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Is it Friday again? All week we long for this day, and when it does, you’ll remember all the things you didn’t do while busy daydreaming about Friday. Oh well, we hope you get this bag of goodies after you’ve cleared the to-do list and are ready for happy hour. If you go TTITD next week, safety third, but try to stay alive. If that doesn’t work, make sure you die in a more interesting way than from dehydration, so that your camp mates at least get a good story out of it. — Christine and hi
The londonbusinessblog.com Top 3
- Virtual reality, Meta style: Meta’s new virtual reality headset technology will focus on face-tracking and eye-tracking, features the company calls “social presence,” Ivan writes. It’s not coming out until October, so you’ve got about two months to get the $400 we think it’s going to cost.
- Mo’ Twilio, mo’ trouble: The hits from Twilio’s data breach earlier this month keep coming. carly writes that this time the breach affected users of Authy apps with two factors. Authy is a company that Twilio acquired in 2015. Oh, and the number of affected customers is now over 160. More on this below in Big Tech.
- Predatory loans take a turn: Although the nature of the article is not cheerful, we think Jagmeet did a great job describing how long it takes for some loan apps to get refunds from users in India.
Startups and VC
Asian crypto gaming and web3 investment powerhouse, Animoca Brands, is making its way into Japan as the local unit raises $45 million in funding at a pre-money valuation of $500 million. The investment comes at a time when the country is tightening regulations around the crypto industry, writes Rita.
stay in Asia, Anna and Alex take the pulse of the venture capital scene in China. From near zero growth in the second quarter and abandoned economic targets to ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns, a power crisis, a housing crisis, concerns about the strength of the domestic currency, water shortages, high youth unemployment and more, it’s a tough mix for ‘s world’s second largest economy – without even mentioning a backdrop of geopolitical tensions. This is a londonbusinessblog.com+ story, but if you don’t have a subscription, use the Daily Crunch coupon code “DC” for 15% off.
Let’s do a few more, shall we?
- Draw me a picture of a bandwagon: Lightricks, maker of mobile photo editing apps, is jumping on the AI-generated art trend with its new “Text to Image” generator in its apps, Lauren reports.
- Fly high, fly fast: Supply chain startup FourKites recently laid off a number of employees, but announced today that it has raised $30 million to feel the wind under its wings again, Kylea reports.
- Go from Bad.com to Worse.com: You know they’re struggling at Better.com as the company confirms its fourth round of layoffs in less than nine months, Mary Ann reports.
- Real estate is really going crazy: Real estate tech startup Reali is closing, after the startup raised $100 million just a year or so ago, Mary Ann reports.
- Flexible apartments? Are they made of Jell-O?: We can’t giggle at the thought of wobbly buildings, but “flexible apartments” have their day in the sun. Landing raises $125 million in debt and equity financing, reports Connie.
Learning from my failures: lessons from a two-time founder
All glee aside, learning from our own mistakes is helpful, but learning from someone else’s is optimal.
Squadhelp CEO and founder Darpan Munjal closed his previous business, a fashion e-commerce venture, after four years of ‘solid growth’. In retrospect, he says early-stage funding created a false sense of security.
“It wasn’t easy closing the shutters on a company I truly believed in. But I knew I could start over if I was willing to learn from my mistakes and apply those lessons wisely.”
(londonbusinessblog.com+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams move forward. You can register here.)
Big Tech Inc.
It seems that Google’s Waze has lost its way a bit. The search engine giant said it was closing its Waze Carpool, a service connecting drivers to commuters, citing “shifting commuting patterns due to the pandemic”. Aisha writes. In the future, the app will focus on a post-COVID world of shopping and travel.
Meanwhile, the Indian railway company reverses a scheme to monetize customer data after an advocacy group, the Internet Freedom Foundation, went to Twitter in contrast to the strategy, writing, “A profit maximization target will result in greater incentives for data collection, in violation of the principles of data minimization and target limitation.” manish has more.
In case you missed some stories from yesterday, we’ve got some good ones:
- Calling Starlink: SpaceX and T-Mobile are teaming up to connect T-Mobile phones to Starlink for free from 2023, Devin writes.
- First Spaces, no podcasts: It’s official – Twitter is integrating podcasts into its platform. The feature will live under the Rooms tab, Aisha reports.
- Hackers at the door: DoorDash is one of the organizations affected by the Twilio hackers, carly writes. The delivery company says it took “names, email addresses, delivery addresses and phone numbers” from customers, and for a smaller group, partial payment card information.
- Swap Twitter for Meta: It has been confirmed that Sandeep Pandey, Twitter’s vice president of engineering, is leaving that social media giant for Meta, Andrew writes. Pandey is the latest executive to leave the company since Elon Musk proposed to take over Twitter earlier this year.