Daily Crunch: Startup that transforms real-world items into NFTs raises $6.9M seed round

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Hello and May the 3rd be with you. Did we get that meme right? Today, we are thrilled to see a16z planning $50 crore (that’s $500 million) worth of investments into Indian startups in its newest fund. We are also keeping a close eye on Thrasio as it names a new CEO and executes a round of layoffs - Christine and Haje

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • NFTs for physical items?: Americana Technologies thought people who create physical things were left out when it came to NFTs, so the startup developed a way for those creators to jump on board. We’ll see if this vision shakes out, but with backers like Alexis Ohanian’s venture firm, Seven Seven Six; NFT marketplace OpenSea; and rapper Future, it’s probably a good bet that it will.

  • Back to the NFTs we know and love: We liked Alex’s line in today’s story about those snapping up valuable pieces of digital land: “The Bored Ape crew has managed to turn a hit NFT set into several collections, huge venture checks, and now a license to print money thanks to speculators snapping up its newly offered digital assets.” Can’t wait to see what they do with it.

  • This island has nothing to do with love other than that for Roblox: Spotify launched its “Spotify Island” and is now the first music streaming brand on Roblox. It’s a cute little island with hearts and Easter eggs, but no expectation of coupling up.

Startups and VC

It’s all fintech all the time on the site today, with a $65 million round going to Kevin to build account-to-account payments over point-of-sale terminals, Neobank Open becoming a unicorn, Banking giant Truist acquiring Long Game in an effort to reach a younger demographic, and Point raising $115 million to help homeowners cash out on equity in their homes.

Health tech startup myNurse (formerly known as Salusive Health) lost a bunch of patient data in a breach and suddenly shut down less than two months later. It claims it has nothing to do with the breach, but gives no reason for the shutdown. Curiouser and curiouser.

We also loved Ron’s story today about Graphite, which took a leaf out of Slack’s book by taking an internal tool and spinning it out as a separate company with a $20 million Series A. Gotta love a good pivot story.

Hiring top startup talent on a budget during the Great Resignation

a horseshoe magnet attracting a swarm of paper clips
a horseshoe magnet attracting a swarm of paper clips

Image Credits: moodboard (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Glen Evans, a partner on Greylock’s core talent team, joined Senior Editor Walter Thompson at TechCrunch Early Stage to talk about how founders can optimize the recruiting and hiring process, find and develop talent, and uncover some best practices for closing candidates.

“The state of the job market is more competitive than I’ve ever seen it,” said Evans, who has two decades of experience overseeing recruiting and team-building at fast-growing companies including Slack, Facebook and Google.

“There’s a very limited supply of talent and probably the largest demand I’ve ever seen, so it’s really important for people to think about how to differentiate and build the foundations and the habits to get talent right in the early days,” he said. “It’s not rocket science.”

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