Startups Weekly: U.S. VCs eye European startups

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy startups and venture capital news. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I wrote about Chinese investor activity in Africa. Before that, I noted Airbnb’s issues. Remember, you can send me tips, suggestions and feedback to kate.clark@techcrunch.com or on Twitter @KateClarkTweets. If you’re new, you can subscribe to Startups Weekly here. This week I want to talk about Europe and not just because I’m in Europe prepping for TechCrunch’s annual conference, TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin. But because of a new trend we’re seeing in which U.S. venture capital funds strike deals overseasmore than ever. Sequoia, for example, funded a teenager …

Raising VC in Silicon Valley as a female POC

Nathan Beckord Squad, an invite-only community and app, is trying to fill the need for offline connections by curating tight-knit events for Gen Z and Millennials. “It mimics building relationships in real life,” says founder and CEO the How I Raised It podcast, Watson shared the ups and downs of her unique path to fundraising. Establish credibility for a few years before fundraising She started by putting some of the earliest capital into the business herself with support from her family. She then worked her way through more than 200 meetings in Silicon Valley to build up her credibility as a founder — a step that she can’t stress enough — before Squad even started its official seed round. “Despite …

EXCLUSIVE! Natalie Nunn Speaks Out Amid Threesome Cheating Scandal: ‘I’m Trying To Fix Everything’ – Perez Hilton

Reality TV star Natalie Nunn is really going through it amid a huge cheating scandal which reportedly left her husband Jacob Payne packing. Now, she’s speaking out, telling us EXCLUSIVELY about how she’s trying to “fix everything”! For those who don’t know, the Bad Girl Club alum was recently claimed to have been involved in a threesome with two of her former Celebrity Big Brother castmates! Model Chloe Ayling dished the dirt to The Sun about her The 22-year-old revealed how their drunken outing led to sex last September: “Dan cheated on Jacqueline with me and Natalie. We’d all had a lot to drink and a threesome happened… He had full sex with Natalie in front of me in the …

Five-Year-Old Carries Toddler A Half-Mile In Extreme Cold To Safety After Pair Was Abandoned In Rural Cabin – Perez Hilton

What a horrific, unimaginable story… though it’s also an unreal opportunity to praise the incredible quick-thinking (and good luck) of a child who realized he was in a very bad situation, and had to go quickly for help. A five-year-old boy carried a toddler for nearly a full mile in below-zero temperatures across remote Alaskan terrain after the pair was allegedly abandoned in a cabin that had lost power during a storm this week. The temperature outside was reportedly 31 degrees below zero at the time, when the five-year-old became nervous about the power going out and realized he needed to get the 18-month-old toddler to safety. Incredibly, according to Alaska State Troopers who were dispatched to the small village …

Bhad Bhabie accused of cultural appropriation, then criticized Black women with her defense

Rapper made famous by her cash me outside Dr. Phil appearanceis facing backlash online after insensitively responding to accusations of cultural appropriation for wearing box braids. Bhad Bhabie, whose real name is Danielle Bregoli, posted an Instagram story defending her hairstyle choice. In the post, she called out those attacking her hairstyle choice, even going so far as to chastise Black women for wearing straight hair and wigs. Yall hair anit meant to be straight but yall glue whole wigs on to your heads and sew Brazilian/Indian/Peruvian hair, the rapper wrote. She also explained that she has never made fun of girls with box braids, so she shouldnt be the recipient of scrutiny from Black women. Leave me tf alone …

Alfred Lin, the Sequoia VC and former Zappos COO, thinks this retail startup could be a generation-defining brand

When the storied venture firm Sequoia likes a deal, it will sometimes not only lead one of its financing rounds but fund it exclusively — no matter how that impacts earlier investors. Given the firm’s powerful brand, it’s hard to complain (too much), even if it means that earlier backers see their stakes diluted. Such looks to be the case with Dolls Kill, an eight-year-old, San Francisco-based online boutique for “misfits” and “miss legits” that began selling platform shoes and other club-type clothing and has apparently grown like a weed, alongside the festivals that its customers attend, from Burning Man to Coachella. The company has just raised $40 million in Series B funding from Sequoia, and when we talked yesterday …

Forget fashion and beauty. These are the grocery store influencers

New York (CNN Business)When you think of influencers, you might think of flat tummy tea and hair vitamins. Aldi is not the only big grocer with pages run by die-hard customers. Kroger Krazy lifts Kroger. An Instagram account called Costco_doesitagain has 511,000 followers. Then there’s Trader Joe’s List, Trader Joe’s Obsessed and a lineup of Trader Joe’s influencers with no connection to the company. I Heart Publix, a Facebook page started by Michelle Atwood more than a decade ago, has grown to 116,000 followers. With more consumers cutting the cord on television, coupons in magazines fading away and the efficacy of celebrities’ paid social media ads waning, these passionate fans on social media are becoming more important to reach shoppers, …

Lori Loughlins Daughter Olivia Jade Returns to Reclaim Her Online Fame

On Sunday, Olivia Jade Giannulli, the Gen Z influencer Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli had a thriving side hustle as a vlogger with nearly 2 million subscribers before the scandal (perhaps irreversibly) tarnished her public image. Now, after a few familys alleged involvement. While Olivia Jade is disappointed that she cant speak her piece to her followers just yet (probably for the best, given that her parents are each facing up to 45 years in prison), she says she is just really excited to start filming again and to start uploading. Her seemingly simple statements have clearly been carefully considered, as she reluctantly pauses over each sentence and worries aloud about coming across as selfish. The former University of Southern …

Christmas sweaters are adding to plastic pollution, environmental charity says

(CNN)Most Christmas sweaters are made of plastic and are likely to contribute to plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, an environmental charity has warned. Given the high use of acrylic, Hubbub warns that an average Christmas sweater is “likely to add to the issue of plastic pollution in our oceans.” The charity estimates that customers in the UK will buy 12 million Christmas sweaters this festive season — despite already owning 65 million — and that two in five of these garments will be worn just once over the holiday period. Sarah Divall, project co-ordinator at Hubbub, said: “Fast fashion is a major threat to the natural world and Christmas jumpers are particularly problematic as so many contain plastic.” Divall …

Flipkart leads $60M investment in logistics startup Shadowfax

Walmart’s Flipkart has backed Indian startup Shadowfax in a new $60 million financing round as the retail giant works to strengthen its logistics network in the nation. Flipkart led the Series D financing round for the four-year-old Bangalore-based startup, Shadowfax co-founder and chief executive Abhishek Bansal told TechCrunch in an interview. Existing investors Eight Roads Ventures, Nokia Growth Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, Mirae Asset-Naver Fund and World Bank-backed IFC also participated in the round, which brings the startup’s total raise to date to $100 million. The new round valued Shadowfax at about $250 million, two people familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. Flipkart alone contributed about $30 million to the round, they said. The startup declined to comment on the valuation and …

Sorry, Zendaya Shippers! Jacob Elordi Says ‘Euphoria’ Co-Star Is Like A ‘Sister’ To Him! – Perez Hilton

Sorry, Euphoria fans! Jacob Elordi set the record straight once and for all about the While chatting with GQ Australia, the 22-year-old weighed in on the speculation: “She’s like my sister.” Referring to the former Disney Channel star as “an amazing creative,” he elaborated: “She’s super dope to work with. She’s an incredible artist and a very caring person to all of us. But we’re all really close. There is not one weak link in that show. We’ve spent so much time together and everyone is just so cool to work with. [Creator] Sam Levinson is just a genius and working with him, it was just like electricity all the time. I was in awe. Like a kid in a candy …

Taylor Swift Talks Song ‘Ownership’ Amid Ongoing Battle With Scooter Braun In New Issue Of British ‘Vogue’ – Perez Hilton

Taylor Swift opened up about all things songwriting, music, acting, and more during a conversation with Cats creator Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber for her British Vogue January cover story. But first, ch-ch-check out her cover look (below): View this post on Instagram Bored girl at the holiday party. A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on Dec 1, 2019 at 9:17am PST And: View this post on Instagram Original Article : HERE ; The Ultimate Survival Food: The Lost Ways

‘Free, Melania’ offers new details about the life of a private first lady

Washington (CNN)First lady Melania Trump, like those before her, has battled the vast juxtaposition between public perception and private citizen. And she remains, three years into her tenure, one of the most mysterious, quiet and press wary first ladies — warm at times, stone-faced at others. Her most telltale moments reveal hints of her notoriously private personal side. That hand swat on the tarmac in Tel Aviv, Israel, meant to express a quick flick of anger. Or the nudge with her elbow to Trump from the Truman balcony before the White House Easter Egg Roll, when the President was a tad slow to put his hand over his heart for the National Anthem. She’s used fashion, too, cultivating looks that …

Cyber Monday was the biggest shopping day in Amazon’s history

New York (CNN Business)This Cyber Monday set all kinds of sales records, including one that has become something of an annual tradition: Monday was Amazon’s biggest shopping day in the company’s history. In the United States, the top items sold were the Instant Pot Duo80, a DNA kit from 23andMe, L.O.L. Surprise! toys and the iRobot Roomba. Amazon also said its fashion items had its biggest sales day ever globally with a Carhartt beanie hat and a Champion hoodie being most popular. Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, also broke its all-time record for turkeys sold during the Thanksgiving season for the third year in a row. The holiday wasn’t completely rosy for the company. A small number of …

In the fight against climate change, no one can stand on the sidelines

When I think of the incredible challenges we must confront in the face of a changing climate, my mind focuses on young people. Eventually, they will be the ones either to enjoy the fruits or bear the burdens resulting from actions taken today. Unless we act. We can avoid this bleak future, and we know what we have to do — reduce emissions, offset what cannot be reduced and adapt to new climate realities. No individual or institution can stand on the sidelines. Benioff and Branson: We’re failing the world’s oceans. Businesses can help save them The shipping industry must go carbon neutral to survive Joseph Stiglitz: Corporate greed is accelerating climate change. But we can still head off disaster …

‘Watchmen’ brings its master plan into focus, layering the old onto the new

(CNN)Even after the opening flurry of episodes, “Watchmen’s” master plan remained difficult to foresee. Yet over the last few hours, the HBO series has dizzyingly blended its new elements with the source material, with producer Damon Lindelof and his team having played the long game in spectacular fashion, proving that time really was on their side. Slower to arrive, though, were Laurie Blake (Jean Smart), a one-time costumed hero, now an FBI agent; and finally, Dr. Manhattan, the godlike figure who isn’t bound by conventional laws of time and space, who had been notably absent. The plot hatched by white supremacist group the 7th Kavalry finally came into full view, involving a plan to destroy Dr. Manhattan, who, it turns …