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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for September 16, 2021. We are still on the countdown to Disrupt, so make sure you have a ticket, and get ready to drop your pitch deck into the hat. We’re going to space! — Alex
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Tigers love robots: Sure we’re accustomed to seeing Tiger cut checks into every software company still alive, but did you know that the capital fund is also into physical goods? Our own Brian Heater has the news.
- What could stop the startup boom? Today on the site TechCrunch dug back through its coverage of the Q2 venture capital cycle, asking what could stop the momentum that we’ve seen in recent quarters. The short answer? Not too much. The heady startup market is more stable than you’d think, but only partially on its own merit.
- The American government gets serious about breaches: The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is making sure that companies know that if their apps “collect personal health information [they] must notify consumers if their data is breached or shared with third parties without their permission.” Which is good. But how was that not always the rule?
Apple held an event this week, so the technology market is still reverberating with takes about why it’s the iPhone 13 and not the iPhone 12S. Regardless of your take there, Apple’s long shadow is making itself known in other places. Like the market for helping folks find their gadgets. The Cupertino-based giant made waves the other month by introducing AirTags, in competition with Tile, a startup. Well, Tile is now back with $40 million in new capital. To war!
- Fiberplane raises capital to build Google Docs for SREs: Building software tuned for a particular market is hot these days. The strategy is akin to building an anti-Word, if you will. In Fiberplane’s case — the company just raised $8.8 million — it’s building a Google-Docs-style product for site reliability engineers, or SREs. Is that niche too small? Probably not?
- CodeSignal raises (again): Ah, credentialing. CodeSignal wants to make applying for developer gigs a bit more based on skill and a bit less based on where one went to school. Investors are lining up to fund its vision, dropping a fresh $50 million into the company’s coffers less than a year after it raised $25 million.
- Self Financial proves that credit-building is still venture-backable: Altos Ventures led a $50 million Series E for the company, which wants to help “consumers build credit and savings at the same time.” It’s a good idea, given how broken the American credit system still is today.
- Byju’s buys coding platform Tynker: The $200 million transaction will help Byju’s continue to expand in the United States. The Indian company’s bullishness on its own sector is perhaps balm to founders and investors worried about edtech in the wake of China’s decision to kneecap its domestic startup class chasing the market.
- Open Mineral: What a great startup name. And it is more than apt, as the company wants to bring transparency to the global commodities markets. Which is good, as more transparency means better price discovery, and a more efficient market. Open Mineral just closed $33 million in a Series C.
3 strategies to make adopting new HR tech easier for hiring managers
Most of us prefer to trust our instincts instead of letting automated tools help us make decisions, particularly when it comes to hiring. But that’s not smart.
If your startup has an ad hoc hiring process, you’re not tracking candidates properly, there’s little consistency regarding how they’re treated and bias plays a major role in who gets hired.
It’s fine to be skeptical of automated hiring tools —- but not ignorant.
(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
- Twitter Super Follows may not be super lucrative: Data coming out from the Twitter Super Follows product indicates that its early performance is lackluster. So much so that it might go the way of Fleets. Do you Super Follow? If so let us know.
- Ford spends to boost electric truck production: Worried that EVs might be a fad? Stop fretting. Traditional American car company Ford is doubling-down on its electric F-150 production, TechCrunch reports. And if Ford is doing well with EVs, they well and truly are mainstream.
- Lucid Air snags the longest-range EV title, surpassing Tesla: Dodging the Elon fanboys for a minute, Lucid Motors is pushing the state of the EV art a bit forward with a car that sports a 520-mile range. That’s one hell of a hike. In general terms, the distance bump that Lucid — recall that the company is going public later this year — intends to offer could spark an arms race regarding EV range. Yes, please.
TechCrunch Experts: Growth Marketing
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