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Happy Monday Crunch, our Crunch-a-licious friends!
Our favorite part of Lorenzo’s excellent piece on how the feds busted a cybercrime forum: “In a spectacular snafu on the hacker’s part . . . the second piece of evidence came from Pompompurin himself. . . . He said he noticed a data breach posted on the site did not include ‘one of my old emails,’ which he looked up on the legitimate data breach notification site Have I Been Pwned.”
Go get ’em. Or, if your business is more of avoiding than getting, go avoid ’em!
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Come together: If you find yourself grumbling about using Microsoft Teams, this story might bring a smile to your face: Frederic reports that Microsoft rebuilt Teams from the ground up, promising some neat things, like 2x faster performance and only half the memory being used.
- Riding the WaveOne: If you’re having a “Silicon Valley” experience right now, you’re not alone. Apple acquired WaveOne, a startup using AI to compress videos, Kyle reports.
- Ahead of the game: A GitHub user named “FreeSpeechEnthusiast” wanted to get the drop on Elon Musk’s promise to open source all code used to recommend tweets on March 31 by creating a repository on GitHub that contained Twitter’s source code. Ivan explains what happened next.
Startups and VC
First Citizens Bank has agreed to buy $72 billion in deposits and loans from Silicon Valley Bridge Bank, the California lender formerly known as Silicon Valley Bank that was taken over by the FDIC two weeks ago, Manish reports.
Another handful to keep you ready for this week’s watercooler moments:
- Half a bil for biz: Christine writes that OpenView goes bigger with seventh fund, closing on $570 million to invest in business software startups.
- Recruiting the founders: Catherine reports that Recruiting marketplace Paraform gets backing from Primer Sazze and Twitch founders.
- F-ai-shon: Kyle explores how Deep Agency shows the perils of applying AI to the fashion industry.
- Excel plus snake: Neptyne is building a Python-powered spreadsheet for data scientists, Kyle reports.
- One-click checkout to outer space: Aria reports that ABL Space Systems scores $60 million for rapid response launch for defense customers.
Just starting out angel investing? Avoid these 7 mistakes.
Becoming an angel investor isn’t easy, and that’s on purpose.
Those who claim the title must satisfy a few requirements with regards to income and licensing. If not, just about anyone could schedule Zoom calls with founders to talk about making their dreams come true.
Business schools teach the basics, but Mysty Rusk, who’s reviewed around 4,500 deals over the last 20 years, says the most important lessons she learned were the result of mistakes she made along the way.
“There may be no way to foresee a global crisis, a stealth competitor, or other risks that are completely outside the startup’s control,” writes Rusk, “but some obstacles are avoidable with the right knowledge.”
Three more from the TC+ team:
- Crypto is the ticket: Ticketmaster sucks, Anna concludes, and wonders if blockchains can be the cure.
- The future of ’shrooms, man: Haje reports How Mindbloom’s CEO sees the future of psychedelic mental health.
- Go together!: Natasha M wonders if solo GPs are screwed.
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.
It’s springtime, so we are guessing it was the right time for Alibaba founder Jack Ma to be seen again. Rita reports that Ma returned to China after a year of uncertainty that included China “trying to voice support for the private sector following a years-long crackdown on the tech industry, including shelving the IPO plans of Ant Group, the fintech affiliate of Alibaba. The movement prompted some founders to move abroad and seek to expand their businesses overseas.”
It seems Salesforce did a good job in convincing investors that it is on the right path. Activist investor Elliott Investment Management, which had probably been a thorn in Salesforce’s side for the better part of this month, said it was ditching its director nomination plans. Paul has more.
And we have five more for you:
- Can you hear it?: Darrell has your review of multiroom sound speakers Sonos Era 100 and Era 300.
- More layoffs indeed: Despite what you read above, it doesn’t look like Salesforce is completely out of the weeds yet in terms of layoffs, Ron writes.
- Take a bite out of this Apple: Aisha writes that Apple’s iOS 17 may include “several” requested features, while Brian tells you about some iPadOS 16.4’s Pencil hover features.
- Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy one: Binance and its CEO are being sued by the U.S. Commodity Futures and Trading Commission over trading and derivative violations, Jacquelyn reports.
- No spying: A new Biden executive order bans federal agencies from using commercial spyware that poses threats to human rights and national security, Zack writes.