Daily Crunch: France moves to block e-commerce platform Wish over fraud, safety concerns

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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for November 24, 2021! A small note: This newsletter is off tomorrow but will be back Friday with a special holiday edition. In short, we’re taking advantage of a little time off to recharge. Full service returns Monday! — Alex

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • Up north, an AI boom: Continuing TechCrunch’s coverage of the rapid-fire AI fundraising market, we explored the Canadian artificial-intelligence startup industry. There’s a lot more going on up north than you might expect. Consider this more evidence of the increasingly global startup landscape.

  • France moves to delist Wish: Akin to a nonprofit U.S. newsroom, France decided to test its concerns about e-commerce marketplace Wish by buying stuff and checking out what they got. A bunch of violations, it turns out. France is now asking search engines and app stores to delist the public U.S. company.

  • Attio is taking on Salesforce: While startups are busy attacking a host of markets, there are certain areas of the software domain that have felt too off-limits in recent years. Search is finally seeing a wave of competitors, for example. Attio, now flush with $7.7 million in capital, is taking on the old-school CRM market.

Startups/VC

  • Asilimia wants to bring more loans to Kenya: The business of loaning money to folks not supported by the traditional banking world is big business. Asilimia just raised $2 million — half debt, half equity — to keep money flowing in its home market. Per TechCrunch reporting, the company also offers “a lifeline to traders in Kenya by enabling them to make mobile money transactions that are devoid of transfer charges through its Leja app.”

  • OnePipe raises $3.5M for its fintech API business: Plaid is a big deal in its domestic market, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t related startups executing similar work around the world. OnePipe is one such company, bringing fintech infra APIs to Africa. And now it has a pile of new funds to continue its work.

  • Ok *now* the used car market is out of control: If you read business news, you’ve read about the used car market. A chip shortage has made used cars more pricey than ever. And now Indian startup Spinny has shifted into unicorn territory with a new $280 million round. There are related companies in the U.S. market that have gone public, so Spinny is operating in a market that we understand. Let’s see how its economics bear out.

  • Clothes for a bleak future: If you want jackets for huge storms and a fleece for extreme conditions — wagering that climate change is going to make our home planet a bit less fun to live on — Vollebak has your, well, back. The startup just raised a Series A, likely, we guess, hoping to follow Allbirds and other recent DTC debuts to the public markets.

  • Today in startup names we’re not sure about: I’ve never been huge on calling meat fat “marbling” -- to me, marble is the material for old-world erotic sculptures. I blame my parents’ love for art and art museums for this view. Regardless, there’s a startup called Juicy Marbles out there hoping to create “plant-based whole meat cuts.” I am in favor of the product and the company’s goals. But Juicy Marbles? There I am less confident.

Dear Sophie: How long does International Entrepreneur Parole take?

lone figure at entrance to maze hedge that has an American flag at the center
lone figure at entrance to maze hedge that has an American flag at the center

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

My co-founders and I think we might qualify for International Entrepreneur Parole.

How long does it take to get IEP approved? How does that compare to other options that are available to startup founders, and can my spouse work?

— Committed COO

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

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