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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for October 25, 2021. What a day. We kicked off with news that a major, multibillion-dollar tech deal was kaput and closed out the trading day on news that another tech firm had reached the trillion-dollar market cap threshold. Facebook also reported earnings right after the bell, and TechCrunch dropped a host of hardware reviews. Tired yet? It’s Monday. – Alex
P.S. Our SaaS event is in two days; get hype.
The TechCrunch Top 3
PayPal calls off Pinterest deal: So much for the fintech-social media tie-up of the decade. U.S. fintech giant PayPal has killed off its potential buy of Pinterest. Shares of PayPal rose. Shares of Pinterest cratered. I suppose our general skepticism of the deal wasn’t too far off the market.
Tesla reaches $1T market cap: You may have missed it, but Tesla is now worth more than Facebook these days, cresting the $1 billion market cap market today during regular trading, while the social network closed the day worth a few dozen billion less. What drove Tesla’s gains? Hertz, amazingly enough.
Facebook misses revenue expectations, promises reporting changes: After the bell today, Facebook reported its Q3 2021 earnings, including a revenue miss, a per-share profit beat, and news that it intends to break out its AR and VR revenues into a separate category from here on out. The latter is good news, though we’d appreciate more granular financial reporting from across the Empire of Zuck now that we know the company is capable of it. Shares of Facebook are up slightly, if still underwater from their Friday declines that came in the wake of Snap’s Q3 report.
Before we get truly underway with all of our startup coverage, we have a new item from Unicorn Land: New York tech company Braze is going public. While it was not a unicorn when it last raised capital, the company will nearly certainly crash through the $1 billion valuation mark when it debuts on the public markets.
All hail our commercial space future: A consortium of firms are coming together to build a commercial space station. Given how rapidly the ISS is showing its age, this is a good thing. Sierra Space announced that “Blue Origin and Boeing would be joining the team to send the [private space station] to orbit in the second half of the decade.” We are closer and closer to our Bond-villain future that we’ve all long awaited.
Selfbook raises capital, pivots to business focus: The pandemic shook up quite a lot. Where we work. How we socialize. For hotel-booking company Selfbook, it shook up its business model. Now working for other companies, Selfbook “claims that its software gives hotels a way to accept ‘one-click’ payments directly on their websites while eliminating fraud and reducing chargebacks.” The startup is now worth $125 million.
Cameo books acquisition: The celebrity-booking service Cameo has proven to have a popular model. You can pay a fee and have a celebrity or other notable figure record a message for you. I once got one from an Eagles player that a friend commissioned for me. Fun times. Anyhoo, the company has made its first acquisition, picking up Represent, which TechCrunch describes as “a marketing and merch company that helps celebrities and brands set up individualized online storefronts.” You can see the synergies, obviously.
Are all the startup names taken? Here at TechCrunch, we joke that there are too many venture capital firms, so much so that they are starting to double-up on names. For Example, Shine Capital and Shine Capital. Regardless, a startup called Y42 has raised funds, showing the world how to avoid using someone else’s name. The Berlin-based startup has built a low-code data platform and just raised a $31 million Series A.
Even more money to roll-up e-commerce brands: The race to buy e-commerce sellers continues this week with Boston-based Thrasio raising $1 billion more for its efforts. The company is now worth $10 billion. That’s a lot of money. Per TechCrunch, the company is buying more than a brand each week, and has 200 in its portfolio. Wild.
New task app aims to tell you what you’re supposed to be doing right now: Meet Routine, a new startup working on a productivity tool that should help you manage your work day more efficiently. It’s a brand new take on to-do lists as it combines both tasks, non-actionable notes and a daily planner.
Fintech’s growing role in the healthcare revolution
Health care spending accounts for almost 18% of U.S. GDP, so it’s no surprise that digital health is attracting record levels of investment. This year, VCs have flowed $14.7 billion to health tech startups, compared to $14.6 billion in all of 2020.
Given the high cost of care in the United States compared to other nations, pairing fintech with health tech is just good business.
Simon Wu, an investment director with Cathay Innovation, says he’s paying close attention to these areas of convergence:
Data and the transition to value-based care.
Gamifying consumer wellness to stave off chronic illnesses.
Fintech for affordability and reducing friction.
Big Tech Inc.
Look, it’s hardware season. You can tell because it’s getting colder outside. That means that Christmas is coming. That means consumers are looking for stuff to buy. So, new hardware.
TechCrunch has you sorted, if you require a set of reviews to help you decide what piece of hardware you need. So, here’s our Google Pixel 6 review and our review of Apple’s new Airpods and its new 14-inch MacBook Pro. Apple’s new OS is also now live.
YouTube warns creators on lame kids’ content: If you churn out content on YouTube that you claim is for kids, but is “low quality, encourages negative behavior or attitudes or is heavily commercial,” get ready to stop making money on your videos. YouTube is going to yank monetization of videos thereof. This raises questions, like, “If YouTube can tell which kids-focused videos are low quality, why did it let them onto its platform in the first place?” And, “Is demonetization enough?”
Microsoft to bring Shopify merchants to its platforms: Following in Google’s footsteps, Microsoft has teamed up with e-commerce giant Shopify to help get merchants that use its services onto Bing, Edge and other Redmond software products. Bing retains search market share, mind, so this is good news for Team Shopify.
In the Good News files today, Best Buy and Home Depot are halting sales of hardware from “Chinese video surveillance technology makers Lorex and Ezviz” over what we described as “links to human rights abuses.”