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Happy Thursday, landlubbers and salty sea dogs!
We’ve got some fun updates from the events team — Lauren S announced the TechCrunch Early Stage Audience Choice winners. And if you get all starry-eyed and bushy-tailed at the possibility of being on the TechCrunch Disrupt stage for our annual Battlefield, you’re hella in luck — Neesha just announced that applications are open for the TechCrunch Startup Battlefield 200! — Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Giving videos a voice: MrBeast was among the first YouTubers to test out a new multilanguage audio feature that is now being rolled out for creators so that they can upload just one video and dub it in dozens of languages. Sarah has more.
- Hear that?: Samsung wants you to have that crystal-clear smartphone communication in places where there is no cellular network connectivity, so it developed its own satellite-based solution, Ivan writes.
- “Towns” hall crier: Taylor writes about Houseparty founder Ben Rubin’s new open source group chat app called Towns. Built as a decentralized app, it enables people to “build better hometowns on the internet” to “truly own their town squares.”
Startups and VC
While most VCs will tell you they had no problem raising their newest fund, Volition co-founder Larry Cheng — an alum of Bessemer Venture Partners, Battery Partners and Fidelity Ventures — says that wasn’t his experience when trying to raise the firm’s latest vehicle. “All of the LPs felt more constrained; we could feel it,” reports Connie.
The cloud is growing expensive. More than half of companies say that their spending on public cloud apps will increase in 2023 while 56% expect their public cloud infrastructure services spending will go up this year. ProsperOps raises $72 million to help, Kyle reports.
And we have five more for you:
- Continuously, cheaper: Earthly wants to reinvent continuous integration to make it faster and cheaper, Ron reports.
- What private jet?: Logistics startup Slync raises $24 million, attempts to distance itself from disgraced founder, Kyle reports.
- The final account-down: Mary Ann reports that Trust & Will secures $15 million after doubling revenue.
- We can barely contain ourselves: BlueCargo reduces logistics late fees by tracking containers in port terminals, reports Romain.
- Raising? More like r-AI-sing, amirite: Source.ag raises $23 million to raise the bar on raising crops with AI, Haje reports.
Is ocean conservation the next climate tech? 7 investors explain why they’re all in
Seafaring industries like fishing and oil exploration are inherently extractive, but technological advances and increased environmental awareness have ushered in a new era.
“Founders and investors have started to look for opportunities to conserve, and even enhance, the ocean’s resources rather than exploit them,” reports Tim De Chant.
He interviewed seven investors to examine some of the parallels between climate tech and ocean conservation tech and learn more about the opportunities they’re diving for:
- Tim Agnew, general partner, Bold Ocean Ventures
- Peter Bryant, program director (oceans), Builders Initiative
- Kate Danaher, managing director (oceans and seafood), S2G Ventures
- Daniela V. Fernandez, founder and CEO, Sustainable Ocean Alliance (Seabird Ventures)
- Rita Sousa, partner, Faber Ventures
- Christian Lim, managing director, SWEN Blue Ocean Partners
- Reece Pacheco, partner, Propeller
Three more from the TC+ team:
- Alex is back! Alex is back!: Unity’s earnings show just how hard it is to earn a 10x software multiple today, by Alex.
- Cutting with kindness: Leslie Crowe discusses how you can make layoffs suck less, including how to announce job cuts and retain top performers.
- Goin’ retro, with a 15-year-old pitch deck: Pitch Deck Teardown: Uber’s $200K pre-seed deck from 2008, by Haje.
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.
Did you know that the average household subscribes to five streaming services per month? No doubt this can quickly add up. Netflix has read the writing on the wall and lowered its prices in over 100 territories across Africa, Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific in efforts to keep subscribers…subscribing, Lauren writes.
Developers of decentralized apps have a new friend in Coinbase, which launched Base, an Ethereum-focused layer to aid in development of the apps on the blockchain. Jacquelyn has more.
And we have five more for you:
- What happens when a tech company does something cool?: You want more! Everyone was all excited about yesterday’s news about the Spotify DJ feature, and today, Spotify is bringing news that it is testing playlists that could be unlocked by NFT holders. Ivan explains more.
- What happens when it’s not a match?: A Mozilla study found that some popular Android apps’ Play Store privacy labels don’t match up to their claims of the data they collect, Ivan reports.
- What happens when you see a better opportunity?: Walmart sold Moosejaw to Dick’s Sporting Goods after acquiring the e-commerce outdoor retailer in 2017, Aisha reports.
- What happens in the pursuit of interoperability?: Linux Foundation Europe launches the OpenWallet Foundation to power interoperable digital wallets, Paul writes.
- What happens when you accidentally hit the wrong button?: Pornhub’s banned Instagram account is reinstated by accident. Amanda has more.