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TechCrunch’s top 3
- Ch-ch-ch-change: This is another revamp of the C suite at Salesforce. Ron reports that Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, who joined Salesforce when the company acquired Slack in 2020, announced he would step down in January. The news follows other recent unexpected departures last week, including that of Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor, who announced his resignation.
- A different approach to social commerce: Much of the live trading we see today is about buying clothes or a fancy vintage playing card. However, Kapu is putting an interesting twist on it, sneaking out with $8 million in new funding to create a social commerce site that helps Kenyans find groceries at lower prices. Anne see you.
- AI is our life now: We now use artificial intelligence to create our own avatars and write letters about potential layoffs. Twelve Labs founder Jae Lee thinks this should be extended to searchable video, so that’s what the company set out to build. Today, it announced $12 million in new capital to continue developing AI that understands the context of videos, Kyle writing.
Startups and VCs
Loft Dynamics, a Swiss startup creating virtual reality simulation technology for helicopter pilots, has raised $20 million from US venture capital firms including Craft Ventures, Sky Dayton and Up Ventures, Paul reports. Along with the funding, the company is also officially announcing its name change from VRM Suisse to Loft Dynamics.
About Virtual Reality… Booming Real Estate Demand for Virtual Reality, Reports Mikewriting that Founders Fund is conducting a $16 million round on the Giraffe360 platform.
Here are five more news items and an invitation to consumer electronics startups:
- From non-duality to non-existence: Roman writes that Zenly was the best social app and that it is sad that it is closing on February 3.
- More Euros: French venture capital firm Partech has closed its fourth fund, a €120 million ($124 million) seed fund, Roman reports.
- Line, line, line your code: It came writes that if Rowy is successful, if you can use Excel, you can build software.
- Premature expiration: Devin reports that it looks like sex tech startup Lora DiCarlo is doomed.
- Today’s special is…: Aigens scales digital menus in Asia, reports Ritawith a $14 million seed round led by Ant.
- Coming to CES? Haje, Brian, and a few of the other TC team members are going, and we want to meet your startup in Vegas in January, writes brian.
What is the way up? The end of free money and the importance of keeping cash handy
In simpler times, founders could often satisfy investors simply by showing how quickly their company was meeting growth expectations.
“Well, investors today care about a less distant future,” said Max Schireson, an operating partner at Battery Ventures.
“They care about how much money they have to invest in your business to achieve that future and when it will happen.” In a guest post for TC+, he shares candid advice and multiple scenarios that can help founders meet investor expectations during tough times.
“They say time is the one thing you can’t buy, but in fact time is the easiest thing to buy in a startup.”
Three others from the TC+ team:
Tech Crunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get a head start. You can register here. Use code “DC” to get 15% off an annual subscription!
Big Tech inc.
Facebook wants to know your age, but before it grabs your pearls, it’s actually for a good reason. Meta brings its age verification technology into its Facebook Dating product, Sarah reports. We already don’t know, or want to know, how 50s meet 16s, but Meta certainly doesn’t want to earn the reputation of being THAT place.
And now we have five more for you:
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