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It’s Friday the 13th and I hope nothing bad happened to you today. In any case, the weekend has arrived! At the very least, you can follow the latest Terraform Labs news – Binance has discontinued trading in Luna and UST – and some great podcasts from your favorite TechCrunchers. And be sure to get your seat for our June 1 TechCrunch Live event in Columbus. See you on Monday! † Christine
The TechCrunch Top 3
- If Elon doesn’t buy Twitter, at least Snoop Dogg is ready to strike: Early this morning, Elon Musk tweeted that his proposed purchase from Twitter had been delayed as he calculated the percentage of fake accounts through the social media channel. Although he also tweeted, he remains ‘committed to the takeover’, I loved seeing it Snoop Dogg tweet his desire to maybe try it out if Musk doesn’t. His plan for that isn’t bad actually.
- Eating out at Dineout: In some online M&A food ordering news, Swiggy said it was acquiring Dineout, the Indian equivalent of OpenTable. This puts Swiggy entirely in the hospitality industry, which has been dominated in the country for quite some time by Zomato, whose market cap has fallen to around $5 billion. It also represents additional consolidation within a mammoth market trying to make sense of the pandemic boost.
- More layoffs: Natasha and Amanda were already busy making up for the countless technical layoffs last week, and unfortunately have a different list today with Section4, Carvana and Latch. Even Meta is not immune.
Startups and VC
- On the hook: Better.com CEO Vishal Garg says so about a $750 million loan to SoftBank. By taking personal responsibility for the loan, Garg is liable for any losses. However, the company could also be hit as any losses could force it to sell much of its Better.com holdings, which could negatively affect the stock. It’s still a mess no matter how you look at it.
- Dress up in indie brands: China-based Body404 is betting that the West will embrace the next generation of clothing designers who want to give them something that isn’t just a cheaper runway knock-off. It has paid off as the company is now valued at $50 million after raising $50 million in March. Also interesting to note is that customers do not return the clothes – Body404’s return rate is around 2%, much less than the average of 10% in the fashion industry.
- Enjoy with a cause: Frank Reig, who heads Revel, a company that builds fast charging hubs for electric vehicles, took out Rebecca to discuss the company’s shift from moped-sharing and the distance Revel has traveled to drive electric vehicle adoption.
- Watch and get paid: Our attention is valuable and is often drawn in different directions. WeAre8 wants to reward you for doing what DVR has made us skip for many years – watch ads. The company is led by advertising guru Sue Fennessy, who aims to divert ad funding away from social media giants like Facebook and channel it into charity.
Pitch Deck Teardown: Dutch’s $20M Series A Deck
As CEO and founder of the virtual veterinary care platform Dutch, Joe Spector initially planned to raise a $15 million Series A, but his pitch deck so skillfully blended the images of lovable pets with market research and traction stats, that he eventually round of $20 million closed.
With flair, Dutch’s deck tells a compelling story of how the company used its seed capital to launch a service, build a brand identity, build a team and expand from 12 to 32 states within three months, writes Haje Jan Kamps in the weekly pitch. Break off deck.
If you’re working on a pitch deck and need inspiration, start here: All 17 slides are available to TC+ members.
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
Row, row, row your Peloton: That’s right folks, Peloton is trying to end a rough week on a positive note by adding another oar to the competitive rowing machine market. After selling my Peloton bike in 2019, this caught my eye when I discovered a love for rowing. I hope the price tag is a bit kinder to my budget than the bike was.
Zoom is getting its customer service day: The video communications giant is acquiring conversational AI company Solvvy in an effort to deliver customer service experiences within Zoom’s toolset. Company stocks are in the news, so it seems Zoom has chosen wisely.
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