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Bonjour, crunchy folks!
It was a bit of a tense morning at TechCrunch HQ this morning: The news broke that the company that owns TechCrunch, Yahoo, announced it is laying off 20% of its staff, as Amanda reported. It seems the layoffs are mostly on the advertising tech side of the business, so hopefully the TechCrunch team’s jobs are safe — but this is tech layoffs hitting really close to home, with 1,600 coworkers shuffling on to new pastures. May you all find new employment opportunities soon, colleagues!
Our featured Black History Month read today is bell hooks’ Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics, a collection of her early cultural criticism pieces from the 1980s. It’s an amazing collection of essays about the oppressive structures of domination. It’s also really bloody depressing to realize how much of this is still relevant today, 30 to 40 years after the essays were first penned.
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Safe and sound: DoorDash unveiled some new safety features for its delivery drivers that include reduced notifications and a way to let customers know that the driver is in the middle of a trip. Ivan has more.
- Look what’s in open beta: Atlassian’s Jira Product Discovery, a tool for helping engineering and business teams prioritize and collaborate on new product ideas, is expected to be open to a general audience in the next three months, Frederic writes.
- Flying high: Haje explains the features of the new DJI Mini 2 SE ultraportable drone and why he’s confused about the naming of this particular product.
Startups and VC
Over 90% of cybercrime activities that lead to financial fraud or identity theft start with an email impersonation, commonly known as phishing and spoofing, Tage reports. Sendmarc just raised $7 million in Series A funding to offer individuals and businesses email protection from such attacks and general email impersonation.
Remember the piece we published about how a feature doesn’t make a business? Twitter said that the basic API tier will cost $100 per month, killing off hopes of hobbyist Twitter bots and a bunch of small business use cases, Ivan reports.
Today was a hell of a day of news on the site, so instead of our usual five, we’ve got seven stories for you, ranging from fintech to NFTs to mushroomy meat (or meaty mushrooms).
- A two-horned unicorn is a moonlit mute swan: Ingrid reports that Lunar, the Danish neobank valued at $2.2 billion last year, raises $38 million to shoot for the profitability moon.
- Reaping the content marketing it sowed: Wikifarmer uses its agricultural knowledge base to bring people to its marketplace, Romain reports.
- From Salesforce to Mystery Startup: Ron writes that former Salesforce exec Bret Taylor is teaming up with Google AR/VR vet Clay Bavor on a still-in-stealth startup.
- Buy now, pay later takes a dive: Affirm’s stock plunges as it misses earnings, Mary Ann reports. It also cuts 500 jobs and shutters its crypto unit.
- Say hi to shroo-meat: Fable Food lands Series A for its mushroom-based meat alternatives, Catherine reports.
- A power move: Harri reports that BoxPower wants to cut emissions and wildfire risk by taking power off the main grid.
- The NFT war rages on: Connie reports that, in a trademark battle between an NFT artist and a big brand, Hermès, the artist just lost.
4 video content tips for your startup’s growth marketing
If your marketing plan doesn’t include TikTok, YouTube Shorts, or Instagram Reels, well, can you really call it a marketing plan?
Video content is vital for driving early engagement, which is why growth expert Jonathan Martinez (formerly of Postmates, Uber and Chime) shares four tactics for getting started:
- Leverage creator marketplaces
- Produce short-form videos
- Build lasting creator relationships
- Cross-pollinate your videos
“If you’re entering 2023 without a video content plan for your startup, you will be missing out on a significant resource for creating brand awareness and reaching more consumers,” writes Martinez.
Three more from the TC+ team:
- What to do about missing info: Haje’s newest Pitch Deck Teardown is live, as he looks at Spinach.io’s $6 million seed deck.
- Chillin’ and illin’: Anna wonders why more startups are getting compliant.
- Bitcoin is back?: Bitcoin holding above $20,000 offers miners hope as margins become healthier, Jacquelyn reports.
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.
Well, as you read from our introduction, we are reeling from Yahoo’s announcement that it is laying off 20% of staff. Amanda has more on that. But that was not the only bad news hitting the tech scene today: Frederic reports that GitHub, owned by Microsoft, is laying off 10% of its workers through the end of its fiscal year and going fully remote. Meanwhile, Paul writes that developer operations giant GitLab is cutting its employee base by 7%.
And we have four more for you:
- It’s free, bay-bee!: Sling TV now has its own free ad-supported streaming service, Lauren reports.
- Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery: This is a pure good time in story form by Rita, who writes that all of the ChatGPT frenzy is giving way to a hundred followers in China all trying to get a piece of it.
- Meta gets Supernatural: Following a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit over the summer, Meta acquires Within, Amanda reports.
- Meet Sydney: Frederic takes you inside the new Bing.