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May you find love, peace, harmony, and a CAC/LTV arbitration ratio beyond your wildest dreams. — Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
- New way to save for a rainy day: Banking for startups, SaaS startups to be exact, is popular, and Mary Ann brings us the story of Arc, a W22 Y Combinator grad, which landed $20 million in Series A capital for its approach to borrowing, saving and spending. She writes that Arc is offering a way “to convert future revenue into upfront capital.” And startups are on board. Since emerging from stealth earlier this year, the company now boasts over 1,000 customers.
- One Meta, two Meta, three Meta: Horizon Worlds, Meta’s social platform for virtual reality, is saying “Bonjour” and “Buenos días” to France and Spain, respectively, Ivan reports. Meta was also busy today rolling out new Reels features on Instagram and Facebook, Aisha writes, and the company is partnering with DoorDash to test delivery of Facebook Marketplace items, Lauren reports.
- As seen on Shopify: If you’re a creator looking to partner with independent businesses and make some extra cash, or a merchant looking for a new sales and marketing channel, Shopify’s new “Shopify Collabs” offering will oblige, Aisha writes.
Startups and VC
Some folks have asked themselves how Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos, lost investors $1 billion and is facing prison time, while Adam Neumann, who founded WeWork, lost $11 billion, but then went on to raise $350 million for his newest startup. The answer is pretty clear — Neumann, despite burning 10x more money, wasn’t convicted of fraud. Natasha M and Anita take a closer look at how the tech industry is reacting to Adam Neumann’s a16z-backed return to real estate. Also, this made us titter with amusement.
Apropos Natasha M — the Equity team put together an omnibus collection of six conversations that bring nuance to tech’s layoff wave. It’s a great reminder of both a bunch of lovely episodes of Equity and a bunch of ways of thinking about layoffs in a macroeconomic context.
Okay, fine, here’s a few more:
- Where did I leave my shroomlaces?: Mycel, a South Korean startup making fungal-based biomaterials that can replace leather and meat, raised a $10 million seed round, reports Kate.
- The prison-to-tech-job pipeline: Emerge Career’s tech-forward job training lets incarcerated folks hit the road on release, reports Devin.
- Taking a stand for ergonomics: Twelve South has long been the go-to for MacBook stands and the like, and today the company introduced a clever addition to the family: the collapsible, portable MacBook stand Curve Flex, Brian reports.
- I know I heard about that somewhere: Paul reports how Snipd is using AI to “unlock knowledge” in podcasts.
- Come stay in my guest room: Ingrid reports how property management for vacation rentals is big business, and Guesty books $170 million to double down on property management tools for Airbnb and other rental platforms.
How should web3 companies approach fundraising during a downturn?
Most web3 startups are in the same leaky boat: They haven’t reached product-market fit, hiring technical talent is difficult at best, and many of the same investors who were eager to take their calls a year ago are ghosting them today.
Thirsty travelers who know where to look can still find water, however, according to Jenny Q. Ta, CEO of GalaxE.
In a TC+ guest post, she offers suggestions for approaching angels, accelerators and traditional VCs, along with some thoughts that may help web3 entrepreneurs level-set.
“Don’t let anxiety call the shots. This too shall pass, but don’t waste the moment.”
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
Indian telecommunications providers began blocking VideoLan’s website back in February. You might know them as the developer of popular media player VLC. Manish reached out to the company president and lead developer Jean-Baptiste Kempf, who said that by continuing to block the website, the country is giving its citizens no choice but to use “shady websites that are running hacked versions of VLC. So they are endangering their own citizens with this ban.”
If you like to drool at photos of new cars, Polestar will rev up your engines with photos of its new electric vehicle roadster, Polestar 6, which features a hard-top convertible and recycled polyester upholstery, Jaclyn reports. Sorry, you are going to have to wait four years for this one, though.
- Knock, knock: Walmart’s last-mile delivery service business, Walmart GoLocal, announced a milestone today of topping 1 million deliveries in its first year, Sarah writes. Next goal? To reach 5,000 pickup locations by the end of this year.
- Oops, hackers did it again: DigitalOcean revealed that some of its customers’ email addresses were exposed due to a recent “security incident” at Mailchimp, Carly reports. This new revelation comes just months after Mailchimp had another breach.
- It only takes one snowball to start an avalanche: Alex forecasted we were getting close to some nice IPO filings, and Digit Insurance delivered today, announcing it was filing for a $440 million IPO, Manish reports.
- Who’s calling?: We went from Mailchimp emails over to Signal phone numbers. Carly writes that the company says a breach at Twilio exposed nearly 2,000 of its customers’ phone numbers and SMS verification codes.
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