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Happy Thursday, Crunchers! It’s an exciting time to be a tech reporter, with a ton of fun stories coming down the pipe. So let’s get to it! Hasta mañana, Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
- The house that Mickey built: Disney+ is down about 4 million subscribers in the second quarter, which is the second time in a row that has happened. Manish did a deep dive into the earnings and found that much of that can be attributed to Disney’s Hotstar losing 8.4 million subscribers. Oh, and Disney+ and Hulu are set to combine into one app later this year, Lauren reports.
- Can you see the correction?: Manish also reported on SoftBank’s Vision Fund, which lost $32 billion. He notes this comes in a year when startups valuations were cut, writing that SoftBank earlier this year had entered “defense mode.”
- Riders on the storm: Peloton recalls millions of exercise bikes, citing faulty assembly, after reports of injuries. Kyle has more.
Startups and VC
Most U.S.-based tech investors are likely familiar with smaller-ticket investor marketplaces AngelList and Carta. In Europe, Germany’s Bunch and the U.K.’s Vauban (acquired by by U.S.-based Carta last year) have attempted to do a similar job. But the backstory to this is that although launching many years ago, AngelList struggled with Europe’s regulatory environment. Mike wonders if Odin could be Europe’s answer to AngelList.
It used to be that having a corporate blog and some paid content was the gist of your marketing department’s content efforts, and that was enough. But as larger companies like Salesforce and HubSpot have launched their own full-blown media arms, it may be time to rethink your content strategy. AudiencePlus wants to help every company run its own media platform, and today the company announced a $5.4 million seed investment, Ron reports.
Another smattering of highlights and lowlights:
- Less LSD for the LLM: Writer introduces product that could help reduce hallucinated content in its LLMs, reports Ron.
- Fairly repairable headphones: Natasha L reports that Fairphone gets its audio groove on with repairable over-ear BT headphones.
- Hospitals, but Amazon-ier: MediShout wants to bring Amazon-like efficiency to hospital operations, reports Paul.
- Hello, this is the pre-crime division: Everseen raises over $70 million for AI tech to spot potential retail theft, reports Kyle.
- That’s a pass from me, thanks: Tinder-inspired Cala dares you to swipe left on useless meetings, reports Harri.
Unlocking the M&A code: 5 factors that can make (or break) a deal
A merger or acquisition is the start of a new relationship, which is why most people approach exits with optimism.
“But all’s not rosy in the world of M&A,” says SmartBear CEO Frank Roe, who’s completed eight acquisitions in less than five years.
“It is a complex and substantially risky decision, not for the faint-hearted. It is essential to approach the decision and process with diligence and forethought.”
In this TC+ guest post, he shares “five indispensable elements to consider for a successful mergers and acquisitions journey,” reminding readers that “there’s no ‘secret formula.'”
Three more from the TC+ team:
- Finally, a decent “the ask” slide: Haje is back with the newest Pitch Deck Teardown: Fibery’s $5.2M Series A deck.
- Don’t call it a comeback. Or, maybe, do: Higher interest rates are fostering a fintech comeback story, writes Alex.
- We’re chained together; let’s work together: Jacquelyn argues that crypto needs a global view to build better regulatory models.
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.
Natasha L gives you everything you need to know and more about a series of votes in the European Parliament this morning where MEPs have backed a raft of amendments related to transparency and safety rules for generative AI.
Meanwhile, Amanda reports on a movement that started with a tweet and ended with a book in the top 3 on Amazon. No, it’s not another book in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” saga — it’s a recommendation by “Bigolas Dickolas,” and we recommend you stop what you’re doing and read.
And we have five more for you:
- Come in for your close-up: Canon’s PowerShot V10 is an itty-bitty, teeny-weeny camera that sidles up to vloggers, reports Haje.
- Don’t kill this Messenger: That’s because Meta is doing that for us by killing the Messenger app for Apple Watch, Aisha reports.
- Welcome to Kyle’s TedTalk: Today, he discusses the ever-growing list of text-generating AI, specifically about how AI2 is developing a large language model optimized for science.
- Secrets, secrets are no fun, except on Twitter: Ivan writes that Twitter’s new encrypted DMs for verified users has some security drawbacks.
- Stepping on the EV pedal: Hyundai Motor has plans to invest $2.45 billion in India over the next nine years to boost its EV ecosystem. Jagmeet has more.