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Hello and welcome to the Daily Crunch on October 8, 2021! It’s Friday! We did it! If you’re tired, consider how tired the Instagram team has to be. Their service has even more uptime issues this afternoon. Between that and the news that its users are no longer allowed to sell pieces of the Amazon rainforest, it’s a record week for Zuck’s empire. Now let’s talk about technology! – Alexis
The Top 3 TechCrunch
- Elon’s mystery gas: SpaceX’s big plans for its biggest rockets lack some details on where the company intends to find the tens of millions of cubic feet of natural gas it will need. Of course, Tesla is gas-free, but SpaceX left some question marks in a Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) project regarding combustible gas that makes us scratch our heads.
- European startups should receive a pre-seed boost: The early stage founders in Europe are about to have a few new accelerators in their neighborhood, thanks to Techstars. The accelerator collective is opening programs in Paris (again) and Stockholm, in addition to its current efforts on the continent. According to the CEO of Techstars, there are far more founders in Europe today than are served, despite record venture capital totals.
- Tesla moves its headquarters to Texas: Ah, the taxes. Tesla will be moving its Austin, Texas headquarters from its traditional California home, but it will not stop investing in the West Coast state. Indeed, the company intends to increase “the production of its Fremont gigafactory by 50%”, reports TechCrunch. So, Texas taxes. This is what this movement seems to be.
Startups / VC
- TechCrunch Annie njanja reports that “economic growth and the rapid expansion of digital and mobile services” in markets like Kenya and Africa as a whole could lead to an insurtech product boom. Insurtech has proven to be fertile ground for founders and investors in North America and Europe. So why not Africa too? African startups have proven to be strong in the fintech market, so maybe the push to insurtech is overdue.
- Today’s Tiger round is actually the news of an impending round. Namely that the investor impresario can put capital to work in Slice. Slice is an Indian company looking to strengthen the use of credit cards in the country. Tiger could invest $ 100 million in the company, according to TechCrunch reports. Manish Singh writes for the blog that Slice “raised around $ 30 million in previous rounds and was valued under $ 200 million in one round earlier this year.” More soon, I think. (Note: Slice, the American pizza software service, is not the same as Slice above. Also note that startups should come up with more distinct names!)
- Next step: Alpha Paw, who just raised $ 8 million. If you’re willing to poke fun at a pet welfare startup for venture capital fundraising, I can say you haven’t been to the vet lately. If you are successful in keeping your pets healthy, you may be able to save a lot of money. Alpha Paw “offers pet products for dogs and cats, such as foods and supplements tailored to the breed of pets,” to be precise. Considering that about half of my generation has more dogs than children (the current score is 3-0 in my house), I would expect Alpha Paw to raise over $ 800 million. ‘by December.
- Closing our startup cover today, Productfy has raised $ 16 million for its Bank as a Service (BaaS) product. I have to admit I lost track of all the different BaaS (pronounced like fish, if you’re wondering) startups out there. They all seem capable of raising capital, so there has to be growth to share. But in the long term, will we see a consolidation of the BaaS? We’re finally seeing a little movement in the hot OKR boot space, and BaaS feels even more crowded. For now, however, Productfy “aims to set itself apart with its mission of building DeFi for traditional finance, according to founder and CEO Duy Vo,” according to our own. Marie-Anne Azevedo.
Private Equity Ready to Take MSP Consolidation to the Next Level
The good news: Businesses of all stripes are digitizing their operations faster than ever, creating huge benefits for companies starting work now.
The bad news is that many technicians are already looking for new jobs, and companies must compete to find the right people who can create robust and secure IT environments.
Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are filling the void and private equity firms are paying attention.
“MSPs have all the ingredients private equity loves,” write Mike McGill and Kevin Jolley of Cowen and Company, LLC.
“Strong demand trend, low risk of obsolescence, ‘sticky’ service that attracts long-term customers and high recurring revenues, high cash margins and relatively ‘asset-light’ activity.”
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