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Today we will be mostly listening to this delightful meditation of gratitude at the end of the week, and reflecting on all the weird and wonderful things that happened this week. Because, for God’s sake, there were many strange things. And for that matter, very wonderful.
TechCrunch’s Top 3
- Stop it: We mean pictures, not reading this newsletter. We were happy to see how creative some iOS 16 users were in using the new photo background removal feature. Ivan has more and even created its own shortcut.
- Uber eating? Rather defeats of Uber: That notification you received asking you to unlock your Uber account was actually something to worry about. The ride-hailing giant is investigating its cybersecurity processes after a hacker got in, Carly reports.
- Don’t be afraid of the hyphen: Polywork Raises $28 Million to Help You Embrace All the Title Hyphens You Have. Natasha M she even tried it herself.
Startups and VCs
Shervin Pishevar, an investor who left Silicon Valley for Miami after being accused of sexually assaulting multiple women in 2017, reappears as Yeezy’s “Vice Chairman.”the consumer brand controlled by Kanye West, Horses reports.
In the land of the giant economy, things are about to get interesting. The The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) examines the complex and potentially unfair economics and policies of the gig economy for “fraudulent, dishonest and otherwise illegal acts and practices.” Whether it’s forced arbitration, job misclassification or algorithmic pay and job allocation, the agency says it will pursue any questionable tactics that hurt workers, Devin reports.
And for your final piece of launch drama today, Natasha M and Becca report The Launch House community responds to media reports of alleged misconduct and harassment.
Okay, okay, a few more:
- Over the moon with Luna: The user robot Loona is the spiritual successor to Anki and has just gone live on Kickstarter with some impressive moves. They are charming, and BrianThe material includes a video to prove it.
- He’s going how fast?!: Hadje I checked out the Apollo Pro and The company’s CTO says he wants the new scooter to be the “Cybertruck of scooters.”
- Edtech at a discount: Ingrid reports that General Atlantic buys SoftBank’s 15% stake in edtech Kahootnow valued at about $152 million — that’s $63 million less than the valuation at which SoftBank invested two years ago.
- In a sense, aren’t we all squid-like or octopus-like humanoids in a post-apocalyptic world?: Amanda celebrated its 420th TechCrunch post covering Splatoon, a a video game version of those ASMR-like “strangely satisfying” videos.
- The highs and lows of scooter land: Hadje also had two stories about the scooter company Unagi. It announces after all, it will not produce a model eleven scooter, though it raised more than $700,000 through Indiegogo to bring the micromobility product to market. It starts instead the updated One Voyager modeland is instead offering its crowdfunding backers some of these scooters.
3 Investors Explain Why Payroll Access Startups Are Set To Cash More Checks
Workers in low-wage jobs often experience cash flow problems.
With so many people unable to access credit or savings, increasing numbers who once depended on predatory lenders can now tap into their paychecks before payday through Earned Wage Access (EWA).
“The potential for this model is huge, but the industry is still very early stage,” reports Karan Bhasin, who interviewed three active EWA investors to learn more about where the industry is headed:
Jennifer Ho, partner at Integra Partners
Aris Xenophontos, Partner at Seaya Ventures
Aditi Maliwal, Partner at Upfront Ventures
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can register here. Use code “DC” for 15% off annual subscription!)
Big Tech Inc.
For you Apple Watch enthusiasts, Brian packages in puns and postulates for Series 8 (“The new features aren’t remarkable, but some of them might save your life”) and SE (“The SE is the Apple Watch for people on a slightly smaller budget who realize they don’t need absolutely every annual addition to the device”). He talks a lot about choice – who will you choose?