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Daily Crunch: Former Googlers raise more than $90M to scale alternative asset fintech startup

Hellooooo, guess what? It’s November! We guess it was actually November yesterday, too, but we failed to notice, because LOL what even is time, amirite. Anyway, put away your Halloween costumes and start the game of How Long Can You Avoid “Little Drummer Boy”? If you do want to play that game, you’d be well advised to not click this link, although that’s a particularly tolerable version of the song, to be fair. Onward! — Christine and Haje

The TechCrunch Top 3

And for his next act…: Manish was on a roll again today, covering some cool stories. The first is on some former Googlers rallying around their peer Caesar Sengupta, who raised $90 million to scale Arta Finance, a company that will provide individuals similar access to alternative assets that are usually reserved for the ultrawealthy. Betting on web3: Manish’s second story is on Microsoft, which is backing South Korea–based web3 game developer Wemade. Come together, right now, in the cloud: Though many companies are asking employees to come back into the office, they and others are still figuring out how to keep distributed teams working as one. Former Yext CEO Howard Lerman thinks he has created the best option with Roam, a company that came out of stealth today with $30 million in new funding, Kyle reports.

Startups and VC

New data from more than 200 startups show that CTOs earn higher salaries than their CEO counterparts. Mostly, co-founders make the same, but where there is a difference, the balance typically tips in the favor of the technical co-founder, Haje reports. Also, we’ve got an eclectic mix of additional news for ya: Wild tales of smarter sales: Kyle reports that Orum raised $22 million to inject AI into the sales prospecting process. Hand built by robots: Picsart adds an AI Image Generator and AI Writer to its suite of creative tools, Aisha reports. Like a Discman but different: Everything is stupid and bad right now, Brian writes, and he wonders if maybe this $200 portable turntable will make things better. Once more into the Brex: Natasha M reports that Brex is starting to look more and more like a VC firm over time. Smarter, kinder money: Paul writes that Mozilla launches a $35 million venture capital fund for early-stage “responsible” startups.

Dear Sophie: How can students work or launch a startup while maintaining their immigration status?

dear-sophie-immigration-maze-3-1 Dear Sophie, I’m studying bioinformatics at a university in the U.S. What options do I have to work before and after graduation on my student visa? Do any of these options allow me to launch my own startup? — Wanting to Work Three more from the TC+ team: Discounts! Get yer discounts! Welcome to the late-stage discount market, where everything is on sale and few folks are buying, by Alex. Summer is coming: Unicorns face 5-1 odds as they wait for public markets to warm, by Anna and Alex. It’s the battle of the market dynamics: Bitcoin miners struggle as energy prices rise and hash prices fall, by Jacquelyn. 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 met with civil rights leaders, and Amanda has all the details on what went down. Many of the leaders were concerned with content moderation, particularly dealing with increases in hate speech and undue influence on the midterm elections. Meanwhile, Natasha M writes that another Twitter executive is reportedly flying the coop. Meanwhile, Manish continues to follow the Byju’s saga. The latest is that India’s edtech giant is looking at a $1 billion IPO for Aakash, its physical tutor chain. And we have five more for you: For whom the bell tolls: Well, it tolls over at Chime and Opendoor. The digital bank confirmed to Natasha M and Mary Ann that it was cutting 12% of its staff, or 160 people, as it manages current economic conditions. Meanwhile, Mary Ann covers the 550 people being laid off at Opendoor. Track that package: Gmail has a new package tracking service just in time to get your holiday shopping on, Sarah reports. Robot riot: Brian was following today’s Google AI event and brings us some new research from the search engine giant related to letting robots generate their own code. Marriage made in tech heaven: Tencent and China Unicom are setting up a joint venture that is causing a stir among China’s tech sector. Rita has more. TikTok’s future: In typical Devin style, he opines about why renewed calls to ban TikTok would be “political self-sabotage.” Daily Crunch: Former Googlers raise more than $90M to scale alternative asset fintech startup by Christine Hall originally published on TechCrunch


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