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Why, hello there, wonderful humans, wherever you are! Come to think of it, we bet there’s probably a bunch of AIs reading this newsletter too. So, hello, you kindhearted and beautiful AIs as well.
We’re kicking off Black History Month in style by reading Oprah’s 31 Black History facts today and committing to (re-)reading Layla Saad’s Me and White Supremacy. It’s a hell of a read. — Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Caring is not sharing: We all know by now that Netflix doesn’t want you sharing your account outside of your household, and now the company has some rules and exemptions to prevent account sharing, including defining where each person is, Ivan reports. Meanwhile, the streaming giant’s premium members get improved benefits, including more download devices and spatial audio on over 700 titles. Lauren has more.
- Really give ’em something to ChatGPT about: We teased you last month that this would be happening, but OpenAI officially launched ChatGPT Plus, which starts at $20 per month, Kyle writes. It’s only available in the U.S. for now, but there is a waitlist. Also, he reports OpenAI released a tool to detect AI-generated text.
- Land value: Property appraisal time is a fun one at the Christine Hall household — we wait with bated breath to see if this year’s property taxes will be thousands or tens of thousands. ValueBase, backed by Sam Altman’s Hydrazine, seeks to turn property appraisal on its head, bringing technology to a process long been done with pen and paper and valuing the land it sits on first. Connie writes on the company’s $1.6 million seed round.
Startups and VC
Bringing us a reminder that a company’s services may be at the mercy of state governments from time to time, Pakistan has “degraded” Wikipedia in the country for 48 hours for not removing “sacrilegious contents” and warned of fully blocking the site if the online encyclopedia fails to comply with the directions, Manish reports. The nation’s telecom regulator said that it had approached Wikipedia to block or remove certain “blasphemous” content by issuing court orders, but said the online encyclopedia neither complied nor appeared before the authority.
And now for something completely different:
- Once more Indo(nesia) the breach: MUFG, Japan’s largest bank, launches a $100 million fund for Indonesian startup, reports Catherine.
- Acquisition Within reach: Amanda writes that Meta wins a ruling against the FTC to move forward with purchase of VR startup Within.
- Hvadafornoe?: Ivan reports that Waverly Labs launches a translation app called Forum with support for 20 languages.
- Ashes to ashes: Empathy’s new tool uses AI to generate obituaries, and Kyle reports that it’s not half bad.
- Climate, meet risk: Paul reports that climate analytics and risk assessment platform for enterprises, Risilience, raises $26 million.
Teach yourself growth marketing: Which metrics really matter?
In the final article of a five-part series, growth marketing expert Jonathan Martinez shares the key metrics he tracked at Coinbase and Uber, along with a framework for activating and retaining early adopters who drive revenue.
Tracking KPIs like lifetime value and customer acquisition cost are obvious, so the article includes a framework that will identify which channels and customers drive the most revenue.
“Find the reasons that make your product or service ‘sticky,’ and you will save a lot of time,” writes Martinez.
Three more from the TC+ team:
- Not blocking this enterprise chain: Jacquelyn writes that hybrid use cases for enterprise blockchain could lead to increased adoption.
- This will send you into orbit: Paul provides a lengthy look at which open source startups rocketed in 2022.
- All charged up with capital: Battery startup Our Next Energy grabs $300 million to build gigafactory, Tim reports.
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.
Back in 2021, Tesla invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin with the belief in longevity of cryptocurrency. In fact, it was all set to accept bitcoin as payment for its vehicles. Fast-forward to today, and the company not only shelved the acceptance of bitcoin, but also set about selling its holdings. Tesla has now recorded a $204 million loss from bitcoin in 2022, Rebecca reports. Meanwhile, Coinbase’s asset recovery tool “saved Haje’s bacon” after he spent years trying to recover some of his coins, he writes.
And we have five more for you:
- Worth the wait: “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is now streaming on Disney+, Lauren reports.
- More layoffs for Rivian: The electric vehicle maker is cutting another 6% of its workforce, Kirsten writes.
- I wear my AR glasses at night: Snap teases us with future AR glasses powered by generative AI, Sarah writes.
- That’s got a “Bing” to it: Microsoft plans to update Bing with a faster version of ChatGPT, Aisha reports.
- Deliveries that don’t deliver: Natasha L writes that a Poland watchdog group is looking into Amazon’s sales terms and delivery times to see if it is intentionally misleading consumers about when their package will actually be delivered.