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Happy Thursday, Crunchers!
An agreement between a group of the nation’s largest banks to deposit some $30 billion into First Republic Bank could save its bacon, Christine reports, and further on TC+, Ram contains everything you need to experience the SVB crisis.
In the meantime, Annie And Tage consider the wider implications of SVB being in hot water, and report on how it is forcing African startups to rethink their banking options.
Now that the collapse of the national banking system is over… let’s get on with the rest of the tech news!
Don’t forget to wear something green tomorrow! — Christine And Hey
The TechCrunch Top 3
- No more waiting: Ivan reports that Bing’s waiting list for its GPT-4 powered chat no longer exists. To enjoy!
- Bite into an AI Apple: Apple isn’t about to let all those other big tech companies join in on the AI fun. A new story, too Ivanreports that Apple is reportedly experimenting with language-generating AI so Siri can better understand questions.
- Charge it: Parker is entering the world of corporate cards – trying to capture a share of the market from companies like Brex and Ramp – with its new credit offering tailored to the needs of e-commerce brands. Christine has more.
Startups and VC
One of the biggest challenges for companies leveraging the gig economy is managing payroll and benefits. Inspired to solve it, Kyle reports that Wingspan comes to the rescue with a payroll platform aimed at companies that primarily employ freelancers.
Here are six more stories, including a bonus story because Haje decided to put his own story in this section. What preferential treatment, tut tut.
How to pitch me: 7 investors discuss what they are looking for in March 2023
It’s too early to tell if Silicon Valley Bank’s demise heralds a new era for venture capital, but based on anecdotal evidence, off-the-record discussions, and conversations with peers, it looks like we could go back to business as usual. pre-sales startup fundraising concerns.
Before SVB went bankrupt, Walter Thompson interviewed seven investors to find out more about where they want to invest, how they prefer to be approached and if they have any general advice for start-ups:
- Brian Backeen, Managing Partner, Lightship Capital
- Masha Bucher, Founder and General Partner, Day One Ventures
- Rebecca Liu-Doyle, Managing Director, Insight Partners
- Clelia Warburg Peters, Managing Partner, Era Ventures
- Nick Adams, managing partner and co-founder, Differential Ventures
- Lisa Lambert, founder and president, National Grid Partners
- Elizabeth Yin, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Hustle Fund
Three more from the TC+ team:
TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams lead the way. You can sign up here. Use code “DC” for a 15% discount on an annual subscription!
Big Tech Inc.
Via, which is looking to bolster its traffic technology offering, is fulfilling its promise to make more acquisitions and has now acquired travel planning app Citymapper. Rebekah And Ingrid note that it has been “rumored for years that Citymapper was trying to find a buyer” and even courted some big names like Google and Apple, but all was quiet until this news from Via.
Now let’s take a look at Microsoft, which unveiled Microsoft 365 Copilot, a suite of productivity and business apps packed with AI-powered goodies. Kyle has more.
And we have five more for you:
- Go for main engine break: Sometimes you just have to hit “pause,” which is exactly what Virgin Orbit does to look for money, reports Devin.
- Deleted: Five Russian-affiliated internet companies, including Yandex, are formally delisted from Nasdaq and NYSE, Paul writes.
- Take a step back: After more than a decade at the helm of Twitch, CEO Emmett Shear steps down to do something else, Taylor writes.
- Dating in the age of apps: Tinder has a slew of new features, including some to better define what kind of relationship type users are looking for, Sarah reports.
- The SVB crash affects everyone, including robots: Brian spoke to some founders and investors to get some idea of how the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank will affect the robotics industry.