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Helloooooooooo, midweek Crunchers! Today, we are pretty excited about life in general. Also, is your company still in stealth? Apply to Startup Battlefield 200 anyway — and announce your public debut at TechCrunch Disrupt!
See you at TechCrunch Early Stage in Boston tomorrow? — Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
- More Meta layoffs: Reports suggest that Meta is planning to cut another 4,000 jobs this week, Rebecca writes. If you are keeping track at home, this is in addition to an announcement made in March to cut 10,000 jobs and 11,000 jobs that were cut in November.
- And the winner is…: Amazon tops LinkedIn’s list of best places to work, and Ingrid writes that jobseeker priorities have shifted to workplace culture, concluding that “the big question is whether or not factors like cultural values are a sign of our times, or if these parameters will remain permanent priorities among jobseekers, changing the bigger picture for how recruiters can capture the best talent — and indeed what ‘talent’ will look like — in the future.”
- Bay-be real, doo doo doo doo doo doo: The curtain is really coming down on the lives of BeReal users, who can now include what they are listening to on Spotify when they post, Aisha reports.
Startups and VC
Many apps today assume that data lives in only one location, typically a single cloud database. But the reality is more complex, Kyle reports. Thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices and cloud infrastructure — the latter of which accelerated during the pandemic — apps now need to store and process data in more places, from the edge to the public cloud. Ditto to the rescue so companies can keep it all in sync.
There was just one fintech unicorn birth in the entire quarter. This is the first time that has happened since the end of 2016. The only unicorn born in Q1 was Egypt-based MNT-Halan, which in early February raised $260 million in equity financing at a $1billion valuation, Mary Ann and Christine report in their look back at the first quarter of the year.
And we have five more for you:
- Look who’s talking now: Stability AI releases ChatGPT-like language models, reports Kyle.
- Best Scoot: Unagi secures Best Buy as e-scooter subscription partner, Rebecca reports.
- Here, catch! *throws keys*: Mary Ann reports that Opendoor alums raise $15 million for Kindred, a home-swapping network.
- It’s all fun and games until the AI goes sentient: Cortical Labs raises $10 million for its Pong-playing stem cells that eventually could power AI, Mike reports.
- One-stop stop-shop: Coro raises $75 million at a $575 million valuation to grow its all-in-one cybersecurity platform, Ingrid reports.
Software investors must (re)learn these 3 ideas before getting into deep tech
Because VCs turned “software investing into a low-margin finance game,” it might be a net positive that so many are “unable to move forward and invest in the next big thing: deep tech,” says Champ Suthipongchai, co-founder and general partner at Creative Ventures.
A SaaS mindset just isn’t relevant for deep tech investment, which means traditional VCs must recalibrate their behavior (and expectations) before diving in.
“Software investors’ founder-first mantra is simply wrong in the world of deep tech,” writes Suthipongchai. “This type of magical thinking is exactly why their software playbook is doomed to fail.”
Three more alliterative articles from the TC+ team:
- Sophie steers student startup: Ask Sophie Alcorn: Can I launch a startup if I’m in the US on a student visa?
- Cultivating capable coffee currency: Becca reports that Blank Street cracked the code on making coffee shops attractive to VC.
- Imagine intact internet identities: Digital identities might be the best way to prove who you are online, argues Jacquelyn.
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.
Tesla is price-checking all over the place. The electric vehicle company cut prices again for the Model 3 and Model Y so that those popular models are now under $40,000, Rebecca reports. We’re now watching to see how well those margins did in affecting Tesla’s first-quarter earnings, which are scheduled to come out later today.
The consumer tech team covered the Snap Partner Summit today, and here are a few things they found out:
- Snapchat opens its AI chatbot to global users, by Sarah.
- Snapchat launches AR Lenses powered by generative AI, by Aisha.
- Snapchat adds Public Stories, expands revenue share program for creators, by Amanda.
- Snapchat+ subscription now has more than 3 million users, by Ivan.
And we have five more for you:
- By request: Salesforce is working on new generative AI-driven workflow tools, reports Ron.
- Looks like someone found a loophole: Carly writes that Russian hackers found a six-year-old Cisco flaw and are now exploiting it to target U.S. government agencies.
- Speaking of attacks:Technology company NationsBenefits confirms that thousands of healthcare members had personal data stolen in Fortra breach, Zack reports.
- A little help, please: Jira and Confluence now have their own AI assistant, reports Frederic.
- That’s a weight off our shoulders: Withings’ new scale is designed so that your weight doesn’t show on the screen but it will still track it in the app. Haje has more.