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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for January 7, 2021! It’s Friday and the snow is falling like the dickens in my neck of the woods. But it was no snow day in the tech world. Not at all. In fact, one venture firm raised 10 figures of capital today. Can you guess who?
Before we jump in, today’s TechCrunch staff highlight is Grace Mendenhall, a member of the Equity team who is also a documentary film editor. And she’s frankly just the best. Now, the news! —Alex
The TechCrunch Top 3
- a16z reloads with $9B in new capital: The venture capital money arms race continued this week with news that Andreessen Horowitz has put together $9 billion to invest in venture deals, growth deals and biotech more specifically. As TechCrunch notes, the resulting dollar figure is a boost on the group’s last trio of similar funds. There is, it appears, an infinite capital appetite in today’s startup market.
- Roblox pulls Chinese app: Five months after launching with Tencent in China, Roblox’s LuoBuLeSi was taken down. What happened? It may be that Roblox has some work to do on the data side of its service, something that it hinted at in a statement. Regardless, the move is yet another example of how hard it is for non-Chinese companies to build and sell digital products in the country.
- India to investigate Google: In the wake of industry complaints from news groups, India’s Competition Commission “said Friday that Google dominates certain online services and its initial view is that Google has broken the local antitrust laws,” TechCrunch reports. Given how big and lucrative the Indian market is, this is not good news for Mountain View.
Before we jump into all the startup news of the day, TechCrunch has a little treat for you. We got veteran venture capitalist Matt Murphy on the phone as 2021 came to a close to chat about prior tech booms, prior tech busts and what he sees as the strengths and weaknesses of today’s venture game. It’s a great weekend read.
And now, the news:
- Pendulum raises $5.9M for narrative tracking: This is a fun one, as the company’s target market is utterly new to me. Per our reporting, Pendulum “helps companies, governments and other organizations track harmful narratives on social media platforms and elsewhere on the web.” I guess you and I currently do this by reading lots of tweets, but seeing a company build software for it makes good sense.
- Peter Reinhardt leaves Twilio: Remember when Twilio bought Segment for $3.2 billion? It also bought Segment’s CEO, Peter Reinhardt, as part of the deal. Now, however, the exec is leaving to “be full-time CEO at Charm Industrial, a carbon mitigation startup he co-founded in 2018,” Ron Miller reports. I can’t quite connect charm and carbon, but we’ll keep an eye out for what …….