Daily Crunch: Klarna valued at $31B

A challenger bank raises funding at a massive valuation, Instagram adds Live Rooms and Google updates Workspace. This is your Daily Crunch for March 1, 2021.

The big story: Klarna valued at $31B

The Swedish challenger bank and buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) service has raised $1 billion at a post-money valuation of $31 billion. Klarna says it will commit 1% of the capital to “key sustainability challenges around the world,” with the initiative formally launching on April 22 (Earth Day).

For its BNPL business, Klarna both integrates with a variety of retailers and has created its own shopping app, where users can browse all the stores that support payment through Klarna. The company is active in more than 17 countries and has more than 250,000 retail partners.

The tech giants

Instagram launches ‘Live Rooms’ for live broadcasts with up to four creators — Previously, the app only allowed users to livestream with one other person, similar to Facebook Live.

Twitter rolls out vaccine misinformation warning labels and a strike-based system for violations — The company says that when necessary, it will attach notices warning users that the content “may be misleading” and linking out to vetted public health information.

Google updates Workspace — The highlight here is probably that you can now use Assistant in combination with Google Workspace.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Autonomous drone maker Skydio raises $170M led by Andreessen Horowitz — Skydio’s fresh capital comes on the heels of its expansion last year into the enterprise market.

Clue gets FDA clearance to launch a digital contraceptive — The digital contraceptive will offer users a statistical prediction of ovulation as a birth control tool.

Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck explains why the company needs a bigger rocket, and why it’s going public to build it — Rocket Lab packed a ton of news into Monday: It’s going public via a SPAC merger, and it’s also building a new, larger launch vehicle called Neutron.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Why your organization needs product principles — VP of Design Ethan Eismann writes that at Slack, every process and feature has been designed with the primary goal of making Slack a workplace tool that feels human.

Justworks’ Series B pitch deck may be the most wonderfully simple deck I’ve ever seen — On Extra Crunch Live, Bain Capital Ventures’ Matt Harris and Justworks CEO Isaac Oates sat down to talk through how they resolve disagreements and more.

As Coinbase looks to list, Robinhood rides the crypto boom — Coinbase is hardly the only company enjoying a crypto bounce.

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

Everything else

EU to propose a ‘digital pass’ for COVID-19 vaccination/test status to help safer travel — President Ursula von der Leyen said today that the planned digital tool will aim to provide proof that a person has been vaccinated.

Walmart drops the $35 order minimum on its 2-hour ‘Express’ delivery service — The move seems designed to directly challenge Amazon.

Hear from Uber, Facebook and Netflix about diversity, equity and inclusion at TC Sessions: Justice — We’ll dive into the myth of the pipeline problem, as well as the idea of imposter syndrome and much more.

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