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Daily Crunch: 3 US Senators Ask Amazon How Biometric Payment System Will Handle Customers’ Palm Prints

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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for August 13, 2021. We made it to Friday, everyone. Congratulations! Despite it being the end of the week, we still have lots to talk about. Reddit taking on TikTok. Valuation changes in a key startup sector. And what it may really mean for a workplace to be apolitical. So read on, friends — there’s a lot to talk about! — Alex

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • Reddit takes on TikTok: Recently TikTok announced that it was going to shake up its controls to make its service a bit less addictive. While the social video service works on itself, other companies want to challenge its huge market presence. Reddit is joining YouTube, Snap and others in the war. I wonder where Reddit’s product domain will reach by the time it’s done expanding its feature set.
  • Privately loved, publicly panned: The cohort of insurtech companies that went public in the last year were riding high while private. And they had some pretty reasonable IPOs. Then their valuations began to fall. And fall. And fall some more. TechCrunch explores what’s going on and what it could mean for startups.
  • What does apolitical mean, anyway? A new essay written by Elastic exec Mandy Andress digs into the question. As some companies attempt to banish politics from their workplace, she asks “What might that mean for me as an LGBTQIA+ person in the workplace?” Read it.

Startups/VC

  • Latin American fintech stays busy: This time ‘round it’s Ualá that has raised more money, a $350 million Series D that values the company at $2.45 billion, to be precise. The Argentine company builds personal financial products, and its new round and resulting multi-unicorn valuation helps underscore just how global the fintech revolution is proving to be.
  • Gopuff, but for Latin America: Sticking to the region, Orchata just put together $4 million in new capital. The company wants to replicate the magic that Gopuff has managed to conjure, but farther south of where the U.S. company operates. Given how amply SoftBank has backed Gopuff, we’re counting down until the second Vision Fund arrives to pour cash into the hands of the Y Combinator-backed startup.
  • Rapid ARR growth helps Kiddom raise more funds: Kiddom, a “platform that offers a digital curriculum that fits the core standards required by states,” per our own reporting, is growing like a weed. Natasha reports that Kiddom’s ARR scaled 300% from 2020 to 2021. That pace of revenue accretion helped the company secure a $35 million Series C.
  • Reskilling could be big: Investors just put $7 million into Retrain.ai, a startup that wants to use AI and ML to “help governments and organizations retrain and upskill talent for jobs of the future,

 » Read More

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