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It’s Friday the 13th, and I hope nothing bad has happened to you today. At least the weekend is here! At the very least, you can catch up on the latest news from Terraform Labs: Binance halted Luna and UST trading, and some great podcasts from his favorite TechCrunchers. And be sure to secure your “seat” for our June 1 TechCrunch Live event in Columbus. I’ll see you Monday! – cristina
TechCrunch Top 3
- If Elon Doesn’t Buy Twitter, At Least Snoop Dogg Is Ready To Strike: Earlier this morning, Elon Musk tweeted that his Twitter buyout proposal was on hold as he calculates the percentage of fake accounts using the social media channel. Although he also tweeted that he remains “committed to the acquisition,” I enjoyed seeing Snoop Dogg’s tweet his desire to try if Musk doesn’t. His plan for it isn’t bad, actually.
- Dining out at Dineout: In some online food ordering M&A news, Swiggy said it was acquiring Dineout, the Indian equivalent of OpenTable. This puts Swiggy squarely in the food-out sector, long dominated in the country by Zomato, whose market capitalization has shrunk to around $5 billion. It also represents further consolidation within a giant market trying to make sense of its pandemic momentum.
- More layoffs: Natasha and Amanda were already busy last week catching up on the myriad of tech layoffs and sadly today they have another list that includes Section4, Carvana and Latch. Even Meta is not immune.
Startups and VCs
- On the hook: That’s what Better.com CEO Vishal Garg is saying about a $750 million loan from SoftBank. As Garg takes personal responsibility for the loan, he is responsible for any losses. However, the company may also suffer because any losses could force it to sell many of its Better.com holdings, which could negatively affect the stock. It’s still a mess no matter how you look at it.
- Dress with independent brands: China-based Body404 is betting that the West will embrace the next generation of clothing designers who want to give them something other than just a cheaper runway knockoff. It has paid off because the company is now valued at $50 million after raising $50 million in March. It’s also interesting to note that customers don’t return clothes: Body404’s return rate is around 2%, much less than the fashion industry average of 10%.
- Revel with a cause: Frank Reig, who sits at the head of Revel, a company that builds fast charging centers for electric vehicles, met with Rebeca to discuss the company’s shift away from moped sharing and the distance Revel has come to drive electric vehicle adoption.
- watch and earn money: Our attention is precious, and it is often drawn in different directions. WeAre8 wants to reward you for doing what DVR has allowed us to skip for many years: watch ads. The company is run by advertising guru Sue Fennessy, whose goal is to divert ad funding away from social media giants like Facebook and channel it to a good cause.
Launchpad teardown: Dutch’s $20 million Series A platform
As the CEO and founder of the Dutch virtual veterinary care platform, Joe Spector initially intended to raise a $15 million Series A, but his presentation platform so cleverly mixed images of adorable pets with market research and traction metrics which ended up closing a $20 million round.
In style, Dutch’s presentation tells a compelling story of how the company used its seed funding to launch a service in three months, establish a brand identity, build a team, and expand from 12 to 32 states, writes Haje Jan Kamps in the weekly Pitch Deck removal.
If you’re working on a pitch deck and need inspiration, start here – all 17 slides are available to TC+ members.
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, helping startup founders and teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
great tech inc
Row, row, row your platoon: That’s right folks, Peloton is trying to end a tough week on a positive note by adding another rower to the competitive rowing machine market. After selling my Peloton bike in 2019, this caught my eye when I discovered my love of rowing. I hope the price is a bit more budget friendly than the bike.
Zoom gets its customer support day: The video communication giant is acquiring conversational artificial intelligence company Solvvy in an effort to offer customer service experiences within Zoom’s suite of tools. The company’s stock is up on the news, so it seems like Zoom chose wisely.
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