Daily Crunch: Byju’s founder chips in toward $800M funding round to reach $22B valuation
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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for Friday, March 11, 2022! Oh boy was that a week. It was full and busy and, now, finally, over. We have your full news digest below, but stay hype about TechCrunch Sessions: Mobility, because it’s looking increasingly lit. – Alex
The TechCrunch Top 3
- EU to investigate state use of spyware: The Pegasus mobile spyware is causing headaches in Europe for more than just the folks who found themselves targets of the software. The European Parliament voted this week to “investigate allegations that European member states acquired and used” Pegasus, TechCrunch reports.
- How the startup game is changing: With young tech companies doing everything from biology to space tech to software to consumer crypto trading algorithms, it’s hard to keep tabs on what’s going on for “startups” as a category. But after spending a few weeks collecting data on the matter, TechCrunch landed on something akin to a summary of how things have changed for the tech companies hoping to build the future.
- The latest tech response to Russia’s Ukrainian invasion: Non-Russian tech companies continued their work to isolate the Russian state after its government invaded neighboring Ukraine. YouTube is now blocking Russian state-affiliated media around the world, and we took a look at how the move to halt sales in Russia will impact tech concerns more generally. In response, Russia has decided to block Instagram, which we presume is more a defensive move than an offensive one.
Startups and VC
- Sorenson Ventures raises $150M fund: The Utah-based firm has made it to a second fund, raising a new vehicle that is 50% larger than its last. TechCrunch writes that Sorenson backed some 30 enterprise startups with its first capital pool. Guess what it’s investing in this time around? Yep, more of the same.
- Today in good startup names: What do you think 100ms does? Something involving speed? Yep! 100ms works with live video applications, where speed – latency, really – matters a lot. And the company just raised a Series A shortly after announcing its seed round.
- Stripe hearts crypto: While not Stripe’s first rodeo with crypto, this latest news bump appears more substantial than those it put out in the past. Stripe, a public company in all but name, has built out a way for its customers to “buy and store crypto tokens, cash out, trade NFTs and handle compliance workflows like Know Your Customer.”
- Stripe, go public!
- Byju Raveendran puts $400M of Byju Raveendran’s cash into Byju’s, the startup founded by Byju Raveendran: The infusion was part of an $800 million round, meaning that the well-known Indian edtech company has oodles of cash to play with. TechCrunch reports that the company is now worth some $22 billion, a simply staggering sum.
- Byju’s, go public!
And speaking of going public, the Equity crew has a fun episode out today that includes notes on life after SPACs for startups that considered the method of going public but ended up saying hell naw.
6 technologists discuss how no-code tools are changing software development
We’ve reported on the rise of no-code/low-code software for years, but since the pandemic began, they’ve taken on new importance.
Rapid digital transitions are taking place in an era where employees have become adept at working remotely and software developers are in higher demand than ever.
We interviewed six technologists to learn more about the impacts of no-code/low-code tools, minimizing technical debt and related topics:
- Patrick Jean, CTO, OutSystems
- Deb Gildersleeve, CIO, Quickbase
- Zoe Clelland, vice president of product and experience, Nintex
- Bruno Vieira Costa, founder and CEO, Abstra
- David Hsu, founder and CEO, Retool
- Trisha Kothari, co-founder and CEO, Unit21
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
- Ransomware raconteur rofl’d: Here’s a tip. If you live in a nation friendly with the United States and extort American companies for crypto, you might get caught and shipped stateside. Such is the case with Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins, who worked for the Canadian government and is alleged to have participated “with the NetWalker ransomware group, the U.S. Justice Department announced this week,” TechCrunch writes.
- And to close out the news today, the EU and the U.K. “have announced parallel formal antitrust investigations into Google and Facebook in relation to their online display ad businesses,” we report. The companies are in hot water at home and abroad over their business practices. But, hey, you don’t reach a trillion-dollar market cap by being nice, right?