Daily Crunch: 2 former SBF associates plead guilty to fraud and are cooperating with US federal prosecutors
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The weather outside is…entirely dependent upon where you are located, we suppose. Let’s pretend that we are imagining sunshine, beautiful beaches, gentle cooling breezes, and pina coladas for the purposes of this newsletter. — Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top Three
- Surprised, but also not surprised: FTX co-founder Gary Wang and Alameda’s Caroline Ellison plead guilty to criminal charges, Darrell writes.
- $eeing i$ believing: Twitter is now sourcing stock and cryptocurrency prices from TradingView and automatically displaying them in search results. Ivan shows you how to get them to appear in your next tweet.
- Another Okta breach: Okta confirmed that it’s responding to another major security incident after a hacker accessed its source code following a breach of its GitHub repositories, Carly reports.
Startups and VC
Text to-image AI was a huge success this year, as technical advancements greatly improved the quality of art AI systems could create. As controversial as systems like Stable Diffusion and OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 are, platforms such as DeviantArt and Canva have adopted them to power creative tools, personalize branding and even ideate new products, writes Kyle as he takes you on a tour through a brief history of diffusion, the tech at the heart of modern image-generating AI.
Speaking of AI, Amanda reports that Unstable Diffusion, a group trying to monetize AI porn generation, raised more than $56,000 on Kickstarter from 867 backers. Then, as Kickstarter changed its thinking about what kind of AI-based projects it will allow, the crowdfunding platform shut down Unstable Diffusion’s campaign.
And in only partially AI news
- Putting Austin under the loupe: Mary Ann reports how a fatal police shooting of a startup founder puts Austin’s diversity problem in the spotlight.
- Scooping up a slice of Exyn: Reliance buys a 23% stake in U.S.-based AI firm Exyn, Manish reports.
- Curbing your enthusiasm: Rebecca writes that Automotus raises $9 million to scale automated curb management tech.
- Pumping the brakes: The other day we reported that self-driving truck company TuSimple was contemplating layoffs. Today, Rebecca is back with the sad news that it’s happening: TuSimple is laying off 25% of its workforce.
Avoid 3 common sales mistakes startups make during a downturn
Analysts estimate that IT spending will increase in 2023, but tell that to SaaS sales teams who are trying to close contracts with customers who’ve been instructed to slash spending.
” What every company needs right now is efficient sales,” states Anand Shah, CEO and cofounder of Databook.
In a TC Guest Post, he explains why reacting moves like raising sales quotas and pricing increases are bad moves that won’t move things.
” Make real changes to satisfy your customers’ needs. Use the macroeconomic backdrop to make the necessary sales productivity improvements.”
Two more from the TC group:
- Really milking it: The future of milk is … milk? by Christine.
- The weather outside is frightful: Holiday shipping is easier this year, but the tech is still lagging, by Ryan Petersen.
- Still blasting off: Investor interest in SpaceX appears immune to Musk’s meddling, by Becca.
Big Tech Inc.
Having that ad blocker box pop up when you try to open a new website is annoying, but Zack says we should find the good in it — heck, even the FBI says you should use an ad blocker, he writes. Why? According to reports, cybercriminals are purchasing ads to impersonate legitimate brands such as cryptocurrency exchanges. They are so convincing that it’s difficult to tell if it’s real. Everyone, please be safe!
What do we want? News! News! Now! :
- Now, isn’t that sporting: Aisha has a pair of streaming stories in case you need any last-minute gift ideas for the sports lovers in your life. The first is that YouTube secured NFL Sunday Ticket and the second is that Netflix is branching out into fitness content.
- More from that bird company: Amanda catches us up on the latest with Twitter. Unfortunately, there were more layoffs, this time in public policy and engineering. The company now offers us a new feature that we didn’t even know we wanted. That probably rarely checked views analytics is now front and center so you can see how many people view your tweets.
- Inside the action studio: Warning, this story has spoilers. Lauren reports on VFX studio Perception and its technology that made the visual effects for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
- It’s all about the ride: Vianova uses APIs to gather data from shared mobility companies and cities to help make these services better. Romain has more.
- Adventure is out there! : Aria details seven predictions for the space industry in 2023.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.