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It’s a curious world we live in. Banks are a-collapsin’, and the world keeps on a-turnin’.
And oh, hey, look! OpenAI is even richer now! Alex is back on the mic with your Monday rundown, and as usual, we had much to unpack: We’re digging into OpenAI, earnings, First Republic Bank, some fun startups and ARM’s IPO on today’s episode of Equity. Listen here.
The TechCrunch Top 3
On the brink of collapse: Regulators closed First Republic Bank and lined up a buyer, JPMorgan Chase, which acquired FRB’s $330 billion in assets and deposits. Meanwhile, Ingrid writes that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is on the hook for $13 billion. Stay tuned for more as all of this unfolds.
One person’s mess is another person’s success: Elon Musk took to a Twitter Space this weekend to share more information on what happened to SpaceX’s Starship, which didn’t self-destruct immediately as planned during its test launch last week. Darrell has more.
A-I have to get ahead: Israeli startup Alison is the latest ad technology company to receive funding, $5.1 million specifically, for its approach to injecting artificial intelligence into its platform that analyzes creative advertising, reports Mike.
Startups and VC
The future is very much yet to be written about vertical farming. In many ways, the technology presents hope in the midst of rising food safety concerns, aging populations and potential environmental collapse, Brian writes. Early companies in the space are going to be the ones focused on driving down unit economics (hopefully) to a point where the technology makes sense from a price perspective. Upward and onward.
One of Haje’s pet peeves is warm introductions. “I get why investors insist on them, but it has always struck me as lazy and un-inclusive,” he writes on TC+, and was delighted to find an antidote of sorts: GoAhead claims it will hear anyone’s pitch, no matter where in the world you are or what you are building, as long as you are a pre-seed or seed company.
Another little handful of treats for you on this fine Monday afternoon (assuming you are on the West Coast or similar timezone. If you ain’t, then goodness only knows what time it is where you are. But we hope you’re having a fine day regardless).
Imagine a $30 billion valuation: Jagmeet and Ingrid report that OpenAI closes its monster-sized $27 billion to $29 billion valuation funding round.
Floparazzi: The once-hot photo-sharing social app Poparazzi is shutting down, reports Sarah.
No algo? That’s retro: Sarah reports that RTRO launches an algorithm-free social app for friends, creators and brands.
Here’s what’s brewin’: For TC+, Christine took a deep dive into the cultivated meat industry’s struggles. She concludes that things will take a hot minute to figure out, but perhaps that isn’t such a bad thing.
Your site needs more than just one user onboarding experience
In the early days, most founding teams focus on building sturdy sales funnels, but segmenting customers can be accomplished during the acquisition process — if you know which questions to ask.
Getting new users to answer questions about their past product experiences or future goals is the first step in creating customer personas, says growth expert Jonathan Martinez, who shares several variables that can help boost retention and conversion.
“It is true that while you may add some additional friction with questions on your lead form or onboarding flow, this will pay large dividends for the overall experience of your consumers.”
Three more from the TC+ team:
IP-Overseas?: Alex wonders if that ice-breaking IPO we’ve waited for might not come from the US after all.
It sparkles, but what is it?: Anna wonders if there might be a pot of gold hiding at the intersection of DevOps and generative AI.
Some clouds have silver linings: Ron and Alex continue to be bullish on the cloud, and argue that in spite of recent a downward trend, the future remains bright.
Big Tech Inc.
If you once had a Twitter blue check, lost it, but edited your bio recently and saw it reappear, you are not alone. Amanda found that the blue check reappears if you update your bio. It doesn’t stay, but something to LOL about today.
And now here’s five more for you:
From the back to the middle and around again: Vercel brings new back-end tools to its front-end cloud, reports Frederic.
Don’t you hate it when you’re not friends with your friends anymore?: While we aren’t a fly on the wall of any conversations between Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk, Dorsey didn’t hold back on Bluesky saying Musk isn’t doing right by Twitter, Darrell writes.
Insert ad here: Lauren reports that YouTube is rolling out new ad formats across Shorts.
That’s right, I stepped up: Amid a U.S. crackdown on crypto, Hong Kong extends a warm welcome to the digital assets, Rita writes.
Search and seizure: Manish writes that India’s anti–money laundering agency has put edtech giant Byju’s and its founder on its financial crime radar.