To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3 p.m. PDT, subscribe here.
It’s Friday, and that means… Actually, we don’t even really know what that means anymore, other than that we’re going to sit in the sunshine and bask in the very last few days of warm weather before it becomes time to be envious of the antipodeans for the next six months. — Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Fashionably late: Epic Games liked distributed computing startup Hadean so much that it didn’t want to miss out on a chance to back it. Paul has more on how Epic was able to get in on the $30 million Series A investment and why.
- From bland to bling: Life insurance is not often an exciting topic, but Strava co-founder Mark Shaw believes he has found a way to “zhuzh” it up with Inclined, a company lending against whole life insurance policies, Mary Ann writes. The company is now flush with a $15 million Series A.
- Shopping for healthcare: Healthcare is a complicated web of doctors, labs and payers that rarely seems to connect. Kenyan startup Ponea Health is out to change that with its healthcare marketplace offering that brings everyone together, Annie reports.
Startups and VC
The crypto market is flooded with centralized (Binance, FTX) and decentralized ETH-based perpetuals and options trading platforms (Dydx, Opyn, Perpetual Protocol). Nibiru is attempting to build the first mainstream decentralized multichain solution. The company was co-founded by Tribe Capital GP Arjun Sethi, and just raised $7.5 million in seed funding at a valuation of $100 million, Manish reports.
A cloud kitchen — also known as a ghost kitchen or a shared kitchen — offers restaurant owners and food entrepreneurs a commercial kitchen space at a reduced cost for food delivery and takeout. A Manila-headquartered startup called CloudEats, which operates cloud kitchens across the Philippines and Vietnam, just raised a $7 million Series A extension to accelerate the digitization of food service in Southeast Asia, Kate reports.
Here’s a few more…
- Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real?: Rita reports that SerMorpheus wants to make NFTs an everyday sight in Indonesia.
- When the un-fundable get funded: Today’s Equity podcast episode was particularly rad; check it out: When VCs fund the thing you didn’t think they’d ever fund.
- The check’s in the mail: Manish reports that Byju clears $230 million payment to Blackstone (which had been due for a while) for its $1 billion Aakash deal.
- Hit the deck: On Deck tried to do it all. Now it’s trying to do less, but better, Natasha M reports.
- Hit the other deck: Haje talked with the DocSend team about looking at 320 pitch decks, and what statistics tell us makes a great pitch deck.
8 investors discuss what’s ahead for reproductive health startups in a post-Roe world
Dominic-Madori Davis surveyed eight investors about the role venture capital might play in this new era where Americans no longer have the legal right to obtain an abortion.
The Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision affected more than healthcare and personal privacy: Will capital and talent flee U.S. states that restrict reproductive rights? Will investors back more startups that expand healthcare access?
Given “the tenuous relationship between venture money and ethics,” Dominic-Madori asked the group how they plan to exert influence — and how they prefer to be approached by entrepreneurs:
- Hessie Jones, partner, MATR Ventures
- Lisa Calhoun, Gary Peat and William Leonard, Valor Ventures
- Mecca Tartt, executive director, Startup Runway
- Ed Zimmerman, founding partner, First Close Partners
- Theodora Lau, founder, Unconventional Ventures
- McKeever Conwell, founder, RareBreed Ventures
Recently on TechCrunch+:
- The case for US venture capital outperformance by John Zic and Shachi Shah
- In Latin America, founders and investors seek to balance caution and optimism by Julio Vasconcellos
TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead of the pack. You can sign up here. Use code “DC” for a 15% discount on an annual subscription!
Big Tech Inc.
Who knew a baseball simulation game would catch on so well in the height of a pandemic? The Game Band certainly did. Amanda speaks with the makers of Blaseball about how they are building the game for the future.
- Breaking in a new show: If you’re a fan of “Breaking Bad,” the show’s creator announced a new show for Apple TV+, Ivan writes.
- Clapping back: The California Civil Rights Department is now looking at a countersuit from Tesla after a judge refused to dismiss a case involving racial bias at the electric car giant. Rebecca has more.
- New chief: Former Google ad executive Allan Thygesen has a new gig: serving as DocuSign’s new CEO, Ron reports.
- No supply shortage here: Jaclyn reports on GM Ventures’ new investment in Lithion Recycling, a Canadian battery recycler, to keep the juice flowing for GM’s fleet of electric vehicles.
- Urgent message: Elections are happening in Italy on Sunday, and the country is nervous about election interference measures, so it fired off a message to Meta requesting information on how Facebook plans to manage this, Natasha L writes.