Hello and welcome to Extra Crunch for August 5, 2021. What goes up must come down. Mostly. That’s the lesson from Robinhood’s stock this week. It shot higher yesterday. And today it fell sharply. Something something stonks. Regardless, we have big news from Apple, Facebook, a host of startups and even some drones for you today.
A quick reminder that tomorrow is the last day for early-bird Disrupt tickets. Be there or be a big lame! We’re also excited to announce that TechCrunch is launching another newsletter! This Week in Apps by Sarah Perez launches this Saturday morning, August 7, and is the place to go for all of your app news goodness. Be sure to sign up here. — Alex
The TechCrunch Top 3
Apple to scan iPhones for abusive content involving children: Apple’s privacy push is running into its efforts to limit the sharing of known child sexual abuse material. Its plan, that it has yet to roll out, will work at the device level to “identify if a user uploads known child abuse imagery to iCloud without decrypting the images until a threshold is met and a sequence of checks to verify the content are cleared.”
When a startup should leave a market: In the wake of news that Deliveroo may leave the Spanish market, TechCrunch wanted to learn more about when a startup should leave a particular city or country to its competitors. So we rounded up some smart VCs and got to asking questions. The short answer is that you want gold and silver medals to build a unicorn, not bronze.
Facebook redesigns its privacy settings: And TechCrunch’s Devin Coldeway is not impressed, writing that Facebook has “taken the ‘privacy settings’ settings and scattered them mischievously among the other categories.” If you are a Facebook user, it’s always a good time to check your privacy setup on the social platform. It just may take a little longer now.
We have a strong batch of startup stories below, but to kick things off have a bite of the latest drone story from Brian Heater. It’s rather tasty. Heater dug into the warehouse drone space, a somewhat natural environment for the tech as large storage buildings aren’t bothered by buzzy sounds, and often boxes in those buildings feature bar codes and are stacked vertically.
Now, our usual rundown:
Quora launches subscriptions to access certain answers: Creators who love answering questions, Quora would like your attention. Long-running Q&A site Quora is rolling out Quora+ — natch — that will cost $5 per month, and allow access to content that creators decide should cost money to access.
When is a startup going to build the hub for all our subscriptions to digital content so that we can stop having to use password managers for everything? Someone build that, please.
Allocations raises $4M to power small PE funds: This one is cool. Allocations has built tech that enables fund managers to quickly spin up new private equity funds and SPVs. And the startup’s tech handles boring things like paperwork and capital calls. The thesis here is that there will be many more smallish PE funds in the future. The solo GP movement indicates that Allocations might be barking up the correct money tree.
Ad astra for Astra: That’s the news from space launch vehicle company Astra, which is targeting August 27 for its first commercial launch. Sure, Boeing is struggling to make its rocket go up, but seeing Astra chase better-known launch systems is good news. More competitors, more rockets in time. And then you and I can go to space.
OffLimits raises $2.3M for healthy cereal: Here in America we like our breakfasts sweet. That means our cereals are often loaded with sugar, and are thus both killing us while also making us smile. OffLimits is making cereal that is healthy (alas) but tasty, as well as “organic, vegan [and] gluten-free.” That sounds less fun than Cap’n Crunch, but as I’d like to avoid eventual limb amputation, perhaps the startup is onto something.
From the world of edtech, TechCrunch’s Natasha Mascarenhas has a big piece out today looking at two companies — Coderhouse and Crehana — that are working in the reskilling space in Latin America. Reskilling, the teaching of new tricks to workers already in the market, is a big market. And Latin America is becoming a pretty key market for edtech, so make sure you don’t miss this one.
Cent raises 300,000,000 cents to help make sense of NFTs: Remember when @Jack sold his first tweet as an NFT? The platform that made that transaction possible just raised $3 million. Or as we noted before, 300 million cents. Regardless of how you prefer to write out monetary sums — 12,000,000 quarters! — the latest Cent deal indicates that VCs are still more than willing to bet on NFTs in particular, and the cryptoeconomy more broadly.
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