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Hello and welcome to the Daily Crunch for January 13, 2022! Somehow, it’s already the end of Thursday, which is strange given that it was minutes ago on Monday morning. That’s the rhythm of 2022! There is some hope in the market that things will slow down (and get cheaper), but that doesn’t seem very likely at the moment. More on that soon, along with news that the Facebook dating app is broken? To which we can enthusiastically respond: Is Facebook still creating dating apps? – Alex
Ploonge top 3
- How Y Combinator’s New Terms Are Changing Startup Investing: News that Y Combinator is increasing the capital it invests in its batch accelerator companies is driving a little bit little comment. While Y Combinator investing more money is generally good news for startup founders, other investors have concerns.
- Instacart becomes Blue Apron, because why not: Instacart is launching pre-made meals on its platform, expanding its range of products as the grocery delivery game becomes increasingly competitive. Keep in mind that Instacart had a simply insanely good 2020, but that growth at the well-funded former startup slowed in 2021.
- Databricks does something else besides filing an S-1: Databricks, a huge privately held data analytics company, has released a verticalized version of its “Lakehouse” product. What is a lake house? The thing that sits on top of a date Lake, take it? Anyway, signaling this moment to you as the point where really, really knew that Databricks was a Big Kid company and that it should go public. Come on Databricks, we want the damn numbers.
We have lots and lots to talk about today, so let’s dive right in:
- Turnip wants to strengthen gaming communities: I play around with startup names every now and then, but I really love the “Turnip” moniker. It’s memorable, fun to say, and the company even has a .gg domain name. Why the weird TLD? ‘Cause the turnip is in the game community space, and a .gg is to gamers what an .eth is to a person with a Middlingly Messy Minx as their Twitter profile picture.
- Arc shows there is more room in the market for pieces of alternative financing: Fresh out of secrecy, Arc is building a product to provide software companies with access to capital and perhaps help them manage other elements of their financial lives. Our own Maria Ana Azevedo plunged into the company’s plans.
- Gr4vy Raises $15M for Payment Orchestration: While I try to avoid buzzwords in this newsletter whenever possible, I took a moment today to better learn what “payment orchestration” is, as this is what Gr4vy has just created a Series A extension for. to work. In practice, it appears to be a meta software layer that bundles all kinds of payment options and works in a single product. So it’s more of a bundle than a conductor, but I have to admit that “orchestration” sounds better than, say, coordination.
- Also shout out to Gr4vy for using leetspeak on your behalf. Very retro.
- GoFundMe buys Classy: GoFundMe is perhaps best known as America’s disaster health and safety network. Classy is a similar product, but intended to help non-profit organizations raise funds. The first bought the second in an equity agreement, according to our own Amanda Silberling.
- What happens if you combine no-code, metaverse, games, user-generated content, $50 million, and Espoo? You have Yahaha Studios, which is Based in Espoo, Finland. It just announced that it has raised $50 million in three rounds and is building a no-code service it calls a “metaverse for gaming.” Not only am I curious thanks to the huge success of Roblox, but I like games, so I think this is perfectly cool.
- PUBG publisher is suing about $5 trillion in market value for game clones: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds mobile version publisher Krafton is suing Apple (worth $3 trillion), Alphabet (worth just under $2 trillion) and Garena Online (amount unknown) on what Ploonge describes as copying the “openness of its title, its game structure and gameplay, the combination and selection of unique weapons, armor and objects, locations and the general schemes of colors, materials and textures”.
- UBITS raises $25 million to upskill workers in Latin America: The big edtech boom of 2020 moderated a bit in 2021, but now in 2022 we are still seeing rounds being made in space. UBITS is developing technology to help “upgrade” workers in Latin America, or essentially to train them for new and more complex work.
And so much more. This startup thinks it can offer a 4% savings rate, which is amazing. This startup is building super cute sidewalk robots. Shield has raised $15 million for communications compliance software, while Fintech Farm wants to build neobanks for different emerging markets.
Setting up high converting lead magnets that add value
It’s one thing to get a potential customer to visit your website, but convincing them to grab your wallet or share your phone number is overkill.
As consumers gain greater control over their privacy, Aleksandra Korczynska, CMO at GetResponse, says marketers who align lead generation with the goals of potential customers will gain a significant advantage.
“The key is to build a foot-in-the-door technique for ongoing engagement – lead magnets,” she says.
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Big Tech Inc.
- Meta blinds fast dating service: at some point, Meta tries every digital product idea available. I wouldn’t be shocked if in the back of the company’s headquarters there are some developers frantically building an alpha version of a FriendFeed clone, even though Bret Taylor has already left the company to become a pseudo-CEO at Salesforce. On this topic, Facebook is shutting down a speed dating service it apparently invented. Will you miss?
- Does Venmo introduce electronic gift wrapping? Now, if you hate gift wrapping and you hate giving money, you might be doubly pissed off thanks to Venmo’s new feature that will allow users to ‘wrap’ their money transfers. Now your parents can’t say that giving money instead of a gift isn’t festive!
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