India’s Central Bank Says Cryptocurrency ‘Could Even Be Worse’ Than Ponzi Schemes – TechCrunch

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Hello and welcome to the Daily Crunch on Tuesday, February 15, 2022! We’ve got a loaded list for you today, including news that’s sure to annoy blockchain devotees, new funds, Facebook’s latest rebrand and more.

But first, in an essay on TechCrunch, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff argues against unfettered “sideloading” of apps. It’s an interesting argument against Windows and the wider web (we’re kidding), but raises some notable points about mobile security and consumer expectations. It’s worth reading, whatever your background. – alexander

TechCrunch’s top 3

  • India continues to debate the fate of cryptocurrencies: A country’s regulatory and banking bodies are debating blockchain technology and its associated tokens is a daily occurrence. But when an Indian central bank official compares cryptocurrencies to Ponzi schemes, we take notice. That the latest broadside against crypto comes after the country discussed a new tax proposal for the asset/currency class is a slight surprise.
  • Goodbye newsfeed, hello newsfeed: Facebook is shaking up its brand image around its newsfeed product, now known simply by the nickname “Feed”. TechCrunch also notes that the company is rolling out a Facebook News product in the French market, so we might see a discrepancy between feed and news within the company. How you feel about this set of changes will depend on your view of the company, I think, but it hasn’t polled well on Twitter, at least so far.
  • Intel pays $5.4 billion for Tower Semiconductor: As more capital pours into the chip design and manufacturing market, the announcement of new deals comes as no huge surprise. This time around, chip company Intel intends to pay billions for Tower, which, it should be noted, is part of the US giant’s broader manufacturing goals that it previously announced.

Startups/VCs

What is a startup really worth? Data from PitchBook indicates that 2021 accelerated the pace at which startups raised capital, yes, but also pushed the prices paid for startup stocks into the stratosphere. The result? Curiously, more value creation between rounds than before, which means big margins for venture capitalists, although they have to pay more, sooner. We chewed the data and asked ourselves: if venture capitalists are willing to pay much more for equity in startups today now that there is more competition, do the same investors have under -valued companies for years?

Today in mega-towers: Vehicle and Exchange. The pace at which huge rounds — and especially nine-figure rounds — are being held continues to impress in 2022. Today, TechCrunch has notes on Veho ($170 million, months after raising $125 million) and Swappie ($124 million). in his latest), investments that underscore just how much capital there is in the market for tech companies still private today, despite the public market selloff, inflation fears and central bank tightening. .

  • FitOn raises $40 million and acquires Peerfit: I love starter chords, so I was excited to dive into this one. FitOn, what TechCrunch calls a “digital fitness and wellness company,” has raised a new round and purchased Peerfit’s “enterprise wellness platform.” You can spot the synergy from orbit – now Peerfit can offer FitOn to enterprises, which is perhaps the equivalent of a vertical integration app?
  • Can Shortwave Make Email Less Terrible? Many people miss Google’s unfortunate inbox experience. It’s in the sad graveyard with Wave and Reader. Either way, some former Big Tech employees are looking to combine an Inbox-like experience with Slack-like elements. This is called short waves. And since email can’t get any worse, maybe try it?
  • Postpartum depression care for black women: The health technology market has been busy in recent quarters, which means that more and more companies are trying to make improvements to the shortcomings of our broader healthcare system. One such gap relates to mental health care for black women struggling with postpartum depression. Fortunately, She Matters was designed to solve the exact problem. Ron Miller to our history.
  • AmEx Air Base : The corporate spending market is hot around the world, but perhaps nowhere more competitive than in the US, where Ramp, Brex and Airbase go head-to-head. Airbase just landed a check and a partnership with AmEx, the corporate credit giant, on the back of its software. Could the deal change the tides in the competitive startup category?
  • This cool-kid Ethereum wallet just got lifted: If you’re into the blockchain world, you might be familiar with Rainbow, which TechCrunch writes “looks more like the crypto wallet app a Snap or TikTok would design with rainbow gradient buttons, emojis galore and overall a far less sterile feel than reigning competitor MetaMask.It just scooped up funds from Seven Seven Six.

And much more: Homebound raised $75 million from Khosla, MoneyHash raised $3 million to build a fintech super-API for the Middle East and Africa, and Better Tomorrow Ventures raised $225 million for a new fintech fund. Basically, it’s busy there, so be sure to follow TechCrunch here and TechCrunch+ here.

Our Startup’s First Hire Was a Remote Split Lead

A businesswoman, using a measuring tape, reaches out to measure her piece of the pie on a large pie chart that is projected onto a concrete wall.

Picture credits: DNY59 (Opens in a new window) /Getty Pictures

At this point, most startup employees have been working remotely. Despite this, few managers have significant experience supervising distributed teams.

With that in mind, SaaS startup Wingback made its first hire of a split remote manager, “and it was the best decision we made,” said Yann Leretaille, co-founder and CTO.

“A telework manager is not just a glorified HR manager. They make sure the right processes are in place and the right tools are selected and used to ensure successful remote work.

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams grow. You can join here.)

Big Tech inc.

  • The now public Nextdoor simplifies its application: Freshly spun off from a SPAC combination, Nextdoor is a public company. Which means it moves from our startups section to our Big Tech digest. Regardless, the company strives to “simplify [its] app and promote better neighbor relations,” we report.
  • Twitter launches safe mode for more users: It’s no secret that Twitter can be a brutal place sometimes. Luckily for users who might find themselves on the wrong side of a deluge of hate, Twitter’s “Safe Mode” feature is now available in more markets. That might help.
  • To keep an eye on the EU regulatory world, follow Natasha Lomas on Twitter. Another Daily Crunch, another regulatory element of Europe. Lomas crushes this topic for us, so follow her and stay up to date. The last? “The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has called for a block-wide ban on the controversial spyware tool Pegasus, warning that its use could lead to an “unprecedented level of intrusion”, she writes.
  • And today in operating system mashups: Google wants to bring Chrome OS to your Mac or PC, and Microsoft is rolling out Amazon’s App Store support for Windows 11. Unfortunately, in the meantime, iMessage refuses to mess with anyone else.

And to conclude, I’m looking for a friend with $450,000 that he wants to give me, for no particular reason.

TechCrunch experts

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Picture credits: SEAN GLADWELL/Getty Images

TechCrunch is recruiting recruiters for TechCrunch Experts, an ongoing project where we interview top professionals about common issues and challenges in early-stage startups. If this is you or someone you know, you can let us know here.

Shawanda H. Saldana