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Hello, dear readers! We’re back again (like a rogue master) with a wall of great tech news. Pop in some headphones and bang your head to that song as you catch up with what’s going on out there in the wider worlds. Remember: there is no such thing as a standing desk. It’s a dance table. Oh yessss. (Maybe we had a little too much coffee this morning. That might explain our bad behavior.) — Christine and Come on
TechCrunch Top 3
- Get a hold of yourself: As pet ownership has soared since the pandemic, vets are being stretched to the limit. Here’s Digitail, a company from Romania that automates administrative tasks for veterinarians so they can focus on our four-legged friends. Mike reports that the company has closed $11 million in new funding to grow its operations in the US and Canada.
- Your turn: Amanda writes that proposed changes to the Dungeons & Dragons open game license threaten an entire group of D&D content creators, and they are fighting for their livelihoods.
- SBF runs a substack: In an attempt to explain his side of the FTKS debacle, Sam Bankman-Fried said on Substack: “I didn’t steal the funds and I certainly didn’t hide the billions.” Marie Ann there is more.
Startups and VCs
The outlook for investment in China is rapidly brightening as the country gradually winds down its draconian zero-covid-19 policy, which has caused business disruptions of all kinds and kept the country’s borders closed for the past three years. Rita reports. For venture capitalists, the pandemic has been a bumpy ride. Tony Wu, a partner at Northern Light Venture Capital, a China-focused VC firm with $4.5 billion in assets under management, calls 2022 the “toughest” in his 15 years of investing in Chinese startups.
Another handful of titles for your edification:
Why Africa had no unicorns last year despite record fundraising
Unicorns are becoming an endangered species in the African startup ecosystem, reports Tage Kene-Okafor.
Although funding in the region increased slightly in 2022, “no unicorns emerged for the entire year, compared to five in 2021,” he writes.
“So what happened in Africa in 2022 that made it so…strange?”
And there’s more for our loyal TC+ subscribers:
TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams stay ahead of the curve. You can apply here. Use code “DC” for 15% off your annual subscription!
Big Tech Inc.
We started some of this yesterday, but Natasha L brings us a warning article to other ad-funded programs to be aware that Matt’s ads have been declared illegal in the European Union. She writes that “just because Facebook has – for years – processed and profited from the data of Europeans by placing illegal ads does not mean that other ad-funded platforms will get the same free ride from the bloc’s regulators.” The execution is finally here.”
And we have five more for you: