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Greetings, there is a lot of news to get into today, and my head is reeling a bit from some of that January 6 testimony today, so let’s get right into it. Oh, and TechCrunch+ is having an Independence Day sale! Save 50% on an annual subscription here. (More on TechCrunch+ here if you need it!) Now that you have said subscription, head on over to Haje’s story about your pitch deck needing an operating plan. — Christine
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Kid ’n Play would not be amused: Airbnb has spoken and is putting an end to party houses with a permanent ban, Ivan reports. This is something the company initially started 2 years ago, and it seems to have worked — the company reports 44% fewer complaints of parties year over year.
- On target: Though crypto exchange FTX’s CEO Sam Bankman-Fried denied he was interested in buying Robinhood, Alex gets into why FTX would be interested at all.
- The headline speaks for itself: Mike scored a home run with his headline for a story about four European founders turned angel investors who are giving some of their venture capital firm competitors — many they say have not operated a company before — a run for their money.
Startups and VC
We enjoyed Ingrid’s story about Speechmatics, a company that raised $62 million for its approach to speech-to-text artificial intelligence. One of the interesting things it is doing is removing some of the bias so that if you have an accent, or speak in a certain way, it will still be picked up and translated accurately.
E-commerce is hot, hot, hot, but it can be daunting to sift through something like 7,500 apps, which Shopify has, to find the ones that will be best for your business. I wrote about Shop Circle, which came out of stealth mode today with $65 million. The company sifted through all of those apps and is acquiring them so you don’t have to.
We know electric vehicles are expensive, so wouldn’t it be great to defer a portion of the monthly payment? Meet Tenet, which raised $18 million for its loan offering that could cut an average of $200 off the bill, Harri writes.
Here’s the short, short version of other stories:
- Powering job boards: While the tech sector is seeing layoffs, Kyle reports that Gloat grabs $90 million to build better internal job boards.
- Rising tides and all: Sustainable Ocean Alliance, an ocean-focused, early-stage startup incubator, got itself $18 million in new funding from sources, most notably Marc and Lynne Benioff, Devin writes.
- You got a friend in me: Finding friends is hard, and as Catherine points out, it gets even harder as you get older. That’s why it’s heartwarming to read about apps like Hank, which grabbed $7 million in seed funding and connects older adults to something fun they like to do.
- Vice no more?: It wasn’t that long ago that venture capital firms were skittish on the idea of investing in one of the “vices,” you know, like alcohol and cannabis. Haje reports that JourneyOne has a fresh $10 million fund that is ready to be put to work in cannabis tech.
Use chronological scenario planning to help your startup get through a potential recession
People who burn wood to keep warm through the winter know how to calculate how many cords they’ll need to chop and stack. Creating a winterization strategy for a startup is a less straightforward process, however.
In this environment, entrepreneurs should build decision trees that can help them manage 36 months of runway, recommends Gaetano Crupi, partner at venture capital firm Prime Movers Lab.
A 3-year outlook “is a more appropriate time horizon for collecting more information so you can decelerate even further (with cash to pivot) if things are worse in 12 months, or accelerate if things are better in 18 months,” he advises.
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
Starting off our Big Tech news today is a handoff of one of India’s biggest telecom companies and the beginning of a new generation. Manish reports that Akash Ambani took the reins of Reliance Jio from his father, Mukesh Ambani, in what was viewed by analysts “as a clear illustration of a leadership transition in one of Asia’s wealthiest families.”
Carly writes that cybercrime operation RansomHouse (why do these sound like book publishers?) is supposedly behind the extortion of some data from U.S. chipmaker AMD. The company is investigating the incident.
Ron attended some of Google’s Sustainability Summit this week and came out with a story about Google Cloud’s new sustainability platform to provide businesses with data to help them achieve their climate goals.
More for your viewing pleasure:
- Oh, yes, we got trouble, trouble, trouble: When you buy an electric vehicle, you want it to run with the same reliability as your old combustion engine car, but as Jaclyn reports, a J.D. Power survey found that was not the case.
- Get the band back together: Spotify’s new Supergrouper in-app feature will create a mixed tape of sorts for up to five of your favorite artists, Aisha writes.
- Convoy: Rebecca reported on an open letter sent to California governor Gavin Newsom from a group of autonomous truck developers urging the state to reconsider an earlier ruling that prohibits those kinds of vehicles in the state.
- Listen up: If you are looking for some new earbuds, Brian provides a review of Nura’s prototype.
- Developer delight: Frederic writes about Hasura’s new GraphQL Data Connector that “allows developers to bring virtually any data source into Hasura in order to expose it as a GraphQL API.”