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Happy Thursday! Has everyone recovered from Zoom going down this morning? Don’t worry, Zoom is back up, but if anything, we hope it helped you have a quieter day…for a while at least. — Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
One rival at a time: The digital design world got a treat today when Adobe announced it was buying Figma, one of its biggest rivals, in a $20 billion deal that has both investors and Figma enthusiasts pondering what will change and if those changes will be bad, Ingrid reports. Meanwhile, Alex gives his take on the deal over in TechCrunch+ land.
“The Merge” is here: Talk of “The Merge” has been with us for weeks, and today it is finally here. If you don’t follow cryptocurrency, this means that Ethereum, one of crypto’s most popular blockchains, has now switched to proof-of-stake consensus, which also means it will now consume a lot less electricity, Romain writes. And for TC+, Jacquelyn tells us why it matters that Lido, Coinbase, Kraken and Binance have a majority stake of ETH.
There’s a fix for that: Apple is clearing a path for easy iPhone 14 integration with a setup fix. Ivan has more.
Startups and VC
Today, Haje has been running around at Micromobility America. They insist on using the MMA acronym, so he’s expecting a fist to the face any moment, but so far the only risk of injury has been from neck-breaking micromobility in the form of electric rollerblades. It’s probably a coincidence that Kav announced it is spooling up a 3D printing factory for bike helmets on the same day.
The TechCrunch team has been extraordinarily busy. There’s a wall of news on the TechCrunch homepage; here’s a few of the ones that caught our eye this fine Thursday:
Like private equity, but with pocket change: Anita reports that Allocations just raised at a beefy $150 million valuation in its mission to help private equity funds lure smaller investors.
You and me, baby, ain’t nothing but mammals, so let’s invest across multiple channels: U.K.-based fintech Lightyear is extending its stock-trading offering to include a wide selection of stocks and traded funds (ETF), Paul reports.
From the shirt off your back to the shiz in your bag: Reusable packaging startup Olive creates a new model to keep clothes out of landfills, Christine reports.
We’re sure more money will fix this: VCs look the other way as they give $205 million more to Verkada, whose tech (and lax security) has been abused repeatedly, Connie reports.
To Infinity and beyond: Morpheus Space’s satellite thrusters are propelled forward with a $28 million Series A, reports Stefanie.
Pitch Deck Teardown: Helu.io’s $9.8M Series A deck
Helping small- and medium-sized enterprises with their controlling, reporting and budgeting may not sound exciting, but Austrian fintech startup Helu.io’s storytelling skills excited investors enough to raise a $9.8 million Series A in July.
With the exception of some details regarding unit economics and revenue, Helu shared its entire winning pitch deck with us. As these slides suggest, its founders took a straightforward approach:
Problem: “The CFO’s pain is Excel.”
Solution: “Good-bye Excel sheets.”
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here. Use code “DC” for a 15% discount on an annual subscription!)
Big Tech Inc.
Whenever Call of Duty is mentioned, we can’t help but recall Rashida Jones’s character in “The Office” giving the game a shout-out. In today’s case, Jordan was there as Activision unveiled what the game’s next generation will look like.
We won’t be undone: Amanda got “BeReal” with TikTok’s newest feature, which will have you experiencing a bit of déjà vu.
“The Merge,” take two: We know you enjoyed Romain’s coverage of “The Merge”; now Rita reports on how this has affected cryptocurrency miners.
Two giants make an even bigger giant: Want to know what happens to customer data when Salesforce and Snowflake partner? Ron can tell you.
All eyes on gaming: While Activision was over there unveiling the new Modern Warfare game, the company’s proposed tie-up with Microsoft is getting a deeper look from the United Kingdom’s antitrust investigators, Natasha L reports.
Back in the hot seat: Taylor watched the latest Senate Homeland Security Committee meeting featuring executives from Meta, TikTok, YouTube and Twitter so you don’t have to. Spoiler, they dodge questions about social media and national security.