To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and hottest stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3 PM PST, sign up here.
Hello and welcome to the Daily Crunch for January 14, 2022! I suppose this was Wordle week, where everyone and their dog tweeted their scores and scores. A little camaraderie for those of you who aren’t good at the game: I’m also rubbish. And since I’m still getting paid to write, I refuse to associate “Good at Wordle” with “Good at Words!” – Alex
Note: Speaking of words, the Equity team had a great time this week, in case you want to dive into gossip through their recent startup events.
Top Tech Crunch 3
- Boltt raises $355 million as the online payment war continues: Bolt (No This is Bolt) raised a massive new round of capital that pushed its value to $11 billion. Bolt provides an online payment solution for other companies. It competes, differently, with Fast and Checkout.com, which just raised $1 billion at a $40 billion valuation. You could say that there is a separation between the players in terms of where they are in the world of online payments and payments, but the overlap seems increasingly material among the competitors. (Just about a year ago, we called the online check market a war; the battle continues.)
- Big tech subpoenas from Congress: As the investigation into the January 6 rebellion continues here in the US, major tech companies are busy searching for answers. YouTube (Alphabet), Facebook, Instagram (Meta), Reddit, and Twitter seem to be under fire.
- All that glitters is not legitimate trading volume: As the market for non-fungible tokens – digital signatures on the blockchain that often refer to assets stored on the traditional web, like photos – is heating up, we keep track of the different exchanges where trading takes place. What we’ve learned recently is that it may not be all of the trading volume that first appears.
startup / VC
- Daasity raised $15 million to help businesses leverage e-commerce data: Daasity is a startup that helps customers aggregate their information from various e-commerce platforms (Amazon, Shopify, etc), “analyze it and push it into marketing channels to improve customer experiences based on insights from performance Historic,” TechCrunch writes. The company’s new funding round was a Series A, led by VMG Catalyst.
- Commercial Electric Vehicles for the Indian Market: Amazon is working with a number of companies on electric vehicles for its global delivery network, and one of those companies is EVage. The Indian company just raised $28 million for an electric truck box that I have to admit it brings in somewhat — provided you’re the type with brutalist architecture.
- Cannabis Job Market Growing Startups: TechCrunch notes in this story that there are job platforms being built to help specific industries with hiring. The healthcare market has few, for example. And now the cannabis industry is too, thanks to Vangst, which just raised $19 million in Series B.
Brazil’s inland fintech and tech innovations are taking off in the face of regulatory winds
Regulation is often denounced as an obstacle to innovation in much of the developing world.
But in Brazil, the central bank has been lauded by investors and fintech founders alike as a tailwind for bringing banking services to the masses.
“The open banking initiatives of the Central Bank of Brazil are a perfect fit wind for fintech innovation,” Amy Cheetham of Costanoa Ventures told TechCrunch.
In an in-depth market analysis, Anna Heim explores the growth of Brazilian fintech in the wake of open banking initiatives in Brazil and how insurance technology is poised to benefit from them.
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams move forward. You can register here.)
Big Tech Inc.
Today we have a handful of Big Tech news of a passing character, followed by, what else, some European legal news related to a major US tech company!
- Self-Driving Taxis Integrating into China’s Fast Track: Our Rita Liao has helped everyone by writing a deep dive into China’s self-driving taxi market. As you write, it seems that every week “news arrives that another major player has been given the go-ahead to launch a new beta program or small scale service” in the country. What do individual news events add? Discover!
- And speaking of self-driving cars: Waymo and JB Hunt, a trucking company, are turning their pilot into a long-running program. There is a shortage of truck drivers in the United States, which means trucks that can go unassisted can be a huge problem in the country.
- Here’s a review of a car no one at TechCrunch can afford: Let me be clear, I want a Bentley Continental GT Speed. I would also like to agree to a standard Bentley Continental. The fact that Kirsten Korosec, our intrepid transport editor, has experienced one of them is pretty jeering. Realistically, if you have over a quarter of a million dollars and need a 12-cylinder, this is probably the car for you.
- Meta faces class-action lawsuit in UK: Class-action lawsuit filed with UK Competition Appeal Court in London wants to award US$3.1 billion social networking giant to abuse its market power in UK, let’s see if this goes anywhere .
Tech Crunch Experts
TechCrunch wants you to recommend growth marketers with experience in SEO, social, content writing and more! If you are a growth marketer, pass this survey along to your clients; We’d love to hear about why they would love to work with you.