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.
Greetings on this fine Tuesday. There was a lot of news today, so I’m not going to waste time and instead will get right to what you came here for. — Christine.
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Taking telehealth’s temperature: Amazon is getting back into telehealth with Amazon Clinic, a marketplace for third-party virtual consultants that will initially launch in 32 states, Ingrid reports. Yes, we know it’s been a few short months since the delivery giant shut down its Amazon Care telehealth service, but as Ingrid writes, this is the company’s chance to provide care that may be a bit more complex for the corner drugstore, but not as necessary for what could be an expensive doctor’s visit.
- Heating things up: Impulse isn’t able to light a physical fire under consumers to get them to try out its stovetop, but now with its $20 million cash injection, it can heat up the competition with its induction technology. Haje has more.
- UPI XOXO: This is the moment that India has been waiting for — Google Play finally adds United Payments Interface subscriptions, Jagmeet writes.
Startups and VC
Most of us live and die by our calendar, but Vimcal thinks we shouldn’t have to spend that much time creating the actual event. Ivan writes that this “nifty calendar app” will have you entering a new event and even providing scheduling options in just a few steps. Oh, and it also has a desktop version.
Pucker up, robot enthusiasts! Pickle brought in $26 million in new funding to continue developing its truck unloading robots, which Brian writes is one of the “links in the chain that remains one of the least addressed.”
And we have five more for you:
- Time for your close-up: AI-powered media editing app Descript grabs $50 million for its software that the company says more easily enables audio and visual transcriptions for podcasters and videographers, Kyle writes.
- Scalable ventures: The International Finance Corp. launched a $225 million platform that will back early-stage startups in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, Annie reports.
- With a name like this…: MotherDuck picks up $47.5 million in an Andreessen Horowitz–led round to commercialize open source DuckDB, Kyle writes.
- No tooling around: Retool is back again with Workflows, which makes it easier for developers to automate certain processes on the back end, reports Frederic.
- W-O-M-A-N: Women’s healthcare benefits company Maven took in $90 million and is now valued at $1.35 billion. Natasha M has more.
5 sustainable best practices for bootstrapped startups
For founders interested in building on their own, maintaining control and staying off the fundraising treadmill for as long as possible, investor/entrepreneur Marjorie Radlo-Zandi sets out five basic principles for bootstrapped founders in her latest TC+ article.
“Don’t be tempted to hop on a plane at a moment’s notice to meet potential customers in glamorous locations or for meetings in far-flung locations,” she writes. “Your bootstrapped business likely will not survive such big, optional financial outlays.”
Bootstrapped founders face longer odds, but if they can drive growth and reach product-market fit, “fundraising will be that much easier.”
Three more from the TC+ team:
- Putting the squeeze on NFTs: There may be a real NFT downturn, but Alex and Anna say there’s still some juice to be had in the market.
- Plugged in: Tim reports on WeaveGrid’s $35 million Series B and its technology that wants to help the electrical grid cope with the increased popularity of electric vehicles.
- FOMO could give you nightmares: Dominic-Madori and Ron have an enjoyable read about what happens when venture capitalists who missed getting in on a deal start throwing money at similar companies in hopes that it succeeds, too.
Big Tech Inc.
Alibaba’s logistics arm, Cainiao, is stretching out its arms to hug Latin America, which it hopes will fill some of the gap left by a Chinese commerce slowdown, Rita reports. The e-commerce giant started delivering goods in Brazil earlier this year and has plans to boost its presence in the country over the next three years.
Netflix wants to help you get someone off of your account, no matter who it is and if they know your password. The streaming company has a new feature that lets subscribers kick devices off their accounts, meaning it will forcibly log a device out of that account, Lauren writes.
And we have four more for you:
- Other WhatsApp execs leave: A few weeks ago, Meta India chief Ajit Mohan quit the company to join rival Snap, and now WhatsApp India head Abhijit Bose and Meta India public policy director Rajiv Aggarwal have also quit, Jagmeet reports.
- Mo’ music, no mo’ problems: YouTube Short creators used to be able to include only 15 seconds of music and sounds, but now that has been raised to 60 seconds, Sarah writes.
- Material girl: Redwood Materials and Panasonic struck up a multi-billion-dollar deal where Redwood will provide Panasonic with cathode material, Kirsten reports.
- We couldn’t leave you and not include some Twitter news: Renato Monteiro has a new role at Twitter as acting data protection officer, Natasha L writes. This move comes after key privacy and security executives left the company last week.