Virgin Orbit reaches $ 3.2 billion valuation in SPAC merger – TechCrunch


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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for August 23, 2021. We just have a nice set of news for you below, but before we get into the mix, note that Pfizer’s vaccine has been fully approved. Which is great news! And in other good news, the agenda is out for our October SaaS event. Which will kick your back to the max. We’ll see each other there! – Alexis

The Top 3 TechCrunch

  • Would you like to go to space? Well, if you’re a small satellite in low earth orbit, good news! Virgin Orbit is raising a lot of money in a PSPC-led suit that will immediately go public and provide it with a huge handful of cash. You know Virgin Galactic, its sister company that takes humans for a ride. Orbit uses a similar launch technique to get more material into space.
  • The global crypto race is on: U.S. FinTech companies are working to provide domestic users with the ability to purchase crypto using their service. And now PayPal is expanding its efforts internationally, with the intention of allowing Britons to purchase cryptocurrency through its service. Local crypto service providers will rush to expand to new shores to avoid both giving up potential global market share and staying relevant.
  • Is this why investors fall in love with insurtech? TechCrunch has been on the insurtech pace for some time now, trying to figure out why a group of once-trending insurtech startups that went public last year saw their ratings drop once they started to float. We may have figured it out.

Startups / VC

  • Do you want to turn this coupon into a donation? Givz hopes so. The startup provides an API that allows companies to offer coupons that are, in effect, donations to charity. As Mary Ann Azevedo wrote, an “example of a business using Givz can be found at Tervis, which offered customers” a $ 15 charitable donation if they spent $ 50 at her store. The startup just closed $ 3 million.
  • Raises Huge $ 52 Million Series B: Even in 2021, a $ 50 million Series B is standing out. But what makes Shelf interesting isn’t really the size of its new cycle, but the fact that it showed 4x ARR growth from July 2020 to July 2021. It’s fast. The company sells software that ingests a company’s knowledge base, offering suggestions to employees like customer support representatives on what to say and when.
  • How are customers really using your API? That’s the question Moesif wants to answer, and she just raised $ 12 million to continue her efforts. We noted at TechCrunch that many startups are moving from SaaS to software services provided by API. Which is fine, but doesn’t always provide the most transparent way to monitor usage and customer usage patterns. Maybe Moesif will make it easier to invoice overages?
  • SoftBank turns to Africa: After flying into the startup market in Latin America and making noise, SoftBank’s Vision Fund franchise has just made a huge bet in Africa, leading a $ 400 million funding round in fintech company OPay. Our own Tage Kene-Okafor writes that “the mobile money and payments arm of the business” is his most successful effort to date.
  • From the latest YC batch, Revery: This startup –, officially – wants to apply computer vision and artificial intelligence to e-commerce to deliver a better online locker room experience, reports TechCrunch. We’ve heard of similar efforts in the past, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room in the online shopping world for a few gamers.
  • Expect to hear more from YC companies as Demo Day looms in our calendars.

Zūm CEO Ritu Narayan explains why fairness and accessibility work for mobility services

Ritu Narayan founded Zūm with his two brothers in 2016 to disrupt student transportation, a space that hasn’t seen much innovation since students began to find their way to and from the Little Red Schools.

Since then, Zūm has partnered with school districts across the country to create more efficient routes and reduce vehicle emissions.

By 2025, Narayan says his company will have 10,000 electric school buses and plans to commission the fleet to generate electricity and feed it back into the grid.

To learn more about the company’s development, its immediate plans for the future, and the impact of the pandemic on operations, read on.

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams move forward. You can register here.)

Big Tech Inc.

  • TikTok invests in AR: Social phenomenon TikTok wants to follow Snap and Facebook in the studio AR game. The company has just “launched a new set of creative tools called TikTok Effect Studio, currently in private beta testing, which will allow its own community of developers to create AR effects for TikTok’s short video application,” reports TechCrunch. “How are you, comrades? »But in AR? Brands will love this.
  • Because our Big Tech section was smaller than usual today, here’s one more from the startup pace: Future tech releases have a lot to do.

TechCrunch Experts: Growth Marketing

Montage of illustrations based on education and knowledge in blue

Image credits: SEAN GLADWELL (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Are you all familiar with last week’s growth marketing coverage? Otherwise, read it here.

TechCrunch wants you to recommend growth marketers with expertise in SEO, social, content writing, and more! If you are a growth marketer, pass this survey on to your clients; we would like to know why they liked working with you.


The cover of "After freon cooling, global warming and the terrible cost of comfort"

Image credits: Simon and Schuster

Join Danny Crichton tomorrow Tuesday, August 24 at 3 p.m. PDT / 6 p.m. EDT for a Twitter spaces interview with Eric Dean Wilson, author of “After Cooling: On Freon, Global Warming, and the Terrible Cost of Comfort”.

TechCrunch Disruption 2021

It’s almost the time when startup enthusiasts from all over the world come together at our annual conference, Disrupt, which will be held virtually again this year. Join the community September 21-23 to broaden your horizons and network with the founders and CEOs of Coinbase, Dapper Labs, GitLab, Canva and more. Enter for under $ 100, or you can get a free Innovator Pass if you’re one of the first 10 people to sign up with promo code DAILYCRUNCHFREE. But you’ll want to hurry – it’s first come, first served, and once they’re gone, they’re gone!

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