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Hello friends! I’m back from being OOTO last week. My inbox is a hot mess, but the beach was very relaxing, and I still think about those watermelon margaritas. As you can see, my partner in crime, hi, still enjoying his adventures, but we’ve got news to dive into all day, so shall we get started? † Christine
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The londonbusinessblog.com Top 3
- Truth Social SPAC hits a snag: A New York-based federal grand jury sent subpoenas to members of Digital World’s board of directors, Ivan reported. That’s the special-purpose acquisition company gearing up to take over Donald Trump’s media group in charge of Truth Social. According to an SEC filing, the subpoenas are an attempt to gather more information about “Digital World’s S-1 filings, communications with or about multiple individuals, and information about Rocket One Capital.” We’re sure there’s more to the story, so stay tuned.
- Today’s car crush is brought to you by the letters ID.AERO: Volkswagen makes us drool over its new concept car that, Jaclyn writes, will form the basis for the automaker’s first electric vehicle. If you can’t get enough of cars, we recommend subscribing to KirstenThe Station’s newsletter.
- Get rid of plastic packaging: In the UK, Magical Mushroom Company invents a replacement for plastic packaging containing mycelium, also known as the root structure of a mushroom, mixed with agricultural waste, Mike reports. The company raised £3 million to build a manufacturing facility that will produce packaging that is biodegradable in 45 days. For those of you who don’t like mycelium being used to make healthier meat products, you might like this use a little bit better.
Startups and VC
Let’s start with Stardust. By now, you’ve heard that the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. While some states had trigger laws that were already in effect, we’re still trying to figure out what all of this means. That includes what to do with data from period-tracking apps, should that become an opportunity for future prosecution in states that have banned abortion. Sarah and Bag looked at one such time-tracking app, Stardust, which saw its app rise to the top of the US Apple App Store following the SCOTUS decision, after the company “promised it would encrypt its users’ private data in order to keep it safe.” to keep the hands of the government.” The story takes a look at how they plan to keep that promise.
Now let’s get to some news about venture capital firms: Eloho Omame was named a partner at TLcom Capital. The move follows the first closing of the company’s TIDE Africa Fund II, which comes after $150 million in capital commitments. Tage writes that this is a strategic move by TLcom to focus on pre-seed startups. This is a phase Omame knows well as the co-founder and general partner of FirstCheck Africa, an early-stage firm that invests in pre-seed and seed-stage startups with at least one female founder or co-founder.
Speaking of startup investment led by female founders, True Wealth Ventures, led by Sara Brand and Kerry Rupp, took out $35 million in new capital for their company’s second fund. Something cool to think about: All of True Wealth’s investments in the first fund are still operational, which is “no mean feat for a group of startup startups that have had to weather a global pandemic”. Anita wrote.
- Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A: Israel-based Incredibuild continues with $35 million in new Series B financing, Ingrid writes.
- Someone threw water on the hot fintech sector: What is a fintech worth today? Glad you asked. Alex has that answer for you in londonbusinessblog.com+ land, and some of it isn’t right. In reality, Mary Ann wrote of another fintech unicorn, Amount, who said it had to lay off about 18% of its workforce today.
- Solving a last mile problem: AI Squared has raised $6 million to help companies adopt artificial intelligence in a low-code manner, Dominic-Madori reports.
Customize your tech stack to withstand the downturn
Reducing the workforce is often the first place founders look for savings, but it can’t hurt to take a closer look at your tech stack.
Early-stage startups don’t have a formal purchasing process, meaning companies that grow at scale must pay for unused software licenses or automatically renew stuck contracts at high rates.
“The question is not whether there is waste or inefficiency, but how much,” said David Campbell, CEO and co-founder of Tropic. Campbell shares three ways to assess startup software spending.
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Big Tech Inc.
You want to pin this one. A judge in California ruled that a lawsuit against Pinterest could go ahead. As Ivan According to reports, a marketer who claimed to be friends with one of the company’s co-founders said she was asked to “save a failed shopping app” that eventually became Pinterest. She had no formal agreement with the social media company, but did expect compensation for the rescue attempt and for the creation of a number of features. Sorry, that’s a #pinterestfail.
Pieces of metal are being launched to the moon by Rocket Lab, but don’t worry, it’s all in the name of creating a lunar space station, Aria writes. Tune in for the June 28 launch, when the CAPSTONE begins its 6-month journey to the moon.
At londonbusinessblog.com+, Ron takes a closer look at Zendesk’s decision to sell to a group of private equity firms last week. Tl;dr: One of Zendesk’s investors was unhappy that the company turned down an earlier takeover offer. Now, Ron writes that some industry analysts aren’t surprised by this new move, with most suggesting it “could bring some relief to the beleaguered company.”
Google Hangout users, it’s time to move it, move it to Chat. If you’ve been using Hangouts today from your mobile device, you may have seen a message telling you to start using Chat in Gmail or the Chat app. Aisha writes that Chat has been given better functionality, making it easier for consumers to use. You may remember that Chat used to be more of a business function. You’d better start transferring your data before Hangouts hangs you up.