Sony and Honda unveil Afeela, Bird Buddy launches new smart feeders, and Amazon secures $8 billion in loans TechCrunch

Hi guys, I’m Kyle, taking the place of Greg, who will be taking parental leave for the next few weeks. While he’s enjoying time with his beautiful, healthy newborn (what better holiday gift could there be?), I’m digging through the Review Week information to make sure that you all stay up to date with the latest technology. Hope I do justice to Greg – they are great shoes to fill!

Long-time readers know this exercise, but for those new to it, WiR aims to in-depth summaries of TechCrunch stories from the past seven days. We publish on the site and send WiRs to subscribers’ inboxes every Saturday (subscribe here if you haven’t already) to make things convenient. Like butter croissants, WiR goes well with a morning cup of coffee — or tea, if that’s your preference. Or hot cocoa. Make your choice – no judgment here.

Before we dive into the news, a reminder that The first stage of TC events in Boston are fast approaching. Tickets don’t last long—they never expire—so buy them before they run out if you’ll be in the Greater Boston area in late April. We want to see your smiling face.

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TikTok bans a lot: The United States may be attracting all the attention for ban TikTok on government devices, but India did it first – two and a half years ago, in fact. In recent remarks, FCC commissioner Brendan Carr said that the United States should follow India’s lead more broadly to “remove … nefarious applications.” India has ban hundreds of apps besides TikTok, including PUBG Mobile, Battlegrounds Mobile India and UC Browser, have relations with China amid border skirmishes of the two neighboring countries.

I’m feeling Afeela: ‘It’s the season of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the increasingly car-focused event. Case in point, Sony and Honda unveiled Afeela, their joint electric vehicle brand, at a flashy press conference on Wednesday, where they rolled a four-door sedan on stage. Afeelas pre-orders are scheduled for the first half of 2025, the companies said, with sales to begin around the same year. The first shipments will be delivered to customers in North America in the spring of 2026.

I don’t like taking risks: My colleagues Natasha wrote an excellent piece on how tech workers, exhausted by recent layoffs, are re-evaluating their relationship with the industry — especially during potentially volatile economic times. Upcoming. Some are working a variety of full-time jobs in neighboring industries, while others are choosing part-time gigs to make ends meet. Few people seem eager to leave technology altogether — but they are certainly more skeptical than they used to be.

for birds: Bird Buddy, the startup behind “smart” bird feeders, introduced its newest model at CES, the hummingbird feeder. Like the original bird feeder, the new Bird Buddy feeder — featuring sustainable and recyclable materials — features a motion-activated camera that prompts the camera to take pictures of people come see birds. They are then run through an AI algorithm to help identify species, alerting owners through a companion mobile app.

I didn’t do it, I swear: Sam Bankman-Fried’s plea not guilty to some federal fraud charges is a tactical response, according to experts Jacquelyn talk to. They say that the former CEO of crypto exchange FTX, whose company collapsed in November, may be buying time to reach a settlement with prosecutors. A trial date in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York is set for October 2.

Sales force reductionSalesforce: Salesforce announced this week that it is cutting about 10% of its workforce, affecting more than 7,000 employees, and closing offices in “certain markets.” Similar to other companies that suffered significant layoffs in the past year, CEO Marc Benioff said that Salesforce was hiring too many people during the pandemic outbreak. The company claimed 79,000 employees last February30% increase by 2020.

Billionaire for Bezos: Amazon has secured an $8 billion loan, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In a statement, an Amazon spokesperson told TechCrunch that the loan adds to the range of financing options the company has explored in recent months to combat the “uncertain macroeconomic environment.” “. It also comes after a disappointing year for the retailer, which has been over-expanded during the pandemic; in its most recent cost-cutting measure, Amazon internal announcement plans to lay off about 18,000 people.

I see you: Speaking of Amazon, at CES, Amazon-owned Ring brought back the Peephole Camera, a camera that fits into existing door peepholes to record outdoor activities, in common building hallways Now starting at $129 — down from its original $199 price — it comes with software that brings its capabilities in line with the rest of Ring’s portfolio, like play Real-time motion and video streaming.

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Do you want to listen to podcasts to start the new year? Good, because TC is serving them like cupcakes. Above Podcasts TechCrunch, I spoke with Darrell about CES-related AI product announcements while Natasha talked about the impact of mass layoffs in tech. Meanwhile, the crew of Equity, TC’s startup-focused show, reviewed some of the early highlights from CES, USV and Doorstead’s deals of the week, along with the latest developments in the FTX and SBF stories. And last but not least, Find sat down with Brex co-founder and co-CEO Henrique Dubugras to chat about his corporate credit card and expense management startup.


You have not registered TC+ yet? Shame, because there’s great content out there. Some of the most popular this week are:

Fintech predictions and opportunities for 2023: It’s been an eventful year in fintech. The market has come a long way from 2021 highs and while 2022 is largely about re-establishing the funding environment, Victoria predicts 2023 will be a year of recalibration for companies. fintech company. Read her thorough section for more.

5 points of failure between $5 million and $100 million in ARR: Tracy Young, former CEO of PlanGrid, a construction app for project managers, analyzes PlanGrid’s key failure points and what she’s learned from them over the years. As she says in the opening paragraph: “If these thoughts help even one founder make fewer mistakes, then I would consider the effort worthwhile.”

Has creative AI become a bubble?: Rebecca surveyed more than 35 investors across different geographies, investment stages, and sectors about their impressions of AI in general — that is, ChatGPT, Stable Diffusion, and technologies. other in the same field. Interestingly, while some investors say they are optimistic about new technology in general, they also acknowledge that the sector can get lost in its own hype.


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