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Greetings on this fine Thursday. We are still reeling about Elon Musk and the twins. Connie has more on that. Amanda also covered the verdict in the case against Theranos’ Sunny Balwani. Meanwhile, if you are a startup founder, don’t forget to apply to be a part of the Startup Battlefield 200. The submission date is July 31. See you tomorrow! — Christine
The TechCrunch Top 3
- More to the story: Manish is back with more information on the Vivo saga. Now China’s embassy in India is saying that all of these investigations that India is doing into Chinese firms are bad for business. Perhaps, or maybe it is India being cautious.
- Level up your avatar: Reddit is getting deeper into the NFT game by launching a new avatar marketplace, Ivan writes. The advantages? You don’t need a crypto wallet to buy one, and you can use it on or off Reddit.
- Check out that valuation: YuLife pumped up its valuation to $800 million after securing $120 million in new funding, Ingrid reports. The life insurance company, which has a wellness and gamification focus, was previously valued at $70 million. Talk about your good business models!
Startups and VC
Over in this section, Mary Ann has yet another update on the saga she has been following this year, namely Better.com. In today’s episode, she writes about all of the new hires who have joined the digital mortgage lender over the past few months, one that even called it a “rebirth.”
How many apps do you use at your company? If it is the average, that’s about 110, according to statistics. Happeo raised $26 million to create an intranet portal for your company to connect employees with all of the apps, Kyle writes. That should make you happy, er Happeo.
Here’s what else we have for you:
- Invoice this: Mary Ann also wrote about invoice software startup Adaptive’s $6.5 million raise, led by Andreessen Horowitz, which ironically included three companies that all compete with one another.
- Another one gets the horn: Tebra, an operating system for independent healthcare providers, is now a unicorn after taking in over $72 million in equity and debt, Catherine writes.
- Tebra, Traba; Traba, Tebra: If the Great Resignation taught us anything, it’s that people are looking for flexible options, even entry-level ones. Kyle reports on Traba’s $20 million raise to match contractors with warehouse and fulfillment jobs.
- No venture capital apocalypse yet: I enjoyed Alex’s look at how the U.S. was faring during the global venture capital market slowdown.
- From beds to insurance: Jordan’s report on insurance startup Ranger’s $5.25 million round answers the question of what former Casper CEO Philip Krim has been doing since he left the bed company.
- Super growth from superplants: Please enjoy my story on Fyto, a hardware and software company helping farmers grow aquatic plants using robotic automation.
- Who’s calling who a “dinosaur”?: Mike reports that Headline VC may have been in the venture capital game since 1999, but armed with $950 million in new commitments across three funds, it is still proving it’s more like the Energizer Bunny than a fossil.
Roe reversal weighs heavily on emerging tech cities in red states
On June 24, Khadijah Robinson planned to offer a woman a job. As founder of the Atlanta-based tech startup Nile, she spent 3 years scaling the platform, which connects consumers to Black online businesses. That Friday, she was thrilled to finally find someone willing to relocate from California to Georgia to help grow the company.
But by early afternoon, the offer was on hold: The U.S. Supreme Court had overturned Roe v. Wade just a few hours before, and that worried Robinson. “As a founder and CEO, I now have to think long and hard about asking women to relocate to a state that will likely legislate against them very soon,” she tweeted. “I’m so tired.”
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
In today’s Big Tech news, Meta took a new step in moving away from Facebook logins as its metaverse ID system, Lucas reports. One of the advantages is not needing Facebook credentials to play games and to use the Quest software. Speaking of Quest, Amanda gives you a look at Meta’s next VR headset. Meanwhile, Natasha provides an update on Ireland’s Data Protection Commission drafting a decision related to Meta’s data transfer between the U.K. and the U.S.
As you can tell, we like to follow a good saga here at TechCrunch, and Annie delivers another one, providing us with an update on Flutterwave. The company is now denying the claims made against it for money laundering and fraud.
More from us:
- This ain’t good: Zack and Carly teamed up to write about a big police data leak in China that may have exposed…basically every one of its residents.
- Hail to the new chief: Anita writes that Binance.US got itself a new CFO.
- If you’re blue in a red state, you might want to pay attention: Dominic-Madori and Becca Szkutak co-authored a TechCrunch+ article that talked to company founders in blue emerging tech hubs in red states and how the Roe v. Wade decision is affecting their ability to recruit new talent.
- Blue light special in aisle five: In shopping news, we have Aisha’s report on Pinterest launching new shopping features for merchants and Lauren’s story on Amazon tapping into influencers to boost sales during this year’s Prime Day. We also aren’t forgetting about Instacart’s new rewards program.
- Pedal to the metal: We also have a bunch of car news to rev you up, starting with Jaclyn’s pair of stories on Volkswagen breaking ground on the first of its new battery factories and a report that there is still a quarter of people who aren’t jazzed about electric vehicles. Meanwhile, Kirsten writes about U.S. safety regulators opening a special investigation into a San Francisco automobile crash involving a Cruise autonomous vehicle.