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Are debt financings the new venture round for fintechs?

Welcome to The Interchange! If you received this in your inbox, thank you for signing up and your vote of confidence. If you’re reading this as a post on our site, sign up here so you can receive it directly in the future. Every week, I’ll take a look at the hottest fintech news of the previous week. This will include everything from funding rounds to trends to an analysis of a particular space to hot takes on a particular company or phenomenon. There’s a lot of fintech news out there and it’s my job to stay on top of it — and make sense of it — so you can stay in the know. — Mary Ann More debt financings means flat is the new up Last week, I wrote about Founderpath , an Austin-based company that offers debt financing to B2B startups. As I started thinking about debt and credit facilities as increasingly attractive alternatives for startups who are seeking capital — especially during a downturn such as the one we are currently experiencing — I realized that the number of companie

Twilio gets hacked, teens ditch Facebook, and SpaceX takes South Korea to the moon

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Hi again! Welcome back to Week in Review , the newsletter where we quickly recap the top stories from TechCrunch dot-com this week. Want it in your inbox every Saturday? Sign up here. Is Facebook for old people? If you’ve got a teenager around the house, you’ve probably heard them say as much. The most read story this week is on a Pew study that suggests this generation of teens has largely abandoned the platform in favor of Instagram/YouTube/TikTok/etc.; whereas in 2014 around 71% of teens used Facebook, the study says in 2022 that number has dropped down to 32%. other stuff Mark Cuban sued over crypto platform promotion : “A group of Voyager Digital customers filed a class-action suit in Florida federal court against Cuban, as well as the basketball team he owns, the Dallas Mavericks,” writes Anita, “alleging their promotion of the crypto platform resulted in more than 3.5 million investors losing $5 billion collectively.” A troubling layoff trend : While tech layoffs might, ma

You’re not that special (I swear, there’s a startup angle here)

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Welcome to Startups Weekly, a fresh human-first take on this week’s startup news and trends. To get this in your inbox, subscribe here. For longtime Startups Weekly readers, you’ll remember that edtech used to be my primary beat. Like, day one beat. Most of my coverage was focused on edtech’s rise in the early innings of the pandemic, the unicorn mad rush   and even some IPOs . Duolingo continues to be the company that I know the most about, mostly because I wrote thousands of words about its savvy owl and wild founding story. While I’m more focused on fintech these days, I was curious if edtech is still a big deal or if the sector — like most during the downturn — is facing a reset. This week, I interviewed seven leading venture capitalists who have a focus on education technology to better understand how the sector is faring during the downturn. The big takeaway? Edtech is facing a reality check in the form of discipline. Investors explained that the whole startup ecosystem is

Is the future of the microchip industry going to be Made in America?

Welcome to The TechCrunch Exchange, a weekly startups-and-markets newsletter. It’s inspired by the daily TechCrunch+ column where it gets its name. Want it in your inbox every Saturday? Sign up here . With all eyes on Taiwan and worries mounting around semiconductor supply, the U.S. CHIPS Act is particularly timely. But it is not unique: Other countries similarly aspire to reduce their reliance on imported chips. Let’s explore. — Anna From cheap as chips to billion-dollar incentives U.S. president Joe Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 into law earlier this week after the bill received broad bipartisan support in the House and Senate. The H and I in CHIPS stand for “Helpful Incentives,” hinting at the main component of the initiative: $52.7 billion in public subsidies. The passage of the CHIPS Act could launch another US startup renaissance Biden described the new bill on Twitter as “a once-in-a-generation law that invests in America by supercharging our effor

TechCrunch staff asks: What’s really the best Taylor Swift song?

While TechCrunch is a Very Serious Publication , at times we wind up a little off-topic in our internal conversations. We talk video games. We talk bad reality television. We riff on sports and pets and our families. And we talk about music. Naturally, with as diverse a group as our team, viewpoints vary. But one notable point of commonality is Taylor Swift. Yes, your tech news is frequently prepared by a dyed-in-the-wool Swiftie. Perhaps even more often than not. This raises an important question: Which Taylor tune is really the best? After realizing how many of us scribblers had an opinion on the matter, we decided to make our case in a public manner. What follows is a series of arguments – written in three-views style , albeit with more players – about which Taylor Swift song truly sits above the rest. We welcome your public comment, of course, but note in advance that if you don’t agree with at least one of us, we all think that you are flat-out wrong. Alex Wilhelm : Wildes

Digital pensions platform Penfold raises $8.5M Series A led by Bridford Group

Penfold , a digital pensions platform, has closed a £7m ($8.49m) Series A funding round led by Bridford Group, an investment group. Also participating in the round was Jeremy Coller, Chief Investment Officer and Chairman of Coller Capital. Penfold also raised additional funding via a crowdfund amongst its customer base. The cash will be used to expand Penfold’s workplace pension division. Chris Eastwood, Co-Founder at Penfold, commented (in a statement): “It’s been a big year for Penfold – from launching our workplace pension offering, to reaching £100m AUA.” Bridford Group, lead investor, commented: “The pensions industry represents a huge market – with £8trn in savings in the UK alone. Despite this, many people remain uninterested and unengaged in their pensions. With so many people not saving enough, there’s a real opportunity for a new provider to step in.”  source https://techcrunch.com/2022/08/13/digital-pensions-platform-penfold-raises-8-5m-series-a-led-by-bridford-group/

After the FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago, online threats quickly turn into real-world violence

Threats of violence reached a fever pitch — reminiscent of the days leading up to the Capitol attack — following the news that the FBI raided Trump’s Florida beach club to retrieve classified documents the former president may have unlawfully taken there. After Trump himself confirmed Monday’s raid at Mar-a-Lago, pro-Trump pundits and politicians rallied around declarations of “war,” and Trump’s ever-fervent supporters called for everything from dismantling the federal law enforcement agency to committing acts of violence against its agents. The situation escalated from there in record time, with online rhetoric boiling over quickly into real-world violence. By Thursday, an armed man identified as Ricky Shiffer attempted to force his way into an FBI office in Cincinnati, Ohio, brandishing a rifle before fleeing. Law enforcement pursued Shiffer and he was fatally shot during the ensuing standoff with police. Analysts with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a nonprofit that

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