Daily Crunch: No-code fintech services startup Taktile closes $20M Series A round

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Soooo you may have received the, erm, first edition of Daily Crunch yesterday, where we mentioned a certain conference, placing it in the wrong country. Whoops — we updated the headline. Sorry, Finland, we love you, honestly.

That was yesterday. Today, there’s a wall of new exciting things to look at…including, among other things, an opportunity Neesha has for you if you’re running a space startup: Apply to pitch onstage at TC Sessions: Space 2022!

Okay, with that, let’s get started with the TC Top 3. — Christine and Haje

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • I’ve got the golden IT ticket: Putting in a ticket with the IT department to make a slight tweak to some lending criteria could have a bank’s head of credit waiting for longer than necessary. Enter Taktile, which is making this more of a no-code, self-service function. With $20 million in new funding, it helps fintech companies test and deploy those tweaks without a developer, Kyle reports.
  • No cloudy days here: Amazon is pouring more money into India, this time $4.4 billion for its cloud unit over the next eight years as it launches a second cloud region in Hyderabad, Manish reports.
  • This is one Popup you won’t want to “X” out: When building an online store on some marketplaces, merchants are offered the basic tools. However, as their business expands, merchants have to lean on more and more tools. Popup grabbed $3.5 million in funding to solve this problem with a no-code way to design online storefronts using just one tool, Christine writes.

Startups and VC

Aura, a startup founded by early Twitter employees that makes digital frames and photo-sharing apps that can also be used to update those frames, has pulled in some funding to expand its business as it closes in on 3 million users of its app and 1 million frames sold, Ingrid reports. The company has raised $26 million in a mix of debt and equity — money that the company is using to boost manufacturing this quarter and to invest in 2023 plans.

All eyes are currently on the collapse of FTX in the crypto industry. That’s why today’s news from Bitpanda is an important signal for the Austrian unicorn company, which has received a crypto license from Germany’s financial regulator, Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), reports Romain.

Here’s a handful of additional VC and startup stories for ya:

Cold outreach with a warm touch: Here’s the fast pitch we emailed to investors

frozen mail box in snow

Image Credits: R.Tsubin (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Pitching a startup to investors without a personal recommendation isn’t a terrible idea — as long as you’ve done your research first.

Tetra Insights co-founders Michael Bamberger and Panos Rigopoulos raised a $5 million Series A last year, and the duo said cold outreach was a key part of their strategy.

“When I changed my criteria to finding people who were a fit, the process was really quick,” says Bamberger, who initially raised a $500,000 friends and family round in 2019 followed by a $1.5 million seed round a year later.

Three more from the TC+ team:

TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead of the pack. You can sign up here. Use code “DC” for a 15% discount on an annual subscription!

Big Tech Inc.

Elon Musk taking over Twitter has resulted in similar social media companies being highlighted. Ivan writes that Indian social network Koo is one such platform gaining popularity in Brazil, but that is turning into a number of challenges, including how to manage moderation.

Meanwhile, with holiday shopping here again, Rita reports that Temu, Pinduoduo’s sister shopping app, has gained some notoriety after topping the U.S. App Store.

And we have five more for you:

  • Look who became fast friends: One-time frenemies security hacker George Hotz and Elon Musk seem to have buried the hatchet, and Hotz signed on to help at Twitter, Connie reports. Meanwhile, Amanda tells us that Twitter’s Blue Verified relaunch is again on hold. Oh, and if Twitter’s own archiving is taking too long for you, Kyle has a list of free tools that make archiving a breeze.
  • Locked out of Mars: Hackers found a way to lock out Mars Stealer malware from their own servers, Zack writes.
  • Tumblr to the rescue: People are flocking to Twitter-like alternatives, but many of these new platforms can’t handle the sudden interest. Here to help is Tumblr, which is adding support for ActivityPub, the social protocol powering Mastodon and other apps, Sarah writes.
  • A global currency conundrum: Tage writes about FTX’s influence on Africa, where billions in cryptocurrency was processed monthly before the company’s collapse.
  • Straight outta “Big Hero 6”: If you’ve never seen “Big Hero 6,” one of the plotlines is about this ambitious tween who creates robots that can build things, and now Brian reports that researchers are building robots that can build themselves.

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