Hey everyone, it’s Kyle. Standing in for Greg. Greg will be on maternity leave for the next few weeks. He enjoys spending time with his beautiful, healthy newborn (there’s no better gift for him this holiday season, right?). I hope I do Greg justice—they are big shoes to fill!
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Before we dive into the news, remember that the TC Early Stage event in Boston is coming up. Tickets don’t last long — they never last — and if you’re heading to the Greater Boston area at the end of April, get your tickets before they run out. we want to see your smile
TikTok bans abound: The US may have made headlines by banning TikTok on government devices, but India was the first to do so – two and a half years ago, in fact. In a recent statement, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said the US should follow India’s lead more broadly to “keep out malicious apps.” Besides her TikTok, India has banned hundreds of other apps, including PUBG Mobile, Battlegrounds Mobile India, and UC Browser, and has ties to China in a border skirmish between her two neighboring countries. .
i feel afira: It’s time for the ever-increasingly car-centric Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Case in point, Sony and Honda unveiled their joint EV brand Afeela at a splashy press conference on Wednesday, unveiling his four-door sedan on stage. Afeelas pre-orders are scheduled for the first half of 2025, with sales expected to begin later that year. The first shipments are expected to reach customers in North America in the spring of 2026.
don’t take risks: my colleague Natasha wrote an excellent article on how tech workers hurt by recent layoffs are reassessing their relationships with the industry. Some hold multiple full-time jobs in adjacent industries, while others opt for part-time contract gigs to make ends meet. Few people are, but they are certainly more cynical than they used to be.
for birds: Bird Buddy, a ‘smart’ bird feeder startup, unveiled its latest model at CES for hummingbirds. Like the original bird feeder, Bird Buddy’s new feeder (made from recyclable and sustainable materials) features a motion-triggered camera that prompts you to take a picture of your bird visitor. I’m here. They are then run through AI algorithms to help identify species and alert owners through a companion mobile app.
I didn’t do it, I swear: Sam Bankman-Fried’s plea of not guilty to multiple federal fraud charges was a tactical response, experts say. Jacqueline I talked to The former CEO of crypto exchange FTX, whose company went bankrupt in November, may be buying time for a deal with prosecutors, they said. His trial date is set for October 2nd in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
reduction in sales force: Salesforce announced this week that it will cut about 10% of its workforce, affecting more than 7,000 employees and closing offices in “certain markets.” Like other companies that have suffered significant layoffs over the past year, CEO Marc Benioff said Salesforce hired too many people during the pandemic during a boom period. The company said last February that he had 79,000 employees, a 30% increase since 2020.
Billions for Bezos: Amazon has secured $8 billion in loans, according to US Securities and Exchange Commission filings. In a statement, an Amazon spokesperson told TechCrunch the financing adds to the various financing options the company has utilized in recent months to hedge against an “uncertain macroeconomic environment.” said. It also follows a disappointing year for retailers that overexpanded during the pandemic. In the latest cost-cutting move, Amazon has internally announced plans to lay off about 18,000 people.
i see you: Speaking of Amazon, at CES, the Amazon-owned Ring brought back the Peephole Cam. It’s a camera that attaches to your existing door peephole to record what’s going on outside, in the hallways of your apartment, and more. It’s now slashed from its original price of $199 to $129 and comes with software with features similar to the rest of Ring’s portfolio, such as motion detection and real-time streaming video.
Want to ring in the new year with a podcast? Good thing TC serves it like hotcakes. On the TechCrunch Podcast, I spoke with Darrell about his CES-related AI product announcements, and Natasha about the impact of mass layoffs in the tech industry. Meanwhile, Equity’s crew, TC’s startup-focused show, has some early standouts from CES, USV, and Doorstead’s deals this week, plus the latest developments in the FTX and SBF saga. I paid attention to And finally, Found sat down with Brex co-founder and co-CEO Henrique Dubugras to talk about his corporate credit card and expense management startup.
Not signed up for TC+ yet? Unfortunately, there’s some great content out there. Here are the most popular of the week:
Fintech Predictions and Opportunities in 2023: It’s been an eventful year for fintech. Markets have fallen sharply from his 2021 highs, and while 2022 was largely about resetting the funding landscape, Victoria said he predicted 2023 would be a year of recalibration for fintech companies. doing. For more information, read her in-depth article.
5 points of failure between $5M and $100M in ARR: Tracy Young, former CEO of PlanGrid, a construction app for project managers, details PlanGrid’s main failures and what they’ve learned over the years. As she puts it in the opening paragraph, “If these reflections help the founder make one less mistake, I think the effort is worth it.”
Is generative AI already in a bubble?: Rebecca asks 35+ investors working across geographies, investment stages and sectors how they feel about generative AI (i.e. ChatGPT, Stable Diffusion and other technologies along the way) was investigated. Interestingly, while some investors said they were bullish on new technology as a whole, they also acknowledged that the sector is likely to get lost in its own hype.