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Goodness! Browse the TechChrunch homepage today – it’s like drinking from a fire hose here for the past few days! There’s so much news out there that it’s legitimately difficult to pick our picks for today’s newsletter. We’ve done our best, but it’s well worth checking out the homepage to see if we’ve left out anything you might be particularly interested in. † Christine and hi
The BestFitnessBands Top 3
- Turn on your game: Unity and ironSource have confirmed they are merging “two powerhouses” in interactive development and app revenue, Ingrid writes. She says of the union: “Pursuing mergers and acquisitions as a route to product and user growth has long been a strategy for larger tech companies, but a number of mergers and acquisitions have also emerged among smaller players in the last few months as funding sources less and less free-flowing, performance targets are tightened and valuations are falling.”
- Ding dong indeed: While we’re always concerned about data a large entity is collecting about us, we can’t say it makes us feel good that Amazon’s Ring was apparently one of them. In reality, Bag reports that the Ring “gave a record number of doorbell images to the government last year”. Time to close the door on that.
- Don’t pass, don’t collect crypto: We introduced you to jagmeet yesterday, and he already has a hit on his hands regarding Sri Lanka’s central bank warning users not to use cryptocurrency. The country doesn’t consider it legal tender anyway, but with it unregulated and a ‘sovereign debt crisis’ underway, the government says it’s better safe than sorry.
Startups and VC
What started as a pet project to electrify food trucks in the San Francisco Bay Area—a venture inspired by the cacophony of generators that Ben Parker greeted each day during his lunch break at Tesla—has grown into a much larger, more complex, and potentially more lucrative business venture. creation of electric recreational vehicles, reports; Kirsten†
Also in the hardware world, Magic Leap has detailed the availability and prices of the next release: the Magic Leap 2, Luke reports. Unlike the first release, this headset is aimed entirely at professional users with less intentional vagueness. That professional focus is evident in the pricing of the device.
We also loved the most recent episode of our Equity podcast, where the team discusses how the Roe v. Wade reversal will change the way startups should be built.
- A little Itica, all night long: Yes, that’s a size 5 mambo reference, and Ivan reports that Here is letting you make fractional vacation rental investments starting at $100, following in the footsteps of Arrived, which does the same for non-vacation rental properties, such as Mary Ann reported a while back.
- Fly all yourself: Autonomous flight is a major aviation challenge – and a gold mine. No wonder Merlin Labs raised $120 million along with an Air Force partnership, Kylea reports.
- Meet the newest Indian unicorn† manish reports that FPL Technologies is the last in the South Asian market to join the unicorn club after another round of funding.
- Moar money for crypto: Over the past 18 months, Inflection Points has been working in stealth mode to build out a crypto-focused employment and business training company and has just landed $12.6 million in funding, writes Jacquelyn†
- Finally a faster horse: Chinese Tesla challenger XPeng is not satisfied with making only electric vehicles. It also bets on rideable robot unicorns for kids. It brought in $100 million, Rita reports.
- A lot of metal, such shapes: Metal and carbon fiber company Markforged (best known for its Digital Forge platform) announced today that it has acquired Digital Metal to further expand its range of machines capable of producing metal parts, writes hi†
- Virtual Descent: We reported earlier this week that the virtual event platform Hopin was cutting 29% of its staff. Today Natasha M follows that the company also rotates its senior staff, with the COO, CFO and chief business officer heading out.
This is how you protect your own assets if you are fired
Take note, startup workers: The same people who welcomed you on board when you signed your offer letter are now looking for places to save money so they can keep your business afloat.
Reducing the workforce is another way for founders to reclaim equity, as many laid-off workers don’t have enough money to exercise all of their vested options. Once those options expire, they go back to your employer.
If you work for a startup that extends the traditional 90-day post-service period, count your blessings. If you don’t, this guest post from TC+ has helpful advice for budgeting, negotiation, and strategies to save your hard-won wealth.
(BestFitnessBands+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams move forward. You can register here†
Big Tech Inc.
Before we get into it, let’s talk about the latest Twitter v. Elon Musk news. First, Taylor notes that a lawsuit has been filed to force Musk to close the deal. And if you dive into the lawsuit, you’ll find something that… Amanda felt it was a bit of a joke that Musk’s own meme tweet got into the lawsuit.
And in case you missed it, there were some spectacular observations from space. Aria shows you the beauty and also reports on Rocket Lab’s next launch.
Holberton, a coding school in Africa, has approved the acquisition by African Leadership Group. Frederick spoke to Holberton co-founder Julien Barbier, who told him that after co-founder Sylvain Kalache left the company 2 years ago, he hadn’t found the right match until now.
Lime squeezed some of its fruit to share the camera-based curb detection technology it was working on. Rebecca writes. We thought maybe it was to know when pedestrians were around, but no – it’s so the company can warn riders they’re on the sidewalk when they’re not supposed to.
As mentioned above, today was a crazy news day, so here’s more of the best of the best:
- Giving up some control: TikTok is counting down until it rolls out some new content filters and maturity ratings in an effort to make its app more secure, Sarah writes.
- What are these social media companies going to come up with next?: Meta’s Ray-Ban Stories now allow users to make calls and send messages via WhatsApp, Aisha reports. Taylor writes that all Reddit users can now use GIF in comments. Snap is looking at adding NFTs so creators can show off their skills in AR, Ivan writes.
- There’s something about Google† Frederick has the latest news on the company’s first Arm-based VMs, while Harris reports that Google is warning employees about consolidation, and Sarah digs into a report that says Instagram and TikTok are making an effort in Google’s ownership of Search and Maps.
- Hacker news† Bag takes us to a ransomware attack on a debt collection agency that tops the list of “biggest health data breaches” in 2022. In the meantime, carly reports about problems at Bandai Namco, a game maker who said hackers may have stolen some customer data.
- A moose, goose, pink heart and wireless sign walk into a bar: These are some of the new emojis slated to be part of a major emoji update, Ivan writes.