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How’s that for brevity in newsletter introductions? Let’s get to it so we can crack open a Liquid Death and let the week sag off into the murky distance of memory sooner rather than later. — Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Uh-oh: Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, confirmed that it found a blockchain bridge breach where hackers made off with $100 million. Carly has more.
- Evolving elephants to unicorns: Annie reports that Kenya’s tourism-focused startup studio Purple Elephant Ventures raises $1 million pre-seed funding to bring some modernization to the industry.
- What until you see the picture: Amazon’s Scout makes you just want to go up to it and give it a pat. Unfortunately, you might not get a chance to. After three years unveiling the robot, the delivery giant said that it is cutting back the program, Brian reports.
Startups and VC
Wildfires have become an ever-increasing threat as houses are built closer together and the growing impacts of climate change wreak havoc on natural landscapes. Entrepreneurs, in response, have started to develop tech meant to minimize the scale and damage of these natural disasters. Convective Capital is a new VC firm looking to back them, and it raised $35 million to do so, Becca reports.
Haje got really bored of startups taking liberties with its market sizing, complaining that if you are a car dealership, your total serviceable market isn’t the value of the cars you sell (that’s the SOM for the car manufacturer). Your SOM is the total value of the sales commissions, service plans, aftermarket goods and services and everything else you can actually make money on.
And we have five more for you:
- Soldier flies marching into a belly near you: FlyFeed flies in the face of the global food crisis, reports Haje.
- All is fair in love and war: Mike reports on what happened when this entrepreneur put her startup on hold to help Ukraine, and told VCs to donate.
- Small-batch tigers: As the market cools, aggressive Tiger Global looks to raise a fund that’s half the size as its last, reports Connie.
- Profit sharing, VC edition: A new cross-border VC firm is offering a sweetener to its founder LPs: part of its own profits, Mary Ann reports.
- It’s been…one year since you bet on me: Natasha M reports that Amazon has 365 days to pour $150 million into diverse check writers.
7 investors discuss how agtech can solve agriculture’s biggest problems
Of all global industries, perhaps none is more susceptible to the dangers of climate change than agriculture.
There’s a consensus among reputable scientists that the amount of CO2 we’re putting in the atmosphere is aggravating extreme weather events. How is that impacting the way agtech VCs operate during a downturn?
To learn more, we surveyed:
- Brett Brohl, managing director of Techstars Farm to Fork, and managing partner at Bread and Butter Ventures
- Monica Varman, partner at G2 Venture Partners
- Jinesh Shah, managing partner at Omnivore
- Adam Anders, managing partner at Anterra Capital
- Ting Ting Liu, investor, and Ashutosh Sharma, India head at Prosus Ventures
- Camila Petignat, partner at The Yield Lab
Three more from the TC+ team:
- IP for AI: 5 key IP considerations for AI startups, by Eric Sophir and Matt Horton.
- More SaaS, lessSass: Data show it’s still a great time to build a SaaS startup, by Alex.
- GOP vs. ESG: GOP’s war on ESG could come back to bite it, by Dominic-Madori.
TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead of the pack. You can sign up here. Use code “DC” for a 15% discount on an annual subscription!
Big Tech Inc.
Google plans to open its first data center in Japan by 2023, Ivan writes. The center is part of a $730 million infrastructure fund and will be the search engine giant’s third one in the region.
Meanwhile, Kyle and Amanda looked at artificial intelligence–powered music generators and its place in an industry where it generally pays to be able to use your natural, human abilities.
And another five more for you:
- Sharing is caring: A new Twitter feature encourages users to share the tweet versus taking a screenshot of it and then posting to other social media, Ivan writes.
- Press pause: A judge ruled that the Musk vs. Twitter trial can be put on hold temporarily while the two parties work out a deal, Amanda reports.
- It’s Marioooooo: Amanda gives you an inside look at the new “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” where she writes, “So far, Chris Pratt’s Mario seems more like Andy Dwyer than Star-Lord, and we love that for him.”
- Making tweaks: Shopify has agreed to add some consumer safety features to its app in Europe that includes a faster and easier way for national consumer authorities to report problems, Natasha L reports.
- Crack open a cold one: Pepsi is at the front of the line to get some of the first Tesla Semi deliveries, Kirsten writes.