Daily Crunch: Don’t panic about Slack’s new Connect feature

Slack launches a new direct messaging feature, Amazon Web Services gets a new leader and we round up our favorite Y Combinator startups. This is your Daily Crunch for March 24, 2021.

The big story: Don’t panic about Slack’s new Connect feature

Slack recently launched the new direct messaging feature Connect, which is supposed to enable employees “at more than 74,000 organizations and counting” to message anyone “inside or outside their company.”

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like the exact opposite of what I’d want to see in Slack. However, we’ve confirmed that the feature is opt-in, rather than opt-out, at least on the organizational level.

“[A]n organization’s IT admins can control who has access to this feature, disable this feature for their teams, and monitor all external connections, including Slack Connect DMs,” a spokesperson said. “Once this feature is enabled, DMs can be initiated without the need for additional admin approval.”

The tech giants

Why Adam Selipsky was the logical choice to run AWS — Current CEO Andy Jassy announced in an email to employees yesterday that Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky is returning to run Amazon Web Services.

Facebook caught Chinese hackers using fake personas to target Uyghurs abroad — Facebook has announced new actions to disrupt a network of China-based hackers leveraging the platform to compromise targets in the Uyghur community.

Twitter is exploring the use of Facebook-style emoji reactions — The company has been surveying users throughout the month to get input on how they feel about a broader set of emoji-style reactions.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Hopper raises $170M and partners with Capital One on a new cardholder travel booking portal — This is Hopper’s second raise in a year that has been marked by turmoil for the travel industry.

Crypto wallet and exchange company Blockchain.com raises $300M at $5.2B valuation — The company offers a noncustodial wallet, which means that you’re in control of your private keys.

Ketch raises $23M to automate privacy and data compliance — The startup was founded by CEO Tom Chavez and CTO Vivek Vaidya, who previously founded Krux.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Our favorite companies from Y Combinator’s W21 Demo Day: Part 1 — Our favorites from the companies that launched in the first half of the day.

Our favorite companies from Y Combinator’s W21 Demo Day: Part 2 — Everything from a marketplace to help you resell formalwear to a startup that offers self-driving street cleaners.

Ten proptech investors see better era for residential and retail after pandemic — As lockdowns start to lift, real estate investors discuss what long-term effects the pandemic will leave.

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

Everything else

Announcing the TC Early Stage Pitch-Off startups — The pitch-off takes place on April 2 and will be hosted by yours truly.

TechCrunch, still not dead — Important corporate updates!

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