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Welcome to the Daily Crunch on Friday April 8, 2022! Today, Haje mostly read the latest IPCC report and gobbled down handfuls of anti-anxiety medication, while Christine talked and wrote all day.
If it turns out that saving the planet isn’t the right thing to do, we can always choose to burn it down later. Until then, can we just agree to try to help, collectively?
TechCrunch’s Top 3
- Executive parts ways with Better.com: CTO Diane Yu is among the employees who agree to participate in the voluntary departure plan that the digital mortgage lender proposed earlier this week, although we report that she will remain as an advisor. Yu joined the company in January 2021 after leaving a similar role at Comcast. The news follows yesterday’s story which discussed what happened at Better.com’s December meeting where it laid off 900 employees.
- Late slowdown in aisle 5!: Earlier this week, Alex Wilhelm and Anna Heim looked at global venture capital, finding that later-stage investments are down. Alex is back, this time diving into what happened with last minute deals – and what kind of slowdown we’re talking about here. Like leaving the gallon of milk in the fries aisle to grab the last bag of Doritos, he believes there will be tough decisions to make in the future.
- Didi puts South Africa in her rearview mirror: Chinese ride-sharing giant Didi Chixung sticks out his thumb and takes over South Africa today. The company didn’t give a specific reason for his departure, but it appears his year-long journey around the country ran into some speed bumps at first.
Startups and VCs
Tesla is adorable and all, but the company can’t be accused of making electric vehicles financially accessible. Good news for EV enthusiasts: Vietnamese EV firm Vinfast is leaning on the throttle in its IPO process, promising a new generation of affordable EVs alongside offerings from GM, Hyundai and Kia . I, for one, can’t wait for gas guzzlers to be a thing of the past.
I’ve lived on four different continents, and I’m furious that in 2022, sending money internationally is still an industry full of “solutions” that make you wonder who’s in charge here. SwooshTransfer has raised a multi-million dollar seed round to fix this problem once and for all, “simplifying transactions”. No one tells them about Wise, Xe, Western Union, WorldRemit, HiFX, Remitly, OFX, MoneyGram, Xoom, or any of the dozens of other well-funded companies already in existence.
Let’s take a quick tour to see what else you may have missed:
Does your startup have enough lead? 5 factors to consider
If your startup doesn’t have enough cash to last through fall 2023, you could be in trouble.
As a general rule, “seed-stage and Series A-stage companies should plan to have at least 12 to 18 months of track,” says angel investor Marjorie Radlo-Zandi.
As an extension of her last column on calculating the MPR, she shares her consumption rate calculator and five tips for managing cash.
“Projections are useful,” she says, “but you can’t account for unexpected problems or opportunities.”
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams grow. You can join here.)
Big Tech inc.
Put a count in the Microsoft column. Six years after a broader investigation into the Russian state-sponsored APT28 hacking group, Microsoft announced this week that it had successfully seized the domains the group, operated by Russian military intelligence, used to target institutions in Ukraine.
Spotify is giving us TikTok vibes today. The streaming service is on a roll with another new discovery feature it’s testing. We note that this time it’s “a custom feed on the app’s home screen, which presents users with new music through a stream of web loops (aka those GIFs that appear when you listen to some songs – Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Brutal’ comes with a smash cake loop, for example).This follows last week’s test of an ‘audio newsfeed’ for podcasts.
Twitter, Twitter, Twitter! We know Jan would be rolling his eyes at Marcia right now for discussing the social media giant again this week, but there’s too much going on not to mention. Twitter has offered new additions to its alt text feature (images with alt text will have an “ALT” badge in the corner of the image) and you can now unlink from tweets (we’ll have to learn not to take it personally ).
Here are some other stories to put on your reading list for today:
- Apple’s app tracking transparency study raises competition concerns: Natasha Lomas broke down some of the study’s findings, which show that Apple’s requirement that developers ask permission to track app users has made tracking more difficult. And that many apps still collect tracking data despite being told not to by the user.
- Google Pixel users, rejoice!: Google partners with iFixit to offer self-repair tools for Pixel handsets. The kits will launch later this year and will include all fixings for common repairs such as replacing batteries, screens and camera modules. Next on the list are Chromebooks.