Morocco’s foodtech Terraa raises $1.5M led by FoodLabs

Terraa , a Moroccan B2B  tech-enabled food distribution platform, has raised $1.5 million pre-seed funding in a round led by FoodLabs, a European early-stage VC investor and venture studio for food, sustainability and health. Other participants in the round were UM6P Ventures, Outlierz Ventures, Musha Ventures, and Africa-centric DFS Lab. Founded by Youssef Benkirane and Benoit De Vigne last year, Terraa, which sources fresh food directly from farmers and deliver it to resellers, plans to use the funding to strengthen its logistics infrastructure, expand across Morocco’s cities, before exploring new markets within the region in a year’s time. The startup is bringing change to the fresh food supply chain in Morocco, which Benkirane describes as highly-fragmented, still traditional and dominated by intermediaries buying produce from farmers at low prices, only to sell for huge profits. It intends to provide a consistent and competitively-priced market for the produce, helping farmers

Singapore-based neobank Aspire raises $100M from Lightspeed and Sequoia SEA

Aspire , the Singapore-based neobank that wants to become the financial operating system for SMEs, has raised an oversubscribed $100 million Series C round. Investors included Lightspeed and Sequoia Capital SEA, along with Paypal, Tencent, LGT Capital Partners and returning investors.   TechCrunch last covered Aspire when it raised its Series B in 2021 . Founded in 2018 to provide working capital loans for small to medium-sized businesses, Aspire began offering more services, including bank accounts for cross-border businesses, corporate cards, payable and receivable management and automated invoice processing connected to financial management software.   Co-founder and CEO Andrea Baronchelli says that over the past 12 months, Aspire has tripled its annualized total payment volumes to $12 billion, serving over 15,000 businesses in Southeast Asa.   Baronchelli told TechCrunch that the startup focuses “primarily on new age business whose purchase decisions are driven more and more by

Twitter delays launch of its new API platform again

Twitter ruffled a lot of feathers earlier this month when it announced its plans to cut the free access to its API . The company initially set a February 9 deadline to enforce the rule but later  delayed it to February 13 . Now, the social network has delayed the shutdown of free API again — and this time there is no date in the latest of the growing list of uncertainties at the Elon Musk-owned firm. The Twitter Developer account said late Monday that the company will be delaying the launch of the new API platform “by a few more days.” There has been an “immense amount of enthusiasm” for the upcoming platform change, the company insisted. Over the last few weeks, the developer community has expressed concerns over the lack of transparency and information from the social media company . The company partly responded to that by briefly putting the developer forum website behind a login last week without any explanation. The site, open again, is flooded with questions from the develop

India’s InsuranceDekho raises $150 million despite market slump

The Indian insurance platform InsuranceDekho has raised $150 million in a Series A funding round as the more than a decade old firm eyes merger and acquisition opportunities at a time when the market slump has engulfed most startups in the South Asian nation. Goldman Sachs Asset Management and TVS Capital Fund led the 13-year-old startup’s Series A funding round, they said. The round includes some debt — about $40 million — but its executives said that more than a half of the raise was against equity. The Series A funding values the Gurugram-headquartered startup, which was incubated within the unicorn group automobile marketplace group CarDekho, at between $475 million to $500 million, according to a person familiar with the matter. In an interview with TechCrunch, InsuranceDekho executives declined to comment on the startup’s valuation, but said they were in the “soonicorn” club. Investcorp, Avataar Ventures and LeapFrog Investments also participated in the round. InsuranceDekho

Subaru recalls Solterra for its nagging wheels-fall-off problem

Subaru has issued another recall for its battery electric Solterra crossover due to concerns that hub bolts on the wheels may loosen and cause it to detach. Subaru said the issue affects 1,182 model year 2023 Subaru Solterra vehicles . The 2023 Subaru Solterra EV and 2023 Toyota bZ4x — the products of a partnership between Toyota and Subaru to jointly develop a platform dedicated to EVs — were recalled last June for the same issue. Apparently, the company is worried that the fix didn’t stick. The vehicles were repaired at two port locations prior to being delivered to customers. Subaru said it discovered the third-party contractor didn’t properly complete the repair procedure, resulting in the potential for significantly under-torqued bolts. “Out of an abundance of caution, Subaru is recalling all vehicles repaired at all port locations supported by the third-party contractor,” the company said in its announcement. “Vehicles without the original hub bolt concern and vehicles repa

Apple releases new fix for iPhone zero-day exploited by hackers

Apple on Tuesday released a new version of the iPhone and iPad’s operating systems — iOS 16.3.1 and iPadOS 16.3.1 — to fix a vulnerability that hackers were exploiting in the wild, meaning they were taking advantage of it to hack Apple devices. In the security update page , Apple wrote that it “is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.” This is the language Apple uses when someone alerts the company that they have observed hackers exploiting a bug against targets in the real world, as opposed to a vulnerability found by a researcher in a controlled environment, so to speak. In this case, Apple credited an anonymous researcher for the discovery, and also thanked Citizen Lab “for their assistance.” Citizen Lab is a digital rights research group housed at the University of Toronto’s Munk School, known for exposing the abuse of government hacking tools such as those made by NSO Group. Apple’s spokesperson Scott Radcliffe told TechCrunch that the company has

Strava searches for new CEO with cofounder Michael Horvath departing for a second time

Strava is on the hunt for a new CEO, after Michael Horvath revealed that he’s stepping down from the role for a second time. Horvath co-founded Strava back in 2009, steering the company to become one of the world’s biggest activity tracking social communities, passing 100 million registered users last year. After leaving the Strava hotseat back in 2013 for family reasons, Horvath returned as CEO six years later , with his co-founder Mark Gainey also returning as executive chairman. Now, Horvath says that he’s stepping away from the CEO role and the company is actively pursuing a replacement, simply saying that he feels the company needs someone different at the helm to spearhead its next phase of growth. “As co-founder and CEO, it’s only part of my job to ensure we are picking the right path to that destination,” Horvath said. “The other part of it is to ensure we always recruit and support the right leaders for the right times.” Changing of the guard While Strava is chiefly r

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