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Welcome back to the Daily Crunch for Thursday, June 17. Thank you to Walter Thompson and the Extra Crunch staff for taking the reins I took from Alex. I was released from jury duty, so I’ll be seeing you through the remainder of the week, and we’ll be back to regularly scheduled Alex in no time.
But before we get on with the show, I want to let you know that Duolingo’s director of engineering will join us at our City Spotlight: Pittsburgh event in just two weeks. Karin Tsai joined the company in 2012 as one of its first engineers, and saw the company grow from a scrappy startup into a 400-person global business.
The TechCrunch Top 3
Google recently discovered a bug in its Android app that could have allowed an attacker to quietly steal personal data from a device. The company caught it, plugged it and confirmed that it had no evidence that anyone’s data was compromised.
The AI-powered defense company founded by Oculus founder and seller-to-Facebook Palmer Luckey has landed a $450 million round of investment that values the startup at $4.6 billion just four years in.
Startups and VC
Unit has raised $51 million in a Series B round to further its goal of making it possible for non-fintech and fintech companies alike to build banking products “in minutes.”
Disrupting job recruitment disruption: Beamery raised $138 million to continue building out more technology and shake up online job recruitment as we know it. Ingrid reports today that the company calls itself a “talent operating system,” describing that thusly: “A way to manage sourcing, hiring and retaining of people, plus analyzing the bigger talent picture for an organization.”
Nylas, which created an effective way to integrate email, calendars and other tools into other apps using APIs, is announcing a big round of funding to expand its business — $120 million big.
Data analytics for HR is what eqtble is offering, and it just raised a $2.7 million seed round to do it. There is a lot of data to capture when it comes to a company’s staff, and eqtble wants to help you snag it.
The industrial side of cybersecurity: Claroty, a late-stage company that protects big companies, including Pfizer (which it helped to secure its COVID-19 vaccine supply chain — raised $140 million.
5 tips for brands that want to succeed in the new era of influencer marketing
A small startup with the right message can connect with established and emerging stars on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube who will promote your company’s products and services — as long as they understand the influencer marketplace.
Creators have plenty of brands and revenue channels to choose from, but growth marketers who understand how to court influencers will make inroads no matter how small their budget. Although brand partnerships are still the top source of revenue for creators, many of them are starting to diversify.
If you’re in charge of marketing at an early-stage startup, this post explains how to connect with an influencer who authentically resonates with your brand and covers the basics of setting up a revenue-share structure that works for everyone.
(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
If you live in New York, you can now make your way to Google’s new store, which opened today in Chelsea. The giant’s new brick-and-mortar presence joins the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and Amazon so people can peruse its hardware offerings, as well as those of selected not-Google offerings.
It’s an advertising world, and we’re just living in it: Instagram today announced the global launch of ads in Reels, its TikTok rival. Sarah Perez says in her reporting that the ads will be up to 30 seconds in length and vertical in format. Like Reels, the new ads will loop, and people will be able to like, comment on and save them, the same as other Reels videos.
Google this morning announced a line of new virtual machines built on AMD’s third-gen EPYC processor. The new line, called Tau, is x86-compatible and offers a 42% price-performance boost over standard VMs. Google, of course, claims the Tau family “leapfrogs” existing cloud VMs.
Amazon this week announced its Appstore Small Business Accelerator Program, which will reduce the commissions Amazon takes on app developer revenues for qualifying smaller businesses. Previously, Amazon’s Appstore took a 30% cut of revenue, including that from in-app purchases. Now, it will take only 20% from developers who earned up to $1 million in the prior calendar year. The program will additionally offer AWS credits.
TechCrunch Experts: Growth Marketing
TechCrunch is building a shortlist of the top growth marketers in tech. If you’re a founder, we’d love to hear who you’ve worked with.
If you’re curious about how these surveys are shaping our coverage, check out this interview Extra Crunch Managing Editor Eric Eldon did with Susan Su, head of Portfolio at Sound Ventures, about growth marketing in 2021.