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Hellooo, Crunchy McCrunchface! (What we’re calling the readers of the Daily Crunch is still a work in progress.)
Super psyched to share something double-plus-awesome with you: The culmination of months of work by Zack is finally live — we’ve launched TheTruthSpy spyware lookup tool, where you can see if your phone has been compromised in various spyware hacks. Dust off that IMEI and find out if you’ve been 1337 hax0red.
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Move it or lose it: Google Cloud is shutting down its IoT Core service, giving customers until next year to find another partner to manage that aspect of their businesses. Google has its reasons, but the move is not sitting well with some customers. Ron has more.
- Popping bottles: Robinhood competitor eToro has agreed to buy Gatsby, a fintech company that also has its sights on Robinhood’s empire. Mary Ann writes that eToro sees the integration of Gatsby as a way “to provide U.S. users with a safe and simple way to trade options, and give them more flexibility to use new strategies.”
- No party here: Airbnb is getting more serious about its anti-party stance and introduced some new pieces of technology in the U.S. and Canada aimed at screening potential rule-breakers at the point of booking, Ivan reports.
Startups and VC
Swiss startup Typewise is showing the power of sticking at it: The team behind patented text prediction technology is now part of Y Combinator’s S22 cohort. It won a spot in YC (and its standard $500,000 backing) after pivoting to fully focus on the b2b market — aiming to serve demand for typing productivity gains in areas like customer service and sales. The pivot was crucial, Natasha L explores in this fabulous, well-worth-reading interview.
The other article that had us going “Oh?!” is Rebecca’s piece about Exponent Energy, and its path toward unlocking 15-minute rapid charging for electric vehicles. The company just raised a $13 million Series A and is targeting commercial fleets, where the pressure to keep vehicles rolling is much higher than in personal cars.
More more more:
- They’ll make you famous if you give them equity: VSC Ventures adds $14 million (its fund now totaling $21 million) to its storytelling-meets-checkbook venture model, Natasha M reports.
- Moar money for web3: The moolah is a’flowin, as CoinFund launches a new $300 million web3 fund to invest in early-stage crypto, Jacquelyn reports.
- Like HR, but automagic: HR startup HiBob’s valuation surges 50% to $2.5 billion as it raises an additional $150 million, Paul reports.
- From Funding Circle to Super Payments: Funding Circle cofounder unveils new fintech venture, Super Payments, as it raises $27 million for its cashback loyalty program type play, Paul reports.
- Big bag of cash for climate: We loved Harri’s story about this VC, who went from “literally zero” experience to a $100 million fund.
- FFS Haje: All we can say is that this headline would have been dangerously edgy if the company’s product had been “hit” or “fit” or “wit” — Getting power from poop, with Levidian’s Loop, reports Haje, who is now probably on notice for awful headline puns.
Choose your angel: Learn how they invest and what motivates them
The “choose your fighter” meme can be traced back to the video game Mortal Kombat, but it’s also relevant for seed-stage founders who are looking for an investor.
Making money is top of mind for every angel, but according to Mack Kolarich, VP of Assure Analytics, most of them also “have a second or third motivator driving them to invest in startups.”
In a TC+ guest post, he lays out several factors entrepreneurs need to consider when investor-shopping: Are they supporting a local ecosystem? Do they write direct checks?
“Armed with this knowledge, you can strategically select the right partner for your business,” says Kolarich.
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
It’s a TikTok kind of a day. The social media giant kicked off its in-app U.S. midterms Election Center today. The company partnered with a bunch of organizations, including the National Association of Secretaries of State, Ballotpedia and voting assistance programs, to provide information like state-by-state election information, details on how to register to vote and who’s on their ballot. Sarah and Taylor also write that TikTok is learning from the 2020 election and will take a broader stance on stamping out misinformation.
Meanwhile, Taylor reports that Meta has some plans of its own on how Facebook will manage its election coverage, including disabling new political ads a week before the midterm elections and not allowing posts that provide misinformation on the voting process — for example, misrepresenting voting qualifications.