TechCrunch is beginning to roll out our annual gift guides! For those who are new, we have a tradition of publishing niche-yet-nerdy wish lists every year to help gift-givers make decisions. It can range from gadgets to upgrade your work-from-home setup, or gifts to make you less lonely.
Here’s what to know: So far, we’ve published gift guides for the work-from-home office, the video call setup and the cohort of homeowners who want to upgrade their home into a smart home. Oh, and we also published a wishlist for plant lovers and for kids who love STEM toys. Can you tell that we’ve all been inside for way too long?
Subscribe to Actuator, Brian Heater’s soon-to-be-launched newsletter about robotics by the week.
For my gift guide, I need you to DM me who your favorite solo-entrepreneur is (I know, mysterious, but how else do we build up suspense‽)
New Culture! Anyone who listens to the podcast knows that I absolutely love a cheesy startup, both figuratively and literally. This week, New Culture raised $25 million in seed funding to commercialize its cheesy vegan mozzarella. Maybe it’ll get to grocery stores soon enough!
Here’s what to know: The alternative cheese manufacturer claims that it’s far better for the environment than dairy-based cheese, which can require 56 gallons of water just to produce one ounce. New Culture also touted progress when it comes to land use.
Let’s talk about estate planning (partially because the topic is core to the latest season of “Insecure,” and partially because it feels like one of those parts of life no one, understandably, wants to plan for). In a column for TechCrunch+, Gentreo CEO and founder Renee Fry gave founders some basic estate planning tips, both for high-net-worth individuals and simple startup owners.
Here’s what to know: Fry argues that estate plans should constantly be adjusted throughout a person’s life, especially if they’re in charge of a thriving business. The fluidity of a business’ success is exciting in real time but could bring challenges when it comes to succession planning.
The app industry continues to grow, with a record 218 billion downloads and $143 billion in global consumer spend in 2020. Consumers last year also spent 3.5 trillion minutes using apps on Android devices alone. And in the U.S., app usage surged ahead of the time spent watching live TV. Currently, the average American watches 3.7 hours of live TV per day, but now spends four hours per day on their mobile devices.
Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re also a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus. In 2020, investors poured $73 billion in capital into mobile companies — a figure that’s up 27% year-over-year.
This Week in Apps offers a way to keep up with this fast-moving industry in one place with the latest from the world of apps, including news, updates, startup fundings, mergers and acquisitions, and suggestions about new apps and games to try, too.
Twitter’s e-commerce initiatives now include livestream shopping, the company announced this week, and Walmart will be the first retailer to test the new platform. The Live Shopping service will take advantage of Twitter’s existing capabilities in livestreaming content and its newer e-commerce features, like the Shop Module for business profiles. During the upcoming livestream event, users will be able to watch the show, tweet to join the conversation from the Live Events page, and browse products on the “Shop” and “Latest” tabs just below the video. When ready to purchase, users will click through to the retailer’s website where the livestream will continue — so they don’t have to miss any of the show.