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Last week was a hell of a week in startup news, and Henry wrote a particularly good summary of everything that went down, including Elon Musk’s Twitter purchase, Meta’s troubles, and a minute of silence for self-driving cars. — Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Flying chonk goes wheeeeeee: While we were all distracted by Elon Musk’s other pet project, SpaceX launched a Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time in three years. Aria has more.
- Swipe right for utter chaos: Glitch or not, Instagram has some ‘splaining to do. A number of users woke up this morning to suspended accounts. We adore Aisha’s headline, “Instagram is giving Twitter a run for its money as the most chaotic social network today.” We concur.
- Circle of friends: Egyptian fintech Money Fellows banked $31 million in new funding to, what Tage describes as, “digitizing money circles,” which is where people essentially save and borrow together as a group.
Startups and VC
Politician turned venture capitalist Bradley Tusk recently spoke at a TechCrunch Live event on how startups should approach regulation, in a session called “How to launch a startup into a regulated market.” Dibbs CEO and co-founder Evan Vandenberg joined Tusk in the conversation. The event is embedded here and is both free and very worth watching.
Invygo, a startup operating in UAE and Saudi Arabia, has raised $10 million in its Series A funding as it works to scale its car rental service in the region. The Middle East–based startup has raised $14.3 million to date, Ivan reports.
And, as ever, there’s a handful of additional stories. Just 4 this time — there were 5, but then a PR person decided to move the embargo for a story that was already published, and Haje got all salty and grumpy about it.
- Ai ai ai: Connie explores why “generative AI” is suddenly on everyone’s lips, concluding that it’s an “open field.”
- For celebrities of all stripes: Zebra Labs raises $5 million to help Chinese celebrities enter the metaverse, Rita reports.
- Doing the admin vs. “doing the work”: Topline Pro grabs $5 million to help home service businesses scale online, Christine reports.
- Patience, young Padawan: On November 2, Matt asks Natalie Gordon of Babylist and Jesse Draper at Halogen Ventures, What if your startup doesn’t take off overnight? Get that in your calendar.
6 reasons why you shouldn’t join an accelerator
As director of Techstars’ startup pipeline, Saba Karim devotes much of his time touting the many ways entrepreneurs can benefit by joining an accelerator.
But is it the right choice for every founder?
“Keep in mind that funding will solve your money problems, but it won’t solve everything else,” he says. “You’ll still need to figure out how to acquire customers, find the best talent, build an incredible product, assemble a great advisory board and get to product-market fit.”
Three more from the TC+ team:
- Who will end the standoff: It will take a ‘bulletproof’ startup to break the IPO logjam, says Alex.
- BRB, AFK, rockets: Alex Fedorov shares How to effectively manage a remote team during wartime.
- Working remotely, or not remotely working: Remote work is here to stay. Here’s how to manage your staff from afar, by Rebecca.
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.
Darrell writing that Mark Zuckerberg should drop all that metaverse nonsense and “make a new Twitter” makes us want to respond with “bite your tongue!” But really, as he puts it, “Cloning the features of its rivals” is something Meta is good at, plus it has the best chance at also replicating user base and monetary worth. It’s unlikely Zuck will take the bait, but never say never.
It’s indeed a Twitter world, and we just live in it. First, Devin writes that Elon Musk just dissolved Twitter’s board of directors, making him now the sole owner; then Ron followed up with what Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor can do now that he isn’t on the board. Sarah reports on Twitter Blue’s troubles, namely that the subscription service is feeling blue that it is not bringing in more green. Meanwhile, Amanda writes about what happens if Twitter starts charging for that little blue checkmark, and Natasha L reports that Musk might be trying to bring back Vine. Over the weekend, Rebecca wrote about layoffs at the company.
Don’t worry, there was plenty of other news:
- Mind cleanse: To get all that Twitter out of your mind, try your hand at Google’s new doodle game. Have you ever watched your child play Snake.io and wondered, “Will I like that?” Well, Google got into the Halloween spirit with today’s doodle, where you get to be a ghost and collect spirit flames while playing with friends or random people, Aisha writes.
- The heat is on: Amazon to delist top seller Appario on India marketplace after some retailers allege that sellers got preferential treatment, Manish reports.
- We’ve got a ticket to ride: WhatsApp users in Bengaluru can now buy train tickets via QR code, Jagmeet reports.
- Bed, Bath & Breach: Bed, Bath & Beyond confirms a data breach that happened when a hacker gained access to an employee’s hard drive, Carly writes.
- Query that data: Ron reports on Pinecone’s new vector database that can handle hybrid keyword-semantic searches.