$20B For Female Founders, North Carolina’s Unicorn, And WhatsApp For Startups

Welcome to the Crunchbase News Weekend Update. An email form of this post went out Saturday morning. Happy reading!

There’s something in the water in Austin. And Chicago, Providence, Minneapolis, and even Bondurant, Wyoming (population 100). Admittedly, it’s proving me wrong about how remote work, works.

In other words, I’ve finally met all the people on the Crunchbase News team in real life. Because while I’m in San Francisco, most of the team hails from the towns and cities above. I never thought I’d feel so close to people I’ve only known through Zooms and Twitter DMs. Yet, as this week was one of our biggest “IRL” meetups yet as a team, we knew each other right down to our respective caffeine bedtimes.

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To stay on brand, let’s jump into one of our satellite locations: Austin. Read Mary Ann’s quarterly on the rising startup hub, then fly a few hundred miles to the west and read about how Oakland is growing as a home for tech, too.

Outside the United States, I wrote a story on how WhatsApp is becoming a growth hack for young startups in India and Mexico, from an ice cream shop in Bengaluru to a small jewelry store in Yogyakarta.

Our small startup coverage continued with funding stories this week. Flowhub, a Denver cannabis retail management startup, raised $23 million Series A, and Rho Business, which provides banking for startups, raised $4.9 million and came out of stealth. We expect more stories like these to come out of new funds from firms like M13 and Craft Ventures, and until then, check out Last Week In Venture for your funding fix.

In later stage news, we met North Carolina’s newest unicorn, and learned about an AWS competitor with $278 million in venture capital backing.

To end, read our report on how many venture capital dollars were raised by female-founded and co-founded companies this past quarter. A founding partner for a firm focused on female founders gave me a hint into her investing thesis: it’s not investing for gender, it’s about investing “in an underlooked asset class that is overperforming.

And I’ll leave you with that power pose of a statement until next week.

Best, Natasha

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.

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