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Happy new week! Christine went on a well-deserved break, so you’ll have to deal with a double dose of my awful puns and worse headline shenanigans for a bit.
Oh! And we have a live Q&A session tomorrow at noon PT on Twitter Spaces about what a 409A valuation is and why you should care. Our very own Natasha Mascarenhas and Anita Ramaswamy will be speaking with Sumukh from AngelList and Phil from Equityzen. You can set yourself a handy reminder here. – Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Verticals exploration: “In a market like Egypt, retailers are not okay with the concept of paying for [buy now pay later] with interest at the end of the month. They prefer it to be a part of the product prices and to feel it embedded through the order cycle, making us a bit different,” Cartona’s CEO told Tage, as the company raises $12 million.
- Snap snaps in half: Snap took a beating after releasing its Q2 earnings and investors are having none of it. The stock plummeted 40% on Friday, with investors adjusting their expectations for the once-in-vogue social media platform, Lucas reports.
- Healthcare Prime? Amazon bought medical provider One Medical for almost $4 billion. If that left you scratching your noggin, Alex, Miranda and Walter have three takes on why and how that makes sense over on TechCrunch+.
Startups and VC
Since its launch nine years ago, Seedstars has invested in 81 companies in over 30 emerging countries. Now the firm has set a goal of investing in 100 more startups with the launch of its second emerging market seed-stage fund, Catherine reports.
BAI Capital, the storied China-focused venture investment firm that was formerly known as Bertelsmann Asia Investments, has raised $700 million to back Chinese companies that are part of the country’s structural reform as well as those expanding overseas, reports Rita.
Devin reviews Framework’s modular laptop computer. “Framework isn’t necessarily trying to get people already wild for DIY to go upscale — this is about capturing people who’d like a little more flexibility and reusability but can’t find it in mainstream devices”: I thought this helped to cement the target audience a bit. If that sounds like you, give it a read!
Go on then, have a few more:
- Not-so-secure messaging: Popular video calling and messaging app JusTalk claims to be both secure and encrypted. But a security lapse has proven the app to be neither secure nor encrypted after a huge cache of users’ unencrypted private messages was found online, Zack reports.
- Working remotely or not remotely working: 77% of managers said they’d consider firing employees or cutting their pay for refusing to return to the office. Allwhere launches out of stealth to help companies manage their remote workforces better, Kyle reports.
- Sir? Is this your lead balloon? Shares of Zomato dropped as much as 14% to a record low on Monday, the end of the lock-in period for investors who had stakes in the company prior to the initial public offering, Manish reports.
- Finding all the solutions all at once: World Fund, a newcomer in climate-VC land, is taking the lead in a $128 million round for IQM, with hopes the Finnish quantum computing company will one day deliver carbon cuts by the megatonne, Harri reports.
- You’ve got the power: Perfect for people wanting to charge multiple high-draw devices at once, Anker’s new GaNPrime charger lineup is cranking out up to 150w of power I reported today.
How e-commerce brands can outlast this market downturn
Inflation is up and consumer confidence is down, which is why e-commerce startups that hope to weather the ongoing downturn should expand their product offerings. Does that sound counterintuitive?
“The more complementary and additive a product is to your catalog, the larger your cart size, and the more likely a customer is to return,” says Bennett Carroccio. Prior to co-founding Canal, he worked with hundreds of companies as a consumer investment partner at Andreessen Horowitz.
In this TC+ post, he identifies two cost centers that are the easiest to control and shares three tactics for “staving off the brand-pocalypse.”
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
Big tech – including Facebook and Google – have signed a pact to self-regulate over harmful content shared across digital platforms in New Zealand. Critics say it’s a ‘weak attempt to preempt regulation’, reports Paul
Rita reports exciting news for lovers of self-driving cars – there are plenty of autonomous driving vehicles testing on the roads of Shenzhen today: Pony.ai, Baidu, DeepRoute, AutoX, you name it. To date, these vehicles haven’t been the unmanned vehicles that tech upstarts envision for the future. That is changing from August 1st, as driverless car become legal in Shenzhen, China.
Also in the land of Automotive, Cruise is making good on its promise to launch an autonomous driving service in Dubai. Just a few weeks after the General Motors-backed AV company officially launched its commercial driverless operations in San Francisco, Cruise has sent two of its autonomous vehicles to Dubai to begin mapping the city in preparation for a planned launch in 2023, Rebecca reports.
More, more, always more:
- Skating to where the puck is going: NFL Game Pass is no more. NFL+ streaming service launches in the US, as Lauren reports.
- Google for Work gets tablettier: Good news for folks using Drive, Dogs, Sheets and other Google services on their tablets – Google is adding optimizations to make your life better, Aisha reports.
- Money for nothing, and Stevie Nicks for free: Creators on Facebook can now earn money even if their content uses licensed music, reports Aisha.
- Sidestepping App Store fees: A major milestone in a long-running battle, Netflix’s iOS app now has a sign-up button. It lets you sign up to its service via its website, rather than through Apple’s subscription services, where the computer giant would be taking a cut of Netflix subscription fees, reports Ivan.
- When losing data costs real money: Telecom giant T-Mobile will pay out $350 million to customers as part of a data breach settlement, Devin reports.
A bit spicy for the mouse: In the U.S., Disney+ rolls out a number of R-rated films, as ‘Deadpool,’ ‘Deadpool 2’ and ‘Logan’ make it onto the streaming platform, writes Lauren.