SumUp, based in London, shares $8.5 billion in the company holding a $624 million debt-equity round. TechCrunch

SumUp, based in London, shares $8.5 billion in the company holding a $624 million debt-equity round. ...

Subscribe here to get a sneak peek at TechCrunchs'' top-ten and most powerful stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3pm PDT.

Hey, folks, thanks for the feedback. Im happy to announce that the team was not completely dissatisfied with my first work (its here in case you missed it), and so they have agreed to let me have another go. In other lovely news, the weather is amazing. Get that vitamin D when youre able.

If you''re not NYC bound today and are traveling to Menlo Park, then get a ticket to the TechCrunch Summer Party. I checked, and theres only a few things left the festivities beginning at 6 p.m. PT. Also, remember to include such guests as Amazons'' head of global robotics and the director of Carnegie Mellons. It will not be one to miss. Kyle

The TechCrunch Top 3

Startups and VC

Despite the fact that e-learning was an easy way to collaborate, stay current, and find a balance between the two. As Natasha declares, its largest digital division will reach full potential in 2020. Duolingo and Coursera have also seen their stock values reduced.

Unfortunately, Micromobility is not looking so hot these days. Shortly after Lime''s departure, Superpedestrian announced that it would cut its headcount by 35 employees. Voi followed suit with layoffs at its HQ, leaving 35 full-time employees. Rebecca notes that the industry''s economics have always been complicated, but it certainly doesn''t help that investors are becoming increasingly prey on large expenses and long-term profitability.

In more positive news,

  • Hardwood reboot: Tim writes about a fascinating startup, Vibrant Planet, thats developing what it calls an operating system for forest restoration. How on Earth (pun intended) does that work? Well, Vibrant Planets software, which is aimed at land managers, can prioritize objectives like fire risk using a combination of satellite imagery and AI tools. It can also run analyses to determine how different landscape treatments will affect these objectives, revealing the real-time effects. Pretty neat.
  • Get your steps in and your slaloms: A Fitbit-like tracker for skiing? Thats different and piqued my interest, I must say, as a lover of snow sports. Hajes piece on Carv details the startups ski-tracking insert for ski boots, which measures and analyzes technique and beams the data to an app where a virtual coach can give feedback. Carv, which came to venture capital by way of Kickstarter, claims its product can be retrofitted to any boot.
  • Keep Austin weird and subterranean: With a tunnel or two under its belt, Elon Musks The Boring Company plans to build a corridor under Teslas Gigafactory Texas in Austin. Mums the word on the purpose, but, as Rebecca hints, perhaps Musk wants a secret road to enter his giant factory. Presumably, he wont have to contend with the traffic issues that plague The Boring Companys Las Vegas project.
  • Lightning in a bottle: Fusion could supply a nearly unlimited amount of power with minimal waste, which is why countless startups not to mention governments are pursuing it. Zap Energy is among these fresh off a successful test of its prototype fusion reactor, the company has raised $160 million in a Series C round. Zaps approach involves sending a plasma stream through a vacuum chamber and then electrifying it, strikingly similar to what happens in a thunderstorm, Tim reports.
  • Drone-compliance-as-a-service: Drone-compliance-as-a-service: Getting the necessary clearance from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to fly drones can be a challenge for small businesses much less local governments. Airspace Link, which this week raised $23 million in new backing, promises to make it easier by tracking ground-based infrastructure like radar coverage, notable other flights and assets in a given area, Devin writes. Using Airspaces platform, customers can show the FAA theyve built the required safety infrastructure for drone operations or so the sales pitch goes.

Utilize shopper-generated content to personalize emails to drive higher sales.

In the midst of a economic downturn, consumer confidence is a concern, which is why e-commerce firms should start looking for new avenues to engage customers.

Cynthia Price, the SVP of Marketing at Litmus, talks on several ways businesses can transform customer buying data into content that improves brand experiences and increases users'' confidence in buying.

The most-viewed items on your website are based on your most active customers'' tastes and interests, and this is why it is also useful to include them in outbound emails.

By layering shopper data, you may even split down that data more granularly. This strategy encourages interest, encourages more subscribers to your site, and enhances the purchasing potential of their services.

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which assists founders and startup teams in making the move.) You may sign up here.

Big Tech Inc.

Is live events coming in full force, and monkeypox is harmed? Spotify appears to have expanded its in-app discovery feature with a new Live Events feed, which allows users to better discover nearby events and concerts. The new integration isnt new to Spotify. Sarah notes that the company first introduced it in 2015, but the upgrade reassures the platforms that the worst of the epidemic is behind us.

Spotify is developing a Community feature that would allow users to see what sort of music their friends are streaming in real time. This might assist the company''s live events efforts, perhaps by inciting people to investigate live performances by artists they hadn''t previously known.

This week, Amazons re:MARS, a company''s conference covering several aspects of its business. Both Frederic and Brian were on the ground in Las Vegas to report the latest, which included a feature similar to the voice given a brief recording, and a self-described AI assistant called CodeWhispererand. No Robert Downey Jr. cameo this year, sadly.

  • Write me a letter: Twitter has officially rolled out the long-form content Notes feature that Sarah reported on earlier this week. Aisha writes that Notes, which is currently limited to a small group of writers in the U.S., Canada, Ghana and the U.K., has the potential to change how people use Twitter. But will Elon Musk approve?
  • I aint getting any younger: In search of reliable ways to better engage with younger users, Meta-owned Instagram is testing a new set of features designed to verify ages when people say that theyre 18 and older. Through a combination of AI, video selfies, vouching from adult friends and ID cross-referencing, the idea is to keep young people away from material that might affect their mental health and subject them to unseemly accounts.
  • Governing the governors: The Oversight Board, the advisory group reviewing Facebooks and Instagrams content moderation decisions, issued its first annual report this week, Taylor writes. It received over 1 million appeals from Facebook and Instagram users in 2021 and issued decisions and explanations on only 20 cases. But tellingly, the board overturned parent company Metas initial determination in over two-thirds of cases 70% it reviewed.
  • Spam no more: Tired of junk messages? Good news, if youre an iPhone user. Ivan reports that when iOS 16 rolls out, users will be able to report spam messages with a new Report Junk link inside the Messages app. The feature will be available only with select carriers, according to the iOS 16 release notes, but theres no information about which might support it yet.
  • Inclusivity is the best policy: Just in time for Pride Month, Google now lets merchants add an LGBTQ+ owned label to their profiles on Maps and Search, Aisha reports. The new label available to merchants in the U.S. with a verified business profile on Google expands on the LGBTQ+ friendly and transgender safespace labels that are visible on business profiles across Search and Maps.

You may also like: