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Daily Crunch: Stripe acquires Nigeria’s Paystack

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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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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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Apple will replace AirPods Pro for free with faulty noise cancellation, static or crackling

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Today, exactly one year after Apple first launched the AirPods Pro — and thus the same day the very first AirPods Pro owners will see their one-year warranties expire — Apple has launched a repair program that offers free repairs or replacements for another whole year if your AirPods Pro experience issues with noise cancellation or static.

Specifically, Apple will fix:

Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise

Apple says only a “small percentage of AirPods Pro” are affected by the issues, but it apparently wasn’t just an early batch — Apple says affected units were manufactured “before October 2020,” meaning every AirPods Pro ever made might be eligible. That’s quite a recall if so. Apple says it will repair faulty AirPods Pro for two years after you first buy them.

We’ve heard complaints about degraded noise cancellation before, and at least one Verge editor has replaced their AirPods Pro under warranty. It’s nice to hear that Apple isn’t just cutting buyers off as soon as that warranty expires.

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