Hey, of us, welcome to Week in Review (WiR), TechCrunch’s common roundup of the previous week in tech. Too busy to test the headlines this week? Don’t sweat it. That’s why WiR exists — we’ll get you caught in control.
This version of WiR options items a couple of pretend AI-generated “South Park” episode; the surging downloads of Threads, an app that shares the identical identify as Meta’s Twitter competitor; and Tesla’s first Cybertruck construct. We additionally recap the CEO of OnlyFans stepping down; Wix’s new software that may create web sites on the fly, utilizing generative AI; and Plex’s free Winamp-inspired music participant.
That’s loads to cowl, so let’s get cracking. Oh, and in case you haven’t already, sign up here to get WiR in your inbox each Saturday.
Poor timing for AI-generated TV: AI startup Fable Studios demoed its platform this week, utilizing it to create a full, pretend “South Park” episode wherein Cartman tries to use deepfake know-how to the media business. The tech was spectacular, Devin writes, however — juxtaposed in opposition to the continued strike of creatives in TV and movie — the stunt got here throughout as a tad inartful.
Not a good look for Microsoft security: Microsoft nonetheless doesn’t know — or wish to share — how China-backed hackers stole a key that allowed them to stealthily break into dozens of e mail inboxes, together with these belonging to several government agencies. The corporate first disclosed the incident final Tuesday, attributing the monthlong exercise to a newly found espionage group it’s calling Storm-0558, which it believes has a robust nexus to China.
The other Threads surges to new heights: Instagram’s Twitter clone Threads loved a reasonably fruitful first week in existence, crusing previous 30 million users within the first 24 hours. Nevertheless it’s had the unintended impact of thrusting Threads, an unrelated app first pitched as a Slack various, into the highlight. Threads (the Slack various) reportedly racked up greater than 880,000 downloads on iOS between July 6 and July 12, after Meta’s Threads launched, having had few downloads prior thus far.
Telsa unveils the first Cybertruck build: Tesla over the weekend stated its first, much-anticipated Cybertruck got here off the manufacturing line in Texas. The debut of the long-delayed, futuristic-looking pickup truck comes within the lead-up to Tesla’s second-quarter 2023 earnings name.
OnlyFans CEO steps down: After about two and a half years on the helm, Ami Gan is leaving OnlyFans. Chief technique and operations officer Keily Blair will take over as CEO. As Amanda writes, OnlyFans is maybe the best-known creator platform that helps grownup content material; in line with Gan, the corporate paid out $10 billion to creators whereas she was CEO.
New sites, generated by AI: Wix, a longtime fixture of the web-building house, is betting that at present’s prospects don’t significantly care to spend time customizing each side of their website’s look. The corporate’s new AI Website Generator software, introduced this week, will enable Wix customers to explain their intent and generate a web site full with a homepage, interior pages and textual content and pictures — in addition to business-specific sections for occasions, bookings and extra.
Plex makes its Winamp-inspired player free: Plexamp, the music participant initially incubated by the Labs division of media firm Plex, is now free. The undertaking was first launched in 2017 as a subscription-based spin on the basic Winamp media participant app, providing visualizations to accompany your tunes, instruments for programming mixes, and extra lately, a ChatGPT-powered “Sonic Sage” function that builds distinctive playlists from customers’ music libraries.
VanMoof e-bikes, saved: Since struggling e-bike startup VanMoof confirmed it has requested for a deferment of payment in Holland, there’s been a query hanging over the VanMoof bikes on the market within the wild. Driving to the rescue, considerably improbably, is Cowboy, VanMoof’s e-bike competitor over the border in Belgium. Cowboy’s “Bikey” app allows VanMoof riders to generate their distinctive digital key and preserve using, Mike writes.
TechCrunch’s roster of podcasts is, as the youngsters say, giving. Tune in for nice new content material this week.
On Equity, PitchBook enterprise guru Kyle Stanford got here to riff with the crew on the enterprise capital in Q2 2023: the great, the dangerous, and the late stage.
The most recent episode of Found, in the meantime, spotlighted Catherine Tabor, the founder and CEO of Sparkfly, an organization that helps manufacturers with advertising and marketing and buyer engagement. Tabor talked about constructing an organization fluid sufficient to adapt to altering know-how developments during the last decade and the way she was dismissed by enterprise capitalists regardless of touchdown notable prospects.
TC+ subscribers get entry to in-depth commentary, evaluation and surveys — which you already know in case you’re already a subscriber. If you happen to’re not, consider signing up. Listed below are just a few highlights from this week:
Electric utilities drive customers to startups: Of all the businesses that must be wanting to embrace the electrical transition, electrical utilities would appear to be on the prime of the listing. But additionally they look like a few of the most hesitant. Startups are benefiting from the scenario, Tim writes.
Mixed-gender founding teams raise over a billion dollars: U.S. startups with mixed-gender founding groups — which means they’ve at the very least one feminine founder — raised $24.1 billion within the first half of 2023, which breaks all the way down to $17.2 billion in Q1 and $6.9 billion in Q2, per the newest PitchBook knowledge. That’s an enormous deal — but it surely’s necessary to notice that startups with all-women founding groups are nonetheless struggling to boost cash this yr.
Ripple’s XRP case and the lack of regulatory clarity: Final week, the crypto group celebrated a U.S. federal court case that dominated Ripple’s XRP token doesn’t make up unlawful securities gross sales — however solely in some instances. Although many celebrated the ruling, it’s not a real win for crypto — Jacquelyn explains why.
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