Starbucks details its blockchain-based loyalty platform and NFT community, Starbucks Odyssey

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Happy new week budding nerds!

Tomorrow (Tuesday) we have not one, but two Twitter Live events, and we’re excited about both. At 8:00 a.m. PDT / 11:00 a.m. EDT, we are talking with Andrew Chan on why Gen Z VCs are trash, and at 12:00 PM PDT / 3:00 AM EDT, we talk to partner M13 Anna Barber on what today’s founders can learn from the bursting of the dot-com bubble.

May your week have all the right surprises! — Christine and Hadje

TechCrunch’s Top 3

  • 2001, Starbucks Odyssey: In August, Starbucks kicked things off with plans for a a blockchain-based loyalty program and NFT community. Today, the coffee giant is creating further excitement by unveiling the Starbucks Odyssey. Sarah there’s more to this hot cup of rewards.
  • Twitter vs. Elon Musk, part 265: Ivan writes that ‘third time’s the charm’ for Elon Musk’s lawyers, who have sent a third termination notice to Twitter over compensation paid to former security chief Peter “Mudge” Zatko in June, claiming the action was in violation of Musk’s proposed deal to acquire the social media giant. Or so they thought. Twitter denies that this violated the agreement.
  • Africa’s hot and heavy fintech sector: Kippa, a Nigerian financial management app for merchants, has closed $8.4 million in new funding. Tage reports that Kippa now has 500,000 merchants using its app since launching last June.

Startups and VCs

Electric truck company Nikola merged with VectoIQ in a SPAC in June 2020 at a $29 billion valuation. Trevor Milton, former CEO of Nikola, begins his fraud trial, which serves as a warning to venture capitalists who would throw money into a company before it starts shipping products or bringing in revenue, Rebecca reports.

“The reality is, if you’re a Silicon Valley-based venture firm, no LP at your annual meeting is going to ask you, ‘How did you miss Company X in Columbus?'” Like that’s not going to happen. But they will ask you “How did you miss Company Y that was in Silicon Valley?” They don’t want to miss these things in their backyard,” Chris Olsen explained in a fascinating interview with Horses. Olsen spent six years at Sequoia Capital in California before co-founding Drive Capital in Columbus, Ohio in 2013.

Tangently related, for our City Spotlight: Minneapolis last week, Hadje hosted a panel discussion What investors are looking for in Minneapolis (hint: it’s not just Minnesota startups).

Here are a few more for you:

For payment orchestration startups in LatAm, market fragmentation is a blessing in disguise

A broken white plate on a red background

Image Credits: aolomartinezphotography (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

In Latin America, e-commerce is affected by high levels of fraud. Only 20% of adults have a credit card, and many can’t use it internationally.

It is also true that e-commerce there has grown faster than in any other region since the start of the pandemic. According to one study, online sales in Latin America will generate $379 billion with a 32% year-over-year increase.

“The payments landscape in Latin America appears hopelessly fragmented and full of fraud,” said Rocio Wu, director of F-Prime Capital.

“However, we believe that fragmentation actually offers a huge opportunity for vertically integrated payment orchestration startups to capture a lot of value.”

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can register here.)

Big Tech Inc.

Darrell tracked the Blue Origin launch this morning and brought news that the launch was aborted after “in-flight anomaly”.

We know you missed getting your fix of Apple news over the weekend, so the team including Zak, Ivan, Sarah and Romainhave come together to bring you some stories related to iOS 16. The first ones are five new security and privacy features followed by “fancy” features you don’t want to miss out. Then everything you wanted to know Lock screen widgets and how iOS 16 download will turn your iPhone in a more personal device and finally, the skinny on Apple Access Key.

  • Looking at India: That’s exactly what Google plans to do with some of the manufacturing its Pixel smartphones, Manish write.
  • What you shouldn’t leave in your hotel room: Not sure how you can just “find” a Meta Quest Pro Prototypebut that’s what a video game streamer in Mexico says happened. Amanda there is more.
  • no: Can’t say Amazon hasn’t tried. The e-commerce giant is called on the European Union to accept his proposal to drop an antitrust investigation into the use of third-party data. Natasha L writes that some advocacy groups are calling Amazon’s proposal “weak, vague and full of loopholes.”
  • Chocolate, salty balls maybe?: Switch to capsules and K-cups. The coffee balls are here. Find out what Hadje i should have said about the switzerland based one Coffee machine.

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