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Helloooo, Crunchers! The heavy goods train of tech news keeps on rollin’ down (and sometimes off) the tracks.
Apropos tracks, we’ve been a little besotted with this absolutely magnificent music video of Ren this week. It’s full of surprises and powerful bits — give yourself a 9-minute break and give it a listen! — Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
More layoffs: Sequoia-backed GoMechanic is the latest to make sweeping layoffs after funding didn’t materialize in time, Manish reports. The India-based auto services company is cutting 70% of its workforce. But wait, there’s more: GoMechanic’s founders misstated financials to investors with GoMechanic co-founder Amit Bhasin saying the startup made “grave errors in judgment as we followed growth at all costs, particularly in regard to financial reporting, which we deeply regret.”
If you’ve never seen a car that looks like its name, you have now: Romain has your look at Kate, a new French carmaker developing tiny cars for your everyday use, from driving to work to driving on the beach. They remind us of a really fast golf cart only cuter.
Startups and VC
In a press conference on Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it has arrested Anatoly Legkodymov, founder of crypto exchange Bitzlato, for allegedly processing over $700 million of illicit funds, Amanda reports. “Overnight, the Department worked with key partners here and abroad to disrupt Bitzlato, the China-based money-laundering engine that fueled a high-tech axis of cryptocrime, and to arrest its founder, Russian national Anatoly Legkodymov,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco.
There’s a bunch more stuff happening in the world of startups today:
PayPal Ventures buys now, hopes it will pay back later: Buy now, pay later company Tabby raises $58 million at a $660 million valuation as PayPal Ventures deploys its first investment into the GCC, Tage reports.
BainFund: Kate reports that the P2P lending platform PeopleFund raises $20 million in a Series C extension round led by Bain Capital.
Ta-daaa! Money for you: Amanda reports that Goldenset launches out of stealth to make equity investments in creators.
Dear Sophie: What are some fast options for hiring someone on an expiring grace period?
Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch
I’m a co-founder of a very early-stage startup. My co-founder and I are considering bringing on a third co-founder, who was recently laid off. She is currently in the United States on an H-1B with a grace period that will expire soon.
What are the fastest, least risky immigration options that we should consider? What’s going on with potential increases to USCIS filing fees?
— Careful Co-founder
Three more from the TC+ team:
Losing the horn: VCs think majority of unicorns aren’t worth $1 billion anymore, by Becca.
Leaning into that midday energy: Noon Energy brings Mars tech down to Earth with carbon-oxygen battery system, Tim writes.
Big Tech Inc.
The layoffs just keep coming in Tech World. The latest is Microsoft, which announced 10,000 job cuts, reports Paul. The company has already made some layoffs last year, but this latest one accounts for a sizable chunk of its workforce — 5%. CEO Satya Nadella echoed other tech companies making layoffs recently in saying that the company accelerated its growth as customers grew, but when that slowed down, Microsoft had to do the same.
Here’s five more for you:
Get the skinny on OpenAI: Connie’s conversation last week with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman continues to yield all sorts of juicy details, this time about the company’s deal with Microsoft. Altman confirmed that was not an exclusive pact, she writes.
This message brought to you by…: TikTok now has a “state-controlled media” label in 40 more countries to show “whose ‘editorial output or decision-making process’ is subject to influence by a government,” Sarah writes.