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Hello and welcome to the Daily Crunch of January 12th, 2022! Today we have to talk about things both serious and less serious. So we’re going to look at the global venture capital results for 2021 and Verdal. A delayed IPO, and the fact that a Panda-themed startup is now a unicorn. you get the idea. let’s go! , alex
Nerdshala Top 3
- 2021 was a venture capital excellence year: The data indicates that 2021 was easily the biggest year ever for venture capital and related private-market investments. Nerdshala digs into the world’s leading figures, select geographies, and both the fintech and cybersecurity markets. Yes, you know, last year was somewhat troubled on the capital front. but we doubt you just know How bonkers
- Checkout.com raises $1B on valuation of $40B: Today’s mega-round is the largest and most expensive in terms of valuation that we can remember. And given that Checkout.com was worth $15 billion a year ago, the company posted one of the fastest gains in paper value we can remember. The lesson here is that the payments space is hot and not entirely owned by Stripe.
- JustWorks Delays Its IPO, Which Is Bad For Exiting Unicorn: While venture capitalists were busy putting in more money last year than ever before — and 2022 similarly begins, as Checkout.com news shows — an IPO has just been put on hold. Why? JustWorks cited market conditions. For unicorns hoping to get out this year, the JustWorks news is sub-good.
What is Startup? This is a question that Nerdshala has raised from time to time (and that I have too. wrangling with Internet) but sometimes we care about technical products which are No Startup. The popular word game Wordle is perhaps an example of the concept. Because it’s more a website than a company, its huge audience benefits — Nerdshala has an important interview with the Wordle founder here — not showering Wordle’s creator with all the benefits of its success. Owen Williams argues for our pages that the service is “being penalized by the App Store for choosing to open the web.”
If you don’t have Wordle yet, are you into tech too?
Following along, Publix has appointed new indie board members after seeing a 700% increase in their funded account count last year. The Robinhood competitor last year decided to avoid paying for order flow, a key revenue driver for its famous rival. Nerdshala is curious what’s next on the revenue side of the company now that the masses have reached the physical user scale.
And before we get into the day’s digest of funding events, Dorm Room Fund is raising a new, bigger fund than our own keen eye Natasha Mascarenhas, and Headspace has acquired an AI-powered mental health startup.
- DeepScribe raises $30 million for clinically focused transcription Doctors have to be medical providers and paperwork machines if they are to leave work on time. DeepScribe is betting that applying a little technology to the matter will help. Nerdshala writes, the startup “provides ambient voice AI technology that summarizes natural patient-doctor conversations.” clean!
- Big business to help governments create digital IDs: This appears to be a lesson from the new era of merit. The startup just raised $50 million — bringing its capital base to $80 million in total — to help governments get past plastic cards and into the digital sector. Of course we have privacy concerns about the concept, but at the same time, the fact that it could be big trouble if someone stole my Social Security card is 1800s bullshit.
- SeekOut lands $115M to help companies hire from broad candidate pool Gone are the days when you could all hire a team of white people and not have a few questions about your prejudices. That’s why even the least intelligent companies want to do better. SeekOut may be of help. The startup, writes Nerdshala, “is to help enterprises hire from a more diverse talent pool.” And Tiger Global doubled down on startups with another big check. One to watch.
- Pluang raises more capital to help Indonesians invest Using fintech services to help make investing more accessible to the less wealthy has been a goal of many startups. Pluang is a company that offers its users a range of potential assets that they can buy in small amounts. And it just landed $55 million in a round led by Accel. (Notable here is the fact that the decline in Robinhood’s share price after the IPO isn’t deterring investments in private companies that could be considered compasses.)
- What do you call a one horned panda? The answer to that question is BigPanda, a startup that raised $190 million at a valuation of $1.2 billion. Based on what the company reads, it uses AI to parse the information coming in from IT systems, and also helps automate rote tasks.
For your enjoyment, we have more rounds on Nerdshala, including $40 million for Ecommerce Brands, $115 million for TravelPerk, and $15.6 million for SuperChat. If you want to know how these deals are being investigated, the Equity team has you covered.
Blockchain gaming survey: 7 investors discuss regulation, opportunities and NFT hype
Game distribution platform Steam banned blockchain-based games in October 2021: any title involving NFTs or cryptocurrency was briefly booted from the service.
Meanwhile, within the NFT-based online game, Axie Infinity, new players are paying hundreds of dollars to obtain mythical pets and love potions.
Blockchain gaming is infuriating with some consumers, but given the lack of regulatory guidance and the speculative nature of many crypto holdings, what do investors think?
To find out, we surveyed seven investors who are active in the sector:
Anton Backman, Principal, and Kenrik Drijkonningen, General Partner, Play Ventures
Banafsheh Fatih, Head of Investments, Americas, Prosus Ventures
Josh Chapman, Managing Partner, Convoy Ventures
Eddie Thai, General Partner, 500 Startups and General Partner, Ascend Vietnam Ventures
Beryl Lee, Co-Founder, Yield Guild Games
Rajul Garg, Founder and Managing Partner, Leo Capital
(Nerdshala+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams grow. You can sign up here,
Big Tech Inc.
- Apple patches iOS in wake of HomeKit flaw: The updated iOS build for iPhone and iPad will “patch the so-called ‘doorlock’ flaw, which was disclosed earlier this month by security researcher Trevor Spiniolas,” Nerdshala reports.
- PC Shipment Soars: If you bought a new PC last year, you were far from the only person to do so. Nerdshala has the latest figures for 2021 PC shipments, and if you have Apple or Microsoft in stock, the news isn’t bad.
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