Google Earth gives users a new look at a changing planet, Facebook tests new business discovery features and Autodesk acquires Upchain. This is your Daily Crunch for April 15, 2021.

The big story: Google Earth gets an update

Google is describing this as Google Earth’s biggest update since 2017, though there’s really just one major addition: A time-lapse mode bringing together satellite photos from the past 37 years, in 3D.

Beyond just being a novel new feature, this mode can reveal how climate change has reshaped our planet. In fact, Google Earth now offers guided tours focused on forest change, urban growth, warming temperatures and more.

The tech giants

Facebook to test new business discovery features in US News Feed — Users will be able to tap on topics they’re interested in underneath posts and ads in their News Feed, allowing them to explore related content from businesses.

Autodesk acquires Upchain — Upchain is a Toronto-based startup that offers a cloud-based product life cycle management service.

Consumer groups and child development experts petition Facebook to drop ‘Instagram for kids’ plan — The letter was written by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, an advocacy group that often leads campaigns against big tech and its targeting of children.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Polestar raises $500M from outside investors as EV market grows — This is the first external round for Volvo Car Group’s standalone electric performance brand.

Goldman Sachs leads $23M in funding for Brazilian e-commerce startup Olist — Olist connects small businesses to larger product marketplaces, helping entrepreneurs sell their products to a larger customer base.

Substack announces a $1M initiative to fund local journalists — The newsletter startup will fund independent writers creating local news publications.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Coinbase’s direct listing alters the landscape for fintech and crypto startups — In Alex Wilhelm’s view, Coinbase reaching a valuation north of $100 billion during its first day of trading was the biggest startup event of the year.

Billion-dollar B2B: cloud-first enterprise tech behemoths have massive potential — Dharmesh Thakker of Battery Ventures writes that a new class of cloud-first, enterprise-tech behemoths have the potential to reach $1 billion in ARR.

How startups can ensure CCPA and GDPR compliance in 2021 — It’s important to enact best data management practices before a legal situation arises.

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Everything else

Detroit’s native son, billionaire Dan Gilbert, makes the case for his town — The Quicken Loans founder has poured at least $2.5 billion into rehabilitating buildings in the heart of the city.

Can the tech trade show return in 2021? — IFA promises “full-scale, real-life event” for Berlin in September, while MWC reels from the loss of marquee names.

Garry Kasparov launches a community-first chess platform — Kasparovchess will be a platform in which legendary chess players have free reign to share tips and tricks with players from various levels.

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