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Hey guys! me again. like me Of course it made you sit on the edge of your seat, I’m happy to report that the team wasn’t fully dissatisfied with my inaugural work (this here in case you missed it) and so they agreed to give me another try. As for other good news, it’s almost the end of the week. And if you’re looking outside at the same New York skyline as me, the weather is beautiful. Take this vitamin D whenever you can.
Anyone if you No New York bound for New York and found itself within spitting distance of Menlo Park today, take a ticket to TechCrunch Summer Party. I checked, there is not much left – the festivities begin at 18:00 Pacific time. Also, don’t forget to mark upcoming events on your calendar. TC Sessions: Robotics An event that will feature guests such as Amazon’s Vice President of Global Robotics and Director of the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute. This will not be one to miss. — Kyle
TechCrunch Top 3
- Put it in the pipe and smoke: Connie said early in the morning that Juul, manufacturer of electronic cigarettes Starting at Stanford, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will receive a “do not market order” that will prevent the company from selling its products in the US. ordered Juul is withdrawing all of its products from sale, the culmination of a two-year investigation by the agency into whether Juul products are harmful to children. Juul has the option to file an appeal with the FDA, challenge the decision in court, or file a revised application for its products.
- Cloud kitchens disperse: Annie writes that Kune Food, an up-and-coming Kenyan start-up that rents out kitchens for preparing low-cost ready-to-eat meals, will malfunction operations and lay off approximately 90 people. Referring to “the economic downturn and tightening investment markets,” CEO Robin Recht said the company failed to secure the necessary funding and struggled to scale its business model, which was based on selling food to individuals and corporate customers for $3 per person.
- Summarize: Remember Summarizing? Ten years ago, the company made a splash by turning ordinary smartphones into payment terminals. Currently, ingrid reports that the startup has raised $624 million at an $8.5 billion valuation, reflecting its robust growth. SumUp claims that over 4 million SMBs use its platform. The new money will be used to acquire new employees, hire new employees, and develop products.
Startups and VK
Companies with digital products have been doing well during the pandemic. This is not surprising. With people and workers stuck at home, digital has become the only way to collaborate, stay informed, and find a way out. One digital sub-segment that has enjoyed particular growth has been e-learning. Recall that Udemy raised tens of millions in 2020. But the situation seems to be changing. Master Class, a platform that sells subscriptions to celebrity-led classes, has cut 20% of its team — roughly 120 people — in order to “get self-sustaining faster.” As Natasha notes that it is the latest edtech start-up to shrink after Eruditusstart-up training Section 4, Unacademy as well as Vedanta. Meanwhile, Duolingo and Coursera stocks have plummeted.
Unfortunately, micromobility is also out of fashion these days. Soon after Lime left South Korea as well as Bird fired 23% of its staff, e-scooter startup Superpedestrian announced that it will cut its workforce by 35 people. Voi followed suit by laying off the headquarters, laying off 35 full-time employees. Rebecca notes that the economy of the industry has always been difficultbut it certainly doesn’t help that investors are increasingly wary of startups with high costs and a long road to profitability.
In more exciting news:
- Hardwood reboot: Tim writes about an exciting startup, bright planet, which develops the so-called “forest recovery operating system”. How the hell (pun intended) does this work? Well, Vibrant Planet software designed for land surveyors can prioritize goals like fire risk using a combination of satellite imagery and artificial intelligence tools. It can also perform analysis to determine how different terrain treatments will affect these goals, revealing real-time effects. Pretty neat.
- Make your steps – and your slalom: Similar to Fitbit ski tracker? This is something else that interested me, I must say, as a lover of winter sports. HadjeAn article on Carv details the ski boot startup’s ski-tracking insert, which measures and analyzes technique and feeds the data to an app where a virtual trainer can provide feedback. Carv, which received venture capital through Kickstarter, claims that its product can be installed on any shoe.
- Keep Austin weird – and underground: With a tunnel or two behind it, Elon Musk’s The Boring Company plans build a corridor under Tesla’s Gigafactory in Texas in Austin. Word mom on target but how Rebecca hints that perhaps Musk needs a secret road to get to his giant factory. Presumably he won’t have to fight traffic problems who are pursuing The Boring Company’s project in Las Vegas.
- Lightning in a bottle: Fusion can provide an almost unlimited amount of power with minimal waste, which is why countless startups, not to mention governments, are chasing it. Zap Energy is one of them – after successfully testing its fusion reactor prototype, the company raised $160 million in a Series C round. thunderstorm time. Tim reports.
- Drones as a Service Compliance: Drone as a Service Compliance: Obtaining the necessary approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration to operate drones can be a challenge for small businesses, and even more so for local governments. Link to airspacewhich this week raised $23 million in new support promises to make it easier by tracking ground infrastructure like radar coverage, other known flights and assets in a given area. Devin writes. Using the Airspace platform, customers can demonstrate to the FAA that they have built the necessary security infrastructure for drone operations — at least that’s how the advertising campaign goes.
Use customer-generated content to personalize emails to increase sales.
Consumer confidence is suffering during the economic downturn, so e-commerce startups should start looking for new ways to reach customers now.
Cynthia Price, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Litmus, talks about several ways companies can turn customer purchase data into content that enhances brand engagement and increases the likelihood of users buying.
For example, the most viewed products on your site reflect the tastes and interests of your most active customers, which means it’s also useful information to showcase in outgoing emails.
“You can even break down this data more granularly by separating the customer data,” Price writes. “This strategy generates interest, attracts more subscribers to your site, and increases the purchasing power of their products.”
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Big Tech Inc.
Live events are back in full force, monkeypox be damned? Spotify seems to think so. The music giant has updated the in-app discovery feature this week, adding new live feed, which promises to allow users to better learn about upcoming events and concerts. Event integration is not new to Spotify. Sarah notes that the company first introduced it back in 2015, but the update signals the platform’s confidence that the worst of the pandemic is over.
Sarah also reports that Spotify is developing “Communitywhich will allow users to see what music their friends are listening to in real time. It can also help the company in hosting live events, perhaps by encouraging people to explore live performances by artists they were not previously familiar with.
Elsewhere, in case you didn’t know, this week Amazon hosted re:MARS, the company’s conference dedicated to various aspects of its business. Frederick as well as Brian were in Las Vegas to report on the latest developments, battling both quirky Wi-Fi and scorching temperatures. (Bless ’em.) Re:MARS highlights may have been a new Alexa feature that could imitate voice After receiving the short entry, the AI-based coding assistant called codewhisperer and completely autonomous warehouse robot. Not Robert Downey Jr. cameo this year, unfortunately.
In other news:
- Write me a letter: Twitter officially launched Notes feature for long content what Sarah reported earlier this week. Aisha writes that Notes, which is currently limited to a small group of writers in the US, Canada, Ghana and the UK, could change how people use Twitter. But Would Elon Musk approve??
- I’m not getting younger Looking for reliable ways to better engage with younger users, Meta-owned Instagram is testing a new set of features designed to check age when people say they’re 18 or older. Through a combination of artificial intelligence, video selfies, confirmations from adult friends and ID cross-references, the idea is to keep young people away from material that could affect their mental health and subject them to inappropriate accusations.
- Governors management: The Oversight Council, the advisory group that reviews Facebook and Instagram content moderation decisions, published its first annual report This week, Taylor writes. In 2021, it received more than 1 million submissions from Facebook and Instagram users and issued rulings and clarifications in only 20 cases. But tellingly, the board of directors reversed parent company Meta’s original decision in more than two-thirds of the cases – 70% – it considered.
- No more spam: Tired of unwanted messages? Good news if you are an iPhone user. Ivan reports that when iOS 16 is released, users will be able to report spam messages with a new “Report Junk” link in the Messages app. According to the iOS 16 release notes, this feature will only be available on select carriers, but there is no word yet on which carriers may support it.
- Inclusion is the best policy: Just in time for pride month Google now lets sellers add a “LGBTQ+ owned” label to your profiles on Maps and Search, Aisha reports. The new label, available to sellers in the US with a Google verified business profile, expands on the “LGBTQ+ Friendly” and “Transgender Safe Space” labels that appear on business profiles in Search and Maps.
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