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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for September 24, 2021. Hanging in there, everyone? It was more than a busy week, but the TechCrunch team is still ticking along, covering the startup world just for you. If you need to catch up on who won Battlefield this year, the Equity podcast crew has you covered. And with that, let’s begin! -- Alex
The TechCrunch Top 3
China bans crypto (again): If you have paid any attention to the larger world of cryptocurrencies, you’re familiar with bad news from China. Over the past few years, the country has put an increasingly wet blanket on its place in the international crypto economy. More of the same from China today was enough to ding the value of major cryptos -- not a great note to end the week on if you were Coinbase or Robinhood.
SoftBank triples down on Latin America: The battle to build the next great tech company is a global scrap, and few regions are as hot as Latin America. One reason that LatAm has done so well in recent quarters has been a huge influx of capital from SoftBank. And as we learned this week, the Japanese telco and startup mega-investor has billions more earmarked for Latin American startups.
It’s a good time to bootstrap: Looking back at a few Disrupt panels on alternative fundraising, going public and more, TechCrunch took a look at today’s bootstrapping economy. With more ways for startups to rake in capital than ever, the need to raise venture capital could be in decline for certain startup types -- even as global venture capital totals shoot higher.
Will consumes say “nope” to Noops? Well, the plant-based pudding company Noops certainly hopes not. It just raised $2 million after raising $2 million just a few months ago. The market for alt-milks is big. Perhaps oat milk puddings will become the next oat milk? Lerer Hippeau provided the new capital.
Say hello to OpsObs: Avenue thinks that “operations observability” is going to be a hot ticket, and after launching its product last week, the startup announced that it has raised $4 million. Per TechCrunch reporting, the goal of Avenue is “give operations their own tools to monitor teams” via a “command center” of sorts. As someone who has never seen a chart in a UI I didn’t want to read, I presume that this will quickly become a trillion-dollar business.
Ukio raises $9M for longer-stay rentals: One thing that Airbnb noticed during the pandemic was that while short stays were taking a whacking, longer-term rentals rose in popularity. Ukio is a startup-sized bet on the observation, offering units with rental schemes with terms of a month or longer. So, do you want to go work in Spain for a month? Ukio might have just the spot for you.
How Ryan Reynolds has mastered authentic marketing
Most people know Ryan Reynolds from his movies, but he also owns a majority stake in Mint Mobile, a mobile virtual network operator, which has grown more than 50,000% in the past three years. He also invested in Aviation Gin before selling it for a staggering $600 million last year.
He’s also a founder of Maximum Effort, the marketing firm that promotes the “Deadpool” franchise, Aviation Gin, Mint Mobile and that viral Match.com ad featuring Satan and the year 2020 as a match made in hell.
He spoke to Jordan Crook about how startups can adapt his concept of “fast-vertising” to use real-time cultural moments as a springboard for building their own brand buzz, among other things.
“When we lead with creative and we have an idea or are inspired by something, we get quite aggressive with our excitement and try to make something infectious around it,” said Reynolds.
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Big Tech Inc.
U.S. doles out $1.2B for underserved internet connectivity: Tired of all the bad news in the world? We are too. In good news, the U.S. regulatory body responsible for domestic internet connectivity is rolling out big funds to help school districts get more kids online. It’s hard to do homework or participate in remote school without a connection, and not every kid has one. There’s more money coming as well, TechCrunch reports.
Will the U.K. fund its ambitious AI strategy? The U.K. government wants the island nation to be a world leader in AI. Fair enough. But questions remain about just how much that will cost and if the same government is going to put up the required duckets. To be a leader in the global AI race, one merely has to beat out China, the United States and the EU for supremacy. Let’s see what Boris has planned.
Amazon brings Prime Video Channels to India: Indian Amazon customers can now subscribe to eight different digital channels in their country, including “Discovery+ [for] $4 per year, Mubi $27, Hoichoi $8.2, DocuBay $6.8, ErosNow $4, Lionsgate Play $9.5, manoramaMax $9.5 and ShortsTV $4,” TechCrunch reports. Amazon’s digital media ambitions appear undaunted, so expect more on this theme in coming quarters from both the Indian market and others.
And to close us out, Chris Pratt is apparently taking on the voice role for famous digital character Mario in an upcoming movie. We don’t get it either.
TechCrunch Experts: Growth Marketing
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