Welcome to Startups Weekly, this week’s spotlight on startup news and trends by Senior Reporter and co-host of Equity Natasha Maskerenhas To receive this in your inbox, subscribe over here.
First of all, hello to the newbie weekly subscribers who joined us after last week’s newsletter. I’m still happy for all of us. Resonance with a restored history. Second, here are some basics of what to expect.
I start most of these newsletters with a mini-essay on what’s on my mind, sometimes hinting at one of the longer-form pieces for the week, or just to share some extra thoughts at the end of the news cycle. Then I’ll go into three themes that stand out from the week, along with additional reading for those who want to dig further. I end with notes from tech bloggers, TC events and, if you look hard enough, often personal stories related to coffee and food. Well, now to the article in question!
It all started with a voice. Specifically, an SEC filing from Sound Ventures, actor and entrepreneur Ashton Kutcher’s venture firm, confirmed plans to raise a venture firm focused on artificial intelligence. Bloomberg estimates the new investment vehicle could reach $200 million at closing.
While Kutcher’s company has been around for a long time and has lived through enough incentive cycles to not easily sway one way or the other, the presentation makes me curious. Will we see more celebrity-led venture firms jump on the AI bandwagon? Especially since crypto, the hip train’s all-loved sector, has it sputtered and struggled in recent months?
If you ask me, I’d rather not see the same rush of celebrities trying to promote AI products the way they promote them on their Instagram stories. [insert coin offering here]. It’s complicated, and I’m completely wrong. Read my full comment on TC+: “ Will AI receive celebrity-backed hype like crypto once did? it’s complicated.”
In the rest of this newsletter, we’ll talk about egg hatching, spike fusion, and hatching culture. As always, you can follow me Twitter Or Instagram to continue the conversation. I’m also writing on my personal blog, if you want to keep up with the 1,835 other people who are about to upload and are very eloquent.
One of my favorite pastimes is going to the supermarket, so you can imagine that I’m quite attuned to the fluctuating prices of eggs these days. Fortunately, there’s a launch angle that tells us more. TC’s Christine Hall writes how high egg prices have opened up demand for alternatives. If you are like me and know about Just Egg, this story is illuminating for many reasons.
Here’s why it’s important, Hall tells me:There was no real yes or no about pushing the gas pedal [alternative egg startups] Getting more produce there. I was hoping someone would say yes, startups should go for it, or no, this is a passing thing and they should wait. So maybe this kind of environment offers a very messy opportunity, it is intended. “
A picture of him
The DOJ is preparing to file an anti-competitive lawsuit over the $20 billion Adobe-Figma deal announced last year, according to earlier reports by Bloomberg. If the DOJ succeeds, it could disrupt tech companies big and small that have been taking notes on what a big exit looks like.
Here’s why it’s important: Not surprising, but more confirmation of some earlier worries. At the time of the announcement, the deal saw Adobe take out one of its biggest rivals in the design world. Immediately, people including TC’s Ingrid Lunden rang some alarm bells around Adobe’s future dominance as a platform and toolset leader.
Additionally, Ihab Bandar, founder of design consulting firm Bigtable.co, told TechCrunch in September that “Designers, and especially cross-functional teams, hate changing software. Any new device would have to be superior to the vast array of things that Fima is currently doing, so it’s hard to imagine new competitors coming out of the woodwork.” Others saw the potentially fluid event as an opportunity to bring in new creative and perhaps even entrepreneurial designers.
Remember IPO Market meets Bonanza meets Party meets Nerd Stampede? We’re tracking past public market talks with the latest equity class, with scooters and social media companies being surprising IPO candidates. Come for the analysis, stay for our indignation at the word “Proficorn.”
Here’s why it’s important: Reddit and Lime are both reportedly eyeing official market launches this year, which has taken your dear hosts completely by surprise. In the next 12 months we are more focused on Stripe and Instacart, which has previously delayed its IPO. The growing list of nominees tells us that some companies believe they are doing well enough that the Nasdaq isn’t a terrible acronym. FTX only, now.
Featured on TechCrunch.
Sensitive US military emails leaked online
Update 911 calls with Michael Chime
Signalfire’s founder says the VC firm has ‘lost employees who thought we were too cheap’ over the years.
Elon Musk has hinted that Twitter may open source ‘next week’.
Featured on TechCrunch+.
Pitch Deck Teardown: Uber’s $200k pre-seed deck from 2008
Is ocean conservation the next climate technology? 7 investors explain why they all got in
A $100M venture round is about to close.
Emerging managers should ask 5 questions before selecting LPs
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