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NEWS YOU CAN USE

Mammoth journey.  This article from VC NFX outlines the journey of scientist-founder led Mammoth Biosciences from pre-seed to Series D financing.

How Veed grew.  Video editing app Veed outlined their path from 0 to 50K users in this blog post.

Creator economy catalog.  Check out this collection of articles from former a16z partner Li Jin on the creator/passion economy.

Back to the garden.  a16z is embracing seed financing again with the launch of a $400M seed fund.  It turned away from such financings in 2013 to avoid conflicts of interest among its target companies.

New coffee drink.  Singapore-based Mad Foods launched a plant-based and dairy-free cold brew coffee that uses oat milk and is ready-to-drink in a can.

Soda Poppi.  Dallas-based soda company Poppi makes prebiotic soda cans that combine real fruit juice with apple cider vinegar and recently raised $13.5M in financing.

Generative art.  This article from Bankless helps you navigate the world of generative art, which is art created by a computer via algorithm and is a subset of the NFT art market.

Covid and urban exodus.  This Morgan Stanley report indicates that a big exodus from urban centers as a result of Covid has been greatly exaggerated.  

WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON

AI coders are buggy.  The app Copilot which uses AI to help programmers write code makes the same mistakes as its human masters because it has been trained on code written by humans.

Harvard, media company.  The Harvard Business Review is a sneaky giant with hundreds of millions in revenue and a big voice in the media landscape.

Talk is not cheap.  Mojo is a company that provides online courses that use therapy as a solution to male sexual health problems instead of just pills.

Bye-bye Alipay.  The Chinese government wants to break up Alipay, the payments and fintech app of Jack Ma’s Ant Group in its latest power grab from the tech industry there.

Remote work stifles innovation?  A Microsoft study found that the shift to remote work has affected communication and collaboration inside the company, threatening employee productivity and long-term innovation.

20 years later.  Intuit is buying Mailchimp for $12B in cash and stock; Mailchimp was founded in a tiny office in Atlanta by Ben Chestnut in 2001.

Facebook glasses.  Smart glasses made by Facebook and Ray-Ban called Ray-Ban Stories are now available if you want them. 

Twitter Super Follows.  Twitter rolled out the new feature which lets select users charge subscriptions for access to subscriber-only tweets.

CRYPTO CORNER

GOOOOOOOAL.  Sorare, a soccer-focused NFT trading platform announced a $680M Series B financing led by SoftBank which values Sorare at $4.3 billion.

And an amazing save.  Dapper Labs is competing with Sorare for the soccer NFT market.  It has partnered with La Liga, the Spanish soccer league and has raised another $250M funding which values the company at $7.6 billion.  Dapper is also the company behind popular fantasy basketball NFT game NBA Top Shot.

Tokens = website.  Chris Dixon from a16z argues that tokens are a new digital primitive, analogous to the website.

Coming soon to a theater near you.  Larva Labs, the creator of Cryptopunks, just signed a deal to be represented by United Talent Agency (UTA), one of the biggest talent agencies in Hollywood.  This marks one of the first big opportunities for NFTs to enter the broader entertainment and branding worlds.

Decentralized Hollywood.  This podcast from NFX explores the inside story behind Stoner Cats and their efforts to decentralize entertainment with NFTs.  It also pairs well with the story about Cryptopunks and UTA above :).

Vincent Van Dough.  The pseudonymous trader is launching a fund with Three Arrows Capital founders to invest in NFTs and plans to raise $100M.

NFTs = tulips, literally.  An NFT collection of pixelated flowers launched earlier this week – with one selling for more than $55,000.  These tulips are an explicit reference to the 16th-century Dutch tulip bubble, but hey, who’s looking.

British crypto.  PayPal is launching its crypto service in the UK, the first international expansion of its crypto product.

COOL NEWS

Dinosaur hunting.  This is now a thing with dinosaur cowboys looking for the next big score in dinosaur fossils that fetch millions at auction.

New Kindle.  A new Kindle paperwhite has emerged with a bigger screen and USB-C charging.

Next great read.  Folio is an online bookshop that helps Gen Z and millennial readers discover and buy their next favorite books.

Pizza vending machine.  Irish Pub and offtrack betting parlor The Celtic in Denver is the place to go if you want a pizza from a vending machine (picture below).

‘The Chair.’  Harvard PhD Annie Julia Wyman transitioned from Cambridge to Hollywood and cocreated the hit Netflix academic drama with Amanda Peet.

E-bike boom.  Amsterdam-based startup VanMoof has raised a $128 million Series C funding and wants to become the world’s leading e-bike.

New type of planets.  New research from The Astrophysical Journal unovered an entirely new class of planet, called Hycean planets, that could harbor life. Hycean planets are big and very warm with hydrogen-based atmospheres and are covered in a massive planet-wide ocean.

Private space station.  Collins Aerospace is working on environmental control and life support technologies for a “privately owned and operated low Earth orbit outpost,” aka a billionaire’s private retreat in space.

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