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Time to do the Friday dance! We’ve mentioned our virtual TC Sessions: Robotics event a few times, but we’ve got some good news for events fans. Hang on to your blockchains and sharpen those crypto wallets — we’re doing a TechCrunch Sessions: Crypto in November as well! Happy weekend! See y’all on Monday. — Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Words mean everything: Microsoft came under fire recently by developers due to the way it worded a new policy banning profiting off of open source software, and while the company clawed back that policy, Paul provides a look at what all this will mean.
- No snakes and frozen statues here: Christine writes about Medusa’s $8 million seed round to take on Shopify with its open source e-commerce tool for small businesses to grow their business beyond the basic API implementations provided by marketplaces.
- B-O-A-R-D: No, it’s not today’s Wordle answer — we checked — but fans of the game will be delighted to know that the popular guess-the-word computer game is being turned into a board game, Ivan writes.
Startups and VC
“We have entered an unprecedented combination of crypto winter and broad macroeconomic instability, and we need to prepare the company for the possibility of a prolonged downturn,” OpenSea CEO Devin Finzer said, as Lucas reports.
The question bouncing around Alex’s mind this morning is why venture investments are slowing when so much capital has been raised by VCs to invest? (Read about it on TC+, our subscription product.)
NGL and Sendit’s apps are problematic, Sarah writes, because they’ve been using misleading tactics to trick their young users into thinking they were receiving engagement from friends when they were not.
Kick off the weekend by bopping along to this wildly dark and weirdly threatening EDM track from Rüfüs Du Sol, as you skim the best of the rest:
- Hi, is that Nothing? Brian just posted his review of the Nothing Phone (1), sharing that it’s “a refreshing change of pace in a smartphone market that has lost much of its sense of fun.”
- Hi, WYD: The race is on, with a number of startups racing to build a crypto-native, consumer-friendly messaging platforms for web3, reports Connie.
- Shields up: With her new startup, Granitt, Runa Sandvik aims to help at-risk people, like journalists and activists but also politicians, lawyers, refugees and human rights defenders, from threats they face doing their work, Zack reports.
- You get a credit card, you get a credit card: Stori offers credit cards to underserved populations in Mexico. It has raised $50 million in equity at a $1.2 billion valuation, writes Mary Ann.
- They’re really going places: Vektor Partners raises new $126 million fund to look specifically at sustainable mobility companies, reports Mike.
- It’s the birds, and the bees, and the flowers, and the vee cees: Systemiq secures $70 million to fund early-stage climate tech founders, reports Harri.
Pivoting your startup in a bear market: Become undeniably fundable
Every founder is searching for ways to conserve cash at the moment, but a laser focus on saving money instead of creating efficiencies will only delay the inevitable.
In July 2022, investors will not back companies that can’t demonstrate proficiency in five basic KPIs, according to Kraig Swensrud, founder and CEO of Qualified.
“We’re not going back to the sugar high of the past decade anytime soon, but with integrity, strong leadership and operational efficiency, we can not only survive, but thrive.”
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
Brian writes that after testing out drone delivery in California, Amazon is heading over to the Lone Star State — that’s Texas, y’all — to begin delivering in the town of College Station, where Texas A&M University is located. Now when Texans look at the sky, it kind of gives a new meaning to “the stars at night are big and bright.”
As one of our colleagues noted, TikTok wrote a rather lengthy post basically announcing that its chief security officer stepped down from his position. Aisha reduces the news down to a more manageable length.
All you Apple Music subscribers out there gained another perk with Apple Music Sessions, which provides access to audio recorded at Apple music studios around the world. Country stars Carrie Underwood and Tenille Townes were the first to give it a go, Lauren writes.
In case you missed it, our colleagues were working hard yesterday, and here are some late-day stories we don’t want you to miss:
- Put it in drive: In car news, Jaclyn wrote about Hyundai’s N brand, some rather expensive (multimillion-dollar value) electric vehicles coming this summer and where VinFast is building its new EV factory. Meanwhile, Rebecca is keeping us up-to-date on what’s going on with Cruise’s robotaxi service. You may remember a bunch of its vehicles stalling traffic for hours in San Francisco.
- Patting yourself on the back: That’s how Kyle described Meta’s first human rights report.
- We want you to know that your car insurance may have lapsed: The FCC slapped one robocaller with a $116 million fine and now it is ready to go again, Devin wrote.
- Ready and willing: Coinbase may have some competition knocking at the door. Anita digs into why Binance.US is prepared to come in.