Daily Crunch: Microsoft lays off hundreds of employees as it kicks off fiscal year 2023




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Hello and happy Tuesday! Today we're celebrating Jagmeet joining the TechCrunch crew. He goes hard out of the gate with his inaugural story on the site, covering how Wheelocity raises $12 million for its supply chain network for fresh commerce in India. Give him your warmest welcome - like by giving him a follow on Twitter!

Oh, and great news for robotics fans, Brian is talking with Ayanna Howard and Ayah Bdeir about the changing face of robotics in our Twitter Spaces. Tune in tomorrow, July 13 at 2 p.m. PT/ 5 p.m. ET by following the @TechCrunch Twitter account; we'll announce it when we start! - Christine and Haje

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • Just a 'realignment': Microsoft is the latest Big Tech company to announce layoffs. It's just a small portion of its workforce - less than 1% of its 180,000-person employee base - and Kyle reports the company said the move was the result of "realigning business groups and roles." We have a feeling there will be more announcements from other companies doing the same.

  • Who knew a whiteboard could be so exciting?: Hearth Display, that's who. The startup brought in $2.8 million to turn your whiteboard into a 27-inch display to show off the family's to-do list, Ivan writes. It has a bit of a hefty preorder price tag - $499. It comes with 2 years of free software, but better get it now before that becomes $699 with $9 per month for software.

  • Hopefully no one was injured: SpaceX's Starship test last evening ended in an explosion. Darrell has more.

Startups and VC

They say there's a market wobble in progress, but you wouldn't think so by the number of new funds and venture firms that got announced today. Six of them, in fact:

  • $100 million for crypto: Protagonist launches $100 million fund to make early-stage crypto companies the main character by Jacquelyn.

  • $20 million for legacy industries: C2 Ventures raises new fund to invest in the "dull, dirty and dangerous" by Catherine.

  • $500 million for India and SE Asia startups: Lightspeed raises $500 million for its new India and Southeast Asia fund by Manish.

  • $1 billion for multistage startups: Cathay Innovation launches third multistage startup fund at $1 billion by Paul.

  •  $10 million for science-based companies: Conscience VC raises oversubscribed fund for consumer companies rooted in science by Becca.

  • And another $430 million for crypto: Crypto-focused Multicoin Capital launches $430 million venture fund by Jacquelyn.

Whew! That was a lot of new funds all in one day. Don't worry, though, we have some nonfund news too:

  • Airlift comes down for landing: Manish reports that Pakistan's Airlift is shutting down, citing funding and market conditions.

  • The machines are still learning: Kyle reports that Tecton raises a whopping $100 million, showing that machine learning continues to be a growth market.

  • Oh, it's Nothing: There's a shiny new smartphone on the block, as Nothing's Phone (1) is officially announced, Brian reports.

  • Living on the edge: Another monster round in the computing space, as Scale Computing secures $55 million to help companies manage their edge-computing infrastructure, Kyle writes.

  • Hello, swimmers: Posterity Health wants to help address male fertility needs, Kate reports.

  • Dude, where are you?: It sucks to not be able to hear the person on the other end of the line. New tech is on the way in the form of  this open source earbuds project, reports Haje.

  • We're charged up!: In a world where a lot of cars are moving to being battery-powered, battery recycling is seeing a lot of investor interest, reports Jaclyn.

M13's Karl Alomar: Six strategies for leading startups through a downturn

Flints with miniature model of a self-made passenger ship
Flints with miniature model of a self-made passenger ship  

Image Credits: horstgerlach (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Basic best practices will not help your company endure this winter, so we invited M13 managing partner Karl Alomar to join us on a Twitter Space to discuss six strategies for leading startups through a downturn:

  • Using "ruthless prioritization" to find proof points.

  • Investors still expect "healthy growth."

  • Why founders need to secure 24+ months of runway.

  • How to talk to your investors about pivoting.

  • When it's okay to leave money on the table.

  • What you need to do differently to fundraise during a downturn.

Based on his time leading startups through the dot-com implosion in 2000 and the 2008 Great Recession, Alomar says it's critical for founders to be strategic and not reactive.

"The decisions you make in your business are going to affect all the people that work for you, so you have to be able to manage and communicate across all those stakeholders very effectively," he said.

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Big Tech Inc.

Walmart's new agreement with Canoo to order 4,500 electric vehicles for last-mile delivery seems to have come at a good time for Canoo. Kirsten writes that in May, the company was warning investors that it might not have enough money to stay in business. The news also gave Canoo a nice bump to its share price.

In the latest saga involving Twitter, the social media giant's lawyers are calling Elon Musk's attempt to get out of an acquisition deal "invalid and wrongful," Ivan writes. All of this drama is dragging Twitter shares down with it. Meanwhile, Twitter is letting users "unmention" themselves in tweets, Aisha reports. We're thinking Twitter wishes it could unmention itself from all this nonsense.

We are your place for all things Spotify. First, Amanda has coverage of the company acquiring music guessing game Heardle. Definitely something to help you bone up for that next music trivia game night. Then we have Ivan writing about Spotify expanding its video podcast publishing feature to an additional six countries.

  • Speaking of layoffs: Rivian is saying it will be making some. Kirsten reports that the electric truck maker is planning to lay off 5% of its workforce.

  • More car news: Carly writes that Honda's key fob has a flaw that enables hackers to remotely unlock doors and start the cars. Meanwhile, Volkswagen and Audi found a place for all their old electric vehicles batteries, Kirsten writes.

  • Picture this: Haje reports that Nikon, supposedly, is not going to be in the SLR business anymore.

  • Who has the better deal?: Now that Klarna raised in a down round, Alex wonders what this means for other buy now, pay later companies, namely Affirm.

  • Adding to the Instacart: Alex also saw that Instacart was adding quite a few names to its senior leadership roster and did some digging. 

  • TikTok on Europe's clock: TikTok has agreed to pause its policy update in Europe while it works to address scrutiny over part of its policy that would stop asking users for their consent to be tracked for things like advertisements.

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