Daily Crunch: App Store reviews and social media depict user backlash against Snapchat’s new AI chatbot
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As Twitter continues its absolutely wacky march towards its own demise, we grab the popcorn to watch the fire blaze. In other news: Happy Monday, folks! — Christina And haje
TechCrunch’s top 3
- Well, blue, look at you: Twitter users with over 1 million followers got their blue checkmarks back, even if they didn’t pay for Twitter Blue, Ivan reports. Interestingly, many account holders quickly parted ways with subscribers. Maybe it also has something to do with Twitter giving a fake Disney account a gold check mark. Ivan more on that.
- No th-AI-nks: That’s what Snapchat users are saying about its “My AI” feature, which launched last week. Sarah writes that the social media giant is seeing an increase in one-star reviews, which include the call for it to be removed.
- be near you: At a time when there’s a wave of doubt about cryptocurrency, Cosmose, a company that uses AI analytics to track in-store foot traffic and engage with online shoppers, is going all out in digital currency. Rita reports that Cosmose, which recently closed an undisclosed funding round to value it at $500 million, is now working with Near’s crypto solution. Even dropping Stripe to do so. That’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for them.
Startups and VCs
Super.com, formerly Snapcommerce, launched its SuperCash cashback card last October so card users could build up credit, bringing together 5 million customers worldwide who have collectively saved more than $150 million to date. according to CEO Hussein Fazal. Now he aims to help “ordinary Americans” find deals and savings across multiple categories, including travel and shopping, through his awesome app, Christina reports.
Silicon Valley’s quest to automate everything is relentless, which explains its latest obsession: Auto-GPT. Essentially, Auto-GPT uses the versatility of OpenAI’s latest AI models to interact with software and online services, allowing it to “autonomously” perform tasks like X and Y. But as we learn with large language patterns, this ability seems to be as wide as an ocean but as deep as a puddle, Kyle reports.
Come on, another handful for you:
- They just wanna stay involved: Frederic reports that Volvo Cars Tech Fund is investing in driver monitoring startup CorrActions.
- I’ll give you a ring in a bit: brian reports big partnership win for Oura as Best Buy brings smart ring to 850 stores across the US
- You build it, you get paid: Other construction projects are underway, but payments to contractors and their subcontractors continue to create a bottleneck in the normal course of project completion. Constrafor raises new capital to improve this, Christina reports.
- Strong competition: Woodoo creates low-carbon wood-based materials, reports Roman.
- Last impressions matter: More on TC+, haje argues that for your pitch deck, last impressions matter almost as much as first impressions.
- Make IP an asset: Also for TC+, haje took a closer look at Aventurine, which helps startup founders make money from their IP portfolios, in what the accelerator hopes will be a perpetual fund, fueled by IP licensing.
10 Years of Fintech Failure: 3 Other Ideas That Didn’t Live Up to the Initial Hype
Remember P2P lending and on-demand insurance? If not, there’s a good reason: despite a lot of hype, these are just two of many fintech innovations that have fizzled over the past decade.
For his latest TC+ column, fintech consultant Grant Easterbrook looked at three other ideas “that initially seemed promising, but have largely failed to change the financial services industry.”
According to Easterbrook, these misfires offer valuable lessons for founders and investors today: “Fintech entrepreneurs need to remember the key principle that the average consumer doesn’t like to think about money and often wants someone someone else takes care of it.”
Three others from the TC+ team:
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Big Tech inc.
Merchants have a lot to deal with when it comes to running their businesses, but Shopify wants to take one thing off their plate. Shopify is working with B2B payments provider Melio to add direct bill payment so they can consolidate bills and pay bills in a more automated way through Shopify’s platform. Mary Ann writes that it is “the e-commerce platform’s offering to be a one-stop-shop fintech for traders.”
Ring, ring… guess who’s calling? It’s PhonePe, and the company is ready to challenge Google’s dominance in India with its own app store. The Walmart-backed company delivers a “premium experience for millions of users with high-quality ads and personalized targeting, support for 12 languages, and 24×7 live chat,” pot holder reports.
And we have five more for you:
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