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Hello, and welcome to the beginning of another week. As mentioned last Friday, Haje is off scuba diving, leaving the rest of us to pick up the Twitter and FTX pieces. No bother, we are here for you. Mary Ann starts us off by reporting on SoftBank writing down an almost $100 million investment into FTX. And with that, let’s dig in! — Christine
The TechCrunch Top 3
- This FTX business has wide reach: Tage reports on what happens to a young company that held some assets in FTX and now can’t access them due to, well, you know. In this instance, African web3 startup Nestcoin said it had to lay off employees as a result of not having that access.
- A true comparison: Now people in Europe can know the joy and wonder that is the Klarna price comparison tool, which Paul writes may just be a “credible alternative to Google and Amazon.”
- Oops: Bird, a micromobility company, told the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had included unpaid customer rides in its revenue, thus having overstated that particular number for two years. Jaclyn has more.
Startups and VC
At this point, we all expect our data to move pretty quickly, but there is so much of it that it’s still a headache. This is where Quix comes in, Mike writes. The real-time data startup grabbed $12.9 million in Series A funding, not to do this with ksqlDB, Java-based solutions or any of those fancy schmancy SQL-based analytics solutions. Oh no, Quix is developing event-driven applications with Python.
And we have five more for you:
- The show must go on: Just because FTX is having issues doesn’t mean other companies are shying away from association. Jacquelyn reports on the Joepegs NFT marketplace, which raised $5 million in a round co-led by FTX and Avalanche.
- “Adult friendships are fickle beasts”: Indeed they are, but have no fear, 222 will help you find that perfect friend who doesn’t care that you make more than they do or who “tends to be lazy,” if that’s what you’re into, Kyle writes.
- Singapore, get your exotic taste buds ready: Vow, an Australian-based cultured meat company, gobbled up $49.2 million in Series A funding to get its first cell-based meat product into Singapore restaurants, Christine writes.
- Spring into action: Electric vehicle startup Faraday Future signed a $350 million financing deal to hopefully get it out of its previous monetary challenges and to launch its first vehicle, Jaclyn reports.
- “The sun’s a ball of buttah”: Butter, now flush with $9 million in funding, led by Gradient Ventures, is helping smaller food distribution businesses comply with food safety rules, Catherine writes.
Preparing for fintech’s second decade: 4 moves your firm must make now
According to consultant Grant Easterbrook, fintech startups that hope to succeed over the next few years must be prepared to go up against:
- Major banks and financial service providers with loyalty programs and “super apps.”
- Emerging DeFi protocols “that can offer financial products that involve real-world assets.”
- Banking, invoicing, lending, payments, accounting packaged as “embedded financial products.”
- Multiple countries issuing their own Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
“Your firm will need a very strong value proposition to compete with all four types of competitors,” writes Easterbrook, who shares his ideas for navigating the next decade of fintech in a TC+ guest post.
Two more from the TC+ team:
- See, Mom? Layoffs can teach us something: The big tech layoffs have not been great, but Natasha M writes that even though we could see more, entrepreneur Nolan Church, who helped lead Carta’s 2020 layoffs as its chief people officer, has some perspective on Twitter’s recent layoffs.
- If VCs aren’t investing in you, who are they investing in?: That’s what Becca discusses in her latest piece that looks at all the dry powder in the VC world, and why it’s not yet being deployed.
Big Tech Inc.
And just like that, VLC’s download ban in India was lifted, Manish reports. Nine months ago, the country’s electronics and IT ministry instituted the ban on the popular media playback software, something VLC worked to try to reverse, stating that the ban had been “put into place without any prior notice” and didn’t allow VLC a chance for rebuttal.
Natasha L has more on our favorite social media channel, this time writing that “Twitter is no longer fulfilling key obligations required for it to claim Ireland as its “so-called main establishment under the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.” Can’t wait to see where this goes.
And we have five more for you:
- If you’re wondering when you can edit your Twitter name…: Ingrid reports that organizations will soon get their verified accounts, while Twitter Blue sign-ups and name changes will come back this week.
- If you’re wondering when your food will get here…: DoorDash has some new safety features for its delivery people, Aisha writes.
- If you’re wondering if it’s sweater weather…: Lauren reports that Hulu Live TV can now be that source of information, adding 14 channels, including Hallmark and the Weather Channel.
- If you’re wondering who unlocked your Android…: Zack writes that Google rewarded a security researcher with $70,000 after that person reported a lock screen bypass bug.
- If you’re wondering how Apple collects data…: Then you might want to pay close attention to this new lawsuit involving Apple and its data collection practices in first-party apps. Sarah has more.