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Daily Crunch: ‘Copy-from-China’ social media app Lemon8 squeezes its way into US top 10


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Hello, and welcome to your Friday. Did the week drag on, or did it go by quickly for you? Or maybe you had today off. No matter, I’m here to bring you all of today’s techy goodness. The lesson for today: “Don’t ever leak data.”

Oh, and support our colleagues over at the Chain Reaction and Found podcasts: They were nominated for a Webby, so please support them with a vote by April 20. — Christine

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • That’s one a-spicy application: ByteDance’s latest hit, Lemon8, which some describe as a cross between Instagram, Pinterest and Amazon, is now sitting among the top 10 apps in the U.S. However, Rita says Lemon8 is more like another app called Xiaohongshu and discusses why ByteDance may have taken another page from the China playbook.
  • Get your unicorn horn ready: You’re going to need a TechCrunch+ subscription to read this next one, but I promise, it’s worth it. Alex went unicorn IPO hunting and came back with a list of names, saying, “The first group of upcoming potential unicorn IPOs is shaping up well.”
  • In a galaxy far, far away: If you’re a Star Wars fan, Disney+ will debut a new series called “The Acolyte” in 2024. Aisha writes that this storyline takes place at the end of the High Republic era before the events of the main Star Wars films.

Startups and VC

Everyone needs some good competition to get the creativity flowing. Kyle, Devin and Manish teamed up to look at Anthropic’s $5 billion, four-year plan to take on OpenAI. Going through the company’s pitch deck, the trio describe the business model that will take Anthropic there and the investors behind it.

Wrapping up the week, as mentioned yesterday, there was a group of us watching Y Combinator’s Winter 2023 Demo Day. Artificial intelligence and open source were big buzzwords on Day 1, while Day 2 had us wondering if crypto is back and why accountants are suddenly getting a lot of love.

VCs to recommerce startups: Let’s pop some tags

An assortment of used clothes

Image Credits: Kinga Krzeminska (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Thanks in large part to Gen Z’s interest in sustainable shopping, recommerce is soaring to new heights, and VCs are looking for the come up.

Since Etsy went public in 2015, companies like Poshmark, The RealReal and thredUP followed suit, attracting even more investors to the sector. Last year, VCs flowed approximately $6 billion to resale platforms, writes Brian Schwarzbach, an investor with Cathay Innovation.

In a post for TC+, he explores three recommerce areas attracting VC funds and shares “some food for thought for founders building startups in this (re)emerging space.”

TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead of the pack. You can sign up here. Use code “DC” for a 15% discount on an annual subscription!

Big Tech Inc.

Sometimes things don’t go as planned. In India, its central bank decided to press pause on plans it had for a rival to the nation’s dominant payment system, Unified Payments Interface. Manish writes that the project, called New Umbrella Entity, had made some traction, attracting interest from large companies and financial institutions, and inviting bids in 2021 for licenses to operate new retail payment and settlement systems across India. However, the project just failed to have that sizzle and pop that the Reserve Bank of India was looking for.

Catch a falling iPod and put it in your pocket…Harri reports on Apple’s patent application for what looks to be a teeny, tiny iPod that can do it all: music, videos and books, no smartphone or smartwatch needed. Though not sure how you can read on something that small. I guess we’ll see.

And we have five more for you:

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