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The TechCrunch Top 3
- Delivery drop: When one door opens for DoorDash, another door closes. Earlier this week, we reported that DoorDash and Facebook were becoming fast friends as they piloted a program to pick up and drop off Facebook Marketplace items to customers. Now, Aisha reports that DoorDash may be ending its delivery relationship with Walmart in September. Walmart might not be too upset by the breakup, though, as it has been working on its own delivery efforts.
- Falling Facebook: The social media giant is “losing its grip,” as Sarah put it, on younger consumers who are preferring newer apps like TikTok and BeReal. The evidence? Facebook just can’t seem to stay in the Apple App Store’s Top 10. Though this phenomena is not new for them, Sarah has more on if it’s time for Facebook to be concerned.
- Leveraging Love: Former Bolt (this one) CEO Ryan Breslow may still be in some hot Twitter water for his comments about the hurdles to going up against competitors, but he tells Connie that he has “no regrets” about anything he said. Instead, he is jumping headfirst into some new startups, including a “people-powered pharma” startup called Love.
Startups and VC
“IPOing has been an extremely rare outcome for robotics companies, even in the (now bygone) golden era of SPACs. Given the state of the overall market, some planned SPACs were put on hold in the interim, in hopes of riding more favorable trends,” Brian writes as he discusses the three true robotic startup outcomes in his awesome Actuator newsletter. It’s all about robotics, and you can subscribe to it and all our other newsletters. We’re not sure if the form will ask you if you are a robot to subscribe to our robotics newsletter, but that would be particularly funny.
Meanwhile, there was a bunch of action in the automatic-transcription-and-note-taking field, as Rita reports that Otter.ai challenger Airgram raises $10 million. Probably not in response to that, but Ivan’s report is notable — Otter.ai slashes its free plan to a max of 300 minutes per month, but does open its recorder bot to all.
Five more that caught our eyes and ears:
- Culling card: Uni, India’s pay-later cards startup, plans to temporarily suspend its card services in the South Asian market following the local central bank’s guidelines on digital lending, Manish reports.
- Unrolling the rollups: Mary Ann reports that something is shifting in the world of fintech, as a16z’s fintech leads say “Silicon Valley is becoming unbundled.”
- A locker for your keys: If hackers get hold of secret codes and drain the wallets, users have no way to recover their funds. Safeheron secures $7 million to make those keys safer, reports Rita.
- More money for African pre-seed startups: Microtraction, an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in African startups at the pre-seed stage, is announcing that it has reached the first, $15 million close of its second fund, Tage reports.
- Say what?: Becca reports that the FDA’s decision to allow over-the-counter hearing loss tech will strap a rocket booster to innovation in the sector.
5 investors explain why longevity tech is a long-term play
In the United States, average life expectancy has fallen for two years in a row. In 2019, it was 78.86 years, but by 2020, that figure shrank by 2 years and 3 months.
The decline was due to COVID-19, but reporter Anna Heim interviewed five investors who are backing startups developing technology that may allow us to live longer, healthier lives.
Longevity is a nascent vertical today, but “the space is only getting started now and will infiltrate all aspects of our life in the next five to 10 years,” said one respondent.
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Big Tech Inc.
If you always feel like somebody’s watching you, it might be TikTok. Natasha L reports on some independent research that has surfaced related to TikTok’s in-app browser injecting code — a term called keylogging — that could have it monitoring keyboard inputs and taps that are happening on third-party websites inside TikTok. Developer Felix Krause, who conducted the research, did say that just because TikTok might be doing this does not mean it is in a malicious way.
Just how much are you willing to pay to drive an electric vehicle? Lucid is betting at least $249,000. That’s how much it is pricing its new Sapphire performance EV, Kirsten writes. Now, to be fair, it has a glass roof, three motors and a sweet color.
- Clear your closet: Online home goods retailer Wayfair saw its shares plummet today following news that it would lay off nearly 900, or about 5% of its workforce. Andrew writes the move is “a way to reprioritize investment needs and meet the company’s current needs.”
- Tip your hat: W4 Games, a new company from the creators of the Godot game engine, is tapping into the wisdom of commercial open source software giant Red Hat to take Godot to the next level. Paul has more on how W4 plans to do that.
- Clean your plate: European food delivery company Just Eat Takeaway is selling its stake in Brazil-based iFood to Prosus for up to $1.8 billion in an effort to gain some liquidity “amid troubling times,” Paul writes.
- Fold your phone: Brian is having fun whipping out two of Samsung’s foldable phones and showing friends to see their reactions. Here, he reviews the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.
- Know your car history: Lincoln’s idea of an electric vehicle concept car is a bit outlandish. Jaclyn writes that the Lincoln Model L 100 concept “pays homage to the brand’s first luxury vehicle, the 1922 Model L.” You’ll need to see it for yourself.