TechCabal Daily – What Trumps Truth?

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Y COMBINATOR UPS THE STAKE


Y Combinator has upped its investment stakes. 

Yesterday, it announced a new standard deal for startups that are accepted into its batch programmes. In addition to the $125,000 investment which all accepted startups get, Y Combinator will invest an additional “$375,000, an uncapped safe with an MFN”.

What does this mean?

Unlike the initial $125,000 investment which companies get in exchange for 7% equity, the $375,000 will be given to startups on terms they’ll negotiate with future investors. 

This now brings the total—Y Combinator’s new standard deal—to $500,000.

Y though?

According to the announcement, Y Combinator wants to remove the immediate pressure to fundraise so startups can focus on building and scaling. 

The decision was boosted by the recent success of YC companies, 10 of which announced initial public offerings (IPO) in 2021.

Y Combinator is also hoping that the announcement will encourage more founders to apply for the programme. It’s currently open for its Summer 2022 batch and there’s no better time than now to apply

HEALTHLEAP RAISES $1.1 MILLION


HealthLeap, a South African healthtech startup dabbling in health and nutrition technologies, has announced the close of a $1.1 million pre-seed round.

The round was led by Fifty Years, an early-stage deep tech venture capital firm based in San Francisco.

What’s HealthLeap solving?

HealthLeap wants to help clinicians defeat malnutrition. In the US, where HealthLeap is first rolling out its programme, malnutrition affects 30–50% of hospitalised patients, but only 5% of that number is diagnosed. Malnutrition also plays a large role in hospital mortality rates. 

To bridge this gap, HealthLeap has created an AI-Based clinical assistant called NutriLeap which helps dieticians identify the nutritional needs of their patients. While the company was launched in April 2021, it has been slowly building stealthily, successfully completing a private beta test with 50 dieticians. 

Now, with its pre-seed funding, HealthLeap is leaping into the world with the hopes of hiring software engineers and data scientists who can help it build more smart clinical tools.

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WHAT TRUMPS TRUTH?


Last year, ex-US president Donald Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter after he made comments supporting the Capitol attack. Meta also suspended his Instagram and Facebook accounts for two years for the same reason. Others like YouTube, Twitch and Snapchat followed suit. 

Trump, however, wants to get back on social media, and he’s building his own platform. 

The Truth about Trump

Before his suspension, Trump had about 88.7 million followers on Twitter, a few paces behind record-holder Barack Obama who has 130 million.

On Facebook, he had 22.4 million followers and 6.9 million on Instagram. Altogether, Trump had amassed one of the largest and most engaged audiences of any world leader. With a tweet, Trump could motivate millions; to put it simply, he was the poster boy for social media influencers.

After his exodus, a few upcoming platforms like Gettr and Parler tried unsuccessfully to get Trump to join up, in a bid to boost their platforms’ followership.

Trump, however, had his own plan: Truth Social, a “platform that encourages open, free, and honest global conversations without discriminating against political ideology”. On the platform—heavily modelled after Twitter—users will be able to post their “truths” and “retruth” by sharing others’ posts. 

Finding Truth

If you’re looking to join up, it may take a while.

The platform has faced a number of problems including a prank in November last year which delayed the formal beta launch. The Washington Post also explains that it’s facing a talent problem as it takes expertise and time to build social media platforms. 

In more recent news, Apple’s App Store lists February 21 as the launch date for the app, but experts are doubtful that the platform will be ready by then.

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TECH PROBE


Timi: Me, IJN. 

Kelechi: You’re not a startup, Timi.

Timi: If someone can believe they can fly, why can’t I believe I’m a startup?

Which do you think will attain this coveted status? Let us know what you think! We’ll publish some of the most interesting answers on Friday. 

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