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Hello, and welcome to a new week. Haje is off today, so it’s just me and you going through the day’s biggest stories. Let’s hit it! — Christine
The TechCrunch Top 3
Price cut in aisle five: Invesco cuts Indian food delivery giant Swiggy’s valuation to $5.5 billion. In October, the valuation was cut to $8 billion. Manish writes, “The recent valuation reductions bring a fresh perspective to the effects of waning global market conditions on Indian startups”; where funding was down, valuations didn’t follow.
Bet paid off: Qualcomm acquires Autotalks, reportedly for $350 million to $400 million, to boost Snapdragon’s automotive safety technology. Ingrid writes that this deal didn’t come as much of a surprise, noting, “In the world of advanced automotive technology, safety has become one of the most important issues, but also one of the most lucrative opportunities, in the building of autonomous and driver-assisted systems.”
Don’t blink or you’ll miss it: Ingrid also wrote about Go1, which acquired Blinkist, a speed reading app, with plans to expand enterprise learning.
Startups and VC
When my husband and I bought our first house, we were eager to see builders break ground and get it built. Months later, we were still waiting in what the builder said was a municipality holdup — aka, permits weren’t being issued fast enough. After reporting on PermitFlow’s new $5.5 million round, I now know why this is a problem.
Meanwhile, Natasha M spoke to Mayfield’s Navin Chaddha about the VC firm’s new $955 million fund, writing that now that the firm is bigger — and busier— “the capital will be used to ramp up the firm’s investment cadence in a more realistic market. Chaddha also admits that Mayfield has missed out on a lot of opportunities because of high valuations, but that he’s okay with it.”
Now here’s four more for you:
Looking for a place to park it: Manish reports on 3one4 Capital’s new $200 million fund, writing that while this is another Indian firm to raise a large fund, there are concerns that there aren’t enough early-stage companies to take on significant capital.
Legendary: NFT spinoff from newspaper SCMP gets funded to tokenize historical artifacts, writes Rita.
On cloud nine: Antimetal now has $4.3 million in fresh capital to root out cloud cost inefficiencies, Ron reports.
Taking on the open seas: Navier’s electric hydrofoiling boat is trying its luck over on the West Coast to line up its first pilot programs. Devin has more.
NFX’s James Currier: Where unicorn ideas come from and why founders ‘have to keep pivoting’
Are you a seed-stage founder who’s building a unicorn?
NFX founding partner James Currier would like to save you some time: Startups that grow into billion-dollar companies have three basic forms of defensibility:
Network effects: Your product becomes more valuable as more people use it.
Embedding: Integrate your services so deeply, customers “cannot rip them out.”
Data loops: Gather, process and act on real-time data.
“This is really only talking about world-changing, big-ass businesses with a lot of impact that could be a billion dollars or more in value,” he said at TechCrunch Early Stage last month.
Three more from the TC+ team:
Strike!: Alex writes that tech workers could take labor lessons from Hollywood’s writers.
Kismet: Haje writes that to find the right investors for your startup, it’s about timing.
Wind blows, fire burns: Becca looks into VC interest in wildfire tech.
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.
Hey, Twitter users, your follower count is about to drop, according to Elon Musk. Sarah reports that Twitter will purge old accounts that haven’t tweeted in a while. The good news is that you might be able to get a better username, depending on which account it is. Happy hunting! Also in bird news, Ivan writes that the social media giant is discussing a cheaper organizational verification plan.
We loved Connie’s story over the weekend about a New York Times reporter’s close encounters with Elizabeth Holmes, who, left to her own devices, apparently can still suck people in.
And here’s four more for you:
Resuscitating: NextGen Healthcare confirms hackers accessed personal data of more than 1 million patients, Carly reports. Meanwhile, over at Western Digital, the company had to tell customers that hackers stole their data. Lorenzo has more.
Alert!: Samsung is celebrating after receiving FDA clearance for its Irregular Heart Rhythm Notification feature for the Galaxy Watch, writes Aisha.
“It’s lonely out in space”: Virgin Galactic said it will make a triumphant return with a crewed flight at the end of May, Aria reports. Also check out her TC+ story on space startups.
Switch-a-roo: Volkswagen is making some personnel changes at Cariad — again. Kirsten has more.
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Daily Crunch: In its second markdown in 4 months, Invesco slashes Swiggy’s valuation to $5.5B by Christine Hall originally published on TechCrunch