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It’s Earth Day, also known as April 22, 2022, and we’re beyond grateful that the sun is setting for another week.
We love our TechCrunch Live events, but realize that we don’t always fit into everyone’s calendars. Good news: they’re now also available as a podcast, so you can listen to them at your leisure.
TechCrunch’s top 3
- Zenly doesn’t want you to miss another event: Do you remember the big map that was in the back pocket on the passenger side of your parents’ car? I loved plotting different routes and checking out the graph at the top that showed the number of miles between towns. Oh, was it just me? Well, anyway, like Roman put it on today, Zenly is “making social maps cool again”. The kind where you find out what’s happening nearby and which of your friends are going to be there. The Snap-owned app is getting its biggest overhaul, adopting a sleeker look with a black background and features that make it easier to navigate the app.
- Amazon is targeting social: At least that’s what we think with its latest move to acquire India-based social commerce company GlowRoad. The deal comes as other big names in retail, like Walmart and YouTube, are investing in the social commerce space. Amazon also announced the first five startups that are part of its billion-dollar industry innovation fund focused on logistics, supply chain and customer satisfaction, all of which currently face a bottleneck. .
- Unicorns can check out whenever they want, but they can never leave: That seems to be the sentiment behind global companies that hit $1 billion in value but don’t go public. However, in Asia, Anna found that wasn’t a problem – nine of the 10 largest IPOs in the first quarter came from the region – and with nearly 100 deals completed during that time, dare we say it’s becoming “a paradise for public outings”?
Startups and VCs
One of the things often described as the advantage of web3 startups is also its downfall, Connie suggests: Yes, it’s good that everything is decentralized, but when something goes wrong, there is no safety net.
What the heck, check out the rest of the startup tech on deck*:
- And they puff and puff and they turn on the noise canceling: I took a closer look at Sennheiser’s new headphones that cancel exercise noise while you sweat. In audio news, I also reviewed the curious DJI Mic product – a set of wireless mics for creators that’s a bit below the mark for the price, IMO.
- They got 99 problems, but kitsch ain’t one: Katherine explores how MadEats is a complete delivery startup, not just a ghost cooking game.
- Stove, not war: Luke Hutchinson went from five years as an infantry officer to launching a restaurant reservations platform, raising $3.6 million to do so.
- He’s knocked down, but he gets back up: Bipedal robots are a little scary if you ask me, but Amazon, DCVC and Playground just dumped $150 million into Agility to bring them to a warehouse near you. Do not decrease brian‘s eloquent words, but it’s worth checking out the article just for the video.
- YC or a16z… Who would win in a karaoke battle? I’d totally pay not to have to listen to either of their investment teams sing, I’m not going to lie – but luckily that’s not what the latest episode of Equity is about. Instead, Alex, Natasha and Mary Ann debate who runs the better accelerator as a16z joins the fray, taking on YC on home turf.
4 Questions Every CISO Should Ask About The Metaverse
The metaverse is still taking shape, but it’s already creating headaches for cybersecurity professionals.
Technology that places users in virtual, immersive environments where they can transact could unlock incalculable benefits, but it will certainly create a threat attack surface of titanic proportions. To prepare, CSO/CISO David Fairman says organizations need to be able to answer these questions:
- Can we protect PII (and other sensitive data) in the metaverse?
- How can I authenticate users?
- Can we protect users from bullying, harassment and exploitation?
- Can we handle this type of rapidly growing attack surface?
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Big Tech inc.
- Brian Armstrong is waging a sort of war with Apple, claiming that the tech giant’s App Store rules mean certain Coinbase features are prohibited. Overall, Armstrong says Apple isn’t very kind to the crypto world. Meanwhile, Stripe has no problem with crypto, adding payments to Connect, with Twitter being the first platform to use it.
- We learned with joy that the former president Barack Obama reads TechCrunch and engages in misinformation.
- We hope you haven’t gotten tired of the news on social media because there have been a lot of them today. Here’s what we gathered: Consumers are finicky creatures and we constantly demand new features. Instagram is therefore testing something called “Templates”, which will allow creators of Reels to use the same format as other videos. Next, Twitter wants to win back developers with new tools and is testing status updates. Next, TikTok rolled out an in-app advertising feature for interactive add-ons. And finally, Snapchat is testing ads on Spotlight.
- Meanwhile, if you also try to remember if Snapchat was still a thing, its Q1 revenue shows that it really is. And if there were any doubts, Snap and Disney are teaming up to create an augmented reality Cinderella’s Castle mural at Disney World. Bibbidi-bobbidi boo!