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Welcome to the Daily Crunch for Monday, April 18, 2022. There’s been a ton of fun and – dare we say it – surprising content on TechCrunch over the past few days. We were thrilled to read Devin’s review of Playdate, the weirdest little handheld game console to come out. We also loved the discussion about poison pills and how they work on the Equity podcast today, so be sure to listen to that as well.
TechCrunch’s top 3
- Give health care a booster shot: Hospitals and other healthcare facilities were facing employee burnout and a smaller pool of talent to draw from even before the pandemic. Clipboard Health, an online marketplace that connects available nurses and other healthcare professionals with facilities in need, is now announcing much of the capital it has taken in under two separate deals over the past past two years to expand to more cities. We see this as a much-needed boost for the healthcare industry to retain the right talent while providing the kind of flexible working that other sectors are now embracing.
- Union54 aims to create a local alternative to Visa, Mastercard: A story that got a lot of attention today was TagsCover of the card-issuing Zambia Fintech Union54 raised $12m in a round led by Tiger Global. If its early growth metrics are any indication, we believe the startup is well on its way to achieving its goal. Since participating in Y Combinator’s 2021 Summer Batch and officially launching in October, Union54 has issued just over half a million virtual debit cards to its customers and claims to have processed volumes now reaching millions of double-digit dollars.
- It was a kind of information day on electric vehicles: Not only can we be your guide to all the current EV SPAC surveys, but we also have a look at the electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles that stood out at the New York Auto Show. Then Tesla decided not to continue making the brand’s Gen 2 Mobile Connector the standard on new vehicles. Instead, you’ll need to add the charging kit for the discounted price of $200. And finally, discover Kirsten(sign up for The Station here), chock-full of Jeep EV goodness and other mobility news.
Startups and VCs
On TC+, Alex observes that valuations in the startup world have fallen by 20%, and Natasha observes that we are still in a founder-friendly market, overall. The two articles make for a truly fascinating side-by-side read.
The incredibly named Ellis has raised $5.6 million to help international students settle in the United States and deal with the messy logistics of settling in those United States. I really wish it was there when I first landed on these shores; what a good idea.
In other words:
The Cram Downs are a character test for VCs and Founders
Follow-on investors taking advantage of the closing of the IPO window to impose unfavorable terms on founders are “the latest feeders in the venture capital industry,” writes Steve Blank in TechCrunch+.
As the IPO window closes, it’s common for entrepreneurs who have invested years of their lives in a startup to agree to “take it or leave it” terms, says Stanford adjunct professor Blank. and Principal Investigator for Innovation at Columbia. University.
Ultimately, “VCs will stop playing this game when the founders stop trading.”
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams grow. You can register here.)
Big Tech inc.
- Reverse engineers find evidence of Twitter’s Edit button in development: Just when you’ve started to forget the whole Twitter edit button thing, we’re here to remind you of every…little…advancement. Today we caught up with a few reverse engineers who tweeted how the Edit button could work and how it could be implemented. The implemented part is hotly debated, with one argument being that it could “be heavily abused to mislead the public about what was originally said”.
- Kittens are going to explode all over Netflix: If you have kids who love the Exploding Kittens game, prepare to have them blown away by Netflix and its plans to create not just a mobile game, but a new animated TV series as well. We note that Netflix is testing the market to see if this type of move will attract new players to the game.