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Beep boop, here we go again with another exciting week in tech. Next week is Disrupt, so the TechCrunch Slack watercooler is full of sartorial advice, much to our surprise and confusion.
Oh, and Haje has written more than 20 Pitch Deck Teardowns over on TC+ — and he’s running low on decks to review. Surely he hasn’t scared everyone away quite yet? Here’s a bit more info about what he’s looking for, and instructions for how you can submit your pitch deck for review!
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Following suit: Today we have another installment of The OG App news. This time Ivan reports that Google also removed it from the Play Store. You might recall that The OG was promising an ad-free Instagram experience. After Meta said an app like that violated its policies, Apple made the first move and removed it a few weeks ago.
- The day has finally come: Hulu raised its subscription prices today, reports Lauren.
- It’s a trap!: “If risks to the software supply chain aren’t a boardroom priority yet, they soon will be,” Endor Labs’ co-founder Varun Badhwar told Kyle. The software supply chain startup emerged from stealth today with $25 million to continue developing its graph analysis tech for learning how dependencies are being used within an organization and creating the appropriate risk indicators.
Startups and VC
“The crude analogy I’ve been using internally is last year was the party and this year is the hangover. That’s really how it feels to me — that we’re starting to understand the excesses of last year,” says Mark Goldberg of Index Ventures in an interview, featured in Mary Ann’s The Interchange newsletter. “We’ve seen now the retrenchment period after the fact. At Index, we’re probably more aggressively investing in what we think the next generation of fintech companies is going to be right now.”
Cloud kitchens became popular during the global pandemic as a way for restaurants to reach their communities when people were not going out as much. One of those was Foodology, a Colombia-based cloud kitchen and virtual restaurant company, which just raised $50 million, Christine reports.
And we have five more for you:
- Hungry like the wolf ♬: The fates of agriculture and climate change are inextricably linked. Harri explores how the climate crisis is shaping investors’ strategies.
- Seek and destroy ♬: Kyle reports that Meilisearch lands a $15 million investment to grow its “search-as-a-service” business.
- I can see clearly now the rain is gone ♬: Kyle also reports that Trendsi secured $25 million to help sellers and manufacturers predict demand.
- Remember what the dormouse said ♬: Clerkenwell Health raises £2.1 million to test the new wave of psychedelics treatments, reports Mike.
- Our house, in the middle of our street ♬: And finally, Anita reports that real estate investing app Fintor raised $6.2 million at an $80 million valuation.
Growth hacking is really just growth testing
“Growth hacking” may not be the best phrase to describe the work required to fine-tune marketing campaigns and systems. In truth, successful marketers iterate constantly, measuring and testing efforts to minimize waste and maximize ROI.
“If each test can result in a 1% improvement, you’re well on your way to 100% improvement after running 100 tests,” writes Jonathan Martinez, a self-described “marketing nerd” who has driven growth at Uber, Postmates and Chime.
The best way to uncover marketing hacks is by using “stringent experimentation frameworks to run countless A/B tests,” advises Martinez, who shares a RICE (reach, impact, confidence and effort) scoring spreadsheet, along with his thoughts on acquisition and activation growth hacking.
“It’s important to remember there’s no such thing as hacking growth. Instead, you should be thinking about how you can run 100 tests to move the needle forward.”
Three more from the TC+ team:
- The spice doth flow: Fears of climate tech underinvestment are probably overblown, writes Tim.
- Facepalming pretty hard over here: If you can’t use your EV as an EV due to a recall, automakers shouldn’t get to count it toward fleetwide fuel economy, argues Tim.
- Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match: Could corporates be good matchmakers for startups and VCs? Becca explores this question.
Big Tech Inc.
When one Florida company demanded its employee turn on a webcam during the workday so said company could monitor their work, it learned the hard way that hiring someone from overseas and performing video surveillance was in violation of European human rights policies. Haje has more on what happened.
ICYMI over the weekend, Twitter locked Kanye West’s account following an antisemitic tweet, Taylor reported. And this was apparently after Elon Musk tweeted a welcome to Ye, who tweeted that he had been removed from Instagram.
And we have five more for you:
- License to grow: Paul reports that Samsung confirmed a licensing agreement with Tizen OS and the first smart TV products birthed from the deal will come out in Europe and Australasia this year.
- Crash detected: We enjoyed Brian’s deep dive into how Apple tested its crash-detection feature. Good news, if you drop the phone, it won’t register as a crash. Now, roller coasters, that’s a different story.
- Quick find: YouTube introduced @username handles so that creators could more easily direct viewers to their channels, reports Sarah.
- It’s time to take a photo: Sarah also reported that BeReal’s installs topped 53 million installs since the beginning of the year, but only 9% open the app every day.
- Going in blind: If you want a taste of the “Ted Lasso” blind-dating experience, Bumble is bringing it to you with its new Bantr feature, Lauren writes.