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Friday, cha cha cha! Fri-day! Cha cha cha! We’re doing a tiny, joyous, two-person conga line around our virtual Daily Crunch editorial Zoom meeting to celebrate the arrival of the first weekend in February. Yes, it looks ridiculous. No, we couldn’t care less even if we took every ounce we had and poured into less-caring.
Couple of quick ones for startups: If you’re going to MWC, we want to hear from you, and we want your votes for the TechCrunch Early Stage fireside chats, breakout sessions and roundtable discussions!
And for today’s Black History Month recommendation, we suggest Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow. It’s an extraordinary read that, when it was published a decade ago, reignited the desire for criminal justice reform and is still as poignant and relevant today. — Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
- The Big Apple of subscriber bases: Apple may have missed its revenue target (see the Big Tech section) for its fiscal first quarter, but the consumer tech giant is poppin’ bottles and tootin’ horns after announcing it now has 935 million paid subscriptions across all of its offerings. Ivan has more.
- Who’s at the door?: Christine got the scoop on Jokr’s new funding round. The grocery delivery company secured around $50 million to give it a bump in valuation, up to $1.3 billion now. Jokr plans to use that funding to double down on its service in Brazil.
- A tall order for some shorts: YouTube’s persistence of getting everyone to watch shorts has paid off: Google says YouTube Shorts crossed 50 billion daily views, Ivan reports.
Startups and VC
TechCrunch Live is back, and Matt is thrilled to have hosted this conversation with Sameer Shariff, CEO and co-founder of Cambly, and Sarah Tavel, partner at Benchmark. During this hourlong event, you’ll hear how Cambly used a failed Series A fundraise to force the company into a cash-positive position. Of course, once the company didn’t need outside capital, it was suddenly available, and the company raised its next two rounds of funding.
And we have five more for you:
- A second Nothing: Nothing’s second phone will take on the U.S. this year, reports Brian.
- Pumping the brakes: Rebecca reports that car-sharing SPAC Getaround lays off 10% of staff.
- Sendy takes the off-ramp: More job cuts loom as Sendy quits Nigeria, one of its four markets in Africa, Annie reports.
- A brighter future: SunFi aims to be the fastest way for Nigerians to find, finance and manage solar, Tage reports.
- Raising for Rebar robotics: Rebar robotics firm Toggle adds another $3 million to its fundraising tally, Brian reports.
Pitch Deck Teardown: Laoshi’s $570K angel deck
The founders of Laoshi raised a $570,000 angel round to scale up their app, which helps users learn to read and write in Chinese.
To help other very early-stage founders, they shared 15 slides from their deck:
- Cover slide
- Problem slide
- Market slide
- Solution slide
- Competition slide
- Road map slide
- Team slide
- Teacher growth slide
- Teacher retention slide
- Summary slide
- “Contact us” slide
- Appendices cover slide
- Appendix I: Viral effect slide
- Appendix II: Business model slide
- Appendix III: “The ask” slide
Three more from the TC+ team:
- All about the Hryvnias, baby: Dmytro Bilash breaks down why it might be a good idea to invest in Ukrainian startups today.
- 4 activist investors walk into a Salesforce: Can 4 activist investors play nice in the Salesforce sandbox? Ron asks.
- Well, that’s useful: Usage-based pricing is rising, but not replacing other models, by Anna.
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.
For all you “Seinfeld” fans out there, Amanda came upon this gem on Twitch, the “Nothing, Forever” AI ‘Seinfeld’ spoof, which she notes, “We’ve all seen far too many AI-generated gimmicks, but the AI isn’t what’s most interesting about “Nothing, Forever.” It’s the community that’s gathered around the stream, making the project feel like this generation’s “Twitch Plays Pokémon.” Enjoy!
Our team was on earnings overload, and now we have a nice collection of insights from Ford, Apple and Amazon:
- Apple stock drops on rare earnings miss, by Brian and Natasha.
- Ford left ‘$2B of profits on the table’ in 2022, by Kirsten.
- Amazon ramped up content spending to $16.6B in 2022, by Lauren.
- AWS says growth dropped to mid-teens as customer cost-cutting continues, by Ron.
Now here’s some non-earnings items for your Friday enjoyment:
- That is not chump change: Vodafone Idea was ordered by the Indian government to convert government dues into $2 billion equity, Manish reports.
- Cha-ching: Credit card companies in South Korea can now launch Apple Pay, Kate writes.
- Even more cha-ching: The U.S. Treasury signed off on more electric vehicle federal tax credits for Tesla, Ford and GM, Kirsten reports.
- SGN for NFTs: Jacquelyn reports some good news — that the NFT market is showing signs of recovery.
- Well, that didn’t last long: Twitter alternative Damus was pulled from Apple’s App Store in China. Rita has more on how that happened.