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The discussion is on in the newsroom as to whether folks are eager to pay between $8 and $20 per month for their blue checks on Twitter. Alex’s take was particularly sharp… “Not in the mood to finance your vanity project,” indeed. — Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
- As Whitney Houston would never be caught singing: And Priiiiiiiiiiiiime will always love youuuuuuu: Amazon Prime knows what’s up. That’s why they now have a full music catalog of over 100 million songs and podcasts so you don’t need that pesky membership to Apple or Spotify. Sarah has more.
- What goes up…: Volocopter comes soaring in with $182 million big ones as it continues developing its air taxi service, Rebecca writes. If you are following along at home, this is in addition to the $170 million it got earlier this year for the same round at a $1.87 billion post-money valuation.
- … must come down: Darrell has been following SpaceX’s successful launch of Falcon Heavy.
Startups and VC
TouchBistro, an iPad-based restaurant management platform, secured $110 million in growth financing from Francisco Partners to accelerate its growth, expand its product pipeline and make some strategic acquisitions, Christine reports.
How’s this for some dodgy rhymes:
- Remember, remember, the first of November: Natasha M reports that Rewind wants to revamp how you remember, with millions from a16z.
- A broader range on climate change: Harri reports that “simply decarbonizing” isn’t enough, as Third Nature targets $35 million fund.
- Keep your hands off my scans: MedCrypt lands $25 million injection to secure vulnerable medical devices, Carly reports.
- A better gauge for your old age: Retirable secures $6 million to plan retirement for those without millions in savings, Christine reports.
- Companies combine for better design: Shopify acquires Remix to bolster its storefront design tools, Kyle reports.
Prepare to amortize: Inflation may spell doom for R&D tax expensing
The U.S. federal government has made R&D tax credits available for decades, but a major change set to take place this year will impact startups across the board.
Previously, R&D expenditures could be expensed up front, but now “those expenses will need to be amortized over 5 years in the case of domestic research, and 15 years for foreign research,” according to tax attorney Andrew Leahey.
Because so many startups “incur the bulk of their R&D costs in their first year of operation,” many could wait “the equivalent of a lifetime” to recover those expenses.
High inflation has stalled efforts to repeal the amortization requirement, so Leahey shares several tactics companies can use “to prepare for the possibility of the rule coming into effect.”
Three more from the TC+ team:
- Building in the limelight: How Metafy founder Josh Fabian caught the attention of 776 by building in public, by Amanda.
- Moar games, more web3s: Immutable onboarded more web3 games in Q3 than any other quarter, co-founder says, by Jacquelyn.
- There’s another way, surely: I’m not really in the mood to finance your vanity project, by Alex.
Big Tech Inc.
As always, we have all the Twitter news that’s fit to post. We promise to keep it to a minimum today because there is other fantastic news to share. However, we do want to point out that Elon Musk likes to work out his thought process in tweet form now, so news is changing as the wind blows.
Here’s what you need to know today: Musk continues to talk up his plans for Twitter Blue and ad-free news articles (both by Ivan), while Amanda reports on the company’s chief customer officer Sarah Personette, who resigned today. The move is quite surprising, given that she tweeted positively about a conversation with Musk last week. Meanwhile, over at Mastodon, things are happening, Sarah writes.
And we have five more for you:
- Baby, you can drive my company: Ford and VW are looking for a buyer for Argo AI’s lidar unit, Kirsten reports.
- Rolling with the 5G: Annie writes that pricey 5G smartphones are impeding the speedier adoption of a 5G network rollout.
- Hacked off: The Federal Trade Commission is accusing edtech giant Chegg of “careless” cybersecurity practices that led to exposure of information for tens of millions of customers and employees. Carly has more.
- Seeing green: The Indonesia Stock Exchange is joining with Metaverse Green Exchange on a blockchain-powered carbon trading scheme slated to launch in 2025, Rita reports.
- Ah, push it: We are loving Rebecca’s headline, “Uber tests push notifications, a feature literally no one wants.”