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Hellooooo, and welcome to the Wednesday Crunch!
SVB’s new CEO Tim Mayopoulos has had a lot to say in the 24 hours since he joined the bank on Monday. In a private Zoom meeting run by SVB for a select number of LPs and investors, he asked clients to return deposits to the institution, Natasha M reports.
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Mint-y acquisition: The big news for today is that T-Mobile is acquiring Mint Mobile’s parent company — you know, the company that Ryan Reynolds has a stake in — in a deal valued at $1.35 billion. Aisha notes that this “move indicates that T-Mobile is looking to boost its prepaid offerings.”
- I know you are, but what am I?: Well, if you ask OpenAI’s Greg Brockman, GPT-4 isn’t perfect, but neither are you, Kyle writes. Ouch.
- Talk about timing: On the back of OpenAI announcing its new GPT-4 model, Quora announces Poe, its own chatbot offering, which is launching subscriptions to let you chat with a GPT-4-powered bot, Ivan reports.
Startups and VC
There’s no shortage of startups attempting to put drones to work. There is, however, a long-standing question around the efficacy of such plans. Drones — especially the smaller variety — are impressive pieces of technology, but their functionality is relatively limited. A small quadcopter probably isn’t going to prune your trees or walk your dog anytime soon, Brian writes. One thing they can do exceptionally well, however, is imaging. Verity raises $32 million as Ikea stores deploy its inventory drones.
To celebrate Wednesday, here are some alluring alliterations:
- Ride-share roll-up: Romain reports that BlaBlaCar is to acquire Klaxit, a ride-sharing service for daily commutes.
- Scam security show-off: Once scammed for ten grand, this VC is building a crypto security vault, reports Rita.
- Watching wildfire worries: Brian reports that Torch is building solar-powered outdoor sensors to spot wildfires early.
- Hiring healthcare helpers: Paul reports that Medwing, a recruitment marketplace for Europe’s healthcare workforce, raises $47 million.
- Assisting AI archetypes: Kyle writes that OpenAI hopes to crowdsource AI model testing with Evals.
Zero-based budgeting: A proven framework for extending runway
It’s critical to extend runway in this environment, but pulling back too much in the wrong places can reduce momentum across your entire organization.
Instead of simply trimming a little off the top, more startups are turning to zero-based budgeting, an aggressive tactic where founders return to Square One “every budget period to verify all of the line items are relevant and cost-effective,” writes FP&A analyst Healy Jones.
“The best founders look for a framework to strategically cut burn while keeping their startup’s value drivers functioning.”
Three more from the TC+ team:
- You can’t stop the robots: AI’s ascendance seems unfazed by SVB mess by Alex.
- We need a minute: “Trust is a hard thing to earn”: SVB’s closure could disproportionately affect Black founders, writes Dominic-Madori.
- From chaos, order: Jacquelyn writes that chaos in U.S. banks could push the crypto industry toward decentralization.
Big Tech Inc.
Today’s Big Tech theme seems to be “ways to do something easier.” First up is GitHub, which created its own set of guidelines around setting up open source program offices. Paul writes that companies trying to stay on top of open source compliance, security, and so on, will soon find this is a challenge, hence the open source program office “emerging as a staple part of the modern corporation, formalizing what might previously have been a loose collective of employees spanning myriad departments and roles.”
Next we go over to Waze. If you have an electric vehicle, you are going to want to come closer. Ivan reports that Waze has a new feature that tells EV owners where compatible charging points are along their route.
And we have five more for you:
- Crackberry on the big screen: Matt is bringing us all back to the late 1990s with a look at the trailer for the new “BlackBerry” movie.
- Sarcasm clouds ahead: If you like your weather with a dose of insults, Carrot Weather’s new chatbot with a ChatGPT update will deliver, Lauren reports.
- Signal lost: Carly writes that two weeks later, Dish customers are still looking for answers as the satellite company’s ransomware fallout continues.
- Buckle up: A European court delivered another blow to Meta, ruling that Facebook’s behavioral ads lacked legal basis. Natasha L has more.
- We don’t need no stinkin’ solar panels: Tesla’s new home battery now comes without the solar panels, Harri writes.