Hi everyone. We’ve reached the end of the week. By the way, congratulations. We’ve reached Week in Review (WiR), TechCrunch’s regular newsletter covering tech weeks. In this humble little column of ours, we’ve done our best to handpick the top stories that have emerged in the last five days. Please help us.
Before we get into the news, a few PSAs. May 24th, TechCrunch LiveIn TC’s podcast on Founder Stories, Romi Gubes, co-founder of Sensi.AI, explains how the company uses voice-based software to monitor patients and improve care for medical staff and families. Discuss how to help. (Register here — it’s free. )
Meanwhile, TechCrunch City Spotlight ends virtual Focusing on Atlanta on June 7th, speakers will talk about building a business on an exploding subway, and startups will apply to participate in TC’s famous Battlefield 200.
Last but not least, TC’s flagship conference, Disrupt, returns to San Francisco in September (September 19-21). Expect six stage presenters, including a new AI-focused stage, and lots of surprises.learn more here.
Now let’s move on to the news.
Young billionaire buys Forbes: Austin Russell, 28, Founder and CEO LuminarThe company, which develops vision-based lidar and machine recognition technology primarily for self-driving cars, said. wall street journal This week, he announced he would buy an 82% stake in Forbes Global Media Holdings in a deal that values the company at nearly $800 million.
A new Tesla is coming: Tesla CEO Elon Musk teased two new electric cars at a rally on Tuesday. 2023 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders of Automakers.Tesla previously hinted at a new model at a launch event investor day in march, displays photos including the company’s full lineup and an overview of some of the announced vehicles. One of his looked roughly the size of a van, and another of his looked more like a sedan or hatchback. Both are more affordable vehicles and are expected to sell much more.
TV is free, but there are pitfalls: terrya hardware startup led by Pluto TV co-founder Ilya Pozin, announced On Monday, the company announced it would be giving away 500,000 new smart TVs for free. (Yes, I said it’s free.) However, there are pitfalls. Users need to watch ads 24/7 while streaming TV shows and movies.
ChatGPT Goes Mobile: OpenAI this week announced launch of Official iOS app This will give users access to its popular AI chatbots on the go — months after the App Store filled up Questionable informal services. The company says the new ChatGPT app is free, ad-free and allows voice input, but will be limited to US users at launch.
Holmes went to prison. After years of high-profile court proceedings, Elizabeth Holmes may actually be sent to prison — this time for real.Theranos Former Founder and CEO Convicted cheat investors Last January, but consistently delay and appealed She was sentenced not to be imprisoned. Notorious biotech entrepreneur still appeals 11-year prison sentence, but 9th Circuit judge raises ‘substantial issue’ Holmes’ defense team keeps her out of jail made the decision that it did not.
Kustomer leaves Meta, raises money: Meta’s grand experiment in building an enterprise-ready customer service platform has come to an end. The parent company of Facebook is Kustomer officially spun outa CRM startup acquired last year at about $1 billion. The new organization is reportedly slashed from its previous valuation, now at $250 million, along with a $60 million infusion from backers Battery, Redpoint and boldstart. .
Lock and Hide: whats up announced Today we are introducing a new “chat lock” feature designed to give users an extra layer of security for their most intimate conversations. As the name suggests, this feature allows you to “lock” the chat. This takes the thread out of your inbox and puts it in its own folder that can only be accessed with a biometric like your device password or fingerprint.
Humanoid robot FTW: Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Sanctuary AI this week announced Phoenix, which challenges the form factor of humanoid robots. This bipedal robot is 5’7 inches tall and weighs 155 pounds. Not much different than a human planning an augmentation (or replacement, depending on who you ask). The system can lift payloads of up to 55 pounds and travel at 3 miles per hour. No word yet on pricing.
Need some listening material for the weekend? No worries! TechCrunch has you covered (and some).This week capitalthe crew covered Vice’s bankruptcy, Twitter’s first acquisition spearheaded by Elon Musk, and what the future holds for venture debt. found Featuring Kamakshi Shivaramakrishnan, co-founder and CEO of Samooha, a startup creating the key infrastructure needed for data collaboration.it’s over Chain reactionChainlink co-founder Sergey Nazarov spoke about Chainlink’s protocol, which provides an oracle network for powering smart contracts. TechCrunch Podcast A closer look at The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom on Nintendo Switch. And TechCrunch Live is joined by Persona investor and Index Ventures leader Mark Goldberg, who co-founded Persona, a company that builds and delivers a large suite of identity verification solutions. I introduced Mr. Song’s profile.
TC+ subscribers have access to detailed commentary, analysis and surveys. If you’re already a subscriber, you know these things. If not, Please consider registering. Here are some highlights from the week.
New rules for venture debt: The failure of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) wasn’t the end of venture debt, but it appears to be the end of companies raising debt with the same ease many have become accustomed to. Rebecca writes about the state of venture debt after the failure of SVB and First Republic Bank, and how that may change in the future.
Alibaba in the clouds: Chinese tech giant Alibaba is transforming its corporate structure in a series of moves that allow most of its business to raise capital and, in some cases, go public. Considering conglomerate revenues up mid-2% in Q1 2023 and profitability trending lower year-over-year (operating profit down 9%), this may not be a bad idea. .
AI in retail, maturing: As the retail industry becomes increasingly reliant and focused on data and AI, retailers are looking at how their data analytics translate into insights into customer behavior, which in turn gives them a tangible competitive advantage. It is essential to understand exactly what can be produced. Zitcha’s head of data, Hugh Cameron, highlights his three most important milestones along the way to predictive analytics in the context of retail media.
Calling all early stage startups! Apply to join the Startup Battlefield 200 cohort at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023. Every finalist will get a chance to participate in expert training, VC networking, a booth at Disrupt, and compete for his $100,000 in equity-free funding. Applications close on May 31st. Apply Now.
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