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WhatsApp rolls out new ‘Message Yourself’ feature worldwide • londonbusinessblog.com

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Okay, we haven’t done a newsletter since Wednesday, and while the US team was chilling like villains, the rest of the team was hard at work, so here are some highlights from the last half week of TechCrunchy goodness! — Christine and Hey

The londonbusinessblog.com Top 3

  • Talking to yourself just went digital: Instead of having that internal monologue stuck in your head, you can now play out all your thoughts to yourself in WhatsApp, Jagmeet writes. The messaging platform today began rolling out an easier way to talk to yourself after completing beta testing.
  • Big wall of porn: That is how Rita and Catherine describe the proliferation of bots in China that make it difficult to get legitimate Twitter search results when trying to learn about Chinese cities. Why do you ask that? Rita writes that “the surge in such bot content coincides with an unprecedented wave of (COVID) protests that swept across major Chinese cities and universities this weekend.”
  • Your agenda, only more productive: Get ready to let your calendar be more than just a place to jot down things you need to do that day. Roman writes about Amie, a startup that raised $7 million to link your unplanned to-do list to your calendar. The app also allows users to be social with colleagues.

Startups and VC

Dubai-based public transport and shared mobility provider SWVL has made its second round of layoffs, affecting 50% of its remaining workforce. Tage reports. The news comes six months after SWVL laid off 32% (more than 400 employees) of its workforce in a “portfolio optimization program” aimed at achieving positive cash flow next year.

There are also a few new funds in town! Harry reports that Early Light Ventures is planning a second $15 million fund for software “underdogs” while Mike writes that BackingMinds is raising a new €50 million fund to fund otherwise overlooked entrepreneurs. He also writes about Pact, an all-female led VC for mission-driven startups backed by Anne Hathaway.

And we have five more for you:

Lessons to raise $10 million without giving up a board seat

Image Credits: Ihor Reshetniak (Opens in a new window) /Getty Images

Over the past two years, intelligent calendar platform Reclaim.ai has raised $10 million “with a more incremental approach,” writes co-founder Henry Shapiro.

“We’ve done all of this without giving up a single board seat, and Reclaim employees still own more than two-thirds of the company’s equity,” rejecting the conventional wisdom that founders should “raise as much as possible as quickly as possible.” .”

In a TC+ post, Shapiro discusses the process they used to identify follow-up investors, shares the email template used to pitch the SAFE, and explains why “a larger cap table means more founder control.”

Three more from the TC+ team:

londonbusinessblog.com+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams lead the way. You can sign up here. Use code “DC” for a 15% discount on an annual subscription!

Big Tech Inc.

Amazon’s recent cost-cutting measures appear to be impacting more than just delivery operations. Manic writes that the company is shutting down its wholesale distribution business called Amazon Distribution in India. Amazon had started this unit to help convenience stores secure their inventory. The company has not said why it shut down this particular business, but Manish notes that this is the third Amazon unit to shut down in India.

In the meantime, Natasha L reports that Meta has once again run into trouble with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (aka the body that regulates data protection). Facebook’s parent company faces $275 million in fines for what the agency said were data protection breaches that led to the personal information of about 530 million users being leaked.

Now enjoy six more:

  • Unblocked: After weeks of reports claiming this would happen, BlockFi has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and it could be FTX’s fault. Jaquelyn writes that FTX would buy BlockFi, and then you know what happened to them. Based on the bankruptcy filing, BlockFi owes a significant amount to creditors and unfortunately is now another high-value, heavily backed crypto company that was unable to make it work in this environment.
  • Into the sea, you and me: Hey managed to convince Apple to give him early access to the Oceanic+ app and took the Apple Watch Ultra out into the deep blue sea for our worldwide exclusive review. He also got really excited about the pricing model the app uses.
  • i spy: The US government has banned telecommunications and video surveillance equipment from various Chinese brands, such as Huawei and ZTE, citing the protection of the national communications network. Carly has more.
  • Yahoola takes this company in sacred partnership?: Yahoo invests a 25% stake in Taboola, an ad network, in a deal that will marry the two companies for the next 30 years, Roman writes.
  • Security concerns: The UK government is expanding its online safety law to criminalize those who use the internet to encourage self-harm. Natasha L reports.
  • An apple a day: Musk is looking for a fight with Apple for his latest trick, reports Taylor.


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