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Happy Tuesday Crunch, our crunchy compatriots. Today, there’s a ton of fun events-based updates for you. If you’re coming to Early Stage in Boston, Pitch to VCs there. Also, if you want to speak at Disrupt later this summer, you can apply now. Oh, and sustainability is getting a whole stage all to itself at Disrupt. It’s gonna be rad. See you there?
Also! Darrell is arguing that “not only is generative AI already here — it’s already dealing killing blows,” in his latest piece, “A knife so sharp you don’t feel it cut.”
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Accelerating generative AI: Amazon is jumping into startup accelerators with both feet again and will boost generative AI startups around the globe with a 10-week program, Natasha M writes. Ten startups will receive $300,000 in AWS credits and will debut their tech at a demo day.
- A “not-quite open source startup”: That’s how Paul described Dozer, a startup that came out of stealth today with $3 million in the bank and technology to help any developer build real-time data apps in no time flat.
- All in the startup: Yes, startup founders matter when it comes to securing funding, but Ensemble amassed $100 million in capital commitments for its debut fund on the premise that behind every founder is a team that also matters when it comes to a company being successful. Becca tells you how.
Startups and VC
The hype around ChatGPT, OpenAI’s viral AI-powered chatbot, hasn’t reached a peak yet, Kyle reports. That’s the vibe one gets from Y Combinator’s Winter 2023 batch, which features no fewer than four startups that claim to be trying to build “ChatGPT for X.”
Today we are keeping an eye on the legal case of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Charlie Javice, the founder of student financial aid startup Frank. The SEC is charging Javice with defrauding JPMorgan in connection with the $175 million sale of the company to JPMorgan Chase Bank in 2021, Mary Ann reports.
In between refreshing the news re: what’s happening with Trump’s indictment, here’s a few more stories to keep you entertained:
- That seems ethical: Alcohol recovery startups Monument and Tempest shared patients’ private data with advertisers, Zack reports.
- Well that covers things: Jagmeet reports that Lightspeed backs Indian startup Zyod aiming to make apparel manufacturing more efficient.
- To da stock exchange: Ron and Alex report that Klaviyo may be sniffing around looking to IPO later this year.
- Off the chain: Blockchain messaging protocol LayerZero raises $120 million at a $3 billion valuation, Jacquelyn reports.
- It’s all gone to the dogs: Twitter’s new homepage logo is very doge-y, Amanda notes.
What’s a fair price premium for startup shares?
A new market update report from Redpoint Ventures contains insights for Series B and C founders who are planning to fundraise this year, reports Alex Wilhelm.
“Middle-stage startups today still look rather expensive,” he writes. “Either the stock market needs to recover some of its juice, or startup prices need to fall more for things to get back to ‘normal.’”
Three more from the TC+ team:
- Can mobile gaming survive?: Haje writes that spiraling costs are killing the mobile gaming space.
- I’m available: Should you post that you’re #OpenToWork? Aline Lerner and Maxim Massenkoff explore a tale of two labor markets.
- Cool cool cool: Magnets and water net Magnotherm a $6.9 million seed round to kill hazardous refrigerants, 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.
Today we bring you Twitter: everything, everywhere, all at once. Amanda and Alyssa give us a month-by-month rundown of Elon Musk’s Twitter, from the layoffs to the verification drama, where changes meant to take effect on April 1 came and went, leaving us all feeling like it was an April Fools’ joke gone wrong.
Meanwhile, just as NASA named its new moon crew, or “Moon Unit” if we may, Virgin Orbit filed for bankruptcy. Darrell writes, “The bankruptcy filing follows weeks of bad news for the company, including a pause on all operations, a brief hunt for more money to continue as a going concern and massive layoffs to try to right-size to the company’s actual available budget, which today’s news essentially confirms was nonexistent.”
And we have five more for you:
- Security!: Kate has been following the search for more memory chips and reports that China launched a probe into Micron for cybersecurity risks while also urging Japan to stay out of U.S. chip export curbs.
- TikTok has a clock: TikTok is not having a good day. First, Ivan writes that Australia bans TikTok on official devices; then the social media giant is hit with a $15.7 million fine in the United Kingdom for misusing children’s data. Natasha L has more.
- The latest in Israel: Mike covers Israel’s political crisis and writes that reforms proposed by the government “[have] activated its apolitical tech industry, and there’s no turning back.”
- I don’t want to see that anymore: If you’re using Facebook in the EU, Natasha L tells you how to opt out of its creepy ads.
- Leaving on a space transporter: Satellite bus startup Apex Space will hitch a ride into space aboard SpaceX’s Transporter-10, Aria reports.