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Happy Star Wars Day. You are not looking for the 4th of May. But that’s a pretty awesome newsletter we have for you today, so there you have it.
Additional good news if you are a student: our events team has prepared an offer for you, with a chance to get a free ticket to Disrupt! YeeeeeeSeSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSite and a recent graduate, book any student pass for TC sessions and you will be automatically eligible to participate in our student pitch competition to have a chance to win a free DISRUPT 2022 ticket. If you like clean air and water and survival and all, come and check out our TC sessions: Climate Tech, for example. – Christina and haje
TechCrunch’s top 3
- Here is a customizable CRM. No, really, it’s: eFounders today launched its Folk customer relationship management platform. Its strategy to make it easy to customize the product to suit your needs is meant to make you forget the name of that other really big CRM company. Its waiting list is 10,000 long, but Roman accelerates you to the head of the line with an inside look.
- Did Stripe just launch a Plaid competitor?: While it’s happening debated on Twitter for now, the news is that Stripe has launched Financial Connections, a product that allows its customers to connect to their customers’ bank accounts. This will in turn provide access to financial data to expedite or execute certain types of transactions, essentially a faster way to get that information. However, to the point where customers have to enter their bank account information when prompted, Ingrid notes “it will be interesting to see if US consumers will be happy to share this information in situations where it hasn’t been before.”
- Wordle turned out to be a good buy for The New York Times: The newspaper giant reported “tens of millions” of people on the NYT site in the first quarter. Hopefully they stayed for some news, but we think it was just for play.
Startups and VCs
Eric Ries has contributed a lot to the world of startups, being a pioneer of the Lean Startup movement, but he also has several things to answer. Not least, the term minimum viable product. In his room, haje raves that MVPs aren’t viable, aren’t products, and aren’t necessarily minimal either. We really like this story, and Haje (who writes this section) is a little weird singing his own vuvuzela (it’s a real instrument, not a sex joke), talking about himself in the third person singular and the first person plural in the same paragraph. Here we are, struggling with language, doing our best.
It seems like everyone wants to crawl further upstream and invest in earlier and earlier ventures. We’re excited to see Afore Capital raise $150 million to start snacking on Y Combinator’s lunch, with an all-new “standard deal” model for pre-seed investments.
On our TC+ subscription site, alexander dug into the severity of the drop in startup valuations in the first quarter.
Psychedelic startups are on a long journey to consumer markets, but these 5 VCs are getting in the way
For years, users have used substances like cannabis and microdoses of LSD and psilocybin mushrooms to improve their mood and sharpen their mental focus. Now that regulators and clinicians are re-evaluating these drugs, investors are exploring what this growing market has to offer.
In the United States, more than 400 clinics offer ketamine therapy, and MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, is on track for FDA approval in 2023. In Oakland and Denver, “magic mushrooms” have already been decriminalized for adult use.
To learn more about apps attracting VCs to psychedelics, journalist Anna Heim interviewed five people active in the industry:
- Tim Schlidt, Co-Founder and Partner, Palo Santo
- Ryan Zurrer, Founder, Vine Ventures
- Dina Burkitbayeva, Founder, PsyMed Ventures
- Clara Burtenshaw, Partner, Neo Kuma Ventures
- Sa’ad Shah, Managing Partner, Noetic Fund
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams grow. You can join here.)
Big Tech inc.
Amazon is doubling down on its efforts in India, today saying it will export $20 billion worth of locally produced Indian goods by 2025, up from $10 billion worth of goods it previously pledged to export.
Soon you’ll be able to get an NFT with your big decaffeinated cappuccino (if you know, you know). Starbucks is entering the world of Web3 with a collection of NFTs, and we report that the idea behind it is not only “to help Starbucks better connect with young people”, but also to “provide a way to create a additional traffic and revenue, not just in terms of retail, but also additional revenue from his own business.”
Google will roll out additional Workspace controls for its users in Europe later this year to “control, limit and monitor data transfers to and from the EU”, we report. It appears to be an ongoing effort by Google to better comply with regulatory privacy laws.
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