Stripe eyes an exit, Dell bets on the cloud, and Shutterstock embraces generative AI • TechCrunch
Hey, partygoers, Kyle here, keep walking in for Greg to write Weekly Review as he spends time with his newborn baby. Don’t know about you, but it was a week. I was dead tired and thankful it was over. But since the news never rests, I’m getting back on my feet with the help of a fourth cup of coffee. Wish me luck.
I talked to you about it at this point, but I have a contractual obligation (not really, but still) to mention the upcoming TechCrunch The first period of 2023 event in Boston on April 20. The one-day startup summit will include advice and lessons learned from leading experts, plus the chance to meet fellow founders and share your own startup experience. Don’t miss it.
On the topic of travel, it’s not too early to start thinking about this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt 2023, which will take place at the end of September in San Francisco. There are currently no tickets available, but they will be available in the near future. Register here to update.
With the call to action no longer relevant (phew), here’s this week’s tech news!
Eye stripes one way out: Mary Ann and Natasha writes that fintech startup Stripe has set a 12-month deadline to go public, either through direct listing or by pursuing a transaction in the private market. The payments giant was founded in 2010, so it’s not entirely surprising that it’s exploring avenues to exit. But Stripe is not immune to the recent, global recession lay off 14% of employees (about 1,120 people) and cut internal valuation a lot of time. In a twist, Stripe is said to have attempted to raise at least $2 billion recently, according to the to the Wall Street Journal.
Dell bets on the cloud: ingrid reports that Dell is making an acquisition to strengthen its cloud services business — specifically, offering services in DevOps. The company is buying cloudization, an Israeli startup that has built a platform for cloud orchestration and infrastructure automation, sources say for upwards of $100 million. The acquisition comes as DevOps startups continue to attract investor attention, with venture capital funding in the sector reaching $4 billion in Q2 2021. according to the to PitchBook.
Shutterstock embraces innovative AI: As part of a partnership with OpenAI, the recent AI startup attract A multi-billion dollar investment from Microsoft, Shutterstock this week launched a tool that allows customers to create images based on text prompts. Powered by OpenAI technology, especially DALL-E 2, the tool creates “ready to license” images once they are created. That’s important because one of Shutterstock’s biggest competitors, Getty Images, is currently entangled in a lawsuit against stable AI — the producer of another generic AI service called Diffuse Stable — using its images to train AI without permission from Getty or the rights holder.
Brand bidet buys shower startup: Harri got the scoop on Brondell’s purchase of Nebia, the tech showerhead startup backed by Apple CEO Tim Cook and a host of other big names, including Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia . Nebia stood out at launch with expensive nozzles that can create a fine mist for the user while saving up to 70% of the water that a typical showerhead spits out. Co-founder Philip Winter told TechCrunch this week that Nebia products, including those made by Moen, have reached more than 100,000 homes.
An AI master, unreleased: An impressive new AI system from Google can create music of any genre given a text description. But the company, afraid risk, there are no immediate plans to release it. Call MusicLM, the system was trained on a dataset of 280,000 hours of music listening to learn to generate consistent songs for descriptions such as “enchanting jazz song with memorable saxophone recital and a solo singer ” or “90s Berlin engineering with low bass and punchy punches. Its songs, notably, sound like a human artist could compose, though not necessarily creatively or musically cohesive.
No break for Musk’s Twitter: Twitter owner and self-proclaimed “tyranny of free speech“Elon Musk is facing a legal challenge in Germany over how the platform allegedly failed to enforce its own rules for anti-Semitic content, including Holocaust denial. Denying the Holocaust as a crime in Germany — where there are strict laws prohibiting anti-Semitic hate speech — makes the Berlin courts an attractive arena to try such a challenge. For his part, Musk has repeatedly stated that Twitter will respect all laws in the countries where it operates, including European law of speechalthough he has yet to make any public comment on this particular lawsuit.
Text until you drop: Walmart recently introduced a new way to shop via chatbot. Sarah tried it and found that the experience leaves a lot to be desired. “It seems the process of ordering a few basic things has become a challenge and takes longer than the traditional method of searching in the Walmart app and adding items to the cart,” she wrote. If conversational commerce like this is the future, then I’d say it’s still a work in progress.”
Reach to the future: FlutterGoogle’s open source framework for building cross-platform mobile, web, and desktop apps, is coming in a unique way. Frederic writes that at a recent conference, the tech giant highlighted the latest version of Flutter, which delivers significantly improved graphics performance, the ability to embed Flutter code more easily in web applications, and existing mobility as well as support for new architectures such as WebAssembly and RISC-V.
For your listening comfort, TechCrunch has a bunch of hot new podcast episodes in the queue (I might add as is the case weekly). In Equitythe group took to the mic to talk about the week’s deals, the departure of the All Raise CEO, what Google’s antitrust lawsuit means for startups, how the recession impacts how companies hire and why female tech will stand out in 2022. Above Find, Darrell and becca joined Klarna co-founder and CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski to talk about how the company is expanding beyond buy now, pay later to become a new bank. And focus on TC .’s cryptocurrency Chain reaction highlights Mo Shaikh, Co-Founder and CEO of Layer 1 blockchain Aptos, which is building the infrastructure for web3 products and applications.
TC+ subscribers get access to in-depth commentary, analysis, and surveys — things you’d know if you signed up. If you don’t, consider signing up. I doubt you will regret it. Just check out the highlights from this week:
Surrounded sales force: Salesforce finds itself under threat from activist investor Elliott Management, the company announced it has taken a multi-billion dollar position in the CRM leader. Ron Consider what could happen next for Salesforce as it looks to cut costs and potentially sell unprofitable parts of the organization.
Energy conversion is a winner with investors: Heart review investments in the energy transition, which took place last year. Businesses, financial institutions, governments, and end-users worldwide have invested $1.11 trillion in low-carbon technologies, just 30% more than in 2021 and the second year in a row. continue to grow beyond that number.
Enhanced testing: Rebecca writes that startups should expect more scrutiny from VCs over their hiring plans. Startups have been hiring massively in 2021 as VC money flows in and the job market heats up. But many got too hung up on the talent pool and then had to make big cuts and lay off staff in 2022.