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With almost a hundred new stories on the site since the last Daily Crunch, we’re having a hard time picking the cream of the crop, but that’s what we dooooo. It’s been an Amazon and Google extravaganza over the past 24 hours, in addition to all the regular news stories our crack team of tech news sleuths have been ferreting out from the underbrush. There shall be no further ado — let’s do this! — Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
- News you don’t want to use: Apple News users got some interesting — read “offensive” — notifications thanks to a hacker that breached Fast Company’s systems. Carly has more.
- Well, that went downhill fast: We feel like we were just hyping all things Apple iPhone 14, but now Ivan reports that the tech giant is “readjusting its production targets” after not seeing as much rah-rah from customers.
- Fewer fees please: Ingrid covers payment network Satispay’s €320 million funding round that values the company at over €1 billion and also puts it in the hearts and minds of customers in Europe seeking better budget control.
Startups and VC
First up is Romain, who invites you to meet Roundtable. It’s a new startup backed by eFounders that wants to bring community-driven, AngelList-style angel investments to European startups. The company has built a platform that simplifies the administrative, legal and financial challenges that come with angel investments.
Money continues to flow into new venture capital funds. In the past month, Runa Capital, Lerer Hippeau, Razor’s Edge Ventures, First Star, OurCrowd, Northzone, Janngo Capital and Kapor Capital all announced new funds. Now it’s Scale Venture Partners’ turn, announcing it secured $900 million in committed capital for its eighth fund, also its largest since forming in 2000, Christine reports. The fund was raised in 120 days over the summer, partner Rory O’Driscoll said.
More more more, always more:
- Keeping an eye on the worker bees: Kyle reports that Invisible AI raised $15 million to stick worker-monitoring cameras in factories.
- More cash for crypto: Jacquelyn reports that crypto trading–focused blockchain Sei launches a $50 million ecosystem fund.
- Exoskeleton for humans: Cionic gets $12.5 million to accelerate its assistive mobility wearable, Brian reports.
- Come fly away with me: Devin reports that Firehawk’s rocket engines and 3D-printed fuel hit testing milestones ahead of first launch.
- Reaching beyond the home market: Annie reports that YC-backed fintech Numida raised $12.3 million, led by Serena Ventures, to extend loans to MSMEs beyond Uganda.
The unbearable lightness of being asset-light
Investors have embraced “asset-light” companies like Rent the Runway, Uber and Airbnb that don’t own the hardware that generates their revenue.
Companies that generate billions from assets they don’t own “typically require less capital — and therefore less dilution for their investors,” writes Daniel Hoffer, managing director of Autotech Ventures.
“But some asset-light marketplaces struggle to satisfy their customers because not all the assets they can make available are equally appreciated by their demand-side customers.”
Three more from the TC+ team:
- Shh, keep it down over there: Moxion nails a $100 million Series B to replace noxious diesel generators with silent batteries, by Tim.
- To visit or not to visit: Our resident immigration lawyer Sophie Alcorn answers whether it is okay to use a visitor visa while holding an H-1B.
- Fasten your ETH-belt: Cardano founder claims the Ethereum community is in for a “rough time” following the Merge by Jacquelyn.
Big Tech Inc.
Boy, do we have a treat for you today: Our team was busy covering both Google’s Search On event and Amazon’s fall event, which means we have all the Amazon and Google news that’s fit to print, er, post. There’s a lot to choose from, but here are some of our favorites:
- Amazon’s latest Halo device is a bedside sleep tracker; Kindle Scribe brings writing to Amazon’s popular e-reader; and Amazon’s Astro robot gets pet detection, home security updates and an SDK, by Brian.
- Google revamps shopping with 3D images, shoppable looks, buying guides, and more personalization and Google unveils a more visual search experience for the TikTok generation, by Sarah.
- Google’s upcoming Maps feature will let you check out the ‘vibe’ of a neighborhood, by Aisha.
- The new Echo Dot is also an Eero, by Devin.
- Amazon debuts new Echo devices, including Echo Studio with spatial audio, by Kyle.
And we have four more for you:
- Don’t want to be muzzled anymore: Rebecca reports that Elon Musk doesn’t want to have to think before he tweets anymore.
- Freeze, this is a bitcoin stickup!: South Korean prosecutors confirm that they want to freeze bitcoin assets linked to Terraform Labs’ Do Kwon, Kate writes.
- Nothing to see here: Tumblr has a new “community labels” feature, but as Amanda reports, this does not mean it is bringing back porn.
- Starting fresh: Brian reports on Kickstarter’s new CEO, Everette Taylor.