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What’s a five-letter word containing ERUSS? You made the GUESS — USERS, that’s what — and tens of millions of them have joined The New York TIMES after its acquisition of Wordle, according to Amanda‘s REPORT. As LOYAL players, we ADORE it. – Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Backing Elon: Like sands through the hourglass, we are learning more every day about who is stepping up to invest in Elon Musk’s bid to purchase Twitter. A Thursday filing revealed that nearly two dozen investors have contributed money, including Sequoia Capital, Binance, and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, who had $1 billion he wasn’t doing anything with at the moment.
- CVC may lead to M&A: Over the past year, we saw a number of corporations start their own venture capital arms, and now it looks like all of that venture activity could churn up some M&A activity. Why? Alex and Anna dig into a couple of reasons, including lowered public valuations and a stock market environment that has some companies hitting the pause button on an IPO. They expect CVCs to begin eyeing early-stage companies for potential deals, perhaps starting with those in their cap table.
- Shopify signals its next move with Deliverr acquisition: Shopify pulled the trigger on an acquisition of Deliverr for $2.1 billion, which has us wondering if this was Shopify trying to elbow in on Amazon’s Fulfillment By Amazon territory, one of the reasons some small businesses may have chosen the e-commerce company over other marketplaces. We also looked into whether that was a fair acquisition price.
Startups and VC
Lynda did it back in 2013, Kevin raised $65 million a few days ago, and now it’s Alan’s turn, with a $193 million round for a medical one-stop shop. I’m not entirely sure what’s happening in the world of startup naming, but we’re here for it. We’re looking forward to hearing from Wendy, Talesha and Fred next.
Come with me, and you’ll see, a world of pure appreciation:
- Brother, can you spare a share: In a twist we really didn’t see coming, Robinhood just launched a feature that lets users lend out their shares.
- You can call me on my swell drone: Chinese researchers showed off a swarm of drones collectively navigating a dense forest they’ve never encountered, and we’re just going to never go into a forest ever again, thanks.
- Unicorn employees get shafted: Celebrity video platform Cameo let 87 staff members go. The CEO announced the layoffs in a tweet that, well, came across as a little insensitive, as Lucas pointed out.
- Pedal to the metal: In what’s got to be one of the cooler e-bike designs we’ve seen, two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso is launching an electric bike during the Formula One Grand Prix 2022 in Miami.
- An iPhone a day keeps the doctor away: Gamified digital care platform Sidekick Health raised $55 million in growth funding after helping more than 40,000 patients globally.
Pitch Deck Teardown: Momentum’s $5M seed pitch deck
Momentum, a B2B company that makes sales process automation software, accidentally convinced an early investor to lead its seed round before the founders had even created a pitch deck.
“We showed up on a Friday board meeting. On Monday, they were like, ‘Hey, do you have five minutes? We want to sit down with you,’” said CEO and co-founder Santiago Suarez Ordoñez.
“They literally put a term sheet on the table with the exact terms we wanted.”
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Big Tech Inc.
- Apple, Google and Microsoft, oh my!: These three are coming together in support of passwordless logins across mobile, desktop and browsers. Yes, there are password managers and other technology out there to help us choose “v6Yp8eR43wQ!” instead of “openuporelse1,” but the goal is to make logging into a website as easy as unlocking your phone. Speaking of privacy, as we wait on the fate of Roe v. Wade, Carly looked into whether it was time to delete that period-tracking app you’ve been using.
- More sanctions for Hikvision: The surveillance camera company saw its shares take a tumble following a report that said the Biden administration would impose further sanctions on the China-based company, accusing it of enabling human rights abuses.
- Some shutdowns: YouTube Go is coming to a stop in August, while Facebook is shuttering its podcast service on June 3, barely a year after its launch. However, Meta had some better news for Facebook Reels creators.
- Starlink adds on some more fees: If you like taking your Starlink internet everywhere you go, it might be less advantageous now that the company has added a $25-a-month fee.