather than dependency. [Working with them] allowed us to get a first iteration of product to market from scratch in three months. We were able to build iOS and Android versions simultaneously.”
We’re continuing to add content to our growth marketing vertical. Check out this article on TechCrunch+ from Danny Crichton: “As Apple messes with attribution, what does growth marketing look like in 2021?” If there’s a growth marketer you think we should know about, let us know.