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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for November 29, 2021! It’s Monday, we’re back, you are back and the news is back. If you had hoped that the post-Thanksgiving, pre-holiday break period was going to be relaxed, no dice. As you have already seen in the subject line, we have a lot to get into. —Alex
P.S. We’re having a little Cyber Monday sale for TechCrunch Sessions: Space tickets!
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Jack logs off: From Twitter’s CEO role, that is. This morning, double-CEO Jack Dorsey announced that he will bounce from his perch atop Twitter, handing off the chief executive reins to the company’s CTO. TechCrunch’s take is that the elevation of Parag Agrawal to the top role bodes well for the company’s larger crypto efforts.
- Clearview AI irks U.K.: While we may disagree with the United Kingdom on what to call the trunk of a car or its hood, we can agree with the island nation that Clearview AI is not our favorite company. The facial recognition shop has been given a “provisional notice” that it is to “stop further processing of U.K. citizens’ data and to delete any data it already holds.” It’s also set to receive a fine.
- Is e-commerce growth slowing? New data from the fake U.S. shopping holiday “Black Friday” showed lower digital spending than in 2020. TechCrunch added to that data point by trawling a series of recent disappointing earnings from e-commerce companies to wonder if the online market for selling stuff is seeing its growth slow.
- Positive social networking? What if your social network was a series of self-improvement challenges that you could undertake and then share results with your friends? That’s what startup Alms is cooking up. It’s something akin to the anti-Twitter, we reckon.
- Yassir wants to build the North African super app: Flush with a $30 million Series A, Yassir’s service that provides things like ride-hailing and delivery is building a huge marketplace for its region. The “super app for geographic region X” is a fun model to take on, as it is good in that the TAM is huge, but tough in that point-solution competitors could prove tough to beat.
- Today in great opening paragraphs: Our own Rebecca Bellan has a brilliant way of explaining what Foundry Lab, which just raised an $8 million round and came out of stealth earlier today, is building. So, instead of paraphrasing, here is the paragraph in its entirety:
Remember Easy Bake Ovens? You’d mix up some colored powder and water until a dough or batter formed, put it in a mold, pop it in the oven and before you knew it — ding! A disgusting treat. Foundry Lab, a New Zealand-based startup with backing from Rocket Lab’s Peter Beck, has figured out how to do something similar, except instead of chemicals and an “oven,” it’s metals and a microwave.
- YallaMarket hopes that quick commerce is a global wave: Sure, there are 2,349 companies competing for quick delivery of goods in the U.K., but YallaMarket is betting that the model will also scale across the Middle East. It has raised just a few million thus far but is a company to keep tabs on.
- If cloud is good, are clouds better? One of our two enterprise gurus, Ron Miller, has a post up today about Upbound. The gist is that the company has built a tool that helps companies manage their multi-cloud setup. Why multi-cloud? Per Ron, because companies today don’t want to get locked into a single provider. Makes sense. Upbound just raised $60 million.
- Thought Machine raises $200M: B2B cloud banking concern Thought Machine is now a unicorn. Uncork the sparkling apple juice. We might yammer on more regarding the valuation threshold that the startup has reached, but, it was not alone:
- Today in Tiger: Two rounds today! First, Indian credit card startup Slice is now a unicorn. And, in evidence that no startup name can be too dumb to succeed — hello “Google” and “TechCrunch” — Mr Yum has raised $65 million for its mobile ordering service.
- I have to stop, but there was even more announced today, including rounds from FJDynamics and Motorway.
Product-led growth and signal substitution syndrome: Bringing it all together
“Practitioners tend to see each new source of information about their potential buyers — each signal type — as a substitute for the last one that didn’t work,” according to Kerry Cunningham, senior principal at account engagement platform 6sense.
Embracing a product-led growth mindset allows organizations to look at users as signals, “just like form-fill leads, de-anonymized website traffic, visitors to your booth, and the rest,” says Cunningham.
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Big Tech Inc.
- Facebook whistleblower to chat about Section 230 with Congress: The leaker of a great number of internal Facebook documents will testify in front of Congress regarding U.S. laws relating to content moderation and the hosting of speech online. We are sure that Congress will ask substantive questions this time.
- AWS wants to help robots: The major cloud computing platforms are a lot more than store-and-compute services. AWS has a new project called RoboRunner that wants to help fleets of robots work together more intelligently, for example. Also keep in mind that both AWS and Azure offer “ground station as a service” for satellite companies.
- Today in big deals: One major bucket of hungry capital (Francisco Partners) is selling a morsel from its table (Quest Software) to another pile of cash (Clearlake Capital). The deal is worth $5.4 billion, far more than Francisco paid for the “legacy security vendor” back in 2012.
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