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It’s Friday, June 10, 2022, and Haje is on the road, so it’s just me today. Before I let you enjoy the weekend, there are a few housekeeping items to address. First, TechCrunch Disrupt will be in person this year, and today is the last day to raise your hand to speak. Second, if you’re attending TC Sessions: Climate next week, we have your inside look on what to expect. Now that those are taken care of, if you’re in the mood to listen to something instead of read, we have you covered. Have a great weekend! — Christine
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Pacman on the attack: Carly writes that MIT researchers, while applying a “Pacman attack” test on Apple’s M1 chips, undiscovered a doozy in the way of an “unpatchable” hardware vulnerability that could allow attackers to break through its last line of security defenses. In its response, Apple didn’t seem too worried.
- Amazon isn’t bidding on cricket: Manish was privy to some news that Amazon was pulling out of the running to bid on a 5-year deal to stream IPL cricket games. No word on why that is, but if you enjoy the games, it looks like Disney and Reliance are still in it.
- “The search for alpha”: A downed market for crypto appears to be an advantage for hedge funds looking to get in on some digital assets, Jacquie writes. She combs through the PwC’s Global Crypto Hedge Fund so you don’t have to.
Startups and VC
We enjoyed Amanda’s and Natasha’s take today on the myriad layoffs plaguing technology companies these days. They also point out something new with this latest crop of announcements.
What do you get when you combine a young VC investor leveraging his age to bring a fresh perspective to the industry with some women investors striking it out on their own and a look into investors demanding profitability from tech companies? A nice afternoon of reading.
Here are some others we hope tickle your fancy:
- The subscription game is the game I’m in: Free messaging app Telegram is going to offer a premium option, and get this, it won’t be downgrading features for those who don’t subscribe. Now, isn’t that refreshing? Your move, Marco Polo.
- Getting in on a growing market: The International Finance Corp. is poised to invest in Partech’s Africa Fund II, Annie reports. The fund will invest in a broad range of stages, from seed to Series D.
- A hand to hold: Boulder Care raised $36 million in Series B funding to continue developing its telehealth program focused on substance abuse disorders. The company works mainly with patients on Medicaid and is seeing some industry-leading retention rates for those in the program.
- Sunny days are here again: India’s SolarSquare has raised $4 million to accelerate the country’s move toward clean energy.
Growth marketing experts survey: How would you spend a $75,000 budget in summer 2022?
As entrepreneurs began turning lessons learned in bootcamps into basic best practices, startups started giving growth marketers more respect and resources over the last decade.
Here’s the good news: Managers can’t slash your respect budget. Unfortunately, to maximize ROI, every dollar now needs to stretch further than Reed Richards in the last “Doctor Strange” movie.
This time, we asked four experts to tell us how they’d manage a budget of $75,000 and which recommendations they’d offer someone who had only $10,000 to spend:
- Ellen Kim, VP of Creative, MarketerHire
- Jack Hallam, growth and community lead, Ammo
- Jonathan Metrick, chief growth officer, Portage Ventures
- Jonathan Martinez, founder, JMStrategy
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
- Turn down that racket!: Netflix is turning some of its popular original programming into games, like “The Queen’s Gambit,” “Shadow and Bone” and, yes, “Too Hot to Handle.” And now, more Disney fans in the Middle East and Africa will now have access to Disney+. Meanwhile, Peacock confirms it is testing a rewards program for paid subscribers that involves movie tickets or movie rentals.
- You make me wanna roll my windows down and cruise: The weekend is upon us, and we hope you live in an area where you can roll the car windows down and enjoy the breeze. If not, here is some car news to enjoy with the air conditioning blasting. Porsche is working with UP.Labs aimed at creating six tech companies that will focus on some of the automaker’s goals, including predictive maintenance, supply chain transparency or digital retail, Kirsten reports. Over at Faraday Future, the electric vehicle startup has another federal agency inquiring about its actions.
- Some social media headaches relieved: In social media news, you may remember that Twitter was testing a Report Tweet flow that would add more options for explaining what the issue is when flagging offensive or dangerous content on the site. That test worked, and now Twitter is rolling it out. Next, Meta is rolling out Horizon Home as part of a new update to the Quest 2 headset. Apparently Quest 2 wasn’t making it easy for people to meet up in the metaverse.
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