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Hello and welcome to the Daily Crunch on Wednesday, February 23, 2022! There’s so much going on today that I’m not going to slow us down other than to say that our mobility-focused event is shaping up to be a bangerÎ. To work! – alexander

TechCrunch’s top 3

  • Cuban-backed Fireside seeks to increase: And at a price, to boot. The service that “helps creators reach audiences through live and virtual broadcasts” is looking for a Series A, according to our own Manish Singh reports. Fireside is looking to raise around $25 million. More when the deal closes.
  • As Nubank shares fall, is it time to worry about fintech valuations? During the 2021 rah-rah risk cycle, a large number of huge fintech rounds were raised and companies in the sector went public. But in late 2021 and into 2022, we saw fintech valuations plummet. They fell again today. Is it time to worry?
  • Climate technology heats up: Data indicates that the climate-focused business investment market is on, with 2021 bringing huge sums to the sector. The numbers aren’t on fintech scale, but they’re impressive, with $40 billion across 600 deals disbursed last year. Let’s see if 2022 can top those numbers.

Startups/VCs

Before we embark on our daily download of starter activities, a few reminders from today’s coverage. First, Varos collects data from customers to provide SaaS and e-commerce companies with real-time market performance metrics. So if you’re worried that your conversion rates have just dropped, you can see if others are having related issues. Cared for.

And Vendr bought Blissfully in a deal worth around $100 million. Vendr’s SaaS shopping service has evolved rapidly over the past year. Happily brings SaaS management to the world of Vendr, perhaps helping the acquiring entity create an end-to-end method for purchasing and managing software.

Now, to dive into funding cycles, let’s start with a set of data-related events:

  • Redpanda raises $50 million: Today in good startup names, right? The company has built an open source data streaming tool. I won’t try to explain more than that, because I don’t want to make a fool of myself in front of you. According to Ron Miller, Redpanda takes on Kafka, which sounds cool. (Forget a bug, we’re Kafkaing in pandas now, boys!)
  • Compliance as a service brings in $56 million: As the world seeks to better manage data privacy and security, there are an ever-increasing number of standards for companies that handle information to meet. Secureframe just raised a mint for its work in space, which it says has seen it increase its ARR 10x in 2021. Not bad.
  • MLobs is big business: I feel like just a few weeks ago I was being taught the Machine Learning Operations tools, or the MLops tools. Now we need to add machine learning observability, or MLobs, to our lexicons. Aporia just raised $25 million for its MLobs efforts.
  • BlueVoyant raises a quarter of a billion dollars: Naturally, the cybersecurity firm is now a unicorn thanks to the deal, which otherwise would have been a takeover. But valuation aside, BlueVoyant just raised a huge stack of cash. Why? Cybersecurity for the enterprise, combining what we describe as “proprietary technology, best-in-class third-party tools and professional services”. Not losing your data is, well, a huge Marlet.

And, as always, there are even more rounds, offers and announcements to read:

  • Charli D’Amelio + Lightricks: From TikTok to venture capital, the world of influencers and investors is converging. D’Amelio, a social media celebrity, has invested in Lightricks, which makes visual tools for social media. The synergies are not hard to spot.
  • WorkWhile wants you to be flexible while you work: I like the idea here. WorkWhile is a company that wants to help workers who do hourly work find work and get a package of benefits like next day pay. Frankly, the way we treat insecure workers in the United States is flat trash, and so services to help shift information – and therefore power – into their hands are welcome.
  • Music stars back the gaming handset: Backbone just raised $40 million for its gaming device, making mobile gaming more feasible. Our very own Greg Kumparak is a fan of the product, and The Weeknd, Post Malone and Diddy contributed capital to the fundraising event.
  • Don’t call it a chimera: Pipe, the company that became known for creating a marketplace where software companies could sell their future revenue for cash, is expanding its mandate into new markets. including the media.
  • In unrelated news, I recently received a massive amount of money and my entire TechCrunch catalog is now brought to you by Pipe! Bon voyage, I shout from my yacht.

But don’t think we’re all work and no play: we’ve got a great look at Elden Ring today, as well as a podcast episode on how startups should think about the big quit. Enjoy!

14 climate tech investors share their H1 2022 strategies

Picture credits: Paul Souders (Opens in a new window)/Getty Pictures

Oil and gas production generates so much excess methane that it is cheaper to set it on fire in a process called flaring than to capture it to sell.

In the United States alone, producers are burning so much gas that astronauts aboard the International Space Station can identify oil deposits 254 miles below.

Presumably they can also see Antarctica’s Thwaite Glacier – it’s about the size of Florida, but it’s shrinking because greenhouse gases like methane trap heat in the atmosphere which warms our oceans.

For our latest investor survey, we reached out to 14 people who are using their money to tackle the climate emergency. Beyond sharing their investment thesis, they also let us know what they’re looking for and how they measure success.

We spoke with:

  • Alex Bondar, Partner, Acre Venture Partners
  • Carolin Funk, Partner, Blue Bear Capital
  • Georgia Sherwin, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships, Closed Loop Partners
  • Joshua Posamentier, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Congruent Ventures
  • Shayle Kann, Partner, Energy Impact Partners
  • Heidi Lindvall, General Partner, Pale Blue Dot
  • Robert Downey Jr., Jon Schulhof, Steve Levin and Rachel Kropa of Footprint Coalition
  • Maryanna Saenko, Co-Founder and Partner, Future Ventures
  • Valerie Shen, Partner and COO, G2 Venture Partners
  • Thai Nguyen, Partner, MCJ Collective
  • David Frykman, General Partner, Norrsken VC

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams grow. You can join here.)

https://techcrunch.com/2022/02/23/14-climate-tech-investors-share-their-h1-2022-investment-strategies/

Big Tech inc.

I doubt Apple really has any beef with the Netherlands, but its feud with the nation over in-app purchase techniques is causing more anger than Dutch angst. The EU says “the company deliberately chooses to pay fines to avoid complying with a Dutch antitrust order,” we report. If Apple isn’t mad at the Utrecth team, what is it? Probably trying to avoid setting a precedent in Europe that other nations could follow.

Oh, and apparently LinkedIn is getting into the podcast game. Which is logical. Because I still expect a cloud platform company with an enterprise software empire that also makes consumer hardware, owns game companies, search engine, social media and various digital services, also do a lot of podcasts.

TechCrunch experts

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Picture credits: SEAN GLADWELL/Getty Images

TechCrunch is recruiting recruiters for TechCrunch Experts, an ongoing project where we interview top professionals about common issues and challenges in early-stage startups. If this is you or someone you know, you can let us know here.

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