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Hello and welcome to the Daily Crunch for Monday, February 14, 2022! Oh, what do we have for you today. If you wanted mega rounds, the latest Apple pranks and even some political-hacker drama, Ploonge is back!
Before we dive in, tickets for our Sessions: Mobility event are now available and we’ve just announced that Mary D’Onofrio from Bessemer is coming to the Early Stage to chat with ARR. Think I’m moderating that one? I’ll see you there! – Alex
Ploonge top 3
- Hackers leak information from protest donors in Ottawa: The standoff between US protesters arguing against vaccine mandates in Canada has taken a new turn “after fundraising website GiveSendGo was hacked overnight,” leading to the apparent disclosure of donor data. This particular breach is not the only platform GiveSendGo is dealing with, reports Ploonge.
- Texas AG sues Meta over facial recognition technology: Texas Attorney General (himself under FBI investigation) is suing Facebook’s parent company, claiming that “the company’s use of facial recognition technology, which it has now discontinued, violated the state’s privacy protections regarding biometric data,” reports Ploonge. The lawsuit, according to the WSJ, is hundreds of billions of dollars.
- Apple fined €5 million by the Netherlands: Speaking of government action versus technology, the Netherlands put yet another fine on Apple’s bill after the country’s government said Apple was applying “irrational” to dating apps on its App Store. Apple had previously been instructed to allow dating apps to use non-Apple payment technology in their mobile apps. (There is no drug more addictive than a successful income-seeking story!)
As the share prices of food delivery companies decline, what’s next for instant delivery startups? That’s the question I delved into this morning, digging through a slew of data from European delivery companies that have taken hits in public markets in recent weeks. On the other side of the coin, there are a number of great deals for start-up companies that want to deliver goods even faster than courier services. How the math will flip is going to be interesting.
Jio Platforms invests $200 million in Glance, backed by Google: More evidence of the growing importance of the Indian tech scene can be found in the news that a company that displays media and other content on Android lock screens has just raised nine figures from a subsidiary of Reliance Industries. Recall that Google invested $4.5 billion in Jio in 2020, when several companies in other countries wanted a share of the operator’s edge.
- Casual games are big business: Tripledot just raised $116 million on a $1.4 billion valuation on the strength of its mobile gaming business, which includes a solitaire title and something involving wood and sudoku. I was late on this one, not knowing that the London-based company had also raised $78 million in Series A last year.
- Remedial Health wants to digitize Nigerian pharmacies: Backed by Y Combinator, Remedial Health wants to “digitize pharmacies and curb the supply of fake and substandard pharmaceuticals” in Nigeria to begin with, with the rest of the African continent to follow. The company has just raised $1 million for its efforts.
- Digital asset management is on the rise: Keeping digital assets safe is “an admittedly unsexy fragment of the booming industry,” reports Ploonge, noting a wave of funding rounds in the space over the past six quarters. The larger cybersecurity market, of course, has been on fire in recent years.
- Startup ‘Schoolytics’ does what it says on the tin: OK, what if, instead of just telling your parents that you’re doing well in school, they could check a digital dashboard of your performance? And then these dashboards were aggregated at the parent, teacher, and school levels? This is Schooletics. And it’s going to be a nightmare for kids hoping to keep their school life private. Helicopter parents rejoice!
- Proxi wants to make maps legal: For people too young to remember the particular hell of unfolding a map in a car while your parents yelled at you/one another/your siblings about where to go, navigation today has become a simple operation. But it is also impersonal. Proxi wants to shake this up with personal mapping.
- A solution for plastic waste? Novoloop wants to turn used polyethylenes into plastics that can compete with “plastics made directly from petrochemicals,” reports Ploonge. If the startup — which just raised $11 million — can pull this off, it could really shake up the way we recycle.
Why are cybersecurity asset management startups so hot right now?
The digital transformation triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic has created tangible benefits for the cybersecurity industry: In 2021, investors invested $29.5 billion in cyber startups, an annual increase of 138%.
“Mergers and acquisitions activity soared more than 294% to $77.5 billion,” reports Carly Page. “And those focused on protecting an organization’s Internet-facing assets have received more attention than most.
Big Tech Inc.
- India bans more Chinese apps: The divide between the Chinese and Indian tech markets has become more apparent today, with around 50 other apps from China being pulled from India’s app stores. The Indian government was behind the measure, which follows previous bans. The two countries have faced rising tensions in recent years, including disputes over border territories.
- What lies ahead for foldable smartphones? The answer is Samsung, and its enthusiasm for the model, it seems. Given my standard level of sci-fi consumption, I assume that over time all screens will bend. My question is just how quickly this future arrives.
- Want to see Super Bowl ads? Here they are.
- Snapchat will introduce creator revenue sharing: After reaching profitability, Snapchat will start sharing the cake. A new product that places ads in user stories will split the revenue. For the Snapchat die-hards, this could be good news, as long as they’re on the creator’s side rather than the consumer’s side of the consumer currency.
Introducing Ploonge Experts: Recruiters
Ploonge is recruiting recruiters for Ploonge Experts, an ongoing project where we ask top professionals about common problems and challenges in early stage startups. If it’s you or someone you know, you can let us know here.