The artist Beeple scores a huge NFT sale, Twitter Spaces are coming soon and Seth Rogen’s weed startup launches in the U.S. This is your Daily Crunch for March 11, 2021.

The big story: NFT artwork sells for $69M

For the first time, auction house Christie sold a digital-only artwork: “Everydays — The First 5000 Days,” a collage of several years of sketches from the artist Mike Winkelmann, who’s known online as Beeple.

Yes, it’s another one of those NFT (non-fungible token) sales you’ve been hearing so much about for the past few weeks. And this one came with the most eye-catching price tag so far, with bids in the final two hours escalating from $14 million to $69 million.

While crypto and NFT enthusiasts likely drove much of that bidding, this is certainly going to make the art world sit up and take notice — not just when it comes to selling digital art, but also potentially as a means to record and transfer proof of ownership for any art.

The tech giants

Twitter Spaces to launch publicly next month, may include Spaces-only tweets — The social network’s Clubhouse rival is working toward a public launch in April.

Facebook is bringing ads to shorter videos and Stories — Facebook is expanding its monetization options for video creators, which probably means more ads for viewers.

Google paves way to monetize Pay users’ data in India — Google says it will roll out an update to Google Pay next week asking users to choose whether they wish to share data with the company.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg want to be your weed dealer — Seth Rogen and four friends-turned-co-founders have been building Houseplant for close to 10 years, and its products are now available in the United States.

Epidemic Sound raises $450M at a $1.4B valuation to ‘soundtrack the internet’ — Epidemic’s audio marketplace currently features around 32,000 music tracks and 60,000 sound effects.

Indy-based High Alpha Capital launches new $110M fund — The firm focuses on B2B SaaS startups.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Five takeaways from the Coursera IPO filing — The company is still unprofitable, despite the pandemic’s boost to its business and customer base.

Does your VC have an investment thesis or a hypothesis? — OpenVC has identified six common patterns of how VCs articulate their theses and some best practices in doing so.

Bessemer’s 2021 cloud report provides context for soaring software startup valuations — Growth rates among cloud companies should prove more durable than nearly anyone expected.

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

Everything else

Everything you missed from TC Sessions: Justice — If you didn’t have a chance to join us last week, you can still catch up on all the conversations.

The 2021 Volkswagen ID. 4 ticks all the boxes, except one — The electric crossover offers plenty of range at an affordable price.

Eye, robot — Our latest robotics roundup covers the surgical, food delivery and ocean mapping robots, as well as the return of an adorable friend.

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