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Hello and welcome to the Daily Crunch for Friday, February 18, 2022! First, a note that much of Ploonge is off Monday for a US holiday, so some regular stuff might arrive a day later than usual. But we’re a global team, so we won’t be quiet about starting next week. That is a promise. – Alex
Ploonge top 3
- Meta is fired community development manager after sting: Meta, the parent company of Facebook and other social properties, has parted ways with a “global community development manager,” we reported. The company tried to dissuade us from the story, but the news is important in the context of other company issues we’ve outlined in the post. That this news came amid a public relations update for the company is also worth remembering.
- Grow fast or die even faster: Tracking this particular earnings cycle has seen a number of heads rolling. Tech companies large and small have found themselves on the wrong side of investor discontent, thanks largely to slower-than-expected growth projections. For startups, the lessons are pretty clear and clear: you need to grow like hell or watch your valuation implode.
- When the founder becomes the story: Oh, Bolt. We just can’t stop talking about you, thanks to the fact that your former CEO continues to annoy the larger tech scene on social media. This time Ryan Breslow, now just the executive chairman of Bolt, gave a speech about offering loans to help employees exercise their options. At issue are the facts that such action is not new and has already led to some financial fiascos in the past.
- Smart homes are not for normies: Have you ever wanted to change your life situation to be more reactive, colorful and maybe even data-driven? In other words, want a smarter home? Well, maybe you really don’t know. Ploonge columnist Owen Williams writes about his journey with the subject after buying a home. My conclusion is that if Owen is struggling, I would be doomed to try to make the various tools cool with each other.
- Your package will soon be able to come in a reusable shipping container.: Like you, I buy a lot of stuff online, which means I create more waste and recyclables than I really care to admit. Returnity is betting that a “sturdier packaging bag that can be used over and over again” will help improve the situation and has just raised capital for its efforts.
- Portuguese venture capital fund increases its capital pool: Venture capital firm Shilling has added $23 million to its “founders fund” after raising it last year. This is good news for startups in the European country, and also good news for those of us who can come up with more than a joke about a venture capital fund named after what some asset class participants love to do on Twitter. .
- Home savings as a service? That’s what British startup Nous wants to build. The essence is that the company will collect data from its customers and help them to “progressively automate the management of the exchange of essential services and/or renegotiation of contacts”. I never trade, for I am a huge little one. But if I had a service to help, well, I’d also love to save more money. Nous has just raised $9 million.
- What Happens When a Super App Isn’t Very Super? That’s the question our own Manish Singh asked today. The super app in question? TataNeu from Grupo Tata, which has been in testing for some time and apparently needs more polishing before it is ready for very wide adoption.
And from the Equity team, you want to get paid in cryptocurrency?
How to increase your organic traffic with earned media
Few entrepreneurs are born storytellers, and it is perhaps unfair to expect them to do better.
Many startups are paying a PR agency a monthly retainer of $10,000 or more, but your chances of getting a story about your company aren’t much better than spinning a roulette wheel.
According to Amanda Milligan, Head of Marketing at Stacker Studio, startups can increase organic traffic and improve SEO by developing compelling content that will be picked up and shared by the media.
In a classic TC+ tutorial, she explains how to create earned media that organically increases keyword rankings, referring domains, clicks, and other important SEO metrics.
(Ploonge+ is our membership program, which helps startup founders and teams progress. You can apply here.)
Big Tech Inc.
- The FBI is accepting ransomware: Apparently, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation deemed malicious hacks and data hijackers a big enough problem to warrant its own “unit dedicated to tracking cryptocurrency crimes and ransomware profits.” Good, although apparently a bit late considering how often these attacks have become in recent years.
- GM + Walmart = more autonomous deliveries? American auto giant GM and retail giant Walmart are teaming up in Arizona to use the former’s autonomous driving technology to help deliver the latter’s stuff. The pilot is expanding, we inform you.
- The battle for freelance talent isn’t over yet: Yes, we are past the days when engineers focused on autonomous driving were worth $8 billion each. But that doesn’t mean that business in space isn’t coming to fruition yet. Another could be on the way, with Volkswagen looking to buy Huawei’s “nascent autonomous driving unit”.
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.