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It is Tuesday the 10th of May, and the end of an era as Apple officially retires the iPod after a 20-year run of swinging our tushes, white earbuds dangling against brightly colored backgrounds. – Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Peloton’s rough ride: For a bicycle that goes nowhere, Peloton missing its revenue estimates for the first quarter is putting the company on a downhill trajectory. We are now watching how CEO Barry McCarthy will lead his team to turn the red knob to the right, rise out of the saddle, and pedal Peloton into a course correction.
- IBM tips its hat: To Red Hat, of course. Ron gave us an inside look at how the company has been doing since joining IBM in 2018 — really good, as far as we can tell — with Red Hat giving IBM “some cloud credibility it had been missing” and one of the reasons IBM did so well in its first-quarter earnings.
- Bitcoin go bye-bye: Jacquelyn spoke to some crypto experts trying to make sense of Bitcoin’s value decrease, which at the time was down more than 50% from its November 2021 peak. It seems like a complicated mess with a lot of acronyms flying around. So much so that even investors in China (remember it banned cryptocurrency) that found a way to still buy and sell tokens are keeping a watchful eye.
Startups and VC
It’s a hardware feast this news cycle on Ye Olde TechCrunch: DJI launched its entry-level quadcopter at under $700. Remarkable raised a round of funding for its e-paper notepad at a unicorn valuation, and the team behind the viral sensation IkeaBot raised $4 million to further develop its Eureka controller.
We loved this piece from Connie about Bonobos footwear company founder Andy Dunn and his work in destigmatizing mental health challenges, speaking out about his “secret battle” against bipolar disorder.
- They’re coming to take you a-pay, haha: In a barrage of drama surrounding online payment app BharatPe, the Indian unicorn startup is clawing back a founder’s shares and giving a number of employees the boot.
- All ur base r belong to us: Supabase raised an $80 million Series B for its open source Firebase alternative.
- Yeah, straight from the top of my ‘zon: Byrd nabbed $56 million to offer an alternative to Amazon’s fulfillment network.
- A changing of the guard: After more than 170 investments, Kapor Capital’s co-founders Freada and Mitch Kapor are stepping back, making way for a new generation of investors.
- The way you make me real, yeah: Arianee has raised a $21 million Series A round. The company issues digital ownership and authenticity certificates on behalf of partner brands.
- If you got bad news. You wanna kick them blues. Blockchain: As new blockchains continue to spring up, and after last year’s “DeFi” summer that brought new traction to Ethereum, Bitcoin investors have had to start watching their backs. Venture backers are pouring cash into the blockchain to help it play catchup.
BNPL in 2022: 4 fintech investors discuss regulation, trends and how to stand out
Globally, sluggish wage growth and rising inflation have encouraged shoppers to defer payments on everything from groceries to durable goods.
Affirm, Afterpay and Klarna own 75% of the sector in the U.S., which leaves little room for startups hoping to join the fray. Founders who target emerging markets like Latin America and India may have an easier time, but only if their products and services are clearly differentiated.
To learn more about the state of the industry, Karan Bhasin interviewed four fintech investors:
- Frances Schwiep, partner, Two Sigma Ventures
- Melissa Guzy, co-founder and managing partner, Arbor Ventures
- Jonathan Whittle, co-founder and partner, Quona Capital
- Jason Brown, partner, Victory Park Capital
In addition to sharing their direct advice for fintech founders, they talked about managing fraud and default risk, BNPL’s growing popularity as a point-of-sale option, and what kinds of investment opportunities they’re looking for.
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
It looks like EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton had a good day yesterday, hopefully crossing a few things off of his bucket list, including meeting Elon Musk and essentially getting his OK on the EU’s Digital Services Act, which aims to provide more governance rules around “harmonizing content” and consumer protections while also fining those who breach them. Meanwhile, the U.K. is pushing forward with its data reform bill targeting Big Tech.
Some other Tuesday tidbits:
- Nintendo shared a new milestone today — over 100 million annual playing users. That’s a lot of Super Mario Bros. going at the same time. Oh wait, we are behind the times; perhaps it’s better to say Splatoon.
- The U.S. and some of its allies have decided to formally blame Russia for the Viasat cyberattack that took place in February.
- Salesforce acquired Troops.ai, which will become part of Slack and build a bunch of Slack bots for sales teams to more easily retrieve and update data.
- The parent company of Tinder, Match and OkCupid sued Google, alleging the company was trying to maintain a monopoly in the way people pay via the Google Play app marketplace. We think language from the lawsuit says it all: “Ten years ago, Match Group was Google’s partner. We are now its hostage.”
- While Google is dealing with that, it is also joining with Microsoft, Yahoo and others to provide support behind a proposed New York bill banning the use of controversial search warrants. If passed, New York would be the first state to ban what Zack reported was “so-called geofence warrants and keyword search warrants, which rely on demanding tech companies turn over data about users who were near the scene of a crime or searched for particular keywords at a specific point in time.”