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Hello and welcome to the Daily Crunch of January 14, 2022! I think it’s been Wordley’s week, with everyone and their dog tweeting their scores and results. A little camaraderie for those of you who aren’t good at sports: I’m garbage too. And since I still get paid to write, I change “Good at Words” to “Good at Words!” I refuse to join. , alex
P.S. Speaking of words, the Equity team had a great time this week, if you wanted to take a clever dive through recent startup developments.
Nerdshala Top 3
- Bolt raises $355 million as online checkout war continues: Bolt (No.) bolt it) has raised a new round of capital that raises its valuation to $11 billion. Bolt offers an online checkout solution to other companies. It competes in various ways with Fast and Checkout.com, which raised just $1 billion at a valuation of $40 billion. You could argue that there is a separation between players in the worlds of online payments and checkout, but the overlap between competitors appears to be increasingly material. (About a year ago we called the online check market a war; the battle continues.)
- Major tech companies summoned by Congress: As the investigation into the January 6 uprising in the US continues, major tech companies are being caught up in search of answers. YouTube (alphabet), Facebook and Instagram (meta), Reddit and Twitter seem to be in the line of fire.
- All that shines through isn’t legitimate trading volume: as the market for non-fungible tokens – digital signatures on blockchains that often point to assets stored on the traditional web, such as images – heats up, we may see different exchanges. Tracking where the business takes place. What we have learned recently is that not all trading volume may be visible at first.
- Daasity raises $15M to help companies leverage e-com data: Daasity is a startup that helps customers collect their information from various e-commerce platforms (Amazon, Shopify, etc.) Analyze it and push it to the marketing channels to optimize the customer. Experience based on insights from historical performance,” writes Nerdshala. 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 several companies on EVs for its global distribution network, one of which is EVage. The Indian company just raised $28 million for an electric truck-van-box, which, I must admit, is rather bringing – provided you’re the kind of person who enjoys brutal architecture.
- The labor market for cannabis is on the rise. For example, there are some in the healthcare market. And now the cannabis industry too, thanks to Wangst, which just raised a $19 million Series B.
Fintech and insurtech innovation regulators in Brazil set to fly on tailwind
Regulation is often derided as a barrier to innovation in much of the developing world.
But in Brazil, the central bank is being hailed by investors and fintech founders alike as a tailwind for bringing banking to the masses.
“The open banking initiatives adopted by the Central Bank of Brazil are an absolute tailwind for fintech innovation,” Amy Cheetham of Costano Ventures told Nerdshala.
In an in-depth market analysis, Anna Heim explores the development of Brazilian fintech in the wake of Brazil’s open banking initiative and how Insurtech is poised to take advantage as well.
(Nerdshala+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams grow. You can sign up here,
Big Tech Inc.
Today we have a rundown of transit-themed Big Tech news, followed by, what’s more, some European legal news involving a major US tech company!
- Self-driving taxis merge on the fast lane in China: Our very own Rita Liao did everyone good by taking a deep dive into the self-driving taxi market in China. As she writes, it seems that every week there is “news that another major player in the country has got the green light to launch a new pilot program or a smaller-scale service”. What connects to individual news events? to find out!
- And speaking of self-driving cars: Waymo and JB Hunt, a trucking company, are turning their pilot into a long-term program. There is a shortage of truck drivers in America, which means trucks that can be found without help can be a big deal in the country.
- Here’s a review of a car that no one can buy at Nerdshala: Let me be clear, I want a Bentley Continental GT Speed. I would settle for a standard Bentley Continental as well. The fact that our enterprising transportation editor, Kirsten Korosek, had to test one out is envy-inducing. On the factual front, if you have over a quarter million dollars and need 12 cylinders, this is probably the car for you.
- Meta faces class-action lawsuit in the UK: A class-action lawsuit filed with the UK’s Competition Appeals Tribunal in London to dock $3.1 billion to the US social networking giant for abuse of its in-market power in the UK Wants to let’s see if it goes anywhere.
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