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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for July 30, 2021. What a week, my friends. It was packed full of IPOs and earnings and startup news and new venture funds. And today was no exception. Before we get into it, however, I am happy to report that Calendly CEO Tope Awotona is coming to Disrupt. It’s also the last day for early-bird passes, which are cheap. See you there! — Alex
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Elon vs. Tim Apple: Earnings season is usually replete with CEOs and other execs saying very few, usually boring things. That’s because there are rules about what CEOs and other corporate leaders can say when their companies are public. Then there’s Elon Musk, who took a poorly veiled potshot at Apple during Tesla’s earnings call, and followed it up by tweeting that Apple’s App Store cut is a tax on the internet. Game on.
- Why Robinhood went public: TechCrunch spoke with the company’s CFO earlier this week about why this was the right time for the consumer trading service to go public. His answer? The company had done the work on exec talent, product work, safety and was ready. We also dug into why the company’s debut has been a bit staid.
- Gopuff confirms $100M investment: The on-demand delivery company is now worth $15 billion after the latest investment, meaning that the so-called “instant” delivery space is now better funded than ever. Who put the capital in? A raft of crossover funds and other capital pools. This is a win for SoftBank’s Vision Fund, mind.
- A good day for startups starting with the letter “Y:” Remember Yik Yak? And Yac? And Yo? Well, now keep your mind wrapped around Yat, a startup that has sold tens of millions of dollars in emoji strings that can represent your person or personality. I would mock this but I thought Bitmoji were dumb, so what do I know.
- Outvio closes $3M round for its white-label fulfillment service: Hailing from known startup hub Estonia, Outvio wants to build a SaaS business around its white-labelable “fulfillment solution for medium-sized and large online retailers in Spain and Estonia,” TechCrunch reports. Frankly given how big the e-commerce game is getting, the idea behind Outvio is not a surprise. Let’s see what it can get done with its new capital.
- Let’s build stuff in space: That’s what we presume Varda Space pitched when it was busy raising a $42 million Series A round. Why build stuff in space, which is hard to get to? Microgravity. Varda wants to have its first space-based manufacturing hub set up by 2023. My inner science fiction nerd is hyped.
- Porter wants to build a PaaS offering to make Kubernetes management better: The YC graduate just raised $1.5 million for its work to boot. In short, the founding team liked tech like Kubernetes, but didn’t like managing it. So they built a tool to make that work easier. Why Porter raised a 2012-era seed round is beyond us, but the company can surely access more funds if things go well.
Many technical workers aren’t extremely career focused; on average, they’re paid more than other startup employees, and the most talented often get to work on projects that interest them personally.
But the increasing demand for talent is offset by an ongoing shortage: Companies can’t hire developers and engineers fast enough, even though many still don’t see themselves as in-demand workers.
“To put it bluntly, many developers and engineers stink at managing their own careers,” says Raj Yavatkar, CTO of Juniper Networks.
Breaking away from traditional tech culture can be challenging, so Yavatkar recommends that developers and engineers “treat career advancement as you would a software project.”
(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)Big Tech Inc.
Fires, the moon and a European fine? We have it all for you today in our big technology watchlist:
- 13 tons of Tesla batteries ignite: Batteries sometimes catch fire. Samsung learned this back in the day. Tesla is the most recent victim. A 13-ton Tesla Megapack caught fire in southeast Australia recently, which made the news. No one was hurt.
- Blue Origin won’t get a moon rover deal: After offering a heavily discounted project to the U.S. government, Blue Origin won’t get what it wanted after its request was turned down. A challenge to a SpaceX contract by Dynetics was also denied. So much for that.
- The EU fines Amazon its lunch money: Luxembourg’s National Commission for Data Protection, or CNPD, has assessed a mammoth fine worth €746 million in metric, or $887 million in furlongs per fortnight. Amazon was not pleased with the GDPR-derived fine. But still, the company generates tens of billions of dollars in operating cash flow each year. How much does this fine really hurt?
- Airtel Africa’s mobile money arm raises another $200M: As TechCrunch has noted, there’s more and more capital flowing into all things digital in Africa. And startups aren’t the only groups landing checks. African telco Airtel Africa’s mobile money unit has raised lots of capital in recent weeks, including a fresh $200 million from an affiliate of the Qatar Investment Authority. Mastercard and TPG are also investors.
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