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Free-Yay! If you have some spare time today, get your Disrupt tickets — early bird discounts end in 7 days!
It also seems a bit silly to compete with plant-based milks, but this ad from newly minted CEO Aubrey Plaza (yes, That Aubrey Plaza) at Wood Milk is delightfully bizarre and confusing. It makes for some great end-of-the-week wait-what-did-I-just-watch weirdness.
The TechCrunch Top 3
- The ABC of AI: Kyle reports on how deep floyd artificial intelligence finally learns to draw text on images. He writes: “Trained on a dataset of over a billion images and text, DeepFloyd IF, which requires a GPU with at least 16 GB of RAM to run, can create an image of a prompt like ‘a teddy bear wearing a shirt which says Deep Floyd’ — optionally in different styles.”
- It will cost you a quarter: You were all very interested in the 20 new games Apple introduced in Apple Arcade. Ivan has more.
- Fewer breakdowns: Lauren spoke to Warner Bros. Discovery’s CTO and CPO to get the scoop on how they made Max less buggy. She also writes about how the streaming business will become profitable in 2023.
Startups and VC
Is the grass greener on the other side? We’re not sure, but the sky is definitely bluer. It’s been over a year since Elon Musk announced his bid to buy Twitter, and those opposed to the sale have tried to set up shop on platforms such as Mastodon, Substack Notes, T2… Blue Sky. Amanda And Alyssa break down the highlights for everything you need to know about Bluesky.
Mary Ann reports that Peter Ackerson has moved away from his role as general partner at fintech-focused firm Fin Capital and started a new company, Audere Capital, with the rather vague premise of “championing American innovation through early-stage technology investments “.
And we have a few more to kick off the weekend:
Down rounds are a “ticket to try again,” says the founder who raised three in a row
Just as a rising tide lifts all boats, a prolonged drought is an exercise in humility for yacht owners and kayakers alike.
According to Carta, “the number of down rounds in the first quarter of 2023 nearly quadrupled compared to the same time last year,” writes Rebecca Szkutak.
With valuations falling, founders who accept downturns no longer have the taint of failure, said Russ Wilcox, a partner at Pillar VC.
“If you set a valuation of $700 million, it seems like you’re winning somehow and you’re not being diluted, but actually you’ve set the bar so high,” he said.
Three more from the TC+ team:
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Big Tech Inc.
Carly got an interesting call this week with an anonymous security researcher who found a trove of data online that belonged to London-based outsourcing giant Capita. We’re talking about more than 3,000 files, including software files, server images, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and text files. We’ll leave the good stuff for you to read, but we note that you should check how long those files are supposedly exposed there”on the line.”
If you like earnings, here are some:
And now there are four more: