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The TechCrunch Top 3
- Some developers are not happy: If you haven’t had a chance to meet our new Europe reporter, Paul Sawers, you are in for a treat because he knocked it out of the park today. He wrote about the Software Freedom Conservancy urging open source developers to ditch GitHub following the company’s commercial launch of Copilot. Their beef, among other things, is that there is now a fee associated with using Copilot.
- It’s going down: Buy now, pay later fintech company Klarna is reportedly raising a fresh round of funding at a valuation far below some of its previous rounds. Mary Ann has more.
- Valuation waits for no market: Alex digs into OpenSea’s $13 billion valuation and why that is not in line with what he is seeing with NFT trading volumes.
Startups and VC
A bit of a slow day for startup news, but let’s dive in:
- Another wave: Natasha and Amanda are back with the saddest list we put together — all the tech layoffs.
- No head in the clouds here: Snowflake made a name for itself in all things cloud data warehousing, and Ron writes today that Hydra is here to take an open source approach. The company, which raised $3.1 million after graduating from Y Combinator’s winter 2022 class, is building its cloud data warehouse on top of the popular open source Postgres database.
- Extra efficiency: I highlighted Promoted.ai’s new $6 million seed extension that will go toward the company’s long-term vision of helping e-commerce marketplaces achieve profitability. Their technology brings all that gooey marketplace goodness, the search, feed, ads and promotions, together under one platform.
- A shot in the arm: Medical testing has never been so important now, and Haje got word that Visby Medical brought in another $35 million, an extension to a $100 million Series E round raised earlier this year. The company is working on “the world’s first instrument-free handheld PCR platform to accurately and rapidly test for a variety of serious infections to anyone who needs it.”
Pitch Deck Teardown: Wilco’s $7 million seed deck
Founders with a technical background would do well to heed one of the biggest takeaways from Wilco’s $7 million seed pitch deck: Avoid the trap of focusing too much on the features of a product, rather than its benefits, Haje writes.
“The ‘how’ will be important, but risks the temptation of getting into more detail than what’s important for a pitch deck. The ‘what’ is too tactical; for this part of the story, it doesn’t really matter what users need to do to gain these benefits. Focusing on the ‘why’ is why this slide is so powerful; it opens the door to more in-depth conversations if needed, but the groundwork is there. I wish more startups got this right!”
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
Yes, the Apple Store was down for 2 hours yesterday, but all is right now with the world. Haje reported that it came back on with the removal of Enjoy — the company that was in charge of delivery and setup of Apple devices — following Enjoy’s bankruptcy announcement, and that a $50 gift card will ship out with the purchase of either the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD.
Annie digs into a story about the U.S. commodities regulator, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, pursuing a civil charge filing against Mirror Trading International Proprietary Limited, a South African bitcoin pool operator, and its CEO Cornelius Johannes Steynberg, for allegedly running a fraudulent commodity pool worth more than $1.7 billion in bitcoin.
Across the pond, Natasha delivered a pair of European Union–related stories today. One was that Amazon has agreed to make it easier for people to cancel their Prime membership, while lawmakers gave their stamp of approval on some new regulations pertaining to cryptocurrency.
- Google is settling: Ivan writes that the search engine giant agreed to pay $90 million to settle a lawsuit with U.S. developers who accused Google of abusing its power of app distribution and charging an unfair fee of 30% for app purchases and in-app purchases made through the Play Store.
- Crypto chaos: One firm, whose application for a bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund was rejected by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, is now suing the federal entity. Jacquie reports on why one expert says that approach isn’t likely to work.
- FTX is at it again: First, it was rumored that FTX was looking to acquire Robinhood, which was debunked, but now another deal for BlockFi looks to be sticking. Lucas has more.
- No EPA, no cry: Tim dives into why the Supreme Court’s recent Environmental Protection Agency ruling “all but ensures the U.S. won’t be competitive with China or Europe.”