Daily Crunch: It's AI day for Tesla, but we're here for the cringey texts 




  • In Business
  • 2022-09-30 22:05:42Z
  • By TechCrunch

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Happy Friday! We don't know about you, but we are both ready for some R&R after ploughing through a wall of deep-cringe texts from the Musk/Twitter trial. We hope you get some, too, this weekend.

This afternoon, Tesla is running its second AI day. Last year's was a hoot, and we have some predictions for what's coming down the pipe today, too. - Christine and Haje

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • Under attack: Microsoft confirmed that it "is aware" of some attacks to its Exchange server. Carly is staying on top of the story and reports that there is "no immediate fix."

  • Eyeing that sweet capital: Manish has a scoop that Uniswap Labs, a decentralized exchange, is going after over $100 million in new funding.

  • Stream on: YouTube TV is offering a new à la carte option that enables subscribers to purchase stand-alone networks without subscribing to the full channel lineup in its Base plan, Lauren reports.

Startups and VC

When insurtech company Metromile went public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in February last year, it was valued at over $1 billion. A year and five months later, Lemonade acquired the company for less than $145 million. And yet, things aren't as bleak as they might seem, Anna reports.

This year, 40% of the world's population will play games, with total spending nearing $200 billion. The purveyors of web3 want a slice of this gargantuan market, Rita reports. She writes that criticisms of the first generation of crypto games have been well documented, so the question for developers now is what decentralized games should look like.

Let's do a few more, shall we? Go on, then:

  • Yeah, that didn't work: Catherine reports that TestGrid is a "one-stop shop" for testing apps at scale.

  • There's a bit of a whiff about this: GV aims to help build a company that can sniff out disease, literally, reports Connie.

  • A bitter pill: Natasha M reports that Truepill, a digital health unicorn, conducted its fourth round of layoffs in 2022.

  • To da moon: Natasha M and Kyle give us the biggest moonshots from 500 Global's latest Demo Day .

  • Ever so surprised: Ingrid reports that Everstores, an OpenStore-style D2C Shopify aggregator out of Europe, emerges from stealth with €18 million in funding.

8 investors weigh in on the state of insurtech in Q3 2022

Hand holding Piggy bank with post it notes in front of blackboard showing a hand drawn umbrella.
Hand holding Piggy bank with post it notes in front of blackboard showing a hand drawn umbrella.  

Image Credits: Warchi (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Some services are in such demand, it can insulate their providers against the vagaries of the market. During an economic downturn, consumers don't cut back on pet food or toilet paper. Similarly, everyone needs some form of insurance.

Between 2016 and 2022, insurtech startups received around $43 billion in funding, and despite the downturn, most of the investors that reporter Anna Heim recently surveyed are still positive about the sector's prospects:

  • Martha Notaras, general partner, Brewer Lane Ventures

  • David Wechsler, principal, OMERS Ventures

  • Stephen Brittain and Rob Lumley, directors and co-founders, Insurtech Gateway

  • Florian Graillot, founding partner, Astorya.vc

  • Clarisse Lam, associate, NewAlpha Asset Management

  • Hélène Falchier, partner, Portage Ventures

  • Adam Blumencranz, partner, Distributed Ventures

"We are simply seeing a reality check happen," said Wechsler. "Unfortunately, there are many companies that should not have raised as much as they did, or perhaps don't have sustainable business models. These companies will struggle to survive."

  • Raising growth funding for robotics startups: Show, don't tell: Tips for robotics startups raising a Series B during a downturn, by Jason Schoettler.

  • Q3 was rough; here's what Q4 holds in store (maybe): After a series of misfires in Q3, here's what we expect for startups in Q4, by Anna and Alex.

  • Bridging the gap: Tokenization is key to linking TradFi to the blockchain, by Jacquelyn.

TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead of the pack. You can sign up here. Use code "DC" for a 15% discount on an annual subscription!

Big Tech Inc.

SoftBank has been doing some readjusting to company valuations lately, but the latest adjusting is happening with its own company. Kate reports that SoftBank's Vision Fund is reportedly laying off 30% of its workforce even as it considers a third fund.

Here are five more for you:

  • Inside Elon's texts: Amanda and Taylor dig into a document that surfaced that provides a look into the innermost workings of Elon Musk's mind as he texts back and forth with "friends." We put that in quotes because, well, you'll see.

  • Slimming down: At a Meta all-hands meeting, Mark Zuckerberg broke the news that it will freeze hiring and cut costs, Taylor reports.

  • Taking on QVC: Amazon launched a livestream shopping site in India, Manish and Jagmeet write. The delivery giant said Amazon Live will run 15 livestreams a day.

  • We on a mission: SpaceX and NASA are partnering to send a commercial crew to "boost the orbit of the Hubble Space Telescope." If it is successful, it will extend the telescope's life span by as much as 20 years, Aria reports.

  • What did we just watch?: Meta has a new feature called Make-A-Video that enables you to make videos out of text prompts. To quote Devin, "I just think it's fascinating that however realistic these videos are in one sense, they're all so bizarre and off-putting in others." 

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