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Hello from the first day of Disrupt. Just got out of watching the Battlefield Companies launch, more on them below! — write this for you. Disrupt looks smooth, awesome and very TechCrunch so far.
I know it’s a cliché, but I’m incredibly proud of what the TechCrunch team accomplished for this year’s Main Event. A big hug to TechCrunch event teamthe sales teamthe technical team, editors Y everyone else which makes this post work but which is not seen.
Now the news! — Alex
TechCrunch Top 3
- Matthew takes the new iPhone to Disneyland: If you were curious what the platonic ideal of a Matthew Panzarino post is, this is it. Panz he’s our editor-in-chief, one of our Apple reviewers, a photographer, and a Disney fanatic. So he put all that together to do some real-world testing on the latest flagship iPhone. Enjoy!
- Temporary workers protest against Instacart: The history of major boycotts of gig platforms is patchy in terms of impact, but that’s not stopping thousands of Instacart shoppers from raising their voices as a collective. This time, the Gig Workers Collective asks “that customers refrain from reinstalling the app until five demands are met.” Those demands include a higher default tip and changes to commissions.
- PayPal launches a financial “super app”: Super apps are like other apps, but they have more features and capabilities. Perhaps best known as a major player in the digital realms of various Asian economies, PayPal wants to bring the model to the United States. Its new Super Duper Excellent app will include “direct deposit, bill pay, a digital wallet, peer-to-peer payments, shopping tools, crypto capabilities, and more,” TechCrunch reports.
Let’s start with a host of Battlefield companies, coming straight from introducing Disrupt today:
And then there was everything else:
- Beginning of the French market Mirakl has landed a $555 million round at a $3.5 billion valuation, a huge check for its SaaS game. Silver Lake led.
- the base behind raspberry pi minicomputers has raised a $45 million round at a $500 million valuation. London-based Lansdowne Partners and The Ezrah Charitable Trust led the round.
- Single raised $8 million to make better car insurance, a model that requires a lot of capital and patience. So we have learned by looking at Root and MetroMile.
- based in Korea business canvas raised $2.5 million in a seed round for its document management service called “typescript.” Mirae Asset Venture Investment led the deal.
- Bilt Rewards, a financial technology that helps tenants earn points while paying rent, landed a $60 million round at a $350 million valuation. Wells Fargo and Mastercard led, which makes a lot of sense. Points for sharing the new rating, Bilt.
- Tube hooks ex-Stripe execs, HubSpot expands to UK Selling recurring revenue for cash is big business, Pipe shows. The company handles both software recurring revenue and DTC subscriptions.
- Finally, So weird it grossed $680 million at a valuation of $4.3 billion. The company has created a fantasy football program based on NFT. People love fantasy sports. Some people are also really interested in NFTs. Perhaps in the union of both there is a great business? SoftBank certainly thinks so, leading this Series B in particular.
Seth Rogen explains how Houseplant promotes cannabis without breaking the rules
Many celebrities have turned their personal interests into thriving business concerns: Ryan Reynolds owns Aviation Gin, Jessica Alba founded the non-toxic products company The Honest Company, and George Clooney will make up to $1 billion from selling his tequila company.
This year, actor Seth Rogen co-founded Houseplant, which sells pottery, cannabis, and related accessories.
“We’ve sold household items in all 50 states right now,” Rogen explained. “This is us, developing a relationship and trust with customers in places where marijuana is not yet legal.”
In a conversation with managing editor Matt Burns at TechCrunch Disrupt, Rogen, CEO Mike Mohr, and chief commercial officer Haneen Davies discussed some of the challenges of brand building within the confines of a strict regulatory environment.
“I think the merger of House and Plant is what will help us establish a brand that goes beyond the limiting restrictions that you have to comply with to communicate cannabis,” said Davies.
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great tech inc
- Facebook’s product answer to its very bad week is a battery-powered Portal: Sure, the WSJ is running stories left and right that make Facebook look cunning at best and outright liars at worst. But that’s not stopping Facebook’s hardware team from rolling out new gear.
- Roblox presents the new age check: It’s optional, but the move is probably a bit behind the times and generally smart. Roblox is a platform game that kids love. Children need protection. Here are some!
- Former Yahoo company Tumblr moves subscription product to open beta: Oh yahoo. In a different life (iteration?), Yahoo was busy acquiring companies of all kinds. One of those companies for which he invested money was Tumblr. Tumblr is now owned by Automattic, after Verizon sold it. And then Verizon sold the rest of its media assets, including TechCrunch, to a private equity firm. Anyway, Tumblr’s boost in the creator economy is now in open beta. Enjoy.
- Amazon updates the Kindle Paperwhite: This one took us by surprise, but Amazon’s Kindle lineup just got an updated SKU. The new Paperwhite has a bigger screen, slimmer bezels, and USB-C charging.
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