Autonomous delivery startup Nuro is cutting 20% ​​of its workforce

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Hey guys. This is Kyle filling in for Daily Crunch powerhouses Hadje and Christine. I can’t match the heart and wit of my esteemed colleagues, but—unlike a certain megalomaniacal billionaire who shall not be named—I have promised to avoid any passive-aggressive language about committing to a “hardcore” work culture. You won’t have to press a button to pledge your loyalty here, don’t worry.

While Twitter under Elon Musk remains the talk of the town (for all the wrong reasons), I’d like to draw attention for a moment to TechCrunch Sessions: Crypto, our event held in Miami this week — coincidentally as crypto exchange FTX and his tangled web of investments collapsed. (We swear we didn’t plan this, honestly.) Did you happen to attend? Awesome! If not, we’ll provide you with in-depth reviews of all the main sessions. Check them out here.

If you’d much prefer a break from the current news cycle — and I can’t blame you, really — please consider giving this feature from Ron Miller and Anita Ramaswamy reading. (You will need TC+ subscription.) While touching on the failure of FTX, he looks at web3 from a higher level and tries to answer once and for all the question: “Is web3 really innovative or just a repackaging of existing technology?” The answer may surprise you.

Now, without further ado, here’s a recap of this week’s events. — Kyle

TechCrunch’s Top 3

No blue for you: For masochists who signed up for Twitter in the past few weeks, you’ll have to wait before you can purchase a subscription to Twitter Blue, Twitter’s premium plan that adds—among other benefits—a blue “verified” checkmark. In a policy change this week reported by Ivan, Twitter said new Twitter accounts will have to wait 90 days before they can purchase Blue. Probably meant to stop a flood of imitations which have increasingly infiltrated the platform in recent weeks.

Swifties riot: Taylor Swift fans aren’t too happy with the way Ticketmaster is handling pre-sales for the megastar’s upcoming Eras tour. Nor the regulators. Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skarmetti is among those investigating whether Ticketmaster violated consumer rights and antitrust laws by subjecting customers to technical problems and hours of waiting time, with many ultimately unable to buy a ticket. Catherine reports.

Shop while you know: Merch is coming to OnlyFans. Amanda writes about the platform’s new partnership with Spring, the e-commerce company formerly known as Teespring, which will allow OnlyFans creators to list physical products directly on their profile pages. OnlyFans doesn’t take a cut of the transactions, but as Amanda notes, the feature incentivizes creators to integrate their businesses more deeply into the platform.

Startups and VCs

Is Patreon still the hip place for content creators? Fanfix claims it isn’t. Rival Gen Z-focused Fanfix today launched SuperLink, a standalone “link-in-bio” tool for existing apps like Instagram and Snapchat that displays the creator’s Fanfix page. It may not be new – Linktree has long dominated the bio link space – but, as Lauren writes, the year-old Fanfix sees SuperLink as a way to grow its base of more than 9.6 million users, who reportedly earn millions of dollars on the platform. There is certainly plenty of scope for expansion. Recent Adobe research found that the creator economy – that is, adults who engage in “creative activities” and publish and promote their work online – has grown by more than 165 million globally in the past two years.

Looking skyward, India’s first private launch-built rocket Skyroot Aerospacemade a successful takeoff this week. Jagmeet reports that the launch of the rocket – named Vikram-S – came after much anticipation and years of work by Skyroot, which was founded by former Indian Space Research Organization scientists Pawan Kumar Chandana and Naga Bharat Dhaka.

In other news of note:

  • Revenue drivers: Jumia, the pan-African technology startup built around a marketplace, logistics service and payment service, is cutting products and overheads as the company’s new management chases profits. Tage there are details.
  • Turn on the power: Starting an electric vehicle Nio accelerates its expansion in Europe. The premium EV maker has just launched its first energy swapping station in Varberg, Sweden. Rita reports.
  • Reducing the number of employees for profit: the largest internet company in Indonesia, GoTo, cut 1,300 jobs on Friday as the firm tries to cut costs and improve finances. Like Manish writes, GoTo joins dozens of local and global partners in its decision to cut workforces to cope with the economic slowdown.
  • Connecting citizens with help: Beam, a startup that helps citizens access government financial aid, has raised $6.4 million in Series A financing. Andrew dives into the business model, which involves partnering with governments and working as an end-to-end cash assistance administration system for application processing, identity verification, case decisions and payments.
  • I always feel like someone is watching me: There’s money in layering AI technology over CCTV feeds. Spot AI is the perfect example — the company grossed $40 million this week for its cloud-based analytics system that “reads” camera footage for insights. Ingrid there is a spoon.
  • Would you give up your equity in your home in exchange for a bigger apartment? Virgil thinks you will. The French startup, which invests in apartments alongside homebuyers before they even get the keys to their new home, raised $15.6 million in the latest round of funding, Romain reports.
  • Monetizing AI-Generated Pornography: Amanda and I dove deep into the fascinating—and terrifying—new world of AI generated porn. One group is trying to cash in on it. It is unclear whether they will succeed, given the legal, ethical and technical challenges ahead.

How much tax will you owe when you sell your company?

Money flying from a pile of banknotes in a man's hand

Image Credits: PM images (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Launching a startup is hard work, so asking founders to prepare for an acquisition might sound as silly as telling them to practice their Oscar speech in the bathroom mirror.

Still . . . if you are ready to launch a startup, you must also be ready to sell it.

In a commentary on TC+, Peyton Carr, managing director of Keystone Global Partners, offers a framework for calculating exit taxation and outlines the differences between short-term capital gains and long-term capital gains.

“As a founder, you will need to plan your personal tax situation to optimize the set of options available to you.”

Here are a few more from the TC+ team:

  • What we have to lose with Twitter: In one great column, several TechCrunch employees contributed what they would miss most if Twitter went away — while I hope it will still be tomorrow. The high-level takeaway? Twitter has value beyond driving traffic to journalists and other users, despite what some critics would have you believe.
  • Taking action on open source security: Javier writes about Open Source Software Protection Act, bipartisan legislation in the US that recognizes the importance of open source software and states that the federal government should play a supporting role in ensuring its long-term security.
  • Measuring change in e-commerce: Is it possible to quantifying the global e-commerce slowdown? Alex and Anna give it their best shot, exploring how pandemic stressors on e-commerce businesses have slowly begun to lift and change the way these businesses operate.

TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead of the curve. You can register here. Use code “DC” for 15% off annual subscription!

Big Tech Inc.

Kenya and Nigeria have seen a proliferation of loan apps in recent years, many offering quick unsecured personal credit lines of up to $500. The lack of regulations has attracted fraudulent operators, unfortunately – rudely 40 loan applications in Kenya are under investigation from the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner on complaints about data breaches from users. After new laws were passed in countries to restrict the industry, Google has started launching malicious loan apps available for Android from the Google Play Store, reports Annie. That’s welcome news, I’d say.

As for regulation, the FCC announced this week that it will require broadband providers to display a ‘nutrition label’ clearly stating all charges, restrictions and limitations for each plan they offer. Like Devin explains, the labels will show things like price and contract length, whether the price will change after a certain period, and “typical” download and upload speeds, as well as latency. Don’t expect the labels to appear immediately — the FCC’s rules must first be reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget and published in the Federal Register, at which point broadband providers will have six months to a full year to comply — but more I’d say transparency in internet plans can only be a good thing – even if it’s slow in coming.

Here are the rest of this week’s events:

  • New chips abound: Qualcomm debuts its latest flagship Snapdragon chip and new AI platform at the company’s annual Snapdragon Summit, Brian reports. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, as the chip is called, boasts improved AI processing and computational photography such as recognizing and segmenting different aspects of an image before the photo is taken.
  • Get crispy: Thanks to the partnership between the two companies, Discord users can now show the movie or TV show they’re watching on Crunchyroll through their personal Discord profile. Lauren notes that Crunchyroll is the latest media company to support “Rich Presence,” Discord’s “currently playing” functionality that automatically displays the video you’re watching, the game you’re playing, the song you’re listening to, and more right inside Discord .
  • Privacy first: Jagmeet and Manish Cover up India’s proposed data privacy law which will mandate how companies handle the data of their citizens, including allowing the cross-border transfer of information with certain nations. It comes three months after the country’s regulators abruptly withdrew the previous proposal following scrutiny and concerns from privacy advocates and tech giants.
  • Hydrogen power supply: Hyundai on Thursday at the Detroit Auto Show unveiled a a hydrogen fuel cell hybrid concept vehicle called the N Vision 74 which the company says demonstrates the performance sub-brand’s vision for electrification. The car’s W hydrogen fuel cell converts hydrogen into electricity to charge the 62 kWh internal battery — a clever concept. But, as reported by AbigailHyundai did not say whether this type of powertrain will go into production.

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