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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for October 1, 2021! What a week, y’all. With the third quarter of 2021 now behind us, it’s time to gird ourselves for earnings season, new VC data drops and what we hope — pray? — is one more IPO cycle before the year ends. And with the holiday season starting in roughly 1.5 months, there’s not that much time left. So, make sure you’re reading your friendly neighborhood TechCrunch. We’ve got you covered. – Alex
The TechCrunch Top 3
Nigeria may unban Twitter: After fail-whaling Twitter across the country, the Nigerian government may unblock the social service if it meets certain conditions. Some have been agreed to. Others appear less certain, like Twitter building an office in the country. We’ll see, but the Nigerian beef with Twitter matters as we have seen other nation-states quash the service to varying degrees; China does so fully, for example, while India has leaned into the intimidation side of influence. In other Twitter news, the company has a service for professionals coming out.
Startups find money outside venture circles: TechCrunch spends quite a lot of time tracking the financial flows between startups and their venture backers. But not all dollars and yen that flow to startups come from the sale of equity. And the methods by which startups can raise alternative funds are becoming increasingly mature. This is good news for upstart tech companies around the world. (More on the pace at which capital is flowing into startups here.)
Oyo files to go public: Perhaps the Q4 IPO cycle will be, as they say, lit? Oyo is at least jumping into the mix with a public offering that could raise more than $1 billion. TechCrunch has a dive into the filing in the link; recall that Oyo is a SoftBank-backed company that hit some growth issues over the last few years.
Megabucks for ghost kitchens: That’s a brand-new sentence, I reckon. Regardless, the news today is that All Day Kitchens, which operates a network of ghost kitchens for smaller restaurants to leverage for delivery prep, has raised a $65 million round. Precisely why venture capital is the right choice here is somewhat opaque, but the new capital brings All Day Kitchens’ historical fundraising to more than $100 million, a sum that is impressive for the food space.
Smallerbucks for influence connecting: The influencer economy is still going strong, it appears, with fresh evidence coming today in the form of a $1.67 million round being raised by ProductWind. The startup “aims to connect brands with influencers in one click,” TechCrunch reports.
DAOs, utopial thinking and you: The DAO space, or the market for decentralized autonomous organizations, is hot in that it’s something that tech folks are thinking and talking about. And funding, it turns out, as Utopia Labs has put together $1.5 million for its infrastructure work for DAOs. DAOs are a hybrid of capitalism and democracy, implying a future where the two are in closer harmony. Hence “utopia” in the name. You won’t find snark about utopia in this newsletter, or aspirations thereof. As Oscar Wilde said, “A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at.”
LeadIQ just landed a $30 million round for its sales software: LeadIQ helps save sales reps time by handling some of their rote entry, freeing those folks up for more creative work. And the startup has plans to better unite sales and marketing teams’ data, which its CEO reckons could help boost sales numbers.
From the TechCrunch+ side of things, we have pieces from Disrupt that cover our talk with Reid Hoffman on blitzscaling, how startups can spend their newly raised capital (and what the hiring market is doing to profligacy!) and how to scale science.
Ben Rubin explains why the Web3 era of social media will help everybody get paid
Web3 is still taking shape, so it is hard to define.
At TechCrunch Disrupt, Houseparty founder Ben Rubin emphasized decentralization as Web3’s central feature. In today’s Web 2.0, individuals give money and personal data to network operators in exchange for access to information.
“In Web3 there is a possibility — not saying that it’s going to actually 100% gonna happen — but there is a possibility where the network owns the network,” said Rubin. “And that’s, I think, the simplest way, the shortest way I can explain it.”
In conversation with reporter Taylor Hatmaker, Rubin said NFTs show that individuals can benefit from Web3 adoption, while decentralized finance and cryptocurrency trading are more commercialized forms.
“It’s not going to be perfect, but it’s going to be a better incentive alignment than we have right now. And that will create competition on incentive alignments with their users,” said Rubin.
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
Blue Origin is a mess: It’s never a good week when your rocket company gets hit with allegations of sexism (very bad) and unsafe tech (also very bad). And yet that’s where Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin finds itself. The company is now in damage control mode. And we presume, rocket QA mode.
For you Apple-heads out there, a bug in iOS 15 that was messing with Watch unlocking is set to receive a fix.
Tech companies line up behind stronger EU disinformation code: Per TechCrunch reporting, Clubhouse and Vimeo are among a list of tech companies “preparing to sign up to a beefed-up version of the European Union’s Code of Practice on Online Disinformation.” Notable.
Finally, the Zoom-Five9 deal is dead: Why did it fail? A number of reasons, possibly including a too-low offer price, sliding share prices post-agreement, and antitrust and security concerns. Other than that, the transaction went great.
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