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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Stripe acquires Nigeria’s Paystack

Stripe makes a big acquisition, Google rolls out search improvements and Snapchat adds a TikTok-y feature. This is your Daily Crunch for October 15, 2020.

The big story: Stripe acquires Nigeria’s Paystack

Stripe has made its biggest acquisition to date. It announced today that it bought Paystack, a Lagos-headquartered startup that makes it easy to integrate payment services — we’ve referred to it in the past as “the Stripe of Africa.”

Sources tell us that the acquisition price was more than $200 million.

In an interview with TechCrunch, Stripe CEO Patrick Collison said that expanding into Africa presents the company with “an enormous opportunity,” adding that Stripe is planning for “a longer time horizon” than most other companies: “We are thinking of what the world will look like in 2040-2050.”

The tech giants

Google launches a slew of Search updates — These new AI-focused improvements include the ability to better answer questions with very specific answers, as well as a new algorithm to better handle the typos in your queries.

Snapchat launches its TikTok rival, Sounds on Snapchat — Snapchat made good on its promise to release a new feature that would allow users to set their Snaps to music.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit review — Bryce Durbin offers an illustrated look at a new edition of Mario Kart that incorporates a real remote-controlled car.

Startups, funding and venture capital

River, the latest venture from Wander founder Jeremy Fisher, launches with $10.4M in funding — River is meant to rethink the way we consume content across the internet.

Small business payments and marketing startup Fivestars raises $52.5M — It’s a difficult time for small businesses, and Fivestars CEO Victor Ho said that many of the big digital platforms aren’t helping.

Bipedal robot developer Agility announces $20M raise — Agility’s Digit is a package delivery robot capable of navigating stairs and other terrain.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

News that Calm seeks more funding at a higher valuation is not transcendental thinking — We rewind the clock and review data from 2018, 2019 and 2020 about the meditation app.

Brighteye Ventures’ Alex Latsis talks European edtech funding in 2020 — European edtech firm Brighteye Ventures recently announced the $54 million first close of its second fund.

Tesla’s decision to scrap its PR department could create a PR nightmare — The move effectively makes founder Elon Musk the company’s lone voice.

(Reminder: Extra Crunch is our subscription membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

New Oxford machine learning-based COVID-19 test can provide results in under 5 minutes —  The test also offers advantages when it comes to detecting actual virus particles, instead of antibodies or other signs of the presence of the virus.

When was the last time you worked out your soul? — Another discussion of wellness startup funding, this time via the latest episode of the Equity podcast.

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.

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