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  BGR Show All 
10 deals you don’t want to miss on Saturday: Early Prime Day blowout, $50 off AirPods Max, $20 Blink Mini cam, more
Amazon Deals

With Prime Day 2021 now just over one week away, Amazon is definitely the place you want to go to see all the hottest deals out there. As a matter of fact, you should absolutely stop what you're doing right now and visit Amazon's top deals page as well as Amazon's early Prime Day deals page to check out all the crazy sales happening right now in the run-up to Prime Day.

Would you rather just skip to the good stuff? Don't worry because we've got you covered right here in this roundup. Highlights from Saturday's list include AirPods Pro back in stock at Amazon's lowest price of 2021, a new all-time low price on AirPods Max thanks to a huge $50 discount, Blink Mini home security cams for just $19.99 each if you're a Prime member, weatherproof Blink Outdoor cams starting at $49.99 instead of $90, Amazon's first-ever discount on the new 24-inch iMac powered by Apple's M1 processor, a stunning and luxurious rainfall shower head that's down to just $15.11 thanks to an extra discount for Prime members, best-selling TP-Link Kasa mini smart plugs at an all-time low price of just $6.07 each, the Nanch 22-in-1 precision screwdriver set people can't stop raving about for just $17.99 with the coupon code 5AITWTKZ, an insane discount that slashes the YABER Pro V7 home theater projector from $600 to $299.99, and a one-day deal that drops the JBL FREE X true wireless earbuds to just $39.95.

Scroll through all of today's top deals down below!


Apple AirPods Pro

Apple AirPods Pro

Price: $197.00
You Save: $52.00 (21%)
Buy Now


New Apple AirPods Max - Silver

New Apple AirPods Max - Silver

Price: $499.00
You Save: $50.00 (9%)
Buy Now


Kasa Smart Plug Mini 15A, Smart Home Wi-Fi Outlet Works with Alexa, Google Home & IFTTT, No Hub…

Kasa Smart Plug Mini 15A, Smart Home Wi-Fi Outlet Works with Alexa, Google Home & IFTTT, No Hub…

Price: $24.29
You Save: $2.70 (10%)
Buy Now


Blink Mini – Compact indoor plug-in smart security camera, 1080 HD video, night vision, motio…

Blink Mini – Compact indoor plug-in smart security camera, 1080 HD video, night vision, motio…

Price: $19.99
You Save: $15.00 (43%)
Buy Now


Blink Outdoor – wireless, weather-resistant HD security camera with two-year battery life and…

Blink Outdoor – wireless, weather-resistant HD security camera with two-year battery life and…

Price: $49.99
You Save: $40.00 (44%)
Buy Now


2021 Apple iMac (24-inch, Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB) - S…

2021 Apple iMac (24-inch, Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB) - S…

Price: $1,249.99
Buy Now


8 Inch Rain Showerhead Hopopro High Pressure Fixed Shower Head High Flow Shower Head with Adjus…

8 Inch Rain Showerhead Hopopro High Pressure Fixed Shower Head High Flow Shower Head with Adjus…

Price: $15.11
You Save: $5.88 (28%)
Buy Now


Precision Screwdriver Set for Electronics,Nanch All-in-One Multifuction Repair Tool Kit Include…

Precision Screwdriver Set for Electronics,Nanch All-in-One Multifuction Repair Tool Kit Include…

Price: $17.99
You Save: $2.00 (10%)
Coupon Code: 5AITWTKZ (by 6/13)
Buy Now


YABER Pro V7 9500L 5G WiFi Bluetooth Projector, Auto 6D Keystone Correction &4P/4D, Infinity Zo…

YABER Pro V7 9500L 5G WiFi Bluetooth Projector, Auto 6D Keystone Correction &4P/4D, Infinity Zo…

Price: $299.99
You Save: $300.00 (50%)
Buy Now


JBL FREE X - True Wireless In-Ear Bluetooth Headphones with Microphone, Wireless Bluetooth Earb…

JBL FREE X - True Wireless In-Ear Bluetooth Headphones with Microphone, Wireless Bluetooth Earb…

Price: $39.95
You Save: $10.00 (20%)
Buy Now

Today's Top Deals

  1. This classy bathroom upgrade went mega-viral on TikTok – Amazon has it for $15
  2. Amazon’s early Prime Day Roomba deals are so good, they’re starting to sell out
  3. 5 best Amazon Prime Day deals you can already get today
  4. This $600 home theater projector down to $240 today at Amazon, and we can’t believe it

Trending Right Now:

  1. How to qualify for an $8,000 stimulus payment you didn’t even know about
  2. If you care about privacy, delete these 4 apps from your phone
  3. ‘Loki’ might have just uncovered Marvel’s biggest lie from ‘Endgame’

10 deals you don’t want to miss on Saturday: Early Prime Day blowout, $50 off AirPods Max, $20 Blink Mini cam, more originally appeared on BGR.com on Sat, 12 Jun 2021 at 07:56:37 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


The first Android flagship with a camera hidden under the screen might’ve been revealed
Under-Display Camera Tech

Chinese handset maker ZTE launched the world’s first phone with an under-display camera in early September last year, the Axon 20 5G (image above). Aside from that “world first,” the phone wasn’t that impressive. It was a mid-range handset that sold for around $320, and it wasn’t the kind of phone that would be widely available.

Smartphone makers have made good progress in perfecting the under-display camera tech, with a rumor saying that Samsung is ready to launch its first such device. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is rumored to feature an Under Panel Camera (UPC) screen, a technology that Samsung has already announced for laptops and other mobile devices. But the Fold 3 might not be the only flagship phone to feature a UPC selfie shooter. Xiaomi is reportedly ready to launch its first handset with a camera under the display later this year. It’s unclear whether it’ll be able to beat Samsung to market, however.

Today's Top Deal


Early Prime Day 2021 blowout: Prime members can get Blink Mini cameras for just $19.99 right now!

Early Prime Day 2021 blowout: Prime members can get Blink Mini cameras for just $19.99 right now!

Price: $19.99
You Save: $15.00 (43%)
Buy Now

Continue reading...

Today's Top Deals

  1. This classy bathroom upgrade went mega-viral on TikTok – Amazon has it for $15
  2. Amazon’s early Prime Day Roomba deals are so good, they’re starting to sell out
  3. 5 best Amazon Prime Day deals you can already get today
  4. This $600 home theater projector down to $240 today at Amazon, and we can’t believe it

Trending Right Now:

  1. How to qualify for an $8,000 stimulus payment you didn’t even know about
  2. If you care about privacy, delete these 4 apps from your phone
  3. ‘Loki’ might have just uncovered Marvel’s biggest lie from ‘Endgame’

The first Android flagship with a camera hidden under the screen might’ve been revealed originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 11 Jun 2021 at 21:38:20 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


iPhones dominate Android in North America, but we didn’t know it was this bad
iPhone vs Android

Back in April, we reported new sales data out from Counterpoint Research, which showed that Apple's iPhone 12 series was not only selling like hotcakes but, according to the latest Counterpoint Research Market Pulse report, helped Apple capture six spots on the then-just-issued top 10 list of the global best-selling smartphone models for January 2021.

Moreover, there's a whole generation of devoted Apple fans in the pipeline -- teenagers, whose brand loyalty has gotten cemented early and who hint that things will probably stay this way. To wit: According to a recent Piper Sandler survey of more than 7,000 teens, Apple’s flagship consumer product carries immense brand loyalty among this demographic, 88% of whom own an iPhone now. And a little more than that, 90%, expect the next phone they own to likewise be an iPhone. This brings us to a new report just out from El Segundo, California-based network intelligence software company CUJO AI, a report that takes a closer look at the iPhone vs Android battle and underscores among other things just how cemented iPhone's loyalty is among smartphone owners.

Today's Top Deal


Amazon shoppers are obsessed with TP-Link's Kasa smart plugs — get them for just $6.07 each!

Amazon shoppers are obsessed with TP-Link's Kasa smart plugs — get them for just $6.07 each!

Price: $24.29
You Save: $2.70 (10%)
Buy Now

Continue reading...

Today's Top Deals

  1. This classy bathroom upgrade went mega-viral on TikTok – Amazon has it for $15
  2. Amazon’s early Prime Day Roomba deals are so good, they’re starting to sell out
  3. 5 best Amazon Prime Day deals you can already get today
  4. This $600 home theater projector down to $240 today at Amazon, and we can’t believe it

Trending Right Now:

  1. How to qualify for an $8,000 stimulus payment you didn’t even know about
  2. If you care about privacy, delete these 4 apps from your phone
  3. ‘Loki’ might have just uncovered Marvel’s biggest lie from ‘Endgame’

iPhones dominate Android in North America, but we didn’t know it was this bad originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 11 Jun 2021 at 20:06:29 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


Best Prime Day Amazon Echo deals: Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, and more
Best Prime Day Amazon Echo Deals

Amazon Prime Day is almost here, and as is usually the case, it's likely to be where you can get some of the best deals on Amazon devices for the year. Of course, there are few products more famous than the Echo -- so if you're looking for the best Prime Day Amazon Echo deals, you're in the right place.

The Amazon Echo was first released back in 2014, and was the first big smart speaker release. Since then, many companies have copied the concept, and Amazon itself has released updates and different versions of the Echo speaker.

Prime Day is also where you'll be able to get all kinds of other deals. Whether you're looking for the best Prime Day headphone deals, Prime Day Apple device deals, Prime Day TV deals, or just Prime Day Amazon device deals in general, we've got you covered.

Best Prime Day Amazon Echo deals

You don't necessarily have to wait for the Prime Day event to take advantage of great deals. In fact, there are a few Amazon Echo deals that you can leverage right now. We'll be updating this post often as we find new deals, so check back regularly. In the meantime, check out the best Amazon Echo deals we could find below.


Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)

The all-new Amazon Echo Dot offers a new design over the previous generation, thanks to its globe shape over the puck shape some might know and love. The result is that the device can offer an improved sound quality, plus better Alexa performance, and more.


All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen) | Smart speaker with Alexa | Twilight Blue

All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen) | Smart speaker with Alexa | Twilight Blue

Price: $44.99
You Save: $5.00 (10%)
Buy Now


Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen)

If you don't care about the new globe-shaped Echo Dot, then perhaps it's worth saving some cash and going for the last-generation device. The 3rd-gen Echo Dot still offers great Alexa support, plus it's cheap enough to buy a few for around the home.


Echo Dot (3rd Gen) - Smart speaker with Alexa - Charcoal

Echo Dot (3rd Gen) - Smart speaker with Alexa - Charcoal

Price: $34.99
You Save: $5.00 (13%)
Buy Now


Amazon Echo Show 5 (2019)

Alexa gets a visual touch with the Echo Show 5. The Amazon Echo Show 5 has a display, which allows you to see visual information alongside Alexa's audio information, plus you'll be able to control your smart home with the touch of a button, which can come in handy.


Echo Show 5 (1st Gen, 2019 release) -- Smart display with Alexa – stay connected with video c…

Echo Show 5 (1st Gen, 2019 release) -- Smart display with Alexa – stay connected with video c…

Price: $49.99
You Save: $30.00 (38%)
Buy Now


Amazon Echo Dot Kids (4th Gen)

The Echo Dot Kids lets your kids get in on using Alexa. The device offers cool designs to make it more kid-friendly, plus it gives parents parental controls to make it safer.


Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids | Designed for kids, with parental controls | Tiger

Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids | Designed for kids, with parental controls | Tiger

Price: $54.99
You Save: $5.00 (8%)
Buy Now


When is Prime Day 2021?

Amazon Prime Day 2021 will take place over two days -- not one. The event will happen on June 21 and June 22, and we're expecting to see different deals on the different days. That means that if you don't find the perfect deal on the first day of the event, it's worth checking back on the second day.

What Prime Day Amazon Echo deals are expected?

Because Prime Day is an Amazon event, it's pretty safe to assume that all or most of Amazon's devices will get discounts -- including the Amazon Echo lineup.

For starters, we'll likely get some great deals on the base Amazon Echo devices. This includes the standard Amazon Echo smart speaker, along with the Echo Dot, and maybe even the Echo Studio.

We should also get some deals on Amazon's Echo Show smart displays. The Echo Show lineup allows you to get visual information about things like the weather, plus you can make video calls, control smart home devices, and more. It adds a whole new dimension to the Echo experience.

Between now and Prime Day, we'll be updating this article regularly -- so check back often for updates on deals and discounts.

Today's Top Deals

  1. This classy bathroom upgrade went mega-viral on TikTok – Amazon has it for $15
  2. Amazon’s early Prime Day Roomba deals are so good, they’re starting to sell out
  3. 5 best Amazon Prime Day deals you can already get today
  4. This $600 home theater projector down to $240 today at Amazon, and we can’t believe it

Trending Right Now:

  1. How to qualify for an $8,000 stimulus payment you didn’t even know about
  2. If you care about privacy, delete these 4 apps from your phone
  3. ‘Loki’ might have just uncovered Marvel’s biggest lie from ‘Endgame’

Best Prime Day Amazon Echo deals: Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, and more originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 11 Jun 2021 at 19:32:19 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


Best Prime Day Fire TV Deals: Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube, and more
Best Prime Day Fire TV Deals

Amazon Prime Day 2021 is almost here, and while there will be plenty of deals on all kinds of products, there are perhaps no better deals than those on Amazon's own products. In other words, if you're looking for the best Prime Day Fire TV deals, you're in the right place.

The Fire TV is Amazon's smart TV operating system, which integrates with other Amazon products, and supports streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and of course, Amazon Prime Video. The platform also has features like Alexa built into it, which you can use to access and control content on your TV, find information from the web, and control your smart home devices. Amazon also calls the devices that run this software "Fire TV" devices. For example, there's the Fire TV Stick.

Of course, on Prime Day there are other deals to consider too. Looking for some great Prime Day Apple deals? Or how about the best Prime Day headphone deals? Or, Prime Day Amazon device deals? Whatever you're looking for, we've got you covered.

If you're looking for the best Prime Day Fire TV deals, read on.

Best Prime Day Fire TV deals

You don't necessarily have to wait until the Prime Day event to take advantage of deals. In fact, there are some awesome Prime Day Fire TV deals that you can leverage right now. Here are the best Prime Day Fire TV deals we could find so far.


Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

The Amazon Fire TV Stick is an excellent way to get Amazon's smart TV operating system on your TV without any hassle. It works excellently with any 4K TV, comes with a super easy-to-use remote, and has Alexa built right into it. That's not to mention the fact that it's relatively inexpensive.


Fire TV Stick 4K streaming device with Alexa Voice Remote | Dolby Vision | 2018 release

Fire TV Stick 4K streaming device with Alexa Voice Remote | Dolby Vision | 2018 release

Price: $39.99
You Save: $10.00 (20%)
Buy Now


Insignia 43-inch 4K TV

Prefer to just get a new TV with Fire TV built into it? This Insignia 43-inch TV may be the way to go. The TV offers a 4K resolution, support for all your favorite streaming apps, and plenty of other smart features.


Insignia NS-43DF710NA21 43-inch Smart 4K UHD - Fire TV, Released 2020

Insignia NS-43DF710NA21 43-inch Smart 4K UHD - Fire TV, Released 2020

Price: $319.99
Buy Now


Toshiba 50-inch 4K TV

Want a TV that's a little bigger than 43 inches? The Toshiba 50-inch Fire TV is a great way to go. This TV steps up image quality with support for Dolby Vision, meaning you'll get colorful and crisp images no matter what you watch. The TV also offers a relatively sleek design that should help it look good in any living room.


Toshiba 50LF621U21 50-inch Smart 4K UHD with Dolby Vision - Fire TV, Released 2020

Toshiba 50LF621U21 50-inch Smart 4K UHD with Dolby Vision - Fire TV, Released 2020

Price: $429.99
Buy Now


Insignia 24-inch TV

Perhaps you just want a smart TV for as cheap as you can get one. In that case, the Insignia 24-inch smart TV is the way to go. This TV is pretty small, and only has a 720p resolution, but for some, it will offer more than enough -- plus it still has the Fire TV operating system and support for Alexa.


Insignia NS-24DF310NA21 24-inch Smart HD 720p TV - Fire TV

Insignia NS-24DF310NA21 24-inch Smart HD 720p TV - Fire TV

Price: $169.99
Buy Now


When is Prime Day 2021?

This year, Prime Day will take place over two days -- not one. The Amazon Prime Day event will take place on June 21 and June 22, meaning that if you don't find that perfect deal on the first day, you'll still have a chance to find one on the second day. We do expect deals to be different between the two days, so check back often during the event.

What Prime Day Fire TV deals are expected?

We're expecting deals on most of Amazon's Fire TV devices. That means that whether you're looking for a streaming stick, or an all-new TV with the Fire TV operating system installed, there should be something for you.

Amazon offers a few different Fire TV devices that aren't full TVs. Perhaps the most popular is the Fire TV Stick 4K, which is currently in its third generation. Apart from the previous-generation Fire TV Sticks, there's also the Fire TV Cube, which is kind of like a Fire TV and Amazon Echo rolled into one.

Then there are the actual TVs. Lots of companies build TVs with the Fire TV operating system built right into them, so if you really like Fire TV, you won't necessarily need to deal with external streaming devices if you don't want to.

Today's Top Deals

  1. This classy bathroom upgrade went mega-viral on TikTok – Amazon has it for $15
  2. Amazon’s early Prime Day Roomba deals are so good, they’re starting to sell out
  3. 5 best Amazon Prime Day deals you can already get today
  4. This $600 home theater projector down to $240 today at Amazon, and we can’t believe it

Trending Right Now:

  1. How to qualify for an $8,000 stimulus payment you didn’t even know about
  2. If you care about privacy, delete these 4 apps from your phone
  3. ‘Loki’ might have just uncovered Marvel’s biggest lie from ‘Endgame’

Best Prime Day Fire TV Deals: Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube, and more originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 11 Jun 2021 at 18:54:10 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


24 biggest announcements from Netflix’s Geeked Week 2021
Netflix Geeked Week

Netflix just wrapped up the first-ever Geeked Week, which it describes as "a virtual fan-facing event revealing first looks and celebrating all things genre entertainment at Netflix." Geeked Week took place over the course of five days, and throughout the event, there were a metric ton of announcements, trailers, and teasers from the people working on Netflix originals. Everything you'd ever want to know about the event is on Netflix's website, but we've rounded up the biggest news below, so if you just want the highlights, keep scrolling for more.

Today's Top Deal


Early Prime Day 2021 blowout: Prime members can get Blink Mini cameras for just $19.99 right now!

Early Prime Day 2021 blowout: Prime members can get Blink Mini cameras for just $19.99 right now!

Price: $19.99
You Save: $15.00 (43%)
Buy Now

Continue reading...

Today's Top Deals

  1. This classy bathroom upgrade went mega-viral on TikTok – Amazon has it for $15
  2. Amazon’s early Prime Day Roomba deals are so good, they’re starting to sell out
  3. 5 best Amazon Prime Day deals you can already get today
  4. This $600 home theater projector down to $240 today at Amazon, and we can’t believe it

Trending Right Now:

  1. How to qualify for an $8,000 stimulus payment you didn’t even know about
  2. If you care about privacy, delete these 4 apps from your phone
  3. ‘Loki’ might have just uncovered Marvel’s biggest lie from ‘Endgame’

24 biggest announcements from Netflix’s Geeked Week 2021 originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 11 Jun 2021 at 18:34:37 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


Best Prime Day phone deals: Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and more
Best Prime Day Phone Deals

Prime Day 2021 is getting closer and closer, and it's likely to be one of the best times of the year for phone deals. Whether you're looking for an iPhone, a Samsung phone, or anything else, you're in the right place for the best Prime Day phone deals.

Of course, there are plenty of other deals to consider too. If you're interested in different deals, check out our roundups on the best Prime Day headphone deals, best Prime Day Amazon device deals, best Prime Day Apple deals, best Prime Day TV deals, and more.

Alternatively, if you're looking for the best Prime Day phone deals we could find, read on.

Best Prime Day phone deals

You don't necessarily have to wait until Prime Day to get a great deal on a phone. We'll be updating this guide in the lead-up to the Prime Day event, ensuring that you can get an awesome deal before hand, if you want. And, of course, during the Prime Day event, check back for more.


OnePlus 8T

OnePlus makes some of the best phones out there, and the OnePlus 8T is a perfect example of why. The OnePlus 8T isn't the latest OnePlus phone, but it still has a stunning 120Hz display, excellent performance, and that stripped-back software experience that OnePlus fans know and love.


OnePlus 8T Aquamarine Green, 5G Unlocked Android Smartphone U.S. Version, 256GB Storage + 12GB…

OnePlus 8T Aquamarine Green, 5G Unlocked Android Smartphone U.S. Version, 256GB Storage + 12GB…

Price: $599.99
You Save: $149.01 (20%)
Buy Now


Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

Foldable phones are coming -- and soon. Want to get in on the trend early? The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip folds like a classic clamshell phone, but when you unfold it you get a huge internal display. The device also has great performance, 256GB of storage, and more. Note, this deal is for a renewed model -- so if you want a new phone you'll need to look elsewhere.


Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G Factory Unlocked New Android Cell Phone | US Version Smartphone | 256G…

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G Factory Unlocked New Android Cell Phone | US Version Smartphone | 256G…

Price: $749.99
You Save: $119.96 (14%)
Buy Now


Motorola Moto G Power

The Motorola Moto G Power is a great way to get a solid phone at a discount. The phone offers decent performance, a big edge-to-edge display, and more, all for less than $250. It also offers Motorola's near stock Android experience.


Moto G Power | 3-Day Battery1 | Unlocked | Made for US by Motorola | 4/64GB | 16MP Camera | 202…

Moto G Power | 3-Day Battery1 | Unlocked | Made for US by Motorola | 4/64GB | 16MP Camera | 202…

Price: $219.99
You Save: $30.00 (12%)
Buy Now


Motorola Edge

The Motorola Edge represents Motorola's vision for the next few years of its phones. The device offers a huge display, along with 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, plus it has a quad camera system for a versatile camera experience.


Motorola edge | Unlocked | Made for US by Motorola | 6/256GB | 64MP Camera | 2020 | Solor Black…

Motorola edge | Unlocked | Made for US by Motorola | 6/256GB | 64MP Camera | 2020 | Solor Black…

Price: $499.99
You Save: $200.00 (29%)
Buy Now


When is Prime Day 2021?

Prime Day 2021 is set to take place over two days, not one day. Amazon has announced that the official days for Prime Day 2021 will be June 21 and June 22, and we're expecting different deals on the different days. So, if you can't find the perfect deal for your needs on the first day, it's worth checking back on the second day.

What Prime Day phone deals are expected?

We're expecting a ton of great deals on Prime Day, across all kinds of brands and phone types. We'll have to wait and see what exact deals pop up, but rest assured that some great phones will get price cuts.

For starters, it's possible that we'll see at least some iPhone models. It remains to be seen whether or not the latest and greatest iPhone 12 series gets a big price cut, but there are other models to consider too -- including the iPhone SE, the last-generation iPhone 11 series, and so on. iPhone deals aren't common on Prime Day, but it's still possible that could change this year.

Some Android phones will certainly get deals too. Samsung Galaxy phones may end up getting the biggest discounts, including the Samsung Galaxy S21 series. Other Samsung phones, like the Samsung Galaxy A-Series, will likely get some discounts too.

Other phone brands that may get discounts include the likes of OnePlus, Motorola, and more.

Today's Top Deals

  1. This classy bathroom upgrade went mega-viral on TikTok – Amazon has it for $15
  2. Amazon’s early Prime Day Roomba deals are so good, they’re starting to sell out
  3. 5 best Amazon Prime Day deals you can already get today
  4. This $600 home theater projector down to $240 today at Amazon, and we can’t believe it

Trending Right Now:

  1. How to qualify for an $8,000 stimulus payment you didn’t even know about
  2. If you care about privacy, delete these 4 apps from your phone
  3. ‘Loki’ might have just uncovered Marvel’s biggest lie from ‘Endgame’

Best Prime Day phone deals: Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and more originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 11 Jun 2021 at 18:12:50 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


This is what happens when you recharge your phone at 200W
Xiaomi 200W Fast Charging

Smartphone battery charging speeds have increased dramatically in recent years, with various companies pushing the envelope on what's possible on phones and challenging each other in the process. Apple might not be comfortable raising the iPhone’s battery charging speed over 20W, but a Chinese phone maker has just announced its HyperCharge 200W fast-charging battery technology that recharges a phone with a 4,000 mAh battery in about 8 minutes.

Decreasing the time it takes to fill up a battery is one way to deal with the battery limitations smartphone makers have to deal with. The average battery capacity can't grow significantly from year to year, but the phones are more and more sophisticated, packing components that might eat up more energy than before. Rather than increase the thickness of devices, some smartphone vendors might be looking to reduce the time it takes to recharge the phone. That's one way to deal with battery size problems. OnePlus has increased battery charging speeds in the past few years and initially used the faster technology to excuse the lack of wireless charging on its handsets.

Utilizing the fastest charging speed often has a nasty side-effect. It can hasten battery degradation, so battery health would depreciate faster. That might be the kind of compromise that some smartphone power users are ready to make. But people who want to hold on to their devices for several years might not appreciate having to worry about battery health caused by the increased charging rate. With that in mind, Xiaomi just explained what happens if you charge your phone at 200W frequently.

Today's Top Deal


Amazon shoppers are obsessed with TP-Link's Kasa smart plugs — get them for just $6.07 each!

Amazon shoppers are obsessed with TP-Link's Kasa smart plugs — get them for just $6.07 each!

Price: $24.29
You Save: $2.70 (10%)
Buy Now

Continue reading...

Today's Top Deals

  1. This classy bathroom upgrade went mega-viral on TikTok – Amazon has it for $15
  2. Amazon’s early Prime Day Roomba deals are so good, they’re starting to sell out
  3. 5 best Amazon Prime Day deals you can already get today
  4. This $600 home theater projector down to $240 today at Amazon, and we can’t believe it

Trending Right Now:

  1. How to qualify for an $8,000 stimulus payment you didn’t even know about
  2. If you care about privacy, delete these 4 apps from your phone
  3. ‘Loki’ might have just uncovered Marvel’s biggest lie from ‘Endgame’

This is what happens when you recharge your phone at 200W originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 11 Jun 2021 at 17:45:03 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


1111
  TechNewsWorld Show All 
The Emerging Tech Affect on HR Processes
With Covid, increased numbers of people have been working remotely, and many will continue to do so post-pandemic. This has fundamentally altered how work is done; not only by company staff, but by HR professionals. This societal shift, combined with the continued emergence of new digital technologies, means that the field of human resources is in the midst of radical evolution.

Fastly System Error Causes Global Content Blackout
A configuration error in the systems of content delivery provider Fastly knocked out numerous large websites and apps around the globe Tuesday. The event served up a reminder of how distributed networks play a critical role in the internet today -- and how important it is to make sure that the software in distributed systems is running properly.

Apple Raises Curtain on New OS Features at WWDC21
Apple on Monday revealed dozens of new features in the latest versions of its mobile and desktop operating systems at the kickoff of its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. "The emphasis of the whole presentation seemed to be making Apple products more useful for consumers," observed Gartner Senior Principal Analyst Tuong Nguyen.

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New AI Tools Help Level the Playing Field for Retailers
Artificial intelligence may well be the Holy Grail solution for more effective shopping optimization for merchants. The list is almost endless when you tally the potential uses. AI can be anywhere, from classification issues like recommendations to search and merchandising personalization. It also aids retailers in things like optimization and visual modeling.

Coupon and Discount Advice to Encourage Online Sales
Everyone loves a deal, and e-commerce shoppers are no different. Coupons, discounts, and other offers can draw in new customers and build loyalty with existing ones. In fact, according to recent survey by Vericast, 83 percent of consumers bought at least one item in the last six months -- and 62 percent shopped with a brand for the first time -- because of a coupon or discount.

The Next Level of E-Commerce Payment Processing
E-commerce merchants are literally at the mercy of the digital checkout systems tied to their web stores. For retailers, what happens on the other side of the "pay" button is critical to avoiding denied approvals. Online payment service provider Credorax peeled back the curtain for the E-Commerce Times to reveal the ins and outs of what happens behind the pay button.

Administration Takes Aggressive Approach to Stimulate Tech Investments
The U.S. government is moving at a brisk pace to launch information technology projects authorized by the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. Federal information technology providers are looking for the chance to participate in contracts flowing from the $1 billion allocated by the plan to the government's Technology Modernization Fund.

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Now Oculus owns the best VR battle royale game
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NLRB expands its Google complaint for alleged retaliatory dismissals
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House introduces five antitrust bills targeting Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon
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Pulitzer Prize awards special citation to teen who filmed George Floyd's murder
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Ford Maverick revealed, Tesla Model S Plaid and more: Roadshow's week in review - Roadshow
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How an Army of Goats Could Help Prevent California Wildfires
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Mouse Sperm Thrived Despite Six Years of Exposure To Space Radiation
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Potential Sites For UK's First Prototype Fusion Power Plant Identified
A total of 15 potential sites are in the running to host the UK's first prototype fusion power plant. The BBC reports: Fusion is seen as a potential source of almost limitless clean energy but is currently only used in experiments

New York State Low-Cost Broadband Law Blocked by US Judge
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Florida's Fired Covid-19 Data Manager 'Permanently Suspended' From Twitter
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Phishing Sites Reached All-Time High In January 2021
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Google Announces Bold New Changes To Chrome OS Release Cycle
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Apple Admits It Ranked Its Files App Ahead of Competitor Dropbox
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UBS investment makes Byju’s the most valuable startup in India

Edtech giant Byju’s has become the most valuable startup in India after raising about $350 million in a new tranche of investment from UBS Group and Zoom founder Eric Yuan, Blackstone and others that valued the Bangalore-based firm at $16.5 billion (post-money).

In a new filing, Byju’s revealed that scores of investors including Abu Dhabi government fund ADQ and Phoenix Rising had together invested about $350 million in the startup. The new valuation helps Byju’s surpass Paytm, which was last valued at $16 billion, for the crown position in the Indian startup ecosystem. (Paytm is currently working on exploring the public markets and eyeing to raise as much as $3 billion and eyeing a valuation of up to $30 billion.)

The new tranche of investment is part of a larger round that Byju’s kickstarted earlier this year and is looking to secure over $1.5 billion. Some of its recent investors also include B Capital Group and hedge fund XN. The startup was valued at $11 billion late last year, and $5.75 billion in July 2019.

The startup plans to use the fresh capital, in part, to acquire more startups. Byju’s, which acquired Indian physical coaching institute Aakash for nearly $1 billion earlier this year, is conducting due diligence to buy and online learning startup Toppr and has also engaged with U.S.-based Epic, TechCrunch reported earlier this year.

Byju’s prepares students pursuing undergraduate and graduate-level courses, and in recent years it has also expanded its catalog to serve all school-going students. Tutors on the Byju’s app tackle complex subjects using real-life objects such as pizza and cake.

The pandemic, which prompted New Delhi to enforce a months-long nationwide lockdown and close schools, accelerated its growth, and those of several other online learning startups including Unacademy and Vedantu.

As of early this year, Byju’s said it had amassed over 80 million users, 5.5 million of whom are paying subscribers. Byju’s, which is profitable, generated revenue of over $100 million in the U.S. last year, Deborah Quazzo, managing partner of GSV Ventures (which has backed the Indian startup), said at a session in March held by Indian venture fund Blume Ventures.

The startup executives said at a UBS event earlier this year that Byju’s current revenue run rate is $800 million, a figure they expect will reach $1 billion in the next 12-15 months. It has also accelerated its international expansion plans in recent months.


SOSV, the global venture firm, just closed a $100 million fund to back its maturing startups

Sean O’Sullivan, the founder of the global venture outfit SOSV, has slowly but steadily built up a sizable operation over the years.

SOSV started off as a family office, investing the capital of O’Sullivan after he cofounded two companies, including MapInfo, an outfit that went public in 1994 before Pitney Bowes acquired it years later, in 2007. The seed-stage investing outfit has since raised three more funds, including a $277 million early-stage fund that it closed in 2019 and is actively investing from right now.

Now, to complement those funds, the organization has raised $100 million for what it’s calling a “select fund” that’s meant to help SOSV maintain its pro rata stake in some of its breakaway portfolio companies.

Because of other tools in the market, SOSV wasn’t completely hamstrung until now. Instead, SOSV has, on occasion, assembled a special purpose vehicle to re-invest in certain of the startups it has backed. But O’Sullivan says these were relatively small SPVs — think $2 million in size or less. The new fund, he says, is expected to write checks of between $2 million and $5 million and even up to $10 million — or 10% of the fund, per SOSV’s agreement with its investors.

Certainly, the new fund also gives startups even more reason to work with SOSV, which tends to write its seed checks to first-time founders, who O’Sullivan observes are often overlooked — wrongly —  by investors in favor of repeat founders.

He points to Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Alibaba, noting that landscape would look rather different without them. He says experienced the phenomenon himself when he cofounded a company (NetCentric) after MapInfo. “People were just lining up to invest,” he says. “It was so easy to raise the funds without anything other than a business plan, and these days, you don’t even need one of those.”

That doesn’t mean SOSV will get as big a bite as it might like in every deal. Though SOSV has enjoyed success by betting on new entrepreneurs — it was among the first investors in FormLabs, for example, a company now valued at $2 billion; it also backed JUMP, the bike-share startup that Uber acquired in 2018 — a $100 million fund is small by current standards. SOSV could well find itself competing against players that have billions of dollars to deploy and which are writing bigger checks to younger companies at a velocity never before seen in the world of venture capital.

It’s not an absurd concern, agrees O’Sullivan. He says he saw some sharp elbows just this week, in fact. Part of a $100 million-plus round was coming together, and a firm that O’Sullivan declined to mention didn’t want to make room for the startup’s Series B or A investors because it wanted to meet a certain equity threshold.

O’Sullivan suggests the earlier investors acquiesced. (“They’re giving us a multi-billion valuation” and are also “trying to buy secondaries from existing investors,” he explains, while adding that SOSV would generally prefer to hold its shares through an IPO.)

Still, he suggests there’s no need to worry about SOSV. While it’s willing to go with the flow, O’Sullivan says that in “most cases, there’s enough to go around for the previous investors.”

It’s simply “good protocol for the late-stage investors [to make room] if they want to continue to have us introducing deals to them.”

Put another way, SOSV doesn’t need to manage a megafund; it has leverage all the same.


The air taxi market prepares to take flight

Twelve years ago, Joby Aviation consisted of a team of seven engineers working out of founder JoeBen Bevirt’s ranch in the Santa Cruz mountains. Today, the startup has swelled to 800 people and a $6.6 billion valuation, ranking itself as the highest-valued electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) company in the industry.

As in any disruptive industry, the forecast may be cloudier than the rosy picture painted by passionate founders and investors.

It’s not the only air taxi company to reach unicorn status. The field is now dotted with new or soon-to-be publicly traded companies courtesy of mergers and special purpose acquisition companies. Partnerships with major automakers and airlines are on the rise, and CEOs have promised commercialization as early as 2024.

As in any disruptive industry, the forecast may be cloudier than the rosy picture painted by passionate founders and investors. A quick peek at comments and posts on LinkedIn reveals squabbles among industry insiders and analysts about when this emerging technology will truly take off and which companies will come out ahead.

Other disagreements have higher stakes. Wisk Aero filed a lawsuit against Archer Aviation alleging trade secret misappropriation. Meanwhile, valuations for companies that have no revenue yet to speak of — and may not for the foreseeable future — are skyrocketing.

Electric air mobility is gaining elevation. But there’s going to be some turbulence ahead.

Big goals and bigger expenses

Taking an eVTOL from design through to manufacturing and certification will likely cost about $1 billion, Mark Moore, then-head of Uber Elevate, estimated in April 2020 during a conference held by the Air Force’s Agility Prime program.

That means in some sense, the companies that will come out on top will likely be the ones that have managed to raise enough money to pay for all the expenses associated with engineering, certification, manufacturing and infrastructure.

“The startups that have successfully raised or that will be able to raise significant amounts of capital to get them through the certification process … that’s the number one thing that’s going to separate the strong from the weak,” Asad Hussain, a senior analyst in mobility technology at PitchBook, told TechCrunch. “There’s over 100 startups in the space. Not all of them are going to be able to do that.”

Just consider some of the expenses accrued by the biggest eVTOLs last year: Joby Aviation spent a whopping $108 million on research and development, a $30 million increase from 2019. Archer spent $21 million in R&D in 2020, according to regulatory filings. Meanwhile, Joby’s net loss last year was $114.2 million and Archer’s was $24.8 million, though, of course, neither company has brought a product to market yet. Operating expenses will likely only continue to grow into the future as companies enter into manufacturing and deployment phases.

What that means for the future of the industry is likely two things: more SPAC deals and more acquisitions.

Mobility companies, including those working on electrified transport, are often pre-revenue and have capitally intensive business models — a combination that can make it difficult to find buyers in a traditional IPO. SPACs have become increasingly popular as a shorter, less expensive path to becoming a public company. SPACs have also historically received less scrutiny than IPOs. Should the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission start to take a closer look at SPAC mergers in the future, it may impair the ability of other air taxi companies to go public this way, Hussain said.

That means market consolidation is nearly guaranteed, as smaller companies may find it more advantageous to sell than continue to raise more capital. It’s already begun: At the end of April, eVTOL developer Astro Aerospace announced the acquisition of Horizon Aircraft.

Horizon cited “greater access to capital” as one of the many benefits of the transaction, and other companies will likely find the buy or sell route to be the most beneficial on the road to commercialization. And just last week, British eVTOL Vertical Aerospace, which has an order for 150 aircraft from Virgin Atlantic, said it would go public via a merger with Broadstone Acquisition Corp. at an equity value of around $2.2 billion.


Michael Brown, the new chair of the powerful lobbying group NVCA, shares his agenda

Michael Brown, a longtime general partner with Battery Ventures, was just elected to the role of chairman of the National Venture Capital Association three years after joining its board of directors. Earlier this week, we caught up with Brown to ask about his new, year-long role with the 48-year-old trade group — and what issues he sees as top of mind right now for the many American VCs he is now representing.

TC: VCs are always concerned about tax treatments, but these are obviously even more top of mind, given Joe Biden’s proposal last month to raise the top rate on long-term capital gains to 39.6% from 20%. What do you think of that proposal?

MB: So you’re gonna hit me right in the face with a two-by-four on taxes in the first question, I love it.

This is the NVCA’s position, this is my personal position and if you ask most venture capitalists, this position is pretty widely held: what Biden is trying to do with the Build Back Better Plan . . . we are fully supportive of that and we are actively working with both the administration and policymakers in Congress to get done a lot of what he wants to get done. A lot of what he’s talking about — whether it’s the physical infrastructure, like bridges, roads, planes; or the digital infrastructure, meaning internet broadband access more broadly and cybersecurity; or climate infrastructure, [around] how we transition the economy and the country to a greener carbon-neutral or even carbon-negative world — venture capital is required to fund the entrepreneurs to do all of those things . . . It’s really almost hand in glove. He wants this to happen, we want it to happen, and we can help facilitate that [because] it’s not going to come from corporate America, we know that.

TC: To your point, the money does have to come from somewhere. Is there a number at which you would feel more comfortable?

MB: I don’t want to speak on behalf of the NVCA around what is our target rate. I will say that people in Congress and other talking heads talk about the revenue-maximizing rate in and around 25% to 28% . . . and I think that’s kind of where people feel it is reasonable to go to. What we do believe is that long-term investment should be rewarded and not disincentivized through tax structure.

What happened under the Trump administration, where they extended the time frame to three years [from one year] before you could receive long-term capital gains treatment, we were fine with that because we’re investing for longer than three years and I think having some time component to decide what is long term and what is not worked very well.

TC: Another topic that comes up time and again is the IPO market. It sure seems healthy right now. Will you have any suggestions for the current administration relating to taking companies public?

MB: We are obviously very supportive of the capital markets. That being said, if you look at the number of public companies today versus the number of public companies 20 years ago — and this is not just true of technology companies —  it’s roughly half the number. We think that’s a function of a few things. One is just how the capital markets function today — the ability to get research, etcetera, caused by [specific] legislation; regulatory issues; and just the burdens that a public company have versus a private company. You’ve also got other [rules] that have been passed over the last few years that impact the accessibility of the capital markets for private companies, and that’s why you’re seeing companies raise more money and stay private longer, which is not to the benefit of everyone.

TC: What reform here would you press for most immediately?

MB: Going back a ways now, in 2012, there was a piece of legislation called the Jobs Act that helped open up the public markets by addressing some of the risks and costs associated with going public and the regulatory burden. That needs to be updated. That’s something in particular that if we can modify it and make it current, it will help create that on ramp for smaller companies to access the public markets sooner and earlier.

TC: What do you think of SPACs, these special purpose acquisition companies that are being raised to take companies public, including, oftentimes by those companies’ own earlier investors?

MB: It’s good to have more alternatives and more ways for companies to access capital markets. That being said, those vehicles need to be appropriately regulated, and SPACs is one area where regulation has not kept up with kind of the realities on the ground. I think Chairman Gensler and even before him in the previous administration, [the agency] also felt like there needs to be better controls on the stock market.

One of the benefits of a SPAC is the ability to offer forward guidance. You can’t have that in an IPO or even a direct listing and I would not be surprised if the SEC comes out with either revised guidance and or a complete restriction on the ability to provide forward guidance. There’s probably something that should be done there, but we’ll see.

As for conflicts of interest related to the economics centered on investors buying companies within their own portfolio, I don’t know if there’ll be regulatory remedies for the conflicts. The SEC has the ability to review any of these [deals] if they want, but in the meantime, we’re seeing the market actually changing the economic terms. You’re seeing reduced promotes by the SPAC sponsors. You’re seeing reduced warrant coverage or even the elimination of warrant coverage. You have some SPACs that look like venture funds, where there’s really no promote but instead a success fee if the SPAC completes the merger and does well. You’re also seeing the vesting of the sponsor interest over a period of time, so they’re locked in over a longer-term horizon. The market is figuring out a lot on its own.

TC: The NVCA has long been pro-immigration. What are some of your proposals on this front? What would you like to see change or instituted?

MB: We took a very aggressive stance in the previous administration around the International Entrepreneur Rule and even [successfully] sued the Trump administration to have them enforce or at least roll out the rule, which enables the entrepreneur to come to the U.S. as long as they have a minimum number of dollars in financing to build their business here.

Look, we’re in a competitive market. If you look at venture capital 15 or 20 years ago, 85% of the dollars that were invested went to companies in the United States, and a lot of those went to companies founded by immigrant entrepreneurs. Today, that number stands at just over 50% [including because] founders who are coming here and getting educated and going back home and founding a company.

We want founders to start their companies here and grow their companies here to create jobs and spread the wealth. The International Entrepreneur Rule was a stopgap to ultimately what is called the Startup Visa, an official visa status that would enable entrepreneurs to come in and give them certainty that they can stay in the United States and start a company and build it. This is something that’s been in the works for a long time, and we’re hoping that Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren out of the 19th District of California will reintroduce this visa bill soon, so that we can put this as part of the Build Back Better Plan, because we need immigrant entrepreneurs to come here and start companies and employ the broader U.S. population.

If you think about the technologies that we used to get through COVID it was Zoom, it was Moderna, it was even Pfizer, dating back 100 years. All three were founded by immigrant entrepreneurs who came to the United States to start their business.

TC: Is this a role you volunteered to do? Is there a game of hot potato that happens amid the NVCA’s board of directors every year?

MB: [Laughs.] It is not just a hot potato that got passed. [NVCA president and CEO] Bobby Franklin and the outgoing chair discuss who they think would be good based on participation in board meetings and how engaged someone is with the things the NVCA is doing in Washington and who can be a good advocate for the industry and for the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

I think it’s a pretty cool time to have this job; intellectually, this is going to be super interesting, and it’s super important to the industry [because] these are big policy initiatives and we’re a very important part of the solution here, and that needs to be well-known and well-understood by the administration and Congress. That’s our mission.


Daily Crunch: Toptal sues rival Andela for allegedly making ‘a perfect clone’ of its freelancer marketplace

To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3 p.m. PDT, subscribe here.

Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for June 11, 2021. As a small note I am off next week, so my dear friend and TechCrunch lifer Henry Pickavet will be taking over. He’s more fun and a better writer than I am, so consider him a temporary upgrade. See you in a week or so! — Alex

p.s. Cheap tickets to TC Early Stage 2021: Marketing & Fundraising are nearly gone. Flagging in case you needed a ticket and also like saving money. 

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • Technology companies are trying to figure out post-pandemic work: Minor tech CEOs look to major tech companies for signals about what to do. Google, for example, is a famous cultural bellwether for other tech firms. But when it comes to post-pandemic work every tech company — big and small — is scrambling to come up with a plan that will keep control-oriented managers happy and staff from quitting en masse. TechCrunch has the rundown you need on what the majors are deciding.
  • Didi’s going public! If you thought that the Uber and Lyft IPOs were fun, oh boy is this good news for you. TechCrunch has notes on the venture capital winners’ list and more on the company’s economics for your reading pleasure.
  • The tech labor market is brutal: So brutal, in fact, two companies that help their customers find remote, freelance technology talent are now in a legal fight. Toptal is taking Andela to court over “the theft of trade secrets in pursuit of a perfect clone of its business,’” TechCrunch reports.

Startups and VC

  • Vertical SaaS is still hot: How do we know? Fresha just raised $100 million. The company provides software for hair and nail salons, yoga instructors, and other health, beauty, and wellness SMBs. Vertical SaaS companies can often have both attractive software incomes and strong payments revenues.
  • More money for neobanks: My general philosophy that there is infinite money available for neobanking startups around the world is holding up as TechCrunch broke news that “Bangalore-based neobank Open is in advanced stages of talks to raise about $100 million” from possibly Temasek and General Atlantic. The neobank could be worth $600 million after the deal, TechCrunch reported.
  • The edtech boom is not over: Sure, COVID-19 is receding in some countries, and economic activity is rebounding globally, but that’s not stopping edtech companies that got a pandemic bump from raising more cash. This week it’s Indian edtech company Classplus, which could raise $30 million from Tiger Global we reported, at a valuation of up to $250 million. That’s real money.
  • Neither is global interest in funding more insurtech startups: That’s what TechCrunch learned chatting up a bunch of EU-based VCs, who said that the European insurtech market is super busy, if perhaps not quite as frenetic as the market for insurance technology startups in America.

Insurtech is hot on both sides of the Atlantic

This morning, The Exchange dug into the EU insurtech market, interviewing European VCs and collating the biggest recent rounds to get a temperature of the waters across the pond:

  • Alex Timm, CEO, Root
  • Dan Preston, CEO, Metromile
  • Luca Bocchio, partner, Accel
  • Florian Graillot, investor, Astorya.vc
  • Stephen Brittain, director and founder, Insurtech Gateway

Several European-based insurtech startups entered unicorn territory this year, such as Bought By Many, which offers pet insurance, London-based Zego and Alan, a French startup that raised a $220 million round.

According to Brittain, EU startups in this sector are “still at the very early stages of innovation,” having only shown “a fraction of what’s possible” in a market that is “as large as banking.”

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Big Tech Inc.

  • Everyone sucks at cybersecurity: This week’s its Volkswagen, via a third-party vendor. The vendor in question exposed 3.3 million customers’ data. At some point the fines for this sort of error have to rise to the level of pain that will force corporations to stop fucking up. Enough is enough.
  • Apple hires from Canoo for car can-do: This week Apple confirmed that it hired “former co-founder and CEO [Ulrich Kranz] of electric vehicle company Canoo. Though the company declined to say what he’s working on. It’s 1,000% a new cube-shaped, six-screen iBloc, right? Without wheels?
  • Sticking to the Apple beat, the company announced its “Design Award” winners. TechCrunch has the run-down you need here.

TechCrunch Experts: Growth Marketing

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TechCrunch wants you to recommend growth marketers who have expertise in SEO, social, content writing and more! If you’re a growth marketer, pass this survey along to your clients; we’d like to hear about why they loved working with you.

The results from this survey will help influence our editorial coverage of growth marketing. Today, we have a guest column from Fuel Capital CMO Jamie Viggiano: 5 questions startups should consider before making their first marketing hire.


The rise of robotaxis in China

AutoX, Momenta and WeRide took the stage at TC Sessions: Mobility 2021 to discuss the state of robotaxi startups in China and their relationships with local governments in the country.

They also talked about overseas expansion — a common trajectory for China’s top autonomous vehicle startups — and shed light on the challenges and opportunities for foreign AV companies eyeing the massive Chinese market.


Enterprising governments

Worldwide, regulations play a great role in the development of autonomous vehicles. In China, policymaking for autonomous driving is driven from the bottom up rather than a top-down effort by the central government, observed executives from the three Chinese robotaxi startups.

Huan Sun, Europe general manager at Momenta, which is backed by the government of Suzhou, a city near Shanghai, said her company had a “very good experience” working with the municipal governments across multiple cities.

In China, each local government is incentivized to really act like entrepreneurs like us. They are very progressive in developing the local economy… What we feel is that autonomous driving technology can greatly improve and upgrade the [local governments’] economic structure. (Time stamp: 02:56)

Shenzhen, a special economic zone with considerable lawmaking autonomy, is just as progressive in propelling autonomous driving forward, said Jewel Li, chief operation officer at AutoX, which is based in the southern city.


Facebook buys game studio BigBox VR

Facebook has bought several virtual reality game studios over the past couple of years, and they added one more to their portfolio Friday with the acquisition of Seattle-based BigBox VR.

The studio’s major title, “Population: One,” was one of the big post-launch releases for Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 headset and is a pretty direct Fortnite clone, copying a number of key gameplay techniques while adapting them for the movements unique to virtual reality and bringing in their own lore and art style.

As has been the case for most of these studio acquisitions, terms weren’t disclosed. BigBox raised $6.5 million according to Crunchbase, with funding from Shasta Ventures, Outpost Capital, Pioneer Square Labs and GSR Ventures.

“POP: ONE stormed onto the VR scene just nine months ago and has consistently ranked as one the top-performing titles on the Oculus platform, bringing together up to 24 people at a time to connect, play, and compete in a virtual world,” Facebook’s Mike Verdu wrote in a blog post.

It’s not unusual for a gaming hardware platform owner to build up their own web of studios building platform exclusives, but in the VR world things are a little different, given that Facebook has few real competitors.

While many of the developers inside Oculus Studios continue to build titles for Valve’s Steam store, which are accessible with third-party headsets, most non-Facebook VR platforms seem to be a shrinking piece of the overall VR pie, having been priced out of the market by Facebook’s aggressive pursuit of a mass market audience. Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 retails for $299 and the company has said that it outsold all of its previous devices combined in its first few months.

In April, Facebook acquired Downpour Interactive, maker of the VR shooter “Onward.”


Extra Crunch roundup: EU insurtech, 30 years of ‘Crossing the Chasm,’ embedded finance’s endgame

This morning, Anna Heim and Alex Wilhelm dug into the EU insurtech market, interviewing European VCs and collating the biggest recent rounds to take the temperature of the waters across the pond:

  • Alex Timm, CEO, Root
  • Dan Preston, CEO, MetroMile
  • Luca Bocchio, partner, Accel
  • Florian Graillot, investor, Astorya.vc
  • Stephen Brittain, director and founder, Insurtech Gateway

Several European-based insurtech startups entered unicorn territory this year, such as Bought By Many, which offers pet insurance; London-based Zego; and Alan, a French startup that raised a $220 million round.

According to Brittain, EU startups in this sector are “still at the very early stages of innovation,” having only shown “a fraction of what’s possible” in a market that is “as large as banking.” Interestingly, he predicted that AI will play a larger role in the future as companies deploy it for fraud detection, improved customer experiences and processing claims more quickly.

“We are fully expecting the next generation of AI-driven business to unlock real-time risk analysis, pricing and claims resolution in the next few years,” he said.

Thanks very much for reading Extra Crunch; I hope you have a safe, relaxing weekend.

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, TechCrunch
@yourprotagonist

What do these 4 IPOs tell us about the state of the market?

Earlier this week, The Exchange assessed the looming Monday.com IPO before reading the tea leaves about that flotation and three others to sum up the overall state of the market.

So what do the Marqeta, Monday.com, Zeta Global and 1stDibs debuts tell us? We may have been too conservative.

Toast’s Aman Narang and BVP’s Kent Bennett on how customer obsession is everything

Image Credits: Bessemer Venture Partners / Toast

On a recent episode of Extra Crunch Live, we spoke to Toast founder Aman Narang and Kent Bennett of Bessemer Venture Partners about how they came together for a deal, what makes the difference for both founders and investors when fundraising, and the biggest lessons they’ve learned so far.

The episode also featured the Extra Crunch Live Pitch-Off, where audience members pitched their products to Bennett and Narang and received live feedback.

Extra Crunch Live is open to everyone each Wednesday at 3 p.m. EDT/noon PDT, but only Extra Crunch members are able to stream these sessions afterward and watch previous shows on-demand in our episode library.

AI startup investment is on pace for a record year

Alex Wilhelm and Anna Heim solicited feedback from investors to get a temperature on the market for AI startup investments.

“The startup investing market is crowded, expensive and rapid-fire today as venture capitalists work to preempt one another, hoping to deploy funds into hot companies before their competitors,” they write. “The AI startup market may be even hotter than the average technology niche.”

But that’s not surprising. The Exchange was on it.

“In the wake of the Microsoft-Nuance deal, The Exchange reported that it would be reasonable to anticipate an even more active and competitive market for AI-powered startups,” Alex and Anna note. “Our thesis was that after Redmond dropped nearly $20 billion for the AI company, investors would have a fresh incentive to invest in upstarts with an AI focus or strong AI component; exits, especially large transactions, have a way of spurring investor interest in related companies.”

Their expectation is coming true: Investors reported a fierce market for AI startups.

Dear Sophie: What is a diversity green card and how do I apply for one?

lone figure at entrance to maze hedge that has an American flag at the center

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

I started a tech company about two years ago, and ever since I’ve dreamed of expanding my company in the United States.

I would love to have a green card. Someone mentioned that I should apply for a diversity green card. Would you please provide me with more details about it and how to apply?

— Technical in Tanzania

How to start a company in 4 days

Turtle (real) with a rocket on the back, a match (real flame) is about to ignite it. No turtles were harmed in the making of this stock image.

Image Credits: MediaProduction (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Pulley founder and three-time YC alum Yin Wu offers a tactical guide to getting a startup running in four days. Yes, just four days.

“The logistics of setting up a startup should be simple, because over the long run, complicated equity setups and cap tables cost more money in legal fees and administration time,” Wu notes.

Read on for guidance on how to get your business going in less than a week.

Health clouds are set to play a key role in healthcare innovation

Health clouds are important for innovation in healthcare

Image Credits: Natali_Mis / Getty Images

Innovaccer founder and CEO Abhinav Shashank and CTO Mike Sutten write in a guest column that the U.S. healthcare industry is in the middle of a massive transformation.

This shift, they write, “is being stimulated by federal mandates, technological innovation, and the need to improve clinical outcomes and communication between providers, patients and payers.”

Improving healthcare now means we need to process tremendous amounts of healthcare data. How do we do it? The cloud, which “plays a pivotal role in meeting the current needs of healthcare organizations.”

What SOSV’s Climate Tech 100 tells founders about investors in the space

Climate tech presents a trillion-dollar opportunity

Image Credits: MrJub / Getty Images

SOSV’s Benjamin Joffe and Meghan Hind round up a “who’s who” from the venture capital firm’s SOSV Climate Tech 100, a list of the best startups addressing climate change that SOSV has supported from the very beginning.

“What can founders learn from the list about climate tech investors? In other words, who invested in the Climate Tech 100?” they ask.

The fintech endgame: New supercompanies combine the best of software and financials

Image Credits: Donald Iain Smith (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Now that we can transact from anywhere, a new, hybrid class of software companies with embedded financial services are scooping up consumers — and investors are following the action.

Using data from a Battery Ventures report about “the intersection of software and financial services,” this post examines why these companies can be so hard to value and offers a framework for better understanding their business models and investor appeal.

After 30 years, ‘Crossing the Chasm’ is due for a refresh

Hoover Dam area, Mike O'Callaghan, Pat Tillman bridge.

Image Credits: Grant Faint (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Geoffrey Moore’s “Chasm,” a framework for marketing technology products that has been one of the canonical foundational concepts to product-market fit for three decades, needs a bit of an upgrade, Flybridge Capital’s Jeff Bussgang writes.

“I have been reflecting on why it is that we venture capitalists and founders keep making the same mistake over and over again — a mistake that has become even more glaring in recent years,” he writes.

Bussgang goes on to consider the Chasm — and propose tweaks for thinking about market size in the modern era.


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