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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for July 16, 2021. A PSA: A few of us at TechCrunch took some time this week to chat about funding rounds, covering them and how startups might stand out. If that’s your sort of thing, you can check out the chat here. OK, news time! — Alex
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Blend is no longer a startup: Banking tech unicorn Blend went public this week. It’s now worth $4 billion or so, more than its final private round. So consider the company not only no longer a startup, but also no longer a private unicorn. Blend’s software powers the mortgage option in other apps, making it a company that you may not have heard of but may have used.
- Halla raises $4.5M to help guess what you are going to eat: Buying groceries online is big business. Amazon is into it. It’s Instacart’s core remit. And European grocery delivery services have been raising oodles of money. Halla wants to help those companies sell more stuff by “using human behavior to steer shoppers to food items they want while also discovering new ones as they shop online.”
- Rivian once again delays EV deliveries: The global chip shortage — see our earlier note regarding Intel — is showing up in a host of places, including Rivian’s ramp toward commercial production of its electric vehicles. Other issues are holding the company up, but this chip shortage is a real kettle of fish for companies of all shapes and sizes.
- Yummy wants to build Venezuela’s superapp: Then there’s Yummy, which just raised a $4 million round. It has big aspirations: ride-hailing, delivery and more. The superapp model may have been spearheaded in Asia, but it’s going global. Yummy will need more than $4 million to build it, however. So if things go well, expect the company to raise again in short order.
From our recent Early Stage event, we have something new for your enjoyment: Cleo Capital’s Sarah Kunst explains how to get ready to raise your next round.
Outdoorsy co-founders detail how they expanded the sharing economy to RVs
Seven years ago, ad executive Jen Young and tech entrepreneur Jeff Cavins stepped away from the careers they’d built to launch Outdoorsy, an RV rental marketplace.
Last month, they announced a partnership with high-end camping company Collective Retreats and raised a $90 million Series D and $40 million in debt to speed up an already impressive rate of growth.
To learn more about their approach to building a transportation company that caters to people who crave a taste of nomadic existence, Rebecca Bellan interviewed Young and Cavins for Extra Crunch.
Their conversation explored the impacts of COVID-19, their business strategy and why they decided to take on $30 million in debt financing:
Jeff Cavins: We like to look at macro trends as a business and I think U.S. monetary policy is going to get us all in a little bit of trouble. So we wanted to lock in a credit facility for the company at advantageous terms.
(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
- FedEx pours $100M into Delhivery: First, we love the name for the Indian logistics startup. It’s rumored to be heading for an IPO this year. The deal underscores how key the Indian market is proving to be not merely for its domestic investors and founders, but also for global brands.
- Paytm is going public: Indian fintech giant Paytm has filed to go public. We’re including it in this section of the newsletter because, as we reported, the private company “plans to raise up to $2.2 billion in an initial public offering.” That’s a huge, huge amount of money. It’s hard to call Paytm a startup when it’s raising a few venture capital funds’ worth of capital in a single go.
- Tumblr’s parent company buys Pocket Casts: Automattic, famous for WordPress and the owner of what’s left of Tumblr, is buying popular podcasting service Pocket Casts. It’s not impossible to see how a publishing platform might integrate with a podcasting service, yeah?
To close us off from the world of Big Tech backing money, this from Connie Loizos: Traditional VCs turn to emerging managers for deal flow and, in some cases, new partners.
TechCrunch Experts: Growth Marketing
We interviewed Kathleen Estreich, formerly of Intercom, Box, Facebook and Scalyr, and Emily Kramer, formerly of Asana, Carta, and Astro (acquired by Slack), as part of TechCrunch Experts. We’re taking this conversation to Twitter Spaces on Tuesday, July 20, at 5 p.m. EDT. Join TechCrunch’s Danny Crichton and the MKT1 team as they dive further into the growth marketing trends they’re seeing.