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“Entrepreneurship Weekly”: Big changes in artificial intelligence heavyweights

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I don’t have much news this week, but I’ve been doing a lot of preparation for the early stages of TechCrunch in Boston on April 25th. It’s going to be a great show, and there’s still time to grab your tickets early – for the price of a bird, if you act fast.

The most interesting startup stories of the week

Stability AI said goodbye to its founder and CEO Emad Mostaque, who decided to pursue the dream of decentralized AI, leaving the unicorn startup without a permanent CEO. The company, known for burning through cash faster than a teenager getting their first debit card, is currently run by interim co-CEOs Shan Shan Wong and Christian Laforte. Mostak made a dramatic exit, declaring on the

Microsoft orchestrated a heist worthy of a Hollywood plot, taking away Inflection AI’s co-founders and most of its employees, as well as the rights to use its technology, for $650 million. The deal, which looks more like a ransom than an M&A exercise to me, includes $620 million for the privilege of using Inflection’s technology, and an additional $30 million to ensure that Inflection doesn’t get lost because of Microsoft’s bold talent Sue for robbery. Microsoft board member and Inflection co-founder Reid Hoffman took to LinkedIn to assure everyone that Inflection investors will sleep well tonight, with early backers receiving 1.5x returns and later Backers received a modest 1.1x return, although the math doesn’t quite add up. By the way, describing a 1.5x return as “good upside” is pretty bold – most early-stage funds would be very unhappy.

  • They say your data is safe: Facebook (now Meta) was caught red-handed dipping its digital hands into the Snapchat cookie jar. Facebook’s covert operation, dubbed “Project Ghostbusters,” was designed to spy on Snapchat’s encrypted traffic in an attempt to decode user behavior and gain a competitive advantage.
  • Robinhood’s new credit card: Robinhood has launched its Gold Card, a feature-packed credit card that might give Apple Card users a moment of pause. You can also earn 3% to 5% cash back by becoming a Robinhood Gold member for a fraction of the price (because who doesn’t want to pay $5 a month for the privilege of spending more?).
  • Will Nvidia be the next AWS? : Nvidia and Amazon Web Services (AWS) might just be the accidental heroes of the tech world, having stumbled upon their core businesses like a toddler discovering a hidden cookie. AWS found that it could sell its in-house storage and compute services, while Nvidia found that its gaming GPUs were surprisingly well-suited for AI workloads.
Stability AI CEO resigns because 'you're not going to beat centralized AI with more centralized AI'

Stable AI CEO resigns because “You’re not going to beat centralized AI with more centralized AI.” Image Source: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Trending this week: Traffic issues

The New York Stock Exchange fired electric vehicle startup Fisker, citing “unusually low” stock prices. Fisker’s financial runway appears to be more of a tightrope, with the stock price plunging more than 28% in a single day, a failed deal with Nissan (or so the rumor goes), and repayment terms being triggered in loans they can’t afford – painting a picture of a company Companies teetering on the edge of a cliff. Of course, it doesn’t help that the electric car maker has lost millions of dollars’ worth of customer payment records.

  • Can the fragments of Arrival save Kanu? : Bankrupt Arrival is selling its remaining products to Canoo, another electric car hope teetering on the edge of survival, in a deal that’s less about innovation than Canoo’s desperate attempt to cobble together a path with Arrival’s yard sale bargains. production line.
  • Solway, everyone: Steve Burns, the founder, chairman and CEO of bankrupt electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors, has reached a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over charges that he violated the law in connection with the company’s flagship all-electric Endurance pickup truck. The demand side misleads investors.
  • Let the car drive itself for a month: Tesla will soon start offering a one-month trial of its $12,000 driver assistance system, called Full Self-Driving Beta, to every customer in the U.S. if they own a car with compatible hardware Car.
Canoo light tactical vehicle used by the U.S. Army

Canoo delivers light tactical vehicles in 2022. Image Source:Kanu

The most interesting fundraisers of the week

Super{set} is doubling down on boring-but-rich data and AI-driven enterprise startups, just adding $90 million to its war chest. The move comes on the heels of a $200 million exit from marketing firm Habu to LiveRamp. The company is no ordinary venture studio. super{set} has a streamlined portfolio of 16 companies and is passionate about turning venture capital memo from art to science, with a mission to design real-world applications. Their new office is an entire floor of the 140 New Montgomery building in San Francisco, and they don’t just invest in startups; They are buying into the future of the city itself.

Tired of cramped hotel rooms and a landlord who hated Ikea, Alex Chatzieleftheriou decided to fill the void himself. Fast forward to the nomadic work boom spurred by the pandemic, and Blueground is now gobbling up competition faster than tourists enjoying a free breakfast buffet. Through acquisitions of companies like Tabas and Travelers Haven, Blueground has expanded its empire to more than 15,000 apartments in 17 countries, proving there’s no better place to book a home than a month-long home. Even as the proptech industry feels the pinch from rising interest rates, Blueground’s recent $45 million Series D and massive debt raise shows that investors are still willing to bet big on Chatzieleftheriou’s vision of a place where everyone can live in a fully furnished home. In the apartment. At least for now.

  • $10 million for a microbial party: Wase designed a compact system that can process viscous by-products from breweries and food processors on-site and convert them into biogas. This isn’t your grandma’s anaerobic digester; this is your grandma’s anaerobic digester. It’s a microbial carnival, complete with electrically charged fins for bacteria to party on, producing about 30 percent more methane and leaving less residual waste.
  • More money for diversification: New Summit Investments is on the verge of a major leap in its impact investing journey, with its latest fund targeting $100 million, well above its previous $40 million fund that closed in 2022.
  • New battery chemistry: To increase the capacity of electric vehicle batteries, automakers are increasingly turning to silicon. Ionobell, a seed-stage startup that recently closed $3.9 million in extended funding, claims its silicon will be cheaper than existing competitors.
Illustration of red car with loading rail on windshield.

Image Source: Lyudinka/Getty Images (modified by TechCrunch)

Other TechCrunch stories you can’t miss…

Every week, I always want to share a few stories with you that don’t fall into the above categories. It would be a shame if you missed it, so here are some random goodies for you:

  • Well, what? : Marissa Mayer’s startup Sunshine went from Silicon Valley’s next big thing to groundbreaking in the world of… managing contacts and sharing photos that left the internet collectively scratching its head and wondering, “Is this it? ?”
  • Dude, where is your data? : Three years after a hacker’s “Coming Soon” trailer, the personal details of 73 million AT&T customers have surfaced on the Internet, leaving customers to verify their own data breaches like a dystopian DIY project as AT&T plays a silent game.
  • Come on, Apple: In a move that’s more gatekeeping than innovation, Apple’s failed effort to bring Beeper to Android users as an iMessage service now serves as the Justice Department’s showcase for how to stifle competition and preserve blue bubble club exclusivity display.
  • Who needs privacy anyway: Glassdoor, a haven for anonymous company reviews, seems to have turned into a privacy nightmare by surreptitiously adding users’ real names to their profiles, making “anonymous” the most ironic word in their dictionary.
  • Welcome to Spotify University: Not content with just dominating your music, podcasts, and audiobooks, Spotify is now taking care of your brain cells with its latest e-learning adventure, because apparently, we all need another reason to never leave the Spotify ecosystem .

#Entrepreneurship #Weekly #Big #artificial #intelligence #heavyweights

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