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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for Monday, February 14, 2022! Oh, what we have for you today. If you wanted mega-rounds, Apple’s latest hijinks, and even some political-hacker drama, TechCrunch has your back!
Before we dive in, tickets for our Sessions: Mobility event are now out, and we just announced that Mary D’Onofrio from Bessemer is coming to Early Stage to chat ARR. I think I am moderating that one? See you there! – Alex
The TechCrunch Top 3
Hackers leak Ottawa protest donor information: The standoff between North American protesters arguing against vaccine mandates in Canada took a new turn “after fundraising site GiveSendGo was targeted by hackers overnight,” leading to the apparent disclosure of donor data. This particular breach is not the only that platform GiveSendGo is dealing with, TechCrunch reports.
Texas AG sues Meta over facial recognition tech: Texas’s attorney general (himself under FBI investigation) is suing Facebook’s parent company, alleging that “the company’s use of facial recognition technology, which it has now discontinued, violated the state’s privacy protections regarding biometric data,” TechCrunch reports. The suit, per the WSJ, is for hundreds of billions of dollars.
Apple fined €5M by Netherlands: Speaking of government-versus-technology action, the Netherlands have put yet another fine on Apple’s tab after the country’s government said that Apple was applying “unreasonable” to dating apps in its App Store. Apple had previously been told to allow dating apps to use non-Apple payments tech in their mobile applications. (There’s no drug more addictive than a history of successful rent-seeking!)
As the share prices of food-delivery companies fade, what’s ahead for instant-delivery startups? That’s the question I dug into this morning, sifting through a host of data from European delivery companies that have taken blows in the public markets in recent weeks. On the other side of the coin are a host of big-dollar deals for upstart companies that want to deliver goods even more quickly than takeout services. How the math will shake out is going to be interesting.
Jio Platforms puts $200M into Google-backed Glance: More evidence of the rising importance of the Indian tech scene can be found in the news that a company that displays media and other content to Android lockscreens has just raised nine figures from a subsidiary of Reliance Industries. Recall that Google invested $4.5 billion into Jio back in 2020, when a number of companies from other countries wanted a piece of the carrier’s upside.
Casual games are big business: Tripledot just raised $116 million at 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 behind on this one, not knowing that the London-based company had also raised a $78 million Series A last year.
Remedial Health wants to digitize Nigerian pharmacies: Backed by Y Combinator, Remedial Health wants to “digitize pharmacies and stem the supply of fake and substandard pharmaceutical products” in Nigeria to start, with the rest of the African continent to follow. The company just raised $1 million for its efforts.
Digital asset management is hot: Keeping digital assets safe is “an admittedly unsexy fragment of the booming industry,” TechCrunch reports, noting a wave of funding rounds in the space in the last 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 were doing well in school, they could check a digital dashboard of your performance? And then those dashboards were aggregated at the parent, teacher and school levels? That’s Schoolytics. 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 cool: For folks too young to recall the particular hell of unfolding a map in a car while your parents shouted at you/one another/your siblings about where to turn, navigation today has become a simple operation. But it’s also impersonal. Proxi wants to shake that 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,” TechCrunch reports. If the startup – which just raised $11 million – can pull this off, it could truly shake up how we recycle.
Why are cybersecurity asset management startups so hot right now?
The digital transformation sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic has created tangible benefits for the cybersecurity industry: In 2021, investors poured $29.5 billion into cyber startups, a YoY increase of 138%.
“M&A activity skyrocketed by more than 294% to $77.5 billion,” reports Carly Page. “And those focused on securing an organization’s internet-facing assets have received more attention than most.
Big Tech Inc.
India bans more Chinese apps: The rift between the Chinese and Indian technology markets became more apparent today, with around 50 more apps from China getting yanked from India’s app stores. The Indian government was behind the move, which comes after earlier bans. The two countries have endured rising tensions in recent years, including disputes over border territories.
What’s ahead for foldable smartphones? The answer is Samsung, and its enthusiasm for the model, it appears. Given my standard level of sci-fi consumption, I presume that in time all screens will bend. My question is merely how quickly that future arrives.
Do you want to see the Super Bowl ads? Here they are.
Snapchat to introduce creator revenue share: After reaching profitability, Snapchat is going to start sharing the pie. A new product that puts ads in users’ stories will split the income. For Snapchat diehards, this may be good news, provided they are on the creator and not the consumer side of the consumption coin.
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