Gap year student secures last open seat for Blue Origin’s first human spaceflight – TechCrunch

by Jeremy

To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3 p.m. PDT, subscribe here. Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for July 15, 2021. Good news from the TechCrunch front: The plan is out for our big Disrupt conference coming this September. It’s going to be flat-out amazing, frankly, so take a peek. Also, the latest EC-1 just dropped. So if you want to get the inside scoop on CockroachDB, well, we have just the compendium for you. — Alex

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • Revolut is now worth $33B: U.K.-based neobank Revolut has put together an $800 million round that values the company at $33 billion. The company’s new valuation is a multiple of what it was worth in early 2020. Why is it worth so much today? TechCrunch did a little exploring on the matter.
  • Valve is making gaming hardware: Yes, the folks behind the Steam gaming store are getting into the hand-held gaming market. Their device, the Steam Deck, will cost $399 and will contain “a quad-core Zen 2 CPU, coupled with AMD RDNA 2 graphics and 16 GB of RAM,” per our own Brian Heater. IGetready to shell out up to $649 for the hand-held computer. if you want more storage
  • Autonomous vehicle unicorn Aurora is going public: As TechCrunch previously scooped, Aurora is going public via a SPAC. The company expects to sport a $13 billion valuation when it begins to trade. Recall that Aurora previously absorbed Uber’s self-driving vehicle unit at a roughly $10 billion valuation.

Startups/VC

The venture capital market has been on fire lately, leading to rapid-fire deal-making and more rounds than journalists can dream of covering. But if you are still in the market to raise capital, then you might want to listen to Norwest’s Lisa Wu, who has a few tips that might be helpful. Chief among them? Think like a VC when you head out to raise.

  • AmEx dips its toes into financial planning: Today, news broke that credit giant American Express invested in BodesWell last year via its venture arm. The credit card company has “launched a pilot of its first self-service digital financial planning tool” in conjunction with the startup. Talk about an early customer for BodesWell.
  • Prefab construction tries again: That’s the word from a new $20 million round for Abodu — what we presume is a portmanteau of “abode” and “you.” Sure, prefab construction unicorn Katerra is kaput, but Abodu takes a consumer-focused spin on the model. Norwest led the round with participation from Initialized Capital.
  • Lightyear raises $13.1M for online network procurement: From the geekier side of tech today was news from Lightyear, a startup that its CEO says is “the first tool for buying your telecom infrastructure on the web.” Ron Miller notes that everything is heading online, so why not network buying?
  • $20M for financial data extraction: Daloopa has closed an eight-figure Series A led by Credit Suisse Asset Management’s NEXT Investors to help financial types avoid “repetitive data extraction to gather insights for analysis and forecasts,” TechCrunch reports. The deal stood out to us given its evident corporate venture capital (CVC) angle; CVCs have been more active than ever in recent quarters.

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