Hey and welcome to Each day Crunch for Friday, February 11, 2022! At this time we’re speaking large rockets, self-driving vehicles, tech shares getting rekt, and extra. It’s a enjoyable, and good combine of stories. Take pleasure in! – Alex
The TechCrunch High 3
- Rocketship, or large vapor phallus? At an occasion about SpaceX’s big Starship launch system, extra questions had been left open than closed off, it seems. TechCrunch’s Darrell Etherington has a great write-up of the most recent, however at this level it appears the market was anticipating a bit greater than a dramatic backdrop and a brand new video discussing potentials.
- Affirm’s rout Not Nice for BNPL startups: Common Each day Crunch readers have seen extra funding rounds and product information objects from purchase now, pay later startups than they need to recall. The enterprise of shoving money into BNPL upstarts has been a worldwide enterprise capital parlor recreation in latest quarters. So our eyebrows shot larger when Affirm, a publicly listed BNPL chief from the U.S., noticed an enormous portion of its worth get deleted after its ahead steering didn’t excite traders. What does that imply for associated startups? Nothing good.
- How Texas grew to become a bitcoin mining hub: Monitoring the U.S. energy grid as I do – I’m, after all, very enjoyable at dinner events – the truth that bitcoin mining has been rising in Texas, a state that has its personal energy grid, has been behind my thoughts for a bit. Fortunately, Leigh Cuen explored the why behind the pattern. And no, it’s not only a results of China kicking miners out of its personal borders.
- Chinese language AVs coming to San Francisco: We discuss beneath about China and self-driving vehicles extra typically, however, first, a brand new merchandise. AutoX, a Chinese language firm engaged on AVs, is bringing its tech to San Francisco. SF isn’t just a market the place numerous tech of us reside, making it a near-home place to check. It’s additionally a compact, advanced metropolis, making it a trial-by-fire of types for self-driving tech.
- Redroute raises $6.5M for voice-driven buyer assist: I gained’t lie, once I name an organization and get an automatic service I need to throw my cellphone within the ocean. However possibly I’m merely old-fashioned. Redroute is constructing what it calls an “Alexa-like expertise” for answering buyer calls. On condition that Alexa isn’t even that good at setting a timer, I’m not certain how a lot I like this imaginative and prescient, however traders appear to dig it.
- Extra capital for psychological well being tech: Flush with a $16.7 million Sequence B, Korean startup Atommerce’s work to attach people to “psychological well being professionals by way of cellular app MiNDCAFE” is on a tear. The marketplace for such corporations has been fairly energetic recently, making the Atommerce spherical the other of a shock.
And the primary reside Fairness taping of the yr was this week, which was good enjoyable. You possibly can catch the episode right here!
What’s driving China’s autonomous automobile frenzy?
All new expertise wants evangelists to drive adoption and lift cash: A straight line connects Steve Jobs’ Apple launch bulletins with Thomas Edison’s public demonstrations of incandescent gentle and alternating present.
In China, the central authorities is the most important booster of the autonomous automobile trade, which “noticed a interval of unprecedented acceleration in 2021, with over $8.5 billion invested,” stories Rita Liao.
Based on Hongquan Jiang, chairman and managing associate at Boyuan Capital, “Chinese language regulators prioritize security. They’d gladly put up a number of extra sensors to offer extra redundancy so companies can check extra superior options like vehicles with out security drivers.”
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Massive Tech Inc.
- Naturally, Netflix is making a crypto film: Do not forget that $3.6 billion hack that acquired solved earlier this week to the delight of the web? Yep, Netflix has ordered a film concerning the matter. How excessive are our hopes about its future high quality? About as excessive because the safety that allowed for the epic hack within the first place.
- And to shut out our information week, one more antitrust matter for Google in Europe. At this level, I’ve misplaced monitor of what number of completely different authorized points U.S. platform corporations are having on the continent, nevertheless it appears like rather a lot? At what level do they begin to matter?