To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s greatest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3:00 p.m. PDT, subscribe here.
Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for June 24th, 2021. There’s a wealth of tech news out there today, but at the very top, if you’re into the advertising market, go here first. Google is ousting Cookiegeddon, and the decision could impact businesses from the smallest startup to Google. – Alex
The TechCrunch top 3
- Instagram’s slow embrace of computers continues: After a long history as a mobile-first or mobile-only product, Instagram is now testing the “ability to create a feed post on Instagram with” [a] Desktop browser, âthe company told TechCrunch. As a pc user, huzzah.
- BuzzFeed goes public: Digital media company BuzzFeed is going public via a SPAC valued at $ 1.5 billion. Do you want to know why it’s worth so much? We’ll cover you. (Don’t forget, BuzzFeed raised hundreds of millions of dollars in private.)
- How some companies are working on vaccination certificates despite the controversy: TechCrunchs Ron Miller Immerse yourself in the world of vaccine passports, the tech companies that support them, and how they deal with a delicate political environment. It’s great read.
Startups / VC
- Double crypto: The investment house a16z is doubling its stake in the crypto economy with a new $ 2.2 billion fund. And the venture capital firm will do more than just write checks: it wants to get involved in crypto projects and even contribute to the regulatory brush for the industry. It’s a big commitment.
- Visa tries again: After Visa’s deal to acquire fintech API provider Plaid died, you may have thought that the American payment giant would have thrown in the towel on big deals. No Visa drops $ 2.15 billion to buy Tink, a company TechCrunch describes as “a leading fintech startup in Europe focused on open banking application programming interfaces,” or APIs.
- Don’t stumble upon Tripp’s (virtual) trips: Tripp, a startup looking to offer mental health services through VR that mimic drug-free psychedelic experiences, has just raised $ 11 million. If that sounds far-fetched, understand that some startups are working flat out on psychedelic drugs for various therapeutic approaches to mental health. So this is the less aggressive version of the idea. Since VR is pretty neat, let’s dig it.
- The intersection of no-code, automation and humans: Tonkean is playing here. The company’s software helps operations teams in startups build automated business logic across applications so that data can flow between them. And it allows people to stay tuned and separate their offerings from what UiPath and other RPA companies have to offer. Oh, and Tonkean just completed a $ 50 million round.
- The online video boom brings JW Player to $ 100 million in new capital: While it wasn’t a unicorn yet, JW Player’s nine-figure round caught TechCrunch’s attention. The company sells a video platform to publishers and others and had a good 2020. COVID sparked a boom in video viewing so the company’s recent growth is not a big surprise. And now it has a tower of new capital to fuel even more expansion.
Reform your startup’s meeting culture
Meetings should have a clear purpose, but for many startups they have become a way of performing in front of a crowd rather than sharing information.
Workplace politics can make things even more complicated: How confident do you feel about declining a meeting invitation from a colleague, or worse, a manager?
“Every time a recurring meeting is added to a calendar, a kitten dies,” said Chuck Phillips, co-founder of MeetWell. “Very few employees turn down meetings, even when it is obvious that the meeting will be a breeze.”
It’s difficult to change your meeting culture, but with 26% of workers planning to find a new job after the pandemic ends, startups need to do whatever they can to retain talent. Here are four actionable steps to help you increase productivity and say goodbye to poorly managed, lazily planned meetings.
(Extra Crunch is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams move forward. Here you can sign up.)
Big Tech Inc.
Today was a big day for Microsoft so let’s start there, yeah? Here are TechCrunch’s notes from the Windows 11 event of the day:
- Android apps are coming to Windows: Via the Amazon Store, but still. Microsoft’s efforts to make its operating system more open over time have reached a new high today with the news that Windows 11 will support a wide variety of Android apps. We want to play with it before we grade it, but the idea is super nice.
- We hope you like teams: Microsoft is all-in for Teams, so much so that it gets the Windows treatment. TechCrunch reports that “Windows 11 will have Microsoft Teams integrated to compete more directly with communication platforms like Apple’s FaceTime.” Honestly, Teams is way better than Skype, so that sounds good. However, our antitrust early warning system is tingling.
- It’s going to be a Windows Christmas: According to Microsoft, Windows 11 should land this year. Just in time for Christmas it turns out. So if you’re a gamer, a corporate drone, or just someone who prefers the Microsoft approach to computers, you’ll be hyped. The new building is approaching you, and quickly. If you can’t wait, there are leaks out there. However, do not install these on a computer with data that you actually need.
Next a little bit from Google:
- Google and Jio are working together for a budget smartphone: An affordable Android smartphone, the JioPhone Next could help the next hundred million people in India get online with faster service, if the telecommunications company and American tech giant have its way. Jio wants more mobile subscribers and Google wants more internet users, period. Call it a match made in heaven, provided the hardware is good.
And finally one more for the zoomers:
- Ephemeral melodies? In today’s TikTok world, access to popular music is a must for social networking. So it’s no surprise that Snap signs a multi-year deal with Universal Music Group. Snapper, rejoice!
TechCrunch Experts: Growth Marketing
TechCrunch shortlisted the top growth marketers in tech. If you’re a founder, we’d love to hear who you’ve worked with. Fill out the survey here.
Here is one of the many excellent recommendations we received:
Marketer’s Name: Dylan Max
Name of the recommender: Kris Rudeegraap, Sendoso
Recommendation: âDylan Max’s creativity sets him apart from 99% of those who do growth marketing. One of his first campaigns went viral on LinkedIn. We ran a special campaign where we sent real cans of spam to the best marketers and sellers (our target audience) with the idea that traditional spamming has become impersonal and we are interested in changing that. The nominees could âspamâ other marketers or sellers on their network, which sparked a viral sensation that LinkedIn took over. We did a ton of business with it and our sales team still lists it as one of the most creative ways to use direct mail and gifts. Even today, it is LinkedIn’s most viral grassroots campaign in the B2B space. Dylan is one of a rare breed of growth marketers who excel in many different marketing channels, including SEO, paid search, conversion rate optimization (CRO), and A / B testing. Dylan also launched our very first ABM campaign, where we used hyper-targeted social media ads to drive seven-figure sales on less than $ 20,000 in ad spend. I love his hackiness and he has to be on this list. “