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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for November 3, 2021. What a day! Despite the U.S. Federal Reserve announcing a slowdown to its bond-buying program, stocks went up again. It’s heads-you-win, tails-you’re-still-in stock market lately. Economy not good enough for tightening? Stocks go up on a comfortable central-banking environment. Economy good enough for tightening? Stocks go up on good economic news. Sure. I suppose it’s good news for startups looking to exit. — Alex
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The Gopuff model goes international: As TechCrunch notes, rapid, on-demand delivery is big business around the world today, and Breadfast wants to own the model in Egypt and across Africa. The company started life as a bread delivery firm but has since branched out. And it just raised $26 million.
U.S. bans NSO Group: Software made by NSO group has been used by authoritarian governments to snoop on journalists, dissidents and other folks that the powerful do not like. The U.S. Commerce Department just added NSO to its Entity List, shuttering trade with the firm in the States. Progress.
Australia says facial recognition startup broke its laws: Also from the security beat is news from Down Under, namely that Clearview AI “broke national privacy laws when it covertly collected citizens’ facial biometrics and incorporated them into its AI-powered identity matching service.” Canada has come to a similar conclusion.
Radar or lidar? A new funding round for Spartan Radar — coming in rapid succession after a preceding investment — indicates that the market has yet to determine which tech will lead the way for self-driving cars.
Ethyca wants to help developers write privacy-forward software: Fresh with new funds, Ethyca is making its Fides set of tooling open source so that “developers can build privacy tools and monitoring mechanisms directly into their codebases.” In the wake of the above privacy news, it feels like a pretty good day for consumers. At least directionally, I suppose.
Yet more money for e-commerce rollups: The push to consolidate e-commerce brands is a global affair. We’ve heard about lots of the activity — and resulting mega-rounds — in both North America and Europe. Now Una Brands has raised even more capital for its APAC-focused work of a similar nature.
Payhippo raises $3M for small-biz lending in Africa: A few quick notes here. First, African fintech has been on a fundraising tear lately, so we’re not surprised to see more activity from the sector. Second, Payhippo’s model is focused on SMB lending, which we dig. And, third, Payhippo is a great startup name.
To round out our startup coverage today, an essay from Victoria Pettibone, a managing partner at Astia Fund, arguing that “VCs must do a better job of supporting Black women founders.”
Female founders are making a buzzing, venture-backed comeback
We are nowhere near achieving parity or representation when it comes to startup funding, but the gender gap is narrowing, according to PitchBook data.
Funding for U.S.-based, female-founded startups nearly doubled in the last year: So far in 2021, women-led companies have closed 2,661 deals worth $40.4 billion.
“Thus far in 2021, the backsliding has more than stopped,” report Natasha Mascarenhas and Alex Wilhelm. “Indeed, it has shot the other direction.”
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Big Tech Inc.
Before we dive into general Big Tech news, please enjoy this dive into the biggest of technology news, namely growth in the cloud. You know, that remote data center where all your software actually runs.
Social media disinformation is more than a Facebook affair: After some damning revelations about Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta, Twitter was flooded with messages of … support. Astroturfing is not a new concept, but when laid as clear as it is in this case, it’s extra gross.
Instagram hearts Twitter: After a long period of time in which Instagram accounts merely posted images of tweets, the Meta property – The Facebook protectorate? The Zuck protectorate? – is bringing back Twitter Card previews. Rejoice, all ye who still use the one-time photo sharing application.
Cash App for teens: Kids have it good these days. I had a checkbook in my youth. And after that mostly had to carry cash. Today Square is rolling out support for teens to use Cash App, provided they have parents to watch over their activity.
To round out our coverage of big technology firms, news from DoorDash: The U.S. delivery giant has built something it calls “SafeDash,” a security toolkit for its delivery denizens. It’s a partnership with ADP that may help keep DoorDashers safer than they are on their own.
Image Credits: SEAN GLADWELL / Getty Images
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