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TechCrunch’s Top 3
- Build in those finances: Pezesha, a Kenya-based fintech startup, has been seeded with $11 million in new capital as it seeks to bridge the gap between access to financial products and what is a “$330 billion financial gap for small businesses, which make up 90% from Africa companies,” Annie reports.
- We are all connected: If you haven’t seen each other in any of your relationship circles on Twitter yet, you might soon. The social media giant has launched ‘Close Friends’ features globally, Ivan reports. Add a bunch of people to your circle and start tweeting.
- No shipping for you: The Gopuff delivery platform is only in Europe from November 2021, but Natasha L writes that he has decided to end his service in Spain. She cited that perhaps this is to focus more on the UK market, where revenue is up 30% month on month.
Startups and VCs
The seed capital was VC Garry Tan’s response to a need first highlighted by Y Combinator. As a partner at the accelerator from 2010 to 2015, Tan spent time working with companies to better understand what investors need after they graduate. This week he announced that he is returning to lead YC and Natasha M interviewed him for what’s next for Y Combinator.
The company behind last summer’s hot social app, Poparazzi, appears to be is preparing a second round following its $15 million Series A announced in June. A new App Store listing under the developer’s account, TTYL, teases a previously released app called Made with Friends, Sarah reports.
When the news hits your eye like a big pizza pie, it’s more news:
- Notification bubbles: Devin reports that it finally has underwater messaging app.
- Money for laundry: Wash with fresh products, British “eco-laundry” startup Oxwash has raised $12 million to pivot its growth plans, Natasha L reports.
- Faster when it’s further away: UK £5 billion Project Gigabit issues its first rural connectivity contract to high-speed broadband access, gender reports.
- PriceOye gets Thiel’s seal of approval: Islamabad-based startup PriceOye offers a range of electronic products including smartphones, TVs and home appliances. It just closed a round of funding from investors including Peter Thielreports Jagmeet.
- Dodging the SPAC bullet: Alex and Anna wrote a really interesting article on TC+ (use “DC” for 15% off if you’re not already a subscriber) about SPACs, how they break up and how Europe may have dodged a bullet on this front.
How to communicate with your crypto community when things aren’t going well
Since this is a nascent industry that is largely unregulated, crypto companies are generally not experienced in crisis communications. (We’re being generous here.)
When a bank or financial services company suffers a massive security failure or shock of instability, federal laws dictate how it must communicate with its customers. However, crypto startups must rely on their own best judgment.
“There’s not much point in declaring that the sky is falling and asking your community for investment, but an overly rosy outlook won’t fool anyone either,” says Tahem Verma, co-founder and CEO of Mesha.
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Big Tech Inc.
Last chance to start your game in Facebook games app. The social media giant said it was shutting down its standalone app at the end of October, Aisha reports. Don’t worry, you can still find your Gaming games on the actual Facebook. When the standalone app launched two years ago, it seemed more difficult than Facebook expected, so it decided to join them rather than defeat them.