Amazon will pay you $10 in credit for your palm print biometrics

Last year, Amazon introduced its new biometric palm print scanners, Amazon One, so customers can pay for goods in some stores by waving their palm prints over one of these scanners. By February, the company expanded its palm scanners to other Amazon grocery, book and 4-star stores across Seattle. Amazon...
Picture for Amazon will pay you $10 in credit for your palm print biometrics

Yaydoo secures $20M, aims to simplify B2B collections, payments

The Mexico City-based B2B software and payments company provides three products, VendorPlace, P-Card and PorCobrar, for managing cash flow, optimizing access to smart liquidity, and connecting small, midsize and large businesses to an ecosystem of digital tools. Sergio Almaguer, Guillermo Treviño and Roberto Flores founded Yaydoo — the name combines...
Picture for Yaydoo secures $20M, aims to simplify B2B collections, payments

Kuda, the African challenger bank, raises $55M at a $500M valuation

TechCrunch has learned, and confirmed with Kuda, that the startup has closed, via its London entity, a Series B of $55 million — money that it plans to use to double down not just on new services for Nigeria, but to prepare its launch into more countries on the continent, and in the words of co-founder and CEO Babs Ogundeyi, to build a new take on banking services for “every African on the planet.”
Picture for Kuda, the African challenger bank, raises $55M at a $500M valuation
Energy IndustryTechCrunch

MGA Thermal raises $8M AUD led by Main Sequence for its modular energy storage blocks

MGA Thermal wants to help utility companies transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources with shoebox-sized thermal energy storage blocks. The company says a stack of 1,000 blocks is about the size of a small car and can store enough energy to power 27 homes for 24 hours. This gives utility providers the ability to store large amounts of energy and have it ready to dispatch even when weather conditions aren’t ideal for generating solar or wind power. The modular blocks also make it easier to convert infrastructure, like coal-fired power plants, into grid-scale energy storage.

Singapore-based Nektar.ai gets $6M to help B2B sales team collaborate more effectively

Organizing information about prospective deals is a challenging task for B2B sales teams, since salespeople usually rely on multiple tools (email, Zoom, WhatsApp, etc.) to talk with buyer committees. It becomes even more unwieldy when sales teams work remotely. Nektar.ai is a B2B sales productivity startup that wants to help sales teams by reducing the amount of time they spend on manual data entry and providing analytics that can increase their revenue. The Singapore-based company announced today it has raised $6 million in seed funding, led by B Capital Group.

Finite State lands $30M Series B to help uncover security flaws in device firmware

The funding lands amid increased focus on the less-secure elements in an organizations’ supply chain, such as Internet of Things devices and embedded systems. The problem, Finite State says, is largely fueled by device firmware, the foundational software that often includes components sourced from third-party vendors or open-source software. This means if a security flaw is baked into the finished product, it’s often without the device manufacturers’ knowledge.

Lilium in talks with Brazilian airline for $1B order

“A term sheet has been signed and we will move toward a final agreement in the coming months,” a Lilium spokesperson told TechCrunch. The 220 aircraft would fly as part of a new, co-branded airline network that would operate in Brazil. Should the two companies come to an agreement, Azul would operate and maintain the fleet of the flagship seven-seater aircraft, and Lilium would provide custom spare parts, including replacement batteries, and an aircraft health monitoring platform.

Zoom reaches $85M settlement in ‘Zoombombing’ lawsuit

Zoombombing, a term coined by TechCrunch last year as its usage exploded because of the pandemic, describes unapproved attendees entering and disrupting Zoom calls by sharing offensive imagery, using backgrounds to spread hateful messages or spouting slurs and profanities. The lawsuit, filed in March 2020 in the U.S. District Court...

Mixlab raises $20M to provide purrfect pharmacy experience for pet parents

The New York-based company raised a $20 million Series A in a round of funding led by Sonoma Brands and including Global Founders Capital, Monogram Capital, Lakehouse Ventures and Brand Foundry. The new investment gives Mixlab total funding of $30 million, said Fred Dijols, co-founder and CEO of Mixlab. Dijols...

Newtopia closes first fund of $50M to invest in LatAm startups

The fund will invest $100,000 in pre-seed startups and then between $250,000 and $1 million in startups at the seed stage to help them achieve the milestones needed on the path to raising a Series A. Newtopia is led by five major players in the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem:. Patricio Jutard,...
Medical & BiotechTechCrunch

Planted raises another $21M to expand its growing plant-based meat empire (and add schnitzel)

Planted appeared in 2019 as a spinoff from Swiss research university ETH Zurich, where the founders developed the original technique of extruding plant proteins and water into fibrous structures similar to real meat’s. Since then the company has diversified its protein sources, adding oat and sunflower to the mix, and developed pulled pork and kebab alternative products as well.

The tale of two edtech IPOs

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. Last week, Natasha and Alex jumped on Twitter Spaces to discuss the tale of two edtech IPOs: Duolingo, the consumer language learning company, and PowerSchool, the enterprise K-12 software platform. It was a rare moment in the sun for the recently revitalized sector, which saw two companies list on the stock market on the same dang day.

Daily Crunch: Zoom will pay $85M to settle lawsuit over ‘Zoombombing,’ user privacy

Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for Monday, August 2, 2021. What a day. Square kicked off this week’s news cycle with a megadeal, Google popped up with new hardware, and there are new VC funds aplenty. It’s busy, but before we get started, there’s a special summer edition of Extra Crunch Live this week that’s 100% pitch-off. It’s on Wednesday, so be there or be square. — Alex.

E-scooter company Fenix acquires Palm for $5M, gains entry to Turkish market

Despite having not even raised a Series A round yet, Fenix scrounged together the cash and equity needed to fund this buy and stretch into Turkey, calling on additional capital from existing investors Maniv Mobility and Emkan Capital. Fenix would not disclose the terms of the acquisition or how much it recently raised.

ClubHouse, Twitter, now Facebook? Publishers need a data strategy to capture audio value

In the last year, publishers jumped at the opportunity to engage with people on Clubhouse. It’s a great way for brand building on a new channel, not just for publishers but for their rising stars, too. Yahoo! Finance reporter Kristin Myers has a regular show called “Black Wealth Wednesdays” that attracts thousands of listeners. Mike Butcher, TechCrunch’s Editor-at-large, has more than 25,000 followers focusing on topics like blockchain and cryptocurrency.

EU Fines Amazon Record Amount Over Data Misuse

According to a TechCrunch article by Carly Page published Saturday, a European data protection oversight authority has slapped Amazon with a $887 million fine over the way it makes use of customer data for targeted advertising purposes. The company’s latest SEC filing disclosed the Luxemborg National Commission for Data Protection’s (CNPD) ruling, condemned the decision, and made clear the e-commerce giant’s intent to appeal.
EconomyPosted by

Aron Solomon: Can You Legally Get Out of Your Timeshare?

An increasingly popular ad today on streaming services such as Sirius XM is for groups claiming they can get you out of your timeshare. One of the ads that runs over and over again is for Wesley Financial Group. In their ads, the person who seems to be their founder, explains that he worked on the other side – with large timeshare companies – so he understands exactly what to do to get you out of your timeshare obligation.