Amazon cancels charitable giving initiative so it can focus on ‘more impactful programs’

by Ana Lopez

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Thursday! This week has flown by and we are still reeling from the excitement of a company leaning towards compliments. Compliments? At this day and age? Is there still hope for us?! Well, we have a compliment for you, Mike – thanks for spreading some joy in our day today! — Christine and Hey

The Top 3

  • Amazon turned that smile on its head: Shopping for charity will be nothing for Amazon after February. Amid layoffs and other budget cuts, the delivery giant said it was ending its AmazonSmile program to focus on other philanthropic efforts of its own. Roman reports.
  • Give them what they want: Mike writes that “German teens went crazy over Slay’s compliment app,” and now capitalists are joining the fun and supporting the next phase.
  • The gold mine of the shop builder: Oro, an open source e-commerce platform, goes against the grain of other platforms by targeting businesses. That approach is paying off as the company announces $13 million in new funding. Paul has more.

Startups and VC

People are addicted to credit cards – which is no wonder, given the lucrative rewards many of them offer. But for sellers, credit cards are often less attractive, Kyle reports. Merchants are on the hook for interchange fees, or transaction fees that a merchant’s bank must pay when a customer uses a card to make a purchase. Link comes to the rescue and the company raised $30 million to help merchants accept direct bank payments. You know, as consumers in Europe have been able to do since the 1990s.

In recent years, working for or banking with a traditional financial institution has definitely not been cool. Much cooler was working for or banking at one of the many fintech startups that seemed to turn their noses up at dour banking brands, Connie reports. Many fintechs “need to fix their business models,” according to fintech investing VCs.

And we have five more for you:

Teach yourself growth marketing: how to start an email marketing campaign

A megaphone with colored rays blowing out as if amplifying a message

Image Credits: Jasmine Merdan (Opens in a new window) /Getty Images

In the third article of a five-part series, growth marketing expert Jonathan Martinez (Uber, Postmates, Chime) explains how to create and optimize email campaigns that “push consumers through your funnel and drive conversions.”

Martinez shares the basics for segmenting customers and anticipating where leaks will occur along the funnel you’re developing. Startups that recapture these users can earn a higher ARR, and every little bit counts.

“It’s crucial to distill down user segments as much as possible because we need to make sure we’re sending the right message to the right consumers.”

Three more from the TC+ team: is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams lead the way. You can sign up here. Use code “DC” for a 15% discount on an annual subscription!

Big Tech Inc.

We know it’s hard to put that phone down, and all those distracting noises and buzzes don’t help. Well, Instagram has your back with a silent mode that helps you take a break from the app and even tells you beeps that you’re on DND. Sara writes that this is just one of many new changes to the app, including some other time management tools and expanded parental controls.

Meanwhile, fast fashion isn’t what it used to be…appreciated. Rita reports that Shein is reportedly accepting a lower valuation as it seeks to raise $3 billion in new funding. The company was reportedly raking in a $64 billion valuation, down from its $100 billion price tag in April; “However, Shein denies the accuracy of some of the information,” she writes.

And we have five more for you:

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