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Quick News #6

Monday, May 10, 2021

Monday is the day we invite you to dive into the week’s news agenda. In honor of the day off, let’s not run through the events, but walk through them!

Startup Jedi

We talk to startups and investors, you get the value.

Let’s start with scandals in the world of social media and targeting. Messenger Signal launched targeted ads on Instagram that aggregated all Facebook’s collected information about a user, sold to Signal’s advertiser. The information included location, marital status, interests, and recent activity. Facebook didn’t like the idea, so the ads were not allowed on the social network, which Signal disclosed on its blog.

News from the blockchain world. The trending cryptocurrency Chia Coin, which uses disk space rather than processing power to mine, went public on the crypto exchange and started trading on May 3. In three days, its value dropped 65%, from $1 700 to $593. Another cryptocurrency, Dogecoin, is breaking records: $0.69 per coin on the exchange on May 5, and the total value of all Dogecoin exceeded $86B. Experts say that “this joke has gone far enough.”: initially, the cryptocurrency was more of a meme than a real competitor to “serious” cryptocurrencies. But after DogeDay, during which users increased its value, and Elon Musk’s tweets, its capitalization has surpassed that of many global corporations.

The program for finding talented authors for Clubhouse, announced in March, ended the other day: the company published a list of 50 selected finalists. They will be part of a pilot project to fund author audio shows on the platform: each will be paid $5 000 per month. The shows will start airing on May 10. It is not yet clear whether this will help revive waning interest in the platform, because, at the very least, many major platforms have already announced the launch of audio rooms and chat rooms. And Twitter has also launched Tip Jar — a service for tipping authors. For now, the function is only available to English-speaking users, but they promise to expand it to the rest segment of the social network.

Meanwhile, Sony has announced a partnership with messenger Discord, which is well-known in the gaming community. It is promised to be integrated into PlayStation to develop a community of gaming users.

Venture news from the CIS. The Ukrainian Startup Fund (USF) announced the results of the 23rd and 24th Pitch Day, which took place in April. The winners were 9 Pre-seeded startups, which will receive grants of $25 000, and 4 Seed startups, all of which will receive $50 000 for their development

Firefly Aerospace, whose majority shareholder and major investor is Noosphere Ventures founder Max Polyakov, raised $200M with a total valuation of over $1B. The new unicorn already has contracts with NASA, and the interest from investors is palpable: initially, the round planned to raise about $75M. But even the sky is not the limit if you are a space technology project.

Have a productive week!

10 May 2021


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