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- Well, blue, look: Twitter users with more than 1 million followers got their blue ticks back even though they didn’t pay for Twitter Blue, Ivan reports. It is interesting to note that many of the account holders quickly separated themselves from subscribers. Perhaps it also has something to do with Twitter giving a gold check to a fake Disney account. Ivan has more on that.
- No th-AI-nks: That’s what Snapchat users are saying about the “My AI” feature, which launched last week. Sara writes that the social media giant is seeing a spike in one-star reviews, including calls for its takedown.
- Being close to you: At a time when there is a wave of doubt about cryptocurrency, Cosmose, a company that uses AI analytics to track in-store traffic and engage with customers online, is going all in on the digital currency. Rita reports that Cosmose, which recently closed an undisclosed round of funding to value it at $500 million, is now working with Near’s crypto solution. Even dropping Stripe to do this. It’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for them.
Startups and VC
Super.com, formerly Snapcommerce, launched its cash-back card SuperCash last October, allowing card users to build credit, amassing 5 million customers worldwide who have collectively saved more than $150 million to date, CEO Hussein Fazal said. Now it’s set its sights on helping “regular Americans” find deals and savings across multiple categories, including travel and shopping, through its super app, Christine reports.
Silicon Valley’s quest to automate everything is relentless, which explains its latest obsession: Auto-GPT. Essentially, Auto-GPT uses the versatility of OpenAI’s latest AI models to interact with software and services online, allowing it to “autonomously” perform tasks like X and Y. But since we learn with large language models, this possibility seems as wide as an ocean but as deep as a puddle, Kyle reports.
Go ahead, another handful for you:
- They just want to stay involved: Frederick reports that Volvo Cars Tech Fund is investing in driver monitoring startup CorrActions.
- I’ll give you a ring later: Brian reports on major collaboration win for Oura as Best Buy brings smart ring to 850 US stores
- You build it, you get paid: More construction projects are starting up, but payments to contractors and their subcontractors continue to be a bottleneck in the normal course of a project. Constrafor raises new capital to make it better, Christine reports.
- Stiff competition: Woodoo makes wood-based low-carbon materials, reports Roman.
- Last impressions are important: Switch to TC+, Hey states that for your pitch deck, the last impression counts almost as much as the first impression.
- Turning IP into an asset: Also for TC+, Hey took a close look at Aventurine, which helps early-stage founders monetize their IP portfolios, in what the accelerator hopes will be a perpetual fund powered by intellectual property licensing.
10 years of fintech failure: 3 more ideas that didn’t live up to the initial hype
Do you remember P2P loans and on-demand insurance? If not, there’s a good reason for that: despite much hype, these are just two of the many fintech innovations that have buzzed over the past decade.
For his latest column on TC+, fintech advisor Grant Easterbrook explored three more ideas “that initially seemed promising, but largely failed to change financial services.”
According to Easterbrook, these failures provide valuable lessons for today’s founders and investors: “Fintech entrepreneurs need to remember the essential principle that the average consumer doesn’t like to think about money and often wants someone else to take care of it.”
Three more from the TC+ team:
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Big Tech Inc.
Merchants have a lot to do when it comes to running their business, but Shopify wants to take one thing off their plates. Shopify has partnered with B2B payment provider Melio to add direct bill payments so they can consolidate invoices and pay their bills in a more automated way through the Shopify platform. Mary Ann writes that this is the ecommerce platform’s “attempt to be a single-stop fintech for merchants.”
Calling, calling… guess who’s calling? It’s PhonePe and the company wants to challenge Google’s dominance in India with its own app store. The Walmart-backed company offers a “premiere experience for millions of users with high-quality ads and custom targeting, support for 12 languages and 24×7 live chat,” Manic reports.
And we have five more for you: