Social

Canoo reveals it paid for CEO’s jet, AT&T leaks records and X announces NSFW plans

Comment

Two Canoo EVs drive on a road in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Image Credits: Canoo

Heya, folks, welcome to Week in Review (WiR), TechCrunch’s newsletter recapping the noteworthy happenings in tech over the past several days (and change).

Famed startup accelerator Y Combinator had its Demo Days, and the venture desk took it all in with an appropriately skeptical eye. You can read their day one and day two coverage, along with an AI roundup from yours truly and analysis pieces from the rest of the dogged edit team.

But the world didn’t stop turning for YC. Also this week, Microsoft and Quantinuum, a quantum computing startup, made a scientific breakthrough — or so they claim. The companies say that they were able to run thousands of experiments on a quantum computer without a single error, a feat that’s long eluded the industry.

Elsewhere, Apple could be getting into home robots. Reportedly, the company — fresh off its decision to cancel its long-in-the-works autonomous EV — has put Apple Home and AI execs on some form of robotics project for households, although many of the details have yet to be finalized.

Lots else happened. We recap it all in this edition of WiR — but first, a reminder to sign up to receive the WiR newsletter in your inbox every Saturday.

News

Canoo paid for its CEO’s jet: Kirsten reports that EV startup Canoo paid the rent for the CEO’s private jet — $1.7 million— in 2023. That’s double the amount of revenue the company generated that year.

AT&T leak: Phone giant AT&T has reset millions of account passcodes after a huge cache of data containing customer records was dumped online earlier this month, Zack reports.

No ChatGPT account required: OpenAI is making its flagship conversational AI, ChatGPT, accessible to everyone — even people who haven’t bothered making an account. But it won’t be quite the same experience. Devin has the story.

Microsoft unbundles: Microsoft has introduced new versions of its Microsoft 365 and Office 365 subscription services that exclude Teams, its business collaboration chat offering, following scrutiny from European Union regulators and complaints from rival Slack.

Funding

Ghost ghosts: Ghost Autonomy, a startup working on autonomous driving software for automaker partners, has shut down after raising nearly $220 million.

Analysis

Alphabet and HubSpot: Reuters reported on Thursday that Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is exploring the possibility of buying Boston-based HubSpot, a CRM and marketing automation company with a market cap of over $33 billion. Ron explains why that’d make for strange bedfellows.

Podcasts

This week on Equity, Alex chatted about BlaBlaCar’s new credit facility (and how it managed to land it), and he discusses how PipeDreams could be onto a clever model of startup construction, GoStudent’s rebound and profitability, Hailo’s chip business and the two new brands that GGV calls home as it divvies up its operations on opposite sides of the Pacific.

And over on FoundNick Green, the co-founder and CEO of Thrive Market, was the featured guest. Thrive is a membership-based online grocery store that focuses on natural and organic food and household products. Green spoke about how Thrive isn’t just focused on offering healthy options, but also wants to ensure that everyone has access to them — including those with SNAP and EBT benefits. 

Bonus round

NSFW on X: The social media company has confirmed that authorized users on the platform can create NSFW communities, ahead of a change that’ll see all NSFW content on X filtered by default.

More TechCrunch

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

A new crop of early-stage startups — along with some recent VC investments — illustrates a niche emerging in the autonomous vehicle technology sector. Unlike the companies bringing robotaxis to…

VCs and the military are fueling self-driving startups that don’t need roads

When the founders of Sagetap, Sahil Khanna and Kevin Hughes, started working at early-stage enterprise software startups, they were surprised to find that the companies they worked at were trying…

Deal Dive: Sagetap looks to bring enterprise software sales into the 21st century

Keeping up with an industry as fast-moving as AI is a tall order. So until an AI can do it for you, here’s a handy roundup of recent stories in the world…

This Week in AI: OpenAI moves away from safety

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

1 day ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

1 day ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities

For Mark Zuckerberg’s 40th birthday, his wife got him a photoshoot. Zuckerberg gives the camera a sly smile as he sits amid a carefully crafted re-creation of his childhood bedroom.…

Mark Zuckerberg’s makeover: Midlife crisis or carefully crafted rebrand?

Strava announced a slew of features, including AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, a new ‘family’ subscription plan, dark mode and more.

Strava taps AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, unveils ‘family’ plan, dark mode and more

We all fall down sometimes. Astronauts are no exception. You need to be in peak physical condition for space travel, but bulky space suits and lower gravity levels can be…

Astronauts fall over. Robotic limbs can help them back up.

Microsoft will launch its custom Cobalt 100 chips to customers as a public preview at its Build conference next week, TechCrunch has learned. In an analyst briefing ahead of Build,…

Microsoft’s custom Cobalt chips will come to Azure next week

What a wild week for transportation news! It was a smorgasbord of news that seemed to touch every sector and theme in transportation.

Tesla keeps cutting jobs and the feds probe Waymo