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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for August 10, 2021. Today we have all kinds of goodies for you: Apple’s stance on privacy, cannabis technology, and even some crypto-focused articles. Have fun.
Also note that Salesforce’s Kathy Baxter is coming to TC: SaaS sessions to talk about AI, which is going to be a hoot. – Alexis
The Top 3 TechCrunch
- Apple makes its case for confidentiality: In a TechCrunch interview with Erik Neuenschwander, Apple’s Privacy Officer, our own Matthew Panzarino asked about Cupertino’s imminent software deployment of a method to detect certain abusive content. Apple’s move sparked an uproar among privacy-conscious groups.
- We need more technology in the event of a disaster: This is Danny Crichton’s thesis after reading the latest IPCC report on climate change and considering the time he has devoted to building tech startups to better respond to fires, floods and other forms of natural harms from more and more common. If you were looking for a market where you could start a business and tell the difference, it could be your jam.
- Salesforce announces Salesforce +: And yes, it’s kind of a streaming network. For context, Salesfoce hosted an annual in-person event called Dreamforce. Then the pandemic struck. Now Salesforce is looking to build a home for Dreamforce Online and expand its overall video and content mission by producing more stuff, more often. The streaming service, which will focus on commercial topics, will be free when it launches later this year.
Startups / VC
- Speaking of climate change: A startup called 44.01 just closed a $ 5 million funding round. What is the money used for? The company’s technology that turns carbon dioxide into stones. The process, called mineralization, is known but not on a commercial scale. If 44.01 is successful, that might change.
- In case you thought college kids had too much to do: Kiwibot, maker of a cute little robot capable of delivering food, “announced a partnership with restaurant and facilities management giant Sodexo to bring its robots to US college campuses.” Now students can ingest substances and no need to go look for said vittles themselves. It makes me both jealous and a little cranky to be old.
- The auto insurance comparison app is growing again: Jerry, who raised a $ 28 million Series B just a few months ago, is back with another bigger round. This time it’s a $ 75 million Series C. Jerry, who has created an app for users to compare insurance options, is in competitive territory. But given its new round, we presume it has found an angle in its market that has so far proven to be lucrative.
- The Hyundai Self-Driving Car Program Comes to Los Angeles: Motional, a joint effort of Aptiv and Hyundai, is bringing its self-driving cars to Los Angeles via a new facility for testing. What’s funny about this news in particular is that there are so many stand-alone businesses that I can’t keep them straight. Which means maybe one of them will fix the problem and I’ll never have to drive again.
- Surfside Raises $ 4 Million For Cannabis Marketing Technology: Guess I didn’t realize cannabis needed any marketing help as it seems to sell pretty well. But all the same, with a myriad of smaller cannabis brands starting up as the United States and other markets work to decriminalize the drug, Surfside is developing technology that can help them get to market.
- In case you need a little more, TechCrunch has taken a look at how many crypto exchanges fundraising. Call it the Coinbase effect.
What is driving the global surge in retail media spending?
As the pandemic has changed consumer behavior and regulations have started to reshape digital marketing tools, advertisers are turning to retail media.
Using the reams of data collected at the individual and aggregate level, retail media produces high-margin revenue streams. “And like most things, there is a bad, a good and a much better way of doing things,” advises Cynthia Luo, marketing manager at Epsilo, e-commerce marketing stack.
(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams move forward. You can register here.)
Big Tech Inc.
- OpenAI’s coding tool gets upgrades: The team behind GPT3 built something called Codex, which was designed to turn text into code. Now, with a few improvements, this could be a service that even non-developers could use. It is entering private beta. Honestly, I can’t wait to try this and see what I can build.
- Amazon will count users for defective products sold by third parties: For purchases under $ 1,000, if a third party sells a defective good on Amazon, the megacorp will reimburse customers directly. This is a great upgrade. And will provide a natural incentive for Amazon to clean up its market of substandard products.
- Robinhood acquires Say Technologies: Today, in a $ 140 million all-cash deal, Robinhood announced it will acquire Say Technologies, which provides software that connects investors and the state-owned companies they have backed. You can see how the model could fit right into Robinhood, perhaps making its service stand out from a set of similar companies offering low cost and zero cost trading services.
- Venmo users can now recover crypto instead of cash: If you use a Venmo credit card, you will be able to get money back in the form of cryptocurrency instead of cash. You know, if you wanted to increase the risk in your portfolio slightly. All kidding aside, this is a cool feature and shows how the major C2C payment platforms can continue to find their way into the crypto market.
TechCrunch Experts: Growth Marketing
We reach out to startup founders to tell us who they turn to for the most up-to-date growth marketing practices. Complete the survey here.
Read one of the testimonials below from a Nigeria-based growth agency.
Trader: Bili Sule, alGROWithm
Recommended by: Femi Aiki, Foodlocker
Testimony : “Bili has a proven track record in growth, as a former VP of Growth Marketing at Jumia Nigeria and as a Senior Growth Consultant for Founders Factory Africa. She is able to cut through the jargon / vanity metrics and has found a way to generate consistent and reliable growth for us. What’s unique about Bili’s approach is that its strategy goes beyond just marketing. She is data driven and takes an iterative experimental approach to unlock growth in various business pillars, from marketing to product and operations.