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The 10 Best Deals of October 5, 2020

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Gif: Juliana Clark

Best Deals of the DayBest Deals of the DayThe best deals from around the web, updated daily.

Monday’s Best Deals | Kinja Deals

It’s October 5, and it’s official. In case you didn’t know, wearing a mask can help prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Shocking! To prepare you for more spooky revelations this October, we at Kinja Deals have compiled a list of the top 10 deals of the day.

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For touch-free music listening, check out the Amazon Echo Dot. Avoid the crowds at your local party supplies stores by ordering your Halloween decorations from Wayfair. And vacuum your floors while troubleshooting your child’s Zoom class with the Roborock S4 Robot Vacuum.

And if you’re still craving more deals, check out Monday’s best deals overall.

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With Cyberpunk 2077 going gold, there are no more delays to fear. If you’re on PC and ready to dive into what’s undoubtedly the biggest game of the generation so far (at least as far as hype and expectations are concerned), you’ll want to head to Eneba and place a pre-order with exclusive code KINJA25. That’ll get you a digital copy redeemable at GOG (activation instructions here) for just $45, one of the lowest pre-order prices we’ve seen yet for Cyberpunk 2077 on any platform.

Unlike Geralt of the ancient (and totally fictitious) land of Rivia, Cyberpunk takes us into a not-so-distant future where guys good and bad are yoked up with cybernetic enhancements. Life is generally fine until it’s discovered there’s a prototypical component that grants immortality to whoever has it installed, and, of course, all hell breaks loose to secure it.

Cyberpunk 2077 was originally set to be out this Spring and was once delayed until September, but it since suffered another delay to November 19, 2020. But no worries: that date won’t change from here on out.

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This deal was originally published by Quentyn Kennemer.

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Smart speakers are a weird category; there’s a bunch of different options out there, from big booming speakers for rockin’ out to tiny little pebbles that can tell you about the weather. If you’ve done your research and decided to go all-in on Amazon’s Alexa, the Echo Dot is a good place to start. It’s tiny, and the new model looks pretty nice so it doesn’t have to be tucked in the corner of your bookshelf. It’s available for pre-order now, and if you need to fill out a few rooms, you can get $20 off a 2-pack using the promo code DOT2PACK.

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This article was originally published by Jordan McMahon.

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This past weekend it was so fun to see people still decorating for Halloween wherever or not little monsters will be out looking for candy on the day. My neighborhood has several houses that really go above and beyond for a holiday spooktacular. Pumpkins are the autumn signifier and to see them pop up on porches and stoops has been really nice over the last few weeks too. Grab everything you need from Wayfair for a lot less today to decorate your home with the ultimate fall symbol.

The first thing I buy as fall approaches is a pumping candle. Is it basic? Yes, but I just love to have my home filled with sweet smells of the most famous winter squash. Grabbing two perfect pumpkin spice candles for just $19 is not only a great deal but the ideal way to conjure all the good vibes that come with all the calm of changing leaves and cooler nights. And because there’s two you can share and spread the delightful scents of the season.

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One of the easiest ways to show some creepy cheer is with a doormat. Take $5 off this Scary Pumpkins one from Taunya. It’s really pretty adorable if you ask me. This doormat is durable for all weather, is 29 inches by 17 inches, and is non-slip. The darker colors help with the illusion that it’s cleaner so it won’t show as much dirt if you do wipe your shoes in it. But if you do mess it up it’s easy to clean by just hosing it off in the yard or running water over it in the tub.

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I’m such a sucker of kooky decorations and this Cat and Rat Jack-O-Lantern prop set definitely fits the bill. It’s a fun and easy way to turn a simple pumpkin into a supernatural centerpiece for the bewitching hour. In the set, you get a rat and cat head and tail that you just stick into any pumpkin you purchase. I jokingly suggested these for a friend’s wedding since she wants pumpkin decor. She didn’t find it funny. If this is your sense of humor grab these today and bring come eerie cheer into your abode.

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Enjoy free two-day shipping on these items.

This deal was originally published by Sheilah Villari.

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Perfect for Uber drivers or your own amateur episode of Carpool Karaoke, the Roav DashCam Duo by Anker is now just $75 at Amazon, a 31% discount. This two-way camera has strong night time performance and records both the front of the road and the cockpit of your car.

It has all the bells and whistles, including built-in GPS for tracking your trips, collision detection with a 30-second total buffer, and parking mode, which snaps a quick recording anytime something comes within view of the 1080p wide-angle cameras.

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This deal was originally published by Quentyn Kennemer.

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If you’re searching for some new kitchenware, check out Sweese porcelain bowls and plates, which are 30% off for today only! They’re colorful and can bring some personality to your space. Actually, I might buy these for my apartment, be right back.

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This deal was originally published by Ignacia Fulcher.

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Bid farewell to dusty floors and cat hairs with a Roborock S4, one of the best robotic vacuums in its range, for $100 off. That brings your total down to $300 (lowest price we’ve seen so far) for a powerful 2,000pa suction rating, which should carry along most visible particles right through to the internal dust bin. It cleans for up to 150 minutes on a full charge, and it can learn virtually any room in your home and store the layout in memory, allowing you to set up per-room cleaning schedules with virtual boundaries that don’t require any add-on devices.

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This deal was originally published by Quentyn Kennemer.

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I’m a fan of these kinds of silly novelty vibrators. I covered an adorable Devil Bullet last month. Given it’s Halloween this Better Than Any Finger Vibe seemed pretty appropriate with all the giant bags of candy returning to the shelves of stores. Use the code FALL and save $5 on this but up 60% on other items at Ella Paradis.

This candy massager is functional as a hard and smooth vibrator to buzz your erogenous zones. The clever wrapper case not only keeps your toy safe but doubles as a dupe for discreetness. It’s about five inches long and requires one AA battery. Time to trick or treat yourself.

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Free shipping on all orders.

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This deal was originally published by Sheilah Villari.

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At just $15, if you haven’t fallen in love with true wireless earbuds, these tethered Aukey B60 buds still give you enough wireless freedom to step away from your smartphone and keep the tunes going. That’s the price when you click the coupon at Amazon, saving you $25.

The Aukey B60 feature 8-hour battery life, which is rechargeable via the inline volume and track control over a fast USB-C line. Aukey advertises you can get back up to 80 minutes of listening time with 30 minutes of charging. These are ideal for working out thanks to IPX6 water resistance and ear fin attachments to keep them snug while you’re jumping your jacks. They also have a cool power function whereby you join the two buds together at their magnetic points to turn them off, and separate them whenever you’re ready to dance.

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This deal was originally published by Quentyn Kennemer.

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Halloween will probably look a little different this year but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy lots of sugary goodness. If you’re like me you noticed immediately when your local drug store added the bags of Halloween candy back in August. Today grab this treat bag of 400 fun-size packs for just $18.

This bag of Hersey brand fan favorites has something for everyone. It includes Reese’s, Kit Kat, Jolly Rancher, Twizzlers, Whoppers, and Bubble Yum so you can choose your own candy adventure from chewy to chocolatey. There are over seven pounds to share (because they’re individually wrapped) or to just toss in your bag for a little saccharin pick me up while you’re out and about. If you or house are Hersey lovers this is your deal and the time of year to shine in confectionery delight.

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Prime members enjoy same-day shipping.

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This deal was originally published by Sheilah Villari.

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Because of a price drop, you’ll be able to get your hands onto an Anker Powerexpand 7-in-1 USB-C media hub for $25. It includes a 4k HDMI, a USB-C, SD card reader, as well as two USB-A ports. So plug everything you got into this bad boy. It’ll do you right.

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This deal was originally published by Ignacia Fulcher. 


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Acapela, from the founder of Dubsmash, hopes ‘asynchronous meetings’ can end Zoom fatigue

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Acapela, a new startup co-founded by Dubsmash founder Roland Grenke, is breaking cover today in a bid to re-imagine online meetings for remote teams.

Hoping to put an end to video meeting fatigue, the product is described as an “asynchronous meeting platform,” which Grenke and Acapela’s other co-founder, ex-Googler Heiki Riesenkampf (who has a deep learning computer science background), believe could be the key to unlock better and more efficient collaboration. In some ways the product can be thought of as the antithesis to Zoom and Slack’s real-time and attention-hogging downsides.

To launch, the Berlin-based and “remote friendly” company has raised €2.5 million in funding. The round is led by Visionaries Club with participation from various angel investors, including Christian Reber (founder of Pitch and Wunderlist) and Taavet Hinrikus (founder of TransferWise). I also understand Entrepreneur First is a backer and has assigned EF venture partner Benedict Evans to work on the problem. If you’ve seen the ex-Andreessen Horowitz analyst writing about a post-Zoom world lately, now you know why.

Specifically, Acapela says it will use the injection of cash to expand the core team, focusing on product, design and engineering as it continues to build out its offering.

“Our mission is to make remote teams work together more effectively by having fewer but better meetings,” Grenke tells me. “With Acapela, we aim to define a new category of team collaboration that provides more structure and personality than written messages (Slack or email) and more flexibility than video conferencing (Zoom or Google Meet)”.

Grenke believes some form of asynchronous meetings is the answer, where participants don’t have to interact in real-time but the meeting still has an agenda, goals, a deadline and — if successfully run — actionable outcomes.

“Instead of sitting through hours of video calls on a daily basis, users can connect their calendars and select meetings they would like to discuss asynchronously,” he says. “So, as an alternative to everyone being in the same call at the same time, team members contribute to conversations more flexibly over time. Like communication apps in the consumer space, Acapela allows rich media formats to be used to express your opinion with voice or video messages while integrating deeply with existing productivity tools (like GSuite, Atlassian, Asana, Trello, Notion, etc.)”.

In addition, Acapela will utilise what Grenke says is the latest machine learning techniques to help automate repetitive meeting tasks as well as to summarise the contents of a meeting and any decisions taken. If made to work, that in itself could be significant.

“Initially, we are targeting high-growth tech companies which have a high willingness to try out new tools while having an increasing need for better processes as their teams grow,” adds the Acapela founder. “In addition to that, they tend to have a technical global workforce across multiple time zones which makes synchronous communication much more costly. In the long run we see a great potential tapping into the space of SMEs and larger enterprises, since COVID has been a significant driver of the decentralization of work also in the more traditional industrial sectors. Those companies make up more than 90% of our European market and many of them have not switched to new communication tools yet”.

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9 Zurich-area investors on Switzerland’s 2020 startup outlook

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European entrepreneurs who want to launch startups could do worse than Switzerland.

In a report analyzing Europe’s general economic health, cost of doing business, business environment and labor force quality, analysts looked for highly educated populations, strong economies, healthy business environments and relatively low costs for conducting business. Switzerland ended up ranking third out of 31 European nations, according to Nimblefins. (Germany and the UK came out first and second, respectively).

According to official estimates, the number of new Swiss startups has skyrocketed by 700% since 1996. Zurich tends to take the lion’s share, as the city’s embrace of startups has jump-started development, although Geneva and Lausanne are also hotspots.

As well as traditional software engineering startups, Switzerland’s largest city boasts a startup culture that emphasizes life sciences, mechanical engineering and robotics. Compared to other European countries, Switzerland has a low regulatory burden and a well-educated, highly qualified workforce. Google’s largest R&D center outside of the United States is in Zurich.

But it’s also one of the more expensive places to start a business, due to its high cost of living, salary expectations and relatively small labor market. Native startups will need 25,000 Swiss Francs to open an LLC and 50,000 more to incorporate. While they can withdraw those funds from the business the next day, local founders must still secure decent backing to even begin the work.

This means Switzerland has gained a reputation as a place to startup — and a place to relocate, which is something quite different. It’s one reason why the region is home to many fintech businesses born elsewhere that need proximity to a large banking ecosystem, as well as the blockchain/crypto crowd, which have found a highly amenable regulatory environment in Zug, right next door to Zurich. Zurich/Zug’s “Crypto Valley” is a global blockchain hotspot and is home to, among others, the Ethereum Foundation.

Lawyers and accountants tend to err on the conservative side, leading to a low failure rate of businesses but less “moonshot innovation,” shall we say.

But in recent years, corporate docs are being drawn up in English to facilitate communication both inside Switzerland’s various language regions and foreign capital, and investment documentation is modeled after the U.S.

Ten years ago startups were unusual. Today, pitch competitions, incubators, accelerators, VCs and angel groups proliferate.

The country’s Federal Commission for Technology and Innovation (KTI) supports CTI-Startup and CTI-Invest, providing startups with investment and support. Venture Kick was launched in 2007 with the vision to double the number of spin-offs from Swiss universities and draws from a jury of more than 150 leading startup experts in Switzerland. It grants up to CHF 130,000 per company. Fundraising platforms such as Investiere have boosted the angel community support of early funding rounds.

Swiss companies, like almost all European companies, tend to raise lower early-stage rounds than U.S. ones. A CHF 1-2 million Series A or a CHF 5 million Series B investment is common. This has meant smaller exits, and thus less development for the ecosystem.

These are the investors we interviewed:

Jasmin Heimann, partner, Ringier Digital Ventures

What trends are you most excited about investing in, generally?
Consumer-facing startups with first revenues.

What’s your latest, most exciting investment?
AirConsole — a cloud-gaming platform where you don’t need a console and can play with all your friends and family.

Are there startups that you wish you would see in the industry but don’t? What are some overlooked opportunities right now?
I really wish that the business case for social and ecological startups will finally be proven (kind of like Oatly showed with the Blackstone investment). I also think that femtech is a hyped category but funding as well as renown exits are still missing.

What are you looking for in your next investment, in general?
I am looking for easy, scalable solutions with a great team.

Which areas are either oversaturated or would be too hard to compete in at this point for a new startup? What other types of products/services are you wary or concerned about?
I think the whole scooter/mobility space is super hyped but also super capital intensive so I think to compete in this market at this stage is hard. I also think that the whole edtech space is an important area of investment, but there are already quite a lot of players and it oftentimes requires cooperation with governments and schools, which makes it much more difficult to operate in. Lastly, I don’t get why people still start fitness startups as I feel like the market has reached its limits.

How much are you focused on investing in your local ecosystem versus other startup hubs (or everywhere) in general? More than 50%? Less?
Switzerland makes — maximum — half of our investments. We are also interested in Germany and Austria as well as the Nordics.

Which industries in your city and region seem well-positioned to thrive, or not, long term? What are companies you are excited about (your portfolio or not), which founders?
Zurich and Lausanne are for sure the most exciting cities, just because they host great engineering universities. Berne is still lagging behind but I am hoping to see some more startups emerging from there, especially in the medtech industry.

How should investors in other cities think about the overall investment climate and opportunities in your city?
Overall, Switzerland is a great market for a startup to be in — although small, buying power is huge! So investors should always keep this in mind when thinking about coming to Switzerland. The startup scene is pretty small and well connected, so it helps to get access through somebody already familiar with the space. Unfortunately for us, typical B2C cases are rather scarce.

Do you expect to see a surge in more founders coming from geographies outside major cities in the years to come, with startup hubs losing people due to the pandemic and lingering concerns, plus the attraction of remote work?
I think it is hard to make any kind of predictions. But on the one hand, I could see this happening. On the other hand, I also think that the magic of cities is that there are serendipity moments where you can find your co-founder at a random networking dinner or come across an idea for a new venture while talking to a stranger. These moments will most likely be much harder to encounter now and in the next couple of months.

Which industry segments that you invest in look weaker or more exposed to potential shifts in consumer and business behavior because of COVID-19? What are the opportunities startups may be able to tap into during these unprecedented times?
I think travel is a big question mark still. The same goes for luxury goods, as people are more worried about the economic situation they are in. On the other hand, remote work has seen a surge in investments. Also sustainability will hopefully be put back on the agenda.

How has COVID-19 impacted your investment strategy? What are the biggest worries of the founders in your portfolio? What is your advice to startups in your portfolio right now?
Not much. I think we allocated a bit more for the existing portfolio but otherwise we continue to look at and discuss the best cases. The biggest worries are the uncertainties about [what] the future might look like and the related planning. We tell them to first and foremost secure cash flow.

Are you seeing “green shoots” regarding revenue growth, retention or other momentum in your portfolio as they adapt to the pandemic?
Totally! Some portfolio companies have really profited from the crisis, especially our subscription-based models that offer a variety of different options to spend time at home. The challenge now is to keep up the momentum after the lockdown.

What is a moment that has given you hope in the last month or so? This can be professional, personal or a mix of the two.
What gives me hope is to see that people find ways to still work together — the amount of online events, office hours, etc. is incredible. I see the pandemic also as a big opportunity to make changes in the way we worked and the way things were without ever questioning them.

Katrin Siebenbuerger Hacki, founder, Medows

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Jony Ive is bringing his design talents to… Airbnb

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I’m not going to pretend it makes obvious sense, but famed former Apple designer Jony Ive will soon be working for Airbnb. Yes, the company that primarily makes it easy for you to rent someone else’s home needs design help, and they’re going to the man best known for turning consumer tech on its head — as well as the occasional all-diamond diamond ring, a Christmas tree that is actually just a tree, and a magazine cover with no content.

So if you’ve been been put off renting one of Airbnb’s recently introduced, exorbitantly priced Luxe accommodations because they have too many furnishings, perhaps this is just the ticket? Dude loves minimalism.

Airbnb is calling the deal a “special collaboration” as well as a “multi-year relationship to design the next generation of Airbnb products and services,” and that Ive will help develop Airbnb’s internal design team as well — which has apparently undergone some turmoil. The Information is reporting three senior designers have recently left the team and design chief Alex Schleifer has been moved to a part-time role.

Ive and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky have apparently been friends for years, with Ive going so far as to pen a 2015 mini-profile of the Airbnb chief for Time Magazine, praising the company’s website design.

Maybe he can fix the company’s unfortunately shaped logo.

Ive still counts Apple as a client, by the way, even though he left last November. We had quite a few thoughts at the time:

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