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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for November 15, 2021! We have a ton to chat through, but first, briefly: We’re having a sale! Yep, you get a hefty discount on TechCrunch+ here, which I am happy to share because saving money is good. As is supporting your friendly local tech blog! OK, let’s talk news. — Alex
The TechCrunch Top 3
- More money to reinvent cards: Startup card plays are popular enough that TechCrunch wrote a digest on when they make sense. But there’s still more to be done in the space, reckons Imprint, which just bagged $38 million for its consumer-brand debit card effort, including funds from Kleiner Perkins and Stripe.
- Casper says “boo” to public markets, plans exit: After a tumultuous run, DTC mattress company — and former venture-backed startup — Casper is leaving the public markets for $6.90 per share, cash. The price is a steep premium on its previous share price though does little to provide a positive signal for the DTC space given its basement-level implied revenue multiple.
- Utah’s tech scene stays hot: It’s been a good year for Utah startups. Qualtrics went public. Divvy sold for $2.5 billion. Weave went public. Now Podium has added just over $200 million to its accounts at a valuation of $3 billion. It was once a surprise that Utah was building a burgeoning tech scene, but in today’s more global startup world, the state is merely yet another success story when it comes to fostering upstart tech shops.
- Can you build a startup aimed at the battery supply chain? Mitra Future Technologies and Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social Capital think so. The startup wants to “boost the North American battery supply chain industry that’s currently dominated by China by producing an iron-based cathode for non-Chinese applications.” Heck yes.
- SOS raises $3.4M for women’s health-focused vending machines: SOS is building a network of vending machines supplying health and hygiene products, replacing “the perennial problem of broken, out-of-stock tampon machines,” TechCrunch reports. The company intends to roll out advertising products and more hardware.
- Mixpanel returns to fundraising after long break: After blasting to scale early in its life, Mixpanel found itself stuck between startup and public company. Now, seven years after its last round, the software company has added $200 million to its accounts via a Series C. Call it a comeback? Our own Ron Miller has even more on the Mixpanel turnaround here.
- Virtuoso raises more money for automated software testing: If you combine machine learning and RPA and point the hybrid at software testing, you get Virtuoso, a U.K.-based startup that just raised $13.3 million in a round led by Paladin Capital. Not to turn this into a D&D joke, but we suppose that Virtuoso has to run lawful good from here on out.
- Vertical SaaS still finding places to deploy code: The work to bring industry-tailored software products to market is not slowing down, it appears. Today’s evidence is Monograph raising $20 million in a Series B for its “cloud-based platform for architecture and design professionals to manage their projects,” TechCrunch reports.
- Aplazo raises $527M for BNPL in Mexico: The Mexican startup market is crossing my radar more and more often. A good example came today with Aplazo’s new funding round, an event that comes just four months after it raised $5.25 million. Such rapid-fire funding was rare once in Silicon Valley. Today, hot startups around the world can access more capital than ever.
- To close out our startup coverage today, Zoomo has raised $60 million for its e-bike subscription service. We love the idea that the Aussie EV company is working on. Cars are bad for the environment and take up too much room in cities. How about electric bikes?
Offer decks and other fresh tips for startup hiring
Most new startups operate with a hybrid workforce, but that doesn’t guarantee that hiring processes have kept pace.
In a panel discussion at TechCrunch Disrupt, Managing Editor Eric Eldon interviewed Jaime Bott, talent partner at Sequoia, Tawni Nazario-Cranz, operating partner at SignalFire, and Doris Tong, founder and CEO of EQ Talent Group to learn more about recent shifts in recruiting.
It’s not just engineering talent that’s in high demand: With so many startups staffing up, “there aren’t enough senior people to hire overall in the world,” Eric writes.
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
- Snap keeps landing content deals: After announcing NBCUniversal the other week, social network Snapchat has closed a deal with Sony Music, bringing the latter’s IP into the app’s Sound Library. A bit odd of a move for a camera company? Not when TikTok has shown the power of tunes fused to the creativity of the crowd.
- In good news, Twitter has updated its web interface to prevent the disappearing tweet problem. We can file this story in the “Dang, Twitter’s product team really did find a new gear, huh” section of the site.
- Sticking to Twitter: The company has acquired Threader as part of its larger, subscription-focused Twitter Blue project.
- And to close us out, Tesla is adding Starlink hubs to Supercharger stations. In the future, you may be able to sit in your car and work while you charge your ride. I do not know if this counts as corporate ~ synergy ~ but it is close.
Are you all caught up on last week’s coverage of growth marketing and software development? If not, read it here.
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