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Welcome to Humpday Crunch!
Today we’re sad that Aloria passed away on Sunday, as Lorenzo reported. She was a veteran of the cybersecurity community, especially the one in New York, her home for many years. The Twitter account of the New York City security conference Summercon announced her death on Monday, prompting a seemingly endless list of people to publicly mourn her loss and pay tribute to her life.
The TechCrunch Top 3
- X marks the spot: GitHub launched its Copilot X initiative today, which Frederic reports is an extension of its work on its popular Copilot code completion tool, originally launched into preview all the way back in 2021. The tool also adds a chat mode and more.
- Should you return an investment?: If you’re a struggling founder who took in some venture capital but couldn’t quite find that product market fit, is there “a graceful way out”? That’s the question that Connie takes to investor Gokul Rajaram, who discusses the idea of closing up shop and returning some funding.
- A night at the AI Opera: Opera gets in on the AI excitement with ChatGPT and AI summarization features that let you generate AI prompts by highlighting text on a website or typing it in. Ivan has more.
Startups and VC
Good Meat, the cultivated meat unit of Eat Just, completed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s pre-market consultation for its production method, and the agency concluded this week that it had “no questions,” Christine reports.
Early-stage founders need mentorship and support to build a successful startup, and conventional wisdom says, “Get thee to an incubator or an accelerator!” However, the two programs are not interchangeable — they serve very different purposes — and there are roughly 500 accelerators and 1,400 incubators in the U.S. alone. At our Early Stage event in Boston on April 20, we’ll be going deep on that topic and many others. Come join us!
And we have five more for you:
- Brex expands into travel: Mary Ann reports that Brex takes a swipe at Concur with an expansion into travel.
- AI spins cash: The top 10 AI mobile apps have already pulled in over $14 million this year, reports Sarah.
- Keeping it in the family: The Family Fund puts its investment spin on consumer brands with its new $25 million fund, Christine writes.
- Retro cool makes a comeback: Retro camera app Hipstamatic makes its return as an anti-Instagram social network, Sarah reports.
- Moar European capital: Romain reports that Emblem is the latest European seed fund in new wave of VC funds.
3 tips for crypto startups preparing for continued compliance
Most startups can avoid getting into the weeds on legal matters before launching, but crypto companies are in a different boat. Facing a tangle of state and federal legislation, inadequate compliance can quickly generate regulatory hassles and undermine customer confidence.
In a TC+ post written by three lawyers from law firm Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, the authors share basic information relevant for any crypto startups that operate in the U.S.
“By establishing a robust, risk-based compliance function … and staying abreast of the latest regulatory guidance, cryptocurrency companies can better position themselves to weather the crypto winter,” they write.
Three more from the TC+ team:
- I’ll have another, please: Haje talks to the Fellow team to find out how it bootstrapped for 8 years to build a coffee empire.
- Going to America: We ask Sophie Alcorn, Which visas will allow U.S. expansion of startups?
- The value of human resources: When the tech IPO market reopens, keep an eye on HR unicorns, suggests Alex.
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.
Zack is following what’s going on with a security flaw in Fortra’s GoAnywhere software and continues to hear from organizations that have been hacked. The Russia-based Clop group claiming to be behind this has said some 130 organizations are said to be victims, but less than half have been disclosed. So stay tuned for more developments.
Meanwhile, payment processing service Checkout.com is letting customers have some fun: It has launched virtual and physical cards that they can customize. Romain writes that this new feature, called Issuing, “represents a business opportunity for fintech companies. When someone pays with a card, the card transaction fees are split between the merchant’s bank, the card scheme (Visa or Mastercard, for example) and the card issuer (Checkout.com in this case).”
And we have five more for you:
- Palm pay: Panera Bread said it is the first restaurant to accept Amazon’s palm-reading payment tech, Sarah reports. Speaking of Amazon, she also has a story on the expansion of the Fire TV lineup.
- Repair affair: Natasha L updates us on the European Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan that lays out “right to repair” rules for faulty products in an effort to keep them out of landfills.
- Ghostwriter: Gaming developer Ubisoft is now using a new AI tool that automatically generates dialogue for non-playable game characters. Aisha has more.
- Growth from cuts: After cutting some 4,000 jobs over the past year, video game publisher Tencent is now showing a profit, Rita reports.
- In case you’re not tired of AI yet: Mozilla has a new startup focused on “trustworthy” AI. Kyle has the deets.
Actually, we have one more! Here is a late-breaking story: Indeed, the job listing platform, announced the layoff of 2,200 employees, Amanda reports.