Sun. Aug 14th, 2022

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Oh hey, and welcome to Thursday! It was another intense day with a lot of news. We have selected the cream of the crop for you. Oh! And if you want to be part of Disrupt with your startup, don’t forget to sign up for the Startup Battlefield 200!

On July 21st we have an incredible lineup for our TC Robotics event – and there is something wrong with the marketing folks because they decided to make the event free. Buy your ticket today in case they change their mind… — Christine and hi

The BestFitnessBands Top 3

  • In the air tonightBrian gives us a look inside the new Apple MacBook Air M2. Let the pluses and minuses begin!
  • Lose a few stripesAnitaNatasha M and Mary Ann teamed up to address the news of Stripe that it is the latest to lower its internal rating. For those who think, “What?” they explain that this means that the pricing of preferred stock sold is chosen by a third party versus startups or venture capital investors. Interestingly, this is also unusual for a company.
  • In the mirror: We enjoyed Dominic-Madori‘s deep dive on BestFitnessBands+ into some predictions of what Black VCs and founders can expect from the investment community in the second half of this year.
    Stock chart goes up and down

    Image Credits: Yuichiro Chino / Getty Images

Startups and VC

“We could have taken money from crypto funds, but it’s stronger to take it from the gaming industry and believers,” said Raz Friedman, co-founder of UnCaged. Jacquelyn in an interview about the company’s $24 million fundraising effort. “We’re a gaming company using web3 and bringing it into games first, rather than being a web3-first company.”

“We see You.com becoming an open search platform that empowers others to build on all the search technology we’ve created,” said Richard Socher. Kylea for his story on You’s $25 million fundraiser. “Data transparency, user customization, summary, privacy and state-of-the-art search are the foundation of our platform, and we beat Google in the long run by empowering the world to build the next search experience together.”

More, more, give me more (what a great song).

  • And how do you feel about that, |*FNAME*|: Chatbots for therapists continue to rise in popularity, and Wysa has raised $20 million to further expand its services, such as Jagmeet reports.
  • One star, would buy for deadly enemy: Customer reviews are a well-known and powerful way to influence shoppers. Okendo wants to turn your shoppers into buyers by leveraging them, Christine reports.
  • AI caramba: AssemblyAI expands its AI-as-a-service business as it raises $30 million in Series B round, reports Kylea
  • Is this seat taken?: The world is shifting towards hybrid work and offices are scratching their heads trying to figure out how to allocate office space to reflect that. Robin raised $30 million for his office reservation software to figure that out, Kylea reports.
  • Even lift you up, bro: At-home fitness startup Tonal — last valued at $1.6 billion — cut more than a third of its staff to help it become a “self-sustainable and profitable business.” Natasha M reports.

Five investors explain why Latin America is poised to weather the crypto winter

Bitcoin sign on snow;  Latin America crypto survey

Image Credits: gece33 (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Even as a cohort of crypto firms continue their catastrophic collapse, investors backing DeFi startups in Latin America are “positioning themselves for a rebound,” Anna Heim reports.

She surveyed five investors who have deployed companies in the region’s crypto and DeFi sectors to learn more about how their ethos has changed since the start of winter and why consumer adoption is stronger in LatAm than in other markets:

  • Matias Nisenson, Co-Founder, DeFi Wonderland
  • Christine Chang, Head of Business Development and Enterprise, Tribal
  • Patricio Jutard, Co-Founder and General Partner, Newtopia VC
  • Claire Diaz-Ortiz, Chair of the Startup Committee, VC3; scout, Kleiner Perkins
  • Andy Areitio, General Partner, TheVentureCity

(BestFitnessBands+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams move forward. You can register here

Big Tech Inc.

Before we get into today’s big tech stories, we wanted to highlight a few stories from yesterday that continued to grab our attention a second day.

The first is Kirsten‘s report answers the question of whether Tesla’s top AI manager for its Autopilot vision team would return. We can now confirm that this is negative. For all those DoorDash aficionados out there in the US, the subtotal minimums will likely increase in your area, Rebecca writes. In the meantime, Sarah leans against a report that TikTok has overtaken YouTube as the place where all kids and teens spend their time. And Rebecca also shared how Uber is being sued by more than 550 women over allegations of driver assault.

Okay, now on with the show. Our colleagues have done so well for a second day that there is a lot to dig into. By now you already know that Twitter went offline this morning for users around the world, Amanda reports. Alex was not amused† During the chaos, Twitter started testing some new features. Amanda also wrote that the users were reminded to add alt text descriptions for photos, while Ivan described his new custom timeline test.

In financial news, Kylea reports on Plaid adding read-only support for cryptocurrency exchanges. Finally, manish related to the Internet and Mobile Association of India, a technology advocacy group that decided to drop cryptocurrency due to regulatory uncertainty.

  • So do you want to play a game?: Non-game app revenue beats games in US Apple App Store for the first time, Sarah reports. In the meantime, Lauren writes about Nintendo’s new addition to the CG animation space and Sony’s new loyalty program for PlayStation.
  • Plugged in: Panasonic launches $4 billion electric car factory in Kansas Jaclyn writes could be the largest in the world. Commercial EV company Arrival is making some tough financial and staffing decisions, if you know what we mean, to meet its van product target, Kirsten reports. Kirsten also reports that the ink from Walmart’s deal with Canoo is barely dry, and Rebecca writes about one of the caveats – that it doesn’t want Canoo to sell EVs to Amazon.
  • Brrrr it’s cold in here: One of the biggest lenders in the industry, Celsius, was another hit for cryptocurrency, filing for bankruptcy, claiming it needed to stabilize its operations. manish has more.
  • Trust, more like antitrustNatasha L has some interesting stories today. One is about Google facing a new antitrust investigation in Italy over a claim that the search engine giant “may have abused a dominant position by obstructing the data portability rights granted to individuals under the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.” .” The other is about how Amazon is in talks with the EU to try to settle the antitrust investigation into the use of trade data.

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