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Extra Crunch roundup: 'Nightmare' security breach, Poshmark's IPO, crypto boom, more

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(Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)The breach of FireEye and SolarWinds by hackers working on behalf of Russian intelligence is “the nightmare scenario that has worried cybersecurity experts for years,” reports Zack Whittaker.The intrusion began several months ago, but news of the breach wasn’t made public until this week.“Given that potential victims include defense contractors, telecoms, banks, and tech companies, the implications for critical infrastructure and national security, although untold at this point, could be significant,” said Erin Kenneally, director of cyber risk analytics at Guidewire, an industry platform for insurance carriers.In his analysis for Extra Crunch, Zack breaks down the rippling effects of supply-chain attacks that can compromise platforms like SolarWinds, which is used by more than 420 of the Fortune 500.Just how bad is that hack that hit US government agencies?Image Credits: dowell (opens in a new window) / Getty ImagesImage Credits: dowell (opens in a new window) / Getty ImagesEmbedded finance connects services like payment processing with everyday activities like grabbing a coffee before unlocking an e-scooter.“The ability to be at the right place at the right time, supporting consumers and merchants alike, where they want it, how they want it and when they want it — cannot be understated,” says Simon Wu, an investment director with Cathay Innovation.In a post that identifies embedded finance’s top providers and enablers, he offers advice for startups and established brands that are hoping to “earn and build customer loyalty while generating new revenue streams.”From startups to Starbucks: The embedded API opportunityImage Credits: Nigel Sussman (opens in a new window)Image Credits: Nigel Sussman (opens in a new window)Bitcoin is at an all-time high.CoinMarketCap reports that crypto market values have reached almost $659 billion; that figure was just $140 billion in March 2020.“These gains have created a huge amount of wealth for crypto holders,” Alex Wilhelm wrote yesterday.To get a better handle on why crypto values are sky-bound, he parsed some basic industry metrics, including the number of unique bitcoin addresses, fees paid and transactions per day.“Do the price gains make sense in the short term? Image Credits: Fotograzia / Getty ImagesFor his year-end Extra Crunch story, security reporter Zack Whittaker looked back at the myriad security challenges and vulnerabilities COVID-19 brought to the fore.The hacks of Fire Eyes and SolarWinds were just one link in the chain: How well is your company prepared to deal with file-encrypting malware, hackers backed by nation-states or employees accessing secure systems from home?“With 2020 wrapping up, much of the security headaches exposed by the pandemic will linger into the new year,” says Zack.2020 was a disaster, but the pandemic put security in the spotlightZoox Fully Autonomous, All-electric Robotaxi. (Photo by Frank Bienewald/LightRocket via Getty Images)In India, about 90% of consumers buy their everyday goods from neighborhood-based kirana stores instead of supermarkets.As a result, U.S. retail giants like Walmart and Amazon have adopted an “if you can’t beat them, join them” approach, offering the nation’s 60 million mom-and-pop shops software for inventory control, payments and e-commerce.India’s retail market will be worth an estimated $1.3 trillion by 2025, but e-commerce represents just 3% of that activity today, reports Manish Singh.For his final Extra Crunch story of 2020, he looked at the startups and major players who are hoping to carve out their niche in one of the world’s largest retail ecosystems.From India’s richest man to Amazon and 100s of startups: The great rush to win neighborhood storesImage Credits: PM Images / Getty ImagesImage Credits: PM Images / Getty ImagesEarlier this year, business productivity software startup ClickUp raised a $35 million Series A.Now, just six months later, the company has closed a second round of $100 million that values the San Diego-based startup at $1 billion.Lucas Matney interviewed CEO Zeb Evans this week to learn more about how the company was buoyed by pandemic-based behavior shifts that doubled its customer base and multiplied revenue by a factor of nine.“I think that the biggest thing that we’ve always focused on is shipping a new version of ClickUp every week.

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