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Hello and welcome to the Daily Crunch on Thursday March 24th, 2022! I’m happy to share that hey takes over the startup section of the day as he will be sharing the Daily Crunch writing load starting next week (along with Christine)! A big thank you to both of you for stepping in and accepting this lovely letter.
Before we start the news rundown, a few house announcements. Our The newest podcast, Chain Reaction, is now live! It focuses on the crypto world and features Luke Matney and Anita Ramaswamy. And from the event world, Early Bird Prices for TechCrunch Sessions: Mobility is nearing the endand You can sign up for our upcoming Austin Shindig here. Now to work! – Alex
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Hacker group Lapsus$ hit by arrests: British police made seven arrests after it became known that a minor could be at the center of the Lapsus$ hacking group. The cybercrime world is lucrative, but the arrests underscore that governments are finding some of the culprits trying to extort money from companies and individuals alike.
- Instacart becomes software: Few companies have had a better pandemic than Instacart. The company saw rapid growth in the opening year of COVID-19, as consumers turned to its service for groceries delivered to their homes during the lockdown. Then, in 2021, the company’s growth slowed. In a bid to reignite growth and potentially generate higher-margin revenue, Instacart released a software suite this week. Our first reading is that the news makes a lot of sense.
- Russia blocks Google News: Search giant Google confirmed that “Russians are having trouble accessing its news aggregator service Google News in the country.” The move comes after the Russian government blocked other non-Russian tech companies within its borders. Given that Internet access restrictions and authoritarianism go hand in hand, the news comes as no great surprise. But it underscores the growing digital fallout from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Startups and VCs
The startup ecosystem has traditionally been less friendly to founders and investors, however Mimi Aboubaker argues that things are not as bad as the general narrative suggests. We still have a long way to go, however A deep dive into the data shows that we’re making a little progress.
Reviews are valuable — there’s a trend for people sharing their salaries with their peers, in part to keep bosses honest about gender pay gaps. We’re seeing a similar trend with startups sharing their reviews. Simetrik rises at a valuation of $100 million, Digits rise to half a billionand RapidAPI grows to a billion are some recent examples. Trust me; Your competitors will know which review you collected on anyway, and you can help some of your fellow entrepreneurs by sharing your fundraiser reviews with reporters. (And journalists love it!)
As a fan of circular hardware, I am pleased that Oura continues his quest to create a ring to rule them all, a ring to find them, a ring to bring them all and bind them in the darkness. In the land of Mordor, where the shadows lie, the company announced today that it is sends its millionth ring. My darling.
Other great things happening across the startup ecosystem:
Oh, and don’t miss it brianis excellent Actuator Newsletterreleased today, scanning the world of robotics for any sign of confidence just in case we need to prepare for a Skynet invasion. Subscribe to this – and all other TC newsletters – here!
Using data to solve the most pressing problems facing today’s banking customers
Banks and fintechs have access to more data than ever before, but many of the benefits have flowed in one direction.
Inflation and stagnant wages are limiting consumers’ ability to save, but services like “buy now, pay later” are making it much easier to spend.
To offer customers more financial support, “modern banks can use data and build trust to improve the financial health of consumers,” writes Uday Akkaraju, CEO of fintech firm Bond.ai.
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead. Here you can sign up.)
We often start our startup coverage with a group, so why not do the same with our Big Tech notes today? Let’s talk about mobility. First, Uber landed a deal of sorts to list cabs on its app in New York City. The Uber vs. Taxi saga has been long, winding, and complex. But honestly, I didn’t see this news coming. nextup, LG will boost battery production in the United States with a $1.4 billion investment, which seems to be good news. And bird that recently listed e-scooter companyis test solutions for people who need other ways to get around. What we are more than here for.
- You can’t stop apps: While Apple disputes with some countries (like Holland) and company (like Epic Games) via access to and payment for its own application marketplace, the larger app economy has continued to grow. TechCrunch reports that the first quarter of 2022 saw around 37 billion downloads and $33 billion worth of consumer spending. That’s a lot – and why Apple wants to stick to its rents.
- Coinbase keeps pushing into India: As the Indian government works to figure out how to tax the crypto world, companies are not slowing down their role. TechCrunch writes that US crypto trading giant Coinbase is “starting to support UPI and IMPS payment instruments in India.” Why does that matter? This means that the company’s “crypto exchange”. [is] broadly functional for the first time in years on the second largest internet market in the world,” according to our own Manic Singh.
- Added Weibo to delisting watchlist: A dispute over accounting standards regarding US-listed Chinese companies could lead to Weibo’s delisting, TechCrunch reports. Often referred to as China’s Twitter, Weibo is worth about $6 billion today, or roughly $26 a share. In 2018, it was worth almost $140 per share. The history of Chinese companies on US stock markets is one of exuberance that was later replaced by uncertainty.
Wearable health tracker Oura has sold more than a million rings – TechCrunch Source link Wearable health tracker Oura has sold more than a million rings – TechCrunch