Daily Crunch: DoorDash acquires Chowbotics

DoorDash acquires a salad-making robotics startup, Twitter confirms subscription plans and Tesla makes a big bet on bitcoin. This is your Daily Crunch for February 8, 2021.

The big story: DoorDash acquires Chowbotics

DoorDash has acquired the Bay Area startup behind Sally, a salad-making, vending machine-style robot that added contactless ordering last fall.

DoorDash says the acquisition will “improve consumer access to fresh and safe meals, and enhance our robust merchant offerings and logistics platform,” though it isn’t getting specific about how it plans to use Chowbotics’ tech in its delivery platform.

This continues exploratory work that DoorDash has done with robotics, for example with Starship Technologies to test delivery robots.

The tech giants

Twitter confirms plans to experiment with new models, like subscriptions, in 2021— The company confirmed that it’s researching and experimenting with new models, but declined to provide details.

Tesla buys $1.5B in bitcoin, may accept the cryptocurrency as payment in the future — As the news broke, the price of bitcoin instantly rose by around 7% to more than $40,000 per coin.

Amazon warehouse workers to begin historic vote to unionize — On Friday, the National Labor Relations Board rejected Amazon’s attempt to delay a union vote set to begin today.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Clubhouse is now blocked in China after a brief uncensored period — Thousands of Chinese users suddenly found themselves unable to access Clubhouse on early Monday evening.

WeWork is apparently doing better, not that SoftBank wants you to talk about that — Buried in the footnotes of SoftBank’s earnings report today is some good news related to WeWork.

Automattic acquires analytics company Parse.ly — Parse.ly is now part of WPVIP, the organization within Automattic that offers enterprise hosting and support to publishers and marketers, including TechCrunch.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Oscar Health’s IPO filing will test the venture-backed insurance model — While Oscar has shown a strong ability to raise private funds and scale revenues, it’s a deeply unprofitable enterprise.

Container security acquisitions increase as companies accelerate shift to cloud — Why is there so much M&A action now?

Two $50M-ish ARR companies talk growth and plans for the coming quarters — In this installment of Alex Wilhelm’s series, we look at SimpleNexus and PicsArt.

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

Silenced No More Act seeks to ban use of NDAs in situations involving harassment or discrimination — This proposed bill would expand the protections workers currently have through the Stand Together Against Non-Disclosures Act, which went into effect in 2019.

MIT is building a ‘one-stop shop’ for 3D-printing robots — The university’s CSAIL department showcased “LaserFactory,” a new project that attempts to develop robotics, drones and other machines than can be fabricated as part of a one-stop shop.

Hasselblad X1D II 50C: out of the studio and into the streets — We took the $10,000 camera kit out for a socially distanced spin.

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