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Welcome to the Daily Crunch for Tuesday, April 5, 2022. Today was one of those days journalists love – frenetic writing, source gathering – all the trappings of a good newsletter! Join us as our fingers dance happy Lindy Hop routines on our keyboards.
While we have you here: do you like robots? Of course we do! Join us in Boston on July 22 to discuss weapons, assembly, articulation, actuators, and asimovian legal discourse. Come to think of it, we’re 12% confident that we’ll cover the rest of the robotic alphabet as well. — Christina and haje
TechCrunch’s Top 3
- Fast slows to a stop: Although it raised quite a bit of money last year, it seems that one-click payment company Fast has had to slow down. However, everything happened very quickly. Last Friday, reports surfaced that Fast was looking for a buyer, then the company surprised us all today by announcing that it would be closing, telling us that “its revenue growth in 2021 was modest, its cash burn high and its fundraising options limited.”
- The venture capital market still on the move: When the funding deals in 2021 were so good, it was always going to be hard to match. So it’s hardly surprising that when The Exchange looked at Crunchbase’s data on venture capital deals in the first quarter, it saw some slowdown. Given the current macroeconomic conditions, this is to be expected: inflation, higher interest rates, larger check sizes, higher valuations. The recommendation of the Stock Exchange? Be proactive in this environment.
- Peloton lowers the price of Guide: Peloton’s Decoder System Guide is now available for sale at the lower sliced and diced price of $295 after earlier announcing it would be $495. This isn’t the first product the fitness giant has slashed the price of – in the name of affordability perhaps?
Startups and VCs
Hellooooo startup nerds. We’re back with another round of news from the startup world, starting with an op-ed from Marc Schröder, Managing Partner at MGV, about how VCs don’t have to worry about a financial downturn. About VC – the biggest venture capital firms have a lot more assets under management than you might think, as Connie explores in her article.
News I choose for you to browse:
- In the wake of Walmart, Cake takes a break from participating in sexual health, with the adoption of Target: Sexual wellness company Cake was already present at Walmart – now it also graces the shelves of Target.
- Lightning increases its liquidity reserves to help thin out stablecoins: He raised $70 million to move stablecoins through the Bitcoin network.
- Boba Networks describes the advantages of Ethernet scaling fireworks: With a valuation of $1.5 billion, the company has added $45 million to its coffers to aid Ethereum in its next stage of growth.
- Sit tight, Airbyte aims to delight by going offsite: The open source data integration platform has launched a cloud service to serve a wider customer base.
- Warp corp raises to make the terminal look great: The humble command line rarely sees much innovation, but Warp convinced investors to shell out $23 million to innovate.
- ReadySet is betting on creating the best enterprise dataset yet: Enterprise-wide data can be a royal PITA to mine. ReadySet positions itself as the middle ground between legacy systems and current generation data needs.
- Allseated tackles the passionate, so far unfinished enterprise metaverse: Moving from event virtualizations, Allseated wants to help companies build their own metaverses, raising $15 million in the process.
- Workrise to revise with a surprise discount: Despite its valuation of 2.9 billion dollars last year, Workrise is experiencing a correction, laying off some of its 600 employees.
- Ghost rules over the roasted and absorbed ghost kitchens; financial goal: Ghost kitchens only exist in delivery apps. Ghost Financial helps them with financial tools to help them grow and manage their business
- Stimulated by never-before-seen data, TinyBird pushes nerds toward less fuzzy metrics: TinyBird is raising $37 million to help turn data into real-time analytics.
- Wholesum beats the drum of consolidation: The company raised a $50 million Series A round to shore up a group of third-party vendors.
- Remote goes for the throat with a $3 billion valuation: Remote work continues to be all the rage, and Remote has raised $300 million to continue evolving its set of tools to help manage it all.
- Gotrade Jumps Using, Splits Stocks, Custom: Not everyone can afford a $700 stock. Gotrade helps by offering split stock sales aimed at international markets and has just raised $15 million to accelerate its growth.
- Corsha: … go to the bottom of the newsletter for a name that is impossible to rhyme with. Sorry, friends; I don’t make the rules. However, he raised $12 million to add multi-factor security to API traffic, so that’s good.
First-quarter crypto losses hit 695% year-on-year following massive hacks
The total value of cryptocurrencies reached nearly $2.3 trillion last year, but as that number skyrocketed, interest from malicious actors seeking to exploit bugs, poor code and hacks social engineering was also increasing.
The web3 ecosystem “lost” $1.23 billion to exploits in the first quarter of 2022 alone, nearly eight times more than a year earlier, and that number is expected to continue to rise as that space expands, reports Jacquelyn Melinek.
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Big Tech inc.
- Instacart makes it harder to remove tips: Tipping has been a consistent Instacart issue for years, so it’s good to see the grocery delivery giant do something about it. Users will now have to report an issue in order to zero out the tip, and Instacart will cover up to $10. It’s a good start, and we’ll reserve our comments on users who do this for no reason.
- Twitter’s edit button debacle: We have triple the Elon Musk/Twitter news for you today. First, Amanda Silberling explains why an edit button wouldn’t solve much, then she joins Alex Wilhelm and Kyle Wiggers to discuss Musk’s motivations for buying all those Twitter shares, and finally, Wilhelm discusses of Musk’s membership on Twitter’s board.
- Flutterwave CEO in the hot seat: A former employee accuses Flutterwave CEO Olugbenga ‘GB’ Agboola of alleged intimidation after the two sides failed to reach a settlement in a lawsuit. TechCrunch sought comment on these claims, and among the responses the company said, “We confirm that at the time of the resignation, all monies owed to our former employee at the time have been promptly paid and we have records to confirm. However, we sincerely regret the circumstances that led to the dispute and hope that it will be resolved more quickly. Stay tuned.
- Gogoro enters the public market: The Taiwanese two-wheeler battery exchange company has closed its SPAC and expects a richer cash proceeds of $335 million. That’s a lot of stacks he can swap. We report that “supported by more favorable market conditions and better timing, Gogoro was able to unlock the recipe needed to scale its battery trading system.” It just needs to spread to this side of the pond now.