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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for October 4, 2021. A lot is going on today in the world of major tech companies — as you may have noticed — but don’t worry, we have lots of startup news on deck as well to keep you up to speed! Now if someone could help Facebook fix its series of tubes … — Alex
P.S. Our upcoming SaaS event is going to flat-out rule.
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Facebook goes down: The biggest news item in all of tech today was the fact that Facebook was unable to provide its services for hours and hours. Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are all still offline as we write to you. Given Facebook’s enormous scale, the financial damage is piling up for the social giant and its myriad customers. In other Facebook news, the European Parliament is less than pleased with the company, TechCrunch reports.
- Inside Informatica’s IPO: As technology stocks took a battering today, TechCrunch sunk its teeth into data-focused Informatica’s S-1 filing. The company went private back in 2015, moving to the cloud over the intervening half-decade. What does it look like now that it is coming back to the public markets? Indebted, for one.
- New Apple Watches drop this month: If you were hoping to snag a new Apple Watch in October, good news: The company’s Series 7 device should arrive on the 15th. As a reminder, the new Watch has a 20% larger screen, which means it can hold more text. In case you love reading from your wrist.
Before we dive into a bevy of venture capital rounds, take a peek at this Mary Ann Azevedo post digging into advice from Index and Sequoia concerning how to go about raising your first dollars. It’s very good.
- An NFT and a virtual avatar walk into a bar: OK so that’s the setup for a lame joke I couldn’t figure out how to finish (The barkeep asks, “What do you think this is, the metaverse?”) but in real news, NFT impresario Dapper Labs is buying virtual avatar startup Brud. Per TechCrunch, Brud has 32 staff, all of which will make a move to Dapper. Recall that Dapper Labs was last valued at $7.5 billion, so it 100% has some stock to throw around.
- We had two insurtech rounds today worth discussing. The first is from Stable, which is building an insurance product concerning the price of commodities. The value of oil, soybeans and pig bellies — not to mention copper, silicon metal and corn — can jump around quite a lot. For many producers, that’s suboptimal. Stable has raised more than $46 million to help provide more price stability — get it? — to folks previously at the vicissitude of the markets, who we presume were too small to hedge their own risk.
- The second is from Ladder, which just put together a $100 million funding round to remake the life insurance industry. That we have two large insurtech rounds land in a single day implies that venture sentiment around startups in the space has not waned to quiescence in the wake of public markets devaluing several public neoinsurance companies that went public in the last year.
- Wasp raises $1.5M for faster web app construction: Recent Y Combinator graduate Wasp has put together a nice little round for its technology that aims to “help programmers code the business logic side of the application faster,” TechCrunch reports. It’s always nice to see a smaller round, reminders that not every company is raising nine figures in a single go these days.
As Apple messes with attribution, what does growth marketing look like in 2021?
Cupertino introduced app tracking transparency in April, giving users the ability to prevent their iPhones from sharing data about their behavior. Later changes in iOS 15 permit consumers to opt into mail privacy protection and exert greater control over app permissions.
This is all good news for privacy-minded consumers, but for startups that live and die by their ability to measure growth and engagement, there’s widespread confusion and uncertainty.
To learn more about how growth marketers are recalibrating data collection, Managing Editor Danny Crichton interviewed three experts at TechCrunch Disrupt:
- Jenifer Ho, marketing VP, Elation Health
- Shoji Ueki, head of marketing and analytics, Point
- Nik Sharma, owner, Sharma Brands
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
- Only you can help prevent scammy apps: Smokey the Bear Apple would like your help rooting spammers and scammers and other miscreants off of its application marketplace. It turns out that inside of iOS 15 there’s now a way to report apps to Apple. Which is good, if Apple will, you know, ever email you back.
- To wrap up news for the day, Qualcomm intends to buy Veoneer for $4.5 billion, which means that the smaller company’s deal with Magna is kaput. Veoneer is a “Swedish automotive tech company,” TechCrunch writes, which helps put the deal in context. Qualcomm makes chips — and cars, as we have learned in the last few months, really do need them.
TechCrunch Experts: Growth Marketing
Are you all caught up on last week’s coverage of growth marketing? If not, read it here.
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