4 years after launch, fintech platform Esusu saddles unicorn with $130 million Series B – TechCrunch


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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for January 27, 2022! Today’s news is a pretty positive summary. New fund? Oh yeah. Grand rounds? Sure. We even have new unicorns to discuss. On the other side of the coin, the IPO market seems more rigid than open. – Alex

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • Facebook’s stablecoin bet is proving unstable: So much for Facebook — er, Meta — taking over the blockchain world with its own stablecoin. Diem’s ​​assets, of which Meta was a key consortium member, are reportedly being sold for several hundred million dollars. Cheap? New. But also a fraction of the hope the project once had.
  • The new seed, Series A and Series B benchmarks: how far have the standards shifted for early stage startups when it comes to revenue? The good news is we have the data. The bad news is, it’s mostly what you expected: startups are raking in bigger, later rounds with less revenue than before. Growth, it turned out, was the most surprising delta to investigate.
  • New Funds! TechCrunch has comments on some of the new funds available today that are worth diving into. This week in Fintech now has a fund and Portugal’s Indico Capital Partners has €50 million for its ocean technology fund. There are others. South Korean internet conglomerate Naver Group has a $100 million fund for what TechCrunch described as “metaverse creators.” It’s amazing how quickly that word became ubiquitous, and thus passé.


We’ve got a lot of mega-rounds to chat through today, but first a few words of warning: It looks like the IPO climate has frozen over.

What that means for companies like Esusu, which just raised $130 million, or Ascend, which just raised $280 million in equity and debt for its BNPL-esque approach to insurance, is that there’s a mountain of wealth in the private market. is that needs an exit. The only question is when those checks can be cashed. And whether they get back more than a dollar per dollar invested.

IPO issues or not, the crypto world is in the process of raising more outside capital. One particular game in the blockchain world is the infrastructure effort, building products that will support other Products. This is often a good bet. Twilio is an example of the trump infra game. AWS is another. So when another crypto backend player like Fireblocks pushes its valuation to $8 billion, we know what’s going on. (And speaking of crypto, don’t forget the impending tax issue or the startups working to keep people off the government’s naughty list.)

And now our regular overview of the financing round:

  • Quan wants to tackle the employee turnover: There are two types of employee departures, from the company perspective: regret turnover and non regret turnover. The first is when someone you wanted to keep quits, and the last is when someone you wanted to fire does you a favor. Quan, who has just raised capital, wants to address the former by, we report, bridging the “gap between engagement surveys and wellness benefits.”
  • Bloss is building a business for expectant parents: With the birth rate declining in many parts of the world, it is clear that we are in a new era when it comes to parenting. A time when it is more choice than standard. Bloss wants to pair expectant parents with experts, which makes sense considering babies don’t exactly come out with a textbook when they enter the world. The company has just collected a pre-seed round.
  • Parthean will teach you personal finance whether you like it or not: that’s a little unfair, but the idea behind Partthean is that most people aren’t great with money and need help. So it’s going to teach users concepts and then drive them to take some action toward, in theory, financial health. Natasha’s story here is great, and worth a read if you’re curious about the intersection of edtech and fintech. The company just raised $1.1 million.
  • The.com is a website builder with a great URL: Short URLs were all the rage in the days when you had to own a .com or live a life out of the consumer spotlight. Things have changed since then. But The.com takes us back to the 90s with its great name and product: website building. But unlike the template-centric builders of the past, this time the company uses “blocks.” As someone with both websites and no coding skills, this appeals to me.
  • The Vets is a gamble that you want the vet to come to you: Flush with $40 million in new capital, The Vets wants to turn animal care into a home business. As someone who has spent way too much time in front of their local vet over the past year, waiting for a particular puppy to complete her checkup, alternating between burning out in the summer and freezing in the winter, I love this idea.

And there was more. France’s Sigfox, who raised more than $300 million, is dead. A Quizup founder builds an MMO and PortalOne has raised $60 million for its “immersive” gaming platform. Wow! What a day!

Dear Sophie: 3 questions about immigration and naturalization

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Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

My F-1 OPT is empty in June. My employer has agreed to enroll me in the H-1B lottery in March.

What are my options if I am not selected in the lottery?

—Gritty Grad

Dear Sophie,

I am in the US on an L-1A visa which will be maxed out later this year. My wife has been with me the entire period on an L-2. Can my wife apply for H-1B this year?

Would she have to leave the country to activate it?

—Helpful husband

Dear Sophie,

I have a 10-year green card that expires later this year. I have been married to a US citizen for 11 years, but we are divorcing.

Can I still apply for US citizenship after my divorce?

-New year new life

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams move forward. You can register here.)

Big Tech Inc.

  • LG Energy Solution goes public: The IPO market is closed, but there are always exceptions. Such is the case with LG’s electric vehicle manufacturer. For obvious reasons, the global auto industry is racing as fast as its aging leaders can handle towards an all-electric future. And all those cars need batteries. The company is now worth just over $98 billion.
  • Messenger updates its E2E encryption: As governments around the world continue to try to find enough backbone to make the comically bad choice to ban encryption, Meta continues its work to make its Messenger service more secure. Good!
  • And if you’ve been eager to pay for yet another streaming service, the good news is that Disney+ is coming to 42 more countries later this year.

TechCrunch Experts

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