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It’s the mooooost wonderful tiiiiiiime of the yeeeaaar. Today, we’ve been skiving off work to explore the weirdest subgenres of holiday music. Trap Christmas is a thing. Christopher Lee (yes that Christopher Lee, Saruman in “Lord of the Rings”) recorded a heavy metal Christmas album, which is truly god-awful. Spinal Tap also did a holiday song, which…I mean. And we aren’t upset by disco Christmas or these goats singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” either…
Anyway . . . what are your favorite out-of-left-field holiday tunes? Answers on an e-postcard, plz! — Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Extra, extra, read all about it: British newspaper The Guardian confirmed that it was hit by ransomware following some strange incidents the paper began noticing in its IT infrastructure. Carly has more.
- Kids, get your parents’ permission: If you are a child of the ’80s, you might recall that we were constantly reminded to “ask your parents for permission to…” Well, Google has now instituted something similar for Google Play, letting children send purchase requests to their guardians, Ivan writes.
- Some light reading for the new year: Anna and Alex collected them and now share some of the books startup founders and venture capitalists could not put down this year. Happy reading!
Startups and VC
Carl Eschenbach, a longtime enterprise software executive who joined Sequoia Capital in 2016 and went on to lead a number of lucrative deals for the venture firm, is going back to an operating role, Connie reports. As the new co-CEO of Workday, Eschenbach will co-lead the enterprise cloud applications giant with its co-CEO, cofounder and company chair Aneel Bhusri, until 2024, at which point Eschenbach will take over as sole CEO.
You know what? We have a few more:
- Going down to AI, friendly faces everywhere, humble folks without temptation: Devin writes how “South Park” creators’ deepfake video startup Deep Voodoo conjures $20 million in new funding.
- Come to Boston!: TechCrunch Early Stage focuses on fledgling founders, writes Lauren S — come along and surround yourself with startup smarts.
- Making software easier to afford: Gynger launches out of stealth to loan companies cash for software, reports Kyle.
- Tidying up the filing system: Healthcare data is a mess and Metriport is here with a broom, reports Haje.
- Jurassic Park ain’t got nothing on this: Devin reports on the uber-creepy autonomous ornithopter that lands and perches on a single claw.
How to make the most of your investor relationships in 2023
As Santa Claus reviews his list of who’s been naughty and nice, it’s also a good time for startup founders to take stock of their investor relationships.
Vidya Raman, a partner at Sorenson Ventures, has written a TC+ article with do’s and don’ts for upcoming board meetings and gives his thoughts about which communication channels are best for different help requests, as well as specific data points to raise in your discussions.
“Be ruthless about how you spend your time,” he advises, “especially with your investors.”
Three more from the TC+ team:
- The pros and cons of visas: Our friendly resident immigration lawyer Sophie Alcorn is back with the pros and cons of the E-2 and L-1A visas.
- Calm down with the crypto already: India central bank chief warns crypto will cause the next financial crisis if permitted to grow, reports Manish.
- A pile of small checks may come back and bite you: More investors, more problems, Becca explores.
TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead of the pack. You can sign up here. Use code “DC” for a 15% discount on an annual subscription!
Big Tech Inc.
In July, the Federal Trade Commission sued Meta over its proposed acquisition of VR company Within. This week, it was Mark Zuckerberg’s turn on the stand, and Amanda has the details.
Now over to Tesla, where Darrell reports the carmaker may be making a fresh round of layoffs next quarter. That’s not the only trouble the company is finding itself in. It also has a bit of a share price problem. Rebecca writes that Tesla stock plunged to its lowest level in two years for reasons that include all the Twitter drama and loss of China sales.
Here’s four more for you:
- SBF will come back to the USA: By the time this hits your inbox, beleaguered FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried may already be in the United States to face a number of criminal charges, Jacquelyn writes.
- Time to make it your own: Aisha writes that Snapchat+ has some new customization features and the option to gift a subscription to that one person who’s always hard to buy for.
- Talk about taking advantage of a bad situation: Expats are leaving China to avoid some of the country’s strict COVID regulations, but Rita writes one expat group at NetEase decided to go heads down and build a sci-fi game.
- Probing for details: Broadcom’s proposal to acquire VMware caught the attention of European Union regulators, who are now taking a look at the deal in case there are any competition concerns, Ron reports.