Virgin Orbit runs out of cash, ByteDance pushes TikTok replacement, and Canoo settles with SEC

Virgin Orbit runs out of cash, ByteDance pushes TikTok replacement, and Canoo settles with SEC

Virgin Orbit runs out of cash, ByteDance pushes TikTok replacement, and Canoo settles with SEC

It’s the weekend, revelers, and you know what that means: It’s Week in Review (WiR) time. For the uninitiated, WiR is where TechCrunch recaps all of the week’s tech news. It’s like the morning paper, but in digital form, and without all the superfluous non-tech stuff. So…not quite like the newspaper, really, but definitely worth reading (in this reporter’s humble opinion).

To receive WiR in your inbox every Saturday, click here. And for this edition’s roundup, scroll down. But before that, be sure to check out TechCrunch’s list of upcoming events, including the startup-focused Early Stage in Boston on April 20 and our mega-conference, Disrupt, in San Francisco from September 19-21.

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crash and burn: Virgin Orbit is laying off around 85% of its workforce to further cut spending after the struggling space company said it was unable to secure additional funds to keep it afloat. The news, which Virgin Orbit filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, comes just two weeks after the company laid off all employees and entered an “operational pause” to find more money. .

Date when filing taxes: There’s a new anime dating sim that does your taxes – and it really works. Amanda played Tax Heaven 3000, a game produced by MSCHF, the venture-backed creative studio behind projects like Push Party and Lil Nas X blood shoes. What’s the verdict? If you don’t mind risking sharing your personal information with some anime girl obsessed with the tax process, this isn’t the least pleasant way to file your return.

The replacement TikTok: As U.S. lawmakers press ahead with their plans to ban or force-sell TikTok, the app’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, propels another of its social platforms to the top App Store rankings American. The Lemon8 app, owned by ByteDance, an Instagram rival that describes itself as a “lifestyle community”, jumped into one of the most downloaded slots on the US App Store on Monday, becoming the number 10 app in all apps and games.

Groupon has a new CEO: Groupon, which rose to fame by popularizing the online group buying format, has named Dusan Senkypl as interim CEO. As Ingrid writes, Groupon has 14 million active users, but almost consistently over the past decade the company’s financial situation has been in slow decline – with its core business model stagnating, little success in efforts diversification, declining income and continued losses.

Get your own Lyft: Lyft could once again drop its ride-sharing offering, one of many changes the company’s new CEO David Risher could make in a bid to focus on Lyft’s core transit business and become profitable. . Rischer said Rebecca in a large interview that other features could also be removed, such as the Wait & Save option which allows passengers from certain regions to pay a lower fare if they are waiting for the best located driver.

Twitter APIs are paid: After weeks of stalling, Twitter finally announced its new API pricing structures on Wednesday. The three tiers include a basic free tier primarily aimed at content publishing bots, a basic $100 per month tier, and an expensive enterprise tier. Subscription at any level grants access to the Twitter Ads API at no additional cost.

Difficult times, reduced valuations: pot holder reports that some of India’s biggest startups are taking a haircut in their valuations — at least in the eyes of their investors, as some backers adjust their estimates amid the weakening global economy. BlackRock slashed the valuation of Byju’s, which is India’s most valuable startup at $22 billion, by nearly half to $11.5 billion, while Swiggy, the most valuable food delivery startup India at $10.7 billion, was downgraded to a valuation of around $8 billion by Invesco.

The ledger wins big: French startup Ledger has added more money – around 100 million euros ($108 million) – to its Series C funding round, Roman writing. The company’s main products are hardware crypto wallets that provide a high level of security, shaped like USB drives and have a small screen to confirm transactions on the device.

Supply chain attack: Several security companies have sounded the alarm over an active supply chain attack that uses a Trojan version of 3CX’s widely used voice and video call client to target downstream customers, Carly writing. Malware is a particularly dangerous type, capable of harvesting system information and stealing stored data and credentials from Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Brave, and Firefox user profiles.

Canoo settles with the SEC: Electric vehicle startup Canoo has agreed to a $1.5 million settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a regulatory filing. The SEC began investigating Canoo in May 2021, focusing on operations, business model, revenue, revenue strategy, customer agreements, earnings and the departures of certain company executives, including co-founder and CEO Ulrich Kranz.


TechCrunch’s podcast output was as robust as ever this week, in case you had any doubts. The Equity team talked about AI, crypto, crowdfunding and – in a story of complete left field – former startup founders trying to bribe China. Meanwhile, Found interviewed Angela Hoover, CEO and co-founder of Andi, an ambitious AI generative search chatbox company. And on TechCrunch Live, AtoB co-founder Harshita Arora and Contrary Capital founder and partner Eric Tarczynski discussed the red flags investors are watching for, how the venture capital and startup world is responding. the “girl genius” versus the “boy genius”, and the weak points of the trucking industry.

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TC+ subscribers get access to in-depth commentary, analysis and polls, which you know if you’re already a subscriber. If not, consider signing up. Here are some highlights from this week:

Crypto on the rise: “Crypto-focused venture capitalists continue their work,” Jacqueline writing. Many remain confident in their investment strategies despite a turbulent first-quarter market for crypto startup fundraising, while others are noticing a steeper drop in the pace of investing.

AI is the new oil: Being an AI company has become the soup du jour for startups. Companies are scrambling to either integrate AI into their existing business model or shift their marketing so that everything they were already quietly using to do AI is front and center. And the latest Y Combinator class is no different, Rebecca reports.

Substack turns to its editors: alexander writes about Substack’s efforts to fund a company-size expansion round. The platform, popular with writers and known for its messaging service, has raised more than $5 million in pledges for its Series B expansion from its community and the internet at large.

A look at the Swedish startup scene: Following Techstars’ decision to discontinue its Swedish accelerator program, alexander And Anne decided to dig into the country’s startup scene to understand how a small venture capital market is adapting to a changed investment climate.


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