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Shikho, an edtech startup focused on Bangladesh’s students, gets $1.3M seed

In Bangladesh, students often rely on after school learning centers for study help or test preparation, but many of the best ones are concentrated in major cities. Edtech startup Shikho was created to make supplementary education more accessible and affordable. The company announced today it has closed a $1.3 million seed round co-led by returning investor LearnStart (the seed fund of edtech investment firm Learn Capital) and Anchorless Bangladesh. 
The round also included participation from Wavemaker Partners and Ankur Nagpal, founder and chief executive officer of online course platform Teachable. Shikho’s last round of funding was $275,000 in pre-seed financing last …

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No-code Bubble raises $100M to make technical co-founders obsolete

Among Silicon Valley circles, a fun parlor game is to ask to what extent world GDP levels are held back by a lack of computer science and technical training. How many startups could be built if hundreds of thousands or even millions more people could code and bring their entrepreneurial ideas to fruition? How many bureaucratic processes could be eliminated if developers were more latent in every business?
The answer, of course, is on the order of “a lot,” but the barriers to reaching this world remain formidable. Computer science is a challenging field, and despite proactive attempts by legislatures …

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Crypto infra startup Fireblocks raises $310M, triples valuation to $2.2B

Fireblocks, an infrastructure provider for digital assets, has raised $310 million in a Series D round of funding that tripled the company’s valuation to $2.2 billion in just over five months.
Sequoia Capital, Stripes and Spark Capital co-led Fireblocks’ latest round, which also included participation from Coatue, DRW VC  and SCB 10X – the venture arm of Thailand’s oldest bank – and Siam Commercial Bank. The latter is the third global bank to invest in Fireblocks in addition to the Bank of New York (BNY) Mellon and SVB Capital. 
In February, the New York-based startup raised $133 million in a Series C round …

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Accel doubles down on 1Password, which just raised $100M more at a $2B valuation

Toronto-based 1Password is one of those rare companies that is a) profitable and b) transparent enough to share financials.
And today, the company announced that it raised $100 million in a Series B round of funding that doubles the company’s valuation to $2 billion.
You may recall that the previously bootstrapped 1Password only raised its first round of external capital in 2019 – a $200 million Series A led by Accel that represented the venture firm’s largest single investment in its 35-year history. At the time, 1Password was hardly a startup, having been founded in 2005. 
Accel also led its latest round, which notably …

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Freightify lands $2.5M to make rate management easier for freight forwarders

Freight forwarders often keep track of rates on spreadsheets they email to customers, but the pandemic has made that difficult because prices are constantly fluctuating. Freightify, a startup that refers to itself as the “Shopify for maritime freight,” provides white-label rate management and e-booking tools that freight forwarders can use to set up online stores, reducing the time they need to spend on administrative work.
The startup announced today it has raised $2.5 million in pre-Series A funding led by Nordic Eye Venture Capital, with participation from Tradeworks VC, Venture Catalysts, 9Unicorns and Blume Funders Fund. The round also included returning …

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Equity Monday: China boosts pressure on its tech sector as Duolingo’s IPO looks to raise a few more bucks

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.
This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here and myself here.
Ever wake up to just a massive wall of news? That was us this morning, so we had to pick and choose. But since this show is about getting you caught up, we …

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Mark Cuban-backed Eterneva raises $10M to turn your loved one’s ashes into diamonds

The loss of a loved one is perhaps one of the most traumatic things a person can experience.
When it comes to memorializing someone after their death, most people think of planning funerals and/or picking out caskets or tombstones. And those things are typically done with the help of a funeral home.
Enter Austin-based Eterneva, which is building a rare direct to consumer brand in the end-of life-space. The four-year-old startup creates diamonds from the cremated ashes or hair of people and pets. It’s a highly unusual business but one that seems to be resonating with people seeking …

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China Roundup: Kai-Fu Lee’s first Europe bet, WeRide buys a truck startup

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch’s China Roundup, a digest of recent events shaping the Chinese tech landscape and what they mean to people in the rest of the world.
Despite the geopolitical headwinds for foreign tech firms to enter China, many companies, especially those that find a dependable partner, are still forging ahead. For this week’s roundup, I’m including a conversation I had with Prophesee, a French vision technology startup, which recently got funding from Kai-Fu Lee and Xiaomi, along with the usual news digest.
Spotting opportunities in China
Like many companies working on futuristic, cutting-edge …

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Mint’s first PM raises millions for Monarch, an Accel-backed money management platform

Monarch, a subscription-based platform that aims to help consumers “plan and manage” their financial lives, has raised $4.8 million in seed funding.
Accel led the round, which also included participation from SignalFire, and brings the Mountain View-based yet fully distributed startup’s total funding since its 2019 inception to $5.5 million.
Co-founder and CEO Val Agostino was the first product manager on the original team that built Mint.com. There, he said, he saw firsthand that Americans with a greater understanding of financial matters “needed software solutions that went beyond just tracking and budgeting.” 
“They needed help planning their financial future and understanding …

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