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It is Friday 10th June 2022 and hey is on the way, so today I’m just me. Before I let you guys enjoy the weekend, there are still a few housekeeping things to do. First, TechCrunch Disrupt will be happening in-person this year, and today is the last day you can raise your hand to speak. Second, if you attend TC Sessions: Climate next week, we’ll have a glimpse of what to expect. Now that we’ve got that covered, if you’re in the mood to listen instead of read, you’ve come to the right place. Have a nice weekend! — Christine
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Pacman attacking: Karly writes that MIT researchers applying a “Pacman attack” test to Apple’s M1 chips left undetected an “unfixable” hardware vulnerability that could allow attackers to breach the last line of defense. In its response, Apple didn’t seem too concerned.
- Amazon does not bid on Cricket: Manic was privy to some news that Amazon pulled out of the running to bid on a 5-year deal to stream IPL cricket matches. No word on why that is, but if you’re enjoying the games, it looks like Disney and Reliance are still around.
- “The Search for Alpha”: A depressed market for crypto appears to be a boon for hedge funds looking to get into some digital assets, jacquie writes. She scours PwC’s Global Crypto Hedge Fund so you don’t have to.
Startups and VCs
Today we enjoyed Amanda and Natasha’s take on the myriad layoffs plaguing tech companies these days. They also hint at something new with these latest announcements.
What do you get when you combine a young VC investor who is using their age to bring a new perspective to the industry, with some female investors starting their own business and take a look at investors who are demanding profitability from tech companies? A nice afternoon of reading.
Here are some others that we hope will capture your imagination:
- The subscription game is the game I’m in: The free messaging app Telegram will offer a premium option, and get that, there will be no downgrading of features for those who don’t have a subscription. Isn’t that refreshing? Your train, Marco Polo.
- Entry into a growing market: The International Finance Corp. is ready to invest in Partech’s Africa Fund II, annie reports. The fund invests across a wide range of stages, from Seed to Series D.
- A hand to hold: Boulder Care raised $36 million in Series B funding to advance its telehealth program with a focus on substance use disorders. The company works primarily with Medicaid patients and sees some industry-leading retention rates for program participants.
- Sunny days are back: India’s SolarSquare has raised $4 million to accelerate the country’s clean energy transition.
Growth Marketing Experts Poll: How would you spend a budget of $75,000 in the summer of 2022?
Over the past decade, as entrepreneurs began to translate lessons learned in bootcamps into essential best practices, startups have begun to give growth marketers more respect and resources.
Here’s the good news: Managers can’t cut your respect budget. Unfortunately, to maximize ROI, every dollar now has to go further than Reed Richards did in the last Doctor Strange film.
This time we asked four experts to tell us how they manage a budget of $75,000 and their recommendations for someone with just $10,000 to spare:
- Ellen Kim, VP of Creative, Marketer Hire
- Jack Hallam, Growth and Community Lead, Ammo
- Jonathan Metrick, Chief Growth Officer, Portage Ventures
- Jonathan Martinez, Founder, JMStrategy
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead. Here you can sign up.)
- Turn the racket down!: Netflix turns some of its popular original programming into games, like The Queen’s Gambit, Shadow and Bone, and, yes, Too Hot to Handle. And now more Disney fans in the Middle East and Africa have access to Disney+. Meanwhile, Peacock confirms it’s testing a rewards program for paid subscribers that includes movie tickets or film rentals.
- You make me roll down my windows and cruise: The weekend is almost here and we hope you live in an area where you can roll down the car windows and enjoy the breeze. If not, here are some car news that you can enjoy with the air conditioner. Porsche is partnering with UP.Labs to create six technology companies that will focus on some of the automaker’s goals, including predictive maintenance, supply chain transparency or digital retail. Kirsten reports. Over at Faraday Future, the electric vehicle startup has another federal agency inquiring about its actions.
- Eased some social media headaches: In social media news, you may recall that Twitter tested a tweet reporting flow that would add more options for explaining the issue when flagging offensive or dangerous content on the site. That test worked, and now Twitter is rolling it out. Next, Meta introduces Horizon Home as part of a new update for the Quest 2 headset. Apparently Quest 2 didn’t make it easy for people to meet each other in the metaverse.