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Klarna founder to launch new ‘Nobel Prize for Impact’

According to BCG global assets under management are around $100 trillion, but only $715 billion, or less than 1% , goes on what you might term ‘impact’ companies or projects to tackle the world’s biggest environmental and social issues. Now, a Klarna founder plans to create what he calls a ‘Nobel Prize for Impact’. Niklas Adalberth co-founded Klarna in 2005 but left in 2015 and established the Norrsken Foundation in 2016, contributing $20 million to the launch and an additional $62 million in 2017. Now, the organization’s new initiative will be “Norrsken Impact100”, an annual list of “the world’s most promising impact companies” in order to shine a light on founders working in this space. The companies that will make it to the final 100 (announced this month) will be nominated by several partner organizations, including the Obama Foundation, Softbank Investment Advisers, World Fund, Katapult, BMW Foundation, Leaps by Bayer, Summa Equity and several others. In a statement, Adalbert

SoftBank, Sequoia China back this ERP startup enabling China’s online exporters

Thanks to cross-border e-commerce platforms, China continues to be a major exporter of consumer goods for the world in the online shopping age. It’s not just marketplaces like Amazon and AliExpress that are enabling Chinese businesses to sell abroad. Behind the scene, a group of startups are making the software that allows exporters to more easily figure out what to sell and how to sell. Dianxiaomi, roughly translated as ‘shop assistant’, is one of these ecommerce SaaS providers. The company just secured $110 million in a Series D funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund II and Sequoia Capital China. Other prominent investors, including Tiger Global Management, GGV Capital, and Huaxing Growth Capital, also participated. The financing lifts the company’s total investment to $210 million in 2022 alone. Dianxiaomi is strategically located in Shenzhen, the capital of export-oriented ecommerce activity in China. The city that’s home to Huawei, Tencent, and DJI is also known to house the

Helbiz reports revenue increase but dwindling cash reserves

Helbiz started out as a shared micromobility company but has since expanded to include ghost kitchens, media streaming and, most recently, a taxi service . The company  reported its second-quarter earnings Monday after the bell. The startup was the first scooter operator to go public via the SPAC route , and many in the industry wish it wasn’t so after consistently  meh earnings reports. Since Helbiz’s public debut in August 2021, its earnings reports have shown a company that burns through dwindling cash reserves, doesn’t pull in enough revenue to make up for its high costs of operations and keeps pivoting away from core operations into new, and sometimes strange, business units. While Helbiz’s revenue has increased slightly quarter over quarter and year over year, Monday’s report tells a similar story. Before we dig into the financials, a little context. In late June, Helbiz signed a letter of intent to buy Wheels, another shared micromobility operator,  by the end of the year.

Mycel’s mushroom-based biomaterials sprout $10M in funding

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Mycel , a South Korean startup making fungal-based biomaterials that can replace leather and meat, said it has raised $10 million (13 billion WON) in a pre-Series A round of funding. Co-founder and CEO of Mycel Sungjin Sah told TechCrunch that the company uses mycelium, a root-like structure of mushroom, to make leather substitutes that can be used in car seats and luxury cosmetic products, and fashion products like shoes, clothes and bags. Mycel is in talks with global cosmetic brands to co-develop the mycelium-based leather products as well as cosmetics ingredients, Sah said, adding that it aims to commercialize its mushroom leather in 2023. The Seoul-headquartered startup will use this new funding to open a production plant in South Korea for scaling the manufacture of its fungal-based biomaterials and double its headcount to 42 employees, Sah said in an interview with TechCrunch. The spin-off company from Hyundai Motor’s in-house startup program was founded in 2020 by former Hyun

Tech industry reacts to Adam Neumann’s a16z-backed return to real estate

WeWork co-founder and former chief executive Adam Neumann ’s career arc has felt synonymous with the rise and eventual fall of unicorn dreams. The entrepreneur, whose fall from grace has attracted global interest, just found a ladder in the form of a check from storied venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Andreessen Horowitz announced on Monday that it has written its largest single check to-date into Neumann’s new startup, Flow . The stealthy startup is trying to reinvent real estate (again), but instead of commercial properties, which WeWork focused on, Neumann is looking into revolutionizing rental properties. Horowitz’s check, reportedly upwards of $350 million, values the not-yet-launched company at over $1 billion, according to The New York Times. (Andreessen Horowitz declined to comment beyond the blog post , and Flow did not respond immediately to request for comment.) It is unclear how the deal is structured between equity financing or debt financing. a16z says ‘WeB

Meta invests in Take App, a Singaporean startup that helps merchants sell via WhatsApp

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WhatsApp has long transcended its roots as a simple messaging app for friends, and is now a core communication tool for businesses seeking a direct channel to their customers’ pockets — both literally, and metaphorically. Countless companies have turned to the omnipresent messaging app as they build the very foundation of their business , something that hasn’t gone unnoticed by WhatsApp’s parent company. Indeed, Meta Platforms Inc. — the corporate megabrand behind Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp — recently invested in Take App , a fledgling Singaporean startup founded by former Facebook engineering manager Youmin Kim , who left the social network last year to work on a new product that promises to bridge the digital gap for small-business owners in Southeast Asia. At its core, Take App serves as an easy way for those with little technical know-how to set up a simple website to facilitate online orders, replete with a shopping cart, payments, and a direct connection to W

VinFast says pre-orders “will get a $7,500 rebate,” federal tax credit or not

We wrote that the Vietnamese EV car company Vinfast is bringing its EV companies to the US . Since then, congress announced it is making changes to the $7,500 federal electric vehicle tax credit, meaning that it becomes much harder to get that sweet, sweet tax deduction. The two major changes are that the tax credit will becomes means-tested (i.e. if your household makes more than a certain amount, you don’t qualify) and sticker-price limited (cars over $40k and SUVs and trucks with a slightly higher limit). That’s pretty dramatic – up to 70% of today’s electric vehicles would not be eligible for a credit, Reuters reports . Various car manufacturers have scrambled to figure out how to react, but VinFast is taking more extreme steps than most, promising that if you have a pre-order with the manufacturer and you are no longer eligible for the tax rebate, they’ll give you a $7,500 discount on the car instead. “VinFast is a brand that not only stands behind our vehicles with our 10-year/

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