South Africa’s JUMO receives a $ 120 million round from Visa, Fidelity and Kingsway – TechCrunch
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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch on November 8th, 2021! Sure, Elon Musk sparked a Twitter dust storm by tweeting a poll about whether to sell stocks for reasons a little less than purely charitable, but it’s Monday which means more serious news. Somehow. – Alex
The TechCrunch top 3
- Chinese regulations object to SoftBank returns: In our highly connected world, when a country changes its regulatory rules, people around the world can get into their wallets. Today we learned that SoftBank’s Vision Fund 1 returns have declined sharply, in part due to Didi’s falling valuation – a decline directly related to the Chinese government’s actions against the company following its US IPO. That another continent’s investors are paying the most as a result of China’s actions is just another irony. (Equity rippled over it earlier today if you want more.)
- Companies love the metaverse: The Metaverse is apparently just VR with a more social character, but that doesn’t stop companies from jumping on the Facebook bandwagon. Today it was Niantic that has some clues as to where the metaverse is going. It doesn’t matter or not, Facebook’s linchpin draws notable comments, including from Jacob Mullins of Shasta Ventures.
- McAfee sells to consortium of investors: Sure, you’re no longer paying for antivirus protection on your Windows PC, but that doesn’t mean the company you might have written checks to is worthless. It’s worth $ 14 billion, it turns out. Yes, McAfee has been around since 1987 and has a new corporate building valued at $ 26 per share.
Startups / VC
Before we dive into the hustle and bustle of discreet startup news, after our dive into the Latin American fintech market, TechCrunch spoke to Latin American QED partner Lauren Morton last week to dig deeper. Enjoy!
- Fidelity invests in Africa: South Africa’s Jumo, together with Visa and Kingsway Capital, has just raised $ 120 million from the investing powerhouse. The fintech firm raised $ 55 million in its previous round. What is it doing Financial services for companies in emerging markets!
- Radio spy satellites are big business: That’s the lesson learned from HawkEye 360, which raised $ 145 million in new capital. The company, TechCrunch says, “monitors radio frequency (RF) signals such as those sent out by marine radios or emergency beacons, on the premise that the invisible electromagnetic spectrum is just as ripe for information as the visible world.” As a 100 percent sucker for anything to do with outer space and outer space i consider this particular message to be very cool.
- Car rental is booming in India: Zoomcar, based in Bangalore, has just raised $ 92 million in new capital to grow its car rental business in not only its home market but other markets as well. SternAegis Ventures led the Series E.
- Here’s today’s mega-round for an ecommerce rollup game: Tired of these yet? Investors are not. Berlin-based Razor recently announced a $ 125 million round valued at over $ 1 billion to buy up e-commerce brands. It’s a big game around the world that grossed roughly seventy-seven kajillion dollars. (That these investments are also a bet on Amazon not making products for all industries in a timely manner is noteworthy; perhaps they are effective bets on antitrust law around the world?)
- Matter Labs Raises $ 50 Million To Make Ethereum Faster: The Ethereum blockchain is a nice thing. Many apps and services were built on it. And it’s pretty busy with traffic resulting in high fees. Sometimes stupidly high fees. Matter Labs wants to remove some of this traffic into a side chain to speed up the entire experience. Why not just use a different chain? Well, because people love Ethereum, and wherever the developers go is technology advancement.
- And to finish our startup coverage, H20.ai raised $ 100 million on a pre-valuation of $ 1.6 billion to help companies get started with AI technology.
Mixing the personal with the professional in startup fundraising
The pandemic has rewritten the way investors and startup founders do business, but “chemistry matters,” notes Brian Heater.
Laela Sturdy, General Partner at CapitalG, and Webflow Co-Founder and CEO Vlad Magdalin joined Brian on TechCrunch Live to discuss deal-making in the COVID era and the changing nature of startup-investor relationships.
“As great as Zoom is, for me this personal experience takes you to the next level of getting to know each other,” said Sturdy.
(TechCrunch + is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams move forward. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
- The App Store will not close for developers this holiday season: Tech and its related businesses evolve faster and faster over time. Gone are the days when VCs took August off, at least if they wanted to win the allocation in hot deals. And now developers will get less of a winter break as Apple ends a rather archaic practice of freezing its app marketplace for developer submissions during the holiday season.
- YouTube is still working to undercut TikTok: Yes, Google is still envious of ByteDance, and to bolster engagement with its own short video products, it intends that users who open the YouTube app switch to its short videos by default if they’ve seen them before. That will do it, right? No.
Are you all aware of last week’s coverage of growth marketing and software development? If not, read it here.
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