To get a roundup of the biggest and most important stories from TechCrunch delivered to your inbox every day at 3pm PDT, subscribe here.
Today is Wednesday June 15, 2022. As much as we like to live in the now, we are very excited for tomorrow! In Twitter Spaces tomorrow at noon PDT, we’ll be speaking with our immigration expert, Sophie (who shared today the best visa to start a startup). Click to set a reminder for yourself right now! We’ll also have our day online for TC Sessions: Climate tomorrow, so tune in to that too if you’re a fan of the weather and how cool our planet is. Wow! — Haje Y cristina
TechCrunch Top 3
- They are fighting words: Dukaan, an Indian company that helps merchants set up eCommerce businesses, challenges Shopify, even gets dirty on Twitter. manish reports. The company’s goal is to speed up the performance of websites, claiming that Shopify’s speed and performance are causing merchants to lose sales if customers have to wait even a few seconds longer for sites to load.
- Who knew market reports were so lucrative?: AlphaSense did it. The global pandemic combined with market uncertainty gave the business intelligence and analytics search engine company the boost it needed to seek $225 million in new funding, Ingrid he writes. This not only gives AlphaSense a $1.7 billion valuation, but also goes to show that even in this counter-narrative environment, it’s still good for some.
- BNPL firms continue to clash: We can’t say if consumers will be the winners, as many companies offer buy now, pay later, but it’s fun to see them all trying to outdo each other. The latest is PayPal, which is expanding its BNPL feature with a monthly payment service, Sarah Tell us. This means that instead of taking 6 weeks to pay, users can now spread payments over 6 to 24 months. But be warned, customers can’t use it for a $30 t-shirt; purchases must be between $199 and $10,000.
Startups and VCs
Unrelated to creative accounting, and the crypto crisis be damned, Binance CEO Brian Shroder told employees yesterday that the company is “in the strongest possible position to not only successfully weather this downturn, but also to emerge as the leading crypto platform in the US.” anita reports.
Let’s take a walk through startup land, looking through the lens of TechCrunch’s reporting over the past 24 hours or so:
- Vaporware, but not the bad kind: Puffco shows off a cool pipe-like cannabis vaporizer called Proxy, priced at $299. Mate reports.
- Is it scary? No: GreyNoise is a self-styled “threat intelligence” company that essentially provides a spam filter for Internet threat alerts. Raised $15 million in funding, carly reports.
- Lots of data, lots of cash: DataStax hired Chet Kapoor as CEO in October 2019. That appears to have worked: The company raised a $115 million round at a $1.6 billion valuation today, Ron reports.
- Is it play or is it learn? Tricky question: it’s both: Edtech company Pok Pok raises $3 million to continue expanding its digital gaming experiences, Aisha reports.
- Make parking a walk in the park: Kyle reports that AI-powered parking platform Metropolis parks a $167 million truck full of money at its headquarters. Okay, maybe not literally, but that would be great.
- nothing to see here: Smartphone hardware startup Nothing teases its new phone design ahead of next month’s launch, reports Natasha L..
Is consolidation on the horizon for the Southeast Asian tech industry?
The super app business model is paying off in Southeast Asia.
Grab’s “everyday app” offerings range from grocery delivery to investment services; Malaysia-based AirAsia has rebranded itself as Capital A as it expands its offerings to encompass ride-sharing, food delivery and more.
These companies are not building these new business units from scratch: they are using strategic acquisitions to enter new markets and close in on the competition.
“As more technology companies look to the super app business model to retain users and increase monetization, we could expect further expansion and inorganic consolidation in the coming years,” says Amit Anand, founding partner of Jungle Ventures.
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, helping startup founders and teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
great tech inc
For a time, Discord, GitLab, and other services in India and surrounding regions were affected by a Cloudflare outage. manish informed. That has been resolved now, but why it happened is not yet known.
Have you heard enough of Apple’s WWDC? Good, Ivan wants you to know what he thinks is one of the funniest new features to come out: Apple’s new image cropping feature in iOS 16. He likes the ability to crop and lift unwanted sections with the press of a finger. And you can crop an image, which then turns it into a separate image that can be placed in a messaging app like iMessage or WhatsApp.
The bottles are showing up on YouTube, where YouTube Shorts surpassed 1.5 billion monthly registered users less than 2 years after its launch. Sarah he writes that this shows it can compete with TikTok, which said it has 1 billion users as of September 2021.
Did you have enough, or are you thirsty for more?