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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for Thursday September 2, 2021. TechCrunch is largely retired tomorrow thanks to a Pan-Yahoo corporate hiatus. But don’t worry, all systems will continue to work as we charge before the next chapter in TechCrunch’s checkered history of corporate ownership. – Alex
The TechCrunch top 3
- China is hacking Uyghurs based in the US: The Chinese government’s campaign to eradicate Uyghur culture and undermine the Uyghur people within their borders does not stop there. For example, the Chinese state hacked Uyghurs while traveling. And the FBI reports today that the Chinese Communist Party is doing the same within the borders of the United States.
- SEO is far from dead: A new $ 55 million financing round for the startup Botify underscores that the era of search engine optimization is far from behind us. The company said organic traffic is still growing even though “more and more sections of search results are coming from first-party or paid results”. And everyone wants a piece of this clickstream.
- Europe, where net neutrality lives: Europe’s highest court has dealt another blow to the “zero rating”, TechCrunch reports. Zero rating is the practice in which Internet providers do not count certain content against the bandwidth limits and give certain materials – often their own – an advantage. It is a practice that is frowned upon by proponents of the open internet, and the EU does not seem willing to bow to it.
Startups / VC
We’re going to have a great round-up of our Y Combinator coverage so you can go through a couple hundred different startups in Daily Crunch tomorrow. But we couldn’t resist adding a teaser. How’s that for a headline: “Fintech startup Jeeves raises $ 57 million, rising from YC to $ 500 million valuation in one year. “In 2021, too, this will be rapid value creation for a startup in the early stages.
- Even more capital for neobanks: Challenger Bank Point put together a Series B valued at $ 46.5 million, putting more fuel into the startup’s goal of creating a debit card that offers credit card-level perks. Point’s service isn’t free, but for people who don’t want to use revolving consumer credit accounts, which often come with high interest rates, the model could be a great way forward.
- Shepherd raises $ 6.2 million for construction insurance: TechCrunch today tracks a number of B2B new insurance companies including Shepherd. The startup is working to offer construction companies liability insurance and is building technology usage data into its drawing models. It’s a nice idea. Procore has invested capital in the financing round.
- HomeLight raises $ 100 million: The newcomer to real estate technology wants to connect buyers and sellers and also offers title and fiduciary services. And as of its last funding event, it’s worth $ 1.6 billion. HomeLight made such a big round after forecasting its earnings “will triple to over $ 300 million in 2021”. So when is the IPO?
- The Edtech boom is not over yet: That’s what we learned from the news that General Atlantic helped pour $ 60 million into Panorama Education, which TechCrunch reports have built a “K-12 educational software platform.” Edtech startups received a huge boost in 2020 when schools all over the world became secluded. It seems that this wave has not yet peaked.
All the reasons why you should introduce a credit or debit card
The ongoing fintech revolution continues to level the playing field on which old companies dominated start-ups in the past.
In order to compete with retail banks, many start-ups offer their customers credit and debit cards; developer-friendly APIs make issuing relatively easy, and tools to manage processes like KYC are available off the shelf.
To learn more about the low barriers to entry – and the challenges that come with creating a unique card offering – reporter Ryan Lawler interviewed:
- Michael Spelfogel, Founder, Cardless
- Anu Muralidharan, COO, Expensify
- Peter Hazlehurst, Founder and CEO, Synctera
- Salman Syed, SVP and GM of North America, Marqeta
(Extra Crunch is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams move forward. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
- All greet the Googlebot: Alphabet built an exoskeleton, reports our own Brian Heater in his Actuator series. It looks great to be honest. It’s easy to forget that Alphabet still went to great lengths at Skunkworks, although today it is best known for its Android mobile software, display technology, and online document editing services.
- Virgin Galactic’s first commercial flight is coming soon: After sending some people into or near space last month, Virgin Galactic is preparing for commercial work. According to the company, that mission could come later this month or early October. This is good news for the company’s shareholders. Forget it! After we wrote that blurb, it became known that the next Virgin flight was to depart after the FAA grounded the company. More here.
- Today at Tesla: Two things from the Elon world today. First, Tesla was instructed to share autopilot data with the U.S. Transportation Safety Agency. And Tesla’s hyper-fast roadster may not come until 2023. Follow-up question: When will the cybertruck be on the market?
- And finally some news from India: Eight banks in the country are about to introduce “a system called an Account Aggregator that allows consumers to consolidate all of their financial information in one place.” India’s banking industry has always come together to develop products for consumers, including the “UPI interoperable rails” that many fintech companies in the country rely on, TechCrunch reports.
TechCrunch Experts: Growth Marketing
TechCrunch wants to help startups find the right expert for their needs. To do this, we create a shortlist of the top growth marketers. Since we started our survey, we’ve had great recommendations for growth marketers in the startup industry.
We look forward to reading more responses as they come in! Fill out the survey here.
Join Danny Crichton and Mary Ann Azevedo on Twitter Spaces Tuesday, September 7th at 3:00 p.m. PDT / 6:00 p.m. EDT as they talk to Jonathan Metrick about fintech and growth marketing.