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Hiiii and welcome to Daily Crunch for December 17th, 2021! As Alex Mentioned in yesterday’s newsletter, I am editing the daily summary today while he takes his well-deserved vacation / personal day. Alex is one of the hardest working, most efficient people I have ever met, so I like to think that one day of vacation for him is kind of like five days of vacation for everyone else.
Let’s dive right in
The TechCrunch Top 3
- The USB kill cable: Do you know the lever you have to hold down to keep a lawn mower running? Imagine that, but it’s a magnetic USB cable for your laptop. Pull the cord and your laptop will lock itself automatically or wipe itself. Zack Whittaker takes a look at the project to help journalists and activists protect their files from physical attack.
- The new spyware-for-hire: Just as Apple tries to sue the group behind a spyware-for-hire tool, it becomes clear that this means less “killing a dragon” than “fighting the hydra”. Meta / Facebook announced this week that they are banning not one, not two, but seven groups from touching their social networks after it was discovered that the groups had targeted up to 50,000 people. Citizen Labs reports that one of those banned companies, Cytrox, has attempted to trick targets into inadvertently infecting their phones with its “Predator” spyware, which gives its operator full control over the microphone, camera and more.
- TikTok now has a Discord: Have you ever wished you could talk to other TikTokers about TikTok while you are not on TikTok? Good news! For some reason, TikTok started a Discord. As Amanda Silberling puts it: “If the fast food chain Wendy’s can have a Discord with over 60,000 members, why not a viral platform like TikTok?”
THIS. IS. SPERTAAAAA: After years of helping Uber fight fraud, two engineers take this hard-earned knowledge and incorporate it into Sperta, a “Rules Engine as a Service” fraud prevention system for fintech companies. Just months after launch, they raised $ 3 million to keep the ball going.
Hevo raises $ 30 million for its no-code data platform: Successful startups generate a ridiculous amount of data as they grow, but much of it gets stuck in the tools of each team of choice. Hevo accesses all of these tools and transfers this data to a “360-degree view” dashboard, which enables companies to answer complicated questions quickly – and above all without writing any code.
Fuzey funding: Fuzey wants to be a “one stop shop” for small businesses – think plumbers, electricians, mechanics – by keeping their messages / bills / appointments and more in one view. Anything that makes running my own company less of a stress labyrinth is a win for me. The company has just raised $ 4.5 million in seed funding, bringing the total to $ 5.2 million.
Cruise’s CEO is out: The longtime GM manager Dan Ammann has resigned as CEO of Cruise. Neither GM nor Cruise said much about the reasons for the exit; According to a source from Kirsten Korosec, the announcement appeared “unplanned and chaotic”. Cruise co-founder Kyle Vogt, who was Cruise’s first CEO before moving to the position of President / CTO, will serve as interim CEO.
A couple of questions about the upcoming Reddit IPO
Founded 16 years ago, Reddit raised $ 1.3 billion, raising the company to a valuation of $ 10 billion. This week the user-generated community announced that it had filed a confidential request to go public.
“You know what that means,” wrote Alex Wilhelm. “It’s time to ask questions.”
While waiting for Reddit’s S-1 with a sharpened scalpel, Alex shared his first questions about the operation of the social hub, in particular:
“We’re curious about the cost of content moderation, product expansion, the company’s revenue mix, the frequency of government filings, and what the unicorn has to say about crypto.”
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Big Tech Inc.
Who Pays When an Uber Driver Is Killed? Rebecca Bellan tells the story of Ahmad Fawad Yusufi, a 31-year-old Afghan refugee who was shot dead in San Francisco, and his brother’s efforts to get help and possibly crucial details from Uber.
TikTok launches … restaurants? Always wanted to try out those viral recipe videos that you see on TikTok but actually don’t want to … cook? TikTok will launch a number of around 300 “TikTok Kitchen” branded delivery service restaurants next year, working with creative people to send replicas of their popular dishes. I’m trying not to judge in advance, but … well, let’s just say I’ll be very surprised if these are good.
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