Hello and welcome to 14 January 2022, edition of Daily Crunch! I believe this has been Wordle Week, as everyone and their dog has been tweeting their scores and results. For those of you who are not very good at the game, a word of encouragement: I am also rubbish. I refuse to associate “Good at Wordle”, with “Good at words!” because I still paid to write. – Alexandra. P.S. While we are on the subject of words, the Equity team had a great time this week, if you are interested in a talkative dive into recent startup developments.
As the online checkout fight continues, Bolt raises $355 million: Bolt (not this Bolt) has raised a massive new round of funding, bringing its total value to $11 billion. Other businesses can use Bolt’s online checkout service. It competes with companies like Fast and Checkout.com, which just raised $1 billion at a valuation of $40 billion.
Although there is some difference between the businesses in terms of where they sit in the world of online payments and checkout, the overlap between the competitors looks to be growing. (We dubbed the online check industry a war just over a year ago; the fight is still going on.)
Congress has issued subpoenas to major tech companies: Major IT corporations swept up in the hunt for answers as an investigation into the January 6 insurgency continues in the United States. YouTube (Alphabet), Facebook and Instagram (Meta), Reddit, and Twitter all appear to be targeted. All the glitz and glam isn’t real trade volume: We’re keeping track of the many exchanges where non-fungible tokens — digital signatures on the blockchain that often point to assets kept on the old web, such as photos – are traded as the market heats up. What we have lately discovered is that not all-trading volume is what it appears to be.
Daasity raises $15 million to help businesses use e-commerce data: According to TechCrunch, Daasity is a firm that helps companies gather data from various e-commerce platforms (Amazon, Shopify, etc.) and “analyze and send it to marketing channels to optimize consumer experiences based on insights from prior performance.” VMG Catalyst led the company’s new Series an investment round. Commercial electric vehicles (EVs) for the Indian market: age is one of the firms Amazon is collaborating with on electric vehicles for its global delivery network. The Indian firm just raised $28 million for an electric truck-van-box that, I must say, is quite appealing — provided you appreciate brutalist design.
The cannabis labor market is exploding with new businesses: In this piece, TechCrunch mentions that labor platforms developed to assist specific businesses in hiring. There are a few in the healthcare market, for example. Now, due to Vangst, which recently received $19 million in a Series B round, the cannabis industry as well? In most parts of the developing world, regulation is frequently criticized as a barrier to innovation.
However, investors and fintech pioneers in Brazil are hailing the Central Bank as a boon for bringing banking to the public. “The Central Bank of Brazil’s open banking efforts are clearly tailwinds for fintech innovation,” Amy Cheetham of Costanoa Ventures told TechCrunch. Anna Heim examines the expansion of Brazilian fintech in the aftermath of the country’s open banking efforts, as well as how insurtech positioned to benefit.