Daily Crunch: New Starbucks Odyssey loyalty program ‘happens to be built on blockchain and web3’

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Have a nice week, startupers!

Tomorrow (Tuesday), we have not one, but two Twitter Live events, and we’re excited for both. At 8:00 a.m. PDT / 11:00 a.m. EDT, we speak with Andrew Chan why Gen Z VCs are trash, and at 12:00 p.m. PDT / 3:00 p.m. EDT, we speak with partner M13 Anna Barber on what today’s founders can learn from the bursting of the dotcom bubble.

May your week have all the good surprises in store for you! — Christina and haje

TechCrunch’s top 3

  • 2001, a Starbucks Odyssey: In August, Starbucks kicked things off with plans for a blockchain-based loyalty program and an NFT community. Today, the coffee giant is creating additional excitement by unveiling Starbucks Odyssey. Sarah has more on this scorching hot cup of awards.
  • Twitter against Elon Musk, part 265: Ivan writes that ‘third time is the charm’ for Elon Musk’s lawyers, who served a third notice of termination to Twitter regarding the severance package paid to former security chief Peiter ‘Mudge’ Zatko in June , arguing that this action was in violation of Musk’s proposed agreement to acquire the social media giant. Or so they thought. Twitter denies that this violated the agreement.
  • Africa’s hot and heavy fintech sector: Kippa, a Nigerian financial management app for traders, closed $8.4 million in new funding. Tags reports that Kippa already has 500,000 merchants using its app since its launch last June.

Startups and VCs

Electric truck company Nikola merged with VectoIQ in a SPAC in June 2020 with a valuation of $29 billion. Trevor Milton, ex-CEO of Nikola, begins his fraud trial, which serves as a warning to risk-loving investors who would throw money at a company before it begins delivering products or generating revenue, Rebecca reports.

“The reality is, if you’re a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, no LP at your annual meeting is going to ask you, ‘How did you miss Company X in Columbus?’ Like, it’s not gonna happen. But they’ll ask you, ‘How did you miss Company Y that was in Silicon Valley?’ They don’t want to miss those things in their backyard,” Chris Olsen explained in a fascinating interview with Connie. Olsen spent six years at Sequoia Capital in California before co-founding Drive Capital in Columbus, Ohio in 2013.

Tangentially related, for our City Spotlight: Minneapolis last week, haje hosted a panel to discuss what Minneapolis investors are looking for (hint: it’s not just Minnesota startups).

Here are a few more:

For payment orchestration startups LatAm, market fragmentation is a blessing in disguise

Broken white plate on red background

Picture credits: aolomartinezphotography (Opens in a new window) /Getty Pictures

In Latin America, e-commerce is plagued by high fraud rates. Barely 20% of adults have a credit card, and many of them cannot use them internationally.

It is also true that e-commerce is growing there faster than in any other region since the start of the pandemic. Online sales in Latin America will generate $379 billion, a 32% year-over-year increase, according to a study.

“The payments landscape in Latin America looks hopelessly fragmented and riddled with fraud,” said Rocio Wu, director at F-Prime Capital.

“However, we believe fragmentation actually presents a huge opportunity for vertically integrated payments orchestration startups to capture a lot of value.”

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams grow. You can register here.)

Big Tech inc.

Darrell followed the launch of Blue Origin this morning and announced that the launch was aborted after “an in-flight anomaly”.

We know you didn’t receive your Apple News patch this weekend, so the team including Zack, Ivan, Sarah and Roman, have gathered to bring you some iOS 16-related stories. First, five new security and privacy features, followed by some can’t-miss “slick” features. Then, everything you wanted to know about Lock Screen widgets and how downloading iOS 16 will turn your iPhone into a more personal device and finally, the skinny on Apple Passkey.

  • Ogle India: This is exactly what Google plans to do with some of the manufacturing of its Pixel smartphones, pot holder writing.
  • What not to leave in your hotel room: I don’t know how you can just “find” a Meta Quest Pro prototype, but that’s what a video game streamer in Mexico says happened. Amanda see you.
  • Nope: I can’t say that Amazon didn’t try. The e-commerce giant is urging the European Union to accept its offer to end an antitrust investigation into its use of third-party data. Natasha L writes that some advocacy groups call Amazon’s offer “weak, vague, and full of loopholes.”
  • Chocolate, salty balls maybe?: Move over capsules and K-cups. The coffee balls are here. Find out what haje had to say about the Swiss-based CoffeeB machine.



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