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Imagine being a tech reporter coming back after a few lovely days at Disney World with the family, only to discover that the entire startup ecosystem is in turmoil after a major bank collapsed. Anyway, what we’re saying is welcome back, Christine! We’ve missed you!
Apropos SVB — the bank’s clients received a surprising email in their inboxes late Monday evening, Natasha M reports. It was from the bank’s new CEO Tim Mayopoulos stating that the institution was not only open, it was also business as usual. Who had that on their bingo cards?
The TechCrunch Top 3
- More Meta layoffs: We’d heard a rumor that said Meta was going to have some layoffs, and now Manish and Paul confirm the company will cut another 10,000 jobs. In addition, the company is not going to fill thousands of open jobs and will be canceling “low priority projects.” More on Zuck’s thoughts about remote work in the Big Tech section.
- All-out battle for generative AI: If you’ve been enjoying the updated features in Google Workspace, here are some more: Google is going all-in on bringing AI to Workspace, Frederic reports. More Google news below.
- OpenAI will not be outdone: If you saw this meme today, it pretty much sums up what happened with dueling AI announcements (see above). After Google’s news, OpenAI dropped GPT-4, a multimodal AI that it claims is state-of-the-art, Kyle writes. Meanwhile, Devin reports that GPT-4’s first app is a “virtual volunteer” for the visually impaired.
Startups and VC
Caught in the wake of the shock collapse of erstwhile rival Silicon Valley Bank, shares of First Republic fell 62% yesterday. Well, that stock appears to rebounding a little today, as investors appear to have a little more confidence that we’ve staved off the banking apocalypse, Alex reports.
Flat6Labs is among the most active VCs in Africa, having invested in over 100 startups to date, across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Annie reports that after 11 years, the Egypt-based seed-stage accelerator is setting out on a foray through a new $95 million fund to back startups in East and West Africa.
And we have five more for you:
3 investors predict the future of startups and VC following SVB’s downfall
Silicon Valley Bank was more than just a preferred choice for managing payroll and investor cash: It also offered wealth management services and below-market-rate home loans and helped coordinate private stock sales.
So where does this bank’s collapse leave the tech industry? Who’s most vulnerable, who stands to benefit, and what are some of the long-term implications for VC? To learn more, Karan Bhasin and Ram Iyer interviewed:
- Maëlle Gavet, CEO, Techstars
- Niko Bonatsos, managing director, General Catalyst
- Colin Beirne, partner, Two Sigma Ventures
“We’re probably going to see consolidation in the VC class,” said Gavet.
“It was already on the way, but this is probably going to accelerate it, because SVB was also a preeminent provider of loans for GPs to make their capital commitment polls.”
Three more from the TC+ team:
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Big Tech Inc.
If you’re dying to buy Apple’s new “banana phone” but want to know if the shade is more “sunshine” or “dandelion,” the consumer products giant is offering a live concierge that can answer that and any other question you have. Sarah reports that this new way to shop online for an iPhone includes a live shopping feature with your very own specialist for that high-touch customer experience without waiting in line for hours.
Now to bring you all things Google:
Here’s five more that have nothing to do with Google: