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Why, hello, Crunchers! We’re excited to tell you that today is Thursday! How fabulously exciting.
Over on TC+, Haje has been hard at work trying to create the Perfect Pitch Deck. Oh, and Euro startups: Here’s your chance to apply to Startup Battlefield 200!
The TechCrunch Top 3
- “Side quests are always distracting”: That’s what Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke had to say today when talking about why Shopify had to reduce its workforce by 20%. He also talked about “main quests,” which is another video game analogy in case you were wondering. Oh, and Shopify also sold its logistics business to Flexport. Paul has more of the deets. Meanwhile, Darrell also has some thoughts.
- A-I knew this was coming: Microsoft is planning its next set of features for Bing, and, no surprise here, they involve AI. However, Kyle writes that, “they don’t so much reinvent the wheel as they build on what Microsoft has injected into the Bing experience over the past three months or so.”
- Written in the stars: Kyle also wrote about Hugging Face and ServiceNow releasing StarCoder, a free alternative to DeepMind’s AlphaCode, Amazon’s CodeWhisperer and OpenAI’s Codex code-generating models.
Startups and VC
Signaling that investments in the supply chain sector remain robust, Pando, a startup developing fulfillment management technologies, today announced that it raised $30 million in a Series B round, bringing its total raised to $45 million, Kyle reports.
Tellus, an Andreessen Horowitz–backed fintech company that claims it can offer people higher yields on their savings balances by using that money to fund certain U.S. single-family home loans, is under scrutiny by the U.S. government. The Senate Banking chair urges the FDIC to look into the company, Mary Ann reports.
And we have five more for you:
- Flying high: Aria reports that satellite imaging and manufacturing company Maxar completes a $6.4 billion sale to private equity.
- All is accepted here: Mary Ann invites you to meet Liquido, which aims to be the “Stripe of LatAm” — but with even bigger ambitions: The startup says that businesses can accept and process “all forms of payment,” from credit and debit cards to bank transfers to digital wallets, and even cash.
- The Vegas Loop is going places: Rebecca reports that Musk’s The Boring Company plans to expand Vegas Loop to 18 new stations.
- Peeking at Earth: Aria writes that Nuview emerges from stealth with plans to map Earth using lidar.
- Massive new European fund: HV Capital closes €710M fund amidst the wider European and global funding downturn, reports Mike.
Acquisition, retention, expansion: Why SaaS founders must understand GDR and NDR
Investors have raised their expectations around SaaS profitability and growth since the downturn began. As a result, it’s even more important for founders to have a firm handle on the key metrics VCs consider before saying yes or no.
In his latest TC+ article, Paris Heymann (partner, Index Ventures) shares formulas for calculating gross dollar retention and net dollar retention, KPIs that provide deep insights into the health of your business.
“Predictable businesses are more durable, easier to manage, and typically rewarded with higher valuations than unpredictable ones,” writes Heymann.
Three more from the TC+ team:
- That’ll be two imaginary dollars, please: As generative AI finds its footing in enterprise products, how will companies charge for its use? wonders Alex.
- This is fine: Has the seed stage come back down to earth? It depends where you look, writes Becca.
- Reminder: Carly reminds us that AI is just someone else’s computer.
- Uh-oh, my passport’s expiring: Ask Sophie Alcorn: Will I be allowed into the U.S. if my passport expires in 5 months?
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.
Ron covered the Salesforce World Tour event this week and found out more details about Slack’s plan to put AI at the center of the user experience. He writes that examples include helping someone get the gist of a long thread without having to read each message and generating messages. We can’t wait until the technology for telepathy gets better so we can just think and Slack will type out a message.
Dallas, Texas, found itself in a pickle, confirming that a ransomware attack forced the city to shut down courts and disrupt some 911 services while the mess got sorted out. Carly has more.
And we have five more for you:
- We’ve got our drone eye on you: Japan’s biggest drone maker ACSL sets its sights on the U.S., reports Brian.
- Under the microscope: The U.K.’s antitrust watchdog announced it will be doing an initial review of generative AI. Natasha L writes that the agency will be looking at “AI foundational models,” like the large language models that OpenAI and Microsoft’s New Bing are doing.
- Into the fold: Oh hey, Google just announced the Pixel Fold. Brian has more.
- Off the chain: Alibaba Cloud and Avalanche partner to deploy metaverses on the blockchain, Jacquelyn writes.
- Tuned in: Paramount+ grows to 60 million subscribers as it prepares to integrate with Showtime, reports Lauren.