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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for Tuesday, November 30, 2021! This is the last newsletter of the month, which means that tomorrow is December. Get ready for the last few weeks of news before the Christmas/holiday news freeze sets into place. There are still a few IPOs to go, so don’t log off yet! —Alex
The TechCrunch Top 3 4
- Nubank cuts IPO price range target: Bellwether Brazilian tech company Nubank has reduced its price range ahead of its public offering. In short, the neobank will sell its shares for less than it expected, lowering the size of its impending capital raise and also cutting its public-market valuation. TechCrunch dug into whether the news matters for Latin American startups more broadly. (More on the company’s economics here.)
- Facebook told to sell Giphy: Remember when Facebook bought Giphy, the GIF search engine? Well, the Competition and Markets Authority, the U.K.’s competition watchdog, is telling the U.S. social networking giant to reverse that purchase. A rare moment in which a major tech company is told no.
- Also, Facebook’s crypto exec is leaving: Another Facebook exec is taking off, crypto leader David Marcus. The news comes after “Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer announced he was stepping down from his role after 13 years at the company” this September, TechCrunch notes.
- Digital sales disappoint during shoppy fauxliday: After disappointing online sales on Black Friday led TechCrunch to look into e-commerce sales growth more generally, “consumer awareness of supply chain shortages and even earlier deals may have contributed to a slight decline in U.S. e-commerce sales during Cyber Week,” Sarah Perez reports.
Before we get into our daily digest of startup happenings, HashiCorp’s IPO is shaping up to be a right corker. The U.S. cloud infra management concern is targeting a pretty high price point for its shares, at least in revenue-multiples terms. Good news for open source startups more generally? We think so. (More on its economics here.)
- BeerOrCoffee raises $10M: Notably BeerOrCoffee is not an artisan, DTC, free-range consumer beverage outfit. Instead, the São Paulo-based startup offers flexible office space. TechCrunch dug into its operations and recent Series A raise.
- Money, attention or compute? Massive, a startup, wants to offer the world’s consumers a different way to pay for apps. Not with their currency (subscriptions) or attention (ads), but with their spare compute time. We had questions, but the model sounds pretty neat.
- Fundbox shows that SMBs can build unicorns: Forget the old VC rule that selling to SMBs is bad business. There are just too many successful startups out here looking to sell to small businesses for the old saw to be anything but toothless. Fundbox’s new $1.1 billion valuation is evidence of the fact, with the SMB-focused fintech adding nine figures to its accounts in a single gulp.
- The other way to make tech money from trucking: Sure, we read a lot about self-driving semis and how computers will soon drive our big trucks. But, in the meantime, CloudTrucks is raising a treasury to grow its software business aimed at trucking firms that still employ human drivers. The company just closed a massive $115 million Series B.
And for startups out there looking to raise, a little venture fund news for your diversion:
- Sapphire Ventures raises $2B: For its sixth main fund and third “opportunity “ fund, Sapphire Ventures has banked 10 figures worth of capital. That’s a Smaug-level haul, and indicative, I believe, that I will annoy the firm’s Jai Das at least four times per quarter in 2021 for notes on what he’s seeing in the market.
- Partech raises $750 million for second growth fund: Normally a venture capital concern raising hundreds of millions of dollars doesn’t get my pulse up even a single BPM. However, as Partech is based in Paris, I have to admit that I found the news more than a little notable. Recall when Europe’s startup scene was considered an also-ran? That was a while ago now.
3 views on Jack Dorsey’s decision to step down as Twitter’s CEO
Jack Dorsey was Twitter’s first CEO — and also its fourth.
He led the platform from its launch in 2006 until he passed the torch to co-founder Ev Williams two years later. In 2015, Dorsey returned to the role, even though he was simultaneously serving as CEO of fintech platform Square.
“There’s a lot of talk about the importance of a company being ‘founder-led,’” he wrote in a letter to employees.
“Ultimately I believe that’s severely limiting and a single point of failure. I’ve worked hard to ensure this company can break away from its founding and founders.”
The Equity podcast team discussed his departure in a TechCrunch+ post yesterday afternoon:
- Alex Wilhelm: A call to return to the old normal from the new normal
- Natasha Mascarenhas: A reset would rewrite how VCs and entrepreneurs do business
- Amanda Silberling: Founders aren’t rock stars
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
Today’s Big Tech news comes in two chunks. There’s the day’s news from huge tech concerns, and then there’s a whole mess of AWS-related news from our enterprise team.
- European AI regulation may lack teeth: Per our own Natasha Lomas, a collection of civil society organizations has come to the view that “draft legislation” in Europe “falls far short of protecting fundamental rights from AI-fueled harms like scaled discrimination and blackbox bias.”
- Mercedes invests in Factorial Energy: Sure, we could have put this entry in the startup section, but how frequently do we see the parent company of reigning F1 winning champions, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, in our pages? Infrequently. Regardless, Factorial is working on solid state batteries for cars, so you can see why the Silver Arrows corporate family was interested.
- Twitter cracks down on abusive image/video posting: In baby’s CEO’s first PR crisis, Twitter announced today that it is moving to “ban sharing images or videos of private individuals without their consent.” At issue is the fact that some video, well, will never get consent of say, the cops, despite being in the public interest. Twitter noted a public interest nuance, but some folks were still mad.
And then, the Amazon/AWS news deluge:
- Karpenter is a “new open source autoscaling tool for Kubernetes clusters.”
- SageMaker Canvas is a “no-code ML service.”
- AWS to highlight partners that “develop specialized solutions aimed at the energy industry.”
- AWS analytics are now serverless.
- There’s a new ML chip from Amazon, the Trn1.
- But that’s not all! Amazon’s cloud team also has a new ARM chip called the “Graviton 3.”
- And we have even more from AWS’ big shindig here, if that is your jam!
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