Daily Crunch: Twitter removes live audio chat after CEO joins Space with banished reporters
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Fridaaaaaaaay! Today we particularly enjoyed the Equity podcast team’s 2023 predictions on the future of building, crypto, and AI.
Meanwhile, good luck to Alex (who mostly looks after TechCrunch these days, but he used to write the Daily Crunch and still occasionally groans at our awful jokes) as he embarks on parenthood and is taking a couple of months off to do whatever new parents do.
Still working on your holiday shopping? This is a great gift idea to give yourself and other founders in the early stages and future. Grab a Founder pass to TC Early Stage 2023 for just $75 by registering with this link before 11: 59 p.m. PST on December 31.
The TechCrunch Top 3
- What a tangled web Elon Musk weaves: Lots of Twitter news to parcel out today, so we’ve grouped it all together. The top Twitter trove came from Paul, who wrote that Twitter pulled its Spaces group audio feature following a Spaces where Musk talked to banned journalists. You can find out more about the banning from Taylor. Meanwhile, that was just one of the many moves the Chief Twit made, including suspending Mastodon’s account, Taylor writes.
- Meanwhile, over in Europe: Natasha L reports that European Union lawmakers sent a warning to Elon Musk, via Twitter of course, about sanctions that could be made after Twitter suspended the accounts of journalists without warning.
- Second time may be the charm: The “Black Adam” movie, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, wasn’t embraced by theater-goers, but HBO Max now has it streaming in hopes of a different outcome, Lauren reports.
Startups and VC
Despite shrinking investment into startups in 2022, venture capital funds of all sizes are still being raised. However, not many of these are led by solo general partners (GPs), and although that trend is on the rise, even fewer are led by women or people who don’t come from venture capital, Anna writes. That makes Nichole Wischoff something of an exception: Her solo venture capital firm Wischoff Ventures closed a second fund of $20 million, a sizable increase from her first $5 million fund. Her target is to invest in 25 to 30 U.S. startups at the pre-seed or seed stage.
Five more to take you into the weekend… And if you need a creative boost, this stop-motion animation music video will probably do the trick.
- Spilling over: Twitter is a mess, Amanda writes, so former employees are creating Spill as an alternative.
- Boxing up those forms: Dropbox buys form management platform FormSwift for $95 million in cash, reports Kyle.
- Getting the ROI for your CPG: Christine wrote about Kuona, a startup that bagged $6 million to show you which promotions bring ROI and which don’t.
- Shining ever so brightly: Tage writes about a provider of solar energy products in Africa and Asia, Sun King, who expanded its Series D to $330 million.
- Investing the Venn diagram of biotech and AI: Anna explores what biotech investors are looking for in 2023.
The rules of VC are changing: Here’s what founders should be considering in the new era
“Growth At All Costs” is a fairytale made possible by cheap capital that helped venture capitalists set expectations over founders for years.
Similarly, everyone needs 18 to 24 months of runway is a nice motto, but if it takes three times as long to raise a round as it used to, it may no longer be good advice.
” These ‘VCisms,’ born out of an era that was prosperous, have permeated boardrooms all over the world,” writes Rebecca Mitchem, Neotribes Ventures partner in TC .
In a data-driven piece that looks at post-money valuations, deal size and dilution going back to 2012, Mitchem says we’re now heading into a “growth at reasonable costs” era.
Founders have two options: they can continue to reduce their ownership by raising fat rounds or they can choose to grow slower, leaving VCs with a larger share over time.
” While it may seem counterintuitive, considering the current market environment, the equity value for all parties — founders, investors, and employees — in this scenario in the more conservative growth scenario is higher,” says Mitchem.
Two more from the TC group:
- Moar money, moar startups: With IT spending forecast to rise in 2023, what does it mean for startups? by Ron.
- Getting your foot in the door: Haje shares some tips for startup founders on how to get your first investor meeting.
- Biotech meets AI: Anna spoke to six investors to figure out why AI is more than just a buzzword in biotech.
Big Tech Inc.
Meta has been shutting down a lot lately. Facebook’s parent recently shut down its live shopping feature in October, and now Aisha writes that it is shutting down its Super app in February. If you don’t know what it is, she writes that it was originally created to offer a virtual meet-and-greet experience similar to what you would experience at a real-life event such as VidCon or Comic-Con.
We have five more:
- Get your geek on: Amazon has acquired the film and television rights to the hugely popular tabletop war game Warhammer 40,000, reports Lauren.
- Your ticket to ride might be driverless: Waymo opens Phoenix airport rides to the public and doubles its downtown service area, Rebecca writes.
- Elon Musk gives an early Christmas present: Tesla Powerwall customers in Texas can now sell their electricity back to the grid, Harri reports.
- Seeing the music, not just hearing it: We enjoyed Devin‘s story on Riffusion, an AI model that composes music by visualizing it.
- Get out your gig worker pitchforks: Rebecca writes that “the battle over gig worker status is heating up.”
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.