Facebook rolls out podcasts and Live Audio Rooms for US listeners – TechCrunch
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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for June 21, 2021. The tech industry is jumping all kinds of summer downturns. Facebook is going after Clubhouse and Spotify, India is still trying to manage its booming tech industry and everyone is fundraising. Additionally, we have notes on a new venture capital fund that has a certain twist. Let’s get into it! – Alexis
The Top 3 TechCrunch
- Facebook wants your voice: Facebook’s live audio service was released, putting Big Blue in competition with hot startup Clubhouse and Spotify. In the wake of Clubhouse’s super active in early 2021, a slew of big tech companies are looking to capture the magic the startup has managed to bottle. Facebook’s success in the Clubhouse game is unclear; So far, Facebook has yet to dominate the dating world, for example, making its entry into the live audio space more of potential than promise of dominance.
- Consumer fintech is doing well: New figures from European fintech unicorn Revolut dropped today, with TechCrunch Romain Dillet take a look at the company for our post. The bottom line is that Revolut had a deeply unprofitable 2020 year, but one that showed a real ramp towards smaller losses as it went. I’ve scribbled over the company’s numbers here, if that’s your thing.
- IPOs keep coming: Of course, we’re still waiting for Robinhood to file its case to go public, but after WalkMe’s public debut last week, new tech companies are approaching public procurement. Couchbase filed its case today, kicking off the process of floating the database software company backed by Accel, Mayfield and Ignition Partners. Expect more deposits in the coming weeks.
To keep an eye on both sides of the startup fundraising market, we occasionally strip VC news into its own section. Today is such a day. First, however, some startup news:
- $ 10 million for electric bikes: Ubco, a New Zealand-based electric utility bike startup, today announced a raise of $ 10 million. The company is best known for its Ubco 2X2, an “all-wheel-drive electric motorcycle that looks like an off-road motorcycle but rides like a moped” – and looks quite attractive. Urban transport is evolving as cities seek to limit their car footprint – and their carbon footprint. If trends continue, startups like Ubco could find themselves selling in a market that is moving in their direction.
- Consumers love debt: TechCrunch today announced that Kredivo, an Indonesian startup buy now, pay later (BNPL), has added $ 100 million to its credit facilities. The new access to capital doubles the amount of debt that Kredivo can access. The news illustrates both the appetite of global consumers for revamped debt products that transcend traditional credit cards, as well as the willingness of investors around the world to provide BNPL companies with ever greater access to capital. More on the subject here.
- Music licenses remain complicated, lucrative: When Ludacris said that emerging artists should “have an entertainment lawyer in the music profession,” he was not kidding. The musical world is complicated. Mechanical licenses, platform cuts, that’s a lot. And where there is complexity, there is opportunity. Songtradr just raised $ 50 million to help license music to “top names in advertising, movies, TV, games, etc.,” TechCrunch wrote on its last tour. Songtradr has now raised over $ 100 million to fund its efforts.
- Are the shoes still warm? SoleSavy supporters think so. They just put $ 12.5 million into the company’s Series A round. Unlike StockX – which is a big business these days – SoleSavy is not a retail market. Instead, it’s a company looking to build a community of sneakerheads. A community is like a subreddit, but on a different CMS and host, in case you forgot.
Venture Capital News
What school career generates the best entrepreneurs? All universities will tell you that they are the best. Many founders succeed without a diploma. The Academy Investor Network is betting that graduates of US military academies will prove lucrative. The fund just announced a $ 2.5 million anchor LP for its first fund, adding equity to Scout Ventures, of which co-founder Emily McMahan is a venture capital partner. She is teaming up with Sherman Williams to aim for an initial raise of $ 50 million.
Let’s see how far their thesis takes them. At least they can boast of having the best quality of cross-country skier in the world when it comes to rucking.
Seed is not the new A series
Usually, a teacher who marks the students on a curve stimulates the efforts of those who did not pass the test well. In the case of cloud companies, however, it’s the other way around.
In the first quarter of 2021, startups in this industry have a median Series A of around $ 8 million, reports PitchBook. With spins over $ 100 million increasingly common, company valuations are steadily running into the billions.
Andy Stinnes, general partner of Cloud Apps Capital Partners, says founders who fall between angel investors and Series A should look for satisfied investors with $ 200,000 to $ 500,000 in ARR. Usually a specialized company, these VCs are open to betting on startups that have not yet found a product suitable for the market.
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Big Tech Inc.
India’s tech scene faces increased government scrutiny: India’s e-commerce industry is huge, with Amazon and Walmart battling domestic companies – or buying them, in the case of Flipkart and Walmart – for market share in a growing market. All the activity gives rise to complaints and possible government intervention. TechCrunch reported today that India “has proposed … to ban flash sales on e-commerce platforms and prevent their affiliates from being listed as sellers as the South Asian market seeks to tighten further the rules”.
The Indian government is also busy fighting Twitter, as we have reported at length.
Germany is not enthusiastic about Apple: With a fourth investigation opened, this time involving Apple, German oversight of competition in the tech world has risen a few more degrees today. In the case of the Big Phone, the government body “will determine whether or not the iPhone maker meets the threshold of the updated German competition law.” If Apple does so, it would allow the country’s government to “proactively intervene” in the business of the company.
Apple is also catching fire in its home market for what some see as a brutal tactic regarding its mobile app ecosystem, a market the Cupertino-based company is moderating and extracting from rents.
Uber buys Cornershop: Today is a milestone day for tech startups in Latin America, as the American ride-sharing giant has agreed to buy the 47% of Cornershop it doesn’t own. The price? 29 million Uber shares. That’s roughly $ 1.3 billion in Uber shares.
The auto service and delivery mogul bought Postmates last year, adding to its ability to offer more than just commutes. The purchase of Cornershop fits in with the thesis because the smaller company is also in the delivery market.
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